Boston’s WCVB marks 50th anniversary with special logo

WCVB, the Hearst-owned ABC affiliate in Boston, is marking its 50th anniversary with a special logo and a look back at its history.

The station signed on March 19, 1972. 

To mark the occasion, the station created a “50” icon that combines its iconic “5” numeral with an added zero.

The normal WCVB logo with the iconic red ‘5’ icon with hidden arrow and updated ABC globe. 

WCVB’s longtime “5” logo features two line strokes and a quasi-teardrop shape that happens to create a “hidden” twisted arrow in its negative spaces.

To turn the “5” into “50,” WCVB added a circular element that has a similar shape and curve to the curved part of the “5” to create a zero. It stops in the lower right of the five, separated by negative space, also inspired by the original glyph. 

It somewhat oddly crashes into the negative space in the upper right of the five, again with negative space left between the strokes.

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This forms an oddly shaped notch of sorts sandwiched into the right side of the arrow, though its pointed end mirrors the teardrop-shaped element in the middle of the five.

WCVB is been using the modified logo on air, including in its bug during newscasts and a series of promos and retrospectives. The station has also posted vintage promos on its website.

For a major east coast market, WCVB appears relatively young at 50, but it’s worth noting that Channel 5 was originally assigned to what was then known on air as WHDH, which traces its roots back 15 more years to 1957.

The Channel 5 license was yanked from the station then known as WHDH in 1972. Channel 5’s calls then switched to the current WCVB, which was meant to stand for “Channel V Boston,” with “V” being the Roman numeral for “5.”

The calls WHDH would re-appear in the Boston market in 1980 on Channel 7, where it remains today via PSIP. 

By comparison, Boston’s CBS-owned WBZ is significantly older that WCVB or the modern WHDH, with its 74th anniversary coming up in June 2022. 

WCVB, meanwhile, has opted to use the year 1972 as its birthday year, at least in this case.

The current WHDH, which is independent, notably lost its NBC affiliation in 2017, essentially a culmination of a series of well publicized spats between station owners and the network.

NBCUniversal bought low powered WBTS, licensed to New Hampshire, in 2016, and eventually announced it would move its affiliation there, making it a network owned station.

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