‘First Alert’ brand rolling out to other CBS O&O stations

After our report that CBS-owned WBBM in Chicago had switched over to using the “First Alert” weather branding, tipsters “alerted” us that similar changes are afoot at some other major market stations.

WJZ in Baltimore, KCNC in Denver, KPIX in San Francisco, KDKA in Pittsburgh and KTVT in Dallas/Ft. Worth have all switched over to the branding within the past few weeks.

Three of the stations share a red and white “First Alert” logo, while WBBM has a yellow and black one and KPIX a blue and white one. 

The actual logos used vary slightly from station to station, including subtle differences in both how the logos are arranged and typography used.

WJZ was previously branded as “WJZ Weather,” KCNC as “Colorado’s Weather Center,” KPIX as “KPIX 5 Weather” and KTVT as “Texas Weather Experts.”

KCNC continues to use “4cast,” with the “4” in reference to its channel number.

At least some of the stations are also designating days as “First Alert Weather Days” when severe weather is expected.

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One CBS-owned station that likely can’t take on the “First Alert” branding is WBZ in Boston — because WBTS, the NBC-owned station that serves the market, uses the “First Alert” branding for its weather. 

The stations are also showcasing videos and promos introducing viewers to the “First Alert” name.

Ones from both KCNC and KTVT also contain motifs that seem inspired by the “deconstructed eye” branding look CBS introduced at the network level in 2020.

Similar looks have continued to roll out across the network since then, including on CBS News, CBS Sports and entertainment programming and promos.

Interestingly, one of the KTVT spots uses a graphic at the very end, shown above, that does not include the “First Alert” branding, but rather features the station logo with just “Weather” below.

The background, meanwhile, notably has microtext accents that typically appear on the network’s football-themed graphics, with the numbers and arrows mimicking the yard lines on a field.

The First Alert Weather branding is a trademark of Gray Television, acquired with the Raycom Media acquisition in 2019. 

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