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Television news music

Music Sound

Television news music

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Television news music are 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.


News music 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 much as 500 cuts of music. One of the largest news music packages is Shelly Palmer's Millennium 3 combined with its two other versions, Millennium 3 with PNP Signature and Millennium 3.2, with a total over 450 cuts.

News music packages consist of the following: opens, promo beds and bumpers, IDs, stingers, utility tracks and billboards.

  • Opens: These are the cuts used to begin a newscast or a specific segment, such as weather, sports, etc. In many cases, news opens can double as promo beds. In a news package, opens come in long credit and short credit forms.
  • Closes: Closes also come in different formats, many of which are similar in sound to that package's open.
  • Promo beds: These are the cuts of music used only in promos for a specific upcoming newscast. Promo beds come in four types: theme donut/theme donut open beds, ID/promo beds, end theme news open/promo beds, and ID/stingers.
  • Promo bumpers: These are used primarily before a commercial break during a newscast. When the bumper is played, a summary of what will air later in that newscast or in an upcoming newscast will be shown.
  • In-show stingers: Stingers are used to open various segments (bulletins, special reports, sports, weather, etc.).

Other compositions in a news package include tickers and vamps.

Stations within the same market area will typically use different music packages, unless they are related to each other in some manner. For example, the two stations may be owned by the same company (or operated by the same company under a local marketing agreement), or one station may contract out its news production to the other.

Custom made 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 the norm in the industry, there are some stations that still use custom made packages. Such examples include:

  • KFOR-TV Oklahoma City
    • Newsmusic Central's KFOR Custom News Package (1994-1997)
    • Wow and Flutter Music's KFOR-TV News Package (1997-present)
  • KTHV 11, Little Rock
    • KTHV 1995 News Package (1995-2004)
    • KTHV 2004 News Package (2004-present)
  • WGN-TV 9, Chicago
    • Chicago's Very Own by John Hegner (1994-1997)
    • WGN News Theme (1997-present, a modified version is currently used)

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

  • Sinclair News Music Package by Stephen Arnold (2004-present, for Sinclair Broadcast Group stations)
  • Hearst-Argyle News Package by NewsMusic Central (2003/2004-present)
  • The Rock by Stephen Arnold (2005-present), The Tower by 615 Music (1999-present) and The NBC Collection by Frank Gari ((1998-present) for NBC O&Os and affiliates)

Station image 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. 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" and "Stand Up and Tell 'em You're From Detroit", were composed during this era, and some were even used on stations in Canada and Australia.

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. 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.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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