Monday, February 9, 2015

KTVU Debuts Fox O&O Look and New Branding

Exactly one week ago, the Fox affiliate-turned-owned-and-operated-station in San Francisco adopted the standardized Fox O&O branding, graphics, and music. The station is now referred to as "KTVU Fox 2" and newscasts outside the late one are KTVU Fox 2 News.

KTVU was sold to Fox last June after 50 years of ownership by the Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises in exchange for WFXT in Boston and WHBQ in Memphis. The network had long pursued after KTVU, but Cox turned them down each time. The first visible change in branding at channel 2 came in a promo that debut last month, where the new station logo and spelling for The 10:00 News were introduced. However, the longtime "laser 2" logo was retained.

I don't like the new graphics or the choice of music. While the main theme from OSI Music's "Fox Affiliate News Theme" fits most of Fox's markets, it doesn't in the Bay Area. The loud theme contrasts greatly with the orchestral "Icon News" by 615 Music that was in use a week before (the cut used by sister-station WTVT in Tampa would've fit better). The graphics look flashier compared to the last package (Honestly, the current package is still better than the previous two O&O packages. The first one from 2006 was waaaay too flashy (and still being used at former O&O WJW in Cleveland!), and while the second one was more subdued, there was still a lot of zooming). It's as if KTVU underwent a presentation whiplash. The bug looks to large, especially on the "laser 2" (I think they should narrow the "laser" part of the logo, like it was originally). However, the changes aren't enough to deter me from watching KTVU, but I'll have to get used to them. I'll miss the custom graphics and music, though.

The change to the O&O brandings also meant that the weather segments, which never had a specific branding before, are now titled as "Weather Authority" *moans*. The "Live Drive Time Traffic" reports on Mornings on 2 (the name now encompassing the entire 4:30–9:00 A.M. newscast) are now "Traffic Authority" *groans*.

There have been a few changes in the delivery and presentation of the news since the Fox purchase. Reporters no longer sign off, and crime is being de-emphasized (which some people have noted as being a staple on Cox stations). Mornings on 2 is moving to a more feature-based program like Good Day on other Fox O&Os, and morning anchors Dave Clark and Tori Campbell are now trying to show off their personalities on social media.

There have been numerous comments on Facebook where people say that they'll stop watching, just because the word "Fox" is in the news branding. In response, I posted my reason why I'll still watch KTVU:
"I want to make one thing clear: KTVU and the Fox Television Stations division are NOT Fox News or the Fox News Channel. The two are separate within the corporate structure of 21st Century Fox. While stations do air reports produced by Fox News, almost all of it is straightforward, and this comes from a guy who avoids FNC. What matters is that channel 2's personalities and the content they produce have changed little in the past several months. I dislike the new look, but graphics, music, and other cosmetic things are the least of a newscast's problems, and I'll probably keep watching channel 2 for news. If the content started taking on a Fox News-y slant, I'll stop watching at that point. However, I do kinda fear of what Fox may end up doing to all of their stations, but at the present, it is still very much watchable."
Here are the new opens, courtesy of KTVU's graphics department. And here are some videos of the evening ones in action:

Read discussion on, or talk about this in the comments.

EDIT - 2/20/15: KTVU is currently still using its old logo bug during syndicated programming and the lower third from its 2006 Hothaus graphics package for its in-program teasers for (as written before the Fox standardization) The Ten O'Clock News.

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