A Brief History
On September 2, 1963, CBS Evening News made TV history by becoming the first major nightly news show to be 30 minutes long instead of only 15 minutes. Prior to this event, the evening news was 15 minutes of local and 15 minutes of national news.
Other big changes to TV news include NBC switching its national news shows to color in 1966, quickly matched by rivals ABC and CBS. Still, a majority of Americans watched the news in black and white until 1972 when color TVs finally became the majority.
Cleveland’s Dorothy Fuldheim became the first female local news anchor in 1947 and in 1976 Barbara Walters became the first female co-anchor of a major network news. Katie Couric became the first female solo news anchor in 2006.
TV news was originally a White Males only affair, with Max Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1978 when he joined ABC World News Tonight as co-anchor.
Question for students (and subscribers): What is your favorite television news show? Is cable news better than network news? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Epstein, Edward Jay. News From Nowhere Now:: Television and the News. EJE PUBLICATIONS, LTD, 2011.
Ponce de Leon, Charles. That’s the Way It Is: A History of Television News in America. The University of Chicago Press, 2015.
The featured image in this article, a photograph of Walter Cronkite interviewing President John F. Kennedy to inaugurate the first half-hour nightly news broadcast in 1963, is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
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