In a first for the radio industry, CBS Radio launched Monday (March 8) the nation’s first HD radio quadcast on WJFK-FM, the company’s Sports station in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the Sports programming on the main channel, WJFK offers listeners with HD Radio receivers the programming broadcast on three other CBS Radio Sports stations including WJZ-FM in Baltimore (HD2), WFAN-AM in New York (HD3) and WIP-AM in Philadelphia (HD4).
Nearly 2,000 radio stations broadcast in HD Radio. Up until now, most stations broadcasting digital side channels have offered one or at most two additional stations.
“This industry milestone is a great way to further promote and distribute the premier programming on CBS Radio’s exclusive portfolio of sports radio stations. 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,” said Chris Oliviero, vp of programming for CBS Radio.
While HD Radio has been around for a few years, monetizing the additional channels is still in the early stages. With the quadcast, CBS Radio is looking to attract regional advertisers interested in targeting sports listeners in the northeast. “We’re talking to advertisers that might advertise on all four and see if they will commit to the HD,” said Michael Weiss, president of sales for CBS Radio.
“We’re also seeking presenting sponsors and we have one advertiser that’s interested in WFAN naming rights. I’m confident it’s something we can sell.”
CBS Radio’s historic move wouldn’t have been possible if the group hadn’t been building out Sports stations. WJZ, Baltimore’s first FM sports stations was launched in Nov. 2008. WJFK was launched July 2009.