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For those of you unfamiliar with Julie Chen, my guess is that you will be seeing a lot more of this stunning and sophisticated Chinese American beauty.
For many people, Julie Chen has been the face that greets them each and every mourning as the anchor of CBS's popular weekday morning news show, The Early Show, a post she has held since October 2002. Prior to that, Julie Chen was probably still greeting you each morning as the anchor of CBS's early morning, CBS Morning News, a position she has held from 1999 to 2002. During this time she also served as a correspondent on The Early Show.
Many of the younger generation may be more familiar with Julie Chen's primetime position with the hit reality show, Big Brother. Here, the 35 year-old Chen was the eviction-night host of the show, which will be entering its sixth season since its network debut in 2000. The reality show pits a number of strangers who must live and compete with each other for the $500,000 grand prize, which is bestowed to the last contestent who has not been evicted.
Born in New York City on January 6th, 1970, Chen has retrospectively been on the path to television journalism celebrity since a young age. Julie Chen attended the University of Southern California where she attained a Bachelors degree with majors in Broadcast Journalism and English in 1991. Following school, Chen went to work.
Her first gig was as a desk assistant in ABC News' Los Angeles Bureau. Her work there was recognized particularly for her involvement in an award-winning news documentary that aired on primetime, Anatomy of a Riot, which examined the high scale rioting in the streets of Los Angeles following the controversial light sentences handed down to the police officers involved in the viscious Rodney King beating. Her fine work led to a promotion in 1992 as producer for ABC's News One. She worked in this capacity up to 1995 when she felt she wanted more television exposure as a reporter.
This led her to her next job - reporter for WDTN-TV Dayton, where she covered various regional and national news. In 1997, she became a reporter and anchor for WCBS-TV, the CBS-owned station based in New York. This would mark the beginning of her productive relationship with CBS. In 1999, CBS felt that Chen was a strong enough for national coverage, and bumped her up as a fill-in anchor for the CBS Morning News and This Morning in 1999.
In 1999, CBS created the Early Show and asked Julie Chen to be anchor, which she obligingly accepted. Chen, who has immense television presence with her good-looks, intelligence, eloquence, and elegance, immediately well received by the general viewing public. Her popularity led her to being offered the position of host of America's version of Big Brother, which was first made popular in the United Kingdom.
Doing both serious (news) and fun (reality TV) jobs demonstrated Chen's versatility, although many still critisize her for making the news "less serious" by with her role in Big Brother. Chen has strong journalistic crudentials, delivering foreign reports from Kuwait and Qatar during the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.
More recently, Chen has been in the spotlight for her off-camera activities. On December 23 2004, Chen was married for the first time to Leslie Mooves, 55, President and Cheif Executive Officer for CBS. The couple were married in a private ceremony in Acapulco, Mexico, and the two honeymooned at the exclusive Las Ventanas resort in Cabo San Lucas.
Although it was a private, the press and papparazzi were all over the event, who noted that Chen was wearing an ivory gown designed by Lebanese-born Reem Acra, while Mooves was looking sharp in a Georgio Armani suit. The wedding reception was highlighted by a firework display while the song, The Way You Look Tonight, was playing in the background as the newly-weds took the dance floor.
The relationship between Julie Chen and Leslie Moonves has raised the eyebrows of many who questioned whether Chen's rise was on her own merit - or was it because she was "sleeping her way to top?" Moonves, who had divorced from a 24 year-old marriage with his fomer wife, Nancy, earlier in 2004 vehemently denies this. Leslie and Nancy had three teenage children together.
Moonves has guided CBS to the top of the network ratings and was rewarded by being named the co-presidency of Viacom, the network's corporate parent. He ahs also been the former president of Warner Brothers Entertainment. Network insiders have noticed that Mooves has had a "special rapport" with Chen for over a year now.