Show Type: News Magazine
Released: September 1988
Anchor / Correspondents
Edie Magnus (1988-1989)
Kenneth Walker (1988)
Robin Young (1988-1989)
Boyd Matson (1988)
Dale Harimoto (1989-1990)
The national newspaper, U.S.A. Today, with its short, punchy stories, emphasis on celebrities and full-color graphics was heavily influenced by TV. Even its street corner vending machines were designed to look like TV sets. In the fall of 1988, it became a daily series, with each episode modeled after issues in the newspaper. There were four distinct sections, each with its own correspondent: "U.S.A." - general interest headline stories anchored by Edie Magnus; "Sports" with Bill Macatee; "Money" - financial and business news from Kenneth Walker and "Life" - show business and life styles with Robin Young.
Lavishly produced by former NBC president Grant Tinker and the Gannett Company, owners of U.S.A. Today, the series had a high-tech set, great graphics and a rapid-fire pace. It premiered amid a great burst of publicity but lasted less than 1 1/2 years.
The show had problems from the start. Its original executive producer, Steve Friedman, former producer of The Today Show, was replaced by former Entertainment Tonight exec Jim Bellows two months after its premiere and a reported $10,000,000 was poured in to redesign a program that had already cost $40,000,000. Financial reporter Kenneth Walker and regular political reporter Boyd Matson were both gone before the end of the year and in January, the title was shortened to U.S.A. Today on TV. That spring, Edie Magnus departed, with Beth Ruyak taking her place. Dale Harimoto replaced Robin Young as the show's entertainment reporter and Tom Kirby arrived as its third producer in six months.
On January 5, 1990 the title was shortened yet again to U.S.A. Today and aired for the last time.
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