Many ABC Owned
and Operated stations still require the 'CIRCLE SEVEN' pin to be
worn by every reporter and anchor.
include WABC-TV and KABC-TV:
Seven theme has made its way all throughout KABC-TV. As you
will see, the KABC-TV logo has a circle seven. The abc7 logo is
one of the best ones in the Los Angeles market.
>>This is the original ABC7
logo, before attaching the abc circle to the circle 7.<<
>>Late 1990's abc7 logo, when
the faded blue abc circle was added along with the circle seven logo.<<
Here's another version of the
same logo as above:
This is today's current ABC7
logo, with a black and white abc circle, and a refined, bluer circle
The following images are
alternate uses of the abc7 logo; they are from websites and the
Here are some early logos of
KABC-TV's station IDs:
Take your pick:
View ABC7LA's Guestbook
Sign ABC7LA'S Guestbook
your route with precision, with the ABC7 Traffic Center, only on
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK:
MORE: NEWS AND WEATHER QUICK AND EASY!
Before anything, meet
the faces of the
Eyewitness News Team.
Take a look at the
Eyewitness New Room and the
Watch some of KABC's
earliest newscasts of the 1970s at the
Back to the
Learn How the EYEWITNESS NEWS
format changed the way America looks at broadcast news forever.
<Courtesy of Eyewitness Network
Eyewitness News is the
oldest local newscast in the United States. Some broadcast
professionals say that the "Eyewitness News" title alone was first used
in stations like San Francisco or Cleveland. However, the format
actually began at KYW-TV in Philadelphia in August, 1965. Albert T.
Primo, a young news director, came up with the title when his news
program was second place in the ratings.
Primo looked at the AFTRA
(radio and television union) contract and noticed a clause in the
contract that stated, "You made use anyone working in the newsroom, and
being a member of AFTRA, on the air without paying additional
compensation." This means the union didnít want to pay a fee to anyone
working in the newsroom to appear on-camera.
Local news in the 1960ís
was done by an anchorman, a sportscaster, and a weathercaster. There
were no reporters on television and the very reason for that is the
union would have to pay them. Primo came up of an idea of creating
televisionís first "beat system", similar to the print press, where
reporters would go out on the scene to cover the news and deliver their
reports on the set next to the anchorman. For example, the anchor reads
his script of a news story, then introduces the reporter who covered the
story and after the film package, the anchor would ask the reporter a
question about the story afterwards.
It was a very simple
concept that had never been done before in television news, but the
anchors at KYW who were Tom Synder and Vince Leonard were against
Primoís idea saying, "Weíre not going to be news jockeys!" Eventually,
Primo convinced them that the idea would be a better information format
because of the reporter sitting next to the anchor with the "eye on
the scene" news package that elevated the importance of a particular
story. The reporter would start by saying, "I was there in the county
jail where John Doe was arrested for shoplifting. Hereís what
happened..." The viewer would see them as an "Eyewitness" to
In September 1968, Primo
took the "Eyewitness News" format to WABC-TV in New York where
"Channel 7 News" was the lowest rated newscast on television. WNBC-TV
and WCBS-TV, with their "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantras,
never brought the "eye on the scene" concept to their newscasts because
they were the most watched among New Yorkers.
Before Primo took the
job, the WABC-TV news operation was a complete mess. The producer,
director and the writers would hold a poker game every afternoon at
3:00PM and the show would supposedly come together by magic. The format
changed every n ight. One night it would be headlines and no music and
then the other way around. WABC-TV had over ten news directors in a five
year period and Primoís new job was convincing the showís "names" to
submerge their egos and go for a "team" effort. So Primo designed an
upgraded version of his "Eyewitness News" for WABC-TV. He did the whole
shot - set, talent, "Cool Hand Luke" music, and graphics - in
about 8 weeks.
On November 17th, 1968, "Channel
7 Eyewitness News" was born.
It took a year to get to
the top. Primo's concept was totally different than the one he did for
Philadelphia. He hired newcomer ABC News correspondent and former KGO-TV
anchor and News Director Roger Grimsby as his star anchor and the talent
was referred to Primo as his "Eyewitness News Team" - a title still used
by WABC-TV today. The original "Eyewitness News Team" was Tom Dunn,
Melba Tolliver, Howard Cosell, Tex Antione, Rona Barret, John Schubeck,
Milton Lewis, Dell Wade, Bob Miller, Bill Aylward, Bob Lape, Gil Noble,
and John Bartholomew Tucker. Another reporter, Doug Johnson, was added
in 1969. The "team" wore blue blazers emblazoned with a gold "Circle 7"
logo on the left breast pocket and every one of the talent had a
different image, much like a cast of characters. Milton Lewis' role was
an Investigate Reporter - tough but fair. Rona Barret was an
Entertainment Reporter - had all the gossip on the stars in the movie
industry. The newscast was produced at "Studio 7" at the ABC7
Broadcast Center on West 62nd Street and remained there until the
move to 149 Columbus Avenue or 7 Lincoln Square in 1980.
Primo also added a new
concept that is still being used today. It is called "happy talk."
This consists of news anchors or reporters chit chatting and joking with
one another while on the air. The concept was created to take away from
common stiffness of news. In a book called "The Newscasters", by Ron
Powers, the author quotes a typical exchange between WLS-TV weatherman
John Coleman and the anchormen of "Eyewitness News" in Chicago:
Joel Daly: Well,
what kind of cat and mouse games do you have for us in the weather,
Coleman: Iíd be
willing to discuss the weather, Joel, if I knew that nursery rhyme.
"Ding dong bell&ldots;"
Daly: "Pussyís in the
Daly: I donít remember
Coleman: I never
heard that nursery rhyme did you,
Mike Nolan: Oh, yeah.
I heard it.
Daly: Thatís right.
"Who put him in."
Johnny&ldots; Coleman! (general laughter in the studio)
Coleman: Aw. Now cut
that out. Well, Iím sure weíre not experts on nursery rhymes, but I am
reasonably well informed meteorologically at this moment, and a one word
comment would be, YAH-HOOOOO!
This seems generally
funny, but it has drawbacks. "Happy Talk" could make viewers get very
angry when it comes to joking about a very serious news story. For
example, in December, 1976 WABC-TV weatherman Tex Antione remarked on
rape on the evening newscast. The incident occurred when anchorman Roger
Grimsby read an item about an attempted rape of an 8-year old Bronx
Grimsby: Now with the
weather, here is Tex Antione.
Antione: You know
Roger, with all the stories about rape in the news. I can only tell you
the words of a great Chinese philosopher. Confucius said. "If rape is
inevitable, relax and enjoy it."
After the remark, the ABC
station received hundreds of phone calls from women demanding that Tex
should be fired. WABC officials agreed and it was over with, or so they
thought. Five days later, Roger Grimsby introduced Mr. Antoineís
replacement by saying "Lie back, relax, and enjoy the weather with Storm
Field." Thus again, angrier phone calls...
"Channel 7 Eyewitness
News" in the 1970ís would never be "Eyewitness News" without the style
of Roger Grimsby. Grimsby was a true New York legend. Next to Jim
Jensen, Roger had a commanding delivery and acerbic wit. In the early
beginning Roger had a series of anchors next to him. The chemistry
wasnít working until in 1970 when Primo re-hired Bill Beutel, who left
WABC-TV in 1968 for a job as an ABC News correspondent in London, and
paired him with Grimsby. The chemistry worked for the next 16 years on
camera. Off camera it was totally different. Grimsby and Beutel never
got along and were always fighting with each other. Beutel said in an
interview that they would fight over just about anything, but at the end
of the day, they were the best of friends.
The 70ís were also an
open door for WABC-TV and "Eyewitness News." Primo wanted an urban type
of news reporting and reporters who knew New York City. Sex and race
relations were key issues of the urban image. In 1970 Primo began to
search for a Latin, bilingual news reporter that would help conducting
more interviews in Spanish neighborhoods. He tried to lure WCBSí only
Latino news reporter, Gloria Rojas, to work as the teamís first female
bilingual news reporter, but she was happy with Channel 2. She did,
however, refer a lawyer who would be perfect for the job. With Rojas
encouragement, Jerry Rivers applied for a job and was hired
immediately. Jerry changed his name to Geraldo Rivera and served as the
stationís first bilingual news reporter. Rivera became an instant
success when he exposed the conditions of Willowbrook, a Staten Island
mental treatment facility. Rivera invented a style, called commando
raids, to inspect inside the facility. Eyewitness News ran a record
breaking seven minutes of the report on the 6:00PM broadcast and did
follow-ups of the report plus a 90 minute documentary for ABC News.
Primo also hired
reporters when they were part of a story. For example, in 1974, a story
ran about welfare and the reporter interviewed a lady who worked for the
New York State Department of Welfare. Primo's eyes lit up wanted to
hire her for a job as a news reporter. He succeeded in hiring Roseanne
Other news reporters were
hired in the 1970ís who later became network or popular television
journalists. Among them were Joan Lunden, Frank Gifford, Bill Bonds,
Jim Bouton, John Johnson, Gary Essex, Tracy Egan, Josh Howell, Felipie
Lunciano, Joel Siegel, Roger Sharp, Larry Kane, Penny Crone, and many
Now, almost 40 years
after Primo came to WABC-TV, "ABC7 Eyewitness News," continues to
lead the New York market in news ratings. Although it receives stiff
competition and is pushed to second place in some time periods by rival
WNBC, viewers are still attached to the original "Eyewitness News."
Copyright © 1999-2003 TEQBOY
This Website is part of the
Community of Websites