By DAVID BAUDER
NEW YORK - After nearly a decade away, former California first lady Maria Shriver is returning to NBC News for a job where she will concentrate on the roles of women in American life.
Shriver on Tuesday was named a "special anchor" who will appear on various NBC programming, including CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports, and be an editor at large on women's issues for the network's digital properties. She had worked at NBC from 1986 to 2004, much of it on "Dateline NBC."
Shriver quit NBC amid concerns about whether her job at the news division could cause conflicts with her position as first lady while her former husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was governor. NBC's news president at the time, Neal Shapiro, referred to her exit not as a resignation but "an extended leave of absence."
"The truth is I never took a leave from journalism," Shriver wrote on her blog. "I just took my reporter's skills and used them in other arenas."
Shriver had her own production company, which she said will continue to operate. Shriver, whose father Sargent Shriver died in 2011 at age 95 from Alzheimer's Disease, helped produce a four-part series on the disease for HBO in 2009.
She produces the periodic Shriver Reports about issues facing women, and NBC will have exclusive broadcast access to them. The next report, due in early 2014, discusses financial insecurity among women and families.
Shriver wrote Tuesday that she's "passionate about the need to shine a light on women's evolving roles as providers, parents, caretakers and caregivers - the pressures they face and how our society might adapt to support them."
She will be based in Los Angeles.
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