“Good for Diane Sawyer,” said Michelle Cottle in The New Republic. The co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America will take over the ABC World News Tonight anchor chair from Charlie Gibson when Gibson retires in January. But kudos to CBS News anchor Katie Couric, too, for “blazing this trail and taking all the abuse that the first solo female anchor was destined to take.” Sawyer won’t get near the same level of “scrutiny—or abuse.”
That’s true, but not just because Couric’s already bloodied her hand punching through the “glass ceiling,” said Joshua Alston in Newsweek. Sawyer will be able to learn from Couric’s mistakes, but she’s also a much more “seasoned newswoman,” with a “gravitas”—and a “grave voice”—that Couric lacks. “Couric cut her teeth at Today”; Sawyer got her start working in Nixon’s press shop.
Diane Sawyer’s not thinking about Katie Couric, said Jon Friedman in MarketWatch. She’s “taking dead aim at toppling nightly news leader Brian Williams of NBC.” There’s still “ample prestige” in winning the nightly news ratings war, and ABC is betting that Sawyer’s “experience and charm” can finally knock NBC out of the top slot.
There may be prestige in the nightly news, but morning shows are the “cash cows for the news divisions,” said Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times. They’re also where TV journalists can have the most impact—today’s “news is fresh in the morning and stale in the evening.” There’s no doubt that Sawyer has earned the anchor chair, but she should have kept her “day job.”