Is CBS' L.A. Duop Scrapping New Branding?

The KCBS-KCAL “NewsCentral” branding, which debuted September 19, is on the way out, according to the Los Angeles media site LA Observed.

The NewsCentral brand announced with great fanfare just in July is out, along with Patrick McClenahan, the president & general manager who ballyhooed it by saying “we are excited to be combining our own assets to cover Southern California like no one else can.” I’m told that newscasters have already stopped referring to NewsCentral, and the brand is all but gone from the website. Things will be fully back to the old way as soon as the news graphics that kept KCBS and KCAL distinct are dug out of the trash and the trucks can be (re-)re-painted.

Last week, CBS announced that Steve Mauldin was shifting from KTVT-KTXA Dallas to run KCBS-KCAL, in place of McClenahan.

McClenahan was the force behind the NewsCentral brand, which aimed to cover a wide swath of the DMA. “It’s a natural extension of this duopoly,” McClenahan said at the time, “since we combined the stations and opened the new facility.”

NewsCentral’s presumed demise was the source of considerable chatter on TVSpy’s Watercooler discussion group earlier this week.

A CBS spokesperson told me Monday that the NewsCentral branding remains in place at both stations.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.