Star crossed lovers? The tale of two stations with heart themed logo designs

This is a different kind of love story — the story of how two TV stations both ended up with love-themed heart logos despite a twisted tale of being bought and sold, renamed and restructured. 

The two stations, WMAZ in Macon, Georgia and WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee, both trace their roots back to a common owner, Multimedia Inc., which in turn has its roots in News-Piedmont Company of Greenville, S.C.

The company acquired WBIR in 1961, and Southeastern Broadcasting Company, which owned WMAZ, in 1963. Both of these transactions included FM and AM radio stations of the same name.

The Multimedia Inc. name would eventually come in 1967 — a name that reflected its interests in television, radio and newspapers.

As a side note, Multimedia Inc. was also the company that developed Sally Jessy Raphael’s namesake talk show after it purchased KSDK in St. Louis and used it to air test episodes of the show.

Gannett, as it was known at the time, purchased Multimedia in 1995 and would eventually sell off its entertainment production company and cable divisions. Gannett, in turn, would eventually split into two groups — one focused on newspapers and the other on television and digital media, with the TV division renamed “Tegna.”

Before that, however, back in 1983, both stations used Bryan Adams’ song “Straight from the Heart” as part of an image campaign.

Over the years, different variations of the tagline and music were used as well.

Both stations still use the tagline “Straight from the Heart” and WBIR used the heart theme as the title of a documentary series, “The Heartland Series,” that ran until 2009.

The original WMAZ logo design, with a large red heart.

The new WMAZ logo that still features the heart — but in a more refined design.

The old WBIR logo with the heart.

WBIR’s new logo has a smaller heart.