Gibson's the One

After one tragedy (the severe wounding of co-anchor Bob Woodruff in Iraq), one blessed event (the pregnancy of co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas), and one big scare (Bob Schieffer's CBS newscast passing "World News Tonight" in the ratings), the folks at ABC are finally doing the right thing by making "Good Morning America" host Charlie Gibson the sole anchor of the evening newscast. ) -- a job he is believed to have wanted in the first place.

You've got to sort of feel sorry for ABC. First, Peter Jennings succumbs quickly to lung cancer and then fate conspires to quickly undo the gutsy Woodruff/Vargas experiment. But there's no doubt that Gibson is the network's marquee newsman, and the one person there with the gravitas to keep you glued to the screen for hours if there were another 9/11 magnitude event. Frankly, the only reason for not having given him the job following Jenning's death must have been the network's desire to protect its morning show franchise.

So when the dust finally clears on the anchor desk shuffle, NBC will be led by the maturing heir apparent, Brian Williams, CBS will roll the dice morning show diva  Katie Couric, and ABC will go with its most tried and true talent, Gibson, who at 63, is by far the oldest of the three. Of course, no one has figured out how to keep eyeballs from migrating away from a half-hour evening newscast that airs at a time when many working Americans are still toiling on the job or commuting home. But at least we'll see if anchors matter.

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