David Muir replaced Diane Sawyer on Labor Day, which, in news circles, qualifies as a soft launch. The question now is how much his network’s rechristened “ABC World News Tonight” will tip the balance toward soft news as well.
Although Muir received a plum promotion, the announcement made clear ABC’s priorities, and that when it comes to major events George Stephanopoulos – and the newly ascendant “Good Morning America” – is No. 1 not just in the morning race but in the network’s heart. In that respect, ABC News reinforced perceptions that anchoring a nightly newscast is no longer necessarily the top-dog slot in broadcast news, especially when the morning telecasts have more time to sell, and thus put more cash in the company’s pockets.
The struggle that looms, though, is whether that scenario will lead to a further softening of “World News,” pushing the broadcast closer to “Good Evening…
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