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rkolsen

WJZ Drops Eyewitness News, Slowly Rebrands, New Logo Roll Out and New Set

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I think the title says it all. @[S]@blizzard59[/S] @newsanchor26 mentioned this in the chat box saying all their schedules now say WJZ News @ time. I’m currently watching their noon newscast and the open was just “This is WJZ-TV in Baltimore. In your community, where you live. WJZ News at Noon Starts right now.” The open didn’t feature chroma cues at all and sounded like production music. Cuts of Chroma Cues still appear through out the show. When tossing to break it sounded like one of the anchors wanted to say “Still to come on WJZ Eyewitness News at Noon” but caught herself before saying Eyewitness News. I also saw a special graphic that didn’t feature any Helvetica and the text wasn’t stretched out. I’m thinking this is the beginning of big changes at WJZ. But it’s still sad that a longtime brand is going away.
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Well it’s confirmed.

 

[MEDIA=twitter]921215186232598529[/MEDIA]

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They had been using the WJZ calls AS the de facto primary brand for years. (Because. It's WJZ. Maryland's News Station.) So that part wasn't really a surprise.

 

I'm just happy that Pat Garrett actually has decent copy to read for the opens now.

 

Leaving one legacy Group W station using Eyewitness News...

And remember, KYW didn't use the EWN branding from 1991-1998.

 

Also note that KYW brands itself CBS3 Eyewitness News, while the other legacy Group W stations go by their call letters as brands (KPIX 5 News, KDKA-TV2 News, WBZ News, and now WJZ News).

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Also note that KYW brands itself CBS3 Eyewitness News, while the other legacy Group W stations go by their call letters as brands (KPIX 5 News, KDKA-TV2 News, WBZ News, and now WJZ News).

 

Of the Group W stations, WJZ was the only one to keep the Eyewitness News name throughout the 90s. KPIX dropped it for a couple of years in the mid-90s (and deemphasized it in one other era that decade), KDKA dropped it in the late 90s, WBZ ditched it in late 1993/early 1994, and of course there was KYW.

 

It's a station that desperately needs a creative rethink and has for a long time. Hopefully this is the first step. As much as we love Chroma Cues, the theme music has to be starting to get as old as the reporters (a very bizarre occurrence!). Being a CBS affiliate cannot help if their audience is starting to age out of the 25-54 demo.

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When you've been branding your station's newscasts as "WJZ 13: Maryland's News Station" for years, the whole Eyewitness News brand seems secondary, so it was a natural evolution to consistency both visually and verbally by going with one name. It's baby steps, but hopefully it's the start of more things to come (like a new news set for one thing).

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In recent years, I don't think I've ever heard the VO saying "Eyewitness News" in the opens. It was always "WJZ" and their slogan "Maryland's News Station". I only hear "Eyewitness News" when the reporters end their reports.

__________

 

And speaking of the set, next year, it will reach a milestone of twenty years with that same set; and thirty with Chroma Cues. It will be interesting if these two elements will hold on next year.

 

Should they come up with graphic changes, I do pray that they go back to the original Group W "13" font for their logo and not the homogenized, retraced font they now use. And oh yeah, for longevity sake, I pray they keep Chroma Cues too.

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As long as Chroma Cues stays intact, I'm fine with this change. The stylized 13 must stay as well.

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1) I can live with them dropping "Eyewitness News" from branding.

2) Must keep Chroma Cues.

3) New set go for it but keep it with Baltimore feel and tribute to Jerry Turner and Al Sanders.

4) Graphics go ahead and get ones but not the O&O ones or just use modified version of the current O&O ones but add a Baltimore feel.

5) Group W font is another must keep.

 

I just have a feeling 2018 will be year of changing at TV Hill for WJZ. I just hope Chroma Cues makes it it to the 30 year mark.

 

Sounds like I need to make a trip to Baltimore and watch WJZ.

 

 

"Remember one thing there is only one JZ."

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Just caught the noon open and wow was that bad. Worse than ever before. Chroma Cues is gone from the intro and Pat Garrett, who I've always liked has gotten worse over the years. As for the use of "Eyewitness News" in the past, it was long used in the talent opens which now seem to be gone anyway. I don't know why they can't update to an O&O set, O&O graphics but keep the stylized 13, Chroma Cues and brand was WJZ13 Eyewitness News.

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I'm watching the noon newscast now. Looks like the "renegade" days are slowly coming to an end.

 

BTW, they haven't updated the live newscast page on the website. Newscasts are still labeled "WJZ Eyewitness News at ..."

 

Keep the logo, please!

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I guess they listened to social media who said loud and clear that they were...

 

Sick of Chroma Cues...

 

Tired of the 'Eyewitness News' moniker...

 

...and still in love with the current 'mature' set.

 

Just listening to the viewers......right?

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In recent years, I don't think I've ever heard the VO saying "Eyewitness News" in the opens. It was always "WJZ" and their slogan "Maryland's News Station". I only hear "Eyewitness News" when the reporters end their reports.

__________

 

And speaking of the set, next year, it will reach a milestone of twenty years with that same set; and thirty with Chroma Cues. It will be interesting if these two elements will hold on next year.

 

Should they come up with graphic changes, I do pray that they go back to the original Group W "13" font for their logo and not the homogenized, retraced font they now use. And oh yeah, for longevity sake, I pray they keep Chroma Cues too.

Remember that KPIX reverted to the original "5" after they dropped the EWN brand. There is precedent.

 

WJZ's current "13" is simply traced over from the late 90's neon-like effect the logo had, and the ridiculously stretched out Helvetica "WJZ" replaced the Group W font. Never understood why they did that.

 

Note the neon effect on Westinghouse font on both the "13" and "WJZ" in 2002.

...and see what I mean here.

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This opening screams “transitional” in the loudest tone possible.

 

Unless they use the Chroma Cues tease cut (which honestly, WJZ should), I don’t know how the main intro cut could fit on that quick open. Like... MCTYW doesn’t work on an open that’s not custom made for it.

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Honestly, I'd thought that they had dropped the EWN name years ago, given how none of the main opens ever had the name on them. They'd been starting to marginalize the use of it and now it's finally taking effect.

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Since WJZ is making a big change, now would be the time to make some other big changes. Here's my thoughts:

*Name/ID: Keep the 13 in the name of the newscasts. People identify with the number as much as the call letters. I still think it's dumb to drop the EWN moniker.

*Graphics/Music: Go with the CBS O&O graphics. Either go with the CBS O&O music, an O&O/Chroma Cues mix, or a modern Chroma Cues resynch

*Programming changes: Dump MAURY at 9am and replace with either THE DOCTORS or HOT BENCH. Shorten the 6pm newscast to a half hour, move the CBS EVENING NEWS to 6:30pm, and air INSIDE EDITION at 7pm (need to pick it up from WBAL). Also consider replacing the 4pm newscast with JUDGE JUDY (from WBFF) or move DR. PHIL there from 3pm (in which case HOT BENCH or THE DOCTORS would fill the 3pm slot).

*Anchor Changes:

6pm/11pm: Vic Carter & Mary Bubala (if 4pm newscast kept then they would anchor 5pm & 11pm)

5pm: Jonathan McCall & Denise Koch (if 4pm newscast kept then they would anchor 4pm & 6pm)

Mornings & Noon: Rick Ritter & Jessica Kartalija

Weekend Evenings: NEW MALE & Linh Bui

Weekend Mornings: NEW MALE & Tracey Leong

**Enough of these meteorologists doing double duty in the mornings.

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This opening screams “transitional” in the loudest tone possible.

 

I don't know what's worse: That it could be transitional, or that it could not be.

 

There's a part of me that knows JZ badly needs to get the O&O look. This is a station that, from time to time, will replace the CBS eye with the

. Or
.

 

But...there's also something incredibly sweet about it, too. That, in this day and age, a local TV station will still produce special graphics for home openers, or

, is insane. I would hate to lose that.

 

The truth is, as with most things in life, you only away get with things literally no one else can when you're the best by a mile. And unfortunately, when you look at the ratings, WJZ is no longer the best in Baltimore, and hasn't been for a while. WBAL is. And when you're not the best, you better fall in line.

 

I suspect the O&O package will be adopted in the new year--if not when the November book begins next week.

 

I do hope the set sticks around, though--because I think all it needs is for the duratrans to be replaced with a few OLEDs. For a 20 year run, that set has held up remarkably well, and I'd hate to see it tossed for a cookie-cutter giant monitor wall.

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I am watching the 4pm news now I noticed it no longer says cbsbaltimore.com under the bug. And just heard Chorma Cues for this full screen graphic.WJZ2.JPG.59e72bb3165d8ecb72566afe113ffaf1.JPG

WJZ.thumb.JPG.6022d6b4a338e97776a56a55bde3fd31.JPG

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I am watching the 4pm news now I noticed it no longer says cbsbaltimore.com under the bug. And just heard Chorma Cues for this full screen graphic.[ATTACH]4718[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]4718[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]4719[/ATTACH]

That could be because of the impending spin off of CBS’s radio division, which Entercom is acquiring. 105.7 The Fan and 1300 WJZ (AM) will have their respective websites forked from WJZ 13.

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I think there are ways they could adapt the graphics package. Like for the open I could see them recoloring the “rings” and eye to match the logo color scheme. Have a few different city scape views.

 

I got a tweet back:

 

[MEDIA=twitter]921507635765153792[/MEDIA]

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