National Press Club

Chung and Povich banter over careers, news evolution and celebrity at "Legends of Broadcasting" dinner series

April 22, 2019 | By Bill McCloskey | bmcclos325@aol.com

Connie Chung and Maury Povich flanked by Maury's brother David and David's wife Connie at a National Press Club Legends of Broadcasting dinner April 17.

Connie Chung and Maury Povich flanked by Maury's brother David and David's wife Connie at a National Press Club Legends of Broadcasting dinner April 17.

Photo/Image: Harold Johnson

Washington natives Connie Chung and Maury Povich bantered their way through a question-and-answer session as the latest guests in the National Press Club Broadcast & Podcast Team's "Legends of Broadcasting" dinner series on April 17.

Perhaps hoping, unsuccessfully, to avoid questions from the 30 attendees in the Club's Winner's Room, each had brought questions to ask the other.

He, a former WWDC Radio newsman and WTTG Sports Director and she, a former WTTG newsroom secretary, writer and reporter, married in 1984.

The couple now lives in New York -- Povich refers to it as being "held hostage in New York for 35 years", where he hosts a talk show. Chung moved there when she started anchoring for NBC in 1983.

Chung, who moved from station to station and network to network, she said she thought of it as "needing to be challenged again" after five to seven years on a job. She said she was aware that others thought she "couldn't hold a job." "We all have to continue learning," she said. Chung noted that the day after she was dismissed from the Evening News anchor chair at CBS in 1995, the adoption of their son went through.

Povich joked that he learned that in 1966 he was hired for the sports job when WTTG started its "Ten O'Clock News" program, only after cross-town sports anchor Warner Wolf turned it down. Povich said he was assigned to the Washington-centric mid-day talk show when the station's GM hired John Willis and Pat Mitchell from out of town to host the program, then as an after thought figured there ought to be a Washingtonian on the set. Later he said he worked in four cities in seven years and joked that he was trying to go nationwide "city by city." His "Maury" show is now syndicated across the country.

Commenting on the celebrity and success of his father, Shirley Povich, who had retired as sports editor of The Washington Post, Povitch said he knew he had his own celebrity when his dad went to renew his driver's license in his later years and the clerk at the DMV looked at his last name and asked, "Povich, are you related to Maury?"

Asked the inevitable question about the secret for a long marriage, Connie leaped to the answer: "Never do anything together." For example, she said she traveled to the Club from New York, while Maury had flown back from Florida where he had been golfing.

Both Povich and Chung criticized TV newscasters who express opinions during the programs. "It makes me insane" Chung said. Povich chimed in, "I can't watch it any more."

As for being a TV anchor, mom and wife, she conceded, you can't have it all, you can't juggle everything 100%. After being a beat reporter for many years, covering cops at WTTG or politics at CBS, she said she found anchoring to be "deadly boring. It's just not doing journalism."