WVTM, Hearst’s NBC affiliate serving Birmingham, Alabama, recently began using “Live. Local. “Late Breaking” branding and image campaign-style promos released that showcase the concept and what it means to viewers.
Sometimes called “LLL” or “Triple L”, “Live.” Local. Late Breaking” takes advantage of a combination of alliteration and rising syllables to create a series of catchy words that often describe the main focus of local news.
The campaign features a total of four spots, two of which are highlighted here.
At one location, WVTM, which goes on air as WVTM 13 News, the station introduces the tagline by first mentioning its weather team of “experienced meteorologists” and how they provide “live” coverage that “prepares” and “protects” viewers.
The “local” angle is introduced by focusing on what the station describes as “local reporters reporting the facts first.”
For “breaking news,” the station shifts gears to drive home its breaking news coverage, promising to bring crews to the scene to keep viewers “up to date.”
“These are your stories. It is our commitment. We are WVTM 13 News. Live. Local. Late Breaking,” the announcer concludes as the station’s logo and tagline appear prominently on the screen.
The campaign’s second promotion begins by focusing on the station’s local service neighborhoods and its commitment to “telling your stories” before the advertiser proclaims WVTM as “your choice for live, local, breaking-news coverage.” minute” before then browsing the various installments of the day, the station offers news.
“The purpose of this promo was to more aggressively emphasize the meaning of Live. Local. Late Breaking coverage while showing how the brand is executed in all of our daytime parts,” said Justin Johnson, the station’s director of creative services who oversaw the creation of the promotions. “We really wanted to highlight the faces our viewers will see throughout the day on every newscast to further connect with the audience and build talent recognition. It’s one of my favorite spots we’ve produced this year.
There’s a quick reference to breaking news and weather “that affects you” and how it keeps viewers “connected”, “safe” and “informed”.
“Your trusted source for live, local, breaking news coverage,” the announcer repeats, bringing home the new tagline.
Both promos feature a combination of on-set and field talent footage, as well as the station’s news fleet of vehicles and gear. There are also photos of people watching simulated WVTM content on a variety of devices, helping to showcase its digital and on-air offerings.
There are also several shots of a hand pushing a microphone with the WVTM flag on it, creating an element of consistency throughout the campaign.
WVTM has been planning to change its name to “LLL” for months now, an effort led by general manager Susana Schuler, news director Baylor Long and Johnson.
The goal is to bridge the gap between how the station serves its audience today and how it plans to continue to serve them in the future.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work we produced as a team,” Johnson said.
“Live. Local. Last Break. has been a popular branding slogan for decades. According to government records, it was once a registered trademark of Raycom Media, but that registration has since expired.
It was sometimes leveraged to highlight a station’s ability to go live from the news stage in the days when microwaves and other suppressed newsgathering vehicles were more of a prized commodity, especially on small markets.
Some other stations in the Hearst Television group have used the slogan over the years. The Hearst TV News music package used at most of its stations in the past had a “Live. Local. Late Breaking” alternative signature which featured a series of notes matching the syllabation of the slogan (as well as variations such as “Where the News Comes First” and “Coverage You Can Count On” when stations used other slogans or wanted a different variant).
It’s also not uncommon to see slight variations in the words used, such as switching “live” and “local” to presumably put more emphasis on local coverage, given that the live television production of nowadays isn’t necessarily impressive thanks to cellular networks and consumer-grade video calls are becoming commonplace. Some stations have also swapped a word for something like “Investigative”, which ruins the alliteration but also emphasizes that unity.
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