|World News Now|
|Also known as||ABC World News Now|
|Genre||Overnight news program|
|Created by||David Bohrman|
|Presented by||Kenneth Moton (2019-present)|
Janai Norman (2018-present)
(for past anchors, see section)
|Theme music composer||Yanni (1992-2001)|
Score Productions (2004-present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||24|
|Production location(s)||ABC News Headquarters, New York City, New York|
|Running time||90 minutes|
(aired in tape-delayed loop)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||January 6, 1992 -|
|Related shows||America This Morning|
World News Now (or WNN) is an American overnight television news program that is broadcast on ABC. Airing during the early morning hours each Monday through Friday, the program features a mix of general news and off-beat stories, along with weather forecasts, sports highlights, feature segments, and repurposed segments and story packages from other ABC News programs; its tone is often lighthearted, irreverent and humorous.
Created by its original executive producer, David Bohrman, a number of well-known news personalities have anchored WNN early in their careers, including original anchors Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee, Thalia Assuras, Kevin Newman, Alison Stewart, Liz Cho, Anderson Cooper and current World News Tonight anchor David Muir. As of 2019, the program is primarily co-anchored by ABC News correspondents Kenneth Moton and Janai Norman, who also anchor the network's early-morning news program America This Morning.
WNN is divided into four segment blocks ("A", "B" "C" and "D") that start with national and international news headlines incorporating some pre-taped reports (with some live wraparounds) from ABC NewsOne correspondents or repeated reports from the network's evening news program ABC World News Tonight. The "A"-block also features a national weather forecast (significant weather stories are also reported during the broadcast through analysis from meteorologists employed with AccuWeather, which provides forecasts for ABC's owned-and-operated stations) and an often humorous "kicker" story that ends the block. The "B," "C" and "D" blocks usually feature a mix of stories from Nightline or the BBC, or other live-to-tape or pre-taped segments produced in-studio, depending on the day of the week.
In late 1991 and early 1992, ABC, CBS and NBC each created their own overnight general news programs (with the ABC program competing with the latter two networks' Up to the Minute and Nightside, respectively, those two in particular replaced more news/interview formatted programs; Nightside left the air in 1998, and Up To The Minute is now called the CBS Overnight News) to compete for viewer demand that was driven originally by CNN's 24-hour coverage of the Gulf War, and to supply local affiliates with overnight programming. Until the creation of these news programs, owned-and-operated and affiliate stations of the three networks commonly filled overnight timeslots with movies and/or syndicated programs, while some others simply signed off the air for the night. The original working title for the program was World News Overnight; ABC News executives chose to rename the program World News Now prior to the first broadcast.
The program debuted on January 6, 1992, with Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee as its original anchors. Later that year, the production staff of World News Now took over production responsibilities for the network's early-morning news program World News This Morning, with both programs sharing anchor staffs as a result. After McRee's departure from World News Now in January 1993 (at which time Brown anchored solo until he was joined in May of that year by Thalia Assuras, who eventually became the program's longest-serving anchor until her departure from ABC for CBS News in 1998), the program would begin experiencing significant turnover with its anchor staff that continues to this day.
In the tradition of NBC News Overnight (the predecessor to original rival NBC Nightside), World News Now has featured serious as well as offbeat news stories interspersed with odd features such as the "World News Polka" (played by comedian Barry Mitchell on the accordion), video footage of dancing camels on Wednesdays (for "Hump Day"), and laughter coming from off-camera. Weather predictions were made for obscure and exotic places around the world; some of the locales have had various ties to the show, while some have had pop culture significance, including Cicely, Alaska and Twin Peaks, Washington.
The program also often replays story packages from other ABC News programs such as Nightline and World News Tonight. It has been an apparent training ground for new news anchors (see list below) who eventually go on to higher-profile positions with the network or local affiliates. The show is also unique for its interactive segments, some of which pioneered the email communication that is commonly used on television newscasts today. The ABC News WNN message board has offered viewers questions and comments from the anchors themselves, during the course of the show.
On November 23, 1995, World News Now became the first television program to be broadcast live on the Internet, using the CU-SeeMe interface. Victor Dorff, a producer of WNN at the time, arranged to have the show simulcast on the Internet daily for a six-month trial period. CU-SeeMe was also used in a taped interview segment in which anchor Kevin Newman and Global Schoolhouse director and founder Yvonne Marie Andres discussed the future of computers in communication.
World News Now was used as the prototype for Fred, ABC's plan to operate a cable news channel. The plan was floated by network management in 1995 and was later dropped within a couple of years due to issues with cable carriage, including competition with the recently launched MSNBC and Fox News Channel.
Following its CU-SeeMe trial, World News Now later attempted another webcast; between 1999 and 2001, the program was streamed live for free on the ABC News website. In 2005, the free behind-the-scenes webcast returned. Among the anchors of the broadcast during this period was David Muir, who eventually became co-anchor of the newsmagazine 20/20 and became anchor of the weekday editions of World News Tonight in August 2014, who co-anchored World News Now from July 2003 to August 2004 (originally with Andrea Stassou and later with Tamala Edwards).
On June 8, 2006, ABC White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz learned of the death of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi near Baqubah, Iraq. Upon confirmation of the tip, ABC ran a special report at 2:38 a.m. Eastern Time, helmed by WNN anchors Ron Corning and Taina Hernandez. The show, which is normally repeated on tape after the initial broadcast, instead went live in all time zones and into the early-morning news program World News This Morning. The on-air and behind-the-scenes staff stayed on-air until Good Morning America began and took over coverage of the story at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
In January 2007, World News Now celebrated its 15th anniversary, with the brief resurrection of the National Temperature Index (see below) and a new version of the "World News Polka". On August 2, 2007, WNN abandoned its normal format and ran nearly continuous coverage of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse that occurred in Minneapolis the day before; coverage on the program was anchored by Hernández and Stephanie Sy, and continued into America This Morning.
Taina Hernandez left the show on December 18, 2007, in order to spend more time with her children, while Ryan Owens announced on February 29, 2008, that he would be leaving the show to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News. During the week of January 7, 2008, WNN celebrated its 16th anniversary on the air with retrospective segments on the early days of the broadcast and its anchors. Jeremy Hubbard was named co-anchor of World News Now on March 17, 2008, with Vinita Nair being named as Hubbard's co-anchor on September 17 of that year.
On September 22, 2009, World News Now became the first network overnight newscast to begin broadcasting in high definition.
On July 9, 2010, Jeremy Hubbard left WNN to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News; he was replaced as Nair's co-anchor on the program by Rob Nelson. In Hubbard's honor, the World News Now staff looked back at his time with the program and as is tradition when an anchor leaves the show, Hubbard had a picture of his likeness raised into the ABC News rafters. There was also a polka, sung to Hubbard's dog Jake, and Jeremy received a cutout of his likeness as a going away present while also welcoming his replacement, Rob Nelson.
On January 24, 2011, World News Now debuted new graphics for all of the program's segments and began using a new set, a side view of the existing set of ABC World News. On February 17 of that year, Nair announced that she would be departing as co-anchor of World News Now after the next night's broadcast; the February 18 edition paid tribute to Nair in each of its three segments, including appearances from current and former colleagues including Jeremy Hubbard. Her legacy was to treat the crew to a hot breakfast on her last day. A brief send-off by Nelson to Nair was also given at the conclusion of America This Morning. Correspondent Peggy Bunker (then a former anchor at Fox affiliate KDVR, where Jeremy Hubbard incidentally is now employed) was named as interim successor.
On March 11, 2011, the program provided live coverage (in all time zones) of the devastating T?hoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, featuring updates and pictures from NHK World; the coverage continued during America This Morning and Good Morning America. On July 21, 2011, Bunker announced that she would be leaving World News Now after the July 22 broadcast, which acknowledged her departure in the first and last of its three, half-hour segments during that following night. In addition, a brief send-off by Nelson to Bunker (who subsequently became morning and midday anchor at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV) was given at the conclusion of America This Morning.
Beginning on July 25, 2011, ABC News correspondents Tanya Rivero, Diana Alvear and Linsey Davis began rotating as co-anchors alongside Nelson until a permanent co-anchor was named; this lasted until Rivero was named sole co-anchor of the program on September 19, 2011. On October 14, 2011, Rivero shifted to a correspondent role on ABC's daytime news programs and was replaced by correspondent Yunji De Nies as a substitute anchor beginning the following day. On October 27, 2011, Paula Faris was named co-anchor of World News Now, taking over the role on January 2, 2012.
On January 6, 2012, the program celebrated its 20th anniversary. Clips and outtakes of the first two decades of WNN were shown throughout that night's broadcast. On June 11, 2012, the longtime "Morning Papers" segment was replaced by "The Mix," which instead of featuring offbeat headlines from various national and international newspapers, focused on stories trending online.
On January 18, 2013, Paula Faris announced that she would be departing World News Now after the January 22 broadcast; on the night Faris left the program, a brief send-off by Nelson to Faris was given at the conclusion of America This Morning. Diana Perez was named as Faris's successor. On March 12, 2013, Rob Nelson announced that he would be leaving the program effective March 15, 2013 to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News.John Muller was named as successor.
Marci Gonzalez filled in for Diana Perez while she was on maternity leave from January 6 to March 26, 2014. Perez later announced on May 29, 2014 that she was leaving World News Now to spend time with her family; John Muller and the staff celebrated her tenure in all three half-hour segments during the May 30 editions, including a visit by former co-anchor Rob Nelson, who remarked that she was the last of 16 co-anchors he had served with on WNN. On June 12, 2014, John Muller announced he was leaving the program to return to his previous employer, New York's WPIX, to become its lead news anchor. In October 2014, T.J. Holmes and Reena Ninan were appointed as co-anchors of World News Now and America This Morning. Ninan's appointment became official on April 8, 2015.
Around August 2015, TJ left "World News Now" and "America This Morning" to focus on his contributions to other shows on the network. He "unexpectedly" left the show around August 7, 2015. Kendis Gibson has since served as co-anchor of the show.
On April 4, 2016, Reena announced she was leaving the show to work dayside. Reena had a special sendoff on April 8, 2016 and left the network for an anchor position at CBSN, the CBS online streaming news service. Diane Macedo, formerly of Imus in the Morning, took over as World News Now co-anchor, alongside Kendis Gibson.
On Friday, January 6, 2017, World News Now broadcast an elaborate 25th Anniversary special. All three half hours, except top of the show news summaries, were devoted to archival show clips and reminiscences by former anchors. Predictably irreverent, WNN creator David Bohrman and original anchor Lisa McRee were live in studio to comment on the show's history. Barry Mitchell, accordion in tow, performed a special 25th Anniversary polka ("The work we do's important here, that's what the bosses say/We're warming up the cameras later on for GMA"). Throughout the hour and a half, Bohrman, McRee and a cardboard cutout of Aaron Brown joined then current anchors Kendis Gibson and Diane Macedo at an on-set open bar, along with past and present World News Now staffers.
Airs live beginning at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Re-airs at 3:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
|A||Top stories and national weather|
|B||Presentation of packaged segment.|
|D||"Skinny Bonus Round" (optional), "Friday Rewind" (Fridays only)|
Airs live beginning at 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
|A||Top stories and national weather|
|D||"Insomniac Theater" (Friday)|
Airs live beginning at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.
|A||Top stories and national weather|
(abbreviated on Friday mornings, when it is followed by the "World News Now Polka")
After the A-block, the rest of the half-hour is produced using the following segments:
The show is produced and airs in three half-hour segments from 1:30 to 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time each Monday through Friday morning, and is transmitted in a continuous 90-minute tape delayed loop until 8:00 a.m. Eastern, when America This Morning begins in certain areas of the Pacific Time Zone. America This Morning - which uses the same production and anchor staff as World News Now, although the program is branded as a tie-in to Good Morning America - airs live to the network at 3:30 a.m. Eastern Time and is also tape delayed for many ABC stations. Most ABC stations do not air the entire program loop of WNN and preempt portions of the program in favor of airing locally slotted programming (usually infomercials or syndicated programs) - joining the program in progress anywhere from five minutes to as much as two hours after the start of the newscast - with affiliates looping the show until America This Morning airs.
Although most ABC stations clear World News Now, a small number of affiliates do not air the program:
|01/1992||01/1993||Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee|
|05/1993||06/1993||Aaron Brown and Thalia Assuras|
|06/1993||11/1994||Thalia Assuras and Boyd Matson|
|11/1994||04/1996||Thalia Assuras and Kevin Newman|
|04/1996||01/1997||Thalia Assuras and Mark Mullen|
|01/1997||12/1998||Mark Mullen and Asha Blake|
|01/1999||02/2000||Juju Chang and Anderson Cooper|
|02/2000||08/2000||Anderson Cooper and Alison Stewart|
|08/2000||02/2002||Alison Stewart and Derek McGinty|
|02/2002||06/2003||Derek McGinty and Liz Cho|
|07/2003||12/2003||Andrea Stassou and David Muir|
|12/2003||08/2004||David Muir and Tamala Edwards|
|08/2004||01/2005||Tamala Edwards and Ron Corning|
|01/2005||12/2005||Ron Corning and Heather Cabot|
|12/2005||08/2006||Ron Corning and Taina Hernandez|
|08/2006||02/2007||Taina Hernandez and Hari Sreenivasan|
|02/2007||12/2007||Taina Hernandez and Ryan Owens|
|12/2007||02/2008||Ryan Owens (main); Gigi Stone, Christianne Klein and Tanya Rivero (alternating substitutes)|
|02/2008||03/2008||Tanya Rivero (main); Gigi Stone and Christianne Klein (alternating substitutes)|
|03/2008||05/2008||Jeremy Hubbard (main); Gigi Stone, Christianne Klein, and Tanya Rivero (alternating substitutes)|
|05/2008||07/2010||Jeremy Hubbard and Vinita Nair|
|07/2010||02/2011||Vinita Nair and Rob Nelson|
|02/2011||07/2011||Rob Nelson and Peggy Bunker|
|07/2011||10/2011||Rob Nelson (main); Tanya Rivero, Diana Alvear and Linsey Davis (alternating substitutes)|
|10/2011||01/2012||Rob Nelson (main); Yunji De Nies, Cecilia Vega and Sunny Hostin (alternating substitutes)|
|01/2012||01/2013||Rob Nelson and Paula Faris|
|01/2013||02/2013||Rob Nelson (main); Sunny Hostin, Diana Perez and Brandi Hitt (alternating substitutes)|
|02/2013||03/2013||Rob Nelson and Diana Perez|
|03/2013||05/2014||Diana Perez and John Muller (main); Marci Gonzalez, Linzie Janis, Tai Hernandez, Rob Nelson and Rob Powers (substitutes)|
|05/2014||06/2014||John Muller (main); Linzie Janis, Reena Ninan (substitutes)|
|06/2014||09/2014||Tahman Bradley, Devin Dwyer, Michelle Franzen, Matt Gutman, Brandi Hitt, Dan Kloeffler, Muhammad Lila, Reena Ninan and Ryan Smith (all substitutes)|
|10/2014||08/2015||T. J. Holmes and Reena Ninan (main); Michelle Franzen, Tai Hernandez, Kayna Whitworth, Kendis Gibson, Ryan Smith (substitutes)|
|08/2015||04/2016||Reena Ninan (main); Kendis Gibson, Phillip Mena (substitutes)|
|04/2016||02/2017||Diane Macedo (main); Kendis Gibson (substitute)|
|03/2017||11/2018||Diane Macedo and Kendis Gibson (main)|
|11/2018||12/2018||Kendis Gibson and Janai Norman (main)|
|12/2018||present||Janai Norman and Kenneth Moton (main)|
Occasional anchor Taina Hernandez has been criticized in the national press for laughing during various segments of the program, some of them dealing with serious stories. She laughed through the story of Owen Wilson's attempted suicide in 2007, and she and co-host Ryan Owens have giggled through segments centering on terrorism and the Iraq War. These laughing fits have earned her the nickname, "The Laughing Taina."