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WBZ/Boston (and other CBS O&Os?) to Rebrand Newscasts?


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4 hours ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

Again, this (very long) post isn’t to say that you’re wrong and that CBS isn’t thinking along the lines of 100% brand unification; it’s only to say that there is evidence that CBS still wants some regional emphasis at their more successful stations. It’s certainly true that the CBS O&Os are generally last-place stations that have been run into the ground by David Friend, Peter Dunn, etc, and that their more successful stations are in comparatively smaller markets. However, when you have stations like WJZ, WCCO, KDKA, and WBZ that have built their success around their local identity, there’s no good reason for CBS to throw those babies out with the bathwater. I could be wrong, but I think management realizes that.

Again, the problem is that KDKA, KYW, WBZ and WCCO have to share those call letter brands with unrelated radio stations. Most people really wouldn’t care if the call letter brands were retired. They aren’t nerds like us and get easily confused between the two.

 

If that wasn’t the case (and CBS had forced the radio stations to change their calls en masse in 2017, as what Sinclair made Lotus do when they bought KOMO radio) then a case could be made for keeping the call sign brands in the TV group.

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On 7/13/2022 at 2:46 AM, mre29 said:

 

Other ideas:

CBS New York News Now.

CBS News York Now.

CBS News Now York.

Now CBS New York News.

Now News New York CBS.

Now New News York Now Now Now.

Now Bedtime.

 

From what I read this morning:  CBS "innovation lab" directive is CBS News (insert city name) NOW where there is a sister CBS affiliate that produces the news, and CBS News Now (city name) where there is no duopoly with a CBS station.  It also seems most of those newscasts will originate from Dallas or New York.  Thing is, will this get confusing with NBC News NOW which like CBS News (city name) is a streaming service?  IMO, it seems the Innovation lab didn't really think this through.  These are mouthfuls.  And most viewers (not news junkies) will say turn to the news on Channel whatever.

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7 minutes ago, Myron Falwell said:

Again, the problem is that KDKA, KYW, WBZ and WCCO have to share those call letter brands with unrelated radio stations. Most people really wouldn’t care if the call letter brands were retired. They aren’t nerds like us and get easily confused between the two.

 

If that wasn’t the case (and CBS had forced the radio stations to change their calls en masse in 2017, as what Sinclair made Lotus do when they bought KOMO radio) then a case could be made for keeping the call sign brands in the TV group.

When I made that post, I actually didn’t realize that KCNC completely rebranded their social media pages as “CBS Colorado,” without any mention of channel 4 or anything, so that lends some evidence to your theory.

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1 hour ago, NowBergen said:

From what I read this morning:  CBS "innovation lab" directive is CBS News (insert city name) NOW where there is a sister CBS affiliate that produces the news, and CBS News Now (city name) where there is no duopoly with a CBS station.  It also seems most of those newscasts will originate from Dallas or New York.  Thing is, will this get confusing with NBC News NOW which like CBS News (city name) is a streaming service?  IMO, it seems the Innovation lab didn't really think this through.  These are mouthfuls.  And most viewers (not news junkies) will say turn to the news on Channel whatever.

 

Too many words. A brand name needs to be snappy. Maybe CBS Detroit News is all you need for promotional purposes, but when you're in the newscast maybe call it CBS Detroit Now. Make it snappy and exciting if they can. The last thing any city needs is another boring newscast.

 

I'd go heavy on off beat news and have people who can ad lib just to make it interesting. Like yesterday's story about BMW charging people $18 a month to use their heated seats.

 

 

Edited by DirtyHarry
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46 minutes ago, abric said:

The lower third graphics almost look similar to the ones on Spectrum News.


It’s the CBS News Streaming graphics, only in blue. It’s likely changing whenever the new O&O look debuts this fall.

Edited by Georgie56
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1 hour ago, Georgie56 said:


It’s the CBS News Streaming graphics, only in blue. It’s likely changing whenever the new O&O look debuts this fall.

I’d wager a guess that since the Now casts graphics are CBSN-based, the new O&O graphics will probably look like them too. 

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KTXA previously tried airing news from 7p to 9p under the name TXA 21 News. The numbers weren’t great and it was yanked. If they couldn’t get decent ratings in that slot, with zero competition, there is no way they will be able to pull a respectable audience at 9p up against juggernaut KDFW Fox 4. KDAF CW 33 already learned that lesson under Tribune leadership … although I suspect Nexstar will relaunch a newscast in that 9p slot at some point since that is their home market. 

Edited by Greggo
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44 minutes ago, Greggo said:

KTXA previously tried airing news from 7p to 9p under the name TXA 21 News. The numbers weren’t great and it was yanked. If they couldn’t get decent ratings in that slot, with zero competition, there is no way they will be able to pull a respectable audience at 9p up against juggernaut KDFW Fox 4. KDAF CW 33 already learned that lesson under Tribune leadership … although I suspect Nexstar will relaunch a newscast in that 9p slot at some point since that is their home market. 


DFW is a growing market, and it’s a different landscape now compared to when it was in the late 2000s-early 2010s. Never say never.

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18 hours ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

The more I think about the radio issue, the less I think it matters in the long run for two reasons. First, while the KDKA situation caused a bit of an uproar directed at the TV station, I think most people know the difference.

John Q Public has no clue that KDKA TV and KDKA radio aren’t related. The average viewer has no reason to know they aren’t related. 
 

I don’t think that even with solid ratings and historical call letters that stations like KDKA will not get the new branding. CBS wants consistency. And when you let a handful of stations go rogue, you end up with things like hideous black and gold graphics. CBS is looking to the future, and the future doesn’t include call letters or station numbers.

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41 minutes ago, Myron Falwell said:

@Georgie56posted this in the Discord but KCNC recently updated their Twitter profile, without a single 4 in sight.

 

image.jpeg.d75196f812b95974b64f23136bc27533.jpeg

 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what will happen next.


Credit should really go to @ABC 7 Denver for flagging it first in the CBS O&O graphics speculation thread.

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4 hours ago, Tyler said:

John Q Public has no clue that KDKA TV and KDKA radio aren’t related. The average viewer has no reason to know they aren’t related. 
 

I don’t think that even with solid ratings and historical call letters that stations like KDKA will not get the new branding. CBS wants consistency. And when you let a handful of stations go rogue, you end up with things like hideous black and gold graphics. CBS is looking to the future, and the future doesn’t include call letters or station numbers.

As I said earlier, I made that post before seeing KCNC’s Twitter page. Given that there’s no mention of their local identity, it’s pointing toward going full CTV. Still doesn’t explain KCAL though…

 

EDIT: And I’m not sure they’re worried about black and gold graphics as much as they’re worried about a station looking like WJZ pre-2018 if they don’t standardize. But more importantly, consistency would allow the stations to work seamlessly with the network division. CBS must have calculated that while viewers might be jolted at seeing local identities disappear, it’s not like they’ll stop watching a station’s newscasts on that basis alone.

Edited by nycnewsjunkie
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2 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

Here’s the full debut edition of the show, recorded off WBFS.

 

 

This isn’t just a branding change for the newscasts on the CW/myNet stations; this is a completely different newscast. It looks a lot like Sinclair’s News Central experiment in the 2000s, as it combines national content with local inserts. I wouldn’t call it a true local newscast. It’s more of a way for CBS to collect ad revenue with minimal effort/expense on their non-competitive, non-CBS stations. I suppose it’s better than no news at all.

Edited by nycnewsjunkie
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What’s bad is in NY it replaced an actual newscast even if it was a repurposed version of WCBS 6 pm.  In markets with actual newscast competition or a co-owned newscast I can’t see this lasting. 

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6 minutes ago, NowBergen said:

What’s bad is in NY it replaced an actual newscast even if it was a repurposed version of WCBS 6 pm.  In markets with actual newscast competition or a co-owned newscast I can’t see this lasting. 

There is no way this would last on CW/My stations owned by CBS with CBS O&Os with actual news departments. Do they really want to go the same route that Sinclair did with News Central. I don't want to see another WPGH situation again.

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24 minutes ago, NowBergen said:

What’s bad is in NY it replaced an actual newscast even if it was a repurposed version of WCBS 6 pm.  In markets with actual newscast competition or a co-owned newscast I can’t see this lasting. 

Thing is, WLNY wasn’t getting viewers (for a number of reasons that I won’t get into here.) In WBFS’ case, there was no news at all. CBS is probably thinking “why spend more on a newscast that won’t get much viewership when we can rake in the same ad dollars with less effort?” Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t watch this newscast either, but since CBS owns a ton of non-competitive, non-CBS stations, it will last as long as the ad money comes in.
 

Also keep in mind that we’re in an election year, and the 2024 presidential campaign begins next year. Stations will rake in political ad money, and CBS can maximize its profits by spending less on certain newscasts.

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First episode and they already got a lawyer sponsorship? I think that should answer why CBS is doing this. Also gives something they can run on the CBSN locals that's not just a repeat of the local news.

 

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For some reason, Youtube TV didn't record CBS News Philly NOW for me last night, but I'm tentative about it replacing what was on WPSG-

 

I can't stand what's happened to WTXF's 10pm show over the last 10 years, and YTTV and Nexstar have never come to an agreement which means WPVI's 10pm on WPHL wasn't an option, so the former half-hour KYW produced show on WPSG was perfect; local news, cut and dry, in a half hour. IF (and that's a big IF) there's a good balance between the national segments and local, then I could still imagine choosing WPSG. But it looks like the NOW show local/national blend varies between markets. I'll check it out tonight. 

 

I do imagine that the former newscast was facing an uphill battle against WTXF and WPHL, so I can understand them launching this in Philly. I just wish they could've put it on at 9pm leading into a local half hour at 10, but that whole CW primetime thing has them tied up I imagine...

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8 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

Here’s the full debut edition of the show, recorded off WBFS.

 

 

This is the same as KBCW! Looks like it’s produced by KTXA.


Local cut in with the first 2 top stories, a weather hit then back to Dallas. 10:30 local cut in and weather hit and back to Dallas.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, TVNewsLover said:

Have they hired people to do the local news and weather cut-ins in Atlanta, Seattle, and Tampa?


Atlanta and Detroit’s cut-ins are produced out of KTVT, Seattle’s is produced from KPIX, and Tampa’s is from WBZ.

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2 hours ago, PhillyWatch said:

For some reason, Youtube TV didn't record CBS News Philly NOW for me last night

 

I was pretty sure that I added the WLNY recording to my YouTube TV recordings the other day but I just noticed now that it didn't record. I guess they somehow made a new listing that I had to select this week. Weird.

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This is....interesting. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a good product, but it's certainly a clever way at offering a news product with minimal or no local resources.

 

Even as it is now, even in top ten markets, it's extremely hard to find and retain producers, and I can see how some stations might see it as a waste or a burden to keep a staff producer position for newscasts on throwaway secondary stations that nobody's watching anyway. Literally nobody is watching WLNY's 9pm news, so why bother trying to pretend to put together a half-decent newscast? Save that effort and energy for the real newscasts that matter. And notice that this show is not replacing anything good on stations that people actually watch, such as KCAL.

 

This hybrid local-national format certainly isn't going to be replacing flagship 6pm or 11pm newscasts on blue chip stations anytime soon, but it is an interesting idea that we'll probably see more often in the years to come from everyone. Hybrid local-national has worked for decades on the big three morning shows, as well as on a much larger scale in Canada, the UK, France, and elsewhere. US local news currently is a lot of repetition and repackaging of a lot of the same national content, so it's not necessarily a bad idea.

 

With that said, I don't necessarily see how this is competitive in any market where CBS is trying this. This is not going to pull away viewers from KDFW in Dallas, or KTVU or even KRON in the Bay Area. But I guess CBS can at least say that they do have a competing news product at that hour and can sell some ad spots on it.

 

Can somebody please explain to me though how they're attempting to pull off any local content in cities where they have no news department, specifically Seattle or Atlanta? Surely CBS aren't pulling from their local affiliate and then using it to compete, are they?

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