ABC News. The weakest of the three legacy broadcasting networks for several decades, the American Broadcasting Company’s (ABC) news division has since the 1970s become a serious contender in net- work news competition. Building on a fairly weak foundation, news division director Roone Arledge helped develop ABC News into a ratings power- house. Time and again, ABC has made effective use of journalists who had built their initial repu- tation at either CBS or NBC.


Over the years, the network enjoyed the work of a number of distinguished journalists. Raymond Graham Swing (1887–1968) was one of them, broadcasting Blue Network and then ABC News until 1947, sharing time with Elmer Davis (1890– 1958). After a long career, including heading a gov- ernment information agency during the war, Davis spent his last decade providing news and comment on ABC, offering liberal views and editorials against the communist witch hunts of Senator Joseph McCarthy.


Paul Harvey (1918–2009) began his long radio net- work career on ABC in 1951 and was still on the air with his Paul Harvey News and Comment broadcast from Chicago more than a half century later. A major boost for ABC radio came in early 1968, when the radio network broke away from the traditional network model of a single feed to the same affiliates.