Sawyer is stepping down from ABC "World News," replaced by David Muir, veteran ABC News journalist and host of ABC’s “20/20.”
Muir has also been a weekend anchor and chief
substitute for Sawyer and the top correspondent on major ABC stories. Sawyer will now focus on in-depth stories at the network, such as her “Hidden America” stories.
Changes to “World News” had been expected. Sawyer is 68 years old; Muir is 40. Sawyer has been anchor of “World News” since December 2009. Muir will take over on September
“After wonderful years at ‘World News,’ I decided it is time to move to a new full-time role at ABC News,” Sawyer stated. “I can't wait to continue bringing
more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well.”
While “World News” still trails “NBC Nightly News” over the long term,
the early evening news show was on top in the May sweep period, winning the key 25-54 demographic -- the first time it has won a sweep period in six years.
For the most recent week ending
June 9, “NBC Nightly News” average 8.4 million overall viewers and 2 million 25-54 viewers; ABC was at 7.3 million overall viewers and 1.9 million 25-54 viewers. CBS was at 6 million
overall viewers and 1.4 million 25-54 viewers.
ABC also announced that George Stephanopoulos is being promoted to chief anchor of ABC News. Stephanopoulos is an anchor on “Good
Morning America,” as well as ABC's “This Week.”
James Goldston, president of ABC News, said at the end of last year Sawyer started a conversation with Ben Sherwood, then
president of ABC News, about stepping away from “World News.”