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ABC Dropping 'Tonight' From World News

ABC July 19 will officially change the name of World News Tonight to World News With Charles Gibson.

The weekend editions of the newscast will be called World News Saturday and World News Sunday.

ABC announced the change at the Television Critics Association network presentations in Pasadena, where Gibson is expected to appear live from the Middle East.

Gibson took over in May. The newscast has been World News Tonight since July 1978 when the network debuted its tripartite anchor team, with anchors Frank Reynolds, Peter Jennings, and Max Robinson. It became the World News Tonight With Peter Jennings in September 1984.

Gibson’s appointment came after more than a year of tumult at ABC News since longtime anchor Peter Jennings left the newscast in April 2005.

Jennings died of lung cancer in August. Four months later, ABC tapped Elizabeth Vargas and correspondent Bob Woodruff to be a co-anchor team. Their tenure, however, was short-lived. In January, Woodruff was severly injured in Iraq, and Vargas has been anchoring solo with Gibson and Diane Sawyer filling in some nights.

Vargas, who is going on maternity leave, was bumped from the desk when Gibson was named solo anchor in May. --Allison Romano contributed to this report.