Is it me or is this news a buck short and a little late? Don’t get me wrong; we at NOW are thrilled that Diane Sawyer has finally been named as anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. We now have two women anchoring two of the three main network news shows on television. CBS Evening News named Katie Couric as its main anchor in 2006. However, we’ve watched Sawyer play musical chairs at ABC News for most of her network television career filling in and anchoring every main show on ABC News except capturing the elusive prime anchor spot for WNT. She was always the underdog and who doesn’t like an underdog?
After Peter Jennings’ death, ABC tried out two other anchors to fill his spot but that attempt failed after anchor Bob Woodruff was severely injured. NOW and other women’s organizations were rooting for a woman of Sawyer’s gravitas and grandeur to get the job. But Charles Gibson got it instead, even though he told the executives that he wasn’t going to do this for very long.
Sawyer’s time has finally come. But at a price because the network news playing field has changed. Not many people really watch television news anymore, and the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) are no longer the powerhouse they used to be. Viewers prefer getting their news on the Internet and most 18-35 year-olds don’t watch television news at all. Most young people reportedly get their news from “Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, of which I am a huge fan.
As a former television reporter, I have always admired Sawyer for her tenacity, grace, and longevity in a harsh business that consistently hires young, and cheap beauties. Sawyer’s prominence on ABC’s WNT will only illuminate the fact that women play important roles in society, influence, and power. I cannot wait to see Sawyer come January; especially to see a middle-aged beauty commanding the news, and owning the desk like it was hers from the start.