CBS station WJFK(FM), “The Fan” in Washington, launched an HD4 channel today.
The news is of note for two reasons: because this is believed to be the first HD4 channel in existence, and because CBS is expanding its strategy of populating its digital multicast channels with out-of-market radio content.
WJFK(FM), heard on 106.7 MHz in Manassas, Va., is now running four FM HD sports streams: its own local programming on HD1 as well as content from Baltimore’s WJZ(FM) on its HD2, New York’s WFAN on HD3 and Philadelphia’s WIP(AM), heard on 610 kHz, on HD4. It calls this combination “The FAN Sports Network” and promotes it as “the nation’s first HD ‘Quadcast’ radio station.”
CBS Radio’s WFAN(AM) in New York is already heard on FM HD multicast-channels at several CBS stations in Florida, and now is added to the Washington, D.C. simulcast.
CBS Radio VP Programming Chris Oliviero said in the announcement that multicast channels are a good way to promote the company’s sports radio station portfolio. “Washington, D.C., is home to a diverse range of sports fans, many originally from other parts of the Northeast, making WJFK an ideal home for this breakthrough quadcast.”
WFAN morning drive co-host Boomer Esiason, a former quarterback for the NFL and the University of Maryland, stated in the announcement: “I’ve witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm for sports in the D.C. Metro area — not just for the local teams but the entire landscape of professional and college sports. Being able to interact and re-connect with the fans is a great way to expand the dialogue and debate that makes sports radio so unique.”
Harris is the equipment supplier for the HD Radio gear in this installation.
CBS Radio says Sports Radio 66 WFAN pioneered the all-sports format in 1987, while 610 WIP debuted soon thereafter. In 2008, CBS Radio launched 105.7 The Fan, Baltimore’s first FM sports station. WJFK introduced its 24/7 sports format to D.C. residents in 2009.