ABC on Monday announced that it has chosen two anchors – Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff – to fill the very big shoes of Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, following his death in August.
Although Charles Gibson temporarily replaced Jennings after he announced he had lung cancer, the network opted instead for a team approach. Woodruff and Vargas will be the first co-anchors of an evening newscast since Dan Rather and Connie Chung briefly – and unsuccessfully – worked in tandem on CBS Evening News a decade ago.
Vargas, 44, has been co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20. ABC News president David Westin said that she would retain that position. Woodruff , 43, is an attorney who covered the Justice Department for ABC. He has also been the weekend anchor of “World News Tonight.”
Jennings announced in April that he had lung cancer. He died on Aug. 7.
In making its announcement on Monday, ABC also said that its nightly newscast (which ranks No. 2, behind Brian Williams’s top-rated NBC broadcast) would be the first to broadcast live in three time zones, starting in January, with the new anchors doing fresh versions of World News Tonight for the central time zone and West Coast, the Associated Press reports.