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There is a large account of images taken at the NBC New York complex by a guy named Dennis Degan, a staffer for the network including the competition. According to these series of photos, he visited the new CBS Hudson Square studios for the CBS-owned radio stations when it opened in 2009. The facilities are extremely modern, VOIP for desktops, IP based audio boards, IP based audio processing, etc. CBS merged all of their 6 or so radio stations to one physical plant in a nondescript building that appears to have a Chase bank on the street level.
Basically this studio facility uses Avaya Blue, perhaps the CS1000, and a shot of their data center shows a 6 button Unity analog set.
Their datacenter is cool, it looks very clean, and something out of a sci-fi film.
CBS, whether people like it or not, believes in centralized operations, and basically the stations are now “brands” as opposed to actual stations providing actual quality of news, talk or music. The real value is the talent. There is one series of management across each market as opposed to each station and whether you like it or not, stations have limited say of what they want on their station.
WCBS 880 and 1010 WINS were for about 20something years owned by separate companies, Group W (Westinghouse’s broadcast unit) and the radio unit of CBS. When the two companies decided to just get married instead of having a cozy relationship (google “The Big Switch of 1995”) the stations would become sisters, but for nearly another 15 years, the stations would border on literally stabbing each other for ratings and power.
This ended in 2011 when WCBS 880 was summoned to the new Hudson Square radio facility along with 1010 WINS. WCBS came from the TV studios at West 57th Street for a 11 years and for 34 years at the corporate headquarters on the 16th floor at Black Rock, at West 52nd Street. WCBS 880 (or Newsradio 88 right before the year 2000) was literally a time machine stuck in 1967 when the all-news format launched. As they moved to West 57th October of that year they left behind their 1A2 phones from the 80s, they were still using 8 track (err “cart” tapes) to do reporting before a gradual change to DAT and computerized playback and visual appearance of the studio remained unchanged until they left.
Compared to 33 years of technology going dated, it only took about 9 years (when the new CBS studios opened) but it was actually about 11 years, 880’s TDM technologies became outdated. So sadly in the end of 2011, WCBS moved to all the other radio facilities in lower Manhattan and was within arms length to their archival.
If people are wondering, the IP technology used for the audio boards and for phone calls, as a listener it appears to work flawlessly. Lot of people would probably get skittish with the idea of using internet networking to control audio, playback, etc.
CBS’ hardware is not very consistent to say their branding, Boston and LA seems to be running on dated radio equipment. The Southland studios had opened about 10 years ago and they decided to use digital signaling as opposed to IP and Boston was still using DOS like applications for playback (and they probably still do for WBZ radio – which to me that station is a joke.)