NBC expects Maria Shriver back on duty. The new California First Lady is expected to return to ''Dateline,'' where she won't be allowed to cover state politics

By Gary Susman
Updated September 27, 2019 at 03:31 AM EDT
Maria Shriver: Hector Mata/AFP Photo/NewsCom

Her uncle was president, and she’s now a First Lady, but Maria Shriver is expected back at her day job. While her husband settles into his new office in Sacramento, she’s due to return to Burbank, to her post at NBC’s ”Dateline.” Shriver, who took an unpaid leave from the network upon Arnold Schwarzenegger’s announcement in August that he was running for governor of California, will return soon to NBC News, though her duties will have to change, the New York Times reports.

“As to when she’s going back, or what specific stories she may or may not cover, that’s between her and NBC News,” campaign spokesperson Sara Lee told the Times. In fact, she’ll have to recuse herself from covering stories related to her husband or to California politics in general, NBC News president Neal Shapiro told the Times.

Born into a political dynasty (she’s the niece of John F. Kennedy), Shriver has spent much of her life straddling the line between newsmaker and news gatherer. She’s spent her entire 26-year career as a TV journalist, including the last 17 years at NBC. On the campaign trail, she was widely credited with helping shore up her husband’s appeal to women voters, especially as she found herself denying that Schwarzenegger was a sexist or serial harasser of women in response to claims by some 15 women that the actor had groped them at various times over the last 30 years. Her advocacy on the stump should not affect her objectivity in the newsroom, Shapiro said. ”She’s been a journalist her whole working life, and she has awards to attest to her ability,” Shapiro said of the Peabody- and Emmy-winning correspondent. ”Just because her husband ran for office doesn’t mean it should wipe that slate clean.”