NEW YORK (WKOW)--Here is the complete text of ABC News President David Westin's memo to ABC staff announcing the retirement of Charles Gibson.
Today, Charlie Gibson announced to his colleagues at World News that he has decided to step down as anchor effective at the end of this year. I attach below Charlie's full email.
I have asked Diane Sawyer to serve as the next anchor of World News, and she will assume that position in January.
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. Most recently, he stepped in to lead World News after a difficult and turbulent time - both for the broadcast and for ABC News over all. We suffered from the loss of Peter and then the severe injuries to Bob. Charlie came to the fore to keep us on the path of doing the first rate journalism that had distinguished World News for many years. We owe him much for the leadership he gave us when we needed it most.
Since then, Charlie has covered all the major events with the substance and grace that we all expect from him. Most importantly, he headed our coverage during a presidential election unlike any other. Now, having accomplished so much in so many different parts of ABC News, Charlie has decided it is time for him to step down. I have told him that he has an open door to continue to work with ABC News, but he's asked for a bit of time before he comes back to us.
Diane Sawyer is the right person to succeed Charlie and build on what he has accomplished. 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 Good Morning America. She has interviewed every President since President George H. W. Bush up to and including President Obama. She has handled an array of breaking news special events, including on 9/11 and, most recently, the presidential election. She has done distinguished documentaries on topics as varied as North Korea, the plight of women in Afghanistan and in prisons here at home, and poverty in Camden, New Jersey, and in Appalachia. We are fortunate to have a journalist of Diane's proven ability and passion to step into the important position of anchor for World News. She will continue with her documentaries in her new role.
Diane's presence will certainly be missed on Good Morning America. But we are fortunate that both Charlie and Diane will remain with their current broadcasts for the next four months; we will be making further announcements well before any changes are made.