Christiane Amanpour is heading to ABC.
After a few weeks of back-and-forth speculation, CNN’s star international reporter has been hired by ABC to host “The Week,” it’s Sunday political talk show.
ABC has been on the hunt for a permanent host of “This Week” since last fall, when Charles Gibson’s retirement sent in motion a series of moves that sent Diane Sawyer to “World News” from “Good Morning America,” George Stephanopoulos from “This Week” to “GMA" and a series of roving guest hosts, including Barbara Walters, Maureen Dowd and senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper.
CNN said that Amanpour will be leaving her international show at the end of April.
"While I don’t presume to speak for her, as her colleague and friend for more than 25 years I know that this decision has not been an easy one," CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton wrote in a memo.
Amanpour, however, won't be arriving at "This Week" until August. ABC said Thursday that Tapper will fill in as the interim host full-time until she does.
"More than once over the years we've talked with Christiane about her joining us in one position or another," ABC News chief David Westin wrote in an e-mail to staffers. "Until now, it wasn't the right time or the right fit."
Westin also confirmed what Amanpour reportedly suggested to CNN colleagues: that the show will cover more international politics than it ever has.
"Christiane will bring the international and the domestic together, in the interviews she does and in the roundtable over which she presides," Westin wrote. "Our audience has come to us for years to see differing points of views expressed in intelligent and compelling ways; now the different points of view will be expanded beyond partisan politics alone."
Below, Westin and Walton's full memos regarding Amanpour's move to their respective staffs:
I am delighted to announce that Christiane Amanpour will join ABC News as the new anchor of "This Week." A highly respected journalist recognized around the world for her reporting, she brings to her new position a wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as a deep commitment to bringing news of the world to the American people. She will also appear on all other ABC News programs and platforms to provide international analysis of the important issues of the day. And, she will be anchoring primetime documentaries on international subjects.
Christiane will join us from CNN where, for two decades she has reported from the world's major conflicts, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Balkans. She has received every major broadcast journalism award. A formidable interviewer, she has sat down in global exclusives with many of the world's leaders and military chiefs from the Middle East, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan to Africa, Europe and the United States.
More than once over the years we've talked with Christiane about her joining us in one position or another. Until now, it wasn't the right time or the right fit. We are fortunate that this time it worked for Christiane and for us.
With Christiane we have the opportunity to provide our audiences with something different on Sunday mornings. We will continue to provide the best in interviews and analysis about domestic politics and policies. But now we will add to that an international perspective. All of us know how much the international and the domestic have come to affect one another whether it's global conflict, terrorism, humanitarian crises, or the economy. And our international reporting has long been a hallmark of ABC News, part of the legacy Peter Jennings left for us. Christiane will bring the international and the domestic together, in the interviews she does and in the roundtable over which she presides. Our audience has come to us for years to see differing points of views expressed in intelligent and compelling ways; now the different points of view will be expanded beyond partisan politics alone.
Christiane will be joining ABC News in August. Until then, Jake Tapper has agreed to become the regular, interim anchor of "This Week." Ian Cameron will continue as executive producer. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to him and to Jake, Terry Moran, Jonathan Karl, Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Vargas, and Matthew Dowd for taking up the reins of the program during this transition. Thanks to their hard work and dedication we've maintained the high standards set by George Stephanopoulos before he left the program for "Good Morning America."
Please join me in welcoming Christiane to ABC News.
March 18, 2010
To: CNN Staff
From: Jim Walton
I have some news for you about Christiane Amanpour. ABC News will announce today that she is joining that organization to headline one of its programs. You may have seen media speculation concerning this move; out of respect for Christiane, we have reserved comment until now, when we all agree that the time is right to share her plans.
Over the years, Christiane and I have talked about her professional goals and personal interests, and more recently about the excitement of a new opportunity at this point in her career. While I don’t presume to speak for her, as her colleague and friend for more than 25 years I know that this decision has not been an easy one. Since 1990 when Christiane became a CNN international correspondent, she has covered the defining news events of our time. Her work burnished our news brand and gave it authority. In turn, the CNN imprimatur opened doors for her around the world and provided a global platform for the intelligent, courageous, principled reporting that is her signature. CNN and Christiane helped make each other great.
She will depart her CNN International show at the end of April. We’ll announce changes to the CNNI programming schedule in the coming weeks; today is about honoring our friend. For her hard work these many years on behalf of CNN; for going where the story was, wherever in the world that might be; for her passion, character and generosity; and most of all, for her extraordinary journalism, Christiane has our gratitude, respect and sincere best wishes.
More to read:
Is Amanpour In or Out at CNN?