Legendary anchorwoman Diane Sawyer is leaving ABC’s “World News Tonight,” which is currently in second place among the broadcast networks’ evening news shows, after the final week in August.
Among the broadcast competition, NBC’s “Nightly News” is tops, averaging 9.15 million total viewers season-to-date, with 2.28 million in the key 25-54 demographic.
Sawyer’s show is second, with 8.13 million total viewers and 2.12 million in the demo. CBS’ “Evening News” is third, averaging 6.96 million total viewers and 1.72 million in the demo.
Each of the three broadcast news shows have grown in overall viewers from last season, with a four percent increase for ABC and six percent apiece for NBC and CBS.
However, Sawyer’s “World News Tonight” is the only one in the black for demo movement. The ABC news program is up five percent year over year. NBC is down two percent, CBS has dipped five percent.
Since 2010 to 2011, Sawyer’s first full season behind the desk, “World News Tonight” has narrowed the demo gap with leader “Nightly News” each year. Last month, the ABC news program won the May Sweeps for the first time in six years.
David Muir will replace Diane Sawyer at “World News” on Sept. 2. George Stephanopoulos, meanwhile, is being promoted to chief anchor of ABC News.
Sawyer will continue to work at ABC, participating across news shows and bringing specials to primetime.