NEW YORK CITY — David Muir, who started his TV news career at Syracuse’s WTVH, has a new role with ABC News. Today, he’s been named the new co-host of the network’s weekly newsmagazine show, “20/20.” He’ll fill a vacancy left by Chris Cuomo, who has accepted a position at CNN.
ABC News President Ben Sherwood announced the changes to staff today. The email was posted as part of a press release on the ABC News website just before noon:
I’m writing with important news about our on-air team at “20/20.”
Starting today David Muir will join Elizabeth Vargas as co-anchor while continuing to anchor “World News” on the weekends and to substitute for Diane and report during the week.
For the last two years David has appeared on air more often than any correspondent at any news division, reporting from Tahrir Square to Fukushima to Tucson to Aurora.
David has been an authoritative presence at the anchor desk, most recently anchoring nearly five hours straight as we learned of the horrible events unfolding in Newtown.
Last year he logged thousands of hours on the road while covering the Romney campaign, crisscrossing the country numerous times. His interviews with Governor Romney often made headlines far beyond ABC News.
In 2011, he was the first American journalist to report from Mogadishu, where he covered the devastating famine in East Africa, taking viewers on a harrowing 100-mile trek from Somalia to food and freedom at refugee camps in Kenya. That effort earned him a prestigious Murrow award.
David has a true talent for connecting with our viewers, and his award-winning reporting will now find a new home at “20/20.” I’m delighted he’s bringing his ample storytelling skills to Friday nights in primetime, where Elizabeth and the team are delivering the biggest audience in years.
The news was also revealed on Twitter:
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) January 29, 2013
— David Muir (@DavidMuir) January 29, 2013
Muir got his first taste of TV as an intern at WTVH, while attending Onondaga Central Schools. After finishing high school, Muir went on to graduate from Ithaca College, and returned to Syracuse as a reporter and anchor for WTVH. From there, Muir’s next stop was ABC affiliate WCVB in Boston, before he arrived at ABC News in 2003.
As Sherwood’s memo mentioned, an independent report of network evening TV newscasts found Muir had more on-air time than any other reporter, both in 2012 and in 2011 — and that’s not counting his time as an anchor.
Since 2011, Muir has been the sole weekend anchor of ABC World News, and he is considered the primary backup for weeknight anchor Diane Sawyer.
“20/20” airs Friday nights at 10pm on ABC, including Syracuse affiliate WSYR-TV 9 and Utica affiliate WUTR 20. Muir share anchoring duties with Elizabeth Vargas, who has co-anchored the program since 2004.