The American Broadcasting Company has been a staple of the news industry for decades. From the time of the Second World War and the introduction of television to the public, ABC News has held its own against the news giants NBC and CBS. By creating compelling content and leveraging local, new stations, ABC was able to build an empire that has spanned generations.
Regardless of how you get your news, the chances are good that ABC is a source that you’re familiar with, even if you aren’t turning on the TV to listen to news anchors deliver the headlines. The local sources and stations are designed to provide the relevant news to more narrow audiences. While a car accident that impacts the commute of a single city might not be national news, it certainly makes a difference to people who are trying to get to work that morning!
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ABC built an empire bit by bit, and now, Americans all over the country rely on the American Broadcasting Company to know precisely what they need to about their local area and the news of the world. And if you’re wondering how exactly ABC became a staple of the news cycle, you can look back on how they built it.
A History of ABC News
ABC started as a radio network in 1943. It came into being as the new face of the NBC Blue Network, and it launched on October 12, 1943. In 1948, it made the jump to TV, just as CBS and NBC did as well. Edward J. Noble, who owned Life Savers candies and Rexhall Drugstores, purchased the network for $8 million.
ABC made the jump to TV quickly to keep up with NBC and CBS. They focused on creating suspenseful dramas that kept their audience engaged. They developed Sherlock Holmes, Gang Busters, and Counterspy as programs, as well as several programs designed for kids to watch after school. Their main claim to fame on the TV platform was counterprogramming to pull viewers from NBC and CBS. By identifying when NBC and CBS had the most viewers, ABC was able to create and time their programs to be in direct competition with their competitors. They also used the Magnetophon tape recorder to pre-record their programming, which allowed them to give their stars more freedom for time commitments. This was a massive differentiator at the time because NBC and CBS did not allow pre-taped shows. Not only did this give ABC the freedom to attract more talent, but it also drew several big names to the network, which helped establish it as a significant competitor on the national stage.
The Rise of the Local Station
By 1949, ABC News was struggling. The transfer from radio to television as a news medium was not seamless, and it did come with a series of difficulties that ABC had to navigate. However, at the end of 1949, United Paramount Pictures was forced to become an independent company by the US Supreme Court. This led to a merger of ABC and United Paramount Pictures at the behest of Leonard Goldenson, who proposed that United Paramount Pictures purchase ABC. This was a long and drawn-out process, but it resulted in Goldenson seeking local stations who would agree to be affiliated with ABC. He had more contacts of this type since many local TV stations had invested in Paramount cinemas. This would lead to a complete restructuring and, ultimately, the salvation of ABC News.
Collaborating with Hollywood
Goldenson was also making the most of his Hollywood connections at the time of the merger. In 1954, Goldenson was able to launch a new era for ABC news that included productions from major names in Hollywood, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox. Disney also got in on the action. As Disneyland opened, Disney also launched The Mickey Mouse Club on ABC, which led to a long-standing partnership between the two businesses. In fact, in 1995, The Walt Disney Company merged with ABC for $19 billion, which included the ABC network, their ten owned and operated TV stations and 21 radio stations. Disney also acquired ABC’s 80% interest in ESPN and their stock in The History Channel, A&E TV networks, Lifetime Entertainment, and DIC Productions.
This has led to a considerable number of blockbuster shows that have been running for many seasons. These include fan favorites such as The Bachelor, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Shark Tank. These are all shows that have kept audiences engaged and happy for years, and they continue to stay relevant as their audiences remain loyal. Their constant focus is on creating new shows according to the latest trends. Whether it’s a storyline that’s ripped from the headlines or a cheesy reality TV show, ABC as a network is a master of giving people more of precisely what they want. And they’ve continued to deliver both on both long-standing shows. That has gone on for ten seasons or more and new storylines. Either way, there’s no shortage of entertainment coming out of ABC as a network.
Political Leanings of ABC News
Based on the analysis, ABC News tends to be slightly biased to a moderate or liberal viewpoint. But they are generally very factual and trustworthy. If you’re looking for a relatively straightforward analysis of the political landscape or day-to-day stories, ABC news is an excellent option for you to rely on. They tend to place a high priority on fact-checking, and if they find that their facts are incorrect, they will issue a retraction and an apology.
Overall, ABC News is a fantastic option for you if you’re looking for a reliable news outlet to keep you informed about daily occurrences in the world. The local stations combined with their national news coverage are the perfect combination to keep you informed about everything that is going on both in your world and the world at large.