Reunited: KYW Radio is Back Home

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If you grew up in Philadelphia as I did, you almost certainly listened to “all news all the time” on KYW Newsradio and watched “Eyewitness News” on sister station KYW (TV), which pioneered that program.

Community Affairs Reporter Cherri Gregg recording in the showcase production studio with the waveform of KYW’s ubiquitous Newsradio jingle etched on the surface. Talk about acoustical glass!

These local broadcast institutions cohabited for 54 years at historic studios on Independence Mall downtown. In 2007, the stations moved to new, separate facilities. But last year, Wes Spencer, vice president of field services at CBS, challenged the teams at these venerable stations to recombine facilities — and to do it in a way that created real synergy for these news powerhouses.

Anchor Wally Kennedy delivers his cast in “Studio Y,” one of two mirrored on-air studios with a view of Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Bridge spanning the Delaware river. Titus Plexiglas and Yellowtec Litt indicators glow blue for On-Air and red for On-Mic.

As long-term systems integrator, Radio Systems was once again tapped to wire the plant. In my first meetings with CBS Vice President of Engineering Glynn Walden, who has overall responsibility for the Philadelphia cluster of CBS radio stations, I vowed that the technical plant would reflect this same synergy, and got his support.

Click to enlarge

The TV facility was a massive 45,000 square feet and occupied an entire floor. Still, finding space for all the new radio plant (shown in color) took art and planning. For a larger version, visit

“Embedded” Reporting

Any broadcast project, even one involving only radio gear, can bring on nightmares of format conversion, non-matching pin-outs and grounding problems, as anyone who has wired a station can attest. Dueling formats and dueling manufacturers will make the job a challenge, especially in an all-news environment where 90 percent of aired material is produced locally and is truly up to the minute.

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