When Charlie Gibson approached ABC News president David Westin to advise him of his intention to step down as anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight, I have to wonder if Westin asked, “In what respect, Charlie?”
Gibson hardly distinguished himself as an anchor or an editor. The moist prominent role he played was as a pitifully poor moderator for a Democratic presidential primary debate in Philadelphia, where he was universally panned.
Diane Sawyer has been announced as Gibson’s replacement. She is presently the host of ABC’s morning show, Good Morning America. But it is notable that she was once Richard Nixon’s press aide and was on the team that prepped him for the Nixon/Frost interviews.
Despite Sawyer’s political past, I think she’s marginally an improvement over Gibson. Plus, it will mean that two of the Big Three networks have female news anchors. That is a profound advancement in a business that is notoriously male-dominated, and has been for decades. It could bring some new perspectives to television news. These broadcast news programs have twice the viewership of the highest rated cable news programs, so her exposure will be significant.
So goodbye Charlie, and “Yahhh Charlie, Yahhh!”