CBS News Gets New Election Theme Music

By Chris Ariens 

You’ll be hearing something new when you tune into the second democratic debate tomorrow night on CBS. The network has commissioned new election music. USA Today went behind the scenes with the orchestra as the new theme music came together.

“This is a big deal for us at CBS News,” said CBS Evening News and special events director T.J. Asprea. “This is a really great score that can be iconic. I want someone 10, 15 years from now to hear it as CBS.”

“Recognition is the most important part,” says co-composer and Man Made Music founder Joel Beckerman. “If you can hear those notes, and you’re saying, ha, CBS News is on somewhere—that’s really valuable for CBS and gives credit to the news division.” Man Made Music also composed the CBS This Morning theme music. CBS’s main music theme is from Trivers/Myers Music and dates to the 1980s. CBS had used election music from James Horner and Michael Colina in past election cycles.

NBC News has been using the instantly recognizable John Williams-scored The Mission theme music since 1985 for Nightly News, Today, Meet the Press and election nights. Score Productions/Edd Kalehoff produced the original ABC News theme music, variations of which are still used today, along with new music from DreamArtists.

The first democratic debate on Oct. 13 was hosted by CNN and was watched by 15.8 million viewers. Saturday’s debate will be the first of the 2016 cycle on a broadcast network.