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Meredith Vieira Named Special Correspondent on NBC’s ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’

Yesterday, we told you that the NBC primetime newsmagazine slated to debut this fall would be called “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Today, the show also gets a special correspondent: former “Today” anchor Meredith Vieira.

Vieira’s new role, effective immediately, will be supplemental to her reporting across other NBC platforms, including on “Today” and “Nightly News,” according to NBC News president Steve Capus.

“Meredith’s immeasurable talents reach beyond the newsroom to connect with the extraordinary people she interviews as well as the viewers at home,” Capus said, in announcing Vieira’s new role. “She is as genuine as you can get, a world-class journalist and a captivating storyteller. These skills will be hugely beneficial to ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’ and across NBC News.”

Read the full release from NBC after the jump.

NEW YORK – September 13, 2011 – - NBC News announced today that Meredith Vieira has been named to a new role as special correspondent for “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” the new primetime newsmagazine led by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. She will contribute her signature reporting for the broadcast, as well as report for “Today,” “NBC Nightly News” and other NBC News programs. Vieira will additionally contribute to special network programming including the 2012 London Olympic Games. The announcement was made today by NBC News President Steve Capus and is effective immediately. 

“From the day that Meredith joined us at NBC News, we knew she was family,” said Capus. “Meredith’s immeasurable talents reach beyond the newsroom to connect with the extraordinary people she interviews as well as the viewers at home. She is as genuine as you can get, a world-class journalist and a captivating storyteller. These skills will be hugely beneficial to ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’ and across NBC News.”

“As a viewer, one of my earliest memories of Meredith was as a top-flight first-rate newsmagazine correspondent on ‘West 57th’ at CBS,” said Williams. “I never missed an episode or a story that she worked on. Nothing has changed in all these years. We cannot wait for Meredith to make her first appearance on our new broadcast.”

Vieira joined TODAY in September 2006 as co-anchor, and was immediately accepted into the ranks of America’s first television family. During her five years at “Today,” Vieira covered some of the biggest news stories of our time, including the 2008 presidential election, the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech, the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. She sat down with some of the most notable newsmakers of our time, including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Laura Bush. She also contributed to “Dateline NBC” as well as many NBC News specials.

While at “Today,” Vieira conducted numerous exclusive news-making interviews. She spoke with former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson in her first-ever live television interview after her identity was revealed and she sat down with author J.K. Rowling in her only television interview about her final Harry Potter volume. Vieira’s memorable exclusive celebrity interviews include Janet Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Susan Boyle, Kate Gosselin and Madonna, to name a few.

Vieira also currently serves as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” a position she’s held since 2002. Prior to joining NBC News, Vieira had been moderator of ABC’s “The View” since the show’s inception in 1997. She started at ABC in 1993 when she joined their news division as chief correspondent of “Turning Point,” which debuted in March 1994. Vieira has been honored with nine Emmys, including two Daytime Emmys for best morning newscast for her work on “Today.”

Prior to her work at ABC, Vieira spent more than a decade at CBS News, where she garnered five Emmy Awards for her work as a correspondent on the news magazines “60 Minutes” and “West 57th.” From 1989 to 1991, she was a co-editor of “60 Minutes.”

Vieira also frequently anchored the “CBS Morning News” and was contributing national correspondent on the “CBS Evening News With Dan Rather.” After two successful seasons, and pregnant with her second child, Vieira left “60 Minutes.”

Vieira joined CBS News as a reporter in its Chicago bureau in January 1982. Prior to that, she was a reporter for local WCBS-TV in New York for three years. She began her career as a news announcer for WORC-Radio in Worcester, Mass., in 1975.

A native of Providence, R.I., Vieira received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in Medford, Mass. She has three children, Ben, Gabe and Lily with her husband, Richard Cohen.

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