It was announced on Thursday, January 19, at the Annual Meeting of Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV) that Massachusetts’ oldest cable access television station is going by a new name (and accompanying logo) in an effort to better signify the activities that it encompasses. Brian Zipp, as part of his Executive Director’s report, introduced Somerville Media Center (SMC) as the new moniker. Citing the numerous activities happening both at and beyond its Union Square facilities – Boston Free Radio (BFR), Somerville Neighborhood News (SNN), among them, the hope is that “Somerville Media Center” better reflects the organization’s efforts to address the ever-evolving and expanding media landscape.
This is not to say that SCATV is going away. Nor is BFR or SNN, the other marquee activities at Somerville Media Center. In fact, the logo, designed by Annie Smidt of Somerville-based Durable Creative, a brand, design and web consultancy, specifically includes the SCATV, BFR & SNN initials in the design. Says Zipp, “After more than 30 years of building goodwill in the community under the name SCATV, the last thing we want to do is ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater.’” Zipp was quick to point out that cable TV content on SCATV channel 3 in Somerville, remains a core activity. However, “We want the expectation that comes to mind when referring to this organization to go beyond TV. We are Boston Free Radio. We are Somerville Neighborhood News. We have a vibrant youth media program, workshops in the media arts, and audio and video content shared not only on our web site, but via social media, youtube and beyond.”
Zipp also revealed that this planning predates his arrival in April 2016 as Executive Director. The SCATV board under Jesse Moos began the process more than a year ago with a committee comprised of board members and SCATV staff.
T-shirts with the new logo were handed out to members at the event to both figuratively and literally try it on for size. Before the end of the event, the Somerville Media Center logo was already popping up on channel 3.
When asked about the timeline for the re-branding, Zipp pointed out that this will be an “easing” in of the SMC name over the next 6 months. Particularly because, “this is not about dropping SCATV or BFR or SNN as names, but adopting the new umbrella term – Somerville Media Center – that embraces all of the activities we provide to the community.”