Television news music

Television news music

Television news music is used by television stations to brand their news operations. Each television station uses an identifiable news theme; some themes are used by multiple stations while others are composed specifically for a certain station.


In the United States

In the United States, news themes used on local television stations are typically organized into News Music packages, with each theme within a package sharing a similar musical signature. A typical television News Music package consists of anywhere from 50 to as many as 1000 cuts of music. One of the largest News Music packages is Overture, created by Stephen Arnold Music. This package consists of a total of 36 themes and over 1000 cuts.

News Music packages consist of the following: opens, closes, bumpers, topicals (promo beds), franchise opens/stingers, IDs, utility tracks and billboards.

  • Opens: These are the cuts used to begin a newscast, usually accompanied by a vamp straight out of the open (either a stripped or full version of the bumper.) In a news package, opens come in short credit forms (for the main open) and long credit forms (for talent opens.) Some packages even include different lengths of the talent opens for 3 or 4-anchor lineups.
  • Closes: Closes also come in different formats and lengths, many of which are similar in sound to that package's open. Usually, there are :60, :30, :20, :15, and :10 versions of the close, designed to resolve at a precise time.
  • Bumpers: These are used primarily before the main open and teasing out to the next segment of a newscast. When the bumper is played, a summary of what will air in the upcoming newscast or later in the newscast will be shown.
  • Topicals/promo beds: These are the cuts of music used only in promos for a specific upcoming newscast. Topicals come in four types: theme donut/theme donut open beds, ID/promo beds, end theme news open/promo beds, and ID/stingers. These usually correspond with regular promo times (:30, :20, :10, and :05 ID.)
  • Franchise opens/stingers: Franchise opens or stingers are used to open various segments of a newscast in-show (breaking news, special reports, sports, weather, investigation, etc.)
  • IDs: This is a short package signature used to identify the television station. It can also be used in conjunction to identify talent. The Federal Communications Commission requires several over-the-air (OTA) stations (including radio stations) to identify themselves at regular intervals by either stating their call letters or brand name (sometimes known, particularly in the United States, as a "sounder" or "stinger", more generally as a station or network ident). Also, an ID can signify a network affiliation such as the NBC chimes or the Fox TV drum-roll.
  • Utility tracks
  • Billboards

Stations within the same market area will always use different music packages, unless they are related to each other in some manner; e.g., if two stations may be owned by the same company (or operated by the same company under a LMA (Local Marketing Agreement), or one station may contract out its news production to the other. For example: in Ft. Myers, Florida, ABC affiliate WZVN-TV is owned by Montclair Communications, Inc., while NBC affiliate WBBH-TV in the same market is owned by Waterman Broadcasting Corporation, which operates WZVN under an LMA. That said, both stations currently use This is Your News by Gari Communications. In newscasts airing on WZVN, NBC Network ID stingers can be heard in the news opens, even though WZVN-TV is an ABC affiliate.

A case where the opposite of the aforementioned is true is in Denver, Colorado, Fox affiliate KDVR is owned by Local TV LLC, while CW affiliate KWGN is owned by the Tribune Company but is operated by KDVR under an LMA. However, KDVR uses the Fox Affiliate News Theme by OSI Music, while KWGN uses Indie-Band News by Stephen Arnold Music.

Custom News Music packages

Some News Music packages are custom made for one station only, as opposed to syndicated packages which are used by multiple stations. While syndicated packages are normal in the industry, there are some stations that still use custom made packages. Such examples include:

  • WLS-TV, Chicago
    • News Series 2000 Plus (1992–present)
  • KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City
    • Newsmusic Central's KFOR Custom News Package (1993–1997)
    • Wow and Flutter Music's KFOR-TV News Package (1997–present)
  • KSTP-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul
    • Latitude Music's Leading Edge (1995–1999)
    • Stephen Arnold Music's Overture (1999–2005)
  • KTHV, Little Rock
    • KTHV 1995 News Package (1995–2004)
    • KTHV 2004 News Package (2004–2008)
    • KUSA News Package by Third Street Music (1995–2009) (While it ceased to be the main theme as of October 2008, it was used for the Talent ID until Feb of 2009.)
  • WPIX-TV, New York
    • WPIX-TV Custom News Package by Non-Stop Music (1994–present)
  • WGN-TV, Chicago
    • Chicago's Very Own by John Hegner (1993–1997)
    • WGN News Theme by Non-Stop Music (1997–2007)
    • Chicago's Very Own by 615 Music (2007–present)
  • WWL-TV, New Orleans
    • Stephen Arnold Music's WWL News (1989–2004)
    • Stephen Arnold Music's WWL Custom News Package [The Spirit Of Louisiana] (2004–2006)
  • WTVK, Knoxville (now WVLT-TV)
    • Pulstar (1977-1981)
    • Hello News (1981-1985)
    • WTVK 1985 News Theme (1985–1986)
    • WTVK 1986 News Theme (1986–1987)
  • KOMO News theme (KOMO-TV, Seattle, composed and recorded by Dan Dean Productions)
    • KOMO News theme 1988
    • KOMO News theme 1990
    • KOMO News theme 1992
  • WCAU-TV, Philadelphia
    • WCAU NBC News Theme (1997–2008)
  • WISH-TV, Indianapolis (These packages used the "Back Home Again, in Indiana" melody in the music exclusive to Indiana)
    • Newsleader, possibly a.k.a. Newsleader in Indiana by Stephen Arnold, first use the melody (1991-1997)
    • WISH-TV News Music Package, a.k.a. Counterpoint with Indiana by Stephen Arnold (1997-2004)
    • In-Sync V.4, a.k.a. In-Sync with Indiana by 615 Music (2004-present)

Some packages are custom made for a specific station group company, or owned and operated stations and affiliates of a specific television network:

  • Daily News by Gari Communications (December 2006–present) for the Sinclair stations.
  • Fox Affiliate News Theme by OSI Music (2005–present) for Fox O&Os and affiliates.
  • Gannett News Music Package by Rampage Music (2008–present) for the Gannett stations.
  • Hearst-Argyle News Package by NewsMusic Central (2003/2004–present) for the Hearst stations.
  • Media General Station Group Package by John D. Keltonic (2006–present) for the Media General stations
  • Move Closer to Your World by Al Ham (1972–1988) for stations owned by Capital Cities Communications.
  • The NBC Collection by Gari Communications (1995–present), The Rock by Stephen Arnold (2005–present) and The Tower by 615 Music (2000–present) for NBC O&Os and affiliates.
  • Sinclair News Music Package by Stephen Arnold (2002-December 2006) for the Sinclair stations.
  • Scripps TV Station Group Package by Musikvergnuegen (2009–present) for the E. W. Scripps stations.

Station imaging packages

Some News Music packages are accompanied by a station image package, featuring promotional jingles which often share the same musical signature as the parent news music package. Often, imaging packages include jingles for the holiday and elections. Such promotional packages first came to prominence in the United States in the 1970s, and had become widespread by the 1980s, used by many (though not all) television stations. Many memorable packages, such as Frank Gari's "Hello"[1] and "Turn to...", were composed during this era, and some were even used on stations in some other countries and in languages other than English.

Station image packages are designed to give a positive branding method for broadcast television stations. Many such packages from the 1970s and 1980s often portrayed stations in a community-oriented light, accompanied by footages of the stations' personalities participating in recreational activities and charity events with regular everyday people.[2][3] By the 1990s, many stations had adopted a more hard-hitting approach to branding, resulting in a reduced demand for traditional promotion campaigns. However, a few stations which used Gari's Hello campaign briefly re-introduced it in the 2000s as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

News music adopted from other sources

Besides standard news music packages, some stations had opted to use the soundtrack from some movies or other popular songs as their main news themes; examples include:

News Music worldwide

Certain News Music packages used in the United States have also been used worldwide. Eyewitness News by Frank Gari has been picked up for use in overseas markets. Hong Kong Cable News has used it for its morning newscast, and POP TV in Slovenia has used it for its main newscasts.

News Music Production Companies

United States

  • Stephen Arnold Music
  • Third Street Music
  • Gari Media Group
  • Chris Crane Music, Inc.
  • John Hegner Music
  • Edd Kalehoff Productions
  • Shelly Palmer Company
  • 615 Music
  • Non-Stop Music
  • JDK Music
  • Rampage Music New York, Inc.
  • Groove Worx
  • Cue11
  • In the Groove Music, is a subsidiary of AirCast Production, a division of Megatrax Production Music, Inc
  • FirstCom
  • 360 Music
  • Newsmusic Central
  • Lattitude Music
  • Music Partners
  • Killer Tracks
  • Music Oasis
  • HitPlay Productions
  • OSI Music
  • Radio Band of America


  • James Bowers

United Kingdom

The Netherlands

  • Stephen Emmer
  • Martijn Schimmer
  • Jeroen Kuitenbrouwer
  • Bernard Joosten
  • Ronald Schilperoort

The Philippines


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of television news music packages — The following is a list of television news music packages, arranged by composer:615 Music* Alive (V.1 V.2) * Always Worth Your Time (Battery V.4) * AWAAZ * Aurora * Battery * Chicago s Very Own * Decade 90 * Fahren Hite * Fastbreak (formerly UPN… …   Wikipedia

  • Alive (news music) — Alive is a local television station branding, used in different markets across the United States. It is also the name of a television news music package offered by 615 Music.HistoryThe Alive branding was originally developed in 1976 by San Diego… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution (news music) — Evolution is a television news music package composed by Gari Communications. The package consists of 3 CDs containing 100 cuts centered around at least 3 primary themes. Evolution was composed for Sinclair Broadcast Group s stations as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Convergence (news music) — Convergence is a television news music package composed by Stephen Arnold. Convergence was composed for WVEC in Norfolk, VA in 2001. It contains over 18 themes and 695 cuts.Convergence has been used in over 10 markets across the United States.… …   Wikipedia

  • Overture (news music) — Overture is a television news music package created by Stephen Arnold. This package was developed for KSTP TV in Minnesota s Twin Cities in 1999. Over 80 musicians made contributions to this package, which contains 36 central themes and over… …   Wikipedia

  • Counterpoint (news music) — Counterpoint is a television news package created by Stephen Arnold. This package is currently being used in at least 30 local television markets across the USA, containing at least 40 central themes over 900 cuts …   Wikipedia

  • The Spirit (news music) — The Spirit is a television news music package composed by Stephen Arnold. The package consists of 3 CDs containing 100 cuts centered around at least 3 primary themes. It is also a station slogan used by many television stations, mostly found in… …   Wikipedia

  • Sinclair News Music Package — The News Central News Music Package is a television news music package composed by Stephen Arnold It features numerous cuts of opens, closes, promo bumpers, stingers and promo beds.The package was composed in 2002 for Sinclair Broadcast Group… …   Wikipedia

  • List of television theme music — The following contains scores and/or songs which are the primary theme music of a television series or mini series.dynamic list of songs They are sorted alphabetically by the television series title. Any themes, scores, or songs which are billed… …   Wikipedia

  • News Watch — (also expressed as Newswatch or NewsWatch) is a name or brand associated with the following: NewsWatch (branding): A branding used for local newscasts in the US and Canada Newswatch (Nigeria): a news magazine published in Nigeria NewsWatch (TV… …   Wikipedia