CBS Miami switches to ‘Next Weather’ branding

CBS-owned WFOR in Miami has switched over to the “Next Weather” branding that’s also being used at two of its sister stations.

The moniker was first used at WCCO in April 2022 and is also in use at WBZ in Boston, both of which are CBS O&Os.

CBS-owned stations have been in the process of consolidating weather branding to either the “First Alert” or “Next Weather” banner, including WBBM in Chicago, which dropped “Realtime Weather” in favor of “First Alert” in January 2022 (reclaiming it from ABC-owned WLS, which used it from 2014 to 2017 and since reverted to using the AccuWeather name).

In the Miami market, like in Boston, NBC-owned station WTVJ uses the “First Alert” weather branding, meaning it’s not practical for the CBS station to use it as well. 

WFOR is using the same Next Weather logo design as in the other markets, including an option to designate “alert days,” a common trend in local news.

It has also already transited to using updated weather graphics that eliminate much of the blue, white and yellow arcs in the longtime O&O graphics package in favor of blue, black and white bars, though its layouts different slightly from other stations.

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CBS is also working on launching a new graphics package throughout its owned stations in the fall, drawing on the deconstructed eye look that has since, most recently, been added to the network’s news streaming service. There is growing internal pressure between stations and the network news division, which were combined into the same management structure, however, that’s making that rollout implementation more challenging.

CBS News and Stations, which oversees the locals, is in the process of hiring a group design director which will also impact the new design and branding, with the new hire handling execution of brand design systems, group-wide graphics packages, breaking news packages and major event creative, according to a job listing.

NewscastStudio sources say that KYW in Philadelphia was also preparing to switch to “Next Weather” as well, but a recent news director hire may have put a halt or pause on those plans (in the Philly market, WCAU, NBC’s owned station, has claimed “First Alert”).

KYW is also anchoring from a temporary location as a new set is installed in its primary studio, but that debut may be delayed as leadership changes.

In some ways, it’s strange that CBS hasn’t embraced the “Next Weather” name more — it’s a more unique name that isn’t used in any of the markets it owns stations in and it could have consistent weather branding across all its stations and potentially allowing it to “own” the name.

However, insiders say that while the name “Next Weather” is meant to convey the basic idea of what’s coming next for viewers, there hasn’t been much further brand development put into the concept beyond that.

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