Archive for Victor Vlam

“See the Whole Picture” Branding Promo


This year ABC launched a new promotional campaign with the tag line “see the whole picture”. This image, which stresses relevance, is in response to the whirlwind of information coming at us these days. ABC News defines its mission to help us make sense of it all. The promos were shot with more a commercial-like feel using dramatic images of the ABC News team in stride. DreamArtists Music – who did an incredibly successful branding campaign for ABC in 2008 that later turned into the 20/20 theme – was commissioned to compose the accompanying music. The music reflects the more contemporary feel of the promo.

DreamArtists Music - See the Whole Picture promo

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“This Week” 2012 – 2013 Theme


Since George Stephanopoulos took back the reins of This Week, the well-received “Your Voice, Your Vote” theme was slightly altered to be used as the new theme for This Week. Former World News anchor Charles Gibson provides the voiceover that introduces Stephanopoulos each sunday morning. “Your Voice, Your Vote” is how ABC brands its election coverage for this election year. In prior years their coverage had simply been titled “Vote (fill-in-the-year)”. Along with a new name and new graphics a new theme was needed and so ABC turned once again to DreamArtists Music. This new theme is a new arrangement of the “Vote 2010” theme — a bit more driving and slightly less melodic. This was then spun out into an extensive new package including tracks of various moods and lengths.

DreamArtists Music - Your Voice, Your Vote theme

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“This Week” 2011 Theme


When Christiane Amanpour debuted on This Week, the program was relaunched with new theme music from trumpeter Chris Botti. But Amanpour’s tenure wasn’t an immediate hit with viewers and so changes were made. ABC in particular felt that the Botti theme was too reflective and soft for the “we get to the bottom of it” feel of the show. So they wanted a theme with a bold, exciting yet traditional sound reminiscent of the Brinkley days. ABC asked DreamArtists Music to take their Vote 2010 theme as an inspirational start. The result was a sort of hybrid theme. Although you might think the thematic material is a combination of several ABC motifs from various eras, it sticks mainly to unique elements that DreamArtists Music composed in combination with thematic snippets taken from the original ABC News theme. The result was a theme made up of a fanfare-like open, then a series of building plateaus each featuring a different musical motif, then finally a bumper building to a giant “ABC News” signature. A couple of months after the theme debuted, Amanpour left This Week and ABC started to use a slightly altered version of its election theme for the program. Some cues from the extended 2011 package are still used today, including the moving “In Memoriam” cue.

DreamArtists Music - This Week theme

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“Early Show” 2011 – 2012 Open


This is based on the 1987 CBS Evening News package that was picked up again in 2011. It was performed and recorded at the end of June, debuting about a month later on the Early Show. It again unifies the branding of CBS News while also underscoring the Early Show’s hard news focus. With the cancellation of the Early Show, the new CBS This Morning started to use new theme music. However, this open is still used for other CBS News programs in the morning: the Morning News and Up To The Minute.

Trivers/Myers Music - Early Show open

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“CBS Evening News” 1987 – 1991, 2011 – 2016 Theme


This was the first orchestral theme for the CBS Evening News. Before this theme was adopted in 1987, CBS News had a policy, imposed by CBS TV President Frank Stanton, that no music could be used. This policy dated back to the old days of TV news when many newscasts consisted of syndicated pictures with cheap production music. To prove CBS supplied its own footage, they decided not to add any music. Besides, their music library at the time consisted of music used for those old radio soaps. It was not appropriate for news. For a few years, they had a ticker sound as open/bumper/close, but from 1984 to 1987 they had no music at all in the open and the close! After a few years of seeing their ratings decline, while John Williams’ NBC News theme was popular with the viewing public, the executives at CBS decided to finally reverse their policy and commissioned John Trivers, Elizabeth Myers, and Alan James Pasqua to compose the theme. The music was recorded at the Fox sound stage and took 6 hours to perform. This theme was dropped in 1991, but only temporarily as it later turned out.

Twenty years later this theme made a remarkable comeback. When Scott Pelley took over as anchor of the CBS Evening News in 2011, this theme was picked up again. After five flashy years of Katie Couric, the new chairman of CBS News, Jeff Fager, wanted “to reach back into the DNA of CBS News”. Hence, they brought back their first theme music. They are using the original recordings, though they have been remastered slightly.

Trivers/Myers Music - CBS Evening News close

In the late 80’s they used different openings, but here you can find the one they used quite often. The opening that they have been using since 2011 is a bit different. It’s actually a remixed version of the last part of the long credit close above.

Trivers/Myers Music - CBS Evening News 2011 open
Trivers/Myers Music - CBS Evening News 1987 open

Here is the headline cue. CBS started using it circa 1990.

Trivers/Myers Music - CBS Evening News headlines

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“Today” 2011 Royal Theme


For the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011, the Today Show went all out with their coverage. The show broadcast from just outside Buckingham Palace in London for six hours straight. For the occasion, Today commissioned their go-to composers, Adam Gubman and Non-Stop Music, for a piece of special theme music. In the years after the wedding, the theme was brought back for other major news events from the British royal family.

Non-Stop Music - Today Royal Wedding Open

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“Today” 2010 – 2015 Election Open


While all NBC News programs use the same graphics for their election coverage, they don’t all use the same theme music. Today has used its own election theme since 2010. It’s part of a package consisting of various secondary themes by Adam Gubman for Non-Stop Music. This particular cut was also used to open the 60th anniversary special edition of Today. During that broadcast the Empire State Building was lit in the colors of Today and anchor Ann Curry wore a dress with the Today sunburst prominently displayed on it.

Non-Stop Music - Today Election Open

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“Decision 2010/2012/2014/2016” Theme


After using Michael Karp’s election theme for several election cycles, NBC went into a totally different direction in 2010. This election theme is more understated and has a cinematic sound. You might be surprised to learn that the music is done in-house. Gordon Miller is the music director for MSNBC. Along with the election theme, he also composed the music for the news magazine Rock Center.

Gordon Miller - Decision 2010 theme

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“Vote 2010” Theme


This new election theme package (the “Rally” package) was composed by the CCO and Founder of DreamArtists Music, Matthew Kajcienski. The package was launched on the evening of November 2nd, 2010 for the election special hosted by ABC anchors Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. ABC wanted something “big, bold, fresh, urgent, and exciting” for the new election season leading up to 2012.

DreamArtists Music - Vote 2010 theme

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“20/20” 2010 – 2012 Theme


This 2010 theme is part of a new theme package by ABC’s friends at DreamArtists Music. The package was commissioned for 20/20’s relaunch in october of 2010. The new theme package reflects the “darker, more dramatic” approach ABC has taken with the popular news program. You might also hear hints of the 2009 theme, also by DreamArtists Music, that has now become the closing theme to the broadcast.

DreamArtists Music - 20/20 theme

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“48 Hours Mystery” Current Theme


This is the theme that has been used on 48 Hours Mystery since the fall of 2010. Like the previous themes, it is composed by Richard Fiocca. It’s not used for some of the special editions of 48 Hours Mystery, such as Live to Tell. That edition, which tells stories without the use of narrator, uses no theme music.

Richard Fiocca - 48 Hours Mystery theme

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“Good Morning America” 2009 – 2012 Theme


When George Stephanopolous succeeded Diane Sawyer as anchor of Good Morning America, this theme was launched. This update of the previous theme – also by DreamArtists Music – is intended to reflect the more newsy direction that GMA has taken. The new theme was accompanied by a new opening format: (1) opening vamp under introductions by the main anchors, (2) main theme under a montage announcing the featured stories, (3) musical build over announcer with visuals of Times Square and (4) bumper into the show. The weekend edition of GMA continued to use the previous theme for a while but eventually adopted this version.

DreamArtists Music - Good Morning America

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“20/20” 2009 – 2010 Theme


20/20 started using this theme in september 2009. However, the theme was originally used for ABC branding promos starting in 2008. The promo was popular and the network liked the music so much that they asked the composers – DreamArtists Music – to develop an entire package around it for the ABC news magazine. While the theme was replaced in the fall of 2010 with a darker theme by DreamArtists Music, it was still occasionally used to open 20/20.

DreamArtists Music - 20/20 theme

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“Face the Nation” 2009 – 2018 Theme


This is a fuller, more orchestral arrangement of the previous theme. After pulling double duty on the Evening News and Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer returned full time to Face the Nation after Katie Couric started as main anchor at CBS. He continued to moderate the public affairs show until his retirement in 2015. After that John Dickerson, who was CBS’ political director at the time, took over.

Peter Fish - Face the Nation theme

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“Chris Matthews Show” 2009 – 2013 Theme


In 2009 the Chris Matthews Show received a new theme. It’s written by John Williams and is part of the 2004 update he did of The Mission, his theme for NBC News. This particular cut, which you can hear below in full, was intended as the new theme for NBC Nightly News. In fact, the last 15 seconds are indeed used for Nightly. However the opening fanfare in the front part was not used. When the Chris Matthews Show started using it, it became the first non-NBC News program to use The Mission. As a syndicated program, the Chris Matthews does not air exclusively on NBC affiliates.

John Williams - Chris Matthews Show theme

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