ABC News prepares to mark its 25th anniversary online

ABC News is preparing to mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of its website, ABCNews.com, a venture that would eventually lead to an entire digital division.

The site flickered to life “on the web and AOL” as the first logo touted on May 15, 1997, with then-“ABC World News Tonight” anchor Peter Jennings making the formal introduction to viewers.

Jennings showed off the sparkling new site on an “old-fashioned” computer screen placed on the broadcast’s set in front of the low knee wall divider that separated the studio area from the working newsroom, which was stocked full of equally clunky monitors that were the norm at the time.

In this screenshot from the May 15, 1997 edition of ‘World News Tonight,’ then-anchor Peter Jennings showcases the website on a clunky CRT monitor brought on site for the occasion. 

The original ABCNews.com logo was released by the network to mark the 25th anniversary and showcases the network name spelled out in its trademark white and light blue logotype along with a globe and orbit-shaped element with “.com” placed below.

The logo did not make use of the official ABC globe at the time. 

For the 25th anniversary of ABC News’ digital operations, the network created a special logo that places the revised ABC globe inside the exaggerated hook of the “5” in “25.” The design also combines the “2” and “5” into a single stroke, using a look that’s somewhat similar to “old style” numerals.

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Meanwhile, the “th” ordinal is snuck in to the right of the “25” and set in a completely different font. The word “News” set in the same typeface as the original. Below this, the word “Digital” is spaced out in what appears to be Proxima.

From 1999 to 2001, ABC parent Disney operated ABCNews.com as part of its doomed digital portal brand Go.com — and the site continues to be hosted, somewhat oddly, under at abcnews.go.com to this day.

The network experimented with a partnership with Yahoo! to power GoodMorningAmerica.com as a companion site for its morning newscast, but that arrangement has since ended and the “GMA” site now exists on its own, standalone domain.

In more recent history, in 2018 ABC became the first network to put its branded generic top level domain extension “.abc” in prominent use, switching “Good Morning America” social media links to using the domain “gma.abc.”

Both NBC and CBS have the rights to use “.nbc” and “.cbs,” respectively, but have not made prominent use of either yet.

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