ABC News Reworks 'Nightline': Dan Abrams Anchor, Terry Moran Reassigned

Terry Moran - P 2013
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Terry Moran - P 2013

Longtime Nightline correspondent Terry Moran has been named ABC News chief foreign correspondent and will relocate to London. The announcement came Wednesday from ABC News president Ben Sherwood who noted Moran's "exceptional range" as a reporter.

"He is equally adept interviewing a confessed hit man in one of Mexico's most notorious gangs as he is breaking down some of the most complex Supreme Court decisions," Sherwood wrote in an email to ABC News staffers.

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The post begins later this summer. But Moran will be on hand for the network's coverage of pivotal Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action and gay marriage.

Dan Abrams, who joined ABC News in 2011 to provide legal commentary (and spar with HLN’s Nancy Grace), will effectively replace Moran on Nightline. Abrams has been named ABC News chief legal affairs anchor. That appointment means Abrams will be scaling back his duties at Abrams Media, which included several web sites including Mediaite.

Moran first joined ABC News in 1997 after covering the double murder trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez for Court TV. He was named ABC News White House correspondent in 1999 and was among the original anchors of a re-imagined Nightline in the wake of Ted Koppel's departure. But the show lost its prominent platform in January when ABC Entertainment finally moved Jimmy Kimmel into the 11:35 p.m. weeknight slot. And an inevitable ratings decline has accompanied Nightline's move to 12:35 a.m.

Foreign bureaus have been severely downsized as broadcast news has been forced to re-invent its business model. And Moran will be the most high-profile network news anchor reporting from London. His move also comes at a time of growing uncertainty in Europe and continued instability across the Middle East. In making the announcement, Sherwood invoked the legacy of late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, who had a particular interest and expertise in the political nuances of the latter region.

"International reporting has long been a hallmark of ABC News and a part of Peter Jennings’ legacy here," Sherwood wrote. "I look forward to Terry taking his signature voice to all corners of the globe for ABC News."