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Brand Playbook September 2010

Introduction A “brand” new day is dawning at NEWS 8. To state the obvious, we live in a digital and global society that is fast paced, interactive and ever-changing. Our local communities are dealing with significant issues that many of us have never faced in our lifetime. As a news organization, we need to be in the forefront of these conversations, fighting for the working class while stripping away the high gloss varnish, theatrics and gimmicks used by many other stations and instead communicating to our audience in a very direct way. This new scrappy, bold, aggressive and straightforward vernacular will help NEWS 8 codify a strong emotional bond with our viewer and separate us from the other stations in Connecticut. Since branding is a long-term venture, this endeavor needs to be sustainable and endure the test of time. In every way we communicate, the consistency of the brand message must be bold and without compromise. In the following pages you will find the strategy and guidelines needed to execute the NEWS 8 brand effectively on a daily basis. Once you have familiarized yourself with these standards, you will be well-equipped to integrate our NEWS 8 brand message throughout your work. Please keep this playbook handy and use it as a reference manual to ensure the focus needed to maintain a strong brand. We have a rare opportunity to move this organization into the future – that future is now. I look forward to sharing this “most excellent adventure” with all of you and someday looking back fondly on what we’ve built together.

-Mark Higgins


Table of Contents pg 1 Introduction pg 2 Table of Contents pg 4-5 NEWS 8 Brand Overview pg 6-7 NEWS 8 Target Viewer Profiles pg 8-9 NEWS 8 Content Strategy pg 10-11 NEWS 8 Marketing Strategy pg 12 NEWS 8 Content/Brand Wheel pg 13-22 Production Style Guidelines Logo On-Air Graphics Studio Shots Announcer Music pg 23 Employee Recognition Employee of the Month Circle of Excellence pg 24 Intranet Site Map


“Voice of the People”


NEWS 8 Brand Overview At WTNH NEWS 8, our brand is best defined as “voice of the people.” This brand is presented everyday in a hard-hitting, distinctive, “no bull” style. We use language, images, and storytelling that are bold, provocative, aggressive, and vigilant. Our target viewers have a modest lifestyle – they work blue collar jobs and have a household income under 75 thousand dollars per year. Our “voice of the people” brand means that we work for these target viewers – and that we choose stories that impact their lives – with a focus on solutions, results, and tangible benefits to them and their families.

Brand Cornerstone n Hard-Hitting n Distinctive n “No Bull” n “Voice of the People”

We will chase down those who cheat our target viewers – or do wrong to them. We will make sure politicians are working on behalf of our target viewers – and we will hold those politicians accountable for the promises they make. We will be vigilant everyday about the stories and subjects that are most relevant to our target viewers.


NEWS 8 Brand Overview (cont.) We recognize that our target viewers are struggling these days – and we are committed to helping them, defending them, and giving voice to their concerns. When our target viewers see our work, they will feel represented by us – and connected to us. They will feel like they have a voice. This brand is our promise to our target viewers, and it is represented clearly and directly in our positioning line: “Who’s got your back? NEWS 8.”

Target Viewers n Middle America n Shift Workers n Democratic Principles n HH Income Under 75K n Family Values n Modest Lifestyle n Blue Collar


The NEWS 8 Target Viewer #1 I’m a single mother. I’m 39 years old. I teach geometry at Kennedy High School in Waterbury. My daughter goes to a public school in Seymour – she’s in second grade. I’ve lived my whole life in the Naugatuck Valley. My parents grew up here too; they still live about fifteen minutes away from me in Derby. I’m thankful that I can live in a part of Connecticut that I know and love and still be close enough to my parents and my job – I’m lucky. I get up at 5:00am every morning and make a quick breakfast for me and my daughter. I pack us sandwiches for lunch. My daughter would rather buy lunch at school like some of her friends do, but it’s too expensive these days. My mother comes to the house every morning to put my daughter on the bus – I can’t do it, I have to leave by 6:15am to get to school on time. I’m thankful that she can help – I already have to pay for my daughter to stay in an after-school program until I can pick her up, and I wouldn’t be able to afford a before-school program too. Ever since the divorce, I’ve had to worry about making the mortgage payments on my own. I cook dinner for me and my daughter every night – just something quick and easy. I clip coupons and shop at whichever store will double them. I still have student loans to pay off. I check all four gas stations in my neighborhood for the lowest price. What do I worry about? I worry about my car lasting another year. I worry about whether I should lock in an oil price for the winter. I worry about my job. There are so many school budget problems in so many towns these days. When I was growing up, becoming a teacher seemed like a safe bet – not anymore. These days I’m scared. A lot of teachers are getting laid off, and they’re all competing for the same few positions that are open. I’m about to turn 40, I’d hate to think about starting over again and finding a new career. What do I want? I want to be able to provide for my daughter and make sure she has everything she needs. I want her to get a good education and go to college someday. I want her to be healthy and safe. I want some simple security and stability for her and for me. I want my parents to be able to retire. I want to get to the point where I don’t have to worry so much, but let’s face it – there’s a lot to worry about.


The NEWS 8 Target Viewer #2 I’m 46 years old. I live in East Lyme. I’ve worked construction jobs in southeastern Connecticut for almost 20 years, but the work isn’t as steady as it used to be. A lot of people around here have been saying that. My father retired from Electric Boat after 30 years, but some of his younger co-workers are wondering if they’ll get the same chance. My brother has had more luck – he works at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, and his position seems safe for now. I finished a drywall job two weeks ago and have been giving my cousin a hand since then – he runs a small landscaping company. He’ll return the favor by helping me put a new roof on my house this Fall. I got some good news today – I’ve picked up a few months of construction work on the new Niantic Bay Bridge. I’m thankful for the job, even if it’s only Monday and Tuesday nights from 10pm to 4:30am. That’s the only time they’ll be able to shut the old bridge down because of Amtrak. It will feel good to be building the new bridge – the problems with the old one have been going on for years, and it’s really been hurting the fishing business around here. It’s only two nights of work a week, but it’s still something. The pay is pretty good. The job I really wanted was working on the new Q Bridge in New Haven – that would’ve meant a couple years of solid work. I was qualified, but I guess too many guys showed up for the job. What’s on my mind these days? My family. I have a wife and three kids, ages 4 – 15. Everywhere you look, crime seems to be on the rise – even the small towns aren’t as safe as they used to be. And everything is so expensive these days – especially when you have three kids. We already have some credit card debt. We’re only paying the minimums right now, so I’m worried about that too. And I worry that we don’t get to spend enough time together either; when I’m working, my wife is watching the kids. When she needs to work, I’m watching the kids. It’s not easy to find some down time when all you’re doing is running around. What do I want? More work, of course. Steadier work. I see these politicians on TV talking about creating jobs, and I want them to deliver on that. I want to get something for my vote – and for my tax dollars. My roots are in Connecticut, I love this state.


The NEWS 8 Content Strategy NEWS 8 is a news organization that is “for the people.” We will report the news as fairly and as impartially as possible – but we will never forget that our news is about people. Our stories will bring facts to light and will find answers to questions – but we will also empathize with our target viewers and advocate for change and action when it is needed. We will do whatever it takes to ask the questions and get the answers that our target viewers want. We will be the most aggressive journalists in seeking those answers – no matter what the consequences may be.

Brand Vision Our viewers will feel:

n Represented n Connected

We will demand that people in positions of authority address the issues that we raise – and we will be fearless in getting the truth from them. Our station has a long history of tackling the tough stories and “speaking truth to power” – and we will continue this tradition. In every story, we will remember that we are the advocate for our target viewers. We will use our resources to seek action on their behalf. We are not simply “consumer advocates” that are solving problems for those who may have a beef with a business or a government agency – we are more than that. We are striving for real action that will result in real and measurable progress and change. We know and understand that television best reaches our viewers through an emotional connection – and we will remember this when presenting our stories. Consider the four-part formula Joseph Pulitzer used at his newspaper, The New York World: One part sensationalism-(emotion) One part progressive politics-(point of view) One part attention-getting campaigns-(marketing) One part aggressive, intelligent news coverage-(journalism) We will present our stories in a way that is straightforward, hard-hitting, and easy to understand. We will present our stories with grit and energy. We will use everyday language. We will talk like regular people talk – not in a way that attempts to prove our own level of education. Consider the positioning line we have chosen – “Who’s got your back?” – and why it has replaced the more formal and traditional “Coverage You Can Count On.” Our style will be energetic. Things are happening in a real-time world, so we aren’t as focused on what happened before as much as we are on what is happening right now.


The NEWS 8 Content Strategy (cont.) Our goal is to find solutions and get results. Every story will be considered for a potential follow-up. These follow-ups will show our viewers that we are being vigilant – that we are making sure action is being taken and promises are being kept. Accountability is a value that we will stand for – we will prove it to our viewers every day. We will make ourselves accessible to our target viewers. We will use every method possible to connect with them – by reaching out to them and inviting them to reach out to us. We will listen to our target viewers – we want to know what is important to them and what they care about. We will invite our viewers to become a direct part of our newsgathering process – we want them to send us their story ideas and their user generated content. With our “Report It” feature, we will continue to welcome submissions of all kinds from our viewers – and we will be vigilant in pursuing those that fit our brand.

Customer Engagement We will connect with our viewers via:

n Report It n Social Media n Grassroots Marketing n Customer Service


The NEWS 8 Marketing Strategy All of NEWS 8’s marketing efforts will be consistent with the brand and will support it. We understand that when we deviate from the brand, we dilute it. We will view each marketing effort as an opportunity to connect our brand with our target viewers. When marketing our news product, we are communicating our brand and reinforcing it. We are telling our target viewers who we are, what we’re all about, what kind of stories we’re choosing, and how we’re covering them. We are telling them what they should expect from us. We know and understand that our marketing is a conversation with our target viewers – and an attempt to build a relationship with them. We want a relationship with them and an emotional connection to them. This is how we serve them. And this is why they will choose us in return. When we consider how to market our news product, we will always ask ourselves: What do our target viewers want? What is important to them? What do they value? What are their concerns? What’s on their minds? What are they looking for? What would help them?

Emotional Motivators We must have a sense of what emotion/response/ reaction we want our viewers to have as a result of each story and promo we air.

When we talk to our target viewers, we will always be clear and concise – no bull. We will speak to them in everyday language – the language they use. We will not be afraid to use slang. We will be edgy, provocative, and bold. Our language will demonstrate that we relate to our target viewers – that we understand them. We will drop the newsy jargon – we are not journalists, we are marketers. We believe in our news product – we will convey this. We are offering our target viewers something they can’t get anywhere else. We are on a mission – we want them to come along – we want to compel them to join us and watch our news.


The NEWS 8 Marketing Strategy (cont.) When our target viewers see our work, we want them to feel. We want them to feel protected – we want them to believe that we really do have their backs. We want them to feel that we are looking out for them, that we are fighting for them. We want them to feel defended and represented. We want them to believe that we really do understand what they’re going through.

Writing Elements

When we select stories to promote, we will always choose the stories that are most important to our target viewers. We will always find what is valuable to our target viewers within those stories – and we will highlight it immediately. We will not waste their time. Through our work, we will represent the voice of our target viewers – we will be their voice. We will always remember that this brand is our promise to our target viewers, and it is represented clearly and directly in our positioning line: “Who’s got your back? NEWS 8.”

n Immediately grab the n viewer’s attention n Get to the hook at n the top of our promos n and teases n Use everyday n language


The NEWS 8 Content/Brand Wheel




EM •






































• PR O








































• AG G















































(Points of Differentiation)













Production Style Guidelines NEWS 8 has a look and a feel that distinguishes us in the market – it embodies our brand and sets us apart from the competition. NEWS 8 is the only station that uses red as its dominant color and Helvetica as its primary font face. This design combination is bold and aggressive – just like our content and marketing strategies. We will keep this look and feel consistent throughout all of News 8’s products, using the design tools available to us.

Design Tools n Logo n Color Palatte n Graphics n Imagery n Music n Announcer n Clothing n News Set n Building & Vehicle n Signage n Stationary n Email Signatures n Merchandise


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics Font: Helvetica Bold RGB Colors: Black Red (237, 28, 36) Gray (50% Black) PMS Colors: Black PMS 186 PMS Cool Gray 8

How logo should appear over medium and dark backgrounds

B&W Version of logo

Logo reversed on black


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics (cont.)

NEWS 8 Bug

1-Line Lower Third


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics (cont.)

2-Line Lower Third

3-Line Lower Third


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics (cont.)

1-Line Over-the-Shoulder (OTS)

2-Line Over-the-Shoulder (OTS)


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics (cont.)

Rear Projection Graphic (RP)

Monitor Graphic sample


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics (cont.)

CG Full Screen

Mug Shot


The NEWS 8 Logo and Graphics (cont.)


Sports Monitor


NEWS 8 Announcers Rob Naughton (out-of-house) Primary Promotion Announcer Key Info: Rob primarily does promotion but is available to voice commercial tags as well – but not commercials. For example, he can voice the following at the end of a spot, “Sponsored by Nissan – come in and test drive a new Maxima today”. He is available for both WTNH & WCTX. We access Rob via an ISDN digital phone line connected to a Telos Zephyr in Avid 1 on the second floor. Rob is also able to post audio files to his website, which can then be downloaded. To utilize Rob’s services, contact Promotion Manager Richard Connelly at x2972. Session Times: M-F – 11am & 7pm Sessions last 15 minutes ISDN Info: 1.) 314-212-0798 2.) 314-212-0799 Settings: L2 Mono 128 / L2 / 64 48 Phone patch: 618-307-0512 Zephyr Info: ‘Rob 1’ is his home studio, to be used for 7pm sessions ‘Rob 2’ is his work studio, to be used for 11am sessions Contact Info: (scripts should be emailed to this address) Cell # 618-541-2797

Steve Parker (in-house) Primary Commercial Announcer Key Info: Steve can do any commercial or promo work that airs on either WTNH or WCTX. Steve records in the second floor announce booth on MiniDisk. Session Times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday - 5pm Sessions last as long as needed up to 4 hours Contact info: Cell # 860-604-9988. Office # 203-407-3361. (After 1:00 PM) Steve’s office is in a bad cell zone, so sometimes the fastest way to get him after 1PM is the office phone or


NEWS 8 Music The NEWS 8 music is a compilation of 7 CD’s produced by 360 Music. The primary contact at 360 is Chad Cook: (615) 782-8080. It’s a preference but not a mandate to use the News 8 Music package on all sustaining NEWS 8 on-air elements including VTR’s, show opens, promos, etc. There are two hard copies of the discs in-house. Contact Director Michael Petshaft or Promotion Manager Richard Connelly to utilize one.

WTNH News Music Grid - April 2010 Revised Show/Position Disc Cut# Title Good Morn. CT 5, 6, 7AM & NEWS 8 at Noon Headlines News 2010-AM Theme 42 Alt Mix to Vamp Open (from Server) News 2010-Anim. Elemts 1 Open - Mixed Bumper 1/4 - Into Brk. News 2010-AM Theme 36 Bump w/ID Bumper 2/5 - Into Brk. News 2010-AM Theme 49 Alt Mix Vamp Bumper 3/6 - Into Brk. News 2010-AM Theme 39 Logo PU, No Mid Logos Bump Out of Break News 2010-AM Theme 10 ID to Vamp-Alt Mix Weather News 2010-Weather 27 Bumper w/ Front ID Full Traffic News 2010-Traffic 33 Bumper w/o Front ID Less Perc Close Closes (Maxell Disc) 1 AM Close IDs News 2010-AM Theme 27 :15s Logo PU, No Mid Logo NEWS 8 at 5, 5:30, 6, 10 & 11pm Headlines News 2010-PM Music 38 No Mid Logo Open (from Server) News 2010-Anim. Elemts 18 Open- Mixed Bumper 1 - Into Brk. News 2010-PM Music 37 Bump w/o ID-Full Bumper 2 - Into Brk. News 2010-Weather 30 Bumper w/o Front ID-Full Bumper 3 - Into Brk. News 2010-PM Music 40 Bumps w/o IDs Bump Out of Break News 2010-PM Music 34 Bumps w/ID No Gtr Pulse Health News 2010-Health 21 :30 Front, Alt gtr B Weather Stinger News 2010-Weather 34 IDs-Logo Alt Guitar Sports Bumper (6/10/11) News 2010-Sports 23 Bumps w/o IDs-No Lead Guitar Lottery News 2010-Traffic 29 Bumpers w/Front ID - Full Close Closes (Maxell Disc) 2 PM Close Ids News 2010-PM Music 19 :15 w/Front IDs-Full Breaking News/Spec Rpt News 2010-Breaking News 1 Mixes - Full Breaking News Close Logo News 2010-Breaking News 48 IDs - Back ID


Employee Recognition Employee of the Month NEWS 8 is committed to recognizing and honoring excellence among its employees. Each month, the Employee of the Month program spotlights an employee who has gone the extra mile, achieved the extraordinary, and worked to further and the strengthen the NEWS 8 brand. In addition to a special plaque and the recognition of his/her peers, each Employee of the Month also receives a check for $400 and an opportunity to become selected for LIN Media’s Circle of Excellence (COE) program.

Circle of Excellence Recognition for exceptional job performance is an essential part of any strong company fabric. LIN Television’s Circle of Excellence (COE) Program was established to honor acts of excellence and an everyday commitment to company values, goals, employees, and viewers. A vital component of this program is its policy of being employee-based and employee-administered. Each Employee of the Month winner is automatically eligible to be a Circle of Excellence winner. The program rewards winners with a luxury cruise.


Studio 8 Intranet Site Map HOME PAGE “New & Noteworthy” A write-up of what’s been going on around the station • Sub-pages for News / Promotion / Sales / Engineering – describing • what’s happening in each department WELCOME PAGE - (Drop-down list of available sub-pages) Overview for all the New Employees: • eTime instructions • P card instructions • New Employee Registration • (an online form connected to online station • employee directory) • GM Welcome Statement • Benefits at a glance • (a quick overview of employee benefits offered by LIN) • New Hire Paperwork • Welcome Video TELEPHONE DIRECTORY A full contact listing of all station employees CALENDAR PAGE Monthly listing of station happenings as well as employee birthdays and anniversaries in a calendar format STATION EVENTS PAGE Features photos and write-ups of station events - (Drop-down list) • 2010 Holiday Party • MyTV9 Star Auditions •Contest Page Discounts (featuring discount offers to employees by local vendors) HUMAN RESOURCES PAGE - (Drop-down list) Employee of the Month • Features write-ups of all current-year EOM winners Circle of Excellence • Write-up of station winners of LIN’s Highest Honor Health & Wellness • Information on participating in LIN’s new wellness initiative STATION WHEELS - (Drop-down list) Creative Organization Chart Content/Brand Wheel Sales & Marketing Wheel Send your ideas


NEWS 8 Brand Playbook  

May 2011 Version of the Brand Playbook