MEDIA
10/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Brian Williams: Charlie Gibson "A Pro," Diane Sawyer "Legendary"

"NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams, who stands firmly atop the evening news ratings race, released a statement on the news that Diane Sawyer will be replacing Charlie Gibson when Gibson retires later this year.

Williams praised both Gibson and Sawyer and said, "the competition has never been more robust among the three network evenings newscasts."

His full statement:

"I would love to say that ABC's loss is NBC's gain, but then they went and appointed Diane Sawyer to replace Charlie Gibson. That doesn't lessen the competition one bit.

Charlie is a pro, and he's been the most able competition anyone could ask for. Diane is no different -- a legendary name in our business for decades -- and now we'll have to work every bit as hard every day to put on the best newscast possible. This is more evidence that the competition has never been more robust among the three network evening newscasts, and it keeps us all sharp, aggressive and on our toes. Congratulations to Charlie, congratulations to Diane, and Katie and I will continue to work hard every day. "

READ KATIE COURIC'S STATEMENT HERE