12:18 pm Mar. 15, 20132
"It will all be fine," NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan has just assured me in an email. "The corporate office fully understands how important the channel is to the city."
I had asked him about the plans to rebrand NY1, the 24-hour local news channel that's carried exclusively on Time Warner Cable.
The alarming possibility raised in an article in the Daily News this morning was that the rebranding could possibly extend to renaming the channel "TWC News." I am having an almost impossible time imagining the on-air personalities that guide me through the morning and, when I'm working from home, the entire workday, getting their gums around that. The headline on Gothamist's pick-up of the story summed up my reaction nicely: "NY1 To Be Rebranded As 'TWC News' Because We Can't Have Nice Things."
But it was only a possibility. According to the report in the News, an internal study was looking into changes in the logo, graphics and theme music. (Their composer, Peter Fish, was someone I always wanted to profile; there's something quirky and not-quite-good and perfect about all the channel's music. The music cues they used for their Vatican coverage reminded me of the Nintendo game Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest.)
The motivation is apparently that not enough people are aware that Time Warner Cable, NY1's parent company, carries the channel exclusively, so switching to FiOS means you lose the channel. They must be right, though I don't know anybody who doesn't know that, nor do I know many people who stick with Time Warner for very many other reasons.
Kiernan seems upbeat.
"This isn't a change of content or commitment to the channel," he wrote in his email to me. "It's a change of branding that was triggered by two decades of changes in the way people get their news. I'll still be there reading the papers every morning. Errol and Lewis and Roma and Kristen and everybody else will still be doing what they've always done.
"It's still really early in this process. They're looking at ways to have the NY1 logo and Time Warner Cable logo co-exist."
But the most alarming thing in the article, to me, was that NY1 chief Steve Paulus apparently pleaded with Time Warner not to mess with a good thing. If he's worried about what Time Warner is planning, I'm worried.
The Twitter campaign so far has been encouraging. Save NY1.
Somewhat related: Here are the K.O. Chicks, who won a 2009 contest to make a video to the NY1 theme song. I miss seeing it.