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CBS Gives HD Radio A Needed Programming Boost A Decade Too Late

KDKA Traffic Weather 107.9 WDSY HD3 Pittsburgh HD RadioOn Wednesday CBS Radio News/Talk 1020 KDKA Pittsburgh announced the launch of a new “KDKA Traffic & Weather” HD Radio subchannel on 107.9 WDSY-HD3 and streaming via Radio.com. The programming will feature traffic and weather reports every five minutes from 5am to 7pm weekdays and road closure updates along with weather in nights and weekends.

For the first time since 102.7 WNEW New York debuted as the first HD Radio station in 1999 a broadcaster is creating something that can be used as a selling point for the technology. In its early days both Sirius and XM used their 24/7 traffic and weather channels as selling points for their new satellite services. The combined SiriusXM has now consolidated traffic to just eight markets split over five channels after temporarily eliminating them altogether.

While apps and other services have shrunken the need for real-time traffic reports on radio, there are still plenty of drivers who are not as tech savvy or going to use a mobile device while driving. Putting programming on HD Radio subchannels that listeners would go out of their way to find has been the major thing holding the platform back. Sure there are other issues like explaining to a listener, “First you tune to 107.9 then tune over to -3” but giving compelling programming will at least assist in the process.

Hopefully CBS Radio buyer Entercom will continue to roll-out the traffic & weather programming to HD Radio subchannels across the country.

CBS RADIO Pittsburgh today unveiled the market’s newest radio station, “KDKA Traffic & Weather Together”. The HD station will provide reliable, up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information for the Pittsburgh, PA area.

KDKA Traffic & Weather Together” is a product extension of NewsRadio 1020 KDKA (KDKA-AM), and can be heard on 107.9 HD3 using an HD Radio, via the online streaming app Radio.com, in Wi-Fi connected cars, and Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled devices through the TuneIn app.

CBS RADIO Pittsburgh Senior Vice President and Market Manager Michael Young commented, “Radio listeners in Western Pennsylvania have long relied on accurate and timely local updates from NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. By utilizing the station’s trusted resources we have produced a product that is solely dedicated to providing continuous traffic and weather updates to the local communities we serve.”

“Our audience members lead full and active lives,” added Mark Anderson, CBS RADIO Pittsburgh Vice President of Programming. “The new ‘KDKA Traffic & Weather Together’ station was designed with their needs in mind and will deliver important local information to them in a fast paced, on-demand format that matches the immediacy of their lifestyle.”

“KDKA Traffic & Weather Together” will air live weekdays from 5 am to 7 pm, ET, offering real-time traffic reports and weather information. Weeknights and weekends will also feature current road closure and construction updates, along with regularly updated local weather forecasts. The content will be powered by CBS RADIO’s new national traffic and weather product, delivered by existing CBS RADIO Pittsburgh personnel, including Traffic Reporters Greg McAtee and Scott Stiller who have over 32 years of combined experience reporting traffic in Pittsburgh.

This new station will offer the business community unique opportunities to showcase their brands to the highly desired information-seeking audience on a category exclusive basis. Debut advertiser partners include the Power Of Bowser and Northwest Bank.

NewsRadio 1020 KDKA (KDKA-AM) will continue to provide “Traffic & Weather Together On The 5s” every weekday.

Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

4 Comments


  1. That’s the key phrase. It’s 10-15 years too late if they wanted it to be a selling point for HD Radio.

    I betcha the audience for the live stream on Radio.com will dominate the pittance of people in Pittsburgh who still have a functioning HD Radio set.


    • Actually Nathan, Pittsburgh Has one of the Highest HD Radio communities in the country. I record HD Soundbytes for Pittsburgh HD Radio and Put it on my sound cloud. I’m so happy CBS Radio did this for HD Radio listeners like me.


      • Kenny,

        There is nothing statistically available to back up your claim. Because you record airchecks of HD programming doesn’t make it the “highest HD Radio community” or whatever that means.


  2. I made proposals to WBUR HD2 for this very idea.

    That was 15 years ago.

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