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Public Media Biggie WGBH Drops the “W”

Says more than half of its audience impressions come from digital now

WGBH, rebrandingPublic media biggie WGBH is dropping the “W” in its name that long identified it as a broadcaster based east of the Mississippi.

Where some organizations might make such a branding tweak without calling attention to it right away, GBH went big.

“While its local TV and radio broadcast stations will always be important, the new branding recognizes GBH’s commitment to on-demand and digital-first content for audiences nationwide through streaming, apps, podcasts, social media, educational curricula and virtual events,” the organization stated.

It reported that more than half of its audience impressions come via digital platforms, so it dropped the “W” to “better reflect its leadership in the new media environment.” Affiliate WCAI becomes  justCAI. WCRB will become CRB Classical 99.5. WGBX Channel 44 becomes GBH 44.

The organization is a multiplatform creator for public media, producing content for PBS and partnering with NPR and PRX. Its studios and newsroom are in Boston.

The announcement was made by Jon Abbott, president and CEO, and Tina Cassidy, chief marketing officer. They noted that the new logo still uses a “drop shadow” design that dates to the 1970s, created by Chermayeff & Geismar.

And when you’re a really big public media entity, you can get away with delving into the fine details of how you updated your logos.

“The font will change to the clean and modern Red Hat, which functions better digitally,” it announced. “The iconic audio mark, also known as the sting, or the sound that audiences hear at the end of GBH-produced content, will not change.” And they chose purple as a new primary brand color, calling it “vibrant” and “digital first,” and because “equality, wisdom, empathy, creativity and resilience are all associated with purple and align with GBH’s core brand values.”

The station released a brand launch video, watch here.