Amanpour Expected to Leave ABC’s ‘This Week’

By Alex Weprin 

ABC “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour is expected to leave the program in the coming weeks, a source familiar with the decision confirms to TVNewser.

Update: It is official, Amanpour will become “global affairs anchor” for ABC, host occasional primetime specials and will host a program on CNN International. Her statement, and a statement from CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton, after the jump.

Amanpour joined ABC as the anchor of the network’s flagship Sunday public affairs program last March, after more than 25 years as a correspondent at CNN. “This Week” has struggled in the ratings over the last year, and currently finds itself a regular third behind NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’ “face the Nation.”

The New York Post first reported the Amanpour rumors over the weekend, and also says that ABC is considering having former “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos pull double duty anchoring both “This Week” and “Good Morning America.” The New York TimesBrian Stelter followed up on the Post report this afternoon. The AP also followed up, confirming that–at least for now–Stephanopoulos will be pulling double-duty.

While our source told us that Amanpour would shift to a new contributor role at ABC, The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone reports that Amanpour will also join CNN International to host a global public affairs program. Calderone also goes into more detail about what her new role at ABC is expected to be.

Amanpour made a conscious decision to focus on a wider range of topics on “This Week” than the traditional politics-heavy Sunday shows, to mixed results. Amanpour secured a number of high-profile exclusives for ABC this year, including an interview with Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak, just weeks before he was deposed, as well as an interview with Moammar Gadhafi, months before he was deposed and killed.

Statement from Christiane Amanpour:

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for me to take my love of storytelling to primetime at ABC News with multiple specials, as well as becoming a roving Global Affairs anchor across all ABC platforms.

I am looking forward to getting back into the field to report stories on global issues that matter greatly to the American people.  At the same time, I will be broadcasting once again to millions of people across the world with a weekday show on CNN International.

This role is groundbreaking, bold and very different!  I am thrilled and honored.

It’s been an incredible experience to have had a ringside seat to democracy in action at This Week.  It’s been an incredible honor to anchor such a prestigious program and I thank all of you who have helped me on that journey.

Statement from CNN’s Jim Walton:

Christiane Amanpour has been synonymous with international reporting and with CNN for many years.  We could not be happier that through this unique arrangement with ABC News her experience and global perspective are returning to a nightly news broadcast for our international audience.

Jim Walton

President, CNN Worldwide