Birthplace: Lewiston, Maine, U.S.
Cynthia McFadden (born May 27, 1956) is an American television journalist who is currently the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. 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.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.
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. 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 O. J. Simpson trial.
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. As anchor, McFadden 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.
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. She serves as the senior legal and investigative correspondent, contributing to NBC's investigative unit across all NBC News platforms.
McFadden is a contributor for wowOwow.com, 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).
McFadden married Michael John Davies, editor and publisher of the Hartford Courant, on September 9, 1989; they were divorced in 1996. 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.
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.
McFadden practices Transcendental Meditation and has supported the work of the David Lynch Foundation.
Cynthia McFadden supports the following charitable cause: Women's Rights.