Over the years, call letters have largely lost their significance for television and radio stations.
We, for example, are WVIT. Seldom does someone ask, “How’s everything at ‘VIT?,” and when they do, I’m surprised. We’ve been called “Channel 30,” “NBC30,” and now, “NBC Connecticut.” (I, personally, have been called many other things.)
The number 30 started to drift into irrelevancy when cable came along. Most viewers know us as Channel 4. (“Hey, you work for Channel 4! Yeah, I’m Chuck Scarborough.”)
In July, we left “30” behind when we moved into our new building, armed to the teeth for the digital era. It’s still strange to answer the phone, “NBC Connecticut.” Most callers respond, “What?” I’m waiting for the day when someone says, “Hey, you work for NBC Connecticut.” It’ll happen. Eventually. It takes time for change to sink in.
Maybe we could use a celebrity spokesman. KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles is using “Lou Grant” himself as a pitchman. Maybe Murray Slaughter’s available for us, though I think Sue Ann Nivens is the way to go.
And WBBM in Chicago has dipped into its long-gone glory days and recruited former anchor Bill Kurtis (very funny in the AT&T ads) as its pitchman.
Maybe we could get Pat Sheehan. No…he worked for everyone but 30.
Let’s see…there’s Van Hackett…Bob Mayer…Toby Moffett. Nah. Wait! Who says we need a he? We’ve got our very own “Mary”…
But would she?
Update: “Not in this lifetime,” says the WPA (woman pictured above.)