In April 1995, Gordon Hinckley announced “the call of a new local officer to be known as an area authority. These will be high priests chosen from among past and present experienced Church leaders. They will continue with their current employment, reside in their own homes, and serve on a Church-service basis. The term of their call will be flexible, generally, for a period of approximately six years.”
Two years later, additional quorums of the Seventy were organized. It was proposed to the Church “that we sustain the 134 Area Authorities, who are present with us today, as Seventies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to act in the office of Area Authority Seventies.” Then the names of all 134 men were read.
The last time the Church sustained Area Authority Seventies in General Conference was October 2004. In April 2005, Area Seventies were sustained in the General Conference of the Church. There was no announcement that I am aware of concerning the change in name of the office. The change appears to have been only a change in name and not office. The release of several Area Seventies was announced; the released Area Seventies had been sustained by the Church as Area Authority Seventies, but never as Area Seventies.