THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
After 42 years of slugging it out in the trenches of broadcast journalism, Sawyer, 66, still manages to approach her craft with the purest of goals. “We want to give people the experience of other lives and empower Americans to make decisions about the life of their country,” says Sawyer, who’s married to director Mike Nichols.
“It’s that phrase, ‘Wow, I’m so glad I know that.’ That’s our goal; that’s a good day.” The anchorwoman’s nofrills approach to her work likely grew from a youth spent in Kentucky (which included a few tours in the beauty pageant circuit) and later working for the Republican Party as an aide to then-embattled President Nixon, whom she helped prepare for his historic interviews with British journalist David Frost.
The exposure led Sawyer to an early TV career as a CBS News correspondent, and in 1989, she moved to ABC News, where she was co-anchor of Primetime Live and GMA and, currently, is the only female anchor of ABC World News.
Never resting on her laurels, Sawyer netted two of the year’s most heartwrenching — and coveted — interviews: one with kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard in July and the other in November with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, following her recovery from an assassination attempt. Who is left on Sawyer’s must-meet list? “The pope,” she says. “Do you have his number?”