Sawyer replacing Gibson on 'World News'

NEW YORK - Charles Gibson, who has served as anchor of "World News" since May of 2006, announced this morning that he will step down from the post at the end of this year and retire from full-time employment at ABC News.

"Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer will serve as the next "World News" anchor, beginning in January.

"It has not been an easy decision to make," Gibson said in an e-mail to the "World News" 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."

ABC News President David Westin said that he and Gibson have been talking about the decision for several weeks and that Gibson "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," Westin said.
Westin also announced Sawyer's move to "World News."
"Diane Sawyer is the right person to succeed Charlie and build on what he has accomplished," ABC News Westin said in a statement. "She has an outstanding and varied career in television journalism, beginning with her role as a State Department correspondent and continuing at 60 Minutes, Primetime Live, and most recently Good Morning America."
Westin noted that Gibson came to lead World News "after a difficult and turbulent time" after the death of anchor Peter Jennings and then injury of World News co-anchor Bow Woodruff by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq.