New on the site: ABC News Live (plus some personal news!)


A new addition to the website: the theme to ABC News Live. For the streaming news channel, composer Matthew Kajcienski composed a specific mnemonic. It’s embedded in a piece of sound design that is very layered and textured. Be sure to check it out!

Kajcienski was interviewed recently along with composer Michael Karp and yours truly for The Washington Post Magazine about election theme music. We discuss, among other things, what has changed in election music throughout the years and what it says about how the media portrays the upcoming election.

(As an aside, you can listen to all of the election music on Network News Music by clicking this link.)

And finally — some personal news. In the 2020 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records I am listed as the world record holder when it comes to curating the largest collection of news theme music. As of April last year, my collection totals 1,876 hours, 2 minutes and 52 seconds. That’s 80 days of straight listening before you hear something repeated. For those who have the book, I’m om page 76. Since I’m right below the guy with the most Muppet mementoes, you can be sure my collection is presented as a bit of an oddity. But I am nonetheless pleased to hold the world record in something.

After they approached me about possible inclusion in the book, it was actually quite a bit of work to tally up my collection. I had to list every piece of music and its duration in a GIANT spreadsheet. They then went through it more carefully than I would have expected. They asked me to take out some things which were not strictly news-related. That gave us the final tally above.

For those without the book, you can see the page here.

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