Tom Llamas, the ABC News anchor who leads the unit’s weekend “World News Tonight” broadcast and is its chief national affairs correspondent, is jumping from the Disney operation to NBC News, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Llamas confirmed his departure from the network on the Jan. 31 edition of “World News Tonight,” saying that it would be his final broadcast.
Llamas, who has been with the Disney-owned operation since 2014 and also anchors breaking events for the news division’s ABC News Live streaming-video service, informed executives at ABC News this week that he would leave, the person said.
ABC News declined to make executives available for comment. NBC News declined to comment. A representative for Llamas also declined to comment.
Llamas enjoyed a senior role at ABC News, but it had become clear to him that his chances of being awarded a permanent chair behind the desk at “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” or “20/20” were not likely in the immediate future. David Muir has taken the weekday broadcast of “World News Tonight” to new viewership levels since arriving there in 2014, ,and Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos are mainstays at “GMA.” Executives at ABC News are said to be saddened by Llamas’ departure, but understand his interest in seeking new career paths.
NBC News and its sibling operations represent one of the biggest collection of news assets in the industry, and Llamas could find himself contributing to MSNBC, an expanding streaming operation and more hours of “Today” across the week.
Prior to joining ABC News, Llamas was an investigative reporter and anchor at WNBC, NBC’s flagship New York operation, and was a contributing correspondent at NBC News. Before that, he worked for WTVJ, NBC’s Miami station. He started his career with NBC News’ specials unit and work as a correspondent at MSNBC.