After almost six years in the anchor chair for ABC’s World News, Diane Sawyer is stepping down from her post in order to tackle a new role for ABC. The longtime journalist and legendary interviewer, 68, will now create “innovative specials and tackle big issues and ideas,” ABC News President James Goldston announced on Wednesday, June 25.
“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,” Goldston said in a statement.
Taking over for Sawyer is the show’s Saturday anchor, David Muir, who has been with ABC since 2003 and who will continue to co-anchor the network’s 20/20 series with Elizabeth Vargas.
“From Katrina to Egypt’s Tahrir Square, from Fukushima to Newtown, David has carefully guided our viewers through tragedy and world events with his tough questions and trademark compassion,” the ABC News President noted.
ABC has also promoted Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos to the role of Chief Anchor of ABC News.
“George is adept at balancing both complex global and public policy questions and deeply personal stories in interviews with numerous luminaries from Vladimir Putin to Angelina Jolie,” Goldston continued.
Sawyer has spent more than four decades in journalism, interviewing famous political leaders including Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton, and in 2011 she had an exclusive interview with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt.
The Kentucky native began her career as a weather girl before serving as a White House press aide in the ‘70s, and working for CBS’s Morning News and 60 Minutes before moving to ABC in 1989. Sawyer served as a co-anchor on GMA from 1999 to 2009, and began her role as ABC World News anchor in December 2009. She has been married to American TV, stage, and film director Mike Nichols since 1988.