Diane Sawyer leaving ABC's 'World News'

Diane Sawyer is stepping down from anchoring ABC's “World News,” and will be replaced by David Muir. George Stephanopoulos, meanwhile, is being promoted to chief anchor of ABC News.

Sawyer reached out to then-ABC News chief Ben Sherwood last year about transitioning out of ABC's nightly news show to focus more on in-depth stories, particularly her “Hidden America” investigations. She's going out on top, with “World News” winning the May sweep in the 25-54 demographic most important to news show. It was the the evening broadcast's first sweeps victory in more than six years.

“After wonderful years at ‘World News’ I decided it is time to move to a new full time role at ABC News. I'll be joined by an incredible team of journalists dedicated to enterprise reporting, innovative approaches to breaking news and new ways of thinking about big issues and events around the world,” Sawyer said. “I can't wait to continue bringing more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well. And to my friends and colleagues George and David — congratulations. I look forward to exciting work together and great times ahead.”

Stephanopoulos, who has helped lead “Good Morning America” to number one in the mornings, also anchors ABC's “This Week.” He will also lead ABC News’ election coverage starting with the mid-terms this fall through “the 2016 presidential race and beyond,” ABC News said in a release.

Muir will become anchor and managing editor of World News on September 2 after a decade of covering major stories for “World News,” first reporting for “World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings. Among his reporting were stories from inside Iran last year. His “Made in America” series about companies creating jobs in America was nominated for an Emmy.

In 2013, Muir was named co-anchor of ABC's “20/20.”  He will continue to co-anchor the program with Elizabeth Vargas, but will no longer anchor “World News” Saturday and Sunday, as he has since 2011.

“On this incredibly humbling day, I think of the 12-year-old boy with a dream of being a reporter and seeing the world.  I never could have imagined seeing that world with Diane Sawyer,” said Muir. “On this day I thank her for not only setting the bar for the rest of us, but for being a trusted friend.  I cannot wait to begin this new adventure with Diane and with George, whose political brain power and endless curiosity inspire me, and drive us all to be better every day.”

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