TCM suffers from RAS Syndrome after rebrand


TCM has raised eyebrows with its latest rebrand, which went live at the beginning of August.

After nearly twenty years of prominently advising viewers that TCM stands for Turner Classic Movies in trailers and idents, the channel has now been rebranded TCM Movies.



TCM replaced TNT in the UK and Ireland in October 1999 and is now available on Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk TV.  The old TNT brand still lives on in other European countries.


As pointed out by RXTVlog readers, the rename has echoes of MTV Music (Music Television Music) and other brands whose acronyms no longer officially stand for anything.




The term RAS syndrome (redundant acronym syndrome syndrome) can be traced back to a column in the New Scientist in 2001 - with the duplication of 'syndrome' making the term self-referential.

The rebrand follows an organisational restructure announced in March this year by its new owners AT&T, effectively dissolve the Turner brand, with Turner's channels being integrated into WarnerMedia. But it seems Warner isn't ready to switch the name to Warner Classic Movies or Warner Movies yet.

Turner also operated children's channels Cartoon Network and Boomerang and news channel CNN. It also originally operated TruTV UK, before it was sold to Sony Pictures Television in 2018, and closed down a year later.

With the rebrand, the channel's on screen presentation has also been refreshed. On platforms where the channel is still in HD (e.g. Virgin/BT), the HD suffix to the on-screen logo, or DOG, has been removed (credit @regulartweetsuk).