A legendary News/Talk station serving Chicago by day and multiple states after dark is now producing and coordinating its programming with the Telos Infinity networked IP intercom system.
The choice in tech tools was made by WGN-AM 720, the Tribune Media-owned station.
The change was needed because WGN’s old intercom was no longer serviceable. A different system proved ineffective. WGN Chief Engineer Bill Murdoch stepped in.
“It was time to move to a proper intercom system that would integrate with our audio network,” Murdoch said. “It had to be reliable to support our 24/7 live and local talk and our 24/7 news and talk operations.”
In service round-the-clock since June, the new Infinity intercom system was installed during WGN’s move to its new studios in downtown Chicago. It allows show producers, reporters, and news and sports anchors to coordinate breaking news, live handoffs, and play-by-play updates for games.
WGN produces White Sox baseball games as well as Blackhawks hockey and Northwestern University football games. Sometimes these events are happening simultaneously. The Infinity IP Intercom’s network connectivity and drag-and-drop configuration allow quick changes in studios and workflows, easing the stress of producing multiple programs from changing venues.
“Programming is easy—the Dashboard app is terrific; just drag and drop the destinations into virtual buttons and the intercom panel is programmed,” says Murdoch.
Traditional broadcast intercom systems connect with a separate layer of cabling to an expensive central matrix frame, but the Infinity IP Intercom connects to today’s Audio over IP Networks—even as an add-on to existing ones. This matrix-free design affords quick and easy deployment, plus network connectivity with both AES67 and Livewire devices. Infinity seamlessly integrated with WGN’s Telos VX VoIP talk show system, for example, allowing it to eliminate its legacy POTS connections with the new intercom.
WGN staff say they’re getting more useful communications from the Telos Infinity IP Intercom than other systems they’ve used. They report that their favorite feature is the Last Call button. If they are busy and miss an intercom call, the last caller can be re-called easily with this feature.
“Our workflow has several requirements that are uncommon to other broadcast operations,” Murdoch explains. “Infinity is built with the flexibility we need to control third-party equipment. Commands from Infinity allow instantly switching the right headphone mixes on our existing systems.”