When CanWest MediaWorks’ Global Televison Network decided to announce a network rebranding last night on its local news programs, the revamp should have been more radical than what it was. In addition to Global’s new logo (the…uh, “greater than” sign on your left – seriously, the logo is supposed to represent how much greater Global will be due to the relaunch), Global is moving its daily national news program Global National to 5:30PM. Local news will allegedly be helped by airing in the 6:00-7:00PM block. The graphics will be new, Global’s commercial voiceover artist of choice will change, and everything will look more angular by February 6, 2006.
I’m not thrilled. Frankly, this might be a more meaningless revamp than Lions Gate becoming Lionsgate.
Let’s start with that sideways-checkmark-and-Helvetica-font arrangement that will debut during Super Bowl XL. While less ugly to me now than I immediately found it, the new logo is redundant. Global has its crescent logo which has been in use since 1997. The crescent is visually appealing. It’s simple, fits a variety of graphics packages, and is instantly iconic. The new logo looks like a throwback to late-1970s visual design. It’s still red, black and white as per Global tradition, but is a sideways checkmark the best Global could do? This is the worst North American network logo since that stylized N NBC used in the 1970s. I’d hate to think Global paid a million dollars for something I could do through GIMP in five minutes.
I also don’t understand how following a national broadcast with a local broadcast is any better than what Global’s doing now. Except for those living in the Maritimes, Global National will air before the local news. In the Maritimes, Global National will air after local news at 6:30PM. Personally, the move seems arbitrary. In Toronto, for instance, Global starts its hourly newscast at 5:30PM. The local newscast advertises itself as “FIRST at 5:30.” It’s a logical ninety-minute news block: an hour of local news, then Kevin Newman. Switching the order keeps Global’s Toronto newscast in line with its competitors by starting the local news at 6:00PM, but it threatens to ruin Global National. Will people follow Global National to the earlier time?
The idea of a 5:30PM national newscast sounds asinine. There’s no need to move Global National considering Global is the only network in Canada to have an American-style national newscast. Why couldn’t Global just get an across-the-board clearance from its regions to air Global National at 6:30PM? What Global’s doing could work, but the strategy could backfire on the network just as easily. There’s no doubt Global National is a good newscast, but moving its timeslot is no way to reward the show for continued improvement.
Global’s new attitude looks a lot like the old attitude, but with more schizophrenia. I guess Canadians will have to wait until February 6 to see if the network can successfully reinvent itself. I don’t understand why a relaunch is necessary, but perhaps Global has a few aces in the hole. At this early juncture, it better have.Powered by Sidelines