ABC's evening newscast, "World News Tonight," has changed its name to "World News with Charles Gibson," ABC News President David Westin announced. The change becomes effective today, July 19, 2006.
"The program we air at 6:30 p.m. each night remains our flagship broadcast, but it has evolved well beyond 30 minutes on television," said Westin. "With an afternoon webcast downloaded by millions and updated content available throughout the day on ABCNEWS.com, 'World News' is always on. 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.
"After a difficult 14 months," Westin continued, "Charlie's presence at 'World News' brings a stability and momentum we have not known in some time. He's our anchor, and it is only appropriate that the broadcast bear his name."
The "World News" webcast, which debuted in January 2006, marked the first time a network newscast produced its own program for the Internet audience. Last month the webcast was downloaded 7.6 million times via ABCNEWS.com and iTunes. Weekly downloads have reached as high as 2 million. Gibson also anchors the 5 p.m., ET, Information Network newscast on ABC News Radio.
ABC renamed its evening newscast "World News Tonight" in July 1978, with the debut of anchors Frank Reynolds, Peter Jennings and Max Robinson. In September 1984, it became "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." Following Peter Jennings' death in August 2005, the broadcast became "World News Tonight."
Going forward, the weekend editions of the broadcast will be called "World News Saturday" and "World News Sunday."
ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" airs at 6:30 p.m., ET, on the ABC Television Network. The "World News" webcast goes live at 3 p.m., ET, seven days a week. It is available throughout the day on ABCNEWS.com, on ABC News Now, through the iTunes Music Store (www.itunes.com), and on mobile phones via MobiTV, GoTV and Sprint TV Live.
Jon Banner is the executive producer of "World News with Charles Gibson."