World News Now

World News Now
World News Now
"World News Now"
Also known as ABC World News Now
Format News
Created by David Bohrman
Presented by Rob Nelson (2010–present)
Paula Faris (2012–present)
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Location(s) New York City, New York
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 1 hour, 30 minutes (often repeated locally)
Original channel ABC
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Original run January 6, 1992 (1992-01-06) – present
Followed by America This Morning
Related shows ABC News
External links
Production website

World News Now (WNN) is an American overnight news program broadcast on American Broadcasting Company's television network. Its tone is often lighthearted, irreverent and humorous. Created by the 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, and Anderson Cooper.

WNN is divided into an A, B, C, and D-block. Top ABC News headlines are in the "front of the book" with reports from ABC NewsOne correspondents or repeated reports from World News. There is a national weather forecast and an often humorous "kicker" story that ends the A-block. The "back of the book" (blocks B-D) are usually stories from Nightline, BBC reports, or other segments produced in the studio (otherwise known as pre-tapes or petaques... depending on the day of the week).

On September 22, 2009, the program became the first network overnight newscast to broadcast in high definition.




In late 1991 and early 1992, WNN and rival newscasts like CBS' Up to the Minute and NBC's Nightside were created to compete for viewer demand driven originally by CNN's 24-hour coverage of the Gulf War, and to supply local affiliates with overnight programming. The original working title was "World News Overnight";[1] "World News Now" was adopted prior to the first broadcast.

In the tradition of NBC News Overnight, it has featured serious as well as offbeat news interspersed with odd features such as the "World News Polka" played by Barry Mitchell on the accordion, video footage of dancing camels, and laughter coming from off camera. Weather predictions are made for obscure and exotic places around the world, some of which have ties to the show for various reasons.

It also often replays clips from Nightline, World News with Diane Sawyer, and other ABC News programming. It has been an apparent training ground for new news anchors (see list below) who go on to higher profile network or local affiliate positions. The show is also unique for its interactive segments, some of which pioneered the email communication that is commonly used on newscasts today.[citation needed] The ABC News WNN Message board has been known[who?] to offer viewers questions and comments from the anchors themselves, during the course of the show.


On Thanksgiving morning in 1995, World News Now was 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.[2]

World News Now was used as the prototype for Fred, ABC's plan to run a cable news channel.[3] The plan was floated in 1995 and was later dropped due to issues with cable carriage, including competition with the recently started MSNBC and Fox News Channel.[4] World News Now also competes for overnight viewers with CBS' Up to the Minute and NBC's All Night entertainment block.

In the fall of 1998, ABC News experienced a labor dispute, seeing support employees locked out for several months. While World News This Morning continued to be produced in New York City with substitute production staff, World News Now moved to the London news bureau. Mark Mullen returned to WNN during the last month of the lockout.


World News Now was one of the first shows to webcast; between 1999 and 2001, free live streaming was on the ABC News website.[citation needed] In 2005, the free behind-the-scenes webcast returned.

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 launched a special report at 2:38 AM EDT, anchored by WNN team Ron Corning and Taina Hernandez. The show, normally repeated on tape after the initial broadcast, instead went live for all time zones and into follow-up program World News This Morning. The on-air and behind-the-scenes staff stayed on until Good Morning America began and took over coverage at 7:00 AM ET.[5]

In January 2007, WNN celebrated its fifteenth anniversary with the brief resurrection of the National Temperature Index (see below) and a new version of the "World News Polka."

On Thursday, August 2, 2007, WNN abandoned its normal format and went with nearly-continuous coverage of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minneapolis. WNN coverage was anchored by Hernández and Stephanie Sy and continued into America This Morning.

Taina Hernandez left the show on December 18, 2007, to spend more time with her children, while Ryan Owens announced on February 29, 2008, that he was leaving the show to become a full time correspondent for ABC News. During the week of January 7, 2008, WNN celebrated 16 years on the air with segments looking back on the early days of the broadcast and its anchors. Jeremy Hubbard was named co-anchor of WNN on March 17, 2008; Vinita Nair was named Hubbard's co-anchor on September 17, 2008.


World News Now's open from 2008 to 2011

On the September 22, 2009, broadcast of World News Now, the program became the first network overnight newscast to broadcast in high definition.

On the July 9, 2010, broadcast, Jeremy Hubbard left WNN to become a full-time correspondent for ABC News with Rob Nelson coming in to join Vinita Nair at the anchor desk.

In Hubbard's honor, the "World News Now" staff took a look back at his time with the program and as is tradition at "World News Now," Hubbard had 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 and welcomed his replacement, Rob Nelson. [1]


On the January 24, 2011 broadcast, World News Now debuted new graphics and animations for all their segments and began using a new set, a side view of the current set of ABC World News.

On February 17, 2011, Vinita announced that Friday, February 18 would be her last night on air at World News Now. The February 18 edition of World News Now 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. Also, a brief send-off by Nelson to Nair was given at the conclusion of America This Morning. Former KDVR Denver anchor Peggy Bunker has been named interim successor.

On July 21, 2011, Peggy Bunker announced that Friday, July 22 would be her last night on air at World News Now. The July 22 edition of World News Now acknowledged her departure in the first and last of its three, half-hour segments. Also, a brief send-off by Nelson to Bunker was given at the conclusion of America This Morning. ABC News reportedly will rotate co-anchors alongside Nelson until a permanent successor is named.

Starting on July 25, 2011, Tanya Rivero replaced Bunker temporarily and will alternate the anchor position with Diana Alvear and Linsey Davis, as ABC is looking for a permanent replacement. However from September 19, 2011, Alvear and Davis were taken out of the rotation and Rivero would be sole anchor.

On October 14, 2011 Tanya Rivero moved to ABC daytime, and Rivero, the last member of the July WNN anchor rotation would be replaced by Yunji De Nies as a substitute anchor the following program.

On October 17, 2011 while presenting WNN and substituting for Rob Nelson, Dan Kloeffer publicly came out as gay on the heels of a report featured on "The Skinny" involving actor Zachary Quinto, who had revealed he was gay in a magazine interview and who wrote in a weekend blog post on his website that he was inspired to come out after learning of the death of Jamey Rodemeyer, the gay teen who committed suicide the month before after years of being bullied. Kloeffer would later write a blog post on ABC News's website [6], saying "I’ve never shared that I’m gay on-air, even though I’ve been out to my family, friends and co-workers for years," [..] "There have been too many tragic endings and too many cases of bullying because of intolerance. As a kid I wanted someone to look up to, someone that could relate to the feelings I was having. Most of all, I wanted to know that it would get better" [7]

On October 27, 2011 Paula Faris was named co-anchor of World New Now. Faris also is expected to contribute occasional reports to ABC’s Good Morning America. She is expected to start in early January. [8]


Regular segments

  • Top Stories
  • Weather
  • Kicker story
  • What to Watch (stories to follow throughout the day)
  • SKINNY (an entertainment news, celebrity and pop-culture segment).
  • Morning Papers (off-beat stories, viral videos, funny pictures)

B, C & D-block

After the A-block, the rest of the half-hour is produced using the following segments:

  • Nightline – The first story of the primary topic of Nightline is showcased from the previous night (or Friday if it's a Monday morning).
  • This Week (Monday mornings only) – The "Roundtable" segment, a debate of pundits from both sides of politics, is featured.
  • "ABC News Vault" – A look back at how ABC News covered a story of historical importance which usually corresponds to the date of the broadcast.
  • "American Landscape" – Team coverage of a major national or international story is rebroadcast from the perspective of a local ABC station or affiliate that covers it. The segment is often edited for time, which is noticeable with sudden jumps of the station's time bug (if that station uses one during their newscasts) and jumps between and during story packages.
  • "GizWiz" – Dick DeBartolo talks about and demonstrates the newest gadgets and technology.
  • "Viewers' Voice" - A segment where the anchors read viewer opinions about a specific topic from the Facebook website or e-mail inbox.
  • "Insomniac Theater" - Every Monday the anchors give their review (out of 5) about a recent movie release. This segment is adlibbed and usually contains a SOT from the movie EPK.
  • "Insomniac Kitchen" - WNN anchors visit a local NY restaurant to get ideas for late-night snacks you can make at home.

Special segments

  • Friday mornings close with some version of the "World News Polka," usually performed by the composer, comedian Barry Mitchell. The show credits are also scrolled at the same time.
  • When an anchor of numerous broadcasts finally leaves, a ceremony of sorts is held on their last broadcast. As the first few anchors moved on, cardboard cutouts were placed in the rafters of the studio for the "Anchor Hall of Fame." Today, this is done with a graphics sequence of a head-shot of the anchor moved into a graphic of the original set's rafters and monitors.

Segments no longer used

  • Randomly, throughout the broadcast, a "new e-mail" sound effect will be heard. This is then followed by the ABC News announcer Bill Rice reading aloud an e-mail from a viewer. The anchors then respond (sometimes humorously) to the message.
  • The National Temperature Index (NTI) – WNN featured the National Temperature Index (NTI), which is the sum of the day's forecast high temperatures for Boston, MA; Casper, WY; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Fargo, ND; Las Vegas, NV; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Seattle, WA. The NTI appeared during nightly weather segments until January 6, 2003. It was reintroduced on January 5, 2007, but was again dropped in mid-February, 2007. The NTI was originally discontinued when staff meteorologist Gerard McNiff revealed the method used for its calculation to San Francisco Bay Area meteorologist Jan Null,[9] who published the formula in the San Jose Mercury News.[10]
  • Leah at the Movies – People Magazine's Leah Rozen would give her top picks for new releases of the week.
  • Their News Now – World News Now would check in with a different news producer at a local ABC affiliate around the country each night to see what stories they were working on in their local market. This was usually rotated between four or five local markets, which included Seattle and Denver, and was discontinued sometime in 2005 when "American Landscape" was expanded to a nightly segment.
  • World News Now "InsomniACTS" – Local jazz bands typically from around the New York City area would be invited into the studio to play a number on-the-air.
  • World News Knows – A quick useless knowledge fact flashed on the screen some nights after a return from a commercial.
  • WNN also featured a full sportscast, which became a scene of comedic fodder for many anchors on the show since many of them did not have a great deal of experience calling sports highlights. This was later replaced by a scoreboard graphic displaying sports scores coming out of a commercial break, leaving time for more general segments.
  • Asia Business Now – A daily segment involving Asia business with an anchor from Japan's NHK network. This was referenced in the early editions of the "World News Polka" as "business news from Tokyo."
  • Financial News from the BBC - again with Declan Curry or other BBC anchors, presenting an update on the European financial markets from the London Stock Exchange. The BBC presenters typically stood in front of a video wall looking out on a London intersection, and sometimes a small counter at the bottom of the screen would note the number of double-decker buses that passed by in the background.
  • World News Then - World News Now would present segments from ABC news program archives that related to or contrasted with a current event. As a bonus, they would also often show a commercial or two that aired during the original broadcast.


The show is produced and airs in three half-hour segments from 1:30 a.m. ET to 3 a.m. ET Monday through Friday mornings. America This Morning airs live to the network at 4 a.m. ET (which is anchored and produced by the same team) and is tape delayed for many ABC stations. Most ABC stations preempt portions of WNN due to local programming (usually infomercials or syndicated fare) with affiliates looping the show until America This Morning airs. Although most ABC stations clear the program, a small number of affiliates do not air World News Now:

  • Hearst Television's KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City does clear the program but only carries the Tuesday-Friday editions, while the Monday edition of WNN is preempted due to syndicated programming and infomercials. The preemption of the Monday editions of World News Now began in November 2010, following the expansion of KOCO-TV's weekday morning newscast to 4:30 a.m., which pushed the timeslot of America This Morning ahead by a half-hour; prior to November 2010, the station aired a 25-minute block of the Monday edition joined in progress in-between an infomercial and America This Morning.
  • Another Hearst-owned ABC affiliate, WCVB-TV in Boston, airs WNN; since the fall of 2010 for unknown reasons, however, Canadian subscribers of the Bell TV satellite and Bell Fibe TV fiber optic television services are unable to view WNN over WCVB, which the providers preempt with infomercials instead.
  • Three ABC stations owned by Citadel Communications do not air World News Now, as KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, KLKN in Lincoln, Nebraska and WOI-DT in Des Moines, Iowa all sign off the air during the overnight hours, the stations are among the few television stations remaining in the United States not operating on a 24-hour schedule. WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island, which was acquired by Citadel in April 2011, is the only Citadel-owned ABC affiliate that carries both a 24-hour schedule and clears World News Now.
  • In addition, WDAY-TV in Fargo, North Dakota and its satellite WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, North Dakota, WOAY-TV in Bluefield, West Virginia and WSVI-TV in the U.S. Virgin Islands also do not clear World News Now for broadcast as they sign-off overnight.
  • WAWV-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana, owned by Mission Broadcasting, did not clear World News Now when the station rejoined ABC in September 2011, following a 16-year absence of an over-the-air ABC affiliate in the market (it was an ABC affiliate at the time World News Now debuted, but was a Fox affiliate from 1995 to 2011); WAWV instead carries syndicated programming in place of WNN, as it does with the network's Saturday morning children's program block Litton's Weekend Adventure.
  • WVII-TV in Bangor, Maine preempts the program in favor of programming from the shopping network Jewelry Television.


Taina Hernandez has been criticized in the national press for laughing during various segments, some of them serious. She laughed through the story of Owen Wilson's attempted suicide and she and Owens have giggled through segments on terrorism and the Iraq war.[11] These laughing fits have earned her the nickname "The Laughing Taina."

WNN anchor timeline

From To Anchors
01/1992 05/1993 Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee
05/1993 08/1993 Aaron Brown and Thalia Assuras
08/1993 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 and alternating subs Gigi Stone, Christianne Klein and Tanya Rivero
02/2008 03/2008 Tanya Rivero and alternating subs Gigi Stone and Christianne Klein
03/2008 05/2008 Jeremy Hubbard and alternating subs Gigi Stone, Christianne Klein, and Tanya Rivero
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 and alternating subs Tanya Rivero, Diana Alvear, and Linsey Davis
10/2011 01/2012 Rob Nelson and alternating subs Yunji De Nies, Cecilia Vega[12], Sunny Hostin
01/2012 present Rob Nelson and Paula Faris


External links

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