Television broadcasting was suspended during World War II. Regular television news broadcasts on ABC began soon after the network signed on its initial owned-and-operated television station (WJZ-TV, now WABC-TV) and production center in New York City in August 1948. Broadcasts continued as the TV network expanded nationwide. Until the early 1970s, ABC News programs and ABC in general consistently ranked third in viewership behind CBS and NBC news programs. ABC's TV network had fewer affiliate stations and a weaker prime-time programming slate to be able to support the network's news operations compared to the two larger networks, each of which had established their radio news operations during the 1930s.
News President Roone Arledge
The network's prime-time entertainment programs were achieving stronger ratings and drawing in higher advertising revenue and profits to the ABC corporation overall. In 1977, President of ABC Sports, Roone Arledge, was appointed president of ABC News. ABC invested the resources to make it a major source of news content. Arledge, known for experimenting with the broadcast "model", created many of ABC News' most popular and enduring programs, including 20/20, World News Tonight, This Week, Nightline and Primetime Live.
ABC News' longtime slogan, "More Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source" (introduced in the late 1980s), was a claim referring to the number of people who watch, listen to and read ABC News content on television, radio and (eventually) the Internet, and not necessarily to the telecasts alone.
In June 1998, ABC News (which owned an 80% stake in the service), Nine Network and ITN sold their respective interests in Worldwide Television News to the Associated Press. Additionally, ABC News signed a multi-year content deal with AP for its affiliate video service Associated Press Television News (APTV) while providing material from ABC's news video service ABC News One to APTV.
On August 7, 2014, ABC announced that it would relaunch its radio network division, ABC Radio, on January 1, 2015. The change occurred following the announcement that Cumulus would replace its ABC News radio service with Westwood One News (via CNN). On September 20, 2019, ABC Radio was renamed as ABC Audio as the network has evolved to offer a podcast portfolio and other forms of on-demand and linear content.
In April 2018, it was announced that FiveThirtyEight would be transferred to ABC News from ESPN, Inc., majority owned by The Walt Disney Company. On September 10, 2018, ABC News launched a second attempt to extend its Good Morning America brand into the afternoon with Strahan, Sara and Keke. ABC News Live steaming channel was launched on Roku in May 2019. With the reorganization creating the Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International segment in March 2018, ABC News Digital and Live Streaming (websites, ABC News Live and FiveThirtyEight) was transferred to the new segment.
ABC News Radio is the radio service of ABC Audio, a division of the ABC News. Formerly known as ABC Radio News, ABC News Radio feeds through Skyview Networks with newscasts on the hour to its affiliates. ABC News Radio is the largest commercial radio news organization in the US.
ABCNews.com launched on May 15, 1997 by ABC News Internet Ventures, a joint venture between Starwave and ABC formed in April 1997. Starwave had owned and operated ESPNet SportsZone (later known as ESPN.com) since 1995, which licensed the ESPN brand and video clips from ABC's corporate sister ESPN Inc. Disney wanted more control of their Internet properties, which meant ABCNews.com was operated as a joint venture with ABC News having editorial control. Disney had also bought a minority stake in Starwave before the launch of ABCNews.com and would later buy the company outright.
The website initially had a dedicated staff of about 30. In addition to articles, it featured short video clips and audio from the start, delivered using RealAudio and RealVideo technology. Some content was also available via America Online. In 2011, ABC News and Yahoo News announced a strategic partnership to share ABC's online reporting on Yahoo's website; the deal expanded in 2015 to include the Disney/ABC Television Group.
ABC News Live
ABC News Live is a 24/7 streaming video news channel for breaking news, live events, newscasts and longer-form reports and documentaries operated by ABC News since 2018, available through Roku, Hulu, Sling TV, Xumo and the news division's other streaming platforms. The service is under the direction of Colby Smith, senior vice president and general manager of ABC News Digital and Live Streaming and Justin Dial as senior executive producer of ABC News Live.
With news channels getting high ratings from the 2016 election and ABC News having exited its joint venture news channel, ABC began looking at launching a new 24-hour digital news channel. ABC News Live launched exclusive on Roku in March 2018 then added to Facebook Watch and ABC apps and websites. Also on October 26, 2018, the channel was added to Hulu With Live TV followed by Hulu streaming on March 20, 2020.
On January 23, 2020, ABC News announced an expansion of staffing for the streaming channel and changes in programming to add newscasts and long form reports and documentaries being roll out over a month's time. Justin Dial, formerly of Vice News Tonight, was hired as senior executive producer of ABC News Live. Tom Llamas would anchor breaking news coverage at the time of the Iowa caucuses, while Linsey Davis would anchor two weekday one-hour evening newscasts. ABC News planned as of March 2020 that ABC News Live would air 18 hours of programming daily.
This unit is producing:
ABC News Live Prime, two weekday one-hour evening newscasts (February 2020-)
Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a weekday hour-long program that provides coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic; it premiered in March 2020 on ABC's daytime lineup as a temporary replacement for its daytime talk show Strahan, Sara and Keke. The program is anchored by Amy Robach, joined by ABC News chief medical correspondent Jennifer Ashton.
"Around the Table an irregular (September 10, 2019 -?) Presidential candidate interview program in which Democratic candidates are interviewed by three voters and moderated by anchors and correspondents around a table. Episodes would be used as a part of that night's Nightline. In the first episode, Byron Pitts moderates Beto O'Rourke with the second episode being Linsey Davis moderating Senator Cory Booker.
Guardians of the Amazon (February 2020) Nightline team produced documentary regarding rain forest destruction
Satellite News Channel
Satellite News Channel was a joint venture between ABC News and Group W that started on June 21, 1982, as a satellite-delivered cable television network. SNC used footage from ABC News and seven Washington, D.C.-based crews, in addition to stories from other overseas networks to provide a rotating newscast every 20 minutes. However, this channel had difficulty getting clearance from cable systems, so ABC News and Group W decided to sell it to its competitor, CNN (a subsidiary of Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System). CNN ceased Satellite News Channel's operations on October 27, 1983. SNC was either replaced by CNN or CNN2 on most cable systems. Group W eventually shut down seven years later, in 1999. Following Satellite News Channel's discontinuation, ABC News did not return to the 24-hour cable news world until 22 years later, in 2004, when they launched ABC News Now, whose launch indicated that Satellite News Channel was ABC News' first attempt in the 24-hour cable news world.
Fusion is a digital cable and satellite network that is owned & operated by Fusion Media Group, LLC, which was a joint venture between ABC News and Univision Communications. ABC and Univision formally announced its launch on May 2, 2012. Launched on October 28, 2013, Fusion features a mix of traditional news and investigative programs along with satirical content aimed at English-speaking Hispanic and Latino American adults between the ages of 18 and 34. Fusion was ABC News' third attempt in the 24-hour cable news world after Satellite News Channel in 1982 and ABC News Now (which it replaced) in 2004. In December 2015, it was reported that Disney was in talks to sell its stake in Fusion to Univision. The split was complete on April 21, 2016.
Several ABC News programs are broadcast daily on OSN News in MENA (Europe).
In Australia, Sky News Australia airs daily broadcasts of World News Tonight (at 10:30 a.m.) and Nightline (at 1:30 a.m.) as well as weekly airings of 20/20 (on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., with an extended version at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays) and occasionally Primetime (at 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays, with extended edition at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays). Coincidentally, that country's public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, operates its own unrelated news division that is also named ABC News. The U.S. ABC News maintains a content sharing agreement with the Nine Network, which also broadcasts GMA domestically in the early morning before its own breakfast program.
In New Zealand, ABC World News was broadcast daily at 5:10 p.m. and again at 11:35 p.m. As with the BBC in the U.K., TVNZ 7 (owned by Television New Zealand) aired the program commercial-free, until the channel ceased operations on June 30, 2012.