Diane Sawyer’s journey to ‘ABC World News’
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Diane Sawyer will take the helm of “ABC World News” in January, following the retirement of her friend and one-time co-host Charles Gibson at the end of the year.
Her journey to the nightly news desk has been a long one. Over the years she’s interviewed a wide range of luminaries including politicians such as President George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and entertainers such as Michael Jackson and Britney Spears.
But before the exclusive interviews with world figures and celebrities, the Kentucky native was giving the TV audience a five-day forecast.
After graduating from Wellesley College in 1967, Sawyer scored her first TV gig, working as a ‘weather girl’ at a Louisville station.
‘That was literally the only job held by a woman at the station at the time,’ she told the Times in a 1994 interview.
Sawyer moved to Washington four years later to serve as an aide to Ronald Ziegler, press secretary in the Nixon White House. She arrived just before the Watergate crisis made headlines across the country and was around later for Nixon’s infamous interviews with David Frost — though she wasn’t present at the interviews, she made it into the scenery in the 2008 film “Frost/Nixon.” Following his resignation, Sawyer and three other aides went to California with Nixon to help him prepare his memoirs.
In 1978, Bill Small, then president of CBS News, hired Sawyer to be a reporter in the Washington bureau, where she was given the State Department beat; in 1981 she was named co-anchor with Bill Kurtis of ‘CBS This Morning.’
By 1984, she became the first female correspondent on “60 Minutes.” It wasn’t long before ABC lured her away. In 1989, she was paired with Sam Donaldson to co-anchor “Primetime Live.” From there, she went on to co-anchor ABC’s “20/20.”
She returned to morning news in 1999 as co-anchor of “Good Morning America” with Charles Gibson. The gig was intended to be temporary, but her success in the position proved impossible to ignore. And she’s been the early morning bird since then.
But, come January, she can finally hit the “snooze” button.
-- Yvonne Villarreal