This paper delivers a diachronic comparative study of the news presentation of an American and a European national TV news show (the American “CBS Evening News” and the Swiss “Tagesschau”). The shows, dating from 1949 to 2005, are analyzed within the linguistic framework of “text types”. Looking not only at the spoken text, but also at other semiotic resources of multimodal TV text like captions and graphics as well as the semiotics of studio design, important phases of the news presentation will be presented. The analysis will illustrate on the one hand that there is a homogenization of the ways TV news is presented; on the other hand, I will show that the forms have not become identical. Discussing the observed developments, I will argue that the key site for understanding the form of news adequately is journalistic culture, understood as values and norms influencing the practices of the journalists. This culture again is influenced by a complex set of factors, commercialization being only one of them.