To furnish the studio spaces, KYW relied on its long-term studio furniture supplier, Studio Technology. The company''s owner Vince Fiola was involved from the start with furniture layouts that managed to accommodate anchors, co-hosts and guests, incorporating various sight lines as well as access to the growing number of computer and TV monitors (the beautiful and flexible Yellowtec M!ka monitor and mic arm system was a big help too). When the radio equipment room racks needed access to the existing raised floor, Studio Technology built us a raised system that provided a pathway.
While we sweated these new sub-systems, KYW''s trusted core vendors from SAS consoles, Burli Newsroom software and Broadcast Electronics AudioVault automation drew readily on their experiences with KYW to reutilize what had worked in the past for this complex operation and at the same time innovate with their newest software and programming to fit the new space and operation.
Countdown to Cut-Over
Most gear was plucked and reutilized from the prior location. StudioHub+, a plug-and-play CAT-5 wiring system, allowed for its fast reconnection; often, only an overnight was available. The wiring system is made by my company, Radio Systems; but even StudioHub+ couldn''t buy us all the time we needed to move an operation of this size and complexity while it was on-air.
Delays did inevitably crop up in getting all systems back online. Here, KYW''s veteran engineers, news directors, editors, anchors and reporters emerged as real heroes (all 70-plus staff members — this is a big operation!). In the tradition of CBS and Edward Murrow, and supported by Program and Digital News Directors Steve Butler and Bill Roswell, everyone improvised and innovated as needed until the facility came fully online.
A seamless cutover is never easy. Ken Nurse, KYW''s studio and IT engineer, got a major assist with the process from the Comcast metro fiber Layer 2 network he helped design and install years before. This WAN connected all eight of the CBS radio and studios and transmitter sites in the Philadelphia market, and early on Kenny added the TV facility to the network; thus subsystems could be joined in slowly and concurrently before cutover.
For instance, the AudioVault backup server was moved over prior to the cutover; it was able to conform to new audio files over the network and remain up to date and ready for use the moment we cut. Also thanks to this design, the critical transmitter links never really changed at all; IP audio links simply were allowed to rejoin the network once moved to their new home.
At 6:15 the night we cut over, someone remembered that we''d overlooked the Comcast cable audio feed that KYW used in the old building to air the audio portion of the “CBS Evening News” at 6:30. Options, including forgoing this popular feature on the first night, were frantically thrown about until someone thought to just dial it up from the StudioHub+ Tie-Lines on the video feeds in TV master control just down the hall. We did, and it sounded just great.
Now technically, it doesn''t get any more synergetic than that!
Degrees Architectural design and management
■AVT Magic THipPro VoIP broadcast phone system
■Blackmagic Design video embedders and de-embedders
■Broadcast Electronics AudioVault digital automation
■Burli Newsroom System
■Korz Construction general contracting and construction
■Radio Systems: StudioHub+ broadcast wiring solutions and systems integration
■Raritan KVM solutions
■SAS broadcast consoles and studio systems
■Studio Technology broadcast furniture
■Titus Technological Laboratories on-air light fixtures
■Yellowtec M!ka mounting arms and Litt signaling devices
Braverman is president of Radio Systems Inc.