PITTSBURGH, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning July 23, WQED, the first community-supported public broadcaster in the United States, changes its logo, its theme music, refines its vision, and incorporates a comprehensive look and communications strategy to reflect what the community has been saying for years: that WQED's TV/radio programming, its publications like PITTSBURGH magazine, WQED Interactive, and the organization's education center have been on the forefront of major changes in broadcast and print communications and continue to make a difference in the community. So much so that "changes lives" best reflects the impact that WQED has in its service territory of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and around the world. "WQED changes lives," said George L. Miles, Jr., president and chief executive officer of WQED. "We have a special relationship with the community. In doing research for this changeover, time and again people told us how WQED helped make their lives better, how it provided information and resources to help them learn and, more importantly, to help them think. "We were told how we continue to stand out and inspire people in an otherwise vast wasteland of media choices. We came to the conclusion that WQED does in fact change lives for the better," Miles added. "We are the first in this market and in this region to be high-definition (HD) in our radio and TV studio/field production. And with the expansion of our website, no other station in this region or this market offers 1,500 hours of programming choices -- national and local -- online. Nor has any other media entity been recognized with so many awards -- more than 250 -- for radio, TV, publishing, education and other facets of our operations." WQED began the re-branding process in May 2006 with a series of employee sessions to gauge the impact and legacy that WQED has in the community and around the world. Subsequent focus groups with the WQED Board of Directors, Community Advisory Board, users/non-users of all of the content areas of WQED, and with members/non-members of WQED helped steer the process toward what became the final logo, tagline and future direction of the organization. A true community of talents came together in the process, much like when WQED was formed 53 years ago. Lorraine Snebold of Washington, DC, a former Pittsburgher who worked at KDKA as the director of marketing/programming -- and was the senior vice president of brand management at the National Geographic Channel before launching her own nationally-respected branding consulting firm -- facilitated the re-branding and market research process. The new WQED logo, animations and elements were created by 168 Design Group of San Francisco. Owner Jan Phillips -- a multiple international-award-winner herself whose company creates motion graphic solutions for national and international broadcast, cable, syndication, corporate, and commercial clients -- is a native of Aliquippa and former art director of KDKA and WTAE. She jumped at the chance to work on a project for her hometown public broadcaster. Michael Moricz now lives in New York but hails from Moon Township and was thrilled to compose the organization's new theme music that will be used on air and in other WQED local productions. Moricz was a pianist and music director for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and also worked extensively for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet, and the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Glenn Przyborski's company, Przyborski Productions, while based in Pittsburgh, serves a roster of national clients. He specializes in the production of network, regional and large scale local television commercials which originate on film or 24P digital with final post-production in high- definition (HD-Cam) or standard-definition (Digital Betacam) videotape. He personally shot all the television interviews in 1080P high-definition for the new campaign. Philip Elias and Ronnie Savion of Elias/Savion Advertising -- the founders and principals of one of Pittsburgh's premiere advertising agencies -- designed the WQED corporate identity package including print creative and other collateral materials to mirror the new WQED brand. All the elements came together into the new campaign which was edited, produced, distributed and will be managed internally by WQED's Marketing Department. The first 15 television spots in the re-branding campaign, while airing on WQED TV and the WQED Neighborhood Channel starting July 23, can also be seen at WQED Interactive by logging on to http://www.wqed.org. Two three minute features from the campaign will begin airing in high-definition on WQED-HD by the end of July. Listeners to WQED FM 89.3 will also hear complementary radio elements of the campaign. Print creative will be strategically unveiled over the next several weeks, although initial design element changes can be found in the August edition of PITTSBURGH magazine which just arrived on newsstands. WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Station Excellence and eight other Emmy Awards in 2006, creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED-DT; The WQED Neighborhood Channel; WQED-HD; WQEX-TV (A Shop NBC affiliate); WQED-FM/Pittsburgh; WQEJ- FM/Johnstown; a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH magazine; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (http://www.wqed.org); and the WQED Education Center.
SOURCE WQED Pittsburgh