ABC News picks new anchor(s)

ABC News has named Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff co-anchors to replace Peter Jennings on ABC’s World News Tonight. Having co-anchors will allow ABC News to produce live news broadcasts for both ET and PT zones and produce a web-only news edition as well. No word in the article if this will be an video Podcast or a download off their website. They already have some video available for free or pay.

Charlie Gibson, long time Good Morning America host and frequent fill-in for Peter Jennings, was passed over for the admittedly younger pair, although some articles report that he was offered a third seat at the desk (boy that would have been muddled). Aaron Brown, recently departed from CNN, was considered another candidate. Elizabeth Vargas will be the first nightly news anchor with hispanic background.

The announcement of double chairs behind the desk leaves open the issue of who is the chief news editor for World News Tonight. When Peter Jennings was at the desk you knew he played an important part in which news stories reached the public and how they were told. You need that to develop a trust with the audience. I hope the Vargas-Woodruff combination is able to exert the same control and project the same level of trust for the audience.

I wish Woodruff and Vargas the best of luck and long careers at ABC’s World News Tonight. They are walking where giants have so recently tread.

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