Cynthia McFadden

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Cynthia McFadden photo essay 101107-D-7203C-004.jpg
McFadden (left) interviewing Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton
Born (1956-05-27) May 27, 1956 (age 58)
Lewiston, Maine, U.S.
Alma mater Bowdoin College (B.A., 1978)
Columbia Law School (J.D., 1984)
Occupation Television journalist
Years active 1984–present
Notable credit(s) Nightline co-anchor
Primetime co-anchor
ABC News correspondent (1994–2014)
NBC News Senior legal & investigative correspondent (2014–present)
Spouse(s) John Michael Davies (1989–1996)
Partner(s) James F. Hoge, Jr. (1998–present)
Children 1 with Hoge

Cynthia McFadden (born May 27, 1956) is an American television journalist who is currently the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News.[1] She was an anchor and correspondent for ABC News who co-anchored Nightline, and occasionally appeared on ABC News special Primetime. She was with ABC News from 1994–2014 and joined NBC News in March 2014.



Born in Lewiston, Maine, McFadden graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1978. Afterward, she received her Juris Doctorate degree from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1984.


Early Career and time as ABC News correspondent[edit]

From 1984 to 1991, McFadden was the executive producer of Fred Friendly's Media and Society seminars based at Columbia, many of which were broadcast on PBS.[2] She then joined the Courtroom Television Network as an anchor and producer in 1991, its inaugural year. After working there for several years, she joined ABC News in 1994 as the network's legal correspondent, covering amongst other subjects the OJ Simpson Trial.

Promotion to Anchor[edit]

McFadden became an anchor of Primetime in 2004 and, having previously substituted for Ted Koppel on several occasions, an anchor of Nightline on November 28, 2005, along with Martin Bashir and Terry Moran, following the longtime anchor's final broadcast. Bashir left the program due to fallout from credibility problems from the disputed and controversial reports on singer Michael Jackson and was replaced by Bill Weir in 2010. The three tend to anchor in shifts, leading the show by themselves every third night. Notably, while Nightline was threatened with cancellation in 2002 under Koppel's long form journalism format, it has seen a resurgence in its ratings and prominence after switching to more celebrity topics, pop culture and entertainment news over the last few years, often competing for higher numbers with the Late Show with David Letterman.[3] As anchor, she has conducted a number of significant interviews including ones with celebrities such as Clint Eastwood and Paul McCartney, past and present world leaders such as Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair, and five with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Move from ABC to NBC[edit]

On March 29th 2014, after two decades with ABC News, including the last nine years as a “Nightline” anchor, Cynthia McFadden left for new challenges and joined the team at NBC News. She serves as the senior legal and investigative correspondent, contributing to NBC’s investigative unit across all NBC News platforms.

Other work[edit]

Cynthia McFadden is also a contributor for, a web site launched in 2008 for women to discuss culture, politics and gossip. She has additionally hosted or co-hosted a number of documentaries and specials on ABC.

McFadden is a Board Member at the IWMF (International Women's Media Foundation).[4]


McFadden married Michael John Davies, editor and publisher of the Hartford Courant, on September 9, 1989; they were divorced in 1996.[5] She has a son with Foreign Affairs editor James Hoge, Spencer Graham McFadden Hoge, who was born in 1998 and was named after the late actor, Spencer Tracy.[6]

McFadden is also the executrix of the estate of longtime friend, Academy Award-winning actress Katharine Hepburn.

McFadden has Crohn's disease and has done public service announcements to raise awareness of the condition.[7][8]


  • George Foster Peabody Award
  • Cine Golden Eagles (2)
  • Ohio State Award
  • Silver Gavels (2) from the American Bar Association
  • Grand Award of the New York Festival
  • Blue Ribbon of the American Film Festival
  • Nominated for an Emmy[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Biography at ABC News website
  3. ^ "ABC denies Kimmel slot shift". The Live Feed: THR. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  4. ^ IWMF website
  5. ^ "Ms. McFadden Has a Wedding". The New York Times. September 10, 1989. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Ted Koppel
Nightline anchor
November 28, 2005 – March 2014
With Martin Bashir and Terry Moran
Succeeded by
Juju Chang