If you like to believe that some lifelong dreams do come true, that a few fairy tales do have a happy ending, you’ll be pulling for Robert Johnson. Johnson is spending the summer as an intern in the weather department at WPVI, the ABC O&O in Philadelphia. It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream for […]
If you like to believe that some lifelong dreams do come true, that a few fairy tales do have a happy ending, you’ll be pulling for Robert Johnson.
Johnson is spending the summer as an intern in the weather department at WPVI, the ABC O&O in Philadelphia.
It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream for the Philadelphia native who grew up watching Action News on WPVI.
“I heard the Action News theme song and was drawn to it. I love music and I loved the Action News theme song. When you watch Action News, you feel like you’re watching people you’ve grown up with for so long.”
Here’s an Action News open from the 1970s. Except for three days in 1996, the song has not changed.
Before his internship this summer, Johnson appeared in several promos for the station.
In the first one, Johnson saw a post on the station’s Facebook page looking for people to be in a promo. He did a video about how he loved Action News, grew up watching it, and wanted to do the weather and the news one day.
So they came to his house and shot the commercial there.
Years later, when Johnson was a senior in high school, he was working as a child actor, and his agent sent him on a commercial shoot. All he know was that it involved painting.
“I had no idea it was for Action News.”
After high school, Johnson went to Penn State majoring in meteorology. His on-air work at Penn State got noticed. Without him knowing, his work at Penn State was submitted in a nationwide competition and he was chosen as the Best TV Weathercaster in the nation.
Johnson said so far he’s been working behind the scenes in the weather department at WPVI, and has not yet appeared on camera. After his internship this summer, he heads back to Penn State to finish his senior year.
But he still dreams that some day, he’ll be working at Action News.
“I would love to be back here.”
Do you believe in miracles? Do some lifelong dreams come true?
Here’s hoping Johnson’s does.
Here’s a video the station made about Johnson and his dream.
NOTE: The Action News music that so captured Johnson’s imagination is iconic to Philadelphia and watchers of Action News on WPVI.
According to an article in 2012, the music was composed in 1972 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the vocals were done by a folk group that sang TV commercials.
The song, Move Closer to Your World, has remained the open music on Action News for more than 50 years.
Jim Gardner, the Action News evening anchor who’s been around since 1976, said the song invokes the same feeling for him that it does for many Philadelphians: familiarity.
“We have this piece of music that was written in the early 1970s that’s still with us, and it kind of means permanence.”
However, in 1996, the station decided to modernize the song using 400 musicians from the London Symphony and London Philharmonic.
Viewers were not happy and inundated the station with calls. After just three days and 11 newscasts, the new song was scrapped and the original Move Closer to Your World was back.
I’d like to point out that in the first promo shown with Johnson here in this article, the guy seen most often is none other than Peter Churchman, the man responsible for creating thousands of local TV news promos in many markets, and the subject of any early Market Share column which you can read by clicking here.