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rkolsen

The End of Action News and Eyewitness News

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Maybe it’s just me but I’ve noticed that with recent rebrands going on stations seem to rely more on calls, city of license and or channel number. I can’t remember any recent rebrand that has been launched with the Eyewitness News, Action News or any of the franchise type of branding - are any of these copyrighted terms or trademarked? The only station I can think of with semi recent branding news is Cox’s Actiom News Jax.

 

Is it something where stations or consultants don’t see the worth of the branding any more?

 

Edit: Doing a trademark search Eyewitness News has been registered to Westinghouse in Pittsburgh since 1968. Action News has been registered to Cox since 1975.

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Even though they are registered and you likely have to pay a licensing fee it doesn’t explain why they are dying out? Is it because they’re viewed as too old fashioned?

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Even though they are registered and you likely have to pay a licensing fee it doesn’t explain why they are dying out? Is it because they’re viewed as too old fashioned?

It could be that, the only holdovers for those that do Eyewitness/Action News formats are CBS, ABC and Cox for those that do the Action Format (I know Scripps and a few others still uses the Eyewitness/Action News format) the Eyewitness/Action News format will be retired and converted into "ABC28", "KSTP 5", "NBC41", etc.

 

I think overall the Eyewitness and Action News brandings are dying a slow death imo

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WTHR in Indianapolis still uses "Eyewitness News" and has for 22 years (and did to some varying degree before that.) I think overall rebrandings are getting very boring and not imaginative.

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Maybe it’s just me but I’ve noticed that with recent rebrands going on stations seem to rely more on calls, city of license and or channel number. I can’t remember any recent rebrand that has been launched with the Eyewitness News, Action News or any of the franchise type of branding - are any of these copyrighted terms or trademarked? The only station I can think of with semi recent branding news is Cox’s Actiom News Jax.

 

Is it something where stations or consultants don’t see the worth of the branding any more?

 

Edit: Doing a trademark search Eyewitness News has been registered to Westinghouse in Pittsburgh since 1968. Action News has been registered to Cox since 1975.

 

There's some semi-recent branding news on Action News Jax? I'm not aware of this.

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KPIX sadly buried CBS 5 Eyewitness News back in 2013 to become KPIX 5 NEWS.

 

I wonder what’s preventing KGO from picking up the moniker? They recently started wearing circle 7 pins now.

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KABC-TV has used the Eyewitness News moniker for nearly 50 years (even longer for the Circle 7 lapel pins). It's never going away.

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KPIX sadly buried CBS 5 Eyewitness News back in 2013 to become KPIX 5 NEWS.

 

I wonder what’s preventing KGO from picking up the moniker? They recently started wearing circle 7 pins now.

 

Why would KGO ever want to adopt the longtime former branding of a competing station?

 

The reason why you don't see more stations adopting "Action News" or "Eyewitness News" today is simple. It's the same reason why stations don't solicit newstips via fax anymore. It's dated. We've moved on from that. It may have made sense in 1960 as a way to indicate that your newscast was different (Remotes! Anchors talking to each other! Film at Five!) and I suppose it makes sense for stations that have kept the brand forever (KABC, WPVI), but otherwise, "Action News" means nothing to most people in 2018.

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KDFW used Eyewitness News during part of the 1970s, while KXAS tried out the Action News label in the late 1970s-early 1980s, but that was it. No station in north TX has used either brand since.

 

KYTX tried the Eyewitness News branding when it launched in 2004, but I don't think it lasted a year. No Tyler/Longview station has used either brand before or since.

 

Most stations seem to be in the "(call letters) News" phase (as WFAA just changed to) or "(network) (channel #) News", with a few exceptions. KVII in Amarillo just started using the "ABC 7 News" label since being acquired (by the big S) after using "ProNews" since the 1960s. To my knowledge, no Amarillo station used Eyewitness News, but KAMR used the Action News label for some amount of time (at least part of the 1980s).

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The things that made both Action and Eyewitness news unique are largely gone... everybody has settled on a slight variation on the same blocking rotation with weather around 1115 and sports at the end and a story or two in between. The brands are just for show now...

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The reason why you don't see more stations adopting "Action News" or "Eyewitness News" today is simple. It's the same reason why stations don't solicit newstips via fax anymore. It's dated. We've moved on from that. It may have made sense in 1960 as a way to indicate that your newscast was different (Remotes! Anchors talking to each other! Film at Five!) and I suppose it makes sense for stations that have kept the brand forever (KABC, WPVI), but otherwise, "Action News" means nothing to most people in 2018.

 

I imagine younger viewers (say, under 40) look at the branding and think, "Oh, that's for my [parents/grandparents], not me."

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Why would KGO ever want to adopt the longtime former branding of a competing station?

 

The reason why you don't see more stations adopting "Action News" or "Eyewitness News" today is simple. It's the same reason why stations don't solicit newstips via fax anymore. It's dated. We've moved on from that. It may have made sense in 1960 as a way to indicate that your newscast was different (Remotes! Anchors talking to each other! Film at Five!) and I suppose it makes sense for stations that have kept the brand forever (KABC, WPVI), but otherwise, "Action News" means nothing to most people in 2018.

 

This is a great answer thanks.

 

Additionally the stations like KABC or WPVI have veered from the true original definitions. Eyewitness News means little now that stations can go around and feed video anywhere. Action News for example now deviates from the then expected 90 second time limit.

 

As for fax at the advent of cellphones (around turn of the century) WBAL made it free for Bell Atlantic then Verizon customers to call #11 - then described pound 11. I just tried it and surprisingly after probably a decade of it no longer being on air it still works. You can leave a message or connect to the assignment desk. I’m curious if this is a Inside Baltimore thing or if the number works outside Baltimore or neighboring DMAs. So if anyone has a Verizon phone could you try? Just don’t leave a message.

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KPIX sadly buried CBS 5 Eyewitness News back in 2013 to become KPIX 5 NEWS.

 

I wonder what’s preventing KGO from picking up the moniker? They recently started wearing circle 7 pins now.

I think that the Eyewitness News name in the Bay Area is so tied to KPIX that it wouldn’t make sense to adopt it. I do wonder why they never adopted the Action News name though as WXYZ (then a sister station I believe), KFSN, and WPVI (both ABC affiliates) were using it. I know KTVU used the name there, perhaps they got it first?

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As for fax at the advent of cellphones (around turn of the century) WBAL made it free for Bell Atlantic then Verizon customers to call #11 - then described pound 11. I just tried it and surprisingly after probably a decade of it no longer being on air it still works. You can leave a message or connect to the assignment desk. I’m curious if this is a Inside Baltimore thing or if the number works outside Baltimore or neighboring DMAs. So if anyone has a Verizon phone could you try? Just don’t leave a message.

 

I would think it's just Baltimore since that #11 could be theoretically used by anyone else anywhere in the country.

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KSHB and WFTS still use the Action News branding (KSHB since 2003), and KLKN has referred to themselves as Eyewitness News for probably half of their existence. What's interesting, though, is that many people in the KC market refer to KSHB as NBC 41. I've never seen anyone refer to them as Action News. Makes you wonder if such a branding is even worth it if viewers are going to refer to you by affiliation and channel number.

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KSHB and WFTS still use the Action News branding (KSHB since 2003), and KLKN has referred to themselves as Eyewitness News for probably half of their existence. What's interesting, though, is that many people in the KC market refer to KSHB as NBC 41. I've never seen anyone refer to them as Action News. Makes you wonder if such a branding is even worth it if viewers are going to refer to you by affiliation and channel number.

Which is why I think at some point KSHB will drop the Action News branding and become either "41 News" or "NBC 41 News"

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In Alaska, KTVA used "Eyewitness News" from the '70s to mid-'90s, while KYUR (when they were still KIMO) was "Action News" until the early '80s.

 

KTUU, KATN, and KTVF, on the other hand, adopted neither.

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Doesn't WAGA still utilize "Eyewitness News" in occasional promos to keep their long-standing usage in the market active?

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Which is why I think at some point KSHB will drop the Action News branding and become either "41 News" or "NBC 41 News"

 

They've already added the 41 back, so they're halfway there.

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KSHB and WFTS still use the Action News branding (KSHB since 2003), and KLKN has referred to themselves as Eyewitness News for probably half of their existence. What's interesting, though, is that many people in the KC market refer to KSHB as NBC 41. I've never seen anyone refer to them as Action News. Makes you wonder if such a branding is even worth it if viewers are going to refer to you by affiliation and channel number.

 

Even worse, they've NBC Action News and ABC Action News, respectively, which has probably been very confusing to viewers who might not be able to tell the difference between local newscasts and network news. Hopefully KSHB's change to 41 Action News means a similar change will happen at WFTS.

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