Charlie Gibson has stepped down as ABC’s World News anchor and Diane Sawyer has been named as his successor.
Sawyer has been the longtime co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America.
Richard Wald, a former news executive at ABC and NBC told The New York Times:
“You’re going to have, for the first time ever, two women competing as solo anchors in a television framework that just — within living memory — sort of destroyed every woman who tried to do it.”
Gibson’s decision to leave ABC was sudden and there is no plan yet for replacing Sawyer on Good Morning America.
A “veteran television news industry executive” who asked the Times for anonymity “to speak candidly about the competition” said:
“We’ll find out whether people don’t want to watch a woman anchor the news or whether they just didn’t want to watch Katie [Couric, CBS anchor].”
Of the three major U.S. networks, Couric’s broadcast on CBS is consistently third in ratings.
The changes will be effective in January.
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