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ABC’s Pentagon beat has opening

John McWethy, a fixture for ABC News at the Pentagon for more than 20 years, is leaving that assignment to become a special correspondent for the network.

McWethy, 56, started covering the Pentagon for ABC in 1979. In 1984, he was named chief national security correspondent.

A succession of events in recent years -- the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq -- has kept him a constant presence on the network’s newscasts and delayed his plans to step away from daily reporting to focus on longer-term projects, including some not related to his beat.

ABC didn’t name a successor, although State Department correspondent Martha Raddatz is thought to be the front-runner for the job.

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