After 60 Years, CBS3 Philadelphia Drops ‘Eyewitness News’
Since 1959, CBS3's newscast has been identified as Eyewitness News. Beginning on Wednesday, that will no longer be the case.
CBS3 says it is time for a change in the branding of their local newscast. It will now be called simply CBS News Philadelphia.
For people of a certain age, Eyewitness News brings back memories of notable news journalists such as Larry Kane, Mort Crim, and Jessica Savage.
The problem, according to Kelly Frank, the new president and general manager at CBS3, is that younger people no longer felt a connection with that name.
Frank told Philadelphia Business Journal that the station did research that showed a disconnect.
Eyewitness News "wasn't as relevant to a growing audience. And that's a difficult thing in Philadelphia [if] you're born and raised here. People like what they like. But Eyewitness was starting to marginalize and that was what our data told us.”
Starting with Wednesday's 5 pm newscast, the station's on-air colors will also be changing, from the traditional silver and blue to a green background. The new CBS News Philadelphia will now use the tagline, " We uncover the heart behind the headline".
Frank told PBJ that focus groups told them what today's viewer wants is more complete storytelling, from both points of view with potential solutions.
This isn't the first time CBS3 has tinkered with its name. Back In the 1990s, the station tried the names News Tonight and KYW News 3 for a time before returning to Eyewitness News.
Will these changes make a difference for the new CBS News Philadelphia? We'll see.
As someone who has experienced this kind of change in radio a couple of times, allow me to give my perspective.
When the ratings aren't what's expected, business people, who aren't necessarily broadcasters, call in consultants - who also aren't broadcasters - to make marketing changes like the ones they would make for Coca-Cola or Chick-fil-A.