(Mar. 6, 12:35PM ET) -- TMZ has learned that Diane Sawyer told friends and ABC colleagues last week that she wants to anchor 'World News Tonight,' and stat.
Sources connected with ABC say Sawyer is convinced that Katie Couric is jumping ship to anchor 'The CBS Evening News,' and that she wants the seat at the ABC anchor desk before Couric starts.
Sources say there were numerous high-level meetings at ABC in New York this past Thursday and Friday, and that the Executive Producer for 'Good Morning America' was called in for some of them. The sources say that Charles Gibson, Sawyer's GMA co-anchor, was extremely unhappy last week that Sawyer wants to succeed Peter Jennings. It is unclear if Gibson is upset because he would lose his co-anchor or if he feels passed over for the evening anchor job. What is clear is that Gibson is unhappy.
We're told Elizabeth Vargas, who is currently anchoring the broadcast as her co-anchor Bob Woodruff recovers from a serious injury in Iraq, has gotten wind of Sawyer's intentions and has been asking "lots of questions."
One source connected with the network called Sawyer "obsessed" with getting the anchor job. The source adds that Sawyer feels that if Couric makes the move to CBS first, then Sawyer's place in broadcast history will be diminished.