David Muir, 40, is taking over for Diane Sawyer, 68, on ABC World News. I heard it last night at the end of 20/20. Diane is going on to new and exciting things, special interviews and reports.
I suspected something was going on at World News with Diane Sawyer. For a while now, the young, handsome and personable Muir has been subbing more and more often for Sawyer on the evening news. As I’ve listened to the reasons he was in again for Diane, first it was that she was on assignment; then she was “off tonight”; and more recently, no reason was given. So I had a feeling he was getting ready to replace her.
Friday night, June 27, I saw the announcement on 20/20. Muir had a funny look on his face as his co-host Elizabeth Vargas congratulated him, a cross between excitement and embarrassment. Muir will remain as co-host at 20/20, and he will share his new post as anchor with George Stephanopoulos (Good Morning, America, This Week), named ABC’s “Chief Anchor.”
Muir’s look reminded me of when I won a big French competition in high school. It was announced at an assembly, and inside I was ecstatic, but outside, I didn’t know how to act, what look to project-happy or humble. So I ended up with a goofy, embarrassed grin on my face.
That’s how David Muir looked last night-sheepish, as if he were trying to suppress his ecstatic feelings. He wasn’t his usual relaxed, on top of things, casual self.
Anyway, I wish him luck. I see people are already taking pot-shots at him online, trying to find something sensational and shocking about his sex life.
Diane Sawyer’s persona is professional and classy. Her presentation of the news was sometimes a little too much for me, though-the way she liked to use “we” in relating events of the day and how, presumably, all of America went through them together, in the same way, with the same emotions. Nice try, but I don’t think so. And I don’t know if it was her doing or someone else’s at the network, but there seemed to be more and more cute-puppy-type features.
I wish Diane Sawyer good luck though, and I look forward to seeing her in special, in-depth interviews.
And I also hope David Muir will take a new tone, giving the nightly news his own spin, changing the character of the program. Time will tell.
One thing is certain. It won’t be World News with Diane Sawyer anymore in September 2014, when this personnel change is scheduled to go into effect.
20/20, June 27, 2014.
“Diane Sawyer Steps Down from ‘World News,’ and ABC Tears Up the Network News Script”