According to a tech note sent to its affiliates, a swap of satellite receivers will be necessary to continue to receive Westwood One programming.
The radio network told affiliates on Monday it has selected the Wegener iPump 8640 receiver as the new satellite delivery platform for Westwood One formats and shows, including all talk and music programming.
Radio World confirmed the letter is in the hands of at least several Westwood One affiliates even though the radio network did not immediately reply to questions about how many affiliates might be affected by the change.
Westwood One stated the new Wegener i8640 receivers will be shipped to affiliates, but did not indicate in the notice when the transition will take place.
“[The] Wegener receiver includes many improvements with the primary advantage of standardized relays,” Westwood One stated in the notice to affiliates. “This is a big advantage as you no longer have to map different relays for the same function such as local breaks or liners. For example, relay 1 will always be the local break for all Westwood One programming.”
The new Wegener receiver also has an isolated relay bank associated with each audio output, Westwood One said, so no errant relays from another audio source when programming is active at the same time on multiple outputs.
“There are 4 audio/relay ports which can provide 24/7 programming for up to four separate stations at your location or simulcast two or more stations from one audio/relay output. The audio quality is also dramatically improved,” the radio network stated.
For the transition, the audio connection on current XDS receivers can be moved directly to the audio output of the Wegener receiver provided a radio station will not have non-Westwood One programming remaining on XDS.
The change also affects all affiliates currently using a Wegener i6420 receiver. “That receiver model will be upgraded to the i8640,” Westwood One told affiliates.
The radio network noted: “Your engineer will need to wire new relays to your switcher and/or automation as there is not a way to convert your XDS mappings to the Wegener standardized relay output.”
Affiliates are asked to refer to the Westwood One technical site at technology.westwoodone.com. At the site, affiliates will find show clocks for the Wegener (and XDS for comparison), audio/relay pinouts, ShowDirector instructions (for scheduling the Westwood One shows currently contracted) and other critical information.
For additional technical questions, affiliates also can contact Westwood One at 888-435-7450.
Westwood One, which is owned by Cumulus Media, says it has nearly 7,300 affiliated radio stations and media partners. It describes itself as the largest audio network in the United States.
Randy J. Stine has spent the past 40 years working in audio production and broadcast radio news. He joined Radio World in 1997 and covers new technology and regulatory issues. He has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.