“ABC World News” anchor Charles Gibson announced his plans to retire at the end of the year, and Irish-American host Diane Sawyer is slated to replace him as the newscast’s anchor in January.

Sawyer, who is currently a host for “Good Morning America,” will become the second woman to solo-anchor the evening news, joining Katie Couric of "CBS Evening News."

Gibson, who has been the evening news anchor since May 2006, reportedly decided to step down after ongoing conversations with ABC News President David Westin.

Westin said Gibson "has persuaded me that this is both what he wants and what is best for him. I respect his decision, just as I respect the enormous contribution he has made to ABC News through the years."

"Diane Sawyer is the right person to succeed Charlie and build on what he has accomplished," Westin said. "We are fortunate to have a journalist of Diane's proven ability and passion to step into the important position of anchor for World News."

Gibson sent an email to his colleagues this morning stating his intentions. "It has not been an easy decision to make,” he wrote. “This has been my professional home for almost 35 years. And I love this news department, and all who work in it, to the depths of my soul.”

Sawyer has been a journalist with ABC for over 20 years. The Kentucky-born Irish American is famous for her work on “Primetime Live,” “20/20” and “Good Morning America,” and has been listed on Forbes' "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women."