August 17, 2015 by David K. Sutton
MSNBC’s New Lean Forward-Less Graphics Package
If you haven’t yet noticed, MSNBC made a major change to their graphics package starting this past weekend. I first noticed it on Up with Steve Kornacki on Saturday 8/15. The revamped graphics package appears to be in use across all live programming on MSNBC. Gone is the show and network branding at the top of the screen. “Lean Forward” is not to be found anywhere. Did they officially retire that slogan? It appears there are no graphics at the top of the screen during shows with the exception of split-screen segments. Also notable, is that show branding is kept to a minimum, only seen for about a second in the lower right corner of the screen at the start of a show and when returning from commercials. That area then morphs into the new MSNBC logo which has returned to all capital letters (the logo had been all lowercase since 2009).
The new graphics package is no doubt part of MSNBC’s rebranding as a hard news network, pivoting away from liberal commentary, at least during the daytime. Of course, I’m not sure MSNBC has much control over perception. I believe, regardless of their current efforts, MSNBC will continue to be known as the liberal cable news network, and so they should embrace it. And at least for now, pending other possible tweaks, this perception continues to be reinforced by the liberal opinion shows during primetime.
And, it should be noted, the new graphics package puts the MSNBC brand above shows and talent…
A takeaway from the new #MSNBC graphics is the MSNBC brand is more important than the shows or hosts. Nearly 0 show branding. #hardball #p2
— Chris Kelly (@WhosChrisKelly) August 17, 2015
But, I do like the new minimalist graphics package as I’ve long loathed the over-the-top efforts by cable news networks to fill every corner of the screen with graphics just because they can. I just hope this is a simple graphics tweak, and not a harbinger for more corporate meddling that chips away at the MSNBC liberal brand.