WestwoodOne Sets Up in Sochi

Second in a series.

WestwoodOne is the exclusive U.S. radio source for coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

As one can imagine, broadcast coverage for a massive (and expensive) event like the Olympics is a Herculean task. Not only is the stage large, there are many stages and the event itself covers many days.

And this is how it began in Sochi.

Zach Akey WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics
Manager Broadcast IT and Engineering Zach Akey begins the arduous task of unpacking boxes, crates, hampers, road cases, etc.
Zach Akey WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics
Zach and the “I guess we have to get started” look.











But before that happened, WestwoodOne’s engineering team actually set-up the whole facility in New York at the CBS Broadcast Center and powered it up to make sure it worked. Elevations, line drawings, equipment lists, schematics in Visio and Excel were completed and scrutinized. The team knew that once everything was shipped to Sochi, unpacked, assembled and fired up they would not be able to run to Radio Shack for missing parts and forgotten pieces of equipment wouldn’t be readily available — possibly for days, if at all. Nothing could be left to chance.

WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics
Here’s the layout for the WestwoodOne studio operation in Sochi.

According to WestwoodOne, VP of Engineering Mitch Glider, the EIC onsite in Sochi, all studio interconnects for the LAN and the Sierra Automated Systems audio router in Sochi are 25-pair Cat-5e. Custom Whirlwind remote boxes take the 25-pair Cat-5e cable and break it out to six LAN drop points per cable.

The engineering and transmission section is perhaps the most crucial link in a remote operation, especially one as massive as an Olympic Games.

WestwoodOne provided these equipment lists for the racks in the “Engineering/Transmission” area — “TX1” and “TX2” on the layout.

 WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics Sierra Automated Systems Telos codecs Comrex Access PreSonus ACP 88 McCurdy AMP-200 McCurdy SA13023 Goldline TS1RMX
Front of Engineering/Transmission Racks — TX1 (right) and TX2 (left)
Click on the Image to Enlarge

WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics
TX1 and TX2 From Behind



TX2 (left)

  • SAS ICM 32 intercom
  • McCurdy AMP-200 audio monitor
  • McCurdy SA14023 extended range meters (2)
  • SAS CR16A dual output controller (feeds McCurdy as test set)
  • SAS AXC-8 master system X/Y
  • SAS CPM80 eight-channel output controller
  • Goldline TS1RMX audio test set
  • Cisco 1921 Integrated Services Router
  • ESE 188 master clock NTP-based SMPTE timecode generator
  • Dell PC (SAS RCS/server module/multipanel  software control)
  • SAS GPI 1600 opto/relay interface
  • SAS 32 KD 96 x 96 audio router
  • TX1(right)

  • PreSonus ACP 88 compressor/limiter
  • Wohler LM53-8 high-resolution audio meters
  • Telos Zephyr Extreme ISDN codecs (4)
  • Comrex Access codecs (2)
  • Telos Zip One IP codecs (2)

    Zach Akey WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics
    Zach at work at the Engineering/Transmission station. Beyond him in the a corner is the main power feed (“Power 1” on the layout). NBC generators provide three 30 A 220 V feeds that are stepped down to 120 V by three Furman AR-Pro AC line voltage regulators. All of WestwoodOne’s Sochi equipment is 120 V.
    Zach Akey WestwoodOne Radio Sochi 2014 Olympics
    Zach gets a little time off to see the sites.












    For teams out in the field, WestwoodOne has available eight Marantz PMD620MKII handheld Flash recorders, eight Shure SM58 handheld mics, eight Sony 7506 headphones, four Sennheiser HMD 26 headsets and four Comrex Access Portable codecs.  


    Meet the U.S. Radio Olympics Team

    Dial Global Amps Up Olympic Coverage


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