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Diane Sawyer leaves 'ABC World News': David Muir takes over

Diane Sawyer leaves ABC's World News
Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Diane Sawyer signed off "ABC World News" on Wednesday night after nearly five years. She announced in June she would be leaving the news desk but not the network. In her gracious style, Sawyer thanked her viewers and praised David Muir who takes over on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Sawyer called it "a deep privilege" to sit in the anchor chair once occupied by Peter Jennings.

It was not a sad goodbye because Sawyer said she would be moving just down the hall. She is transitioning to fill the slot left by Barbara Walters after her retirement in May. She said she looked forward to being home for dinners with husband Mike Nichols and the family. She signed off by saying, "I'll see you right back here on ABC News very soon."

The Huffington Post reports that when Sawyer ended her position as anchor of "World News" on Wednesday, it marked another milestone in a long and iconic career in television news. Sawyer is the last evening news anchor at ABC to be the true face of the network. After her departure, the anchor position is being split in half. Muir takes over nightly anchoring duty while leaving breaking news and election nights to George Stephanopoulos.

Muir is described as a young and aggressive anchor who will try to build on Sawyer's achievements in reaching the 25-to-54 audience which is so important to news advertisers. This will be good for "World News" since it is facing its biggest challenge in years. "NBC Nightly News" with Brian Williams remains the leader in total viewers for a nightly news broadcast. The "CBS Evening News" with Scott Pelley as anchor is in No. 3 in the ratings, but it's coming on strong.

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