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The Definitive ABC 7 Thread

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There has been much discussion over the years on this forum about the traditions and potential changes at WLS-TV. In recent weeks and months, there have been signs of looming changes. Whether it's minor graphic updates, new music cues, different camera angles, updated mic flags or programming changes, it's is clear that the ABC 7 that has been visually stagnant for nearly a decade is prepping for a major makeover. As I said, changes to this point have been minor and scattered, but in the words of A.J. Clemente, the "f*cking sh*t" is about to hit the fan.

 

As this all develops, I'm taking the initiative (and I hope no one minds) and devoting an entire thread to the changes to come. Perhaps the BIGGEST change yet has shown its head for the first time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

"7 in the Morning"

 

Yes, the morning news that has existed under the "Eyewitness/ABC 7 News This Morning" branding for 24 years is about to get a major overhaul. In a flashy commercial with its own campy theme song, the current morning team reintroduces themselves to viewers (on a first-name basis, no less).

 

Some things to note about this:

  • The word "news" is only referenced once or twice in the whole promo, most notably absent in the title of the program.
  • The current "ABC 7" super-glossy logo is used, not the flater look being adopted by fellow ABC stations...though the new mics with the new ABC logo do appear.
  • I hope and pray this to be the case, but there is no reference to "Weather and Traffic on the 7's". That gimmick has worn itself out and has severely limited the potential of the show. By the time they have a chance to enjoy themselves, WHADDYA KNOW! It's the 7th minute. This has hurt them as WGN and WMAQ have taken the morning crown in recent years.
  • The airing of the program remains 4:30-7:00.
  • Is this a potential successor to "Windy City Live", should the 9am show meets its demise?
  • The graphical elements in the commercial appear to be done in-house, matching alot of the floating elements of WCL.

I'm going to reserve judgement on all of these developments until they come to fruition, but I will admit that this is a little unsettling. However, if they wanted to make a splash with this ad, they've succeeded so far. The promo was attention-grabbing and unlike anything I would've ever expected out of the news division at WLS. It doesn't hurt that they aired one of the "ABC 7 News This Morning" promos immediately following this new piece of work. I have the tease on the DVR, and I'll try to get it up as soon as possible.

*SEE BELOW*

 

Brace yourselves, this is not a drill. This shall be a Sweeps to remember in Chicago.

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This is total BS. This is what I feared right here. If this new name sticks, then this will be one of the biggest changes this station has done in many years. They obviously doing this because sweeps start on Thursday. I like some of the new content styles on the morning newscast now. But this is going too far. This is how I feared.

 

And starting their 25th year of the Morning News program, you come up with the name "7 in The Morning"? This is not KOTV, and this is not the radio. No doubt Miles is trying to put a stamp on changes and trying to do it very quickly. And the promo music better NOT be the new main theme music. I can't fathom myself hearing it on the newscast itself.

 

This is craziness, and this is just the morning show. Wonder what they're going to do with the rest of the shows? Will Windy City Live see its final stretch once Kelly & Michael come on the fold? And who else is going to get fired. They didn't have the right to fire Evelyn Holmes, she didn't do anything wrong. If this keeps on going it this rate, we have a new Joe Ahern in the Chicago market. And his name is John Idler.

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I was personally having problems viewing the video on Facebook, so here's the YouTube link, also...

 

[yt]pRErMFBhH8Y[/yt]

 

Call me straightforward, but I asked on the FB video if this is a sign of changes to come...with a ;) on the end for good measure. I'll check back later to see if I get a nibble. Reaction so far is underwhelming, at best.

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Is this rebrand launching today? Thursday? Later?

They didn't say when, but they also air a tease for this morning's morning show last night, with the current name. So it's safe to say the brand change won't be today. Sweeps do start tomorrow, so we'll see when it happens.

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If they change the graphics and music on the morning newscast (or anywhere else), I'm really going to miss them. :( The music is one of the reasons I like WLS.

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Wow! (That's an oh boy, put on your rubber boots because this could be a shit storm, "wow") What I find most interesting about this is the reaction comments on Facebook. The people are soo straight forward and down right will say if they hate it or love it, and they have. Like anything this will take some time to get used to. Some of the people surely noticed a huge change.

 

Comments include:

 

"Wake up every morning to you guys....but the promo is kinda weird...like everyone is freaking out on a coffee rush....it's way over the top, just tone it down a bit."

 

"Love it. Different from the usual tone of your promos, but cool nonetheless. Love ABC news."

 

"Cheesy"

 

" I just threw up a bit in my mouth. Can I get that minute back that I just wasted?"

 

"Bring on the excitement, wonderful, great job Team ABC 7!!!!!!"

 

"You paid for that?"

 

"U could have come up with a better song."

 

"wow - very modern style promo; excellent!"

 

"Ha...we'll give you a couple minutes of REAL news and then the rest of the time we'll fill in with reports of make-overs, summer fashion, cats stuck in trees, and weather, weather, weather, oh...did I mention weather?"

 

"Reminds me of intro to windy city live."

 

"My Lord its like a LAXATIVE commercial."

 

"If you're up@ 4:30am you don't want all that noise..liked the old softer, more dignified version better. The new version is obnoxious and annoying"

 

"I like everything except the music!!!!"

 

 

 

Wow! Hold on Boys and Girls!

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Real quick, the ratings from last week's flood are in, and to make a bad joke, WLS blew everyone else out of the water. Thursday night's 10pm news pulled in a whopping 10.2 rating, about 1-1.5 higher than usual. If my memory serves me right, the 10.2 equates to about 400,000 viewers/households (whichever it is). However, the late news on ABC 7 was still the #2 program for the day. Number one? That night's 'Wheel of Fortune', which gained 2 points on it's 6pm news lead-in.

 

Somewhat surprising, in time periods where WLS and WGN compete, WGN was almost a non-factor. The ole' No. 9 was 2 whole ratings points behind 7 Thursday morning.

 

http://chicagoradioandmedia.com/news/3252-wls-tv-brings-in-flood-of-viewers-to-its-newscasts

 

Well see what the numbers look like after May, it should be interesting.

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I remember WGBO made a similar claim, when they said in a promo that they were the most-watched newscast during the flood, regardless of language. They didn't specify when exactly, though. I can't find the promo.

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WGN Morning News is joining in on poking fun at the '7 in the Morning' tv spot — check out their Facebook page:

 

https://www.facebook.com/WGNMorningNews/posts/600495546629649

Yes, yes, yes...that is fantastic!

 

By the way, having some time to digest the promo and see the reaction, I'm thinking that they may not be renaming the morning news, merely urging you to watch ABC 7 in the morning (it's a possibility). However, by not renaming the program, the promo seems even worse than before...sending a very mixed message.

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Yes, yes, yes...that is fantastic!

 

By the way, having some time to digest the promo and see the reaction, I'm thinking that they may not be renaming the morning news, merely urging you to watch ABC 7 in the morning (it's a possibility). However, by not renaming the program, the promo seems even worse than before...sending a very mixed message.

I was hoping that it was a marketing ploy to drive more viewers into the morning fold, instead of a complete rebrand of the program. But since Miles tenure into the station, he has done many small cosmetic changes. He was interviewed by Lewis Lazare, and Miles stated that he's considering an overall brand promotion campaign. Unless there's a brand campaign that showcase the connecting the anchors to the viewers, I'm thinking they might follow through with changing the set & graphics (which I wouldn't mind). June 3rd will be the 8th anniversary since the graphics they're using now (they're using the HD version, since the original 2005 were never HD) was implemented. And earlier this month (April 8th) was their 7th anniversary since moving downstairs from the third floor to the streetside studio. So I wouldn't mind seeing them implementing new graphics. It could be a good while making a new set however.

 

Don't get me started about the other element, I already touched on that.

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They updated the newsroom reporting station. It doesn't look bad, it's just too tight and dark.

 

eb7bfb30-710a-43d1-9833-5d81078ce5f1_zps581d65ce.jpg

 

By the way, the new live video stream (where the image on the right came from) on the ABC-owned sites is really nice. You can make out the liver spots on Ron's forehead.

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I saw that on Monday, during the GMA cut-ins. I was wondering what the hell is that thing. Is that a TV Screen or just a image that lights up? I wished they can adjust that light so it won't look as dark when whoever sits there.

 

No wonder why they did the teases downstairs last week, while they added that big thing upstairs.

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I really expected 7 in the Morning to have launched during sweeps. Has it been delayed or cancelled?

I'm thinking more of what he said:

By the way, having some time to digest the promo and see the reaction, I'm thinking that they may not be renaming the morning news, merely urging you to watch ABC 7 in the morning (it's a possibility). However, by not renaming the program, the promo seems even worse than before...sending a very mixed message.

But you may never know. They didn't implement those current graphics until after the May books in 2005.

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Maybe it was a social media experiment of, "Hey, let's throw this idea out to the public and see what reaction we get."

They're still running it, but a lot less often, and it's the 15 second version (without the song lyrics) most of the time.

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WLS has updated the promo graphics. All newscasts use the same too-low-lower third in the teases, with the 5, 6 and 10pm shows using "Eyewitness News". They look really nice, and I'm kinda (begrudgingly) getting used to the music switch, though it is still relegated to promos only. The graphical elements looking really clean and sharp, with the animations being far more fluid than before (in my opinion), most notably the way the anchor's name flashes onto the screen...

 

[yt]aCJUnk31d4k[/yt]

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WLS has updated the promo graphics. All newscasts use the same too-low-lower third in the teases, with the 5, 6 and 10pm shows using "Eyewitness News". They look really nice, and I'm kinda (begrudgingly) getting used to the music switch, though it is still relegated to promos only. The graphical elements looking really clean and sharp, with the animations being far more fluid than before (in my opinion), most notably the way the anchor's name flashes onto the screen...

 

You know what...I like it. Wondering what else is to come and curious to see what others have to say about that promo.

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Are those ABC 7 logo transitions an in-house job or a sign of a future graphics package?

Those had to be done in-house. They've done that a few months ago, before they replace that 20-year old 10pm tease cue for that WABC promo cue.

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