Christiane Amanpour has left her position as host of the ABC News Sunday morning program This Week. She will become global affairs anchor and host prime-time specials at ABC. Amanpour will also host a new weekday public affairs program on CNN International (the title of which hasn’t yet been announced) set to premiere sometime next year, according to CNN.
The move follows a rough two years for ABC's Sunday public affairs show. Since Amanpour took over from George Stephanopoulos as anchor in 2010, This Week has slipped behind its competitors, dropping to third place behind CBS’ Face the Nation and NBC’s Meet the Press, according to The New York Times. But an ABC News spokesperson said the performance of This Week was not the principal driver of Amanpour's move. “This was related to wanting to get Christiane back out in the field and to see her in prime time,” the rep said. “And to capitalize on her world-class reporting everywhere, across all ABC News platforms.”
“I am looking forward to getting back into the field to report stories on global issues that matter greatly to the American people,” Amanpour said in a statement.
The announcement follows a day of rumors surrounding Amanpour’s future at ABC that began with a message New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter accidentally sent out to his Twitter followers this afternoon (an earlier story in the New York Post last week also suggested that Amanpour was soon to leave her post at ABC). According to sources at ABC News, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos will take over the anchor chair at This Week Jan. 8, pulling double duty on both shows for now.
“Christiane had a remarkable year of world-beating exclusives,” ABC News president Ben Sherwood said in a statement. “We look forward to her huge contributions in prime time and across all of our platforms as she brings her global reporting and storytelling to our various audiences.”
Amanpour is the second high-profile news personality to split time between CNN and another outlet. This past September, Anderson Cooper premiered his syndicated daytime talk show, a program he maintains while also hosting prime-time CNN news program Anderson Cooper 360. (Cooper also serves as an occasional special assignment correspondent on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.)