George Will

Noted commentator had held forth at ABC's "This Week" for years

Fox News Channel has signed noted commentator and author George Will as a contributor, the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network said Tuesday, marking the esteemed talking head’s departure from ABC News after more than 20 years.

As part of his duties, Will is expected to offer analysis and commentary on the network’s daytime and primetime programs, including on panels of “Special Report with Bret Baier” and “Fox News Sunday.”

Will had served as a panelist for ABC’s  “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and as a commentator for ABC News, a post he had held since the debut of “This Week with David Brinkley” in 1981 The Pulitzer Prize-winning Will has also written a syndicated column, which appeared in more than 475 newspapers and served as a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine.

Two people familiar with the situation said Will’s departure from “This Week” had more to do with geography than anything else. In simple terms, “This Week” is broadcast most weeks from New York, where Stephanopoulos also has duties with “Good Morning America.” Will has long been a resident of Washington, D.C.. “This Week” in earlier incarnations was based in the nation’s capital.

“As all his readers know, George is brilliant.Those of us lucky enough to work with him also know that he’s a consummate gentleman,” Stephanopoulos said in a statement provided by ABC News. “I learned from him every week, and wish him all good things.”

Before joining ABC News, Will was the Washington editor of National Review, and served on the staff of former Republican Senator Gordon Allott between 1970 and 1972.

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