New York -- The History Channel on Saturday (July 31)
introduced its first on-air redesign since its 1995 launch, in order to create a more
contemporary look. The Weather Channel also unveiled its own on-air facelift less than two
History's revamp encompasses everything from
promotional spots and program intros and closes to print advertising and marketing
materials, Artie Scheff, History's vice president of marketing and on-air promotion,
said last week. It uses 30 historical personalities as "spokespersons,"
including an Egyptian pharaoh, a couple from the Great Depression, a World War I
"doughboy" and "Rosie the Riveter" from the World War II era.
The network's modernized crop of promo spots will cut
down on the use of archival material. Despite the new look, History will keep the slogan,
"Where the past comes alive."
The Weather Channel, in ushering in its new on-air
meteorology data and graphics look two weeks ago, moved to " 'geo-real'
maps with images that look more like the actual photographs of earth sent back by NASA
[than the previous] featureless, military-like situation report maps," said Patrick
Scott, TWC's executive vice president and general manager of programming, operations
The two networks are not the only ones trying to spruce up
their looks. CNN Headline News underwent an on-air facelift in mid-June, and The Travel
Channel last spring named New York advertising agency M&C Saatchi to handle a branding
assignment that includes a new on-air look, a network spokeswoman said. Results are due in
the fourth quarter.