A local Fox affiliate is dropping the F-word from the name of its regular newscast in a bid to distance itself from the conservative-learning Fox News Channel network within the liberal stronghold of Boston, Massachusetts.
The newscast currently known as “Fox 25 News” will be rebranded as “Boston 25 News” beginning April 24, WFXT-TV said Thursday.
The station will continue to broadcast Fox network programming and refer to itself as “Fox 25,” but won’t be using the word in connection with its independent, locally-produced newscast, WFXT general manager Tom Raponi told The Boston Globe.
The Fox broadcast-television network and Fox News Channel are separate businesses owned by the same parent company, 21st Century Fox.
Nationwide, Fox News recently reported its best ratings in the network’s history. Among Boston’s predominately Democratic audience, however, the “Fox” name alone carries connotations that the local affiliate would rather not have associated with it.
“The perception of what our TV news station does is not what we do. They perceive us to be part of the Fox News family,” WFXT general manager Tom Raponi told The Boston Globe.
The Fox 25 News brand, he added, “wasn’t built for this environment.”
While WFXT was owned and operated by Fox until 2014, it was purchased three years ago by the Cox Media Group along with several other stations in a multi-state sweep-up. According to The Boston Globe, however, none of the other Cox stations are retiring their Fox name.
“It’s not that it’s a bad brand; it’s just that it’s not ours,” Mr. Raponi said.
A name change for the newscast has been in the cards since the acquisition went through in 2014 and will once and for all take shape next week, Mr. Raponi added.
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