The Circle 7 logo is one of the most classic & familiar TV station logos in the United States. Designed in the early 1960s for the ABC TV Network's 5 O&Os, the logo, or a version of it, is currently being used not only by ABC stations & affiliates, but also by a number of TV broadcasters around the world.
History and information Edit
The Circle 7 logo was designed by G. Dean Smith & first used in 1962 by ABC for it's 5 O&Os: WABC-TV in New York City, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) in Chicago, KGO-TV in San Francisco & WXYZ-TV in Detroit. When ABC applied for TV licenses in the late 1940s, it was thought that the low-band (channels 2-6) TV channels would be discontinued, thus making these 5 stations broadcasting on VHF ch. 7 the lowest on the TV dial. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., ABC's corporate parent, registered the Circle 7 logo with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 1962.
When WABC adopted the Eyewitness News format in 1968, all reporters & anchors were required to wear a blazer with a Circle 7 patch (in later years a lapel pin) when they appeared on the air—a marketing practice that spread to the other ABC O&Os. WEWS also did something similar with using a Circle 5 pin.
The Circle 7 logo was designed to be interchangeable with the circular ABC logo in network & channel imaging, although many current variations of the Circle 7 have incorporated the ABC logo itself (see below). It also was used as the name Circle 7 Productions of the production company for locally-produced programming by ABC O&Os prior to takeover by Capital Cities.
This logo has become iconic in local TV, largely due to the presence of the logo in major markets. Today, many other ABC affiliates around the United States which broadcast on ch. 7 are allowed to use the Circle 7 logo. Such stations include KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas; WJLA in Washington, D.C. (which used it's own stylized version until 2001, when it adopted the original version), KLTV in Tyler, Texas; WVII in Bangor, Maine; KVII in Amarillo, Texas; KOAT in Albuquerque, New Mexico; KVIA in El Paso, Texas; KSWO in Lawton, Oklahoma; KRCR in Redding, California & WBBJ in Jackson, Tennessee (formerly used on WTVW in Evansville when it was ABC affiliated). KMGH in Denver uses a variation of the circle 7 logo & places the ABC logo in the same position as the other stations.
The low-VHF channels 2-6 never were discontinued, but were subject to greatly-reduced power limits as a result of the 2009 DTV transition in the United States. The Band I channels were also highly susceptible to interference, leaving relatively few stations willing to remain on these channels. As a station limited to 20 kW or less on ch. 6 could apply for up to 65kW of power on ch. 7-13 or 1000kW UHF, ch. 7 remained a desirable post-transition choice for many North American DTV broadcasters.
Note: WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio uses the circle as part of it's logo. But instead of using a Circle 7, WEWS uses the Circle 5 variation. An older version is still used on West Palm Beach, Florida's NBC affiliate, WPTV. Since WEWS went HD on January 7 2007, the Circle 5 looks like a brother of the Circle 7, similar to WABC-TV in New York City & KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California. WBAY, an ABC (formerly CBS until 1993) affiliate out of Green Bay, Wisconsin also uses a circle as part of it's logo, but instead of a Circle 7, WBAY uses the Circle 2 variation. The Circle 2 is used in newscasts & advertisements, as well as their "Action 2 News" & "Storm Center 2" logos.
Due to it's popularity, several variations have arisen for use by non-ABC affiliates.
In addition, the ch. 7 brand in Boston, Massachusetts has had 3 different Circle 7 logos. In the mid-1970s, as WNAC, it had a logo similar to the ABC logos (except it was a white "7" inside a filled circle). That logo was abandoned in 1977 for a Times-Serif-Italic "7". In 1987, as WNEV, the filled-circle came back & inside was a "7" made up of 7 small white dots. That logo was abandoned shortly after the sale of the now-WHDH to WSVN, after which WHDH took on WSVN's Circle 7. WHDH still uses the WSVN logo to this day.
- ATN-7 in Sydney, Australia used a circle 7 in the 1960s that resembled the ABC O&O version, but had the top line of the 7 extend out of the circle as an arrow. ATN-7, along with other Seven Network stations in Australia, later used other variations of the circle 7 logo from the early 1970s until 2000.
- The GMA Network in the Philippines used a circle 7 logo in the 1960's to identify it's channel designation in Metro Manila.
- Malaysia's ntv7 also uses a circle 7 logo that greatly resembles the one used originally on the ABC O&Os, though the 7's tail is curved differently from both the ABC & Seven Network versions.
- Brazil's Rede Record used in the 1970s, when it was called simply TV Record in São Paulo, a text logo all in capital letters, but the O was replaced by a circle 7 logo.
- Argentina's state broadcaster Canal 7 used from 1999-2002, a circle 7 logo, but the 7 was scripted.
- Telecadena 7/4 in Honduras uses a 7/4 logo, to identify their San Pedro Sula & Tegucigalpa stations, respectively.
List of stations using the circle 7 logo Edit
ABC affiliates on ch. 7 Edit
All ABC stations broadcasting on ch. 7 use one form or another of the circle 7 logo
- WABC-TV (O&O)¹
- KABC-TV (O&O)¹
- WLS-TV (O&O)¹
- KGO-TV (O&O)¹
- WXYZ-TV (Former O&O)¹
- WZVN-TV (station airs on ch. 26)
- KTGM (station airs on channel 14)
¹ Denotes user of the original Circle 7 design
Non ABC Edit
- KTVB (NBC)
- WSVN (FOX)
- WHDH (NBC)
- WHIO-TV (CBS)
- WSAW-TV (CBS)
- KIRO-TV (CBS)
- KWWL (NBC)
- WJHG (NBC)
- WWNY-TV (CBS)
- KOAM-TV (CBS)
- KPLC-TV (NBC)
- WDAM-TV (NBC)
- NTV7 (Malaysia)
Past users of the logo Edit
- ATN-7 (Seven Network) (Australia)
- GMA-7 (Philippines)
- Rede Record (Brasil)
- WTVW (was ABC, now a FOX affiliate)