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Tom Llamas Named Anchor Of ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ Weekend Editions

Deadline logo Deadline 1/30/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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ABC News said this morning that Tom Llamas will anchor the Saturday and Sunday iterations of World News Tonight, and Cecilia Vega has been moved to become Senior White House Correspondent. In an announcement, Llamas was named Chief National correspondent, and Jonathan Karl is Chief White House Correspondent.

Here is ABC News chief James Goldstone’s memo to staff on the moves:

Team,

As we continue our excellent reporting on the early ‪days of the new administration, I have exciting news to share about three key players on our political team.

Jonathan Karl becomes our Chief Washington Correspondent and Chief White House Correspondent; Cecilia Vega will move to Washington as our Senior White House Correspondent; and Tom Llamas will become Chief National Correspondent and anchor of both weekend editions of World News Tonight.

Jonathan is uniquely qualified for his new role as one of the few reporters in Washington who has reported on four key beats – the White House, Congress, State Department and Pentagon.  The new Trump Administration will be the fourth he’s covered in an impressive career. His extensive reporting on the 2016 election and razor-sharp analysis distinguished our coverage of a race unlike any other in modern history.  Well-known for his dogged pursuit for answers, Jonathan was recognized last year with the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for Excellence for the second time, a prestigious honor and one of many big awards he’s received for his terrific work.  Jonathan will help lead our Washington bureau at a time when his unmatched experience in our nation’s capital will be vitally important.

Cecilia will join Jonathan to cover the White House full-time.  She was an unstoppable force on the Clinton campaign trail, logging over 239,000 miles in the past two years, pressing Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for answers – all while anchoring the Saturday edition of World News Tonight.  She is an exceptional storyteller who has demonstrated a relentless determination since she joined ABC News in 2011.  She’s covered the biggest stories, from the Olympics and papal conclave to the 2014 midterms and the election of President Obama.  I’m delighted she’s bringing her considerable talents to D.C. as we cover the new administration.

Tom will add anchoring the Saturday edition of World News Tonight to his portfolio.  Tom spent over 500 days covering the presidential campaign, often racing back to New York to anchor World News Tonight on Sunday evenings. He has proved a powerful storyteller. In the last two years at ABC, Tom covered the vast field of GOP candidates and Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign, the trial of the Boston Marathon bombers, the tragic death of Tamir Rice in Cleveland and the Ebola outbreak in the U.S.  His tough questions to the candidates and memorable exchanges with the new president led to some of the defining moments of the election.  And with Tom at the helm, our Sunday World News Tonight team posted their biggest wins over NBC in the last five years.  I look forward to even more insightful reporting from the field and behind the weekend anchor desk.

We could not be in better hands with this exceptional team, and our brilliant bureau in Washington. Please join me in congratulating Jonathan, Cecilia and Tom on their new roles.

James

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