No one can put a precise date on when ABC News started. But it was in 1962 that the network established an assignment desk and newsgathering capabilities: the guts of a TV news organization. And so today, ABCNewsers celebrated 50 years of providing news and information to American homes (and now workplaces and mobile devices).
Employees packed ABC’s TV Studios 1 (former home of “Who Wants to Be Millionaire” and 2 (current home of “The Chew”) which were festooned with images of ABC News anchors and reporters past and present. In addition to hundreds who packed the studio, employees from bureaus around the country and the world were patched in for the celebration.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood was the emcee and was joined by two former ABC News presidents: Bill Sheehan (1974-1977) in Washington, DC and David Westin (1997-2010) in New York. Kaycee Freed Jennings, widow of Peter Jennings, also attended.
The celebration included a video lookback, as well as the first (and probably last) Meatball Awards, presented by Lara Spencer. (The award for tightest t-shirt worn during a natural disaster was a three-way tie going to David Muir, Jeffrey Kofman and Matt Gutman.)
The highlight, insiders say, was John Berman’s “50 Ways.” With his own lyrics, set to the tune of Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Berman belted out the best of ABC News.
“I think the opportunities at ABC News for our youngest and brightest are nearly limitless and our best days are ahead of us,” said Sherwood at the close of the event.