World News Now
|World News Now|
|Also known as||ABC World News Now|
|Genre||Overnight news program|
|Created by||David Bohrman|
|Presented by||T.J. Holmes (2014–present)
Reena Ninan (2014–present)
(for past anchors, see section)
|Theme music composer||Yanni (1992–2001)
Score Productions (2004–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||24|
|Location(s)||ABC News Headquarters, New York City, New York|
|Running time||90 minutes
(aired in tape-delayed loop)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||January 6, 1992– present|
|Related shows||America This Morning|
World News Now (or WNN) is an American overnight television news program that is broadcast on ABC. Airing during the early morning hours each Monday through Friday, the program features a mix of general news and off-beat stories, along with weather forecasts, sports highlights, feature segments, and repurposed segments and story packages from other ABC News programs; its tone is often lighthearted, irreverent and humorous.
Created by its original executive producer, David Bohrman, a number of well-known news personalities have anchored WNN early in their careers, including original anchors Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee, Thalia Assuras, Kevin Newman, Alison Stewart, Liz Cho, Anderson Cooper and current World News Tonight anchor David Muir. As of October 2014[update], the program is primarily co-anchored by T.J. Holmes and Reena Ninan, who also anchor the network's early-morning news program America This Morning.
WNN is divided into four segment blocks ("A", "B" "C" and "D") that start with national and international news headlines incorporating some pre-taped reports (with some live wraparounds) from ABC NewsOne correspondents or repeated reports from the network's evening news program ABC World News. The "A"-block also features a national weather forecast (significant weather stories are also reported during the broadcast through analysis from meteorologists employed with AccuWeather, which provides forecasts for ABC's owned-and-operated stations) and an often humorous "kicker" story that ends the block. The "B," "C" and "D" blocks usually feature a mix of stories from Nightline or the BBC, or other live-to-tape or pre-taped segments produced in-studio, depending on the day of the week.
- 1 History
- 2 Production
- 3 Scheduling
- 4 Anchors
- 5 Criticism
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In late 1991 and early 1992, ABC, CBS and NBC each created their own overnight general news programs (with the ABC program competing with the latter two networks' Up to the Minute and Nightside, respectively, those two in particular replaced more news/interview formatted programs) to compete for viewer demand that was driven originally by CNN's 24-hour coverage of the Gulf War, and to supply local affiliates with overnight programming. Until the creation of these news programs, owned-and-operated and affiliate stations of the three networks commonly filled overnight timeslots with movies and/or syndicated programs, while some others simply signed off the air for the night. The original working title for the program was World News Overnight; ABC News executives chose to rename the program World News Now prior to the first broadcast.
The program debuted on January 6, 1992, with Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee as its original anchors. Later that year, the production staff of World News Now took over production responsiblities for the network's early-morning news program World News This Morning, with both programs sharing anchor staffs as a result. After McRee's departure from World News Now in January 1993 (at which time Brown anchored solo until he was joined in May of that year by Thalia Assuras, who eventually became the program's longest-serving anchor until her departure from ABC for CBS News in 1998), the program would begin experiencing significant turnover with its anchor staff that continues to this day.
In the tradition of NBC News Overnight (the predecessor to original rival NBC Nightside), World News Now has featured serious as well as offbeat news stories interspersed with odd features such as the "World News Polka" (played by comedian Barry Mitchell on the accordion), video footage of dancing camels on Wednesdays (for "Hump Day"), and laughter coming from off-camera. Weather predictions were made for obscure and exotic places around the world; some of the locales have had various ties to the show, while some have had pop culture significance, including Cicely, Alaska and Twin Peaks, Washington.
The program also often replays story packages from other ABC News programs such as Nightline and World News Tonight. It has been an apparent training ground for new news anchors (see list below) who eventually go on to higher-profile positions with the network or local affiliates. The show is also unique for its interactive segments, some of which pioneered the email communication that is commonly used on television newscasts today. The ABC News WNN message board has offered viewers questions and comments from the anchors themselves, during the course of the show.
On November 23, 1995, World News Now became the first television program to be broadcast live on the Internet, using the CU-SeeMe interface. Victor Dorff, a producer of WNN at the time, arranged to have the show simulcast on the Internet daily for a six-month trial period. CU-SeeMe was also used in a taped interview segment in which anchor Kevin Newman and Global Schoolhouse director and founder Yvonne Marie Andres discussed the future of computers in communication.
World News Now was used as the prototype for Fred, ABC's plan to operate a cable news channel. The plan was floated by network management in 1995 and was later dropped within a couple of years due to issues with cable carriage, including competition with the recently launched MSNBC and Fox News Channel.
In the fall of 1998, ABC News entered into a labor dispute, resulting in support employees being locked out from the news division's headquarters for several months. While World News This Morning continued to be produced in New York City with substitute production staff, production of World News Now was moved to the news division's London bureau. Mark Mullen returned to anchor WNN during the last month of the lockout.
Following is CU-SeeMe trial, World News Now later attempted another webcast; between 1999 and 2001, the program was streamed live for free on the ABC News website. In 2005, the free behind-the-scenes webcast returned. Among the anchors of the broadcast during this period was David Muir, who eventually became co-anchor of the newsmagazine 20/20 and became anchor of the weekday editions of World News Tonight in August 2014, who co-anchored World News Now from July 2003 to August 2004 (originally with Andrea Stassou and later with Tamala Edwards).
On June 8, 2006, ABC White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz learned of the death of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi near Baqubah, Iraq. Upon confirmation of the tip, ABC ran a special report at 2:38 a.m. Eastern Time, helmed by WNN anchors Ron Corning and Taina Hernandez. The show, which is normally repeated on tape after the initial broadcast, instead went live in all time zones and into the early-morning news program World News This Morning. The on-air and behind-the-scenes staff stayed on-air until Good Morning America began and took over coverage of the story at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
In January 2007, World News Now celebrated its 15th anniversary, with the brief resurrection of the National Temperature Index (see below) and a new version of the "World News Polka". On August 2, 2007, WNN abandoned its normal format and ran nearly continuous coverage of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse that occurred in Minneapolis the day before; coverage on the program was anchored by Hernández and Stephanie Sy, and continued into America This Morning.
Taina Hernandez left the show on December 18, 2007, in order to spend more time with her children, while Ryan Owens announced on February 29, 2008, that he would be leaving the show to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News. During the week of January 7, 2008, WNN celebrated its 16th anniversary on the air with retrospective segments on the early days of the broadcast and its anchors. Jeremy Hubbard was named co-anchor of World News Now on March 17, 2008, with Vinita Nair being named as Hubbard's co-anchor on September 17 of that year.
On September 22, 2009, World News Now became the first network overnight newscast to begin broadcasting in high definition.
On July 9, 2010, Jeremy Hubbard left WNN to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News; he was replaced as Nair's co-anchor on the program by Rob Nelson. In Hubbard's honor, the World News Now staff looked back at his time with the program and as is tradition when an anchor leaves the show, Hubbard had a picture of his likeness raised into the ABC News rafters. There was also a polka, sung to Hubbard's dog Jake, and Jeremy received a cutout of his likeness as a going away present while also welcoming his replacement, Rob Nelson.
On January 24, 2011, World News Now debuted new graphics for all of the program's segments and began using a new set, a side view of the existing set of ABC World News. On February 17 of that year, Nair announced that she would be departing as co-anchor of World News Now after the next night's broadcast; the February 18 edition paid tribute to Nair in each of its three segments, including appearances from current and former colleagues including Jeremy Hubbard. Her legacy was to treat the crew to a hot breakfast on her last day. A brief send-off by Nelson to Nair was also given at the conclusion of America This Morning. Correspondent Peggy Bunker (then a former anchor at Fox affiliate KDVR, where Jeremy Hubbard incidentally is now employed) was named as interim successor.
On March 11, 2011, the program provided live coverage (in all time zones) of the devastating Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, featuring updates and pictures from NHK World; the coverage continued during America This Morning and Good Morning America. On July 21, 2011, Bunker announced that she would be leaving World News Now after the July 22 broadcast, which acknowledged her departure in the first and last of its three, half-hour segments during that following night. In addition, a brief send-off by Nelson to Bunker (who subsequently became morning and midday anchor at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV) was given at the conclusion of America This Morning.
Beginning on July 25, 2011, ABC News correspondents Tanya Rivero, Diana Alvear and Linsey Davis began rotating as co-anchors alongside Nelson until a permanent co-anchor was named; this lasted until Rivero was named sole co-anchor of the program on September 19, 2011. On October 14, 2011, Rivero shifted to a correspondent role on ABC's daytime news programs and was replaced by correspondent Yunji De Nies as a substitute anchor beginning the following day. On October 27, 2011, Paula Faris was named co-anchor of World News Now, taking over the role on January 2, 2012.
On January 6, 2012, the program celebrated its 20th anniversary. Clips and outtakes of the first two decades of WNN were shown throughout that night's broadcast. On June 11, 2012, the longtime "Morning Papers" segment was replaced by "The Mix," which instead of featuring offbeat headlines from various national and international newspapers, focused on stories trending online.
On January 18, 2013, Paula Faris announced that she would be departing World News Now after the January 22 broadcast; on the night Faris left the program, a brief send-off by Nelson to Faris was given at the conclusion of America This Morning. Diana Perez was named as Faris's successor. On March 12, 2013, Rob Nelson announced that he would be leaving the program effective March 15, 2013 to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News. John Muller was named as successor.
Marci Gonzalez filled in for Diana Perez while she was on maternity leave from January 6 to March 26, 2014. Perez later announced on May 29, 2014 that she was leaving World News Now to spend time with her family; John Muller and the staff celebrated her tenure in all three half-hour segments during the May 30 editions, including a visit by former co-anchor Rob Nelson, who remarked that she was the last of 16 co-anchors he had served with on WNN. On June 12, 2014, John Muller announced he was leaving the program to become evening news anchor at New York City CW affiliate WPIX (where he had served as its morning anchor from 2000 until he joined ABC News in 2008). In October 2014, T.J. Holmes and Reena Ninan were appointed as co-anchors of World News Now and America This Morning.
Airs live beginning at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
|A||Top stories and national weather|
|B||Presentation of packaged segment.|
|D||"Skinny Bonus Round" (optional), "Friday Rewind" (Fridays only)|
Airs live beginning at 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
|A||Top stories and national weather|
|D||"Insomniac Theater" (Monday and Friday)|
Pre-recorded at 1:30 a.m. Eastern Time, airs beginning at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.
|A||Top stories and national weather|
(abbreviated on Friday mornings, when it is followed by the "World News Now Polka")
- Top Stories – a summary of national and international stories
- Weather – a summary of expected weather conditions and high temperatures for the upcoming day
- Kicker story – a selected off-beat or human interest story
- What to Watch – A summary of stories to follow throughout the day (2009–present)
- Our Favorite Story of the Day – a segment usually featuring a human interest or off-beat story (2012–present)
- The Skinny – a segment focusing on entertainment news, celebrity gossip and pop-culture (2011–present)
- The Mix – a soft news segment features off-beat stories, viral video clips and funny photographs (2012–present)
"B," "C" and "D"-blocks
After the A-block, the rest of the half-hour is produced using the following segments:
- Nightline – a rebroadcast of the primary story package from the previous night (or if aired on a Monday, the previous Friday)'s edition of Nightline.
- This Week (Monday mornings only) – a broadcast of the political discussion program's "Roundtable" segment, featuring a debate of pundits from both sides of politics.
- ABC News Vault – a look back at how ABC News covered a story of historical importance, which usually corresponds to the date of the broadcast.
- American Landscape – Team coverage of a major national or international story from the perspective of a local ABC owned-and-operated station or affiliate that covered it, with excerpts from that station's newscasts (commonly the late evening newscast). The segment, which is now rarely seen, is often edited for time (this is noticeable due to sudden jumps of the time/temperature bug used by certain stations whose segments are sourced, and jumps between and during story packages).
- GizWiz – Dick DeBartolo talks about and demonstrates the newest gadgets and technology.
- Viewers' Voice – a segment in which the anchors read viewer opinions about a specific topic from the program's Facebook page or e-mail inbox.
- Insomniac Theater – Appearing on Mondays, the segment features a World News Now staff member giving their review (from a score of 1 to 5) of a recent movie release. This segment is ad-libbed and usually contains a SOT from the movie EPK. Previously, the films were reviewed by the anchors.
- Insomniac Kitchen – WNN anchors visit a local New York City restaurant to get ideas for late-night snacks that viewers can make at home.
- Friday mornings close with some version of the "World News Polka" – usually performed by the song's composer, comedian Barry Mitchell (most commonly, the version recorded in 1997) – aired while the show's production credits are scrolled.
- When a full-time anchor of World News Now finally leaves the program, a ceremony of sorts is held on their last broadcast. As the first few anchors moved on, cardboard cutouts were placed in the rafters of the studio for the "Anchor Hall of Fame." Today, this is done with a graphics sequence of a head-shot of the anchor moved into a graphic of the original set's rafters and monitors.
- Randomly, throughout the broadcast, a "new e-mail" sound effect will be heard. This is then followed by the ABC News announcer Bill Rice reading aloud an e-mail from a viewer. The anchors then respond (sometimes humorously) to the message.
- The National Temperature Index (NTI) – WNN featured the National Temperature Index (NTI), which is the sum of the day's forecast high temperatures for Boston, Massachusetts; Casper, Wyoming; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Fargo, North Dakota; Las Vegas, Nevada; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Seattle, Washington. The NTI appeared during nightly weather segments until January 6, 2003. It was reintroduced on January 5, 2007, but was dropped again one month later in mid-February. The NTI was originally discontinued when staff meteorologist Gerard McNiff revealed the method used for its calculation to San Francisco Bay Area meteorologist Jan Null, who published the formula in the San Jose Mercury News.
- Leah at the Movies – a movie review segment in which now-former People magazine film critic Leah Rozen gave her top picks for the week's new feature film releases, along with box office projections.
- Their News Now – a segment in World News Now anchors would check in with news producers at local ABC affiliates around the country each night to see what stories they were working on in their local market. This was usually rotated between four or five local markets, which included Seattle and Denver, and was discontinued sometime in 2005 when "American Landscape" was expanded to a nightly segment.
- World News Now "InsomniACTS" – a music performance segment featuring local jazz bands, typically from around the New York City area, that were invited into the studio to play a number on-air.
- World News Knows – featured on some nights, a quick trivial knowledge fact was flashed on-screen following the conclusion of a commercial break.
- WNN also featured a full sportscast, which became a scene of comedic fodder for many anchors on the show since many of them did not have a great deal of experience calling sports highlights. This was later replaced by a scoreboard graphic displaying sports scores coming out of a commercial break, leaving time for more general segments.
- Asia Business Now – a daily segment summarizing overnight business news headlines from Asia, provided by an anchor from Japanese broadcaster NHK; this was referenced in the early versions of the "World News Polka" as "business news from Tokyo."
- Financial News from the BBC – a business news segments featuring anchors from the BBC (regularly reported by Declan Curry), presenting an update on the European financial markets from the London Stock Exchange; the BBC presenters typically stood in front of a video wall looking out on a London intersection, and sometimes a small counter at the bottom of the screen would note the number of double-decker buses that passed by in the background.
- World News Then – a presentation of news stories and segments from the ABC News program archives that related to or contrasted with a current event; as a bonus, the feature would also often include one of two commercials that aired during the original broadcast.
- Morning Papers – a segment featuring several different off-beat stories or funny pictures found in newspapers around the world; it was replaced in 2012 by "The Mix", which is a more modern version using online stories (some of which may come from a newspaper's website).
The show is produced and airs in three half-hour segments from 1:30 to 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time each Monday through Friday morning, and is transmitted in a continuous 90-minute tape delayed loop until 8:00 a.m. Eastern, when America This Morning begins in certain areas of the Pacific Time Zone. America This Morning airs live to the network at 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time (and uses the same production and anchor staff as World News Now, although the program is branded as a tie-in to Good Morning America) and is also tape delayed for many ABC stations. Most ABC stations do not air the entire program loop of WNN and preempt portions of the program in favor of airing locally slotted programming (usually infomercials or syndicated programs) – joining the program in progress anywhere from five minutes to as much as two hours after the start of the newscast – with affiliates looping the show until America This Morning airs.
Although most ABC stations clear World News Now, a small number of affiliates do not air the program:
- Although Boston affiliate WCVB-TV (owned by Hearst Television) airs WNN, satellite provider Bell TV and fiber optic television provider Bell Fibe TV (both owned by BCE, Inc.) chose to pre-empt the program's broadcast over WCVB since the fall of 2010 for unknown reasons, replacing it with infomercials instead.
- Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO-TV (also owned by Hearst) has aired the program since its debut; however from November 2010 to September 2012, it preempted the Monday edition of the program to air syndicated programming and infomercials – a pre-emption that resulted from the expansion of the station's weekday morning newscast to 4:30 a.m., which resulted in the station pushing America This Morning ahead by a half-hour (prior to November 2010, the station aired a 25-minute block of the Monday edition joined in progress in-between an infomercial and America This Morning). KOCO began airing the full 90-minute block of the Monday edition, when that broadcast rejoined its schedule in September 2012, as it dropped certain syndicated programs and infomercials from its Sunday overnight schedule.
- WAWV in Terre Haute, Indiana (owned by Mission Broadcasting) did not clear World News Now when the station rejoined ABC in September 2011, following a 16-year absence of an over-the-air ABC affiliate in the market (it was an ABC affiliate at the time the program debuted, but operated as a Fox affiliate from 1995 to 2011); WAWV instead carried syndicated programming in place of WNN, as it did with the network's Saturday morning children's program block Litton's Weekend Adventure. In the fall of 2013 however, WAWV began carrying WNN.
- WVII-TV in Bangor, Maine preempts the program in favor of airing a simulcast of the cable shopping network Jewelry Television.
- Until September 2011, three ABC stations owned by Citadel Communications – KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, KLKN in Lincoln, Nebraska and WOI-TV in Ames, Iowa (Des Moines) – pre-empted World News Now, as they all signed off the air during the overnight hours (as such, the three were among the few television stations remaining in the United States that did not operate on a 24-hour schedule). WLNE-TV in New Bedford, Massachusetts (Providence, Rhode Island), which was acquired by Citadel in April 2011, and prior to September, was the only Citadel-owned ABC affiliate that carried both a 24-hour schedule and cleared World News Now. KCAU and WOI have since been sold to Nexstar Broadcasting Group.
- Five small-market ABC affiliates – WDAY-TV in Fargo, North Dakota and its satellite WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, North Dakota, KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri, WOAY-TV in Oak Hill, West Virginia and WSVI-TV in the U.S. Virgin Islands – also do not clear World News Now as these stations sign-off during the overnight hours.
|01/1992||01/1993||Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee|
|05/1993||06/1993||Aaron Brown and Thalia Assuras|
|06/1993||11/1994||Thalia Assuras and Boyd Matson|
|11/1994||04/1996||Thalia Assuras and Kevin Newman|
|04/1996||01/1997||Thalia Assuras and Mark Mullen|
|01/1997||12/1998||Mark Mullen and Asha Blake|
|01/1999||02/2000||Juju Chang and Anderson Cooper|
|02/2000||08/2000||Anderson Cooper and Alison Stewart|
|08/2000||02/2002||Alison Stewart and Derek McGinty|
|02/2002||06/2003||Derek McGinty and Liz Cho|
|07/2003||12/2003||Andrea Stassou and David Muir|
|12/2003||08/2004||David Muir and Tamala Edwards|
|08/2004||01/2005||Tamala Edwards and Ron Corning|
|01/2005||12/2005||Ron Corning and Heather Cabot|
|12/2005||08/2006||Ron Corning and Taina Hernandez|
|08/2006||02/2007||Taina Hernandez and Hari Sreenivasan|
|02/2007||12/2007||Taina Hernandez and Ryan Owens|
|12/2007||02/2008||Ryan Owens (main); Gigi Stone, Christianne Klein and Tanya Rivero (alternating substitutes)|
|02/2008||03/2008||Tanya Rivero (main); Gigi Stone and Christianne Klein (alternating substitutes)|
|03/2008||05/2008||Jeremy Hubbard (main); Gigi Stone, Christianne Klein, and Tanya Rivero (alternating substitutes)|
|05/2008||07/2010||Jeremy Hubbard and Vinita Nair|
|07/2010||02/2011||Vinita Nair and Rob Nelson|
|02/2011||07/2011||Rob Nelson and Peggy Bunker|
|07/2011||10/2011||Rob Nelson (main); Tanya Rivero, Diana Alvear and Linsey Davis (alternating substitutes)|
|10/2011||01/2012||Rob Nelson (main); Yunji De Nies, Cecilia Vega and Sunny Hostin (alternating substitutes)|
|01/2012||01/2013||Rob Nelson and Paula Faris|
|01/2013||02/2013||Rob Nelson (main); Sunny Hostin, Diana Perez and Brandi Hitt (alternating substitutes)|
|02/2013||03/2013||Rob Nelson and Diana Perez|
|03/2013||05/2014||Diana Perez and John Muller (main); Marci Gonzalez, Linzie Janis, Tai Hernandez, Rob Nelson and Rob Powers (substitutes)|
|05/2014||06/2014||John Muller (main); Linzie Janis, Reena Ninan (substitutes)|
|06/2014||09/2014||Tahman Bradley, Devin Dwyer, Michelle Franzen, Matt Gutman, Brandi Hitt, Dan Kloeffler, Muhammad Lila, Reena Ninan and Ryan Smith (all substitutes)|
|10/2014||present||T. J. Holmes and Reena Ninan (main); Michelle Franzen, Tai Hernandez, and Ryan Smith (substitutes)|
Occasional anchor Taina Hernandez has been criticized in the national press for laughing during various segments of the program, some of them dealing with serious stories. She laughed through the story of Owen Wilson's attempted suicide in 2007, and she and co-host Ryan Owens have giggled through segments centering on terrorism and the Iraq War. These laughing fits have earned her the nickname, "The Laughing Taina."
- Dennis McDougal (November 4, 1991). "NBC, ABC: It's Never Too Late for News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- "FYI: regular broadcasting of ABC's news via CU-SeeMe". Indiana State University. December 1995.
- "Google Discussiegroepen". Groups.google.com. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- Lawrie Mifflin (June 1, 1998). "A New Chief Of ABC News, With Arledge In the Shadows". The New York Times.
- "Meet David Muir, the Man Taking Over ABC's 'World News'". Entertainment Tonight. August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- "al-Zarqawi Killed: Worldwide Exclusive for ABC, Way Ahead of Everyone Else". TVNewser. June 8, 2006.
- "Jeremy Hubbard Says Goodbye to ABC World News Now". TVNewser. Mediabistro.com. July 9, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "Sports to news: ABC anchor job luring Faris to New York". Time Out Chicago.
- "Paula Faris Bids Farewell to 'World News Now'". ABC News. January 22, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "'World News Now' anchor Rob Nelson promoted to ABC News correspondent". The Times-Picayune. March 11, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- Gate Weather Services "Golden Gate Weather Services- Experience".
- "Weather Corner". Golden Gate Weather Services. December 31, 2002.
- "Cecilia Vega Named ABC News Correspondent". TVNewser. September 19, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "ABC News: The Anchors Are Laughing; the Network Is Not". Broadcasting & Cable. Broadcastingcable.com. September 9, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- World News Now at the Internet Movie Database
- World News Now at TV.com
- After midnight: The wee small hours of the morning are the latest battleground for television news, American Journalism Review, Dec. 1993
- Tuned In: 'World News Now' has a wink or two for night owls, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 2, 1999
- National Temperature Index