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Diane Sawyer says 'Good Night' to ABC Evening News

A surprise from Diane Sawyer last night...in what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off NBC Nightly News to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off World News Wednesday night. ABC hadn't announced when Sawyer's final show would air reports TVNewser.

Diane Sawyer
ABC

Sawyer signed off from World News on Wednesday after nearly five years -- with gratitude and thanks for her viewers and staff. Sawyer took a few minutes at the end of the program to speak of the "deep privilege it has been to sit in the anchor chair" once occupied by the late Peter Jennings, and assured viewers that the broadcast was in "strong and steady hands" under new anchor David Muir.

ABC News noted Wednesday morning that she took the newscast to back-to-back sweep wins in the news demo -- in May and July -- for the first time in seven years. The show ranked No. 1 in the news demo for her final full week.

Sawyer will be moving on to running an ABC News team that will produce news specials and conduct high-profile interviews. She promised that the show would not change after she leaves, and as for her own future, "I am not slowing down, but gearing up in a new way." Sawyer concluded, "With gratitude for these years, I thank you, and I'll see you right back here on ABC News very soon."

Sawyer announced her departure from the news program and Muir's new role back in June. Muir was set to take over the job on Sept. 2 and will continue co-hosting 20/20 on top of his new duties.