ABC says Muir replacing Sawyer at 'World News'

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ABC says Muir replacing Sawyer at 'World News'
Diane Sawyer attends "A Celebration of Barbara Walters" at The Four Seasons Restaurant on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Director Mike Nichols, left, and his wife, journalist Diane Sawyer, right, attend the premiere of "Frances Ha" on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
ABC NEWS - Hillary Clinton talks with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for her first television interview in conjunction with the release of her new book, airing during a one-hour ABC News prime time special on MONDAY, JUNE 9 (9-10 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. The interview took place at the Clinton home in Washington DC, 6/5/14. (Photo by Martin H. Simon/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: News Anchor Diane Sawyer attends the 12th Annual Sesame Workshop Benefit Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: David Muir attends A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Restaurant on May 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: (L-R) President of ABC News James Goldston, Barbara Walters, ABC News anchor David Muir and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger attend the 'Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Journalist David Muir (R) and guest attend the Bloomberg & Vanity Fair cocktail reception following the 2014 WHCA Dinner at Villa Firenze on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/VF14/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Journalist David Muir speaks during the 'Day Of The Girl' program and Fresco Unveiling With Freida Pinto at UNICEF House on October 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: David Muir visits The Empire State Building on April 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)


NEW YORK (AP) -- Diane Sawyer is stepping down as anchor of ABC's "World News" in September after nearly five years in the job, to be replaced by her regular substitute, David Muir.

The network also said Wednesday that George Stephanopoulos will add the role of chief anchor for live news events to his current jobs as "Good Morning America" co-host and host of the Sunday-morning "This Week" political show.

The exit of Sawyer, 68, is not unexpected. She will remain at ABC News to concentrate on landing big interviews and doing prime-time specials. "World News" was a steady second to Brian Williams at NBC during her tenure, although the ABC broadcast has made gains among younger viewers.

Muir, 40, has been groomed for the job. He steps in when Sawyer is away, and traveled to China to report with her in 2010. He has a high profile on "World News" with his regular "Made in America" series where he does stories across the country.

Muir, from Syracuse, New York, swept floors as a teenager in a local television newsroom. He is a graduate of Ithaca College, just like Bob Iger, head of ABC's parent Walt Disney Co.

Behind him, ABC is expected to make a strong bid to replace Williams at the top of the evening news ratings, hoping to repeat the success it has had in the morning with "Good Morning America."

As chief anchor of live news events, Stephanopoulos takes over a role traditionally held by the evening news anchor at most network news divisions. Evening news anchor was once considered the top job at a broadcast news division, but ABC does not want to disrupt the team of Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts that has led the network to the top in the lucrative morning market.

The evening news switch will take place on Sept. 2, said James Goldston, ABC News president.

Diane Sawyer Leaving 'World News'

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