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Longtime ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas to exit the network in May

Longtime ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas to exit the network in May
Elizabeth Vargas on the set of ABC's "20/20." (ABC)

Longtime ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas is leaving the network in May, at the end of the current season of her prime-time newsmagazine “20/20.”

ABC News President James Goldston announced her departure Friday in a memo to staffers that said Vargas wants to “pursue new ventures.”

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Vargas, 55, has been a fixture at ABC News for 20 years, joining in 1996 after a four-year run at NBC News. She served as a news anchor of “Good Morning America” and co-anchor of “World News Tonight” before joining “20/20” in 2004.

“It has been a profound privilege to be the anchor of 20/20 for 14 years, and a true honor to work with each and every one of you,” Vargas wrote in a note to her colleagues. She offered no other details on the reason for her departure.

Vargas has battled anxiety and alcoholism, which she has discussed openly on the air. In 2016, she recounted her struggles in a book, “Between Breaths, A Memoir of Panic and Addiction.” She has said that she is in recovery.

Vargas co-anchors “20/20” with David Muir, who also serves as anchor of “ABC World News Tonight.”

ABC News is likely to name Amy Robach as Vargas’ replacement. Robach is the news reader on “Good Morning America.”

Vargas is the latest network news veteran to leave a post. News programs are still absorbing the ramifications from sexual misconduct allegations that led to the sudden departures of Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” and Charlie Rose of “CBS This Morning.” Neither has been replaced.

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