There are a lot of key components to creating a successful news show, and WGN America‘s new 3-hour nightly newscast, NewsNation, which films out of its Chicago headquarters, called upon Stephen Arnold Music for its custom music package. Airing daily from 8 to 11pm Eastern, the show draws upon Nextar Media Group‘s 5,400 journalists in 110 newsrooms across the country to provide national, regional and local news.
The main title theme, played by a live orchestra, was created by Stephen Arnold Music to capture the show’s midwestern roots in the style of the great composer, Aaron Copeland.
Creative Director Chad Cook from the company talks about coming up with that theme, “NewsNation originates from the center of the country and presents the news in an impartial, centrist manner. The music has a similarly inclusive, centrist spirit. It conveys the genuine feel and authenticity one associates with heartland values and high-quality journalism.”
Stephen Arnold Music created more than 20 variations of them to introduce various segments on the show, such as Breaking News, Sports, Weather, etc. accompanying brand graphics designed by Troika. “The core is a six-note melody that drives each piece and serves as NewsNation’s sonic signature. It has depth and a rich emotional sound that lends itself to endless variation,” Cook explains.
What’s amazing is that Stephen Arnold music wound up producing the show’s music package in the middle of the pandemic crisis, recording the orchestra in multiple sessions with smaller groups of musicians, first recording the violins, then the violas and so forth, with social distancing protocols in place.
“The unusual circumstances forced us to pay special attention to the articulation and intonation of each set of instruments,” Cook adds. “It was a different approach, but it ultimately gave us more control over how individual tracks were blended and mixed. We were beyond thrilled by the sound of the final tracks.”
“You don’t often have the opportunity to help establish the DNA of a program of this stature,” he continues. “It was fantastic to work with Nexstar in creating something unique and distinctive for a program that promises to have a strong and lasting impact on American journalism.”
You can learn more about Stephen Arnold Music at its website, and you can actually hear some of the music from NewsNation below: