Martin Bashir is leaving ABC’s Nightline to join NBC News, where he will anchor an afternoon show on MSNBC and contribute to Dateline, according to Lisa de Moraes.
Mr. Bashir has big accomplishments, not to mention big ratings, under his belt. Mr. Bashir was responsible for the only televised interview with Princess Diana (according to NBC), and a 2003 interview with Michael Jackson for ABC in which Mr. Bashir asked Mr. Jackson about sharing his bed with a young boy. Twenty-seven million viewers watched in prime time.
“This is a rare and special opportunity — to host a daily news and current affairs show and also work on long-form journalism both at MSNBC and with ‘Dateline,'” Mr. Bashir said.
Losing Mr. Bashir is one of the first major changes to Nightline after ABC News president David Westin announced major changes to his staff in February. At the time, Mr. Westin told The Observer nobody’s salary, even the top anchors’, would be exempt from looming cuts. “I’m never going to talk about any individuals’ salaries, because it wouldn’t be fair,” he said. “But I can tell you without reservation, we’ve been addressing that for a few years now, quietly behind the scenes. The economic reality has affected everyone’s compensation.”
Bill Weir, a co-anchor on weekend Good Morning America, will replace Mr. Bashir on Nightline.