As far as importance, relevance, influence or dissemination goes, the recently renamed WGN America does not rank highly — but as far as bringing the pain, it furiously competes for the top spot. Over the weekend, without much festivities or press releasing, the Chicago-based channel formerly known as Superstation WGN relaunched as WGN America. I haven’t watched WGN since Michael Jordan retired, as they used to broadcast a bunch of the Bulls games, and until this morning I thought their logo was still this simple little thing, which was quite respectable, as opposed to the warped “S” they had until last week. Lee Abrams, chief innovation officer of WGN America’s parent company Tribune Broadcasting Company, stated the following craziness: “[the new brand would] look and sound… like nothing else out there.” Lucky for us, indeed nothing much out there looks like this — except, as pointed out in the article, the Movie Channel’s oldoldold logo, or the thousands of Patrick Nagel’s illustrations. The logo was designed in-house as we learn from this scary sentence in the MediaWeek link above: “In an earlier memo, Abrams said that he had sent WGN’s creative director ‘a few Pink Floyd albums’ after she had turned in some uninspired art/voiceovers.” And there you have it… television branding for the twentyfirst century. Makes you wish they had just lowercased everything and made it roundy.
Thanks to coudal.com for mentioning the change in their Fresh Signals yesterday.