CBS announces how its CW stations will rebrand this fall

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CBS News and Stations has announced how it will rebrand the eight stations it owns currently affiliated with The CW when they convert to independents Sept. 1, 2023.

As previously announced, KBCW in San Fransisco, California, will change its call letters to KPYX and become branded as KPIX+ on air and WPCW in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will become WPKD and be known as KDKA+.

KDKA’s logo uses the black and gold combination inspired by the city’s three major sports franchises and found in KDKA’s news graphics.

Five of the remaining stations, meanwhile, will retain their current call signs and brand on-air as the city name followed by channel number. Officially, there will be no space between the two elements.

WPSG in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will become known as Philly57 and take on a teal green similar to that found in sister station KYW’s rebrand.

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WUPA in Atlanta, Georgia, will rebrand as Atlanta69.

KSTW in Seattle, Washington, will become Seattle11.

WTOG in Tampa Bay, Florida, will become Tampa Bay44.

WKBD in Detroit, Michigan, will rebrand as Detroit50.

The final station in the group of soon-to-be-former-CW affiliations, KMAX in Sacramento, California, will be known as KMAX31 as opposed to any city reference.

Meanwhile, WLNY in New York, which is already an independent station, will rebrand as New York55.

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It’s not surprising that CBS opted for the “plus” branding with KPIX and KDKA, as these stations’ calls are highly recognizable branding elements in their markets and it makes it clear the two offerings are linked.

The new city name schema aligns with CBS’s strategy of rebranding its linear newscasts, regional streamer and websites for CBS-affiliated and owned stations as “CBS News (City Name),” though it adds the distinction of the channel number. 

Many of the owned CBS stations still use their channel number in their official logos.

CBS is also consolidating the looks of all eight stations under the TT Norms family. For KDKA+ and KPIX+, the bold version was used, with the remaining logos using the black iteration, CBS News and Stations confirmed to NewscastStudio.

For all but KMAX and WPSG, the number is shown in a bright blue similar to the “default” shade used as a primary color in many of the news graphics packages used by local CBS newsrooms.

The KPIX+ logo, meanwhile, has a gray “K” to help reinforce that it is pronounced as “kay-picks.”

Aside from the two plus-branded stations, the new logos rely on a heavy version of the font. 

In many cases, the designs feature portions of select letters or numerals removed to keep the logo more compact and removing trapped white space.

Fall schedules will feature a total of seven local, one-hour newscasts. The new 8 p.m. newscasts on WPSG, KMAX and KDKA+ Pittsburgh will be the only local newscasts airing in their respective markets during that hour. 

Meanwhile, 8 and 9 p.m. newscasts on KPIX+ will be the only local newscasts airing in the Bay Area during those hours.

KPIX+ is also airing a new local 7 to 9 a.m. offering to be called the rather wordy β€œThe Morning Edition from CBS News Bay Area.”

It’s not immediately clear how the two other independent stations associated with owned CBS affiliates, KTXA in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, and WSBK in Boston, Massachusetts, will be rebranded. It’s also not clear how the hybrid “Now” branded newscasts being produced will be affected.

NewscastStudio has reached out to CBS for clarification on those points.

This story has been updated to reflect the new branding for WLNY in New York as well as each station’s new logo.

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