Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile (1)

That's January 1976 that this snippet from my Compton's 1977 Yearbook is talking about.

All this time later, it still makes me smile.

Wikipedia adds these details: In February 1976, NBC was sued by the Nebraska ETV Network, Nebraska's chain of PBS affiliates, for trademark infringement, since the new NBC logo was virtually identical to the Nebraska ETV Network logo, except in the coloring. An out-of-court settlement was reached in which NBC gave Nebraska ETV Network new equipment and a mobile color unit, valued at over $800,000, in exchange for allowing NBC to retain their logo. In addition, NBC paid $55,000 to Nebraska ETV to cover the cost of designing and implementing a new logo.

In 1979 this N was pretty much hidden behind NBC's peacock. It seems to have disappeared entirely in 1986.

They say truth is stranger than fiction. All I know is that it sure is funnier.

Or maybe I'm just easily amused.



  1. At least it's not as scairy as the CBS eye.
    That thing used to terrify me when I was a pre-schooler.
    I don't think I even understood that it was sort of like a camera lens until I was in college.
    I also remember the NBC peacock was usually accompanied by strange swirly music that sounded like trash coming from the teevee speakers of the day. It probably sounded OK in the studios of teevee people with enough money to spend a million dollars on a logo.

  2. Hmmmm, I'd just like to know at what EXACT point a Jestered N skyrockets in value from $100 to over $855,000? Is the new orangy color created from exotic saffron culled from the folds of Nefertiti's tomb? Do the angles resonate from the new color, and hypontize viewers into watching nothing but NBC? Are the marketing agents promising NBC execs 72 virgins in the back of a sky-blue stretch limo with a pool? Or maybe the (same) artist experienced wallet/ego inflation?
    Regardless, I always preferred the peacock. THAT tail spreading with multiple colors is what makes me smile! :-)

  3. Dear Deve - You must have been a more perceptive kid than I was. I never made the connection between the CBS logo and an eye until it was pointed out to me many years after pre-school. Then, for some reason, I thought of it as a buffalo's eye.

    I wish I could return to the days when I didn't know what it was. Or at least to the time a year or two ago before I knew the Chevy emblem was (or at least resembles) a bow tie. I just thought it was the Chevy emblem. Now it seems tawdry, cheap, derivative....

  4. I remember the peacock swirl much better. I only got to enjoy it a few times while visiting my grandparents - the only people in my family in the 1960s with a color set. That swirl was an event! And a reminder after I got home of just what a poor, black and white TV world I lived in the vast majority of the time.... At least the sound of radio back then was more or less egalitarianly awful for everyone.

  5. Dear ChrisClicks - I never understood how NBC allowed itself to be shaken down by some entity in Nebraska, of all places. "The Mouse That Roared" comes to mind. Heh, it's such a simple and ugly design; to think that anyone paid so much for it in the first place is absurd enough, but to find out that it was either stolen or independently created by someone else is absurdity squared.

  6. I still can't decide if this old NBC logo is uglier than NASA's old "worm" logo or not.

    Both came out at about the same time; both were eventually abandoned - for good reason, I think.

  7. lol What a great $100 dollar for the Nebraska station. I like the peacock.

    ryn: I am enjoying being a mommy! I can now understand why people with babies never seem to have any time.