Just call it the birth of a station.
Barry Diller’s USA Broadcasting is taking the plunge in Miami today, remaking its WAMI station from a Home Shopping Network barker channel into an indie news and entertainment outlet with an emphasis on Miami-centric programming.
USA is doing a “soft” launch of the new format, opting to let viewers stumble across the channel over the next few weeks before USA begins a massive promotional blitz. But keen-eyed Miami coach potatoes surely realized that something was up on Sunday when the Home Shopping Network feed was replaced, at around 11 a.m., with a white ultrasound wave wiggling against a black background.
The plan, as dreamed up by USA Broadcasting marketing veep Chris Sloan, was to have the ultrasound wave gradually take the shape of the station’s new “Miami” logo. At 5:59 a.m. today, the logo image was expected give way to a tongue-in-cheek scene of doctors and nurses “delivering” a newborn.