CHICAGO (AP) -- Elizabeth Vargas told Oprah Winfrey that she wasn't forced out as co-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight," but decided to step down when she became pregnant with her second child.
"I was finding it more and more difficult to do that job the way I wanted to do it, which is 100 percent ... and still be a great mother," Vargas, 44, said Tuesday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Vargas, who is now co-hosting the network's newsmagazine, "20/20," said she learned she was pregnant just before her co-anchor, Bob Woodruff, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Jan. 29, 2006.
Vargas said she had hoped to continue anchoring "World News Tonight" but soon realized she had to step down.
"It was becoming difficult to juggle all that, do the job at work that I wanted to do, and to be the mother I wanted to be," she told Winfrey.
In May, ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., announced that it had appointed Charles Gibson as anchor of the nightly news program.
Vargas said that when she announced she was stepping down, there was unfair criticism of ABC that she was pushed out of the job because she was pregnant.
But, she said, the choice was hers after a series of conversations with ABC News President David Westin.
"If it just isn't right for me, it isn't right for me," she said. "For me it just wasn't working."
She told Winfrey that her decision also came as a result of her husband's belief that their 3-year-old son, Zachary, "really paid a price for all the hours I was gone."
Vargas, who is married to singer Marc Cohn, gave birth to another son, Samuel Wyatt, in August.
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