TV

Diane Sawyer, Gwen Ifill absent from network election coverage

  •  (Reuters)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015 file photo, Diane Sawyer arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Los Angeles. Sawyer, the former "World News Tonight" anchor, was announced last week as part of ABC News' elections coverage. Sawyer was backstage at ABC's Times Square studio Tuesday but never made it on the air. ABC's plan was for Sawyer to appear after the race had been called to offer historical perspective, but as it got later in the evening and a winner hadn't been declared, she left, spokeswoman Julie Townsend said. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015 file photo, Diane Sawyer arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Los Angeles. Sawyer, the former "World News Tonight" anchor, was announced last week as part of ABC News' elections coverage. Sawyer was backstage at ABC's Times Square studio Tuesday but never made it on the air. ABC's plan was for Sawyer to appear after the race had been called to offer historical perspective, but as it got later in the evening and a winner hadn't been declared, she left, spokeswoman Julie Townsend said. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

Two broadcast journalists expected to have roles in their networks' election coverage — Gwen Ifill and Diane Sawyer — were instead missing from their PBS and ABC teams.

PBS announced last week that Ifill, the "NewsHour" co-anchor with Judy Woodruff, would be taking unspecified time off for health reasons. Ifill, 61, was out for two months last spring. She has not revealed the nature of her illness.

Sawyer, the former "World News Tonight" anchor, was announced last week as part of ABC News' elections coverage. A handful of retired or semi-retired anchors, including CBS' Bob Schieffer, NBC's Tom Brokaw and ABC's Charles Gibson, were on the air election night.

Sawyer was backstage at ABC's Times Square studio Tuesday but never made it on the air. ABC's plan was for Sawyer to appear after the race had been called to offer historical perspective, but as it got later in the evening and a winner hadn't been declared, she left, spokeswoman Julie Townsend said.

ABC called the race for Trump as he gave his victory speech, near 3 a.m. EST.