Former ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas to guest anchor ‘NewsNation Prime’

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Former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas will guest-anchor “NewsNation Prime” the week of Sept. 19, 2022.

The arrangement is necessary because “NewsNation Prime” anchor Marni Hughes is shifting to dayside, launching “NewsNation Live” at 10 a.m. eastern that same day.

“NewsNation Prime” airs at 8 p.m. eastern for an hour and will eventually be replaced by “Cuomo” featuring former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo starting Oct. 3, 2022.

NewsNation has not announced talent for the last week of “Prime” — Sept. 26 to 30, 2022.

Vargas was briefly co-anchor of “ABC World News Tonight” following the death of anchor Peter Jennings in 2005. She and Bob Woodruff were named co-anchors of the broadcast, but both tenures were cut short after Woodruff was severely injured in while on assignment in Iraq and Vargas’ pregnancy was announced.

Woodruff was sidelined due to his injuries but Vargas would stick around to co-anchor alongside other ABC News talent or solo before leaving to welcome her new baby.

This would make her the de facto first solo female anchor of a network evening newscast, though Katie Couric is typically given that credit because Vargas was never officially named as a permanent solo anchor before Couric debuted on “CBS Evening News.”

Vargas also was co-anchor of “20/20” but would leave ABC in 2018.

In 2013, Vargas issued a statement that she was dealing with addiction and later confirmed she is a recovering alcoholic.

Since then, Vargas has launched a podcast called “Heart of the Matter” and will host a new syndicated show called “iCrime.”

NewsNation did not comment if Vargas might get a larger role on NewsNation in the future, but if she does, it likely wouldn’t be in primetime, given that the schedule is already full. Vargas joining the network permanently in primetime would likely trigger a schedule shakeup. There is the possibility, however, that the network is testing her out for a more permanent role, perhaps in daytime or to replace one of its existing primetime shows.

Her brief stint on “Prime” will reunite her with former ABC colleague Michael Corn, who is now head of NewsNation’s news division.