Deborah Roberts Named Co-Anchor at ABC News 20/20 (EXCLUSIVE)

Deborah Roberts is taking up co-anchor duties at ABC News’ “20/20,” the latest in a line of distinguished anchors that includes Barbra Walters, Hugh Downs, Diane Sawyer, Connie Chung and Elizabeth Vargas who have led the long-running newsmagazine.

Roberts is no stranger to the series’ rhythms. She has been contributing to it for 28 years, ever since she joined ABC News in 1995, recruited by Barbara Walters. She will co-anchor the program with David Muir, who has been with the series since 2013. “Deborah brings her love of storytelling, her deep commitment to the truth, and most of all, her humanity to everything she does,:” says Muir. “I cannot wait to stand beside her on ‘20/20.’”

Roberts believes her new role will give her a new sense of belonging to the series’ staff, particularly as ABC News has been working to expand how “20/20” is consumed by its audience. “Once you have really planted yourself firmly into a program like this as I have over the years, you look for more,” she tells Variety in an interview. By making the move to co-anchor, she adds, “you always feel like you have a little more ownership of a program, and more of a say in what it’s all about.”

“Deborah Roberts is one of a kind — a first-class journalist who brings heart, authority and integrity to every story she covers,” says Kim Godwin, president of ABC News. “Along with David Muir, she embodies the DNA of ‘20/20,’ inspiring the team and people around the world with every thoughtful word, inspiring report and impactful interview.”

Roberts takes up a role that was previously held by Amy Robach, who left ABC News earlier this year in a strange episode that involved her relationship with colleague T.J. Holmes. Both co-anchored the daytime program “GMA3.”

Known primarily as a vehicle for true-crime stories in the vein of efforts like NBC’s “Dateline” and CBS’ “48 Hours,” “20/20” has been broadening its world. In 2019, ABC News began running two-hour versions of the program that have additional traction on Disney’s Hulu streaming hub. ABC News is launching a new “20/20” podcast called “20/20 True Crime Vault” that digs into the series’ archives and repurposes episodes for the audio crowd. The “20/20” team also produces multiple stand-alone specials every year that can encompass everything from hard-to-get interviews with newsmakers to in-depth reports on bigger stories.

“The way you have a brand with legs is to keep finding that new audience,” says Janice Johnston, the newsmagazine’s executive producer.

Roberts’ colleagues describe her as indefatigable on assignment. “You know she’s going to go full force and really get into it, to be the first one to hop on a plane and get out there with the crime scene, with the investigators, to go to the house and visit the family,” says Johnston.

During her ABC News tenure, Roberts has reported for “Nightline,” “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight with David Muir,” and served as a substitute anchor for “Good Morning America” and a guest co-host on “The View.” She received a Peabody Award for the “20/20” special “Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor.” She. will also continue to report across all programs and platforms as senior national affairs correspondent. Roberts is married to “Today” mainstay Al Roker, and the pair has collaborated on a book that collects wisdom about family life.

The journalist says she’s been able to learn while on the job. When she first got to ABC News, Walters was co-anchoring the program. “I was able to watch her prep,” Roberts recalls.. “You could see her with her team on the set, watch how she reported her stories and interviews.” Now Roberts has a chance to sit in the same seat.

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article