Charles Gibson Named ABC News Anchor

05/23/2006 at 01:00 PM EDT

Charles Gibson Named ABC News Anchor
Charles Gibson
Ida Mae Astute/ABC
Good Morning America host Charles Gibson is the new anchor of ABC's struggling World News Tonight, replacing Elizabeth Vargas, who is going on pregnancy leave later this summer, the network said Tuesday.

The announcement did not specify a role for Vargas's co-anchor, Bob Woodruff, who was seriously wounded in a roadside bombing in Iraq on Jan. 29. Woodruff left the hospital in April but is continuing to receive outpatient treatment.

In a news release, Woodruff called Gibson a mentor and friend, and said, "I look forward to contributing to his broadcast as soon as I am able," the Associated Press reports.

Gibson, 63, said he was "humbled to accept this new assignment." He will begin his new job on Monday while continuing on GMA through the end of June. Vargas will return in the fall to co-anchor 20/20, ABC said.

ABC has no immediate plans to replace Gibson on GMA, where Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts are co-anchors, a spokesperson for the network tells the Associated Press.

With Gibson on GMA through June, the morning show will have the benefit of keeping Gibson for a month after Katie Couric leaves NBC's Today – and Gibson will also get a head start on Couric before she joins the CBS Evening News in the fall.

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