For the last five years, Diane Sawyer has anchored ABC’s World News. She announced today through the network that she is stepping down. ABC will replace her with David Muir who anchors the weekend edition of the news show. The change will be effective September 2nd.
Sawyer, 68, previously was the anchor for Good Morning America and has become a household fixture around the nation. She is going to remain with ABC producing her own specials and anchoring those specials out of her own ABC internal unit.
Many thought that George Stephanopoulos would take over the chair on World News but he will now become the chief anchor on ABC News and continue to co-anchor Good Morning America. He will also be the primary news anchor for major breaking news and election coverage.
The news of Sawyers’ step down can’t be too thrilling for ABC news executives. World News recently bested the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in the 25-54 demographic and won the May sweeps but they knew that this had planned for sometime.
“As much as she loved leading World News to new heights — with so much important, brilliant and impactful reporting and a number one finish in the May sweep — Diane decided that now is the moment to concentrate full time on tackling big issues in new ways,” said ABC News president James Goldston.
“For many years to come …(Sawyer) will be a driving force at ABC News with her exceptional storytelling genius. She will create innovative television specials and events, and, of course, continue to conduct the biggest interviews with the most important and extraordinary people in the world,” Goldston told ABC staff on Wednesday.
Sawyer is considered the top female news anchor across all networks. She will now stretch her arms and legs and have far more creative control over what she does with ABC.