Diane Sawyer, the longtime ABC “World News” anchor, has stepped down on Wednesday evening.
Sawyer, 68, signed off early from the broadcast. She spent the past five years as the program’s anchor.
Her replacement is David Muir, who was named as ABC’s choice earlier this year. He’ll start “World News” next Tuesday.
“I cannot wait to see you in high gear,” Sawyer told Muir, according to the NY Daily News. “Let it begin!”
“Like everything else, she’s doing it on her own terms,” an ABC News insider told the Daily News. “She wants a little more time to herself,” the source added. “The summer is over and the next phase in her career has already started.”
She will oversee an investigative unit for ABC in the next phase of her career. In leaving “World News,” she walks away from a reported $20 million per year.
Sawyer will also serve as an anchor for prime-time specials and will conduct major interviews.
According to a Newsday report last month, there’s been speculation.
“But that may not be the issue here. Speculation about Sawyer’s future has swirled about the industry for months: According to informed sources, her husband, Mike Nichols, the great director, is ill, while her mother — to whom she is also devoted — is of an advanced age. Many ABC watchers assumed Sawyer at some point would want to spend more time with them,” the paper said.