Below is the text of the e-mail Charlie Gibson sent to colleagues at ABC's "World News" announcing his departure from the program. He will retire in January, and Diane Sawyer will succeed him.
I have always been taught you should never bury the lead - so I write to tell you that I have told David Westin I want to step down as anchor of World News, and retire from full time employment at ABC News.
It has not been an easy decision to make. This has been my professional home for almost 35 years. And I love this news department, and all who work in it, to the depths of my soul.
I have received much comment, and quite a few emails and letters referring to the signoff Eddie Pinder convinced me to use - wishing that everyone has had a good day. But the proudest part for me has been saying "...for all of us at ABC News...", since those words signify in my mind that I have been in a position to speak for an entire news department that I consider second to none.
It had been my intention to step down from my job at Good Morning America in 2007 but with Peter's illness, Bob's injuries, and Elizabeth's pregnancy, the job at World News came open in May of 2006, and David asked me to step in as anchor. It was an honor to do so. The program is now operating at a very accelerated, but steady, cruising speed, and I think it is an opportune time for a transition - both for the broadcast and for me. Life is dynamic; it is not static.
I have told David I would like to continue in some capacity contributing occasionally to ABC News. He has been receptive to the idea - and we will be discussing what that role might be.
Most importantly, my heart is full of gratitude for those with whom I have had the privilege to work as a correspondent, as a host at Good Morning America, at Special Events, and now as anchor at World News.
I'll be anchoring World News through December and will have a chance to thank many of you personally. In the meantime let's get back to the news.