Monday, October 03, 2005

ABC News going for Anchor duo.

Media: ABC trying to beat CBS to the younger look while trying to pass NBC. It's just better to find one great anchor instead of getting two good ones.

ABC News Closes in On Anchor Duo Net Denies Decision Made By Michele Greppi While it is not finalized and could change, ABC News is moving toward naming Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas as the permanent co-anchors of "World News Tonight," succeeding the late Peter Jennings, according to informed sources. ....An ABC News spokesman on Friday told TelevisionWeek that no decisions about "World News Tonight" have been made and because things are going so well, there is no pressure to move quickly. "Your story is wrong," said Jeffrey W. Schneider, VP and spokesman for ABC News. "To be clear, no decision has been made. At best your sources are ill-informed gossips. At worst, your sources know they don't know what they are talking about. We are in no rush to make this decision. When we are prepared to make an announcement, we will make one." However, well-connected sources inside ABC and other sources in the TV news circle say that ABC News hopes to beat CBS News to the punch by rolling out a younger-generation flagship newscast. Mr. Woodruff, who is 43, is seen as the epitome of that future. The ABC News spokesman said that what CBS does is not a factor in when ABC News will make its changes. Mr. Woodruff and Ms. Vargas have often anchored "World News Tonight," as has Mr. Gibson, since Peter Jennings announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer in April. Mr. Jennings died in early August. Inside ABC News, many regard Mr. Woodruff as a worthy successor to Mr. Jennings. He is a polished newsman who has reported from Iraq, New Orleans, the South Pacific tsunami or, as he did earlier this year, from inside North Korea. Although Ms. Vargas, 42, who co-anchors "20/20" with John Stossel, has done several serious prime-time specials and reportedly has the enthusiastic backing of ABC News Senior VP Paul Slavin, she does not have the widespread rank-and-file support that Mr. Woodruff does. There is speculation that Mr. Woodruff often might be deployed in the field on big stories with Ms. Vargas at the anchor desk."

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