Washington, Montana stations consolidate under ‘NonStop Local’ brand

Cowles Company has rolled out a blend of new branding, logo designs, music and graphics across its stations.

The stations now brand on-air as “NonStop Local” for their newscasts.

“The idea … to give you ‘nonstop’ news whenever and wherever you decide. On your TV, on your computer, on your phone. The rebranding comes after extensive research to get news how you want it, when you want it,” according to the station.

A variation of the old KHQ logo featuring the ‘Q6’ branding.

Its largest market station, KHQ in Spokane, Washington, has dropped its “Q6” and “Q6 Local News” branding in favor of the “NonStop” name.

Sister Washington stations KNDO in Yakima, Washington and KHQ semi-satellite KNDU in Yakima, Washington, have switched as well. KNDU simulcasts some of KHQ’s newscasts.

KNDO had been branding using “Right Now” banner and has the website address nbcrightnow.com. 

The change also affects KULR in Billings, Montana, KWYB in Butte, Montana, KFBB in Great Falls, Montana, KTMF in Missoula, Montana.

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In addition, satellite stations KYUS in Miles City, Montana, KWYB-LD in Bozeman, Montana, KHBB-LD in Helena, Montana, KTMF-LD in Kalispell, Montana are also affected due to the fact they carry NonStop Local branded content.

Many of these stations add a city or region name after the “NonStop Local” branding.

Cowles has also snapped up nonstoplocal.com and uses it as a sort of hub for content from all of its stations, with each station getting a sub-directory titled after the market name or region it serves. As of late October 2022, however, each station still maintains its own website. 

Other transitions include updated music with four-note signature that presumably is meant to sound like the four syllables in “NonStop Local.”

The music itself drops the NBC chime element and jazzier background elements in favor of clean and sharp notes that sound more synthesized and perhaps like something you might hear before a technology-themed segment (Coweles owns both NBC and ABC stations, so that’s likely the reason for dropping the chimes).

KHQ also updated its graphics, though they retain a similar look of blue and white. There are hints of the old package in the new look, including both curved and angled elements.

The bug has been redesigned to rotate between the “NonStop” logotype and the new KHQ logo with NBC peacock atop, using the rotating arrows as a transition between the two. 

The new news branding features a logo with “NonStop” set in camelcase without a space on top and the word “Local” in all caps bold below in a clean, slightly condensed sans serif.

There’s also a red ring-like element with two arrows meant to signify the concept of “non-stop” — though oddly the ring actually does “stop” in the lower left and then restarts in the upper right, which, when read literally, sort of defies the notion of being non-stop.

That said, it’s not uncommon for graphical elements like this to be used with the idea that there is a complete circle (or at least an implied one) but it’s just not fully visible. 

The placement of the word “local” is a bit odd, given that the last “L” could have neatly tucked in up against the descender in the “P” above, which could have potentially made the left side of the logo flush.

It’s also a bit of an interesting choice to plop the logotype so that the right side overlaps some of the thickest part of the circular arrow elements, which results in rather poor contrast that’s only offset but a skinny bit of white behind the black letters.

Moving the entire text block up and to the left a bit could have resulted in a better design and also opened the possibility for part of the rotating arrow animation to come in front of the lettering, giving the logo both more visual interest.

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NBC-owned stations used the”Nonstop” branding starting back in 2009 when it attempted to launch 24-hour cable news and information channels in each of its markets. The schema was a bit different here, with “New York Nonstop” being the standard format.

The term “Nonstop” is also sometimes used at other local stations to refer to either a quick news summary segment or a the show’s first block of news and other content before the first break, much like the “11 at 11” (11 minutes of commercial-free news, sports and weather at 11 p.m.) that some stations use.

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