ABC Drops 'Tonight' from Newscast
Name change reflects round-the-clock information cycle
Starting Wednesday, what was once "World News Tonight" will now be called "World News with Charles Gibson." It will still air at 6:30 p.m. ET, but ABC has 86'ed the "Tonight" from the title to reflect the fact that the newscast is no longer confined just to that spot.
"['World News'] remains our flagship broadcast, but it has evolved well beyond 30 minutes on television," ABC News President David Westin says. "We are committed to expanding ABC News and 'World News' into the 24-hour space created by the digital world, and it makes sense for that reality to be reflected in the title of the broadcast."
Gibson took over as anchor of "World News" in late May following an unsettled period after the death of long-time anchor Peter Jennings in August 2005. Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff were named co-anchors in December, but Woodruff was badly injured while on assignment in Iraq not long after taking the job (he is still recovering but has spent some time in the ABC newsroom recently).
Vargas, who is pregnant, opted to step down but remains with ABC; following her maternity leave, she'll anchor "20/20" and prime-time news specials.
In addition to anchoring the televised newscast, Gibson also fronts a radio newscast earlier in the evening and contributes to a daily webcast.