WGBH rebrands to GBH to reflect digital future and national reach

by | Sep 2, 2020

WGBH announced new branding, dropping the broadcast-centric “W” from its name and adopting a new logo. Going forward, the organization will be known as GBH.

For nearly 70 years, the W in WGBH’s call letters reflected that it was a broadcast licensee east of the Mississippi River (while most licensees on the west side have call letters beginning with a K). But with more than half of its audience impressions coming via digital platforms, the public media pioneer dropped the “W” to better reflect its leadership in the new media environment.

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 new logo retains the look of the iconic ‘drop shadow’ that Chermayeff & Geismar originally designed in the early ‘70s. The font will change to the clean and modern Red Hat, which functions better digitally. 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. The new primary brand color will be a vibrant, digital-first shade of purple. Equality, wisdom, empathy, creativity and resilience are all associated with purple and align with GBH’s core brand values.

“While our name is changing our mission remains the same: to harness the creative spirit and reach of public media to deliver compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences, wherever they are,” said Jon Abbott, president and CEO of GBH. “Our vision is to be a pioneering leader in media that strengthens, represents, and serves our community, fostering growth and empowering individuals.”

The organization also connects the Commonwealth, from the Cape to the Berkshires, with its local programming. As part of the rebrand, GBH’s affiliate WCAI, the streamable NPR service for the cape and islands, will become CAI. Likewise, 99.5 WCRB will become CRB Classical 99.5. And WGBX Channel 44, which airs a wide array of British dramas as well as PBS and local programming, will become GBH 44.

“As technology, media and consumer expectations are evolving, so are we,” said Tina Cassidy, Chief Marketing Officer at GBH. “Our branding signals quality and reflects a vibrant and inviting place for our audience to engage, laugh, learn and be in community with others.”

From drama and science to history, journalism, education, arts, and culture, GBH produces award-winning primetime shows, including MASTERPIECE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE, NOVA, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. GBH also produces the award-winning children’s series Arthurand  Molly of Denali, along with more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series, as well as the news and documentary WORLD Channel.

GBH has launched a number of digital-only series, including the YouTube series Career Hacks, offering career advice to new job seekers; Internet Expert, designed to engage Gen Z in the democratic process; NOVA’s Parentalogic, a YouTube series for new parents; and Keep It Social, which explores social media trends. GBH also offers a series of podcasts, including Molly of DenaliThe FRONTLINE DispatchIn It TogetherInnovation HubUnder the Radar, and The Creeping Hour, among others.

GBH worked with Boston-based Minelli, Inc. to develop the new brand.

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