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Smart joins ABC News as commentator

Elizabeth Smart is taking a job with ABC News as a commentator focusing on missing persons and child abduction cases.

The Utah woman who was kidnapped from her bedroom at knifepoint, raped and held captive at age 14 by a Salt Lake City street preacher can provide viewers with a unique perspective, network spokeswoman Julie Townsend told The Associated Press Thursday.

A deal with the now 23-year-old has been in the works for several months and she could be on the air within the next few weeks, Townsend said.

"We think she'll help our viewers better understand missing persons stories," Townsend said in a telephone call from New York. "This is someone with the perspective to know what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing."

In an email Thursday, Smart's spokesman Chris Thomas said the Brigham Young University music student wants to use the media position to further her goals.

"Elizabeth is committed to giving back and getting involved where she can make the greatest difference through child advocacy work," Thomas wrote. "Partnering with ABC provides a powerful tool to help her accomplish this."

The scope of Smart's assignment has yet to be fully defined, but ABC expects she will contribute across the spectrum of the network's programs and formats, including appearances on "Good Morning America," "Nightline," ABC News and radio, Townsend said.

Financial details of Smart's contract with the network were not disclosed.

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