ABC News is making a generational change at the top of its evening newscast, replacing Diane Sawyer with 40-year-old understudy David Muir in an attempt to take a run at longtime ratings leader Brian Williams at NBC’s “Nightly News.”
ABC also announced Wednesday that George Stephanopoulos will add the role of chief anchor for live news events and election nights to his current jobs as “Good Morning America” co-host and host of the Sunday-morning “This Week” political show.
The exit of Sawyer, 68, is not unexpected. She will remain at ABC News to concentrate on doing prime-time specials and landing newsmaking interviews.
When Muir starts as “World News” top anchor on Sept. 2, it makes that role a men’s club at the broadcast networks again, as he joins Williams and Scott Pelley of the “CBS Evening News.”
McCartney recovered, ready to tour
Paul McCartney says he’s feeling fab and ready to rock ‘n’ roll.
The 72-year-old former Beatle posted a brief YouTube video Tuesday night saying he’s recovered from a virus that forced him to cancel shows in Japan and South Korea, and delay the opening of a U.S. tour.
He said the first U.S. show is set for July 5 in Albany, New York. The canceled U.S. dates have been rescheduled for September and October.
Brown fails to resolve assault case
Singer Chris Brown was close to resolving his assault case in a deal that would have kept him out of jail, but talks fell apart Wednesday when attorneys couldn’t agree on what Brown would acknowledge happened during a scuffle that led to his arrest.
Brown was arrested in October and charged with misdemeanor assault after a man accused the singer of hitting him when he tried to get in a photograph Brown was taking with two women outside a Washington hotel. At the time, Brown was on probation in California for a 2009 attack on singer Rihanna, his then girlfriend.
Prosecutor Kevin Chambers said in court that Brown rejected a deal to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault and receive a sentence of time served. Brown spent the night in jail in Washington after his arrest and also served time in California after acknowledging he violated probation by committing a crime in Washington. He was released from jail in early June.
A trial for Brown was scheduled for Sept. 8. It is expected to take a day and a half.
The birthday bunch
Actor Josef Sommer is 80. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 74. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 71. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 59. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 58. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 57. Country musician Eddie Perez (The Mavericks) is 46. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 44. Actor Nick Offerman is 44. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 40. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 35. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 34.