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Sawyer Will be Second Woman Solo Evening News Anchor

ABC News announced yesterday that Diane Sawyer will succeed Charles Gibson as anchor of the evening broadcast “World News” in January. Gibson plans to retire from his full-time post at ABC News, as reported by the network. When Sawyer’s tenure commences, two of the three major network evening news broadcasts will be anchored by women. Katie Couric became the first woman to solo-anchor a major evening newscast in 2006 when she became host of the “CBS Evening News,” according to the Washington Post.

Sawyer has achieved much since she began her television career as a weather reporter at a Louisville, Kentucky, station, a post Sawyer once described as “literally the only job held by a woman at the station at the time,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Sawyer’s career as a political reporter began in 1978 when she was hired by CBS News to cover the State Department. She then became the first woman correspondent on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 1984. In 1989, Sawyer was hired by ABC to co-anchor of “Primetime Live” and, in 1999 began to co-host “Good Morning America” with Charles Gibson, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Sawyer currently co-anchors “Good Morning America” with Robin Roberts. The duo are the first female co-anchor team on a national network, according to ABC News . Sawyer is widely respected for her political reporting, including interviews with heads of state, special reports on foster care, poverty in the US, and on-location reports from North Korea and Iran.

Broadcast journalist Connie Chung applauded Sawyer’s appointment in an interview with Newsweek. “Katie [Couric] broke ground, but what has happened today with Diane means Katie’s appointment wasn’t just an aberration…what breaks the ceiling is not just having one male cheerleader on the squad. We have never seen two women solo anchors on the networks’ flagship programs,” Chung said.

Sources:

ABC News 9/2/09; Washington Post 9/3/09; Los Angeles Times 9/2/09; Newsweek 9/2/09

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