Getting ready to say goodbye to Charlie Gibson

December 17, 2009 11:38:48 AM PST
It's strange saying goodbye. And I'm not sure how to do it. I've written about Charlie Gibson in this space before, when he announced in September that he'd be leaving in December. Now it's December, and tomorrow's his last day, and I just can't conjure the right words to say. Or write. I think I've said it before, about how there's never been an anchor who I so enjoyed being a reporter for. And oh my how he'd brutalize me for writing a sentence like the previous one, with a preposition at the end!

I've been abroad with Charlie. I've traveled good chunks of the country with him. I've reported from virtually every state for him. And I'm not sure how it's going to feel, knowing he doesn't work for ABC News anymore.

Which perhaps is appropriate, because Charlie told me when I interviewed him today for our story (airing tomorrow) that he wasn't sure how he'll feel about "retiring" ? wasn't sure how he'll feel when he hears news from the TV or radio that he hadn't heard before.

He's about to find out. Tomorrow night is Charlie's last broadcast, and tonight we honor him at a reception. We're going to miss him.

At the same time, the change ushers in a new era at ABC News, as Diane Sawyer takes over the anchor chair at World News.

Change is the only constant. And we embrace it because, really, what choice do we have, especially considering the alternative.

I hope you can join us for Eyewitness News, tonight at 11. We'll have the night's breaking news, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports.

One other note for you: We're once again asking you to send in your holiday emails, to be read on air, when I co-anchor, along with Lee Goldberg and Lauren Glassberg, Eyewitness News on Christmas morning, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

We've been doing this since 2001, and your messages have always been warm and thoughtful and emotional. Please send, as always, to BILL.S.RITTER@ABC.COM . We will try to read as many as possible on air on Christmas morning, a week from Friday.