Storied Avila joins ABC ’20/20′

Peacock contract finally lapses

NEW YORK — Former NBC News national correspondent Jim Avila has joined ABC News’ “20/20.” He’ll report a wide range of stories for the primetime newsmag.

Although Avila left NBC’s “Nightly News With Tom Brokaw” in January, he wasn’t able to join another news org until his contract with the Peacock lapsed. He had served as national correspondent for “Nightly” since 2000.

Avila said he had considered joining NBC News’ “Dateline” but ultimately determined that he wouldn’t be afforded the same diversity of stories that “20/20” or ABC’s “Primetime” newsmag franchise would allow.

“I was worried about that. While ’20/20′ and ‘Primetime’ still do celebrity and crime stories, they also do investigations and cultural pieces,” Avila said.

Avila joined “Nightly” in 1997, averaging 130 reports a year for the newscast, the highest for any minority member in broadcast history, according to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State U.

Before being named national correspondent, he was Chicago correspondent for “Nightly.”

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