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GM's Letter December 2021: A new logo and an old name

What’s in a name, or for that matter a logo? For years you’ve known us by a variety of names. We’ve called ourselves KVPR, Valley Public Radio, FM89, KPRX, NPR, White Ash Broadcasting (our legal name), often all at the same time. And our logo for the last 22 years also added in a seventh name, as it simply said “VPR.” All of those names are an important part of our history, but as our world and our industry changes, and the way people use our service changes, our branding needs to keep up.

With the launch of our new KVPR.org website in late November, we have also launched a new logo for the station, and revised our branding. While the name of our organization will officially remain Valley Public Radio, all of our broadcasting and digital content is being repositioned under the KVPR banner. This includes our main KVPR broadcast service on 89.3 in Fresno and 89.1 in Bakersfield, and our all-digital KVPR Classical channel on 89.3 HD-2 and streaming platforms. Under this new scheme our content brands include:

KVPR Classical
KVPR app
KVPR Magazine

You can read more about these changes elsewhere in our newly renamed KVPR Magazine (formerly Audiophile), but I’d like to talk offer a few additional insights here. First, for a long time we’ve used these seven names almost interchangeably, which has served to create unnecessary confusion. As online listening becomes a greater part of our overall audience, we also need to bring consistency between our digital products and our on-air branding. Likewise, now that we offer two different programming streams, (KVPR and KVPR Classical), we need to bring added clarity to our branding. And while FM89 conveniently encompasses our Fresno and Bakersfield broadcast services, it doesn’t mean much in a Google search, for an online listener, or in distinguishing us from the hundreds of other FM stations in the U.S. that use “89” in their branding.

KVPR has a long history, dating back to our first call letters, issued by the FCC in 1976. We’ve used this brand on-air since we first signed-on in 1978, and in the digital era, it became gave us the name for our website and our mobile app as well. In our audience surveys, we found KVPR also had the highest overall recognition. With this long history, its wide recognition among our audience, and its existing presence as the name of our website and our app, consolidating our branding on KVPR is a sound decision.

This shift in branding should in no way be seen as a slight to our south valley listeners. It is true that the legally assigned call letters for our Bakersfield station on 89.1 remain KPRX. While that will not change with this rebranding, call letters are not synonymous with station branding in our industry. For example, LA’s KCRW operates six stations with different call letters serving different geographic areas in Southern California, but all offer KCRW programming and are branded as KCRW.

The shift to KVPR branding also will help address other issues. In the past, our “VPR” logo led many locally and beyond to confuse us with the “other” VPR – which has a very similar logo, Vermont Public Radio. In addition to that branding headache, many people have mistakenly assumed that Valley Public Radio and Valley PBS are the same organization. While in some communities public radio and public tv outlets are run by the same organization, that’s not the case here. We hope that KVPR and our new logo will help bring more clarity to these areas of confusion.

Finally some words on our new logo. I’d like to thank our designer, Suzanne Bertz-Rosa for her thoughtfulness and attention to detail on this project. The end result is a fresh, clean and elegant new look that immediately stands out. The “play button” hidden inside the “p” in KVPR immediately tells the viewer that we are a digital media company, and it points forward, signifying the momentum we are building every day as we connect you to voices and sounds that inform and inspire, no matter your location or the type of device you’re using to listen.

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of KVPR / Valley Public Radio. He has led the station through major programming changes, the launch of KVPR Classical and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership the station was named California Non-Profit of the Year by Senator Melissa Hurtado (2019), and won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting (2022).