News Music Theme

Written by Michael Federico
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News music theme songs help establish the tone of a show from the very beginning. They can also, in effect, turn a specific program into a brand of sorts. People will identify a telecast by its news music theme in much the same way that they will identify products by their logos.

Regular network news, as opposed to cable news, follows the same general format, regardless of the channel on which it appears. Top stories are covered at the top, and some special interest segment that viewers must see is alluded to. This upcoming piece will be promoted throughout the broadcast in the hope that audiences will refrain from flipping channels during commercials. After that spot is finally aired, sports and weather will be covered, and a human-interest story will generally cap the night off. Each portion of the show, including the segment promos, requires a different news music theme.

Finding the Right News Music Theme

In order to find the perfect news music theme for each part of a show, networks have to draw from a variety of musical styles. This has led most programs to work from custom- made news music theme CDs. Like a compilation of hits from a specific decade, these discs usually feature a collection of songs that will work for one type of segment. This means that intros for each top story can differ, while still having a unified sound.

As time passes, it is possible, and often necessary to update a news music theme. A network can have entirely new compositions written for all aspects of their shows. If this is too costly or time consuming, they can simply choose from a number of current news music theme CDs that most production companies keep on file.

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