Charles Gibson leaving ABC's 'World News'

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News says Charles Gibson is retiring and Diane Sawyer will replace him as the anchor of "World News."

Sawyer's elevation means that, with Katie Couric, two of the three leading anchors for the broadcast networks will be women.

Gibson said he had been planning to retire at the end of 2007 but events compelled him to stay. He was named anchor following the death of Peter Jennings and the wartime injury of Bob Woodruff, who was co-anchoring "World News" with Elizabeth Vargas. He's been at ABC News for 35 years and says he plans to continue as an occasional contributor.

"It has not been an easy decision to make," Gibson wrote in an e-mail to his "World News" colleagues. "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 took over the ratings lead shortly after he took over at "World News." But he was eventually passed by NBC's Brian Williams, who has led in the ratings for nearly a year.