Spurning internal candidates and a long network tradition, ABC News Thursday hired Christiane Amanpour to host its prestigious Sunday morning program, "This Week."
The network said she'll join the show in August, while in a staff memo released to the press, ABC News president David Westin said, "With Christiane we have the opportunity to provide our audiences with something different on Sunday mornings."
He's right about that: Amanpour, CNN's veteran international correspondent / anchor, joins a largely male club that most recently was anchored by George Stephanopoulos, now co-host of "Good Morning America." She is not the first woman to host "This Week" - Cokie Roberts was here before with Sam Donaldson - but will be the first solo female anchor and host.
Moreover, she brings to the show a near 30-year career spent outside the Beltway - mostly overseas, although she has lived in New York the past two years with her husband, former State Department spokesman James Rubin and their 9-year-old son.
"Being asked to anchor 'This Week' and the superb tradition started by David Brinkley, is a tremendous and rare honor and I look forward to discussing the great domestic and international issues of the day," Amanpour said in a statement.
Until she joins, Jake Tapper, ABC's White House correspondent who was believed by some to be a leading internal candidate for the job, will be interim host.