Meredith Vieira Biography (1953-)

Meredith_Vieira journalist. The current co-anchor of The Today Show  was born on December 30, 1953, in Providence, Rhode Island. Upon graduating from Tufts University in 1975 with a degree in English, Vieira immediately began pursuing her dreams of a career in broadcast journalism. She started as a news announcer for a Worcester, Massachusetts radio station, but soon began working as an on-air reporter for WCBS-TV in New York City.

Among her early assignments were the 1980 Republication National Convention in Detroit and an award-winning series on child molestation. In January 1982, Vieira became a reporter for CBS News in its Chicago bureau; she was named a correspondent two years later. In Chicago, she met Richard Cohen, a TV news producer; the couple married in 1986, a year after Vieira moved back to New York and began working as a principal correspondent on the CBS newsmagazine West 57th. In 1989, Vieira won four Emmy Awards for stories she reported on West 57th during its 1987-88 season.

From 1989 to 1991, Vieira was a co-editor of CBS’s acclaimed newsmagazine, 60 Minutes. She worked on the award-winning segment Ward 5A, about the first AIDS ward in San Francisco, and won a fifth Emmy Award for Thy Brother’s Keeper, a report about Christians who saved Jews during the Holocaust. Vieira also frequently anchored CBS Morning News and worked as contributing national correspondent on CBS Evening News With Dan Rather In June 1991, she became contributing correspondent for the CBS News primetime series Verdict as well, reporting on actual courtroom trials.

After the birth of her first son, Ben, in 1989, Vieira had scaled back her work on West 57th, and her limited schedule had continued when she started working for 60 Minutes. But in 1991, when she became pregnant with her second child, 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt announced that the show needed a full-time correspondent. Their dispute became public, and Vieira subsequently left the show.

Vieira had her second son, Gabe, in 1991 and her daughter Lily in 1993. In October 1993, she joined ABC News as chief correspondent for Turning Point, which premiered in March 1994. In 1995, she won her sixth Emmy Award for the report “Inside the Hate Conspiracy: America’s Terrorists, about a white supremacist group. In addition, Vieira’s feature on the city of Baltimore’s effort to mainstream disabled students in public schools won a 1995 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award, her interviews with the “Framingham Eight”—eight women fighting for a second chance after killing the partners they say abused them—won an award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television.

After 1997, Vieira decided she wanted to spend more time with her family, with whom she lives in Westchester County, New York. She has found greater work flexibility, as well as a fresh new twist on television journalism, as a cohost of ABC’sThe View, a daily morning talk show launched in 1997 by the television newswoman Barbara Walters. With cohosts Walters, Star Jones, Joy Behar, and Lisa Ling (who replaced original cohost Debbie Matenopoulos early in the show’s run), Vieira offered the show’s fans a diverse, multigenerational look at topics ranging from entertainment and celebrity interviews to politics and legal issues. The View has been nominated for Emmy Awards in each following year for Outstanding Daytime Talk Show, while Vieira and her cohosts earned nods for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

In the spring of 2006, Vieira was asked to anchor NBC’s The Today Show after longtime host Katie Couric left to pursue a career at CBS News. She started her anchoring duties the following September.

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