G3.0 predated the Belo acquisition by a year or two, and if I recall right weren't some stations still running on Deko systems? (I know Belo was standardizing around Miranda CGs at the time they got acquired - did Gannett/Tegna roll them out to legacy Gannett and ex-London stations?)
In any event I still think G3.0/the USA Today package was the best example of that type of design. Maybe not as "flat" or trendy as their current stuff, but it was absolutely easy on the eyes, easy to discern, and logical to follow. The color-coding was genius, of course, but the thoughtful use of a grid-like design and grey/black hues made the whole thing distinctive. It reminded me somewhat of a well-designed webpage. Not the mess that Headline News had in the early 2000s, but if you're at all familiar with web design you can see the "grid" elements in there.
I do agree with C Block that the look lost some of its charm around the Belo acquisition - partly because it became too common and partly because they began watering it down somewhat. I think the current graphical look is decent, distinctive, but I don't think it really "grabs" me on a pure design level as G3.0. (Honestly I think the music saves the current look.)