‘Too Soon to Say Anything is Final’ for NY1 Rebranding

The blogosphere backlash has been palpable.

Time Warner Cable is making the decision to do away with NY1 as a logo in favor of a more corporate friendly moniker, likely TWC News.

A TWC VP of public relations, Maureen Huff says even though NY1 is the company’s longest running news channel, this is part of a bigger picture.

Related: FishbowlNY, NY1 Reportedly Being Rebranded by Time Warner Cable Honchos

“We have 17 news outlets across the country, we have more than 800 employees working at these stations,” Huff tells FishbowlNY. “We have different brands for each of them. For NY1 as an example, we have not changed the branding in the 20 years it’s been in existence.”

Of course, the next question is why should they?

Changing the NY1 branding is not simply like Channel 4 rebranding the newscast as NBC4NewYork. Everyone knows the station is always Channel 4 and the call letters are WNBC. History is a wonderful thing.

NY1 doesn’t have call letters, it only has NY1 has its identity. So TWC brass deciding it would be less complicated to add a company “reminder” on the screen could backfire–badly.

Huff says the rebranding will also allow an opportunity to refresh the NY1 graphics, while “creating a more consistent brand across the news channels.”

The push for the Time Warner Cable branding at NY1 is connected to research conducted by the company that shows the majority of viewers aren’t aware TWC owns NY1. So, in an apparent ego move by TWC, viewers will soon know.

Viewers will see the changes, a TWC logo or perhaps dualing images to protect the NY1 icon by the end of the year.

“We are all very much aware of how much NY1 is loved by New Yorkers,” Huff says.  “… There will be no change in content. There will be no change in editorial process or direction.”

Huff adds, since it is strictly a rebranding and not a reorganization or restructuring, no on-air talent will be impacted.

Given the calculated risk of removing the NY1 logo, Huff says there remains a slim possibility of TWC execs doing an about-face.

“It’s just too soon to say anything is final,” Huff admits. “We fully understand that there’s brand equity in NY1 and we’re looking at different sorts of ways to accommodate that.”