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Tampa TV station ditches the 'W'

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  • | 5:27 a.m. April 22, 2011
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Tampa's WMOR-TV 32 operates less like an independent station and more like a locally based cable channel. Now it has rebranded to reflect its mission.

Earlier this month, the station began identifying itself simply as “MOR,” dropping the “W” and getting rid of its channel number. It has been working with local marketing agency Pyper Paul + Kenney on its new logo, which appears in the lower right corner of the viewer's screen.

Fewer than 20% of local TV viewers tune in to MOR over the air anymore, and cable companies assign other channel numbers besides the ones originally given by the Federal Communications Commission, according to Ken Lucas, the station's president and general manager.

“It just gets confusing for the viewer,” Lucas tells Coffee Talk, noting as an example that Bright House has USA Network on channel 32 while MOR itself is on channel 12. “We're going to market ourselves like a cable network because the channel numbers have become meaningless.”

MOR (Business Review, Oct. 15, 2010) is owned by Hearst Television Inc. and largely carries syndicated programming as well as repeat episodes of popular network programs such as “The Office” and “How I Met Your Mother.” This fall, it is adding “The Big Bang Theory” and “30 Rock” to its daily lineup.

Another interesting change to the channel is the addition of comedian Tim Wilkins, who will become the “face” of MOR and provide entertainment between programs, says David Lawrence, the station's creative services director.

Changing a station's identity to minimize its call letters in the growing age of cable and satellite TV has been done before in the Tampa Bay market. Several years ago, WFTS-TV 28 was renamed ABC Action News to stand out more in cable channel lineups.


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