News Night is the flagship news program of the 24 hour cable news network Atlantic Cable News (ACN), which airs from 8:00 to 9:00 every evening. The lead anchor and managing editor on News Night is Will McAvoy, while his executive producer is MacKenzie McHale.
Will originally joined the program as a legal correspondent sometime before the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Due to air and traffic restrictions following the attack, the top choices to anchor were not able to be there Will was forced into the anchor chair for the first time, and ended up anchoring the program for several hours straight. Either directly after his first stint in the chair, or a short time afterwards, Will was given the position permanently.
Eventually, MacKenzie McHale was hired as the programs executive producer. The two journalists were able to create and manage a news program comparable to that of News Night 2.0, with seemingly high success. During this time, Mac and Will developed feelings for one another and began to date. However, after Mac revealed that she was having an affair with her ex-boyfriend concurrently with dating Will, the couple broke up and Mac left her position as EP. Since that point, News Night began to shy away from relevant and hard hitting journalism and instead focused on human interest stories and "soft news", to the point in which Will developed a reputation for "not bothering anyone".
At some point during Will's tenure as anchor and managing editor, he was joined by Elliot Hirsch as co-anchor, until the latter received his own show Right Now with Elliot Hirsch at 10:00.
During the panel, he was asked what his political affiliations were and he replied with anonymity on the topic, but states that he has voted for political candidates in both parties.
Eventually, he was asked why he thought America was the greatest country in the world. He replied with brief joking answers, but the panel's moderator held him to an answer, to his dismay.
After believing to see MacKenzie McHale, who he hadn't seen in three years, in the audience holding signs stating that it's not the greatest country, but it could be, McAvoy reacted with a truthful, blunt and backed answer.
First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.—Will McAvoy
He informed the audience that he once believed that America was the greatest country, but that it no longer was. He informed the audience with much date regarding why he didn't think so and felt that the way to begin fixing things is to admit that there's a problem. ("We Just Decided To")
However, due to the backlash Will received from several groups, much of his staff at News Night left with Don Keefer (his EP after McHale) and Elliot to the duo's new show at 10:00. This restructuring, orchestrated by Charlie Skinner, led to the re-hiring of Mackenzie as the programs executive producer.
News Night 2.0Edit
Mac instigated a series of reforms to the program with the goal of restoring it to its original format and integrity, focusing on good journalism and relevant stories as opposed to ratings and corporate interests. Though initially resistant to the idea, Will eventually began to agree with the new programs goals and intentions.
After this change, News Night became infamous for its aggressive yet professional approach to broadcasting good journalism backed up by facts, hard-hitting interviews, and a renewed commitment to restoring the profession to its nobler roots. Despite the criticism and facts it levies towards stories (often ones that attract far less attention simply because they more political and controversial in nature), News Night still pulls in an audience of approximately 1.5 million per night.