Jump to content

Welcome, Guest!

Sign In or Create my Account to gain full access to our forums. By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GroupWBZ

WFXT Looks to Rebrand Amid Continued Struggles Under Cox Ownership

Recommended Posts

WJW has been the market leader in Cleveland since the late 1980s, outside of the 2-3 years following the 1994 affiliation switch.

 

Even though Fox sold off WJW eight years ago, they have no immediate plans to retire the 2006 O&O set, logo and music (to be fair, WJW always gets great mileage out of their news sets).

 

do they have tie ins with FNC? do they have any cross promotion with FNC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
do they have tie ins with FNC? do they have any cross promotion with FNC?

Outside of the O&O logo and music derived from FNC, there is absolutely no synergy between the two entities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Outside of the O&O logo and music derived from FNC, there is absolutely no synergy between the two entities.

 

but do FNC fans watch their local Fox stations hoping for "fair and balanced" local news and commentary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but do FNC fans watch their local Fox stations hoping for "fair and balanced" local news and commentary?

From experience, I can say "not really".

 

WTXF tried a format that closely resembled cable news, if not Fox News exactly, and it bombed. I think a few Fox O&Os went that way, but WTXF was the one that most embraced it to its detriment. Granted, most of their talent leaving didn't exactly help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but do FNC fans watch their local Fox stations hoping for "fair and balanced" local news and commentary?

WJW never formally adopted the "Most Powerful Name in Local News" brand... it's "Cleveland's Own," a slogan that's been in use since 1986.

 

WJW is a news-intensive station whose success dates back to the Storer Broadcasting days. Fox didn't make much directives outside of not allowing other news feeds beyond their own Fox News Edge; after WJW's sale, the CNN feed was restored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The WFXT affiliation with Fox doesn't end until June 2020, and is tied with WHBQ's.

 

The issue appears to be not that Cox is dissatisfied with Fox, but they made unnecessary changes which resulted in a strong #2 station falling down the ratings, since they didn't understand the market.

 

Also, I think the Lack of emphasis on being a Fox station is what helped KTVU. The Bay Area and Boston are somewhat alike politically, and while WE know their is a separation between Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News, and their affiliates, but John Q. Public doesn't, and think Fox News is in control of newscasts produced by a Fox affiliate.

KTVU had a strong news heritage prior to the Fox affiliation. WXNE had no news operation to speak of save JJ Wright reading news stories over a series of slides. Even after affiliating with Fox WFXT didn't really get going with a serious news effort until 1996.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From experience, I can say "not really".

 

WTXF tried a format that closely resembled cable news, if not Fox News exactly, and it bombed. I think a few Fox O&Os went that way, but WTXF was the one that most embraced it to its detriment. Granted, most of their talent leaving didn't exactly help.

 

Plus you had WPVI in the market so anything that WTXF did back then was an embarassment to themselves since they got nowhere.

 

WJW never formally adopted the "Most Powerful Name in Local News" brand... it's "Cleveland's Own," a slogan that's been in use since 1986.

 

WJW is a news-intensive station whose success dates back to the Storer Broadcasting days. Fox didn't make much directives outside of not allowing other news feeds beyond their own Fox News Edge; after WJW's sale, the CNN feed was restored.

 

Longetivity of talent has really made WJW the success story that it is. I still miss Tim and Wilma and I know Dick is enjoying retirement well. God bless them. Plus, you still got longtimers at Bill and Lou and Tracy and Wayne and Stefani. Developing hard news and keeping talent around for long periods of time is what makes WJW so great and should be a role model for other FOX stations to adopt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yet the switch didn't hurt WHBQ in Memphis too much...this has to be a local issue more than anything.

 

If WHDH grabs the Fox affiliation, it is a downward spiral for sure.

 

Cox has been a godsend to WHBQ. the station got a new set and newsroom as well badly needed repairs/improvements to their building which had been neglected for almost 25 years. also they are starting to show life in the ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How could they POSSIBLY drop "Fox" from the branding? The Fox logo is splashed ALL OVER that new set they just got recently. Talk about a waste of money if they have to rip all that stuff out and replace it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cox has been a godsend to WHBQ. the station got a new set and newsroom as well badly needed repairs/improvements to their building which had been neglected for almost 25 years. also they are starting to show life in the ratings

 

I believe they are now 2nd behind WMC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fox 4 does quite well, especially recently, though not because of Fox News, its even been mentioned during at least a few newscasts that its separate from it (though Fox News does pull footage of its Fox affiliates for breaking news like car chases). In fact, the simpsons was quite popular in DFW back in the 90s, especially after the affiliation switch. The same can't be said of its sisters in Austin and Houston however. Fox 5 ATL is also a red state affiliate that does quite well, being #2 and sometimes #1 in the sweeps periods in, well, the ATL.

 

As for the blue states... There are at least a few examples where the Fox affiliates in those states are weak. Fox 32 being the most infamous. The "Fox News Chicago" branding sealed its fate to the point that its difficult to recover from all because it had a negative connotation in Chicagoland.

 

Actually, one of the main reasons for many Fox affiliates in the more extreme blue states (California, Massachusetts, etc.) being weak affiliates is because of how people associate Fox with Fox News, even though that isnt the case. In fact, if I didnt know any better, I would've thought WFXT was a part of Fox News. Which brings us back to the topic at hand. I think its a good idea that Cox dumps the Fox branding from their news coverage, except, Sinclair is more likely to be able to brand its Fox stations other than "Fox channel #" or "Fox city/region/state" than Cox will be because of their (Fox and Sinclair) good relations with each other. Its not that easy for them to brand their affiliate other than the Fox mandate and I dont know what solution I can bring to the table.

 

Most major market cities at least lean blue though, even in states that are red as a whole (and vice versa).

 

In the markets below 50 and especially below 75 where it is more likely to be deep red, many Fox stations don't have standalone news operations despite the fact that a "Fox News" branding would be a big asset in those areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cox has been a godsend to WHBQ. the station got a new set and newsroom as well badly needed repairs/improvements to their building which had been neglected for almost 25 years. also they are starting to show life in the ratings

Agreed, but dropping Ken Jobe was still a huge mistake IMO....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe they are now 2nd behind WMC?

 

WREG

WMC

WHBQ

WATN

 

In that order. In other words, WHBQ is still third.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you know what this means? they'l have to use a generic FOX logo during network programming but since FOX acknowledged a bug for network programming again or sometimes none at all they will only have to use the main logo for syndicated shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WREG

WMC

WHBQ

WATN

 

In that order. In other words, WHBQ is still third.

To be fair, WHBQ is the most competitive in the mornings (doing better than WMC for that matter), even coming within a fraction of a point of beating WREG for first place during the last two major sweeps periods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most major market cities at least lean blue though, even in states that are red as a whole (and vice versa).

 

In the markets below 50 and especially below 75 where it is more likely to be deep red, many Fox stations don't have standalone news operations despite the fact that a "Fox News" branding would be a big asset in those areas.

 

what about conservative suburbs and exurbs in major markets? does the association with FNC help Fox affiliates in those places? lot of those make up the DFW market even as the city of Dallas leans blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the thing.

 

Branding as Fox News isn't necessarily a good or bad thing regardless of whether the market is blue or red. "Fox" and "Fox News" are two wholly different things. Fox is a young-skewing, even liberal network, where Fox News is much, much older-skewing and, as we all know, very much on the conservative end of things. You could argue that they're completely incompatible.

 

I think, to that end, the current branding of the Fox O&Os is a mistake. The theme music and graphics don't necessarily "go" with the hipper, trendier Fox Broadcast shows and lineup. Honestly I feel that the pre-standardization Fox looks, particularly what WNYW, WTTG, and WTXF were using really nailed what a Fox Broadcast newscast should look and sound like.

 

I know the current look and feel of WTXF, with a (really horrible) new set, a we're-so-edgy "We Go There" campaign, and the stale Fox News-esque graphics and music is a hot mess. Whether that improves with Roger Ailes out of the picture is anyone's guess.

 

Moreover, trying to do a cable news type format, as several O&Os did, also doesn't work. Local news isn't about analytical pieces, it's about live shots, high story count, the occasional investigative piece, and weather hits. That's what people want out of a local newscast, for better or for ill.

 

In short, I think there are reasons that a Fox News style of branding doesn't really work on the local level, and it's not a blue state/red state thing. In that respect, I get why Cox moved away from Fox News. They just did it very poorly. (Honestly, how did that logo clear Fox?) If Cox de-emphasizes "Fox", though, I think it would be a mistake.

 

Yeah, that was a ramble - I think my first in two years. So I hope it makes sense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed those rambles, honestly. It's a healthy way to decompress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's so much more to branding than just a logo and a name -- whatever they end up doing, it needs to be a systemic change. Is there really anything different in the way WFXT does news from WCVB, WBZ or WHDH? Not really - they all follow a very similar formula. The brand transformation needs to be reflected in the content as well as the visual aesthetic.

 

The problem there definitely isn't the connection to Fox News Channel... I know they're scrambling to try to find a reason for their issues but that ain't it, sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think, to that end, the current branding of the Fox O&Os is a mistake. The theme music and graphics don't necessarily "go" with the hipper, trendier Fox Broadcast shows and lineup. Honestly I feel that the pre-standardization Fox looks, particularly what WNYW, WTTG, and WTXF were using really nailed what a Fox Broadcast newscast should look and sound like.

 

Then there are some of the New World-inherited stations. I'm particularly thinking of KSAZ, where a significant amount of the news personnel (both in front of and behind the camera) predate the station's Fox affiliation. You can watch KSAZ's evening news product and, if not for the graphics and music (which KSAZ has perennially augmented itself even in standardization), you might have a Big 3 station's newscast on a slightly more modern set than usual. In that respect, the mismatch is slightly different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have they done extensive research into finding the root of their problems? Because it seems to me like if they're focusing on branding and association with FOX News, then they really don't have a freaking clue about the mess they're in and how to fix it.

 

If the station has been using FOX 25 News for who knows how many years, and (i'm assuming) had no issues with it before COX took over the station, then why all of a sudden is there a problem with it?

 

The problems at WFXT started long before Trump and his campaign started to gain momentum. I think this is the work of some consultant(s) using Trump/FOX News as an excuse to justify their salary(ies)....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to simply say this:

Their newscast isn't as "Fox-y" as it use to be. Like I said before, WFXT not having Fox attitude and being Cox milquetoast will only hurt them in the ratings. Two years later, it did. And they want to de-emphasize Fox even more? Well have fun competing with WBIN, then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going back to the initial point...

 

It's not about the branding or the "association" with a polarizing cable network with minimal overlap. WFXT's struggles began when the management team from KTVU was imported over, and they tried to impose the KTVU formula onto WFXT.

 

For a company that prides itself on research and consulting, you would have thought that they researched the hell out of WFXT and the Boston market before the swap took place, and concluded that WFXT is a "if it ain't broke" station. From day one, they have done the exact opposite, and WFXT is digging it's own unnecessary grave.

 

WHBQ is definitely in the "if it ain't broke" category... sure, Cox is pouring money and resources into Fox 13, but that's about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's the thing.

 

Branding as Fox News isn't necessarily a good or bad thing regardless of whether the market is blue or red. "Fox" and "Fox News" are two wholly different things. Fox is a young-skewing, even liberal network, where Fox News is much, much older-skewing and, as we all know, very much on the conservative end of things. You could argue that they're completely incompatible.

 

I think, to that end, the current branding of the Fox O&Os is a mistake. The theme music and graphics don't necessarily "go" with the hipper, trendier Fox Broadcast shows and lineup. Honestly I feel that the pre-standardization Fox looks, particularly what WNYW, WTTG, and WTXF were using really nailed what a Fox Broadcast newscast should look and sound like.

 

I know the current look and feel of WTXF, with a (really horrible) new set, a we're-so-edgy "We Go There" campaign, and the stale Fox News-esque graphics and music is a hot mess. Whether that improves with Roger Ailes out of the picture is anyone's guess.

 

Moreover, trying to do a cable news type format, as several O&Os did, also doesn't work. Local news isn't about analytical pieces, it's about live shots, high story count, the occasional investigative piece, and weather hits. That's what people want out of a local newscast, for better or for ill.

 

In short, I think there are reasons that a Fox News style of branding doesn't really work on the local level, and it's not a blue state/red state thing. In that respect, I get why Cox moved away from Fox News. They just did it very poorly. (Honestly, how did that logo clear Fox?) If Cox de-emphasizes "Fox", though, I think it would be a mistake.

 

Yeah, that was a ramble - I think my first in two years. So I hope it makes sense!

if fox and fox news are two different things, why do most fox affiliates carry fox news during a major breaking news event?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using TVNewsTalk you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.