Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Spirit Of Akr...er...Texas?

For those of you who wonder where TV news music comes from, there are a number of people out there on the Internet who track such things.

Perhaps the best such effort is "SouthernMedia's News Music Search Archive", a website which categorizes TV news and other theme music by package, location or other such search methods.

It even helpfully includes audio samples of news themes, imaging campaigns and the like.

One such local TV imaging campaign started as "The Spirit of Texas", which has been a long-time slogan for Dallas-Fort Worth market ABC affiliate WFAA/8. Dallas-based TM Productions did the honors of creating it first for the hometown station.

Here...take a listen yourself to the audio sample of WFAA's "The Spirit of Texas" image campaign, circa 1984 or so. Click the link, then the ">" (PLAY) button if needed.

Sound familiar, Northeast Ohio talk radio listeners?

Why, it's the same theme used since the mid-1980's by Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1, "The Talk of Akron"!

We're not sure if this is the first/only case of a radio station, not affiliated with a TV station (at the time, at least), taking a TV station's imaging campaign.

TM Productions (today's TM Studios, as far as we know) certainly has a long history with radio station jingles, and it's easy to imagine them pitching a re-sing of "The Spirit of Texas" TV imaging package for the Akron market radio station. We're just not sure if the TM folks expected the theme to live on here in Northeast Ohio for over 20 years.

(For the folks reading from Texas, the local talk radio station here still uses its version of the theme today. Check out the web streaming link below on our WNIR item to hear!)

We just landed on this music basically by accident, and it surprised us. This may have been a known fact earlier, but we just figured it out nearly 25 years later.

By the way, click here to see the selections over the years for Cleveland market stations, and here for Youngstown market stations. Once you're in the market listing, click on the TV set icon to hear news opens, and the "heart" icon to hear imaging campaigns.

Yes, there's WEWS/5's iconic "Catch 5", along with news music and imaging campaigns from all the local stations in Cleveland.

Click on the name of the music/imaging package, and it'll list the other markets using some form of the theme. Click on the small image of the U.S. next to the name, and it'll map those markets for you.

If you're a "local TV news" obsessive like your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), you'll get lost listening and reading in there. And if you find any OTHER TV imaging campaigns used by local radio stations...let us know!


Anonymous said...

We're just not sure if the TM folks expected the theme to live on here in Northeast Ohio for over 20 years.

You've got to give the Klaus family credit for getting the most out of their investments.

After all, how many mono-only FM stations are still out there, much less being the perennial #1 in the ratings books?

In this era of staffing cuts, these guys have been getting the most out of the least for a long time which bodes well for those who draw a paycheck from "The Spirit of Akron".

I've heard their next major investment will be perfecting the anima-tronic Howie Chizik that will allow WNIR to keep his show going for decades after the How-meister signs off for the final "thhhh-reeeeeeeee" o'clock news.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Oh, Wayne...we hear ya! We even noted much of this in our 2008 year end review.

WNIR may not be flashy. They may have played the theme music for so many years that long-time listeners are singing and humming along without even realizing it.

The station theme music is clearly dated...but it's held up as much as possible from the mid-80's.

As for Howie...if you think the folks at Broadcast Park were spooked when Joe Finan left, just wait until Howie utters his last word on 100.1 FM.

The Klaus brothers are probably crossing every finger and toe that The Round Mound of Midday Talk Radio Sound is still around into his 70's and 80's..."W-N-I-RRR, you're on the air, go AHEAD please!"

-The Management

Tim Lones said...

Look In The "Ohio" list..Tou'll find some old WAKC-23 News Packages

Anonymous said...

Well this theme is more popular than we imagined.

A little research into the Southern Media's website indicates a count of approximately 15 television stations that used the "Spirit of Texas" theme. One station in Nashville actually used the bumper music that WNIR uses prior to going to news.

Obviously this was where NIR got their music from. I also agree that they definately got their money's worth out of this array of theme music.

Incidently, I wonder which company is responible for writing the theme music for the Morning Show on NIR as well as "The Tom Erickson Show." Those are also very cathchy themes.

Anonymous said...

Neither the Morning Show nor the Erickson theme are from media production companies. Separate, local artists donated their time and skills to providing them to the shows and the station.

Both shows even have multiple themes, and each of them came from unique sources.

More details to come...

John Basalla said...

How many remember WJW-TV 8 using the middle portion from The Commodores first hit "Machine Gun" as the theme music for their 6 and 11pm newscasts? I have wondered if they had to pay extra for this use and, even if they did, did the station save big bucks by spinning that easily available "45"?