Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christopher H. Sterling
The weakest of the three legacy broadcasting networks for several decades, the American Broadcasting Company's (ABC) news division has since the 1970s become a serious contender in network news competition. Building on a fairly weak foundation, news division director Roone Arledge helped develop ABC News into a ratings powerhouse. Time and again, ABC has made effective use of journalists who had built their initial reputation at either CBS or NBC. ABC came into being as the Blue Network in 1943, the result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that broke up NBC's longtime ownership of two radio networks. Blue was sold by NBC to Edward J. Noble, who had made his fortune with Life Saver candies. In 1945, the Blue Network changed its name to the American Broadcasting Company. The radio network was the first to break the national network ban on use of recordings on the air. As the ...