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Diane Sawyer should keep her day job

September 2, 2009 | 12:07 pm

Diane Sawyer -- keep your day job.

The veteran journalist and cornerstone of ABC's "Good Morning America" is no doubt feeling pretty good today. After 20 years at the network, she has finally ascended to anchor of the network's evening broadcast "World News Tonight" and will succeed Charlies Gibson in January.

SAWYER Unfortunately, that's not the hot job in TV news anymore. While the evening newscasts still have a larger audience than the morning shows, the gap is not nearly as big as it once was. News is also not consumed the way it was when Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley were kings. It's nobody's fault. It's just the the changing nature of how viewers interact with media in the digital era.

Mornings, however, remain one of the few times of the day that television has a chance to hold and inform an audience and set the tone for the day. People like waking up with Matt and Meredith or Robin and Diane. We all get up at the same time, but we don't all get home at the same time. News is fresh in the morning and stale in the evening.

Furthermore, from a business standpoint, the morning shows are the cash cows for the news divisions while evening broadcasts are rapidly becoming relics of a bygone era. The morning shows attract a broader and younger audience and like it or not, that's what makes money. 

Of course, for Sawyer this is about cementing her legacy as a TV newswoman. But one could argue her legacy was set. She's done "60 Minutes," anchored "Good Morning America" and has been a key part of just about every major breaking story around the globe in the last 30 years. Yes, anchoring "World News Tonight" will make that Wikipedia entry a little longer, but the chair she covets has lost a lot of value over the last quarter of a century.

But it's not all bad. She gets to sleep in now, and she'll still get a great table for lunch at Michael's.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Diane Sawyer. Credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images