Hardly a day passes at ABC News without a report from David Muir. From his popular "Made In America" segments to on-the-scene reporting from Cairo's Tahrir Square and the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, the 39-year-old journalist keeps getting more airtime. He's added 20/20 to his weekend evening news anchor duties and is considered the odds-on favorite by many in the TV news business to succeed Diane Sawyer at World News. Time to get to know him better.
TV Guide Magazine: "Made In America" has really become a great franchise for you. Does it create any personal pressure on you in public? What if you want to go to Ikea?
David Muir: People come up to me all the time. I have to admit — I now look at the labels because I know it might make a difference and create a job down the street. We're not fools. We understand we're part of a global economy. To buy only American wouldn't help us survive either. But yeah, I for one believe in it more than I did a couple of years ago. I sort of have to because people are looking over my shoulder. I had a police officer come up to me at Starbucks and he said, 'Thank you for what you're doing for America.' This whole series was [asking]: in a slow economy, do we have any power in creating jobs? We've never said buy only American. We've only ever said if everyone bought only one thing [a year] it would make such a difference. I've never seen a reaction like what we've seen. I still get dozens of letters, e-mails and tweets every day. I get stuff from all over the country. I get invites to see their factories or their stores.
TV Guide Magazine: You've covered famines, revolutions, earthquakes and mass shootings. What do you do to block the stuff out when you get back home?
Muir: I've got a pair of Beats headphones that look ridiculously huge on my head. I just try to listen to some music. On my traveling playlist right now, I like "Madness" by Muse and "Adorn" by Miguel. But Chet Baker and Nina Simone are more my speed at the office.
TV Guide Magazine: You're 39, but you look very young. Do you still get carded?
Muir: That's started to stop. So I don't know what's happened to me. The one place you catch up on sleep is the flights. If I still look young to you, that's my only secret. I am probably the only person you will meet who gets excited about a 13-hour trip from Doha to New York because it means 13 hours without my Blackberry going off and I can get some sleep.
TV Guide Magazine: You got your start in the news business at a very young age.
Muir: I was a 12-year-old kid who wrote to the local news guy. And he wrote back to me: "competition in television news is keen, but there is always room for the right person." Ten years later I was sharing the anchor desk with him in my hometown, Syracuse. I was 21. I don't know whom I thought I was fooling, but they gave me the job. I started interning at 13 years old. They used to have a growth chart on the wall of the station — they made fun of me over how much I'd grown and how much my voice had dropped from summer to summer.
TV Guide Magazine: What does a 13-year-old news intern do?
Muir: I ripped the scripts. I carried the Cokes out of the soda machine. I carried this giant tripod. I did anything they wanted me to do. And that was Syracuse. I thought I was seeing the world back then. Who knew that I'd really be seeing the world now?