In his 2014 book, “10% Happier,” Dan Harris recounts a time when he stepped on to the set of ABC’s “Good Morning America” to do his anchor job there, and began suffering from an intense panic attack while on camera. In 2019, he seems much more confident.
Harris, who has been with ABC News since 2000 and one of the co-anchors of “Nightline” since 2013, will step back from his role at the late-night news program, citing a desire to tend to a growing business that has sprouted up around that book, which touts the benefits of meditation. Harris will remain as a co-anchor during the weekend edition of “GMA” and host an ABC News podcast inspired by the book.
“It is a high class problem: I simply have too many awesome things on my plate, between weekend GMA, Nightline, and the expanding 10% juggernaut (which, by the way, never would have come into being without an astounding level of support from ABC News),” Harris said in a note issued to colleagues Tuesday. “So why, given all the options, did I decide to drop the Nightline anchor gig? Because, frankly, you deserve an anchor who gives it his or her all. This team of amazing producers – who work all hours and travel all over the world – has the right to expect an on-air representative who is in the trenches with you day after day. And the circumstances of my life simply will not allow that right now.”
Harris will “continue to report his trademark powerful and important, deeply reported stories for Nightline and across ABC News,” ABC News President James Goldston said in a note to employees of the Walt Disney unit Tuesday.
“Nightline has long been distinguished by captivating storytelling and in-depth, tenacious journalism. I’m incredibly proud of [executive producer] Steve [Baker], [co-anchor] Juju [Chang],[co-anchor] Byron [Pitts] and the entire team for carrying that legacy into the future, including a new slate of documentary features to come.,” Goldston said.” There’s much more great work ahead from this stellar team.”
Harris isn’t the first ABC News correspondent to cede anchor duties in pursuit of other projects. In July of last year, Paula Faris announced she would step back from roles on “The View” and “GMA” in favor of doing more in-depth coverage and bigger stories.
Harris’ reporting trips have taken him from the slums of Rio to Papua, New Guinea, where he tracked tree kangaroos. “We have a huge amount of leeway,” he told Variety in a 2014 interview. Despite a bevy of changes made to “Nightline” over the years – including being bumped to a later time slot after “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the show is “sort of unkillable,” he said at the time. “You throw whatever you want at us and we’ll figure it out.”
Harris told colleagues he expects to continue doing “big, investigative stories” and vowed “I am not going away.”