Ion can be traced to the original channel nine years prior to the renaming, Pax, in 1998 by Lowell 'Bud' Paxson, co-founder of the HSN and chairman of Paxson Communications.
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
On June 28, 2005, Paxson announced it would rebrand Pax as i: Independent Television, in order to reflect a new strategy of "providing an independent broadcast platform for producers and syndicators who desire to reach a national audience." After the transition was complete, Pax TV would continue to air programming under its Pax brand on one of its digital channels over the air and in select cable homes. Some media observers jocularly postulated that I was code for "infomercial", due to the amount of paid programing on the schedule. Some affiliates still used the i branding even after the rebrand.
On January 29, 2007, the network changed its name again, to the current Ion Television. The programming was, for the most part, unchanged at that time. This version of the Ion logo was still used as the logos for Ion Media Networks and Ion Life until 2017.
On May 1, 2008, Ion Television held an upfront presentation announcing its programming for the 2008–09 season at the New York Public Library in Manhattan. In addition to the announcement of its programming acquisitions, the network unveiled a new logo (a wordmark that incorporated a positive ion symbol as a pseudo-period next to the "ion" typeface) and slogan for the network, "Positively Entertaining" (a form of wordplay, as ions are atoms or molecules that have a positive or negative electrical charge). The network also retooled its focus, emphasizing the key demographic of adults between ages of 18 and 49, and airing more recent acquired programming aimed at young adults (such as Boston Legal, NCIS and Criminal Minds). The logo took effect on September 8, 2008.
On October 11, 2016, Ion Television introduced a slightly modified version of their logo. The dot above the "i" is now square instead of circular. Also, the corners on the "i" and the "n" became rounded.
On September 24, 2020, The E.W. Scripps Company announced that it would purchase parent company Ion Media for $2.65 billion dollars, with financing from Berkshire Hathaway. With this purchase, Scripps will divest 23 Ion-owned stations, but no announcement has been made as to which stations that Scripps will divest as part of the move.
In April 2021, the word "Television" was stripped from the channel's name. The channel now refers itself as simply "Ion".