ABC Alters ‘World News’ Title

Jul 19, 2006  •  Post A Comment

ABC News is changing the 28-year-old title of “World News Tonight” to “World News With Charles Gibson.” The change takes place Wednesday night.

By removing “Tonight” from the title ABC News President David Westin hopes to reflect that the newscast “has evolved well beyond 30 minutes on television. With an afternoon Web cast downloaded by millions and updated content available throughout the day on abcnews.com, ‘World News’ is always on,” Mr. Westin said in the announcement. “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.”

More notable to those who had rooted for Mr. Gibson to inherit the flagship newscast after the death of Peter Jennings in August 2005 is the attachment of Mr. Gibson’s name to the program’s title. ABC News took Mr. Jennings’ name off the newscast a few days after he succumbed to lung cancer. The title remained nameless through the last 10 months, even during the brief and turbulent run of Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff as co-anchors.

Now “World News” appears to be on the verge of taking first place away from “NBC Nightly News” among core news viewers 25- to 54-years-old after a five-week win streak.

“After a difficult 14 months, 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 should bear his name.”

The weekend editions of the broadcast will be called “World News Saturday” and “World News Sunday.”