Diane Sawyer will leave her high-profile anchor post on ABC’s World News to focus on new programming, while 20/20 Anchor David Muir will replace her starting Sept. 2.
ABC News says Sawyer will lead a team to create and commission original reporting and major interviews for all ABC News programs and platforms. She will anchor and produce television specials and continue to conduct interviews.
In a memo to staffers, ABC News President James Goldston said this about Sawyer, who led World News for nearly five years: “For many years to come Diane 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. Starting this summer she will begin to develop these new stories.”
Said Sawyer in a statement: “After wonderful years at World News I decided it is time to move to a new full time role at ABC News. I’ll be joined by an incredible team of journalists dedicated to enterprise reporting, innovative approaches to breaking news and new ways of thinking about big issues and events around the world. I can’t wait to continue bringing more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well.”
Season to date, World News is up versus the same point last year in viewers and Adults 25-54, delivering its most-watched season in five years and best news demo number in three years.
ABC News also announced that Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos will add the duties of Chief Anchor of ABC News to his responsibilities.
Muir will also serve as the managing editor of World News. In 2013 he was named co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20, which closed out the 2013-2014 season with its highest ratings in five years.