Sawyer to Replace Gibson on ABC’s ‘World News’

by | September 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM | TV News

Diane Sawyer (Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Diane Sawyer (Scott Gries/Getty Images)

ABC ‘World News’ anchor Charles Gibson is retiring at the end of this year, and ‘Good Morning America‘ host Diane Sawyer has been named as his successor, it was announced Wednesday.

Gibson, who has anchored ABC’s evening news since 2006, made the decision to step down after discussions with ABC News president David Westin.

In an e-mail to the ‘World News’ staff, Westin said, “Charlie and I have been talking about his decision for several weeks, and he has persuaded me that this is both what he wants and what is best for him. I respect his decision, just as I respect the enormous contribution he has made to ABC News through the years.”

“It has not been an easy decision to make,” Gibson wrote in an e-mail to his staff. “This has been my professional home for almost 35 years. And I love this news department, and all who work in it, to the depths of my soul.”

Gibson will continue to contribute occasionally to ABC News “in some capacity,” according to Bill Carter of the New York Times.

How Sawyer’s departure will affect ‘GMA,’ which she’s co-hosted since 1999, has yet to be announced, but the Times also reports an insider’s prediction that “sweeping changes would be coming to the morning show.”

Sawyer, 63, will begin in January and becomes the second female evening news anchor on television, along with Katie Couric, who took the historic helm of the ‘CBS Evening News’ in September 2006.

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