New York’s New-Look Newsradio

WCBS Newsradio 880 Rolls Out New Logo, Music

August 22, 2018 - 3:06 pm
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Rethinking the Brand

A year after taking home broadcasting’s top radio honor and celebrating 50 years of all-news radio, Entercom’s WCBS Newsradio 880 has introduced a new visual image and a revamped on-air sound. 

WCBS Director of News and Programming Tim Scheld says the new look and feel are part of the radio station’s strategy to build a brand for the next 50 years.

“2017 was all about celebrating the brand that is WCBS Newsradio 880 and 2018 was all about rethinking the brand,” says Scheld. 

The Making of a News Anthem

Just after 5 a.m. Wednesday, WCBS Newsradio 880 unveiled its new score, built around a news “anthem" fashioned by a team from world-renowned music production firm Man Made Music.

Founder and composer Joel Beckerman says he jumped at the chance of working with the team at Newsradio 880. “The fact that you guys have this incredible heritage -- to me that’s always what WCBS has stood for. We really wanted to get it right. It was incredibly important for us to get it right.” 

 “We didn’t want the traditional, in-your-face, self-important news music,” said WCBS Assistant Program Director Alex Silverman. “We wanted a sound that was going to communicate that we are a trusted friend.”  

What WCBS got was an anthem filled with energy, percussion, and the passion with which the news is delivered on New York’s iconic news radio station. 

“New York isn’t just one thing, it’s many things,” said Man Made Music Supervising Producer Amy Crawford. “It’s kinetic. It’s tough -- but I also think that New Yorkers are some of the nicest people you can ever meet.”

Mickey Alexander, another member of the Man Made team, remembers listening to WCBS 880 from the back seat of his dad’s car. “Having grown up in New York, having a chance to sort of craft the sound of New York was something really cool.”

From the anthem came the individual pieces that help synchronize the nation’s biggest metropolitan area. The headlines, the local news open, the sounder for Sports First, Money News, and of course Traffic and Weather Together are all tied to the anthem and sonic identity. 

Beckerman, an award-winning composer, loved working on this project because it was the first time his sonic imaging work will be heard 24/7 in the nation’s largest city. He tells WCBS, “It (was) exciting to have a chance to score people’s lives.” 

Listening to the different parts coming together into this beautiful anthem for WCBS was really an incredible experience,” said Silverman, an award-winning reporter and anchor who took on the programming role earlier this year. 

New Image

Last November, Entercom took over CBS’s stable of radio stations including WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York.

In 2018, the management team under Scheld and Silverman began making changes to allow WCBS to better compete in the digital and mobile age. Creating a fresh new visual identity was part of the strategy. Working with the Entercom marketing team, the station developed a new logo and began positioning the station as “More Than Just the Headlines.”

"We are excited about the evolution of the visual and sound identity of the iconic, modern WCBS 880 radio brand reflecting its editorial integrity, commitment to the communities it serves and the connection to a growing listener base," said Entercom Chief Marketing Officer Ruth Gaviria.

Today, the fruits of months of work took hold with the rollout of the new logo and new on air music -- and in a first for the radio station, WCBS is using a female voice to deliver branding messages on the air. Deidre Goodwin is an actress by trade who has appeared on screen and on Broadway. WCBS began featuring Goodwin as the station voice this morning.

WCBS Newsradio 880 was honored with the 2017 Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters as “Legendary Station of the Year.”  In 2018 WCBS was honored with two National Edward R. Murrow Awards from the RTDNA for Best News Series and Best Newscast. WCBS880.com is the digital home for WCBS 880 content including audio on demand, video, and podcasts like News on the Rocks and the Small Business Spotlight