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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 to 2014 and joined NBC News in March 2014.[2]

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 63)
Alma materBowdoin College (B.A., 1978)
Columbia Law School (J.D., 1984)
OccupationTelevision journalist
Years active1984–present
Notable credit(s)
Nightline co-anchor
Primetime co-anchor
ABC News correspondent (1994–2014)
NBC News senior legal & investigative correspondent (2014–present)
John Michael Davies
(m. 1989; div. 1996)
Partner(s)James F. Hoge, Jr. (1998–present)
Children1 with Hoge



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 correspondentEdit

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][3] She then joined the Courtroom Television Network as an anchor and producer in 1991, its inaugural year.[2] After working there for several years, she joined ABC News in 1994 as the network's legal correspondent, covering amongst other subjects the O. J. Simpson trial.

Promotion to anchorEdit

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 tended to anchor in shifts, leading the show by themselves every third night. While Nightline was threatened with cancellation in 2002 under Koppel's long-form journalism format, it saw a resurgence in its ratings and prominence after switching to more celebrity topics, pop culture and entertainment news, often competing for higher numbers with the Late Show with David Letterman.[4] As anchor, McFadden conducted a number of significant interviews including ones with celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Paul McCartney and Judge Judy Sheindlin, past and present world leaders such as Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair, and five with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Move from ABC to NBCEdit

On March 29, 2014, after two decades with ABC News, with the last nine years as a Nightline anchor, McFadden left and joined NBC News.[2] She serves as the senior legal and investigative correspondent, contributing to NBC's investigative unit across all NBC News platforms.

Other workEdit

McFadden is 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.

She is co-chair of the board of IWMF (International Women's Media Foundation).[5]

Personal lifeEdit

McFadden married Michael John Davies, editor and publisher of the Hartford Courant, on September 9, 1989; they were divorced in 1996.[6] She has a son with Foreign Affairs editor James Hoge, Spencer Graham McFadden Hoge, who was born in 1998 and named after the actor Spencer Tracy.[7]

She is the executrix of the estate of longtime friend, actress Katharine Hepburn.

She has Crohn's disease and has done public service announcements to raise awareness of the condition.[8][9]

McFadden practices Transcendental Meditation[10] and has supported the work of the David Lynch Foundation.[11]


  • George Foster Peabody Award[2] (1985)[12]
  • 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[13]


  1. ^ "McFadden to NBC, Chang to anchor 'Nightliine'".
  2. ^ a b c d e Steinberg, Brian (March 27, 2014). "NBC News Lures 'Nightline' Anchor Cynthia McFadden From ABC". Variety. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  3. ^ News, A. B. C. (19 June 2013). "Cynthia McFadden's Biography". ABC News.
  4. ^ "ABC denies Kimmel slot shift". The Live Feed: THR. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  5. ^ "Board Of Directors". IWMF. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Ms. McFadden Has a Wedding". The New York Times. September 10, 1989. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-05-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Crohn's – Colitis – IBD – Crohn's & Colitis Foundation".
  10. ^ Tran, Bibi. "'Women in the Media Who Meditate' Luncheon Raises Funds to Teach TM to At-Risk Women and Children". David Lynch Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. TM has helped me be more effective in the things I most care about. I don't know how it works but I know it does: there is a combination of pleasure from both energy and calm.
  11. ^ "Women in the Media Who Meditate". David Lynch Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. Eight nationally renowned women leaders in the media who meditate gathered on April 16, 2015 in New York City to raise awareness about the benefits of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique for overcoming stress, improving performance, and enhancing work-life balance in their lives.
  12. ^ "Seminars on Media and Society: Winner 1985". Peabody Awards. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cynthia McFadden".

External linksEdit

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