July 6th, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Shakeup at ABC News: what's the real story?

In the video above, Lloyd Grove and Brian Stelter dissect the transition at ABC News - David Muir in for Diane Sawyer on "World News," George Stephanopoulos as chief anchor for the whole network - and what it says about the future of the “star” newscaster.

Stelter said:

You've heard the story that ABC is telling about this big transition. Diane Sawyer wants to step down, ABC says, from "World News" to focus on big interviews and specials. So David Muir will take over in September, although frankly, it's sort of already taken over. Sawyer was on vacation all this week, so he was filling in.

And as for George Stephanopoulos, well, ABC's story is that he was not passed over for the top job. Rather, he will be the chief anchor for the whole network, coming in whenever there is big breaking news.

So, that's ABC's story, but I don't believe it, and neither do a number of my most reliable sources at ABC. For example, here's a big question that they are asking - why isn't Diane being guaranteed a certain number of primetime special each year, or being given her own production unit like Ann Curry got after being booted from the "Today" show?

Grove said 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." About the transition, 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."

Stelter and Grove also discussed the relationship between Muir and Stephanopoulos:

STELTER: Is there a rivalry, do you think, forming? Because my sense from the last ten days has been there's been a camp for George and there's a camp for David - each of them saying different things about how involved the other guy is going to be.

GROVE: I don't think there's a personal rivalry, at least not yet between George and David, certainly not the kind of personal rivalry as between Diane and Barbara Walters, but definitely the camps are working it hard. I mean, I've had heard from both camps myself, they think - the Muir camp thinks that George's role has been exaggerated in the press and, you know, George's camp thinks that, yes, I'm the lead anchor, or, he's the lead anchor.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
soundoff (16 Responses)
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  6. Mary James

    David Muir:
    I love your style of reporting. You are serious about the news and no giggling or laughing. Best of Luck to you.

    July 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  7. Julie West

    I was soooo glad to hear that Barbara Walters was retiring – but I hear she's still everywhere! She just won't go away! Robin and Diane Sawyer are sickening with their sweetness.

    July 7, 2014 at 11:20 am | Reply
  8. Julie West

    I no longer watch NBC or CBS. Way too liberal, silly, Obama-lovers. No real reporting. FOX is where it's at.

    July 7, 2014 at 11:19 am | Reply
  9. ann

    I stopped watching ABC nightly news years ago! way too left for me. I love a discussion and like to see other sides, but with ABC there is NO other side!!!

    July 7, 2014 at 9:46 am | Reply
  10. Michael Grandinetti

    Good luck to David. Good riddance to Sawyer and her syrupy sickening reading of the news. Get rid of grinning George.

    July 7, 2014 at 8:26 am | Reply
  11. rick

    Get back to reporting the news, not creating the news!

    July 7, 2014 at 7:53 am | Reply
  12. carolyn

    It should be very obvious why ABC news ratings are so low. This station will never report anything negative about the democrats and this currant administration. O'bama has had one fiasco after the other and ABC will give it minimal coverage. Since when do the media decide our election outcomes?? What ever happened to investigative reporting??. As long as ABC is biased against conservative candidates running for office, We'll stay with FOX NEWS where there is fair and balanced reporting.

    July 7, 2014 at 1:15 am | Reply
    • louise

      Fox Fair and Balance.......WHAT A JOKE....!!!

      July 7, 2014 at 7:41 am | Reply
    • Michael Grandinetti

      TV news is for entertainment purposes only.

      July 7, 2014 at 8:28 am | Reply
  13. rosavola

    The last gasp. I'm done. Never to watch them again. Goodbye, your time as a legit new source is done. Now just a right hand of the extreme left .

    July 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  14. david Creson

    Wow a discussion about nothing. Abc vice Nbc? Who watchs either????

    July 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Reply

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