The treacherous, operatic maneuvers behind the scenes of late-night news magazines don’t get much attention, being always overshadowed by the tabloid drama of the morning shows. The scuttlebutt is always about the coffee-cup contingent—Good Morning America and Today’s battle for morning supremacy, former Today host Ann Curry’s shady departure, and The View’s well-lubricated revolving door. But that could change with ABC News’ announcement Thursday that chief national correspondent Byron Pitts has been selected to replace Dan Abrams as an anchor on Nightline.
According to Variety, Pitts will become Nightline’s third anchor alongside Dan Harris and Juju Chang, a promotion from his current position as chief national correspondent. According to the network, Abrams will refocus his attention on his duties as chief legal analyst—a position he’s held since leaving MSNBC for ABC in 2011—and will devote attention to his digital media firm.
Pitts is enjoying quite the charmed rise at ABC News, having only joined the network last year in his correspondent position before distinguishing himself through his reporting of the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Meanwhile, Abrams was only promoted to the Nightline gig in June 2013 and is already out of the anchor chair. In fact, Abrams got the anchor slot at the same time as Harris, who is apparently still sitting pretty in his fancy nighttime news co-anchor position.
Could the shake-up be the result of malicious whisper campaigns, contentious contract battles, or power struggles between rival ABC News executives? Well, could it? Seriously, no speculation on this? If Rosie O’Donnell bumps Chang out of her job, replaces her on Nightline, then talks veiled smack about her on Twitter in those weird little poems she writes, then could this be a conversation?