Alabama station to rebrand

WAAY-TV, the ABC affiliate serving the Huntsville, Ala. area, will become “WAAY 31 First News” on Sept. 13.

The station currently is branded as “WAAY 31 News.”

A significant change is the elimination of a 6 p.m. newscast. Instead, the station will air “Jeopardy!” at 6 p.m., in addition to a repeat episode of the game show at 4:30 p.m. The station is also adding a 4 p.m. newscast and will move its main anchor team to 5 p.m. followed by “World News” (which the station apparently still thinks is called “World News Tonight,” according to its official announcement).

WAAY-TV certainly isn’t the first station to use the “First” moniker and it will be interesting if it manages to beat it to death as many other stations using the name have. Too often the word “first” gets thrown in front of practically every segment title (“First World,” “First Weather,” “First Sports”) and tends to be a bit much. It is worth noting, however, that the addition of a 4 p.m. newscast and moving up its primary early evening newscast to 5 p.m. does support this branding to a certain extent.

The “First” branding concept is perhaps most common with 4 p.m. newscasts running under the banner “First at Four” — a name that works pretty well given its alliteration and the fact that many stations who use it air the market’s only 4 p.m. news.

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