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Tue Jun 18 2002 09:40:40 ET

As reported in this space [STEPHANOPOLOUS: I'LL BE READY BY FALL, DRUDGE REPORT: JUNE 09] George Stephanopoulos has been named anchor of the ABC News Sunday morning program "This Week," it was announced today by ABC News President David Westin. Mr. Stephanopoulos, who has served as an analyst and correspondent with ABC News since 1997, will begin anchoring the program in September. Mr. Westin also named Jon Banner executive producer of "This Week."

"As the torch at 'This Week' is passed to George Stephanopoulos, I could not have more confidence in his abilities to lead the program forward. In his more than five years at ABC News covering national and international stories, George has demonstrated a keen understanding of the issues and superb ability to communicate to an audience," said Mr. Westin. "Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts have made so many valuable contributions to 'This Week' and to ABC News as a whole for so many years. Never was their knowledge and experience more evident than in their coverage of the unprecedented events of the last year. I am very pleased that each will continue to be play important roles at ABC News."

Mr. Stephanopoulos joined ABC News as a news analyst for "This Week," and has since reported on a wide variety of political, domestic and international stories for "This Week," "World News Tonight," "Good Morning America" and other ABC News programs and special event broadcasts. He has covered such diverse stories as the 2000 presidential election, the escalation of violence in the Middle East, the events of September 11th and their aftermath, and the war on terrorism.

He has regularly reported from the Middle East on the rising wave of violence there, and most recently reported from Cuba on President Carter's trip, and traveled with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to South Africa. Over the past year, he has interviewed a range of political figures and world leaders including King Abdullah of Jordan, the former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card,Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-faisal, and many others. Internationally, he has reported from Jerusalem, Rome, Islamabad, London, Amman, and elsewhere.

Mr. Stephanopoulos has covered a wide range of political stories during his five years at the network. During the 2000 elections, he traveled to a number of battleground states to report on issues of special interest to voters in those key regions. He covered the 2000 national party conventions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and played a significant role in the network's team coverage of the 2000 presidential election and the Florida recount.

Mr. Stephanopoulos has been a substitute anchor for "Good Morning America" and contributes to the ongoing "Good Morning America" series entitled, "Race: The Changing Face of America."

Prior to joining ABC News, Mr. Stephanopoulos served in the Clinton administration as the senior advisor to the president for policy and strategy. He was a key strategist in both Clinton presidential campaigns and was involved in the development of virtually all major policy initiatives during President Clinton's first term in office. He also served for five years as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Stephanopoulos is the author of "All Too Human," a #1 New York Times best-seller on President Clinton's first term and the 1992 and 1996 Clinton/Gore campaigns.

Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, who have co-anchored "This Week" since 1996, will remain with ABC News. Mr. Donaldson, a 35-year veteran of ABC News who has covered Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton, will continue to have a prominent role at the network. He will report and substitute anchor for "Nightline," and contribute to the ABC primetime newsmagazines. He will also continue to anchor his nationally syndicated daily radio program, "Live in America" and his webcast, "Sam Donaldon @ ABCNEWS.COM," which was the first regularly scheduled webcast produced by a television network.

Ms. Roberts will continue to have an on-air role with ABC News, serving as a political commentator. She is also a senior news analyst with National Public Radio and writes a nationally syndicated column. Ms. Roberts is currently at work on a book, "Founding Mothers," which will be published by William Morrow early next year. She plans to play a significant role with the non-profit organization, Save the Children.

George Will, who has been a regular contributor to "This Week" since the program premiered in 1981, will continue to be a panelist on the broadcast.

Jon Banner, a veteran ABC News producer, has held a number of senior editorial positions with the network, most recently serving as the senior producer for "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." From 1999-2000, he was the senior producer in charge of the "Good Morning America" news segments. Prior to that he was a senior producer with 'World News Tonight Saturday" and "World News Tonight Sunday."

Mr. Banner was the producer in charge of the ABC News Dallas bureau from 1995-1999. During that time, he covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the federal investigation that followed, and the trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. He also covered the political campaigns of Steve Forbes and Senator Bob Dole. While based in the Atlanta bureau from 1994-1995, Mr. Banner spent four months in Haiti covering the U.S. intervention there, for which he received the duPont award. He also spent four years in the network's Washington bureau (1989 -1993), where he worked on "This Week with David Brinkley" and "World News Tonight."

"This Week" airs Sunday mornings on the ABC Television Network.


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