Nebraska Public Media

From Audio Visual Identity Database

Background

Nebraska Public Media is the statewide network of PBS and NPR affiliates in Nebraska. It was previously known as Nebraska ETV until 2004 and as Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) from 2004 to May 15, 2021. In 1976, Nebraska Public Media (then Nebraska ETV) was infamously involved in a dispute with NBC regarding their trapezoid "N" logo introduced in 1976, which was identical to Nebraska ETV's logo except for the coloring.[1] The dispute ended out of court with NBC giving Nebraska ETV between $25,000 and $60,000 to keep the logo and for ETV to design a new one; even so, the fact of the matter is that much more comical due to the original Nebraska ETV logo only costing $100 to design.[2]

Prior to 1980, Nebraska Public Media-produced programs were identified by in-credit text.

Nebraska ETV

1st Logo (August 10, 1980-July 11, 1986)

Nicknames: "The Red N", "The Nebraska N"

Logo: This logo has two main versions, each with different animation, but both resulting in roughly the same end product.

  • Version 1 (August 10, 1980-August 15, 1983): On a black background, a stylized, red, lower case "n" zooms in from the center and stops in the left center of the screen. "A PRODUCTION OF" fades in at the top right corner of the screen, just as the "n" comes to a stop. "THE NEBRASKA ETV NETWORK" wipes in below, line-by-line.
  • Version 2 (July 2, 1984-July 11, 1986): On a black background, the same stylized "n" (darker and flickering this time) zooms in from the center, taking a curved "rollercoaster" path, leaving a choppy trail behind it (a la the 1978 Telepictures logo). As it comes to a stop, "A PRODUCTION OF", this time in a bold, centered font with dark red shadows, spreads out from a single point on the right side of the screen to take the same place as before. "THE NEBRASKA ETV NETWORK" (in the same font) moves into place, again splitting apart from a single off-screen point.

Variant: A dark version appeared on Voice of the Plains: John G. Neihardt.

FX/SFX: 2D computer animation. The first version was likely created with a live-action shot of the "n" and computer effects for the text, while the 2nd edition was likely made with video feedback effects. The flickering "n" on the 2nd version might be attributed to the "n" animation possibly being videotaped from a screen.

Music/Sounds: A somber guitar tune. High plucked strings are heard while the "n" zooms in, and a final strum is heard as the text moves in.

Availability: Extremely rare. Seen on some programs available for viewing on Nebraska Public Media's website. The first version made its debut on Hidden Places and last appeared on Voice of the Plains: John G. Neihardt. The second version first appeared on Plowing Up a Storm and was last seen on The Wind at One's Fingertips.

Editor's Note: This logo was only discovered in May 2019.

2nd Logo (June 23, 1986-August 7, 1989)

Nicknames: "The Bronze N", "The Nebraska N II"

Logo: On a black background, the same "n" from the previous logo, now coloreddark bronze with bevels and still shines, as well as a soft spotlight on the bottom, flips up just below the middle of the screen. The text "THE NEBRASKA ETV NETWORK", in white with a pale brown shadow similar to the first Embassy Home Entertainment logo, fades in below.

FX/SFX: The "n" flipping and the text fading in. Simple 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A warbly note at the beginning, followed by a 5-note Moog synthesizer jingle with chiming sounds.

Availability: Very rare. It premiered on Dance of the Cranes, and was last seen on After the Last Harvest. It can be found on a 1989-1990 PBS affiliates' logo demo reel on YouTube (which was the only known source of this logo for years).

Editor's Note: None.


3rd Logo (February 25, 1990-June 22, 1990)

Nicknames: "The Red N II", "The Nebraska N III"

Logo: On a time-lapse cloud background, the same bronze "n" from the previous logo, but brighter, swings in from the left and plasters itself against the background. As it moves into its final position, the text "NEBRASKA EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION NETWORK" fades in below in lilac with a black drop shadow, similar to the 2nd logo.

FX/SFX: The clouds moving, the "n" swinging into place. 2D computer animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as the last logo.

Availability: Extremely rare. First appeared on Picture Nebraska and Return of the Sacred Pole, both broadcast in February 1990. Last seen on Cold Warriors Never Die.

Editor's Note: This logo is probably a placeholder for the next logo.


4th Logo (January 1, 1991- December 2004)

Nickname: "The Red N III", "The Cordovan N II", "The Nebraska N IV"

Logo: On a blue marble background, 2 red streaks (one straight and coming from the bottom, while the other is diagonal and is coming from the top) fly in, along with 2 bluish gray streaks, each coming from the left and right sides of the screen, respectively, and also being stacked on top of each other. When the streaks settle, the red streaks turn into the familiar "n" logo from the previous logos, the top bluish gray streaks turn into "NEBRASKA", and the bottom turns into "ETV NETWORK". In the background while this happens, 2 clusters of dots run across the top of the screen and the right side, crossing each other when they first fly in, and 2 red lines streak along the bottom, delayed for a bit.

Variants:

  • A widescreen version (cropped to 16:9) appeared on The Canteen Spirit.
  • Extension: On some programs, the name fades away after one second, and 3 bluish gray lines fly in to wipe in "NEBRASKANS", "FOR PUBLIC", and "TELEVISION" one by one, all stacked on each other. The background animations happen again as well.

FX/SFX: The letters, the "n" wiping in, the streaks.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous two logos. For the extended variant, an announcer says, "This program is funded in part by viewers like you who are members of Nebraskans for Public Television."

Availability: Rare. Seen on programming from the period. It can be found on several program clips from the 2004 NET 50th Anniversary Sampler DVD. The latest confirmed use of this logo is on part 3 of Husker Century, released in 2001 (which still turns up occasionally on Nebraska Public Media's broadcast schedule and still retains this logo as of September 2020). However, it may have been used later; a clip of The Canteen Spirit on the 50th anniversary sampler DVD has this logo, but the finished program was released in 2006, and the copy available for viewing on Nebraska Public Media's website had this plastered with the PBS HD bumper of the period. This logo was retired after the name change to NET in January 2005, but was still in use in print form and slipped in front of some shows for a time until it was eventually phased out completely. First appeared on All Hell Can't Stop Us.

Editor's Note: None.

Nebraska Educational Telecommunications

1st Logo (2005-20??)

TBA

Variants: There was an alternate station identifier that went as NET¹ to differentiate between alternate channels. Other varieties seen on station lists included another tag line reading “Nebraska’s PBS and NPR Stations”, with the PBS logo sometimes inserted into the line.

Editor’s Note: Design was completed and announced in the last quarter of 2004 to prepare viewers of the rebrand. The logo was shown in announcement bumpers but not officially used until January 2005.

2nd Logo (20??-2021)

Nicknames: "NET Of The Skies", "VR on NET"

Logo: We see a comet fly and hit a black background, making it brighten up, thus revealing a rotating sky. We see a square with a curve and an "n" below trail out where the comet hit. Once it solidifies, the area above the curve is gray, while the area below is red. Another square containing an "e" does the same thing, but is completely gray, without the curve. At that point, we see the sky warp and change to a slightly different one and then into sunset. Another square containing a "t" trails out. The letters "Television" join together with an orange trail which disappears. At that moment, the sky turns dark blue, and at the end, stars flash.

Variant: A shorter version exists.

FX/SFX: The trails, the comet and the skies. It's nice CGI, but with some glaring errors (like inconsistent rotation speeds).

Music/Sounds: A synthesized orchestral fanfare with five synth trumpet notes and writing pencil sounds when the squares solidify.

Availability: Seen on NET programs such as Ag College Dreams. Latest use of this logo would have been May 2021. This has been retired due to the rebranding.

Editor's Note: Some people have found similarities between this logo and 360 degrees videos.

Nebraska Public Media

(2021-)

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Trivia: Name and rebranding done by Swanson Russell marketing agency in Lincoln, Nebraska.

<references/One of NBC's Great Blunders >

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