Dallas-Fort Worth CBS rebranding leans into Texas identity
KTVT has leaned into its Texas connection with the debut of updated on-air branding and the CBS Television Stations’ group graphics package.
Now known as CBS Texas and CBS News Texas, KTVT has opted to keep its iconic 11 star logo while using data to help tweak its on-air identity to better resonate with a growing market.
“We were seeing a lot of the data pointing in one very real direction, we as Texans think of ourselves as Texans first,” said Raquel Amparo, president and general manager of KTVT. “When you ask where we’re from, we don’t say we’re from Fort Worth. We don’t say we’re from Dallas. We don’t say we’re from Houston. We’re from Texas.”
The station previously branded as “CBS DFW,” using the well-known initialism for the dashed market.
“The transition was with intention to be more inclusive of the way Texans identify, but at the same time really doubling down on what does that global lens across the state look like when we’re talking about capturing the content we’ve always captured. We’ve always traveled to the border, we’ve always traveled to Houston for a hurricane. We’ve gone to Amarillo, El Paso, etc. How do we capture the stories in those markets, those communities, and bring them back for the impact in our backyard? So that’s the reason for the new lens with Texas.”
With this in mind, and backed by market research from firms including SmithGeiger and Magid, the station opted to prioritize Texas, while competitors combine the markets two major cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.
“So much of our area is growing faster than the rest of the country and Dallas-Fort Worth no longer captures what this coverage area really now represents,” noted Amparo.
“We really looked at this through a research lens,” said Adrienne Roark, president, CBS Stations, who noted that each station and each market is different and varied. “By really leaning into the research piece of it, it enables us to focus each market on what makes sense for them.”
In an interview with NewscastStudio, executives noted other stations in the group might also adopt this state-level branding approach, especially in markets where the station reaches a large segment of the state. The group also has larger content strategies focused on a statewide approach, with embeds in multiple markets, that might drive a similar branding decision.
Keeping the Lone Star
“The 11 (logo) has a lot of equity in this market,” said Amparo, with the current 11 logo design dating to 2004. But the brand equity around the 11 was formed well before through promo campaigns such as “Channel 11, The Super Ones” in the 1980s.
“For me, it was protecting the star that lives within the two ones. If you do think of an icon that represents this state, whether you’re a Texan or not… that star really stands out for who we are and the pride that we feel every day,” said Amparo.
“The star is certainly the closest that we have to an actual logo across the group,” said Casey Kespohl, SVP of brand Strategy and development for CBS News and Stations. “There’s something besides a number or four letters… It’s a visual icon to represent something.”
“Based on that research and a little bit of gut we know that’s something that resonates,” added Kespohl. “I think it was a no-brainer that while you’re trying to make a position around CBS New Texas, that it remained.”
Sister station KTXA, which brands as TXA 21, is also expected to see changes in the future as the identity of the channel is reviewed and honed.
Graphics as a starting point for coverage
With the new graphics package, which first debuted on CBS News Bay Area in December, CBS News Texas along with the larger CBS Television Stations group was able to begin the process of reexamining how stories are presented.
“There’s a really thoughtful conversation that this helps us to reignite around how we’re using the graphic as a true storytelling tool as opposed to, I’ve got real estate on a screen to fill,” said Amparo.
“Simplifying the look, making it as clean and crisp as possible so it’s less distracting, gives our storytellers just the honest free rein to reimagine what that screen will look like as they tell that story.”
“It’s really focused on the audience takeaway. It’s with an effort to reduce as much on-screen clutter as possible… to make the focus and the emphasis more on the content and the storytelling and the people and characters in those stories,” said Roark.
“We want to have purpose, we want to have intent. We’re rethinking the type of visuals that we use as a whole to appear more authentic and to not sensationalize or sometimes even stylize tragedy,” said Kespohi. “We want to be clean, clear and concise and let the content speak and then continue to evolve our packages and learn and understand them a little better.”
CBS News Texas, along with all of the CBS-owned stations, is utilizing Chyron Prime with the new motion graphics package. Updated weather graphics, reflective of the new on-air look, are also expected shortly and will be integrated with The Weather Company’s Max system.
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