TV news veteran Diane Sawyer is stepping down from the anchor's chair at "ABC World News," the network has announced, naming David Muir as her replacement, TVNewser reports.
Sawyer will reportedly focus on prime-time specials, with Muir — who has anchored the weekend editions of "World News" since 2011 — taking over the flagship news broadcast Sept. 2. Muir will also reportedly continue to co-anchor "20/20" along with Elizabeth Vargas.
The network also announced today that George Stephanopoulos, who hosts “Good Morning America” and “This Week,” will become chief anchor for ABC News. "He’ll lead special reports, breaking news and election night coverage for the network as well as continuing with 'GMA' and 'This Week,'" the story reports.
TVNewser adds: "Insiders tell us Sawyer began talking with former ABC News President Ben Sherwood late last year about a transition from the anchor desk. With the retirement of Barbara Walters last month, Sawyer will now take on some of the specials and interviews that for years were part of Walters’ stock in trade."
Sawyer is the second woman to hold down a solo anchor's chair on the evening news for a broadcast network, following Katie Couric's run on "CBS Evening News" from 2006-2011. Sawyer has anchored the ABC broadcast since December 2009.
The ABC program has been gaining on broadcast news leader "NBC Nightly News," including winning the May sweeps period this year in the key news demo of viewers 25-54 for the first time in more than six years.