Diane Sawyer Bears Down on Chicago

By Chris Ariens 

Nationally, she anchors the #2 network evening newscast, but in Chicago, ABC’s Diane Sawyer is #1, thanks to the very strong sign-on to sign-off showing of Chicago O&O WLS. So today, Sawyer is in Chicago where she will anchor tonight’s “World News.” The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal talked with Sawyer and her EP Jon Banner ahead of today’s visit to … Oprahville.

Another change on the horizon that could have impact on “World News” is next month’s final edition of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The Chicago-based talk show airs on ABC’s biggest stations, and on every station but WLS it’s a lead-in to the local news that leads in to Sawyer.

“Our competition always likes to point out when we do well, it’s because of Oprah, and when we do poorly, it’s because we stink. Both can’t be true,” Banner said. “There’s always opportunity and risk in change, but … we’ll be just fine.”

Sawyer is attending the Chicago Network’s 22nd Annual Women in the Forefront Luncheon today and will be interviewed by WLS anchor Kathy Brock. Tonight’s “World News” will include an interview with the president of Oak Brook-based McDonald’s, Jan Fields.