Save NY1! There are lots of reasons to hate Time Warner Cable ("hi-tech consumer fraud," anyone?) and the company is on the verge of adding another one. The bane of many a New Yorker's existence is considering changing the name of beloved local news station NY1. The new name they are mulling? TWC News. Like, The Water Closet News?
This morning, NY1 anchor, newspaper reader extraordinaire and friend of Gothamist Pat Kiernan addressed the story on his popular AM segment "Pat's Papers", saying it was just a branding decision. "Logo less important than the content," he said. But that's only sort of true. Yes, media outlets are rebranded all the time (The International Herald Tribune is soon to become The International New York Times, G4 is becoming Esquire, ABC Family was once Fox Family) but the 20-year-old NY1 brand is an incredibly strong local one—it just unfortunately is not connected in people's minds to the Patrick Stewart-life-draining experience of using Time Warner Cable's "services." And we fail to see how that is a bad thing.
"Our news outlets have grown tremendously in recent years," Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Amy Summers told the Daily News in a prepared statement regarding the potential change. "Our research shows that people who watch our stations, such as NY1, are loyal viewers, yet most people don’t understand their connection to Time Warner Cable. It is for these two reasons that we’re embarking upon a rebranding project that will take the better part of a year."
Yes, many New Yorkers apparently don't realize that they only reason they get NY1 is because they subscribe to TWC. But you know the first thing that TWC operators tell you when you try and call to cut the cord? That you will be losing NY1. And trust us, the threat of having to read the newspapers yourself in the morning has kept many a person from dropping the cable provider.
On the plus side? Time Warner Cable brass seem to have some idea of what a mess they are walking into. They say that while there are "broader corporate branding goals" at stake here, they will try and keep the NY1 brand around in some fashion. But to hell with that. Save NY1!