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Diane Sawyer confirms this is her last week on "GMA"

December 7, 2009 |  7:39 am

In her first public comments about her departure from “Good Morning America,” Diane Sawyer confirmed today that she will end her run on the ABC News morning show on Friday, a decade after joining the anchor desk for what was supposed to be a temporary assignment.

"I've calculated -- 2,881 shows," Sawyer said. "Roughly.”

Not that she’s counting. But there’s no question that Sawyer has long sought the ultimate post in broadcast news: to serve as evening news anchor and the face of the network. She finally will attain that post on Dec. 21, when she takes over “World News” from the retiring Charles Gibson.

“You really are giving up your day job,” said co-anchor Robin Roberts.

For the rest of this week, “Good Morning America” plans to recap highlights of Sawyer’s two decades at ABC. Roberts, who called Sawyer “my Thelma,” said “it is so difficult” to see her leave the program.

Left unsaid was who was expected to be Sawyer’s replacement in the morning. ABC executives are currently  in negotiations with “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos to take the job. “GMA” news anchor Chris Cuomo, who also was considered for the post, said today that Sawyer’s work on the show “makes us all proud.”

“It is amazing what we’ve seen you be able to do,” he said.

He then joked that the famously driven broadcaster was “not a perfect person.”

“Something as simple as driving,” Cumo said, introducing a video of Sawyer driving her “GMA” co-anchors, who cringed as she sped through a yellow light. “Take a look at the great Sawyer. ... She has no respect for traffic laws.”

-- Matea Gold

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