Syracuse native and Ithaca College alumnus David Muir will succeed Diane Sawyer as the anchor of ABC World News, according to multiple reports.

The New York Times reported about Muir, who gave IC’s commencement address in 2011:

“ABC News on Wednesday announced sweeping changes among its top news personalities, with Diane Sawyer to step down as anchor of the network’s evening newscast in August, replaced by David Muir, a rising star anchor at ABC. George Stephanopoulos, a co-host of “Good Morning America” and the host of the Sunday talk show “This Week,” will become the lead anchor for all breaking news coverage such as election nights.

The changes come as ABC News has mounted a wide-ranging challenge to NBC News as the ratings leader across numerous programs, having already topped NBC’s “Today” show as the dominant morning news program with “Good Morning America,” and edging past “Meet the Press” on Sundays with “This Week.”

Last month, the nightly “ABC World News” managed a rare win over “NBC Nightly News” among the viewers most desired by news advertisers, those between the ages of 25 and 54. (NBC still has a wide lead among total viewers in the newscast competition.)

ABC seems to be making an even more concerted effort to appeal to younger viewers with the appointment of Mr. Muir, who is only 40 years old. The changes at the newscast had been expected for some time, with Ms. Sawyer, who is 68, moving on to the next step in her television news career.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.