Diane Sawyer plays welcome wagon to Christiane Amanpour

diane-sawyer-abc-news-large.jpgDiane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour are among the leading women in television journalism, so the weeknight "ABC World News" anchor is happy the new "This Week" host is at her network now.

"I thought she had a wonderful opening show," Sawyer tells Zap2it of former CNN correspondent Amanpour's ABC premiere last Sunday (Aug. 1). "It was so strong. Her interviews with [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates, and her transitions, were extremely good.

"We've known her a long time," Sawyer adds. "She and I had a satellite interview before her show debuted, and neither of us could believe it: 'Here we are, together!' We were both very excited."

Sawyer will unite with nightly-news-anchor rivals Katie Couric (CBS) and Brian Williams (NBC) for the second "Stand Up to Cancer" information special and fundraiser Friday, Sept. 10, on numerous networks. She appreciates it being an event that puts professional competition in the background, especially since she maintains she "really doesn't" stay overly attentive to the ratings.

"We still have our own vision of what we hope to accomplish," Sawyer says, "and that's what matters to us most right now. Everyone imagines we're all in one room, but in fact, we've been in separate buildings. At first, it was a lot of wandering the halls, finding people and learning the rhythms of a new nightly broadcast ... as opposed to the rhythms I had learned in the morning [as co-host of ABC's 'Good Morning America']."

As the wife of veteran stage and screen director Mike Nichols ("The Graduate"), Sawyer proudly sat beside him as he received the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in June: "I mean, for Jack [ Nicholson] to come when the Lakers are playing? As Mike said on stage, there are few tributes equal to that.

"We always have a lot to talk about when I get home," Sawyer adds of Nichols. "We have never once not wished for more time to keep talking. He's a remarkable brain."

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Photo credit: ABC

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