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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:59am

Diane Sawyer's no-fuss sign off from ABC's "World News"

CNN
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 6:03pm

One might be tempted to say that Diane Sawyer's tenure on the ABC evening newscast "World News" is ending the same way it began: quietly.

Sawyer will sign off on Wednesday night, a few days before her successor David Muir will officially take the helm.

ABC and Sawyer have made almost no fuss about her sign-off, seemingly employing the same strategy that worked when she took over for Charles Gibson just a few days before Christmas in 2009. There is no prime time retrospective or farewell tour planned -- merely a segment at the end of Wednesday's newscast.

Even the date of her last nightly broadcast was a semi-secret until she tweeted about it on Wednesday afternoon.

"See you tonight for my last night anchoring @ABCWorldNews -- great adventures ahead," she wrote.

As Sawyer alluded to with the tweet, she will be staying at ABC News, as a special correspondent of sorts, appearing on TV for big interviews and in-depth stories. She will still have an anchor title.

And it's not exactly fair to say she's leaving quietly, since "World News" has emerged victorious in the weekly ratings race after years in second place behind the "NBC Nightly News," anchored by Brian Williams.

Sawyer has "done very well for ABC News -- she's beat Brian Williams in the all-important 25 to 54 age demo on which advertising is sold," Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast, a longtime media reporter, said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" earlier this summer.

Of the speculation about her departure, he said, "If they brought it up first, I'm sure she agreed, and if she agreed, I'm sure it was with a lot of sweeteners and her new gig is going to be pretty wonderful for her, I would suspect."

Once Sawyer steps down, all three nightly news anchors will once again be white men. Muir's publicized start date is next Tuesday, though he's expected to anchor on Labor Day as well.

Amy Robach will fill in on Thursday and Friday of this week.

Only a few fellow anchors can truly relate to Sawyer's position atop network news. One of them is Williams, who, while not a friend of Sawyer, knows her socially.

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