‘CBS Evening News’ to debut design, music refresh focused on global reach and heritage

NewscastStudio exclusive: With an eye toward cohesion and showcasing the network’s global reach, “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” will debut new motion graphics and theme music on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022.

The design continues the “deconstructed eye” rollout that began for CBS News in 2021 after the network rebrand was introduced in fall 2020. “CBS Evening News” is one of the final CBS News programs to switch to the new design standard, which is already in use on “CBS Mornings,” “Face the Nation” and on the network’s streaming news platform.

The new open, which was provided exclusively to NewscastStudio by CBS News, focuses on a world map interwoven with key phrases and, of course, the eye elements seen throughout the rebrand. 

The hallmarks of the overall look include extruded versions of the shapes that make up the CBS eye along with various outlines, micro text and, in the case of “Evening News,” a grid element. 

The open includes many points of light to highlight population centers on the map along with imagery of Washington D.C., London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo making brief appearances. 

CBS News notes the look was inspired by the global reach of the news division. The network also has a long heritage of showcasing the world map as a key design element, originating on the set of Walter Cronkite’s “Evening News” broadcasts. The map has then made appearances across other evening news and morning show reboots, with the original Cronkite map even finding a home in Studio 57.

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Also included in the open are subtle text elements displaying phrases such as “breaking news” and “original reporting” as well as the name of the broadcast.

In the studio, the program has updated its video wall graphics to follow the new look and incorporate virtual set extensions.

The wood slat motif that was part of the Studio 57 refresh has been introduced alongside small peeks into a newsroom via the set’s corner LED units.

The updated video wall elements follow the trend of extending the scenery through perspective with realistic lighting and furniture mixed in, moving away from the previous design’s abstract elements. 

The wood motif found in the vertical slats has also been extended into the floor LED and used as a footer element on the video walls. 

The world map is shown on video walls rendered in way that makes it appear to be a 3D dimensional element complete with simulated downlight accents. The look also includes a simulated vertical panel with major world cities listed on it — as well as the dot-and-circle accents that are found across other CBS designs.

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“Evening News” also has a new logo, dropping Ridley Grotesk, which has been used since before O’Donnell became anchor, in favor of TT Norms, the font used across the network and news division. The logo, too, has a 3D, shadowed look that creates the illusion that it’s a dimensional logo mounted on the wall.

Toward the end of the new open, a variety of sparkly, star-like elements appear on the map and primary title and also appear to be used as animated wipe element.

The look drops the checkered box pattern that the broadcast introduced in 2019 when it debuted from Washington.

The update also includes new theme music inspired by the richer, orchestral sound from previous broadcasts. 

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The theme draws heavily on the Trivers-Myers Music theme from 1987 with updated orchestrations and the new sonic branding making a brief appearance during the final title card.

AntFood composed the program’s new theme music, having also worked with CBS on its network-wide sonic rebranding and the five-note mnemonic.

The music is in line with the themes developed for the CBS News Streaming Network and overnight hours of news programming, with a unique drumbeat and horn elements carrying the theme.

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