Thursday, September 03, 2009

Daily Beast Item on Gibson Having Hissy Fit Over Sawyer Doesn't Add Up

Rebecca Dana Pretty Much Admits as Much, But Prints It Anyway

A Daily Beast post by Rebecca Dana on the Diane Sawyer coronation at ABC's World News quotes a source as saying Charles Gibson was "livid" upon hearing the news that Sawyer would take his place as anchor after he retires in January.
That's all we get on these alleged contretemps, for Dana then writes:
An ABC executive called this “nonsense,” and [ABC News President David] Westin said he told Gibson from their earliest conversations about his retirement that Sawyer would be his replacement.
No other anchors were even considered for the job.

We don't know who Dana's source is, of course. But no matter how reliable, if Dana thought about it for even a minute, she would have realized that the statement makes no sense.
Simply, who else is within the ABC stable who could seamlessly slide into the chair and have the name recognition demanded of the 7 million or so oldsters who still tune in? Even if Westin went outside the network, who's available that could keep people tuned in or even away from the competition?
CBS knew it didn't have a deep bench when it plucked Katie Couric from "Today" and those early wake-up calls for a cool 15 million per annum. John Roberts found that out the hard way, which is one reason he's at CNN.
ABC's in a similar pickle. Even putting aside Bob Woodruff's injury, his planned pairing with Elizabeth Vargas following the death of Peter Jennings felt more like a stopgap than a solution. Vargas could still be an option when Sawyer eventually hangs it up. Maybe others would be ready by then (Chris Cuomo? Bill Weir? Terry Moran? A player to be named later?). But for now, goose eggs.
Now, ABC has to fret over who replaces Sawyer on "Good Morning America," no small decision given its cash-cow status at the network. My thinking is that Weir or Kate Snow, his co-host on the "GMA" weekend editions, would make a great fit.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I think Diane Sawyer is the best choice to replace Gibson.