AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Diane Sawyer has left the building. Or at least, moved to a different studio within it.
The veteran newswoman signed off from her duties as coanchor of Good Morning America this morning, bringing an emotional end to her 10-year tenure on the ABC chatfest.
"For one more time, good morning, America," she said at the start of the show. "I'm going to take the advice of that immortal philosopher Dr. Seuss, who said, 'Don't cry because it happened, smile because it happened.'
"And this morning I am beaming at all of you. My heart is smiling and the privilege of sharing my mornings with all of you has been more than I can say."
Before things got too emotional, however, they got funny. Thanks to some farewell tidings from David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Emeril Lagasse.
The late night hosts all appeared in a pretaped package sending their well-wishes to the World News-bound Sawyer.
"Hi Diane, it's me, Jim," Kimmel said. "I just want to say that I don't know why they fired you, but I want you to know that I'm never, ever gonna watch Good Morning America again and I hate everyone there now. Good luck with the new game show, it's gonna be OK."
"Hey Diane!" Fallon piped in. "You know how you always used to say that you couldn't hang out late at night cause you had to get up early for Good Morning America? Well now there's no excuses, it's Scattergories and Sambuca at my house, let's do it!"
Getting straight to the heart of the matter was Colbert.
"I'm going to miss you on Good Morning America. GMA was always the finest of the morning shows because you were there. You were bright, keen, intelligent, interested, engaging, plus you flirted like there was no tomorrow."
"Well, Diane, congratulations on moving from one ABC hit show to another ABC hit show," Ferguson snarled. "From all of us here at CBS, well done."
Dr. Oz and Lagasse, meanwhile, brought gifts to the departing doyenne, with the TV M.D. offering her a sleep-analysis machine ("You've never slept before!") and the TV chef bringing a spicy meatloaf sandwich. Here's hoping ABC splashed out a bit more on their parting gift.
As expected, the morning was chock-full of requisite retrospectives on Sawyer's GMA career, including her first day in 1999 with Charlie Gibson, her hard-hitting work in the field and, as it is breakfast television, some of her lighter moments as well (her failure to abide by traffic laws during a GMA carpool is a well-documented classic, but Diane Keaton's infamous impromptu F-bomb didn't quite make the cut).
Unsurprisingly, departing newsman Chris Cuomo got no such treatment. While today is also his last day, he got nary a goodbye mention or acknowledgment, save for a few pointed hand-holds from coanchor Robin Roberts.
In her goodbye to the woman Roberts dubbed "the queen of television," she thanked Sawyer for "your leadership, your guidance and your love for us all."
The show ended with the couch-sharing arrival of the new team, coanchor George Stephanopoulos and news reader Juju Chang.
"We're all friends here and it's wonderful to be with people we love," Sawyer said in welcoming the new kids.
As for what the newcomers expect…
"We'll do a full suck-up here, I am scared to death to follow you in this job," Stephanopoulos said. "I love GMA, I love the GMA audience, but I don't know it as well as you all."
Not so Chang, who already seems to know her audience.
"The hardest part of this job for me is knowing that my husband is picking out my kids' clothes every morning," she said.
The duo begins their first official day on the show on Monday.
Diane's not the only TV institution getting out of the talk biz. Check out the other grande dame of daytime in our Oprah's Memorable Moments gallery.