Eyewitness News

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Description:
Eyewitness News is a name used by local television newscasts, widely used in different markets across the United States.

History

Origins

The earliest known use of the Eyewitness News name in American television was in April 1959 when KYW-TV (now WKYC-TV) in Cleveland, owned at the time by Westinghouse Broadcasting, launched the nation's first 90-minute local newscast (under the title Eyewitness), combined with the then 15-minute national newscast. The name was then adopted for use by Westinghouse's other television stations—KPIX in San Francisco, WJZ-TV in Baltimore, WBZ-TV in Boston and KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh—for its local newscasts.

After KYW-TV moved to Philadelphia in 1965 (the result of a government-ordered reversal of the 1956 Westinghouse/NBC station swap) its then-news director, Al Primo, created the Eyewitness News format. In this format, which was meant to be faster in pace than the standard format (in which an anchor simply read headlines), a reporter in the field would be the "eyewitness" to a news event to the anchor in the studio and the viewer at home. The anchors became personalities instead of presenters with the introduction of banter, or "happy talk" as it was named by Al Primo. Anchors would give their own personal comments in between stories to let viewers know their personalities.

Primo used the cue 007 from the 1963 film From Russia with Love as the musical theme. The format quickly became a hit in...
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