Louisville woman reflects on Diane Sawyer interview opportunity


by Rodney Spencer


Posted on June 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Her name is Lila Diane Sawyer but most of us simply know her as, Diane.

She’s been the face of ABC World News for the past 5 years but Wednesday morning she announced she’s stepping down.

Sawyer’s television news career began right here in Louisville. Shortly after she was born, Diane and her family relocated from Glasgow and moved to a home on Sterling Road just off Taylorsville Road.

It was back in 2010 when Diane returned home for a special ABC News report. That’s when Anne Smith had the chance to speak with her one-on-one.

“You can tell when she's out in the field whether it's a war zone or whatever she gets close to the people she's talking with and I think she really cares,” Smith said.

Smith was interviewed by Diane and the ABC news team about her non-profit organization, MUSCL which helps low income households.

As part of that special, Brad Walker of the Brown Hotel was also interviewed by Sawyer. In the midst of a recession, the hotel refused to lay off any employees.

“She was gracious, she was down to earth, she was friendly, [and] she wandered around the hotel and chatted with some of the other staff,” Smith said.

WHAS11 also interviewed Saywer in 1993 profiling her successful career.

“I think what you see with her is what you get.  I don't think there's a professional pretender celebrity persona. Very soft spoken and opinionated, she knows what she wants but umm a very gentle spirit,” Smith said.

Smith says if she had to describe Sawyer in one word she would say kind. She believes it goes right along with compassion.

Diane Sawyer’s Timeline:

-    Was born in Glasgow, Kentucky in 1945
-    Attended Seneca High School where she working on the school newspaper and graduated in 1963
-    Graduated Wellesley College in Massachusetts with an English degree in 1967
-    She went through one semester of law school at the University of Louisville before turning to Journalism
-    She got her first journalism professional career started at WLKY as a news and weather reporter
-    Sawyer became a White House press aide and literary assistant to president Richard Nixon
-    She landed her first network job in 1981 as anchor of CBS This Morning
-    Sawyer transferred to ABC in 1989 as co-anchor of Primetime Live