Pope Benedict Coverage: ABC News

By Alex Weprin 

With Pope Benedict XVI set to resign on Thursday, U.S. networks are beginning to plan for coverage of the unprecedented (at least in modern times) event.

George Stephanopoulos and Terry Moran will lead the network’s coverage of the Pope’s departure, anchoring “Good Morning America” from the Vatican on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as two special reports Thursday morning. Moran will anchor “Nightline” from Rome on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as contribute to the network’s coverage. David Wright, Ron Claiborne, Cokie Roberts and Christiane Amanpour will also report from the Vatican.

Wright covered the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict, while Roberts’ mother, Lindy Boggs, was the Ambassador to the Holy See from 1997-2001.


Diane Sawyer will lead the network’s coverage of the Conclave in March.


George Stephanopoulos to Anchor ABC News Special Reports from the Vatican on Thursday, February 28 at 5:00AM ET & 10:45AM ET

The Powerhouse Team of Terry Moran, David Wright, Ron Claiborne, Cokie Roberts and Christiane Amanpour Join Coverage for All Broadcasts and Platforms

This week ABC News will cover all the pageantry and ceremonial events leading up to the Pope’s historic resignation. ABC News will provide extensive coverage on “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” ABC News Radio and its digital platforms as Pope Benedict XVI says farewell in Rome, Italy.

On Thursday, February 28 ABC News will broadcast a special report to the ABC Television Network at approximately 5:00 am ET and 10:45 am ET, marking the final events of Pope Benedict’s papacy. George Stephanopoulos will anchor from the Vatican. “Nightline” co-anchor Terry MoranDavid WrightRon ClaiborneCokie Roberts, and ABC News Global Affairs anchor Christiane Amanpour will join Stephanopoulos in Rome. Wright covered the death of Pope John Paul II and the selection of Pope Benedict XVI for ABC News in 2005. Cokie Roberts, whose mother served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, will provide historical perspective throughout ABC’s coverage.

Stephanopoulos will co-anchor “Good Morning America” from the Vatican on Wednesday, February 27 and Thursday, February 28. Moran will anchor “Nightline” from Rome on Wednesday and Thursday.

In March when the cardinal electors convene for the conclave to elect a new pope, Diane Sawyer will lead ABC News’ coverage from Rome. More information on ABC’s coverage of the conclave will be announced in the coming weeks.

ABC News Digital will provide complete, live-streamed coverage of the farewell to Pope Benedict XVI beginning with the ABC News Special Report at 5:00am ET, followed by live coverage of the Pope’s departure from the Vatican at approximately 10:45am ET. Special live stream coverage will be available throughout the day across ABCNews.com, Yahoo! News, GoodMorningAmerica.com, ABC News’ iPad & iPhone apps, ABC affiliate websites, ABC News Mobile properties as well as on the ABC News YouTube channel. Editorial content will include live blog updates, video highlights and interactive slideshows featuring the top cardinal contenders, factoids and embedded 3-D animations of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.

ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage of the Pope’s resignation anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He will be joined by correspondent Tom Rivers reporting from Rome. ABC News Radio will provide two one-minute status reports each hour from 5am through 3pm ET on the resignation on February 28 with the latest updates throughout the day.

ABC NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service, will provide full coverage with live reports from Rome with ABC News correspondent Nick Schifrin for more than 200 ABC affiliates, stations and clients.

Marc Burstein is the senior executive producer of ABC News Special Events.