Anchors away to Jordan for Bush summit


NEW YORK -- CBS, ABC and Fox News said Monday they are sending their anchors to Amman, Jordan, to report from the city where President Bush will meet this week with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Jordan's King Abdullah.

NBC said Monday that it wasn't going to send anchor Brian Williams to the Mideast. NBC stirred its own controversy over the weekend by referring to the situation in Iraq as a "civil war," though other networks have yet to do that. For its part, the Bush administration told reporters on Monday that the Iraqi war had entered "a new phase characterized by an increase in sectarian violence," according to the Associated Press.

Charles Gibson will anchor "ABC World News" from Amman beginning Wednesday; so will Katie Couric, anchor of "CBS Evening News." Gibson anchored from the Mideast during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in the summer, but Couric, who was working at CBS News but wasn't officially anchor yet, stayed home. This will be Couric's first overseas trip as anchor for "CBS Evening News."

ABC News said Gibson also would report for other ABC shows and platforms including doing the "World News Webcast" there. It wasn't clear how long Couric would be in the Mideast, though Bush is scheduled to be in Jordan on Wednesday and Thursday.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith will be in Jordan beginning Tuesday, anchoring "Studio B" and "The Fox Report" and continuing to report from the country until at least Thursday. Smith also is no stranger to the Mideast, anchoring from Israel and dodging rocket fire during the recent fighting.