WGBH Boston

Written & Complied by Kris Starring and Chad Thomas

1st (known) Logo

Nicknames: "Zooming WGBH"

Logo: Against a white background, the letters WGBH in black zoom back, away from the viewer to the vanishing point. Then the word "Boston" zooms forward, taking up the whole screen and creating a black background. And finally, the word "Presents" slowly zooms forward, in white.

FX/Cheesy Factor: The zooming of the words.

Music: The long, full version of the jingle, with a choppy, futuristic synth, followed by a rising synth violin stinger. Most likely produced on a Moog synthesizer.

Availability: Extinct, will probably never be seen again.

Scare Factor: Very high, bordering on nightmare. The high-contrast colors and the eerie synth music would have been sure to unnerve many people.

2nd Logo

Nicknames: "Flash of Doom," "Circle Outline"

Logo: On a black background, two orange lines of "electricity" form an outline of "WGBH" in the center of the screen. The lines stop, and an orange flash starts behind the outline to form two, orange, 2D "shadows," one behind, and one in front of the black "WGBH" in the center. After this is done, one of two things happens, the word "B O S T O N" appears below the logo in an orange Art Deco font, or "WGBH" clears out and "Boston Presents" appears in an orange Arial font. The "Boston Presents" logo was a bumper used at the beginning of the show.

FX: The lines of electricity, the flash.

Cheesy Factor: The flash, and light effects are typical of CGI in the Scanimate era of the 70's and 80's.

Music: There are two versions of the music, a long version and a short version. The long version features the same music as the '74 logo. The short version features only the rising synth chord, and is much more common nowadays. Sometimes, an announcer will say "A production of WGBH Boston."

Variations: There are many variations in terms of the music and the announcer:
------- (1978-93) Long music, no announcer, has "Boston Presents"
------- (1993-) Short music, no announcer
------- (1993-) Short music, with announcer.
------- (1998-) On Mystery! and Masterpiece Theatre, the announcer has a British accent.
------- (1999-) On the new Zoom, a kid on the show voices over, w/ short music.
------- Sometimes, the closing theme of the show will play over this logo.

Availability: Common, can be seen in its various versions on many PBS shows. The "Boston Presents" version may show up on WGBH shows produced from 1978-93 if your station has older prints.

Scare Factor: Nightmare for the "Boston Presents" version, and high for the 1993 version. This logo has scared many with its dark colors, and that dated synth music.

Back to the Main Page