The emergence of cable television news reimagined how information was reported and consumed. With a 24/7/365 platform the Cable News Network (CNN) could report LIVE news visually, as it happened…with no commercial breaks if necessary. It was the brainchild of media mogul Ted Turner.
Unfortunately, cable news wasn’t good for radio. In fact, to paraphrase the seminal 80’s new wave band The Buggles: Cable television killed the radio star. Not just in music (MTV) and sports (ESPN), but also the news. First it was CNN (who spawned a second darling network called CNN Headline News). Sixteen years later, two new cable news stations debuted. Microsoft and NBC joined to create MSNBC (July 15, 1996) and, a few months later, a conservative Fox News was born (October 7, 1996). By the year 2000, the polarization of political views and news was clearly evident.
In a cyber culture we think nothing of a 24/7/365 news cycle. News is constantly NEWS, but before June 1, 1980 television news (unless “breaking”) was hours old at best. Even on the radio, most stations only carried news at the top and bottom of the hour.
CNN changed all the rules for news.
And it started on this date (June 1) in 1980.