‘CBS Evening News’ adds headline segment, tweaks open
“CBS Evening News” has returned to featuring an “EyeOpener“-style headline segment at the top of the broadcast Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
The segment is distinct from the teases that network newscasts sometimes refer to as “headlines” that mostly feature the anchor providing a VO with some nat sound and VSOTs mixed in.
The scripts for these segments typically also include obvious teases to full coverage later in the broadcast.
NewscastStudio reached out to CBS News, but a spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the change.
In the segment added on Feb. 13, anchor Norah O’Donnell provides some voiceover, but much of the audio is culled from reporter tracks and both SOT and VSOTs.
With the change, the broadcast now starts with O’Donnell on camera with the show logo and date over her shoulder on the video wall background. She reads a brief line or two before saying “…here are tonight’s top headlines.”
There is then an animated effect with the word “Headlines” added, which is also used between each story.
Each story is accompanied by an on-screen banner set in a heavy bold version of TT Norms with a circular element inspired by the CBS eye in the lower left. A series of dot accents is also included, with the newscast logo in a white bar running much of the width of the screen.
The text and accents do not remain on-screen the entire time the story is being featured.
The musical bed has been adjusted so that the first few notes of the signature repeat after each story, with a series of fast cuts timed to the beat illustrating the next story to be shown.
After the headlines, an abbreviated version of the show open introduced in August 2022 runs without the pre-recorded announcer voiceover that was used before. This removes the reference to “reporting from the nation’s capital” line, which has been included in the open since the show relocated to Washington, D.C. in December 2019.
O’Donnell then greets viewers in a centered one shot before offering two more direct teases, with topical video shown “video on video” style on one of the studio’s video walls.
Later in the week, this shot was updated to include a lower third-style banner on the video wall.
After those two brief teases, the newscast switches to its top story.
This isn’t the first time “Evening” has used a segment directly labeled as “headlines” to viewers. Prior to O’Donnell’s days at the desk, the broadcast featured a similar segment for a period.
Overall, the segment has always largely resembled the “EyeOpener” included on “CBS Mornings,” including going back to the days when it debuted as “CBS This Morning” in 2012.
It notably does not, however, promise to deliver the headlines within a set amount of time such as “Mornings” 90-second runtime and the previous interaction of “Evening” using 60 seconds.
That broadcast’s version is typically longer and typically is not directly narrated by anchors.
Prior to Feb. 13, the broadcast featured a more traditional tease segment, which was more in line with what “NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News Tonight” does.
After O’Donnell took over, “Evening” was on record as making it a priority to keep its teases shorter than both its rivals (ABC’s typically run longer but also tend to provide more detail so can serve as both teases and a headlines segment).
That said, all three networks’ teases can largely serve double duty no matter the exact formatting.
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