Jan. 22—A recent rebranding effort by Chattanooga's WRCB-TV was boosted by a generous helping of serendipity.
WRCB-TV Advertising Manager Ronnie Minton said a few happy coincidences aided with the station's rebranding to "Local 3" and the building of its four-member weather team.
Three of the four members of the meteorology crew are from within 40 miles of Chattanooga and the fourth, Clay Smith, is from South Carolina. Long-time meteorologist David Karnes is from Soddy-Daisy, while Alison Pryor is from Cleveland and newest member Cedric Haynes is from Dalton, Georgia.
Minton said in a telephone interview that it was "somewhat intentional to have a local team, but of course, timing and availability plays a role."
Haynes, for example, was looking to get back close to family. He had been in Greenville, South Carolina.
He said the rebranding process began almost eight months ago and is the result of "listening to viewers' opinions and what they wanted," which was more local content.
"We wanted the branding to be contemporary and fresh and clean," he said. "Clean and clear."
General Manager Callie Starnes said by phone that when longtime meteorologist Paul Barys announced his retirement last year, the station had a decision to make and decided to use the opportunity to make big changes.
"Any rebranding project of this scale doesn't happen overnight," she said. "As we approached this rebrand, we paid attention to what it means to be local and not just talk about it, but do it.
"What better way to show the emphasis on local than with local weather?"
The station has also changed its website address to Local3News.com to reflect the rebranding. In addition, the Local 3 News and Weather Apps have also been updated.
"We have heard from viewers consistently over several years about their desire for a modern look and more local content," said Megan Roberts, news director, in a news release. "We hear them and to make sure we're providing what viewers expect from us, we are adding resources to our newsroom to increase the number of local stories you see in our newscasts, on our website and in our apps."
Local 3 is owned by Sarkes Tarzian Inc. based in Bloomington, Indiana. Sarkes Tarzian also owns and operates KTVN-TV in Reno, Nevada; WAJI-FM, WALT-FM and WLDE-FM in Fort Wayne, Indiana; WGCL-AM and WTTS-FM in Bloomington.
Disclosure: WRCB-TV and the Chattanooga Times Free Press are media partners.