Diane Sawyer is leaving the “World News” anchor desk and stepping into a new role where she will create innovative specials and tackle big issues and ideas, ABC News President James Goldston announced today.
David Muir will become the anchor and managing editor of “World News” in September, and George Stephanopoulos was named chief anchor of ABC News, leading the network’s coverage of breaking news and special events.
Sawyer, who has led “World News” since 2009, will begin her new role on Sept. 2 leading “a team which will create and commission original reporting, big ideas and interviews,” Goldston said.
“Diane’s incredible work on Hidden America and her masterful interviews with Gabby Giffords, Malala Yousafzai and recently Hillary Clinton bring great distinction to the entire news division,” Goldston said. “Her curiosity, passion and energy inspire us all. Diane is one of the giants of modern journalism, and we can’t wait to see where she’ll lead us next.”
Muir will take the reins of “World News” on Sept. 2.
“For more than a decade, David has been front and center reporting on the biggest stories of our time, helping drive us forward with tireless dedication, hard work and good humor,” Goldston said. “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.”
Muir will continue to anchor “20/20” with Elizabeth Vargas.
As chief anchor of ABC News, Stephanopoulos will take on the responsibility of being the network’s lead anchor for major special events and breaking news.
“There is simply no better political journalist on television today,” Goldston said. “That is why George will once again lead our election coverage starting with the mid-terms this Fall and onwards to the 2016 presidential race and beyond. The news division could not be in stronger hands with George in his new role.”
Stephanopoulos, who was a key player in helping to drive “Good Morning America” forward to No. 1, will continue to anchor the show, along with “This Week,” which has moved into its best competitive position in a generation.
“Diane, George and David are all singular talents, one-of-a kind journalists, gifted storytellers and uniquely skilled broadcasters who inspire us, every day, to do our very best work,” Goldston said. “I am confident there are many great days and much great work ahead.”
Disney ABC Television Group Co-President Ben Sherwood applauded the new appointments.
“I want to acknowledge and celebrate Diane in particular for leading our division to great heights, especially and most recently at ‘World News,’” Sherwood said in an email to the staff. “I also want to salute George and David, consummate and complementary pros who will – as always – make ABC News shine on the biggest, most important stories around the clock and around the world.”