ABC World News Tonight co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas is expecting her second child in late summer and will take a break from the anchor desk.
Vargas announced the news to ABC News staffers Friday morning. The network did not say how much time Vargas anticipated taking off after delivering the child. During her first pregnancy, Vargas filled in frequently for late World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings.
When Jennings took leave from ABC last spring after being diagnosed with lung cancer, Vargas was the most frequent substitute.
In December, after a lengthy deliberation over how to break the standard evening news model, ABC News President David Westin tapped Vargas and veteran correspondent Bob Woodruff to share anchor duties. Plans called for one anchor to be in the studio and the other in the field.
But the newscast was dealt a blow two weeks ago when Woodruff was seriously wounded by an explosive device in Iraq while traveling with U.S. and Iraqi forces. He suffered head injuries and remains in a Washington D.C.-area hospital. It is not clear when, or if, Woodruff will return to the air.
While Woodruff recovers, Westin has called in Good Morning America anchors Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson to share anchor duties with Vargas.
"This is joyous news for Marc and our family. At the same time, our immediate concern remains with Bob [Woodruff], [wife] Lee, and the entire Woodruff family as we hope and pray for continuing good news about his recovery," Vargas said in a statement.
ABC News President David Westin added: "I told Elizabeth that during such a difficult time for all of us, it's good to get such wonderful, life-affirming news."
Vargas, who also co-anchors the ABC newsmagazine 20/20, will continue to anchor both broadcasts through late summer.