Move Closer to Your World

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Move Closer to Your World (MCTYW) is a television news music package composed in 1972 by jingle writer Al Ham under his Mayoham Music label. In the 1970s it was considered an anthem for local television news, and is considered the anthem of WPVI-TV in Philadelphia for its Action News programs to the current day.[1] An original long version was sung by The Hillside Singers, and a short clip of that vocal version is used by WPVI as part of their closing theme song when extra fill-in time is required. Once a common theme across the United States (especially among other stations using the Action News format), as of 2017 only two U.S. stations currently use the theme: WPVI-TV, and WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania.


When the Action News format debuted in 1970, WPVI (then WFIL-TV) commissioned its first theme from Tom Sellers, a student at Temple University. Sellers's "Action News Theme" bore similarities to the later "Move Closer to Your World," being in the same key and centered around a trumpet lead and a timpani-driven climactic finish, but had more of a jazz rock arrangement.[2][3]

During the time that the station was owned by Triangle Publications, the Sellers theme and Action News format were distributed among the other stations it owned; stations other than WPVI continued to use that theme into the 1990s. In 1972, Triangle exited the television business and sold WPVI to Capital Cities Communications, who commissioned a more professional theme from Al Ham, an established session music composer and arranger with several other themes to his credit. The end result, "Move Closer to Your World," would be distributed across Capital Cities' stations along with a slightly modified version of WPVI's Action News format. Eventually, other stations outside the former Triangle stations and Capital Cities cluster also took on the format.

"Move Closer to Your World" remained a popular news theme through the rest of the 20th century and was not removed from most stations until the late 1990s, when more modern themes were introduced. Other than the two stations still using it, WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York continued to use the theme until 2003, then (after its replacement was deemed to be one factor in the station's fall to a distant last place) used the theme again from 2008 to 2014.


The original version composed by Al Ham; performed in the key of A. This version was the only one to include the full lyrics. Four "verses" were included in the package, an instrumental version, a choral version sung by Ham's Hillside Singers, a version that featured a jazz piano descant, and a version that was sung solo as if it were a ballad with a Liberace-style piano embellishment. This was the most commonly used in the United States from the 1970s through the 1980s. A slightly sped-up "cut" of this version, raised to B, cut out all but the fanfare and, from the 1980s onward, was the primary version used on the remaining stations still using the theme. It was also used on WPRI-TV in Providence, WBAP-TV in Dallas and KTRK-TV in Houston. WPVI uses portions of the original theme to this day.
Debuting on ATV-10 in Melbourne, Australia where it was used from 1981 to early 1988, this version is brassier in instrumentation with a slightly more disco feel, and is performed in B minor. It has, to date, never been used in the United States.
Debuted on WKBW-TV, where it was used from 1989 to 1995 during the "NewsChannel 7" era. This version was a new-age arrangement featuring a dominant synthesizer instead of the brass band. This version, returning to the original key of A, was replaced in 1995 with a remixed version of the B cut.[4]
This updated version of the song, arranged by Cliff Schwarz, is currently heard on WNEP-TV in Scranton (as well as its various sister stations) and was used during the 1990s at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh. It has sometimes been referred to as a "dance version." It also does have a softer side. The second half of this update was the theme for the Nightbeat newscast on WPXI.
Debuted on WPVI-TV and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In an effort to make the song more thunderous and authoritative, WPVI commissioned this cover version of the song in 1996. Fan reaction was resoundingly negative, and "Cut One" was reinstated after only five days.[5][6]
This Just In by 615 Music
This version is designated as "production music" by the company, and is not intended as a main news piece. Its best known use is as the theme for the fictional "NewsChannel 7" on the Disney Channel TV series Lizzie McGuire. Nevertheless, noncommercial station WEIU-TV in Springfield, IL and a handful of stations in Puerto Rico have used it as a main theme. WKBW uses this version in commercial advertisements.
WPVI-TV Action News Arrangements by 615 Music
This is used only for news promos for WPVI-TV's upcoming newscast and for breaking news & developing stories opens during the newscast.


  1. ^ Allen, Craig (2001). News is people: the rise of local TV news and the fall of news from New York. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-8138-1207-6.
  2. ^ "Philadelphia". TV News Themes. 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-04-17.
  3. ^ "The Action News Theme". SouthernMedia News Music Search Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  4. ^ SouthernMedia's News Music Search Archive: Audio Player
  5. ^ SouthernMedia's News Music Search Archive Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Footage of use by WPVI bearing 1996 copyright date on YouTube Retrieved 2011-08-31

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