Diane Sawyer was all business on a busy first day as anchor of ABC News’ flagship evening newscast on Monday, save for a brief salute at the end to Charles Gibson, whose retirement opened the job for her.
“For you, Charlie Gibson, I hope you had a good day and a great night,” Sawyer said, a reference to Gibson’s usual signoff.
The centerpiece of the opening broadcast was Sawyer’s interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, conducted over the weekend. Sawyer confronted Ahmadinejad on a supposed “smoking gun” document that tied Iran to development of nuclear weapons. The president, who referred to Sawyer as “respectable lady,” said the document was a fabrication.
Women now hold two of the three top jobs on what have always been considered the most prestigious newscasts on broadcast TV. Three years ago, CBS’ Katie Couric became the first woman to hold the job by herself.
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ABC has deliberately downplayed the transition on “World News.” Some of the minor changes promised by ABC executives, including the show’s first update of on-air graphics in five years, were evident.
Read More: By DAVID BAUDER, AP