David Muir, From 12-Year-old News Intern to ‘World News Tonight’ Anchor

By Chris Ariens 

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WNTLogoWe’ve assembled some of the write-ups on David Muir as he begins anchoring “World News Tonight:”

  • The Associated Press: As a latchkey child of divorced parents growing up near Syracuse, N.Y., Muir took comfort from the news “family” that appeared on his television each evening. He watched ABC’s Peter Jennings, trying to guess who would be named “person of the week.”
  • The New York Times: His appointment marks a significant departure from the traditional anchor model in several self-evident ways. Unlike his two competitors, NBC’s Brian Williams and CBS’s Scott Pelley, Mr. Muir’s never done a stint as a White House correspondent, which has long been considered a virtual prerequisite for the job. He is also a lot younger than Mr. Williams, who is 55, and Mr. Pelley, 57. ABC says Mr. Muir’s youth was not a factor in his selection. But with the median age for evening news viewers now at 63.5, according to Brad Adgate of Horizon Media, the network is clearly counting on him to appeal to a younger audience.
  • The Daily News on how Muir’s seat at the news desk is a return to three white men anchoring the evening news: [It] is no reflection on them, but does bring anchoring back to one of the more undeniable traditions of network television news. A major part of the problem going forward remains this: While all the networks have some terrific women journalists, they remain outnumbered. For reasons rooted more in the sociology of America than official corporate policies, it’s harder for women to get on the fast track and therefore be in the queue when openings arise.
  • Newsday on “longstanding criticism” that ‘World News’ has gone soft: “When I read that criticism,” says Muir, “I immediately think of all those moments standing in Tahrir Square as Mubarak’s men came charging and think about the producer standing there with me, or in Mogadishu when we came under fire. I have a hard time telling the people who were with me risking their lives that we were doing soft news.”
  • Politico: on how the evening newscasts “can be part of the future:” We’ve heard and read those headlines for years about the dinosaur that is the network newscasts,” says Muir. “All of the evening newscasts are up, year over year. I think one of the reasons for that is we’ve been bombarded all day long, we’re checking out our smartphones to get our email, and we see the headlines, and we get tiny tweets all day long. And I think that at 6:30, we just have an even greater responsibility to laser in on what’s truly important about the headlines that have been hitting you all day long.”