In what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off “NBC Nightly News” to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off “World News” tonight. ABC hadn’t announced when Sawyer’s final show would air. That news came in a tweet from Sawyer this afternoon.
After a first block of news of the day, the second block included a David Muir “Made in America” report, a franchise which started under Sawyer’s watch. Muir said the ABC team has produced 154 reports and three updates since the series started three years ago. Sawyer then passed the torch her successor. “You know his command and commitment to bringing you the news, and let me just say to you personally right here, I cannot wait to see you in high gear. Let it begin.”
The third block took viewers behind the scenes, with a piece on those who put the show together: producers, writers, editors, correspondents, graphic designers, production crew and more. “Our teams across the country, our teams around the globe working under tight deadlines every single day,” said Sawyer, who then gave viewers a live peek into the control room. Here’s Sawyer’s final block goodbye:
And now it is time to say good night. And I just want you to know what a deep privilege it has been to sit in the anchor chair at “World News” these years, the flag ship broadcast of ABC where Peter Jennings created a signature of such curiosity and courage. It has been wonderful to be the home port for the brave and brilliant forces of ABC News around the world and to feel every single night you and I were in a conversation about the day together. Sometimes, as we know, there have been tough stories on “World News,” but you always made it clear, like me, you believe better will come, that the future is one of possibility. And there has been so much to celebrate here as well, connections, community, America, and the generosity of our neighbors next door. I want you to know none of that will change. “World News” is dedicated to what informs, and we always hope helps make your life better. On a personal note, as I said I’m not going far, down the hall, up the stairs, and I am not slowing down but gearing up in in a new way, already at work on some of the stories that take you into the real lives around us, the ones we rarely get to see. Starting next week, the anchor and managing editor, David Muir will be right here. He is my friend and you are in strong and steady hands. So one last time: it is good to know you are watching tonight. To Mike and the four grandchildren and the perfect parents, I look forward to being home early for some dinners again. For gratitude during these years, I thank you and I’ll see you right back here on ABC News very soon. Good night.