News broadcasts in the United States were initially transmitted over the radio. NBC
began broadcasts in November 1926, with CBS entering production on the 25th of September, 1927.
Both initially discussed similar topics, such as election results, presidential inaugurations, and other matters of concern to the general public. However, NBC soon emerged as the dominant force for entertainment talent. In response, CBS President William S Paley
focused on giving the news. Both broadcasters faced stiff competition from the newspapers, who didn't want radio news to render their medium obsolete. This standoff would continue until after World War II, with radio broadcasters successfully keeping their medium active. Chief among these reporters was Edward Roscoe Murrow
, whose reports from London kept the American public focused on a war far from home.
From their beginnings until around 1995, evening television news
broadcasts continued featuring serious news stories right up to the end of the program, as opposed to later broadcasts with such anchors as Katie Couric
, Brian Williams
and Diane Sawyer
. In the early-21st-century news programs – especially those of commercial networks – tended to become less oriented on "hard" news, and often regularly included "feel-good stories" or humorous reports as the last items on their newscasts, as opposed to news programs transmitted thirty years earlier, such as the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite