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Skyview Continues to Experience Technical Issues

A security breach has affected CBS Radio affiliates, among others

Skyview Networks’ operations continue to be impacted by what has been described as a “severe IT incident.” The company — which is the contracted distribution and ad sales partner for CBS Radio and ABC News Radio — first sent out an advisory alerting its clients to the security breach on Jan. 30.

Now, nearly three weeks later, Skyview continues to grapple with technical issues.

As of Feb. 17, Skyview has the following statement posted on its website:

“Skyview Networks has experienced unauthorized access to its IT environment, resulting in interrupted technical services. Immediately upon learning of the disruption, we activated our comprehensive incident response plan and isolated the impacted systems. Unfortunately, this has affected a number of Skyview Networks programming and advertisement delivery programs. We expect continued disruption to select systems at least through Monday [Feb. 20].”

CBS affiliate WCHL(AM), located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is just one the many radio stations affected by this technical failure.

Kenny Dike, the radio broadcast and program manager at WCHL, said the disruption forced staff to act quickly to avoid dead air.

“When CBS/Skyview went down, it was a major inconvenience for us as we air six minutes of CBS News through the Skyview satellite system, every hour, 24 hours a day,” said Dike.

As they were waiting to learn why the system was down, Dike said the production team had to manually replace that six minutes of hourly CBS News programming with local programming to fill out the hours.

“CBS News did a great job acting quickly and within 48 hours had made alternative distribution options available,” he said. “For us, we received the six-minute CBS News blocks as recorded audio files, and manually inserted them into every hour for about a week. There were other options available for stations, but this worked best for us.”

A week into recovery efforts, Dike said Skyview had restored its system to the point where CBS News could again be delivered through the satellite system, and WCHL could begin using it again.

“For the most part, things are back to normal, however on occasion we still experience some errors as we assume they are still working out the kinks.”

As all the kinks continue to be worked out, Craig Swagler, vice president and general manager of CBS Radio, in a notice sent to WCHL and other affiliate stations, said, “No one is immune to pivoting, especially when circumstances are beyond one’s control. We did it together with our radio teams during the pandemic. We are doing it now, with you.”

Skyview Networks says it is working 24/7 to develop a secure and comprehensive traffic delivery system for its network partners and affiliated stations.

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