WCCO Radio launches new logo and branding

Returning to "News-Talk" with a focus on local issues

August 22, 2018 - 10:17 am

By: Lindsey Peterson, WCCO Program Director

Today, with the start of the Minnesota State Fair, we're introducing a new logo and a change to our station branding.  As you see above, we're now referring to ourselves as "News-Talk", moving away from what we've used the past decade, "News Radio".  Our station focus won't necessarily change much.  WCCO is not becoming a different station.  We still intend to bring you Minnesota focused news, issues, talk, sports and entertainment, along with the latest news from around the country and world.  We are built around our service elements of News, Sports, Traffic and Weather.  Beyond that, WCCO has always been and will continue to be content with personality.  Hosts that talk to you, the listener from Minnesota.  Hosts that talk about issues, entertain you and reflect the values of our listeners.  We feel that "News-Talk" better reflects who we are.      

Allow me to provide a little bit of the historical context around how we got "here".

In the 1980's (even into the 90's) WCCO began to transition away from the full-service station it had been for many decades.  What is full-service?  In radio terms, it was a little bit of everything.  News, talk, music (in case you're too young to remember, WCCO played music intermittently throughout the day and night), sports, entertainment, comedy, farm/ag news and even soap operas. Times were changing and this radio station had to change with them.  Much more content was being focused on news and issues that were important to Minnesota.  The logo of the station reflected the general image of the station.  We were simply 'WCCO Radio 8-3-0".  

Over the last 30+ years, here's a look at the evolution of WCCO's look:

The 1980's "Real Radio" years.

Entercom Media

In the 90's and early 2000's, that focus continued.  The logo was slightly updated with a color change.  

Entercom Media

Then came a shift.  A more bold look and color scheme, the identification as "News/Talk".  The focus was news and personalities, talk and issues.  The "full service" side of the station no longer existed and the focus was more clear.

Entercom Media

Then, around 2008, another tweak in indentification.  CBS Radio started to create a network of "news" stations across the country and that included WCCO.  We became "News Radio".  In truth, that never was the focus of the station though.  We still were a news-talk brand despite the CBS brand changes.  While that may have worked for the big 'all-news' stations within CBS (WINS in NY, WBBM in Chicago, KCBS in San Francisco as examples), that wasn't necessarily what WCCO was.  

You'll also notice a website.  Suddenly, digital was becoming a bigger part of what we do.  

Entercom Media

Which takes us to where we are now.  As CBS Radio dissolved, and became a part of Entercom (you can find out more about that here), we started to look in the mirror and we decided we were in need of a change and had a company behind us that supported our effort.  We wanted something that was much more reflective of who we are.  Through that process, we became educated on how important colors were, and how crucial it is not to have too large of a departure from who you are.  Sometimes things are iconic and you shouldn't mess with a good thing (see Best Buy).

So, as you look at our new logo at the top of the page, here is the "why" behind it.  

  • The font is more contemporary.  Gone were those big BLOCK letters were our brand for over 30 years.  We wanted something that moved us into 2018 and provided a warmer and cleaner look.  
  • The color yellow reflects younger, bolder, and optimistic.  We do feel young, and we certainly feel bold and optimistic.  It can represent a break from the past, while still staying true to who we've been.    
    • OK, the elephant in the room.... WCCO is old.  Correct, we are about as old as a radio station can get (October of 1924 was a long time ago).  Our reputation for decades has been this: "WCCO is your parents (or grandparents) radio station."  True.  We have people that have listened to us for many decades.  But!  We also have many listeners who discover a point in their life where they want something different.  They want smart content.  They want news.  They care about the weather.  They care about what's happening in our state and country.  They care about politics or sports.  They care about their futures and their kids.  They hopefully discover a station in WCCO that can speak to those things they care about.  We also have a building full of people working on this radio station that are not old!  The people here reflect who we are and that has always been true.  We talk to millenials (I hear from them all the time) because they work here too.  We talk to those of you that are middle-aged.  Most of the people that work and decide who our content should speak to?  They're middle-aged.  I'm 42 for example.  Some days I might feel old, but I'm not old!  I listen to this station every day for hours.  We are not old sounding and we want to start reflecting that in our look.  
  • The shade of blue represents steady and calm.  Also, ties to the past.  What we take most seriously, is the faith and trust the 94 years we've been on the air has built up.  Heritage is worth so much to so many, both inside this building and outside of it.  It's also uniquely Minnesotan.  People here care about our past, who we are and where we've come from.  WCCO is part of that.  We want to continue to earn that trust through the steadiness of our brand.  We're still your Good Neighbor.
  • Finally, and this is something we insisted upon while creating the logo...the state of Minnesota outline.  It's new to us.  As far as I can research back, it's never been a part of the actual logo at WCCO.  Yes, we certainly have listeners outside of the state borders (especially in Western Wisconsin).  But, what you hear on this radio station is a direct reflection of Minnesota.  We wanted our image to reflect who we are.  In an age where so many radio stations around the country are trying to be the same, creating content from one singular point that is then shipped off to every market, we want WCCO to stay true to our roots as a Minnesota institution.  Our people are here in downtown Minneapolis.  They are community members.  They care about things that you care about.  That's what the state outline means to us.  I'm born and raised here.  Dave Lee is a Minnesotan without question (yes, originally from North Dakota but so was Charlie Boone and nobody would claim Charlie wasn't "Minnesotan").  John Hines, Chad Hartman, Mike Max are all from here.  Every producer in this building is from Minnesota.  You get the point.  

It's also important to share that our company (Entercom) cares about that too.  They want nothing more than for WCCO to continue to be Minnesota's station and embrace that role.  We will do that happily.  

Certainly, things like logos and brands mean much, much more to the people that work for the company than it does a consumer (or listener).  We get that.  Why would you care what we do?  I also know how important this radio station is to Minnesota and we feel that sharing the how and why we do things is another way to build your trust and faith in us.  Like I said earlier, we take that very seriously. 

We hope you enjoy the new logo as much as we do.  We also hope you stop by our Fair Booth to say hello and check out the merchandise we have available featuring our new look.  It reflects our state pride and pride in what we do!      

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