It’s anchors away at ABC News.
Diane Sawyer is ending her five-year run as the anchor of “World News” at the end of August and take on a new role, conducting in-depth investigations and enterprise reporting for future prime time specials, ABC officials said Wednesday.
Sawyer will be replaced by David Muir is expected to take over the broadcast on Sept. 2, immediately after Sawyer’s departure and will substitute frequently for Sawyer this summer when she takes time off, ABC sources told The News.
“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,” ABC News chief James Goldston told staffers Wednesday morning in a memo obtained by The News.
“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,” Goldston wrote.
An ABC source said the move was “entirely her decision.”
Muir, who serves as the weekend anchor for the flagship ABC News broadcast and co-anchor of the ABC newsmagazine “20/20,” has long been the a principal substitute for Sawyer on weeknights.
Another major change is the promotion of “Good Morning America” co-host George Stephanopoulos who will take on the newly created job as chief anchor for the network, taking to the air to report major breaking news stories and special events. He will remain as the co-host of “GMA” and as the host of ABC’s Sunday morning public affairs show, “This Week.”
“George will be our lead anchor for major special events and breaking news at ABC, driving our live network coverage for the biggest stories,” Goldston wrote reports Daily News.