‘World News Now’ Celebrates 20 Years

By Chris Ariens 

While NBC celebrates 60 years of “Today” next week, today ABC is marking 20 years of “World News Now.” ABC News president Ben Sherwood calls the overnight news show, “the unsung hero of our news division.” And to the production team, “You all have the confidence and creativity to take risks and reap the rewards.”

The show, created by David Bohrman, who went on to CNN and is now president of Current TV, debuted January 6, 1992.

“We never imagined that our little overnight effort would last so long, inform and entertain so many people, and launch so many careers,” Bohrman tells TVNewser. Bohrman says he still has the audition tapes from original anchors Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee. Over the years, other anchors have included Anderson Cooper, Alison Stewart, Kevin Newman, Thalia Assuras,  Juju Chang, Jeremy Hubbard, David Muir and more.

Bohrman has one bit of advice for the current producers: “They should bring back the World News Now Temperature Index.” Here’s a best-of video, shown this morning on the show:

And this wasn’t the only TV news morning marker Today.

Sherwood’s note, after the jump…

From: Sherwood, Ben
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 9:01 AM
Subject: Happy Birthday … World News Now!

Congratulations on 20 years of achievement!

World News Now is the unsung hero of our news division. In the wee hours every day, you put a show on the air with skill, flair, enthusiasm and a voice all your own. On some of the biggest stories in the world, you consistently make and break news. It’s no surprise that WNN consistently places first in the overnight ratings.

The long, tough hours have created a broadcast that is unique in television — with Barry’s World News Polkas, the red bus count, the anchor lookalikes, the dress-up parties, and the lovable off-air characters. You all have the confidence and creativity to take risks and reap the rewards.

World News Now has produced many notable talents including our very own David Muir and Juju Chang and WABC’s Liz Cho. The broadcast has also helped launch Aaron Brown, Lisa McRee, Anderson Cooper, Kevin Newman, Alison Stewart, Jeremy Hubbard and many others on both sides of the camera.

Now, we kick off 2012 with a dynamic team for the future in Rob and Paula.

Thanks to Allison, Ken and all of you for a fantastic job.

Here’s to the next 20 and beyond!