April 17, 2024


Unlimited Technology

A look back to Sept. 23, 1991

INDIANAPOLIS — No one stays 29 forever, no matter what you’ve been telling people.

FOX59 News has joined the big 3-0 club, celebrating the 30th anniversary of our first-ever newscast. NightCast, as it was called then, launched Sept. 23, 1991 at 10 p.m.

In honor of this milestone, we’re taking a look back at 1991: the cheesy but era-appropriate show opening, the original set that looked kind of like a spaceship, the news in Indianapolis and beyond that night, and — most importantly — the legendary journalists who started the show.

FOX59’s NightCast launches with Bob Donaldson and Chris Wright

These days, you see them weeknights on CBS4, our sister station, but Anchor Bob Donaldson and Chief Meteorologist Chris Wright made up half the original NightCast team in 1991.

FOX59 News was the first job in Indianapolis for both, and Donaldson’s tenure at WXIN continued uninterrupted until he was tapped to lead and grow WTTV after the station gained the CBS network affiliation in 2015.

FOX59 was relatively unknown in the Indy market when NightCast launched with just that single half-hour of news each day.

Bob Donaldson and Chris Wright in the CBS4 studio in 2021

Flashback to the early 90s: How FOX59 News looked back then

If you can see clearly through all those pixels, this is the original NightCast show opening featuring Donaldson and Wright. Remember life before HD?

Head to our YouTube channel to see how the show openings changed throughout the years.

And this is the first set from 1991, which looks a little like a 90s-inspired spaceship through the lens of 2021.

Top Indy stories for Sept. 23, 1991: Here’s what made the news that night

The top local story for the evening described tensions and mistrust between Indianapolis police and the Black community.

National news focused on the first war in Iraq and efforts by President George H.W. Bush to bring down Saddam Hussein. A prison riot in Montana left five inmates dead. In Massachusetts, protesters took to the streets after police killed a moose running loose.

In entertainment news, the movie “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” had just been released. For those keeping track, that was the sixth Freddy Krueger installment.

The technology making headlines was a communications system allowing central Indiana emergency agencies to talk to one another, and allowing officers on the road to talk to dispatch or other officers through just a small portable radio.

And in news of the bizarre, we showed you Japanese wearable technology such as computers you strap around your waist and CD players you sling over the shoulder.

Although, one of the devices looked like a cross between a smartphone and a smartwatch, so maybe they were on to something in 1991.

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