Nightline started out as a series of special reports to update viewers late at night on the Iranian hostage crisis. Those special reports were called “America Held Hostage” and anchored by Frank Reynolds, lead anchor of World News Tonight. But he did not like doing double duty and Ted Koppel started substituting regularly. When the program officially debuted as Nightline, Ted Koppel was officially the anchor. The program was known for covering just one topic per broadcast, which allowed it to go in depth like no other news program on network television. Nightline used the World News Tonight theme for its first few years. But in the ’80s this pulsing music was played while Ted Koppel told us what’s coming up on the broadcast. It might have been intended to be a main theme for Nightline because after about a minute the music evolves into something that sounds like a main theme.
Network News Music is a website by Victor Vlam, who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of news music. 1,876 hours, 2 minutes and 52 seconds. News music is rarely heard without voice-overs or fade outs to commercial, yet it leaves an impact on many people. Founded in 2002, this site is a museum for TV news themes past and present.
- ABC News
- CBS News
- NBC News