ABC World News' lead anchor Charlie Gibson has announced his retirement. He will leave the show on Dec. 18 and Diane Sawyer will take over the anchor's chair on Dec. 21.
He has only been the station's lead news anchor since May of 2006 when he stepped in for Bob Woodruff who sustained injuries from a roadside bomb in Iraq. Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas replaced World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings who left due to medical reasons.
It took me a couple days to figure out how to write about it, because I really hated it and I wasn't even sure why. Maybe it was Lucy's fictional narrative, shown in static drawings instead of computer imagery or special effects. Telling us about the ocean levels rising and changing the map may have had more impact if you'd shown us that map? Hell, their image for the flooding of the subways was a photo of a subway tunnel with poorly layered running water where the tracks are. You're not going to scare people into changing with 1960s era effects.
It'll be interesting to see what the story count is for this half hour of news. CBS Sunday Morning is something that I would consider to look "in-depth" at stories and it takes an hour-and-a-half to do that each week. The "green" newscast will focus on scientific analysis, as well as debates on issues. It's being produced by ABC News, where Woodruff is a correspondent.
This is a very different direction for Woodruff, who was briefly co-anchor of ABC World News Tonight until he was seriously injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq.
Two ABC News journalists were ambushed and killed in Iraq as they were headed home from the ABC News Baghdad bureau yesterday, ABC announced.
Thirty-three-year-old cameraman Alaa Uldeen Aziz, and 26-year-old soundman Saif Laith Yousuf were in their car when they were "reportedly ambushed and they were killed by unknown assailants" after being "stopped by two cars full of gunmen," ABC's web site reported. The network's Baghdad correspondent, Terry McCarthy said, "Today we've lost two family members, and it really hurts."
One hundred and four journalists have been killed while covering the Iraq War, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Notably, one of ABC's anchors, Bob Woodruff, sustained serious injuries while covering Iraq in January 2006.
"Dodge Caravan": What was up with that Tony Snow clip? It looked like it was pulled from, like, YouTube or something. Damn interns and their inability to find high-quality clips. Anyway, this segment actually managed to top the "M*E*S*S" bit and make me even more depressed. What a downer.
In advance of that special, Woodruff spoke to reporters about the bombing and his recovery. He described what he saw and felt right before the explosion, and what he said to cameraman Doug Vogt -- who was also severely injured -- right afterwards. He talked about being in a coma for 36 days, and having to put his memory back together as he recovered. "I couldn't remember my two young daughters - not their names but their existence," he told the reporters. He did say he may not ever be 100% recovered from his injuries, but "maybe if I get somewhere in the 90s, that would be pretty damned good."
Woodruff will be interviewed by Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America tomorrow morning, and Oprah Winfrey will also interview him on her show tomorrow.
In the special, Woodruff will not only talk about his long recovery process from his injuries, but he'll also speak to the medical personnel that helped him, as well as eyewitnesses to the roadside bomb attack. He'll also profile military rescue teams that work to get injured soldiers out of harm's way and to various field hospitals.
As was also announced this past fall, Woodruff and his wife Lee will also write a memoir on his recovery, to be published by Random House.
In the special, Woodruff will interview eyewitnesses to the explosion and the medical teams that helped get him to safety and saved his life. He will also talk to other soldiers who have been injured in Iraq, as well as their families. Woodruff and his wife Lynn are also working on a book for Random House about his injury and recovery affected him and his family. The book will also talk about the couple's history together.
After the special airs, Woodruff will also begin to work more regularly at ABC News, but his role is uncertain, since he lost his World News anchor spot to Charles Gibson earlier this year.
ABC says Woodruff will slowly return starting this fall, but he's not getting his anchor chair back. That's all Charlie's now. Do you think there's an awkward relationship there? Bob didn't even have his anchoring gig for a month before the attack.
As you can see in the picture, Woodruff now has a little hair on what was once a shaved head, where doctors performed several surgeries to save his life. (His wife is the blonde woman in the background) Woodruff told his colleagues that he was unconscious for 36 days after the explosion. He spent three months in the hospital and is now receiving out-patient rehabilitation at a New York clinic. Charlie Gibson has been named anchor of World News Tonight and Woodruff's future with ABC News is still uncertain.
Vargas is said to have been surprised by her ouster from the show.
"Though I know there is still a long road ahead, it's nice to be feeling more like myself again laughing with family, reading bedtime stories and reminding my kids to do their homework," Woodruff wrote.
No indication was given as to when he'd return to WNT, who will be losing their other co-anchor, Elizabeth Vargas, when she goes on maternity leave later this year.
[Photo: ABC News/Ida Mae Astute via AP]
The little boy will be her second son. She and husband, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, have another son, Zachary, who is three.
ABC News has said that Woodruff is welcome to return to the anchor chair when he is ready. In the meantime, Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson have been subbing for him. ABC will dedicate Monday's entire episode of World News Tonight to the third anniversary of the Iraq war.
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