New series will be led by Diane Sawyer

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pacted with ABC News on a new series called “Be the Change: Save a Life,” which will kick off in December and continue through 2011.

ABC is investing $4.5 million in personnel and production costs for the series, with a $1.5 million grant from the Gates foundation to help with production costs overseas.

Series will be led by Diane Sawyer and will include reporting from all ABC News anchors across all of the net’s news broadcasts and platforms.

ABC stressed that they maintained complete editorial control over the content of the series – outgoing news division prexy David Westin said that the net was “as always, committed to in-depth reporting on the global issues that matter to our audience.”

The Gates Foundation has upped its media profile in recent days, with a “60 Minutes” ep devoted to the org’s work in India airing last week, during which the org announced plans to give away $60 billion toward education and health issues, specifically targeting diseases like malaria and polio as well as infant mortality.

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