|Availability||National, through regional affiliates.|
|Slogan||"Trusted. Credible. Complete."|
(distributed throughCitadel Media)
|Launch date||January 1, 1968|
|Former names||ABC Radio News|
ABC News Radio is the radio service of ABC News, a division of the ABC Television Network. Formerly known as ABC Radio News, ABC News Radio feeds, through Citadel Media, newscasts on the hour to its more than 2,000 affiliates. ABC News Radio is the largest commercial radio news organization in the US.
ABC Radio aired the first broadcast report of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas at 18:30 UTC and Don Gardiner anchored the initial bulletin at 18:36:50 UTC, minutes before any other radio or television network.
Beginning in the late 1950s, ABC fed hourly newscasts to affiliates at :55 past the hour until January 1, 1968, when the singular ABC radio network "split" into four separate and distinct programming services. The American Contemporary Network, on major-market music stations like WABC New York, aired news at :55. American Information Network news ran at the top of the hour on major-market stations like KGO San Francisco. The American FM Network (now ABC News Now) carried news geared toward adult FM listeners at :15 past, while the American Entertainment Network had news at the bottom of the hour.
Before the "split," ABC reached an understanding with the FCC concerning the "Chain Broadcasting" rule, which forced the sale of NBC's Blue network and enabled ABC's creation in 1943. Each of the four networks could be cleared only when no other ABC network was on the air in a particular market. Though each of the four new "networks" were distributed to all member radio stations nationally over the same broadcast-quality telephone line, the move allowed ABC to have as many as four affiliates in one city—a major competitive advantage and a dramatic turning point in the history of network radio. Two additional news networks, ABC Rock and Direction, were added on January 4, 1982 after the network became a satellite-delivered service. The network was strict in its insistence that there be no simultaneous broadcast of more than a single network in a market, except during crisis or special event coverage.
Of the six networks, only Information and Entertainment remain as separate newscast services today, with their programming delivered via satellite. The "Information" network newscasts clear on major-market stations like WABC New York, KABC Los Angeles, WLS Chicago,KGO San Francisco, WMAL Washington, and WBAP Ft. Worth/Dallas (all of which were owned by ABC prior to the sale to Citadel) and many other large market stations. "Entertainment" network news airs mainly on small and medium-market stations. These ABC News Radio newscasts originate from the news division's bureaus in New York, Washington and Los Angeles and air exactly at the top of the hour. The standard format is the same for both, with the Entertainment network having shorter stories and the Information network having slightly longer stories and more global coverage.
Individual soundbites and reporter packages are fed to stations via satellite and an affiliate website. In 2006, ABC News Radio launched an internet-delivered "FM" news product targeted toward a younger music audience, often customized for individual affiliates.
In addition to the top-of-the-hour newscasts, ABC News also provides its radio affiliates with headlines, briefs and "status reports" that air at :30, :50, :10, and :20 and :40 past the hour, as well as special reports, special event coverage and longform programming.
ABC News Radio also produces "News and Comment", which originates from Chicago and began in 1951. On January 1, 1968 Paul Harveybecame a part of ABC's American Entertainment Network, although the program was also heard on stations affiliated with all four ABC Networks, if the "Entertainment" affiliate was not as powerful as another ABC affiliate in a given market. After Paul Harvey's death on February 28, 2009; Gil Gross took over the "News & Comment" program less than a month later. The "News and Comment" time slot is currently held by Doug Limerick.