Litton becomes Hearst Media Production Group with new logo, production card

Hearst’s Litton Entertainment has officially rebranded as Hearst Media Production Group.

The new name follows a September 2021 announcement that Hearst would combine Litton with its other original productions, including syndicated “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.”

Founded in 1988, Litton spotted a need in the 1990s after the Children’s Television Act began requiring over-the-air TV stations to air minimum amounts of educational programming each week.

This became known as “educational and informational” programming, more commonly referred to as “E/I.”

To meet these requirements, most networks opted to relegate their required “E/I” programming to weekends, commonly Saturday morning, replacing a time that was traditionally known for carrying cartoons.

Litton grew to provide E/I programming blocks for all of the “big three” networks plus The CW. 

Each network has unique programming and brands the block under a different name. At ABC, it’s “Weekend Adventure,” NBC shares its “The More You Know” PSA branding with its E/I block, while CBS uses the “Dream Team” banner with The CW calling its “One Magnificent Morning.”

The E/I programming Litton, and now HMPG, produces tends to skew toward science and nature topics that often ties into STEM education.

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For the new division, Hearst’s in-house Hearst Television Design team created a logo that features the company’s signature thick logotype next to an array of colored boxes and vertical lines.

These elements suggest the “H” in Hearst, which is sometimes used as a standalone branding element, while also being evocative of sound waves or steps. Below this, the words “Media Production Group” are set in all lowercase Myriad.

The update also includes a new vanity production card that’s typically shown at the end of each program, featuring music from Elias Music and design and animation from Hearst Television Design (it’s worth noting that this card is distinct from the one used by local Hearst television stations at the end of the local news and other productions).

By using the words “media” and “group” in the new name, Hearst is following the naming scheme it uses to brand its regional ad sales teams, such as Hearst Midwest Media Group and Hearst Connecticut Media Group, each of which sells advertising across all of the company’s print, broadcast and digital properties in a specific part of the country.

After falling out of favor thanks, perhaps, to the overuse of the term “new media,” the word “media” appears to be back in the broadcaster lexicon as an overarching term for the fusion between content and marketing.

CBS rebranded its syndication air CBS Television Distribution as CBS Media Ventures, a move it said was meant to emphasize that the division offers a slate of marketing and advertising solutions in addition to distributing content.

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