Jim Girodo, vice president of creative services at Fox-owned KSAZ-KUTP Phoenix, is one proud papa, watching his offspring venture out of the house and around the country. With an assist from Fox’s graphics department in Tampa, Fla., Girodo created a station mascot—an animated version of KUTP’s “My45” logo, in high-top sneakers—that Fox is deploying at its MyNetworkTV stations around the country.
“C. More,” as in “see more” television, made his debut in Phoenix (DMA No. 13) last September—on-air in promos, out in the community in a costume and on social media such as Facebook. “I never launched a fictional character before,” Girodo says with a laugh. “I thought it would be a fun and creative way to brand My45, and give the station some personality.”
Fox has expressed its desire to put more personality into its MyNetworkTV (MNT) stations, which air minimal local news. “You get that personality from your local news people, your network stars,” Dennis Swanson, Fox Televisions Stations president of station operations, told B&C. “The MyNet stations are a little bit different. They have to find their own niche and own personality.”
Several stations outside Fox have added a dose of personality to their air with either a flesh-and-blood host, such as WNDY Indianapolis’ annual “Face of Indy” winner, or a mascot, such as Foxy the fox on WSJV South Bend.
Seven Fox-owned MyNetworkTV stations debuted C. More—and his giant eyeballs, unattached eyebrows and slacker/surfer patter— between September and January. The Los Angeles and Dallas stations will introduce him this month. Fox plans to have a local version of C. More in all 10 markets where they own an MNT station by spring.
The station chiefs say he’s thus far been a hit with viewers. “He’s a wonderful character,” says Alan Sawyer, WUTB Baltimore vice president and general manager. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the people of Baltimore to get to know C. More, and for C. More to get to know the people of Baltimore.”
Girodo notes the long history of animated characters in advertising, such as American icons representing Kool-Aid and Pillsbury. He describes C. More as “a regular guy who loves television.” The character stands atop the My45.com home page, while a human version dons the costume to interact with the community at Phoenix races, fund-raisers and hospitals.
C. More’s debut in Phoenix coincided with new syndicated shows including The Big Bang Theory and 30 Rock. Ratings are up “significantly” in the key demos, says Girodo, though he can’t say for sure how much credit C. More gets for it.
Yet the spritely little fellow seems to have found a home in Phoenix— and in Chicago, New York and other MyNet markets. “I want people to smile and think positively of My45 [when they see him],” Girodo says. “I’d like them to think there’s a connection, a local connection, to My45.”
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