ABC's late night news program, Nightline, continues to hold the number one time slot. Once resistant to change, the show's producers expertly balance media demands while still honoring the program's traditions. Built on the solid foundation of offering viewers a "mix of investigative journalism and interviews", the new Nightline had a daunting task ahead of them. Today news is available 24/7. How does a news program steeped in tradition keep up in today's news world? Nightline created balance by giving its viewers a multi-anchor, multi-subject format that engages the viewer through social media outlets. These changes still hold strong to its thirty-two year goal to keep America informed.
Nightline began as a special report program regarding The Iran Hostage Crisis in November 1979. The news program revolved around one subject. As the crisis wore on, the show began to count the days with its American viewers. At the end of the 144-day affair, Ted Koppel, a former ABC News State Department Correspondent, held the anchor position until he retired in 2005. Good ratings showed, America's interested for in depth, simple format of the 25-minute program. Attempts to change the format failed in its early days. After Ted Koppel retired in 2005, Nightline once again felt pressure to renew the show.
Program directors realized the need to expand the program. The anchor team of Bill Weir, Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran cover all news subjects with expertise. Each anchor holds numerous awards in journalism and reporting. Bill Weir focuses on global issues. He followed stories in Iran and Iraq; The Japanese Tsunami of 2011 and Chilean Miner Tragedy. Cynthia McFadden's journalistic interest is on human rights and legal topics. Her resume includes familiar topics as the O.J. Simpson trials and The Bosnian War Crimes. Former White House Chief Correspondent, Terry Moran, is the show's political consultant out of Washington D.C. Moran interviews political figures and discusses topics relevant to viewer concerns. The well-rounded anchor team of Nightline, keeps America up to date with expert journalistic flair.
Nightline's choice to jump on the social network bandwagon opened up an interactive world between staff and viewers. Set up on both Twitter and Facebook in 2009, Nightline now has a million Twitter followers and over 80,000 Facebook likes. Both pages bubble with viewer comments. The social network popularity gives viewers a voice and interactive freedom. ABC's Nightline continues a rise in ratings, while holding the number one spot for its time slot. The show's anchor team and investigative reporting, continues the tradition of delivering a mix of investigative journalism and current updated news to its late night viewers.
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Michelle Williams, after staying silent for many years, recently opened up during a Nightline interview about the death of Heath Ledger. Heath and Michelle have a child together and originally met on the set of Brokeback Mountain. Unfortunately, the producers and editors of Nightline decided they wanted to skew her three-hour long interview in a manner that was inappropriate in her eyes. In a recent interview with writer Kevin Sessums, Michelle said, “I just had an experience with Nightline that got edited in such a way that seemed as if I did go too far.
Michelle Williams stayed away from the press immediately following the accidental death of Heath Ledger back in 2008. She did interviews about her movies and her projects, but anything else was off limits in interviews. Now, with the third anniversary of the event approaching in January, she has finally opened up about the subject. Michelle says she can’t find any meaning in his death. Well, is that a surprise? It was an accidental overdose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Is there ever meaning, especially when a child is left behind? The interview where Michelle finally talks in on Nightline.