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Diane Sawyer to Anchor ABC World News Desk

September 2, 2009

The Women's Media Center (WMC) considers the appointment of Diane Sawyer as anchor of ABC's World News a watershed moment in the presence of women in media. It means that two of three of the major network anchors are women. Sawyer joins Katie Couric at CBS News in delivering crucially important information to our country -- and determining what that is. Diane Sawyer's expertise and professionalism are without question. We look forward to her debut in January, and to the changes in the perception of women's capabilities her reign will bring. We thank Charlie Gibson, now retiring, for the consistent excellence of his entire career. Here at the WMC we always say that women are 51% of the population-and that we should not be afraid to ask for 51% of the jobs in media. At this point women hold only 3% of the "clout" positions in media. Anchoring a network evening news program certainly adds to the power quotient. We're on our way.
Here is part of ABC News President David Westin's statement on the transition: Diane Sawyer is the right person to succeed Charlie and build on what he has accomplished. She has an outstanding and varied career in television journalism, beginning with her role as a State Department correspondent and continuing at 60 Minutes, Primetime Live, and Good Morning America. She has interviewed every President since President George H. W. Bush up to and including President Obama. She has handled an array of breaking news special events, including on 9/11 and, most recently, the presidential election. She has done distinguished documentaries on topics as varied as North Korea, the plight of women in Afghanistan and in prisons here at home, and poverty in Camden, New Jersey, and in Appalachia. We are fortunate to have a journalist of Diane's proven ability and passion to step into the important position of anchor for World News. She will continue with her documentaries in her new role.
We thank you for your support of our work here at The Women's Media Center. You are a participant in making Diane Sawyer's selection possible -- by joining our campaigns fighting sexism in the media, and demanding fair appointments and fair representation. While we have this reward today, the work here continues. Please make as generous a contribution as you can to make sure we have many more days like this. With warmest wishes, Carol Jenkins WMC President