BY ANY OTHER NAME: Matching sweeps gimmick for sweeps gimmick with KABC-TV Channel 7, which used the Super Bowl last Sunday to mysteriously promote the arrival of new political commentator Rose Bird, KCBS-TV renamed its newscast "The Channel 2 Action News" this week.
Hoping to resurrect the success of the station's "Big News" back in the early days of local TV journalism and to improve its lackluster performance in the last several ratings sweeps, Robert Hyland, KCBS' general manager, rechristened his newscasts in an effort to break out of the jumble of stations that identify their news solely by their number on the television dial.
In Los Angeles, only KABC's top-rated "Eyewitness News" and KTTV Channel 11's relatively new "Fox News" identify themselves with distinct handles.
The concept of "Action News" has been used by stations in other parts of the country. But while "Action News" usually connotes newscasts packed with a rapid-fire flurry of highly visual stories dealing mostly with violent crime, fires and traffic accidents, Hyland believes that local viewers have no preconceptions about the name.