American journalist Connie Chung forged new territory in network news and broadcast journalism. As the first Asian American and second woman to be a news anchor, Chung has earned many awards for her work, including three Emmys.
Connie Chung’s Early Days
Constance Yu-hwa Chung was born on Aug. 20, 1946, in Washington, D.C., to William and Margaret Chung. William was an intelligence officer for Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Army who moved his family to the U.S. during the Chinese Civil War.
Chung’s Broadcast Career
Sources in this Story
- Encyclopedia.com (Encyclopedia of World Biography): Connie Chung
- Greater Talent Network, Inc.: Connie Chung
- People: D.C. Newsman Maury Povich Anchors NBC’s Connie Chung After a Longtime Cross-Country Romance
- Museum of Broadcast Communications: Chung, Connie: U.S. Broadcast Journalist
- BNET (Communication World): On the record or off the record? How much should you say in an interview?
- The New York Times: Connie Chung Gets CNN Prime-Time Spot
- People: I Want a Child
- ABC News: Barbara Walters, Others Tell Personal Adoption Stories
- New York Magazine: Mates: Maury and Connie
Chung graduated from the University of Maryland in 1969 and began her career in journalism at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. She soon advanced from the copy desk to news writer and on-air reporter.
In 1971, she was became a national correspondant for the “CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite, where she covered topics such as the 1972 presidential election, the Watergate scandal, and the SALT I negotiations. She “earned a reputation as an intense, hardworking and tenacious reporter,” wrote People magazine, but she left the job because “every other story was boring” after Watergate.
She worked at many stations throughout her career, including CNN, NBC, MSNBC and ABC, headlining the shows “Eye to Eye with Connie Chung,” and “Face to Face with Connie Chung.” She had several highly publicized interviews with notables such as Magic Johnson after he broke the news about being HIV positive.
She is known for pushing the envelope, evident in her 1995 interview with Kathleen Gingrich, mother of Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Chung asked Ms. Gingrich what her son thought of first lady Hillary Clinton, telling her that it was “just between you and me.” Gingrich’s controversial response was aired, and Chung’s journalistic integrity was questioned for apparently misleading the 68-year-old.
Shortly after the interview, Chung left CBS for ABC, where her duties including co-hosting “20/20.” Her tenure at ABC is perhaps best remembered for interview of California Rep. Gary Condit, who was under investigation for the disappearance of his intern. In 2002, she was hired away be CNN to anchor the network’s weeknight evening newscast.
Chung’s work has earned her a host of awards, including three Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, the National Educational Media Network’s Golden Apple Award, and honors from American Women in Radio and Television.
The Rest of the Story
In 1984, Chung married American talk show host Maury Povich. In a 1990 article with People Magazine, she was open about her desire to start a family and announced plans to cut back on her work hours to pursue motherhood. Barbara Walters spoke with Chung and Povich for an ABC News special in which the couple talked about adopting their son, Matthew.
A January 2006 profile in New York Magazine covered the couples’ new venture, a talk show on MSNBC called “Weekends With Maury and Connie.” Unfortunately, the show was cancelled due to low ratings only a few months after it launched.