In this July 9, 2009 file photo, Diane Sawyer attends the premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince', in New York.
Women will anchor two of the three major network evening newscasts — still considered the premier jobs in the television news business — after ABC said Wednesday that Diane Sawyer will replace Charles Gibson, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Until Katie Couric became "CBS Evening News" anchor in September 2006, no woman had held the job done by broadcast legends like Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Dan Rather alone. Barbara Walters, Connie Chung and Elizabeth Vargas have done it only when teamed with men.
Sawyer's hiring is a "watershed moment," said the Women's Media Center.
"Diane Sawyer's expertise and professionalism are without question," said Carol Jenkins, president of the Women's Media Center. "We look forward to her debut in January, and to the changes in the perceptions of women's capabilities her reign will bring."
Sawyer called the job "an enormous honor." She'll start in January.
"Diane is one of the hardest-working people I know and this new assignment is the latest achievement in an already accomplished and illustrious career," said Couric, who competed against Sawyer as a host of NBC's "Today" show. "And as I did, I'm sure that she'll quickly find that she doesn't miss that early morning alarm clock."