KCBS adopts ‘KCAL Information’ as its new information branding

KCBS adopts ‘KCAL Information’ as its new information branding

After KCAL launched a brand new morning information block and sister station KCBS shook up its morning schedule, the station started utilizing a novel branding technique.

KCBS, which is a CBS affiliate, and KCAL, an indie station, have merged right into a single native information model that facilities across the title “KCAL Information,” an virtually extraordinary occasion the place the “large three” station takes on the branding of its “little sister” station.

Each stations are owned by CBS Tv Stations, making them what is usually referred to as an “O&O.”

On air, KCAL is pronounced as “kay-cal,” making the most of the similarly-structured moniker “SoCal” that’s been used for many years outdoors of the information enterprise, relatively than letter by letter.

KCBS adopts ‘KCAL Information’ as its new information branding

KCAL launched a morning newscast on Jan. 5, 2023, that runs from 4 to 11 a.m. — elevating the information output to over 90 hours per week. 

From 6 to 7 a.m., the “KCAL Information Mornings” broadcast is simulcast on KCBS, sandwiched between a double-run of “CBS Mornings.”

That simulcast presents the primary problem execs confronted when deciding on this technique: What do you name the 6 a.m. hour because it airs on each stations?


It may very well be awkward to name the newscast “CBS 2 Information” or “CBS Information Los Angeles” for the simulcasted hour because it’s airing on a non-CBS station after which change again to calling it “KCAL Information” throughout the remaining six hours.

The answer was a bit shocking. Moderately than use “CBS 2 Information” as its major information branding, KCBS now manufacturers its newscasts as “KCAL Information at (time) on CBS Los Angeles.” 

At 5, 6 and 11 p.m., KCBS additionally carries newscasts titled “KCAL Information at (time) on CBS Los Angeles,” that are additionally carried on the station’s on-line streaming platform. The opens for these, nevertheless, eradicate the time “on CBS Angeles” half within the announce and on-screen animation.

So, to make a protracted story quick, “CBS 2 Information” is out and the title “KCAL Information” is in at KCBS. The adjustments coincide with a bigger change in model technique for CBS-owned native stations, with many opting to drop channel numbers in favor of location and name letters. 

In the meantime, KCAL now not makes use of the “9” in its newscast titles, as an alternative referring to itself as “KCAL Information Los Angeles,” which aligns with the up to date CBS Information Los Angeles title. 

It could appear odd — and maybe a bit complicated — that an impartial station’s calls have gotten the branding for the community’s second-largest owned station, however the transfer may really show to be a intelligent transfer by the station.

One of many foremost causes is that KCAL, which was already airing three hours of primetime information from 8 to 11 p.m., has a reputation that’s within the minds of many Los Angeles residents — previous and current.

CBS executives advised NewscastStudio that analysis confirmed customers related the KCAL title with breaking information protection — so it wished to leverage that in its new model technique by giving KCAL’s title first billing within the new branding. 

To additional drive dwelling its dedication to the brand new branding, on-air expertise are actually recognized as working for “KCAL Information” as an alternative of CBS 2 or one other variation of that title. 

Though KCAL and KCBS don’t go head-to-head with competing native newscasts, KCAL has managed to slip to the highest of the rankings when it competes towards CW affiliate KTLA and Fox-owned KTTV in varied slots.

In some methods, it’s in all probability price noting that KCAL has develop into extra than simply 4 letters for the station and plenty of viewers.

It’s primarily develop into a phrase of its personal (granted, it’s a made-up phrase). There’s additionally the benefit that the calls discuss with the “Cal,” a typical shorthand for the state’s title, which means that it brings that reference to KCBS’s newscasts.

For those who think about KCAL as a model relatively than name letters its use turns into just like stations that use “Motion Information” or “Eyewitness Information.”

CBS 2 Information, in the meantime, has delivered combined efficiency lately (although it did publish progress within the November 2022 sweeps), one more reason administration seems to be leaning on the KCAL title extra. 

It wouldn’t be outdoors the realm of potentialities for KCBS to insert totally different graphics or bugs throughout its KCAL simulcasts to maintain the “CBS 2 Information” branding on that feed.

Though the station didn’t take this route, it will, in idea, probably require on-air personalities to not point out “KCAL Information” or “CBS 2 Information” verbally, which might require utilizing a generic time period that wouldn’t point out both station title — equivalent to a tag of “reporting reside for ‘Mornings’.”

Regardless of not going full-in on totally different graphics or bugs, the graphics do rotate between the KCAL Information and CBS Information Los Angeles logotypes within the distinguished nook area within the decrease left nook of the display screen.

The graphics’ distinguished use of CBS eye components nonetheless makes that a part of the station’s id clear.

There are a number of instances the place the CBS model pops up on KCAL regardless that it’s not a CBS station — together with it many components of the graphics bundle and references to the area CBSLA.com. The CBS eye additionally reveals up on the station’s new mic flags, the place it’s featured boldly on two sides of the cubes — with “KCAL Information” showing on the opposite two.

That mentioned, there’s no rule that claims impartial stations can’t present graphics or references to a community, particularly on condition that the community owns each stations. It’s additionally an honest option to drive dwelling the truth that KCAL is a CBS property and hyperlink it extra prominently  with the community’s historical past and profitable primetime lineup.

Trying again, a lot of CBS’s owned stations fell beneath what trade insiders usually derisively known as “mandate” — which means that the majority stations had to make use of related logos, branding, music and graphics.

Nevertheless, the KCAL branding is an instance that there’s a bit extra flexibility with standardization when it is smart available in the market. 

On social media, KCAL continues to be utilizing the @CBSLA deal with on Twitter, although it modified the show title and graphics to make use of the KCAL Information branding. The @KCALNews deal with is already registered, apparently to not CBS, although its solely tweet is from 2008 and oddly reads “cancel subscription.” On Fb, the station converted to @KCALNews and snapped up that deal with on Instagram as properly.

This isn’t the primary time KCBS and KCAL have tried to co-brand information.

Again in 2009, CBS tried to merge each stations’ newscasts beneath the title “NewsCentral” (this title was not associated to Sinclair’s effort of the identical title).

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