The announcement was made Friday by ABC News president James Goldston in a memo to staff, who said Vargas will be leaving to "pursue new ventures." Vargas followed up Goldston's message with a note of her own, saying that she had hoped to save the news until after the holidays but promising that "this is not goodbye" since she'll be staying on until the end of the season in May.
A replacement has not yet been set.
Vargas has co-anchored 20/20 with David Muir since 2013 and before that with John Stossel and then Chris Cuomo. Before taking over 20/20, she anchored World News Tonight on Saturdays and (for a brief time) Sundays. She was also a correspondent for the weeknight broadcasts. She anchored World News Tonight from 2005 to 2006 with Charles Gibson, but Gibson reportedly forced her out and took sole control of the program.
Vargas is the second woman to co-anchor 20/20 (the first was Barbara Walters).
Read her full statement below:
To my 20/20 family,
I want you to hear some news about me, from me. I will be leaving ABC News, and 20/20 at the end of this historic 40th season. It has been a profound privilege to be the anchor of 20/20 for 14 years, and a true honor to work with each and every one of you. I am incredibly lucky to work alongside the very best in the business: the producers, editors, writers on this show, and the enormous team working every week to get our show on the air. I am so very proud of the stories we have told together.
I am sorry only to have to share this news with you as we celebrate the holidays. I had hoped to make this announcement after the first of the year.
This is not goodbye - I will be here through May, and cannot wait to do more work with all you in the months ahead.
Have a happy holiday with your families, and I will see you next year.