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Revolving Door

‘World News’ Handoff Begins

SawyerMuirAt the end of tonight’s “World News,” Diane Sawyer talked about her upcoming transition off the show and introduced her replacement. “I love every night I get to spend with you,” said Sawyer, “and I’m so happy that someone you know well is going to be at the helm of ‘World News’ starting September 2nd. David Muir is going to be anchor, managing editor sitting right here at this desk.”

Added Muir, “For everyone in this studio, everyone in the control room, down in the newsroom, they know that you’re the captain here, they know you have led us.”

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The ‘Subliminal Message’ Behind David Muir’s Ascent to ‘World News’ Anchor

david muirCome September, three white men will anchor the three network evening newscasts. Is it 2005 — or 1975 — all over again? Some think so.

“The evening news anchors are the face of the network,” says Karen Turner, an associate professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia, whose research focuses on race in the news. “In this growing multicultural nation, it’s unconscionable that as of September three white men will lead their respective networks.”

Brian Williams, 55, has been anchor of “NBC Nighty News” since 2004, he took over for Tom Brokaw who had been anchor since 1982, and John Chancellor before that. Scott Pelley, who turns 57 next month, has been at the helm of “CBS Evening News” since May, 2011. That broadcast was anchored by Katie Couric for the previous 5 years, and by Bob Schieffer, Dan Rather (briefly paired with Connie Chung) and Walter Cronkite in earlier years.

Muir, 40, takes over for Diane Sawyer who has been anchor since 2009. Sawyer came in following the retirement of Charles Gibson who, in 2006, succeeded the anchor team of Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas. The Woodfuff-Vargas pairing lasted only a few weeks following the serious injuries sustained by Woodruff in an attack in Iraq.

“Certainly Pelley, Williams and now Muir are accomplished journalists,” Turner adds. “However, the subliminal message this sends is these — white males — are the legitimate faces that should represent America.”

Diane Sawyer Leaving ‘ABC World News;’ David Muir Takes Over as Anchor and Managing Editor

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Breaking: ABC’s Diane Sawyer is stepping down from anchoring “World News” and will focus on primetime specials, big interviews, and enterprise reporting for the network. David Muir, who has been sole anchor of the “World News” weekend editions since 2011, will take over as anchor and managing editor of the flagship broadcast on September 2. Muir, 40, will continue to co-anchor “20/20″ with Elizabeth Vargas.

Also announced today, “Good Morning America” co-host and “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos takes on the new role of chief anchor of ABC News. He’ll lead special reports, breaking news and election night coverage for the network as well as continuing with “GMA” and “This Week.”

Insiders tell us Sawyer began talking with former ABC News president Ben Sherwood late last year about a transition from the anchor desk. With the retirement of Barbara Walters last month, Sawyer will now take on some of the specials and interviews that for years were part of Walters’ stock in trade.

Under Sawyer, “World News” has been gaining on “NBC Nightly News.” The broadcast won the May sweeps in the A25-54 demo for the first time in more than 6 years. Sawyer, who began anchoring “World News” in December 2009, is the second woman to solo anchor a network nightly newscast, following Katie Couric‘s 2006-2011 run at “CBS Evening News.” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” maintains a one million viewer lead most nights on “World News” and hasn’t lost a week among total viewers in nearly 5 years.

The Sawyer, Muir and Stephanopoulos news is at the top of the agenda of ABC News president James Goldston‘s morning editorial meeting. We’ll have details if/when we get them this morning. A replacement for Muir on the weekend newscasts will come at a later date.

Subrata De Leaves MSNBC for ABC News

SubrataDeABCSubrata De is joining ABC News as VP of newsgathering, TVNewser has learned.  De takes over for Kate O’Brian who left ABC last year after being named president of Al Jazeera America.

De joins from MSNBC where she had been the EP of “Andrea Mitchell Reports” since January 2012. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to work with her,” Mitchell said on De’s final show May 23. Before joining MSNBC, De was Brian Williams‘ producer, traveling with him across the country and around the world.

De started at NBC News in 1998.

More: A note from ABC News president James Goldston, which includes expanded roles for two other ABCNewsers, after the jump…

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Vinnie Politan Leaving HLN

politan.vinnieVinnie Politan is leaving HLN to join the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, TVNewser has confirmed. News of Politan’s departure was first reported by Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“Vinnie has been a tremendous asset to HLN over the years.  We thank him and wish him only the best,” an HLN spokesperson told TVNewser.

Politan currently hosts “HLN Now: On the Case” weekdays from 2pm-5pmET. Before that, he was the anchor of several former HLN shows, including  “Prime News,” “After Dark” and “Making it in America.” Politan had also worked at HLN sister network truTV as the host of the “In Session” trial coverage, which ended last year. He joined Court TV (later rebranded as truTV) in 2001 and left in 2008, only to rejoin the network in 2009.

Politan’s last day at HLN will be July 3. TVSpy has more on his hire at WXIA.

Politan’s departure is the latest shakeup to HLN, which has seen lots of change over the past several months. Under Albie Hecht’s leadership, the network has rebranded itself as the television home for the social media generation, shuffling programming in primetime and daytime. Last week, it was reported that Time Warner is considering merging HLN with Vice.

Julianna Goldman Jumps from Bloomberg to CBS News

GoldmanJJulianna Goldman is joining CBS News as a Washington correspondent, TVNewser has learned.

Goldman, currently the White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, joins CBS in August. The Maryland native and Barnard College/Columbia University grad, has spent her entire professional career at Bloomberg, starting out in Customer Support, before moving on to the TV side as a segment producer, then Congressional reporter before joining the White House beat in 2010.

Goldman will once again be working with CBS News president David Rhodes who previously was head of U.S. TV for Bloomberg.

Mary Alice Williams Named Anchor of NJTV

MaryAliceWilliamsNBC News and CNN alum Mary Alice Williams has been named anchor of NJTV News, a nightly news broadcast on New Jersey’s public television network. Current anchor and managing editor Mike Schneider will remain with the show as a Senior Correspondent

“The broadcast has grown exponentially during Mike’s tenure. He has further established his legacy as a trusted source of vital news and as being one of the best interviewers in the business,” said NJTV News Executive Producer Phil Alongi. “Mary Alice is a consummate professional who has blazed trails in this business,”

With CNN, Williams oversaw the construction of CNN’s New York Bureau prior to the launch of the network in 1980. She served as New York Bureau Chief and in 1982 was appointed Vice president, becoming one of the highest ranking female executives in TV news. She reported on politics for CNN and co-hosted the first iteration of “Inside Politcs” with Bernard Shaw. Williams moved to NBC News in 1989 where she co-hosted news magazine specials and later co-anchored Sunday “Today.”

(Photo: Michael Stahl Portraits)

Mary Noonan Joins ABC News

NOONANMary Noonan has joined ABC News as VP of Talent and Development, reporting to SVP Barbara Fedida. Noonan joins from CNBC where she produced documentaries, helping the long form unit win a Murrow award in 2012. Noonan joined CNBC in 2011 from CBS News where she’d spent 23 years in a variety of roles. Noonan started out in 1988 as an assistant at newsmagazine “West 57th,” then moved on to “60 Minutes” and later “48 Hours” before being named Director of Talent Development for CBS News.

John Muller, Diana Perez Leaving ABC News

John MullerJohn Muller is leaving ABC News to re-join his former station, WPIX in New York City. In his three years with ABC, Muller has been the anchor of “World News Now” and “America This Morning” and a correspondent across all the network’s platforms.

TVSpy has more on the move.

>Update: It turns out “World News Now” will also need to replace Diana Perez, who announced on the show last week that she is leaving ABC News to devote more time to her family. “I’m going home to be a mommy,” Perez said. “This is one of those decisions that is always difficult. I intend to come back eventually, but this is kind of primetime for my kids. They are so small.” [h/t Inquisitr]

Cristina Alesci Jumps From Bloomberg to CNN

cristina alesciAfter five years at Bloomberg TV, Cristina Alesci is joining CNN and CNNMoney as a correspondent. She begins in her new role next month.

“At CNN she’ll join our talented roster of business news reporters and anchors as we reshape and relaunch CNNMoney across all platforms to deliver the money news that matters most to you,” CNN director of U.S. business news Caleb Silver wrote in a note to staff this morning. “Cristina was responsible for breaking news on some of the biggest and most competitive takeover battles, private equity deals and bankruptcies of the last five years, including the struggle for Dell, the buyout of Neiman Marcus and the collapse of MF Global.”

Before joining Bloomberg in 2009,  Alesci worked at Pfizer and law firm Sidley Austin LLP.

Read Silver’s note after the jump. Read more

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