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Nightline, a live ABC late night news program, debuted on March 24, 1980. Originally a 20-minute Mondaythrough-Thursday-night program (11:30 p.m. Eastern Time), Nightline expanded to a 30-minute Mondaythrough-Friday program in April 1981. Ted Koppel anchored Nightline from its inception until November 22, 2005. Since Koppel's departure, the format of Nightline has changed from one anchor discussing one topic to three co-anchors, broadcasting from Washington and New York, addressing multiple topics. Nightline was groundbreaking in two ways: (1) the program delivered news in a new time slot, and (2) the program's format relied upon new satellite technology.

By the late 1970s, Roone Arledge, president of ABC News, saw the potential of a late night news program that could reach an audience not tuned in to the very ...

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