Themes from ‘Other’

“WCBS Newsradio 880” Current Anthem


WCBS Newsradio 880 is a news and talk radio station in the New York metropolitan area. When they needed a new theme package, they turned to Man Made Music. The station wanted something that did not sound too self-important. The result is something that blends in well with the greater CBS News sonic brand for which Man Made Music is responsible. This is the anthem. It blends some of the individual cuts of the package together, such as the news, weather and traffic themes.

Man Made Music – WCBS Newsradio 880 anthem

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“CBS News Special Report” 2006 – 2011 Theme


This ominous sounding cue of James Horner’s theme package for the CBS Evening News was composed for special reports. Before these impromptu newscasts start, viewers can usually see (part of) a 10-second countdown. That is used to give CBS stations around the country the chance to switch to the national feed. Before the Horner theme, CBS News used the headline cue from the 1991 Evening News package to open special reports.

James Horner – CBS News Special Report theme


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“Sunday Morning” Current Theme


This is the theme to Sunday Morning, usually attributed to 18th century German composer Gottfried Reiche and called Abblasen. This music has been used on CBS News Sunday Morning for many years, but they have used three versions. This version, the current one, is performed by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis. It was recorded for Sunday Morning in 2004. It replaced a version of the theme that was used from 1998 to 2004 that was played by former Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen. Before that, a version by Don Smithers was used to open the venerable morning show.

Gottfried Reiche – Abblasen


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“America at War” Theme


This was the theme that CBS used for all coverage of the 2003 War in Iraq. Theme music is very important in setting the tone for the program, as music instantly brings up associations in the minds of viewers. ABC used a variation of the Special Report theme that sounds rather sad and somber for the war. NBC used music by Michael Karp that sounded very dramatic. CBS, however, took a different approach, as you can hear. The network decided on a very aggressive piece of music that would shock-and-awe you. Peter Fish composed the music.

Peter Fish – America at War theme


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“CBS Radio News” Current Sounder


At the top of each hour, listeners of Westwood One affiliated stations get a six minute news update from CBS News. Since early 2003 NBC News went back into the radio news business, also providing one-minute updates to Westwood One affiliates anchored by its big names. ABC News, of course, also has its own radio network and top of the hour news service. The current sounder is based on notes that have been used since the 1960s on the CBS Radio News.

Peter Fish – CBS Radio News open

Here’s the sounder that the CBS Radio News uses when they have a special report. It’s part of the package composed by Peter Fish.

Peter Fish – CBS Radio News Special Report open


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“Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel” Theme


After a number of years on Today, Bryant Gumbel joined CBS News in 1997 to anchor a primetime news magazine: Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel. With an emphasis on serious journalism, costs were high while ratings were not. Within a year the program was cancelled and replaced by another CBS news magazine – 60 Minutes II. The theme for the news magazine Public Eye is composed and played by Neal Fox of Patterson, Walz & Fox.

Patterson, Walz & Fox – Public Eye theme


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“Eye to Eye” 1994 – 1995 Theme


Eye to Eye got Connie Chung and CBS in a lot of trouble, which led to Chung’s exit at CBS. When Chung interviewed the mother of Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House, she asked what her son thought of first lady Hillary Clinton. She answered quietely that he thinks she is a bitch. Gingrich immediately complained that his mother was taken advantage of. The public seemed to agree. This led to Connie Chung being taken off the CBS Evening News and her departure at CBS. For the last few months of its life, this news magazine was just called “Eye to Eye”, without Connie Chung.

Unknown – Eye to Eye theme


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“CBS News” 1994 – 1995 Tag


And this is another CBS News experience tag. It is composed by Peter Fish. Fish has written a lot of promotional music for CBS News.

Peter Fish – CBS News tag


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“Eye to Eye” 1993 – 1994 Theme


Eye to Eye was the third Connie Chung news magazine at CBS. It was essentially a retooled version of Face to Face with Connie Chung. While she anchored this weekly broadcast, she also co-achored the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. The news magazine featured about four or five topics and lasted for an hour. Chung would anchor and contribute reports and interviews for the broadcast.

Patterson, Walz and Fox Music Productions – Eye to Eye theme


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“CBS News” 1993 – 1994 Tag


The long running CBS News promotional line is very simple: experience. This tag was used after a CBS News broadcast to drive the point home.

Peter Fish – CBS News tag


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“Up to the Minute” 1992 – 2006 Theme


Up to the Minute is CBS’ overnight newscast. It premiered in 1992 with Russ Mitchell and Monica Gayle as its first anchor team. The program was more serious and less irreverent than its main competitor World News Now on ABC. In 2015 the program was rebranded as the CBS Overnight News.

Score Productions – Up to the Minute theme


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“Street Stories” Theme


Street Stories was a newsmagazine that premiered in 1992 featuring 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley. Its premise was that all the stories it reported on could be happening in your city, neighborhood or street. In the summer of 1993 CBS replaced it with a new Connie Chung-anchored news magazine, Eye to Eye.

Peter Fish – Street Stories theme


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“Saturday Night with Connie Chung” Theme


This 1989 program replaced West 57th and was anchored by Connie Chung. Like West 57th it tried to set itself apart from other news magazines by doing things differently. How? In order to enhance the story telling, they used actors to recreate actual events. Critics charged that this blurred the line between news and fiction. The program, at any rate, was not very successful and only had a short run.

Edd Kalehoff – Saturday Night with Connie Chung


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“CBS News Special Report” 1989 – 1997


This is the classic CBS News Special Report theme that was used from 1989 until 1997. Edd Kalehoff is the composer. Kalehoff was quite active for CBS News at the time. He also did several news magazines, such as 48 Hours, and the CBS News Nightwatch theme. This Special Report theme was replaced with the headline bed from the 1991 CBS Evening News theme package. That was used for the remainder of the Dan Rather-era of CBS News.

Edd Kalehoff – CBS News Special Report theme


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“CBS News Nightwatch” 1988 – 1992 Theme


During this period CBS News Nightwatch used branding similar to the CBS Evening News. It’s logo and opening graphics are basically the same. The theme music, however, is different. Edd Kalehoff composed an entirely new theme for the overnight show. It was used until 1992, when the show was retooled into Up To the Minute.

Edd Kalehoff – CBS News Nightwatch theme


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