Avco Broadcasting Corporation
Avco Broadcasting Corporation was the broadcasting division of the Aviation Corporation, which was formerly known as the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation until 1945 (Crosley was an early operator of radio stations and a radio manufacturer). From 1945 up until 1968, the broadcasting division continued to operate under the Crosley name, even though the manufacturing division was already renamed "Avco". On March 1, 1976, the company was sold to Multimedia, Inc., renaming this unit to "Multimedia Program Productions". This division is often confused with Avco Embassy Television, which was formed to syndicate films from the Embassy library to television stations. Both companies were unaffiliated and were owned by Avco.
Nicknames: "Avco Slate", "The Empennage"
Logo: While the animations are different, the end results are about the same:
- Version A (1968-1973): On a black background, a very small, white right triangle, along with a thick red line, both italicized, slide in from the right side of the screen. As the triangle reaches the center, both shapes grow and stretch into a much larger size, and the red box shrinks into a rectangle. This creates a empennage (the tail fin of an airplane) that's off-center. "AVCO" in a Microgramma font, appears 2-by-2 on the white part, and "BROADCASTING CORPORATION" in a different font appears under the empennage, stacked on each other. Fading in with it is "PRODUCTION" in the same font, but located under the red rectangle, much smaller and colored yellow, and a really small copyright notice reading "©(year) AVCO BROADCASTING CORPORATION" also appears at the bottom of the screen.
- Version B (1970-1977): On a black background, a white triangle outline starts to zoom in, slowly extending as it does. As we go through it, several of the sides are revealed to be made of red, green, and blue in several different arrangements. When it goes off-screen, four copies of the empennage in red, green, blue, and yellow, emerge from the corners of the screen and all come together to briefly form a white empennage before it fades to the Avco logo. The result is similar to the normal version, but the logo is centered with the text below it, and all of the text is in the Microgramma font as well. The text is also a bit smaller and more compact, "PRODUCTION" is in dark gray, and the copyright is much bigger as well.
Trivia: This logo appeared as state of the art on design magazines the time it premiered.
- On The Paul Dixon Show, the logo starts about 2 seconds into the animation.
- When The Paul Dixon Show was reran in 1998, Version A had a copyright notice reading "(C)1998 HEARST ARGYLE TELEVISION, INC." tacked on below the logo.
- A rerun of The Paul Dixon Show in 2009 has the text "HEARST television Inc." with the copyright "(C) 2009 Ohio/Oklahoma Hearst Television Inc" fade in below the logo, aligned left, after a few seconds.
- There is a superimposed logo that would appear on cartoon specials that reads "PRODUCED FOR AND DISTRIBUTED BY" with the Avco logo (all in black with white text) and "BROADCASTING CORPORATION" below, all in the Microgramma font.
- Another variant has the superimposed logo with the text "SYNDICATION DIVISION" below the logo.
Technique: For Version A, the sliding and stretching, which appears to be cel animation. For Version B, the trail zooming in, the triangles coming together, which appears to be very early computer graphics.
- Version A: A triumphant brass fanfare. Sometimes, it plays into the end theme of the show, which fades out. Another version features a catchy fast-paced 5-note brass-and-sax riff, with a chorus singing "Av-co" syncing with the syllables appearing, followed by a series of high-pitched beeps, and the same chorus singing "Broadcasting," finishing off with 3 horn hits.
- Version B: A dissonant synth drone accompanied by laser effects comparable to those of old UFO noises.
- For the superimposed variant, it's the end-title theme from any program.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The synth whooshes from Version B were sampled in "Fired Up!" by Murk.
Availability: Depending on the variant.
- The animated versions are extinct. Version A can be seen on Midsummer Rock, early episodes of The Phil Donahue Show, and The Paul Dixon Show (which has the music variant) which was last seen in 1998 with the logo intact. Version B appears on later episodes of The Phil Donahue Show. They could have appeared on other shows at the time.
- As for the superimposed variant, it is ultra rare and was seen on The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't every Thanksgiving and A Christmas Story (1971) every Christmas on Boomerang until 2014.
Legacy: Version A's appeal might be in its music and simplicity, while Version B will unnerve viewers due to its dark atmosphere and flashy effects. These logos are an example of obscurity of historic American local TV idents, as Avco was a company associated with innovation in broadcasting.