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As New England One was first to report last December, WFXT FOX 25 is dropping the "FOX" identity from its newscasts.

As New England One was first to report last December, WFXT FOX 25 is dropping the "FOX" identity from its newscasts.

The change comes amid sagging ratings, and FOX 25 management is placing some of the blame on confusion with Fox News Channel.

In February, WHDH 7 came in first place at 10pm, beating WFXT for the first time since WHDH started a 10pm newscast. WHDH won again at 10pm in March.

As we first told you a few months ago, the station wants to distinguish itself from the Fox News Channel to avoid confusion that WFXT leans right. We were told that the station was flooded with emails and calls from viewers "angry" with the Fox News Channel (especially during this past election season) and Cox Media Group hopes to create some distance from the cable network with the name change.

“The perception of what our TV news station does is not what we do. They perceive us to be part of the Fox News family,” WFXT general manager Tom Raponi told The Boston Globe. The Fox 25 News brand, he said, “wasn’t built for this environment.”

The station says its research dating back more than two years found that 41 percent of Boston-area news consumers believed the local FOX 25 newscast leaned conservative. Raponi told the Globe that he believes the station has produced impartial local journalism in recent years, and attributes the conservative perception among viewers to Fox News Channel's national reputation.

Starting April 24, the station will rebrand its newscasts from "FOX 25 News" to "Boston 25 News".

We're told that the "FOX" branding will be kept for programming and sports, but it will be scrubbed from the newscasts. A source inside WFXT also told us that the "FOX 25" branding on the stations new set will be changed out as well.

The station had already removed the word "FOX" from its logo bug, and reporters stopped saying "FOX 25 News" after their reports in December 2016.

The station had called itself "25 News" during a recent promo that was produced for the Super Bowl, but it later settled on "Boston 25 News".

The Globe reports that the rebranding decision was made locally, and other Cox Media Group stations are not making a name change. A source tells New England One that its consultants who pushed the name change at the station, and not local management.

The new name will be the latest in a long list of changes that Cox has made since it acquired the station in October 2014 from Fox Television Stations.

Since then, news gathering resources at the station have significantly increased, but the station has also seen high profile departures - Maria Stephanos joined WCVB, and Shannon Mulaire joined NBC Boston, among many others.

The station was heavily criticized when it unveiled a new logo design in 2015.

In September 2016, the station debuted a new news set - which had also replaced old graphics with the new FOX 25 logo.

What this change will do to the stations image isn't yet know, but since NBC Boston started operations in January, the fight for viewers in the Boston television market is more competitive than ever.

Do you think this name change will help or hurt WFXT? Or will it have no impact at all? You can add your opinion to the conversation below!

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