Thursday, December 17, 2015

Meredith Vieira: TV Newswoman on the Go

By Sarah Hogan

Meredith Vieira was born on December 30, 1953 in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated 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 started working as an on-air reporter for WCBS-TV in New York City.

 In her early years she reported on the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit and an award-winning series on child molestation. In January 1982, Vieira became a reporter for CBS News in Chicago. Two years later she was named a correspondent. In 1987 Vieira moved back to New York and began working as a principal correspondent on CBS. In 1989, Vieira won four Emmy Awards for stories she reported on.

For the next two years Vieira would work as a co-editor of CBS's 60 Minutes. During this time, she worked on the award-winning segment "Ward 5A," about the first AIDS ward in San Francisco, and won an Emmy Award for "Thy Brother's Keeper." During this time, Vieira was anchoring CBS Morning News and worked as a contributing national correspondent on CBS Evening News With Dan Rather. In June 1991, she also became contributing correspondent for the CBS News primetime series Verdict, reporting on courtroom trials.

Then later in 1991, Vieira became pregnant with her second child; 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt informed her that the show needed a full-time correspondent. Their dispute became public, and Vieira left the program. 

In 1993 she joined the ABC News crew as chief correspondent for Turning Point. After that she won her sixth Emmy for the report “Inside the Hate Conspiracy: America’s Terrorists.” In addition, Vieira worked on stories like “Framingham Eight”-- eight women who were fighting for a second chance after killing their partners they say abused them; for this she won an award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television. 

Eventually Vieira decided she wanted to step down from the intense work she was doing and spend more time at home with her children. This led to an opportunity more suiting of her time-- a position as co-host of ABC’s The View. This early morning talk show launched in 1997 with newswoman Barbara Walters and cohost Debbie Matenopoulos. The show offered a diverse, multigenerational look at topics ranging from entertainment to politics and legal issues.

After her success on the talk show, Vieira decided she’d found her temporary niche and would move on to hosting the game show Who Wants to be a Millionare. Then in the spring of 2006 she joined the team at NBC for The Today Show. 

Today Vieira is now hosting her own show, The Meridith Vieira Show, on NBC. Needless to say this is one talented woman and her efforts to continue capturing and reporting news are endless. I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring on next!

Sarah Hogan is studying Communication Arts at St. Thomas Aquinas College.


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