Dan Harris Stepping Down From His Role as Nightline Anchor

By A.J. Katz Comment

After six years, ABC News’ Dan Harris is stepping down from his gig as co-anchor of Nightline.

Byron Pitts and Juju Chang will continue to anchor the program.

However, Harris won’t be leaving the network. He’ll continue to file reports for the late-night news program, and co-anchor the weekend editions of GMA. Harris will also be spending more time on his 10% Happier franchise, which began with his 2014 book that recounted his on-air panic attack on the weekday edition of GMA in June 2004, and how he has gotten better and happier over the years. That success of that book has spawned a podcast and tech startup.

Harris joined Nightline as a co-anchor in October 2013 after the departure of Bill Weir.

ABC News president James Goldston announced the news this morning in a note to staff:

Team,

After nearly 6 years, Dan Harris has decided to step back from his anchor duties on Nightline to dedicate more time to his rapidly growing 10% Happier business and other roles at ABC News.  I’m happy to tell you that he’ll continue to report his trademark powerful and important, deeply reported stories for Nightline and across ABC News.

Dan has traveled the world fearlessly for an up close look at some of the most dangerous places on the planet, from Rio de Janeiro’s war on drugs and Vladimir Putin’s Russia to the inner workings of the Sinaloa cartel’s drug operations in Mexico and notorious gang violence in El Salvador.

At the same time, it’s been incredibly exciting to witness how Dan’s thriving 10% Happier franchise has grown from a best-selling book to an award-winning podcast, highly-rated app and second best-selling book, drawing millions of fans.  It’s a testament to his hard work and a reflection of how vital meditation and mindfulness have become in our modern culture.  I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

While Dan may be stepping away from the Nightline anchor desk, he will continue to anchor the weekend editions of GMA with Eva, Whit, Adrienne and Rob and host the 10% Happier podcast.

Nightline has long been distinguished by captivating storytelling and in-depth, tenacious journalism.  I’m incredibly proud of Steve, Juju, Byron and the entire team for carrying that legacy into the future, including a new slate of documentary features to come.  There’s much more great work ahead from this stellar team.

Please join me in thanking Dan for his tremendous work as anchor at Nightline. Below you can read a personal note from him.

James

Harris sent a note of his own to colleagues:

 Team,

It is surreal to step away from your dream job.

The irony is not lost on me. In my book, 10% Happier, I wrote at length about how I fought and pleaded to anchor Nightline. But it is the success of that book — and its spawn: a podcast and a tech startup — that are the reason I now have to step away.

It is a high class problem: I simply have too many awesome things on my plate, between weekend GMA, Nightline, and the expanding 10% juggernaut (which, by the way, never would have come into being without an astounding level of support from ABC News).

So why, given all the options, did I decide to drop the Nightline anchor gig? Because, frankly, you deserve an anchor who gives it his or her all. This team of amazing producers — who work all hours and travel all over the world — has the right to expect an on-air representative who is in the trenches with you day after day. And the circumstances of my life simply will not allow that right now.

I am not going away. I don’t know where my office will be, but it won’t be far. (Which means Jasmine won’t have to make an arduous journey for the next practical joke she wants to play on me.) More importantly, I will continue working on big, investigative stories. The reports I have been able to file for this show — from the Congo, Haiti, El Salvador, Brazil, Mexico, even Papua New Guinea — have been some of the most meaningful work of my life.

I love Nightline. I love doing these kinds of stories. And I love being part of this incredible culture. None of that will change.

It has been an absolute privilege for me to share the anchor seat for the past five and a half years on one of the most insightful and well-respected news shows on television. Nightline is in great hands with Steve, Juju, Byron and our team of senior producers.

I want to say thank you to everyone at Nightline — for doing some of the best work in broadcast news, for establishing and maintaining one of the most extraordinary collaborative work cultures I have ever seen, and for making fun of me when I deserve it (daily). I look forward to much more.

With immense gratitude,
Dan

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