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ABC’s ‘World News with Diane Sawyer’ Debuts

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Diane Sawyer made her debut as the anchor of ABC’s “World News” this evening. Sawyer has filled-in on the newscast in the past, but this was her first night with her name in the program’s title.

“Good evening and it is so good to be here with you tonight,” she said at the start of the broadcast. She then introduced a segment, reported by Jonathan Karl, on the evening’s lead story: the health care reform bill. Sawyer was also joined on set by her “Good Morning America” successor, George Stephanopoulos, for a health care discussion. There was a slight technical glitch at the end of the first segment during Sawyer’s “tease” for segment two.

The program had a new appearance — with its first new graphics look in five years — and a new announcer, who takes over for longtime ABC News announcer Bill Rice.

Other stories included holiday travel problems and Sawyer’s interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a closing piece on whether holiday packages will make it to their destinations on time.

Sawyer closed the program acknowledging her predecessor: “And that is “World News” and for one last time for you Charlie Gibson, I hope you had a good day and a great night. I’m Diane Sawyer I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Sawyer, who previously anchored “Good Morning America,” was named Gibson’s successor after he announced his retirement from ABC News earlier this fall.

Gibson anchored his final “World News” broadcast on Friday. Sawyer’s final “GMA” broadcast was on December 11th.

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