June 15, 2018 09:31 AM

Elizabeth Vargas is famous for her successful career, but the veteran journalist says her sons Zach, 15, and Sam, 12, will always come before her work.

“I’m doing something I genuinely love, but my children are always my first priority,” she says in the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

Perry Hagopian

After spending nearly two decades at ABC hosting World News Tonight and 20/20, where she reported live from disaster zones and covered unforgettable tragedies like 9/11 and Ronald Reagan’s death, Vargas, 55, is now the host of A&E Investigates.

While her work keeps her incredibly busy, Vargas (who split from singer Marc Cohn in 2014) cherishes every moment with her two children.

“I love getting them outside and doing things,” she says. “We’re all really sporty in our family so we learned how to surf and I dragged them to the ski slopes, and now they’re hooked! Even if it’s just tennis or basketball, I like to get them away from the video games!”

  • For more on Elizabeth Vargas, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

As she settles into her new role at A&E, Vargas says she feels grateful to be where she is.

“It’s a tough business and I realize that a lot of talented people don’t make it,” she says. “So I feel very fortunate that I’ve had the long career that I’ve had. “I’m a single working mom, I have two kids to support. But I absolutely love what I do.”


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