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Diane Sawyer will anchor the ABC News national newscast “World News with Diane Sawyer” tonight and tomorrow from the rooftop of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Sawyer is in Phoenix to receive the school’s Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism at a luncheon Friday at the Arizona Biltmore, with more than 1,200 media, business, political and civic leaders joining Cronkite School students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters.
Last year, Brian Williams anchored the “NBC Nightly News” from Cronkite the evening before he received the Cronkite Award.
Sawyer also will speak to students in the First Amendment Forum of the Cronkite School on Friday morning before the luncheon ceremonies.
Last week, ABC News was at Cronkite for a seven-hour election town hall special that was anchored by David Muir of ABC News, Cronkite NewsWatch anchor Natalie Podgorski and Facebook Communications Director Randi Zuckerberg. That was streamed live on abcnews.com and Facebook and Sawyer, who was anchoring the network’s election night coverage, did several cut-ins from the Cronkite Theater.
The school has developed a strong partnership with ABC over the past five years under the leadership of Janice Todd, the general manager of ABC15 in Phoenix.
Todd, who serves on the Cronkite Endowment Board, championed the effort to bring Sawyer and ABC News to Cronkite. She also helped the Cronkite School become a founding school in the ABC News on Campus program and her station airs student-produced Cronkite News packages on the Saturday newscasts. Todd also has been instrumental in securing major grants from the Scripps Howard Foundation for the school’s diversity and high school recruitment efforts.
Sawyer, who will be the 27th recipient of the Cronkite Award, has traveled around the world, covering breaking news and delivering in-depth investigative reports. She took over from Charlie Gibson as the ABC News anchor in December – one of only two women who have served in that role. For 10 years, she was the popular co-anchor of “Good Morning America.”
Sawyer joined ABC News in February 1989 as co-anchor of “Primetime.” Prior to that, she spent nine years at CBS News, during which time she became the first female correspondent of “60 Minutes” and co-anchored the “CBS Morning News.”
She has reported on presidential elections, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina and was the first American journalist to report live from North Korea. Sawyer, who was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1997, has won dozens of awards, including duPonts, Emmys, Peabodys, an International Radio & Television Society Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.