June 26, 2014 01:46:50 GMT
George Stephanopoulos will also take new role as chief anchor at ABC News, while Sawyer will 'lead new programming tackling big issues and extraordinary interviews.'
ABC News announced a major shake-up on its team. On Wednesday, June 25, the network said Diane Sawyer would step down as anchor of "World News Tonight" at the end of the year.
David Muir, who has been the ABC program's weekend anchor, will take over the "World News" anchor chair. He will also become Managing Editor of the ABC News program effective September 2.
Meanwhile, George Stephanopoulos, who anchors "Good Morning America" and "This Week", will add a new title, being promoted to chief anchor of ABC News to handle special reports and breaking news.
In a statement, the network said Sawyer "decided to step aside from anchoring a daily program to concentrate full time on new programming" that will tackle "big issues and extraordinary interviews." It's added, "As much as she loved leading World News to new heights - with so much important, brilliant and impactful reporting and a number one finish in the May sweep - Diane decided that now is the moment to concentrate full time on tackling big issues in new ways."
Sawyer also said, "After wonderful years at 'World News' I decided it is time to move to a new full time role at ABC News. I'll be joined by an incredible team of journalists dedicated to enterprise reporting, innovative approaches to breaking news and new ways of thinking about big issues and events around the world."
She continued, "I can't wait to continue bringing more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well. And to my friends and colleagues George and David - congratulations. I look forward to exciting work together and great times ahead."
Meanwhile, Muir said of his promotion, "On this incredibly humbling day, I think of the 12-year-old boy with a dream of being a reporter and seeing the world. I never could have imagined seeing that world with Diane Sawyer. On this day I thank her for not only setting the bar for the rest of us, but for being a trusted friend. I cannot wait to begin this new adventure with Diane and with George, whose political brain power and endless curiosity inspire me, and drive us all to be better every day."
Just last month, another ABC News veteran journalist, Barbara Walters, retired from her daily role at ABC, including stepping down as a co-host on "The View" which she created. The 84-year-old, however, will still do special interviews for the network.
She recently sat down with Peter Rodger, the filmmaker father of Elliot Rodger who committed a killing spree near the University of California, Santa Barbara in May. The interview will air as a special edition of "20/20" on Friday night. Earlier the same day, she will return as a guest on "The View".