Whatever Happened To Connie Chung?

Connie Chung is one of the most iconic figures in news history. The veteran journalist and news anchor was a mainstay on TV for years, working for some of America's biggest networks. In 1993, she became the first female co-anchor of CBS Evening News, which also made her the first Asian as well as the second woman ever to anchor on a major network. The winner of an Emmy and a Peabody, Chung was unexpectedly demoted by CBS in 1995. Rather than transitioning from being a co-anchor to being a weekend and substitute anchor, Chung asked to be let out of her contract, marking her first departure from television.

Chung returned to TV in 1997, anchoring 20/20. From there, she went on to CNN, before being suddenly dropped by the network in 2003. Chung again stayed off the air for a few years. However, she came back in 2006, hosting Weekends With Maury & Connie with her husband, fellow TV icon Maury Povich. The show was canceled after just six months, and, since then, Chung seems to have largely disappeared from television. What happened to Connie Chung? Let's catch up with the TV star.

Connie Chung has been focusing on her family

Part of the reason that Connie Chung stepped back from television was so that she could raise a family. After a miscarriage and multiple failed attempts at in vitro fertilization, Chung and her husband adopted their son, Matthew, in 1995. Chung was 48 years old at the time. 

For the first couple years of motherhood, Chung stayed at home with her son before returning to work for a few years when he was a toddler. A short time later, she again returned to being a stay-at-home mom. "I think teen or pre-teen years are the time to always be around," she told Mamalode in 2011. "I haven't worked in several years, so I've been able to keep an eye on Matthew! I think it's important to know who his pals are and to know their parents. I think these years are the ones in which kids can take the wrong path. I want to keep my radar extended so I know what's going on!"

A memoir might be in the works for Connie Chung

Connie Chung has teased that there might be memoir in her future, but, at the time of this writing, there hasn't been any announcement for a book yet. "I've been thinking and thinking about it," she told The Star in 2012. "I'm toying around with something that is my history but it wouldn't be typical of people who write memoirs. I don't want to read about people revealing their innermost thoughts and insecurities."

Instead of focusing on the private details of her life, Chung said that her (potential) memoir would describe her Chinese-American family and their experiences of coming to America and assimilating into American culture. Chung, the youngest of ten children, was born shortly after her family arrived in America in 1945. "They came from China and ... my father got everyone here," she said. "People don't know how Chinese I am. My actions are clearly American but there's a big strong face that's Chinese."

Connie Chung misses television (sometimes)

Transitioning from her high-profile jobs on television to full-time motherhood must have been a difficult change for Connie Chung. While she loves spending time with her family, she admits that there are times she misses being on TV. "When the Arab Spring was breaking, I could not tear myself away from any of the coverage," she told The Star in 2012.

Chung added that the media has changed a lot since she first started her career and that she is grateful to have missed out on the social media age. "The media is evolving and there is no resemblance to when I was in television news," she said. "It will no longer ever be the same because of the internet because of cable social media blogs the nature of how people receive their news has changed ... I think I was very very lucky to be in television news in its heyday."

Connie Chung has helped to keep print journalism alive

While she may no longer be ruling the airwaves, Connie Chung hasn't exactly retired. Instead, she has turned her talents to a different form of journalism. Years after she and her husband purchased a home in Montana, they started a weekly print newspaper in their community called Flathead Beacon. Chung isn't part of the day-to-day operations of the paper, but she and her husband, Maury Povich, are still proud of what they have accomplished with it. "We felt that the community where we lived in the Flathead Valley deserved more in a daily newspaper than what they were getting," Povich told Parade. "It has been honored as the best weekly newspaper and website in the state. ... We are very proud of the paper, especially in the climate in which print journalism is trying to stay alive and finding new ways to exist."

Flathead Beacon has been going strong since 2007, proving that print journalism isn't dead yet.

Connie Chung thinks it's time women and people of color had more opportunities

When Connie Chung got her start in the industry, it was a very different time. Racial and gender equality were still fairly recent changes in the American social structure. Chung landed her first job in journalism in 1969, at the height of the women's movement that demanded equal rights for women. The Equal Pay Act had only been passed six years earlier. The civil rights movement had also made great changes in that decade, with the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. 

In spite of all the progress that has been made since then, Chung still thought that the industry would be better for women and minorities by now. "But it's not easy to break these habits and these male traditions," she told NPR in 2011. "The cavemen are still in charge at the networks ... Forgive me, but they're all white males and you can't get away from that."

Connie Chung appeared on a groundbreaking episode of Fresh Off the Boat

In 2018, Connie Chung returned to the news desk — sort of. She played herself in a groundbreaking episode of the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, a show that focuses on a Chinese-American family. In the episode, Chung criticizes the show's fictional local newscasters for not covering Lunar New Year (via USA Today). The episode was noted for half of the dialogue being in Mandarin — something that rarely happens in American media.

The episode's writer, Jeff Chiang, explained the significance of the episode to The Hollywood Reporter. "Working as a TV writer, I never thought there would be a primetime network sitcom centered on an Asian family," he wrote. "The fact that I get to work on it and pull so directly from my childhood ... is still hard to wrap my head around." He added, "Why did we do an episode that features an entire storyline spoken in Mandarin? Because on a TV show about a Chinese family, we can. And hopefully people will enjoy it."

Connie Chung's decades-long marriage is still going strong

In 2018, Connie Chung and her husband, Maury Povich, appeared on Megyn Kelly TODAY. Kelly asked how the two have managed to stay together after more than 30 years, and the couple bantered back and forth. "Well we never do anything together," joked Chung. "I wish I were married to the guy who's on TV. He's so empathetic, he's so sweet. You can scream, you can cry, you can do anything. But when he gets home, he doesn't want to hear about anything!"

Povich said that the real secret to their long-lasting relationship is that they try to let go of their arguments. "Whatever discussions slash arguments you have during the day, once your head hits the pillow it's over," he said.

She might joke around, but Chung is clearly devoted to her decades-long partner. In 2013, she surprised her husband by jumping out of a cake during the taping of the 2,500th episode of his show, Maury. If that's not love, then what is?

Connie Chung doesn't think you can "do it all 100 percent"

Connie Chung was a trailblazer for women, and her success is proof of just how much women can do. In spite of all that she has accomplished, however, she still thinks that women can't have it all — at least, not all at once. "I would say to women who are trying to juggle it all, you can't really do it all 100 percent," she told NPR. "You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to do everything."

She stressed the importance of equal partnerships, reminding women that there's no such thing as "women's work" and that they don't have to bear the burden of household chores. "And just tell your husband, or your significant other or whoever that other person may be, if you have another person in that household: Nothing is written that says you have to do it," she said. "So you share the duties. If it doesn't get across, then chill a little."

Connie Chung's comments on the 2016 election

Being off the air hasn't kept Connie Chung from weighing in on politics. In 2016, she offered up her opinion on the then-presidential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. She said that Clinton was "incredibly paranoid and cautious" when it came to the media. Chung told MSNBC that she had previously covered Clinton when she was First Lady and had approached her at a political event. "I simply said to her, 'I'm tracking you,' meaning, I'm following whatever you're going to do next," said Chung. "And she looked at me as if I said I'm stalking you. ... She's one of those who doesn't trust us, doesn't want to have anything to do with us."

Chung added that the smartest politicians are the ones who know how to use the media to their advantage, implying that Donald Trump was one such person. "In other words, they understand the relationship between the press and leaders," she said.

Connie Chung joined the Me Too movement

Connie Chung expressed support for the Me Too movement in February 2018, commending NBC and CBS for firing Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against them. Chung said that she had experienced sexual harassment throughout her career, but didn't open up about the extent of her experiences until later in the year. 

In October 2018, Chung penned an open letter to Christine Blasey Ford in The Washington Post after Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades earlier at a party. Ford's claim was met with skepticism, in part because of the length of time that had elapsed since the incident.

Chung said that she had been assaulted by her family doctor during a gynecological exam. Like Ford, Chung remained silent for years. "I wish I could forget this truthful event, but I cannot because it is the truth," she wrote. "I am writing to you because I know that exact dates, exact years are insignificant. We remember exactly what happened to us and who did it to us. We remember the truth forever."  

This is what Connie Chung thinks needs to change in the TV industry

Connie Chung has continued to speak out against misogyny, and she has specifically called out the television industry and demanded change. In a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter at The International Women's Media Foundation's 2019 Annual Courage in Journalism Awards, she applauded the "incredible advances" that women have made in the news industry. She also condemned the "all-male management" and the "old boys' network" that are still so dominant.

Chung said that, while #MeToo has led to some major changes and "a new awareness" at news outlets like ABC, CBS, and Fox News, there's still a lot of work to be done. "I don't think there's full disclosure everywhere, where there's been egregious behavior," said the TV veteran, adding that "there needs to be a better cleansing of all the news organizations."

Chung encouraged victims of harassment in the TV news industry to come forward, saying that women shouldn't fear that they will be fired if they report inappropriate behavior.

Connie Chung doesn't take herself "seriously"

Connie Chung may be one of the biggest names in the news industry, but she's quite down to earth. As she told Closer Weekly in 2019, she and her husband, Maury Povich, "don't take ourselves seriously."

This, said Chung, is a big contrast from their peers in television news whom she called "ridiculous." Chung said that people in the TV news business have egos so large that "you can't fit their heads in Madison Square Garden!" Chung said that "anchors are the worst" of the lot, adding that even seemingly normal people can change once they see themselves on TV.

Chung said that the fact that she and Povich aren't self-absorbed is one of the reasons that their relationship has lasted so long. Another thing that keeps the romance going? Povich's sense of humor. Chung has a funny streak herself, joking that she doesn't like her husband most of the time but that she always loves him.