Elizabeth Smart had been approached by the big three TV networks and by several cable channels before deciding ABC News was the “best fit” for her, says her spokesman.
Smart, whose deal with ABC News was first reported by The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz Thursday, could be on the air as soon as late next week on “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”
Chris Thomas tells TVNewser, Smart had been approached to discuss offers “ranging from reality television to correspondent and other positions.”
“She spent the past few months carefully analyzing these opportunities to determine which best aligned with her child advocacy efforts and that will allow her to have the greatest impact,” says Thomas.
At 14 years old, in June of 2002, Smart was kidnapped and held for 9-months. It would take another eight years for justice in the case, when on May 25 of this year, Brian David Mitchell was sentenced to two life-terms.
Smart’s kidnapping and recovery was the most high profile case of its kind in the last decade, perhaps until we learned of the case of Jaycee Dugard, who, for the first time, tells her story of being held for 18 years by kidnappers, to ABC’s Diane Sawyer as part of a two-hour special on Sunday.
An ABC News spokeswoman tells us Smart, now 23, is not part of the Dugard special.
Smart’s appearances on ABC News will be, “very much focused on looking ahead, not looking back on her own story,” ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend tells us.
Smart will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall and plans to graduate with a degree in music in April. “ABC has been very accommodating of her school schedule and desire to complete her education,” says Thomas.