ABC News Live Kicks Off All-New Original Programming in 2020
ABC News Live, America's No. 1 streaming news channel, is kicking off a bold strategy for new, original programming in 2020. By year's end, ABC News Live will air 18 hours of live and original content daily across all dayparts. The streaming channel's robust schedule will include a mix of live, anchored news programs in prime time, morning and daytime, breaking news coverage and all-new original documentaries. To kick off the first wave of new programming, ABC News has expanded the roles of correspondent Linsey Davis and chief national affairs correspondent and "World News Tonight" Weekend anchor Tom Llamas to anchor two prime-time hours streaming each weeknight and breaking news and live special event coverage, respectively. Both will continue in their broadcast roles, reporting from the field and delivering exclusive news-making interviews for all ABC News programs.
"In 2020, we have the rare opportunity to create what a perfect 24/7 news channel looks like - breaking news, live events and documentary storytelling all in one place," said Justin Dial, senior executive producer, ABC News Live. "I'm thrilled ABC News Live will have Linsey Davis and Tom Llamas to lead the charge. They are both terrific journalists with top-notch experience doing live interviews and reporting from the field, which is where we want to see them, too, not just behind a desk."
As the first votes are cast in the 2020 election, Llamas will anchor ABC News Live's special coverage of the Iowa Caucus on Monday, Feb. 3, at 8:00 p.m. EST live from the Hawkeye State with ABC News' powerhouse political team. Beginning Monday, Feb. 10, on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Davis will anchor a brand new prime-time newscast weeknights at 7:00 p.m. EST and a second hour each night at 9:00 p.m. EST.
"Long-form reporting and the opportunity to ask all of the important questions in interviews are by far my favorite part of the job and I'm excited to do even more of that on ABC News Live," said Davis. "Our prime-time show will feature in-depth storytelling and diverse reporting and I'm excited to have two hours each weeknight to spend more time diving deeper into these stories."
Davis moderated the ABC News Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston, alongside ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, and in the last year has conducted interviews with Georgia's Stacey Abrams and rapper 21 Savage after his ICE arrest that made headlines nationwide. Davis has spent time covering the Harvey Weinstein allegations and subsequent MeToo Movement, including an interview with Ronan Farrow, and landed the only interview with comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of dozens of sexual assault allegations.
"Streaming is the next frontier in broadcast journalism, and we're entering this new era full speed with the global resources and incredible journalists that make up ABC News. Viewers expect news on demand, especially breaking news, and ABC News Live will be there for them," said Llamas. "There's no shortage of news these days, and there will certainly be a lot of it during the week of Feb. 3."
Llamas has been the anchor of both "World News Tonight"'s weekend editions since 2017 and led news-making interviews with first lady Melania Trump, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro; and most recently with David Langford, the American father whose family was ambushed and killed in Mexico late last year. This week, Llamas is anchoring ABC News Live's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate impeachment trial, and he will be live in Manchester, New Hampshire, with the ABC News powerhouse political team for the ABC News debate on Friday, Feb. 7, and the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Plus, ABC News Live will take advantage of streaming's unlimited shelf space to feature multiple original documentaries throughout the year. "Guardians of the Amazon" from the award-winning "Nightline" team will debut in late February. The Amazon is at a dangerous TIPPING POINT as illegal logging is slowly ravaging millions of acres of rainforest, which is considered essential to the health of our planet. As nations debate how to protect the land, the indigenous Brazilians who live there are forced to fend for themselves and their homes. Anchor Dan Harris and ABC News gained rare access to an indigenous tribe, the Guajajara, who have taken up arms against the loggers deep in the Brazilian jungle to bring their illegal operation to a halt by any means necessary.
"The streaming news era is here, and we expect our viewership will continue to grow rapidly this year," said Colby Smith, senior vice president and general manager, ABC News Digital and Live Streaming. "As journalists and storytellers, we intend to define what streaming news looks like."
There's a clear demand in the streaming market for non-partisan, factual news programming featuring context and analysis. Consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Co.'s annual survey on U.S. consumer video viewing habits in 2018 found that news is considered the top "must have" category by streaming viewers, and a Livestream and New York Magazine survey found that for 56% of respondents "breaking news is the type of live streaming video content they watch most often."
Seni Tienabeso is executive producer for ABC News Live prime-time coverage. Katie den Daas is executive producer for ABC News Live special event coverage, and Cat McKenzie is senior producer. Justin Dial is senior executive producer for ABC News Live.