ABC began news broadcasts early in its independent existence as a radio network after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered NBC to spin off the former NBC Blue Network into an independent company in 1943. The split (which NBC conducted voluntarily in the event that its appeal to have the ruling overturned was denied) was enforced to expand competition in radio broadcasting in the United States as the industry had only a few companies such as NBC and CBS that dominated the radio market, and in particular, was intended to prevent the limited competition from dominating news and political broadcasting and projecting narrow points of view. Television broadcasting was suspended, however, during World War II.
Regular television news broadcasts on ABC began soon after the network signed on its initial owned-and-operated television station (WJZ-TV, now WABC-TV) and production center in New York City in August 1948. ABC news broadcasts have continued as the television network expanded nationwide, a process that took many years beginning with its launch in 1948. However, from the 1950s through the early 1970s, ABC News' programs (as was the case with the television network in general during that period) consistently ranked third in viewership behind news programs on CBS and NBC. Until the 1970s, the ABC television network had fewer affiliate stations, as well as a weaker prime-time programming slate to be able to truly support the network's news operations in comparison to the two larger networks, each of which had established their radio news operations during the 1930s.
Under Roone Arledge
Only after Roone Arledge, the president of ABC Sports at the time, was appointed as president of ABC News in 1977, at a time when the network's prime-time entertainment programs were achieving stronger ratings and drawing in higher advertising revenue and profits to the ABC corporation overall, was ABC able to invest the resources to make it a major source of news content. Arledge, known for experimenting with the broadcast "model", created many of ABC News' most popular and enduring programs, including 20/20, World News Tonight, This Week, Nightline and Primetime Live.
ABC News' longtime slogan, "More Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source" (introduced in the late 1980s), was a claim referring to the number of people who watch, listen to and read ABC News content on television, radio and (eventually) the Internet, and not necessarily to the telecasts alone.
In June 1998, ABC News (which owned an 80% stake in the service), Nine Network and ITN sold their respective interests in Worldwide Television News to the Associated Press. Additionally, ABC News signed a multi-year content deal with AP for its affiliate video service Associated Press Television News (APTV) while providing material from ABC's news video service ABC News One to APTV.
Around 2015, ABC News began experimenting with podcasts and added an audio channel to its app. On March 28, 2018, the company began its first daily podcast, Start Here. Paula Faris launched a podcast on November 13, 2018 with three episodes of Journeys of Faith.
On September 10, 2018, ABC News launched a second attempt to extend its Good Morning America brand into the afternoon with Strahan, Sara and Keke.