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Linsey Davis and Whit Johnson have been named the new weekend anchors of ABC News’ World News Tonight, the network’s flagship daily news program.
Outgoing ABC president James Goldston announced the move in a memo to staff on Monday, naming Johnson the host of Saturdays and Davis the anchor on Sundays. ABC had to fill the roles with the departure of Tom Llamas, who is jumping over to NBC News, ABC’s rival.
Davis and Johnson are expected to continue their other roles with ABC. Davis has been seen as a fast-rising talent since she began anchoring the streaming news program ABC News Live. She will still appear on the show Monday through Thursday. Johnson takes part in Good Morning America‘s Saturday broadcast and has extensively covered COVID-19 for ABC.
Of all the evening news programs, ABC News’ World News Tonight sits atop in both ratings and quality, in large part due to weekday host David Muir. In 2020, Muir led ABC to a victory over his competition in total viewers, the 25-54 demographic, and among viewers 18-49 for the first time in 24 years. Muir averaged 9.61 million viewers for the year.
While weekday jobs are more lucrative and prominent, the last four years have proven that the news cycle doesn’t take weekends off, making weekend shows crucial to network coverage. This is a big opportunity for both Linsey Davis and Whit Johnson, two solid choices for the role.