Dan Abrams Steps Down as ABC News' 'Nightline' Co-anchor

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Dan Abrams

Abrams will stay on as the network's chief legal analyst

Dan Abrams is stepping back from his role as Nightline co-anchor while chief national correspondent Byron Pitts has been set as his replacement, ABC News president James Goldston announced in a memo on Thursday.

"Earlier this year Dan came to talk to me about taking on a new role at ABC News and returning to his true passion — running the websites and company he founded, Abrams Media," Goldston wrote, referring to the stable of websites Abrams founded in 2009.

Abrams was announced as Nightline co-anchor in a shake-up at the news show in June of last year, when he replaced Terry Moran, who was named chief foreign correspondent. Incoming Nightline co-anchor Pitts joined ABC News in 2013 from CBS News. 

Abrams Media includes websites such as Mediaite, The Mary Sue and Sports Grid.

"Abrams Media ​i​s​​ my ​passion,​ ​and with its​ recent​ growth and success​es​, in particular Mediaite.com and TheMarySue.com, I ​have also realized how much I miss the day-to-day of running my digital media business," Abrams wrote in a statement posted on Mediaite.

"I am ​excited​ to lead its expansion, promotion and ​to create ​​original video and other ​new ventures, none of which is possible as a full-time ABC News employee," he wrote.

Read more The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2014

Dec. 18, 9:15 a.m. Updated to clarify that Abrams invests in Gossip Cop but the website is not a part of Abrams Media.