Remember all those years ago, when local news programs actually had opening titles? Cheesy footage of camera men out in the streets, fuzzy film animation of the station logo chroma-keyed in, perhaps using state of the art Scanimate animation? Still photos of the news team? Those days are over. Now a news opening is only a few seconds, cut down to the bare minimum to squeeze in more “fork in the eye” stories and commercials.
For some bizarre reason, I have TV news themes littering my hard disk, so let’s take a look at one particular station and how its theme has changed over a decade.
In what may be a standing record, Washington’s WRC-TV 11pm news theme was a whopping 35 seconds long (inclusive of the station ID) in 1982.
The cheesy disco-era themes gave way to more orchestrated versions in the late 80s and early 90s, then made a swift turn toward, well, stock music crap in the mid 90s.
By 1994, the theme music for WRC news broadcasts was down to a pointless five seconds. It’s been there ever since.
WRC News Themes Retrospective 1981-1994 (3:50)
More WRC-TV News Themes
Channel 4 News 1986:
Live at Five 1989:
News 4 at 6 close 1989:
News 4 at 11 close 1989:
News 4 at 6 open 1989:
News 4 at 6 open 1990:
News 4 at 6 close 1990:
News 4 at 11 open 1989:
News 4 at 11 open 1990:
News 4 at 11 open 1990 (#1 station tag):
News 4 at 11 close 1990:
News 4 gospel promo:
News 4 Live at Five close 1989:
News 4 Live at Five close 1990:
News 4 Live at Five open 1990:
News 4 Today:
We Work Well Together promo 1:
We Work Well Together promo 2:
WRC Nighttime Logo: