Gordon Peterson -- the undisputed dean of Washington, D.C., anchors and one of the most respected local newsmen in the country -- will be exiting WUSA-TV there for Allbritton Communications Co.'s WJLA in December as anchor of the 6 p.m. news and senior correspondent.
He will also host his long-running public affairs program, Inside Washington.Peterson's airtime had been cut back by WUSA in September, when he was taken off the 11 p.m. news in one of a number of personnel moves by new GM Darryll Green, who joined the station last year.
Green was looking to return the station to its former ratings dominance and challenge market leader, NBC affiliate WRC-TV.
Those moves included wooing anchor/reporter Tracey Neale from WTTG Washington, who had been teamed with Peterson at 6 p.m.
Peterson had anchored the 11 and 6 p.m. news at the station for over three decades, but his future there had been unclear. His contract was up in December and he had not negotiated a new deal.
It will be a reunion of sorts for Peterson, who will rejoin anchor Maureen Bunyan and meteorologist Doug Hill, both longtime WUSA vets before moving to WJLA.
WJLA has also been working hard to improve its lagging news fortunes of the past few years, including hiring Bunyan, recruiting Leon Harris from CNN as lead anchor, and adding ABC Sports commentator Tim Brant as Sports director.