ABC News’ David Muir Reveals Biggest Inspirations on Kimmel: Peter Jennings Was James Bond of News (Video)

The new “World News Tonight” anchor thought Peter Jennings was the “James Bond of the evening news”

Last Updated: September 17, 2014 @ 9:07 AM

“World News Tonight” anchor David Muir began his long journey to the top of broadcast news when he was just a tween.

The ABC News personality — who recently replaced Diane Sawyer on the network’s flagship evening news program — appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Tuesday and credited Ron Curtis, “the Walter Cronkite of Syracuse,” for encouraging him to follow his dream.

“I wrote to the local news guy when I was 12 years old,” Muir said during the interview (above). “I said, ‘What do I need to do to be you one day?’ I’ll never forget the last line in the letter he wrote back, which was ‘the competition in television news is keen. There’s always room for the right person. It could be you.'”

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Muir, who began regularly visiting his local TV news station at just 13, said he grew up watching former “World News Tonight” Peter Jennings, who became another huge inspiration, and ultimately a colleague.

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“I used to excuse myself from the back yard playing with everyone else when the news came on, and I’d come in and watch Peter Jennings,” Muir said. “Even at that age, I thought this guy is the James Bond of the evening news, so it’s an honor for me to give that chair a shot.”