Monday, April 17, 2017

Hartford Radio: WTIC Ceases Airborne Traffic Reports

Radio Airborne traffic reports have scrapped in another market.

WTIC 1080 AM has halted the use of its trusty and venerable traffic plane, moving to ground-based technology such as cameras that beam key information to commuters via apps and smartphone data and video.

The Harttford Courant report the CBS Radio news and talk radio station said in an emailed statement it discontinued airborne traffic reports April 3. "Typical aviation coverage only allows us to monitor one specific area at a time, which makes it less relevant in a society of smart phones, cars and roads," the station said in the statement.

More data is available "through the use of this camera system allowing us to monitor real-time travel conditions 24/7," WTIC stated.

Derrick Hinds, communications manager of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said some stations "have been scaling back" traffic reports from the air over the past decade. He cited the cost of maintaining a helicopter or plane, pilots' pay, fuel and other expenses, such as insurance.

Traffic apps such as Waze, Google Maps and state Department of Transportation TV monitors and pavement sensors installed by transportation officials can steer motorists along faster routes and away from potential delays caused by traffic jams or construction.

Unmanned drones that relay aerial photos also are replacing planes and helicopters piloted by humans, Hinds said. Drones are cheaper than traditional alternatives, he said. And no injuries or fatalities result from occasional crashes.

On April 1st, CBS Radio started aifring reports from its news traffic partner. Radiate Media replaced iHeartMedia's Total Traffi Service nationwide.

Radiate Media now supplies CBS Radio with customized traffic data for its over-the-air radio stations, operating in 26 markets throughout the U.S., as well as on corresponding station websites.

Additionally, Radiate Media now sells sponsorships within traffic reports to national network advertisers while CBS Radio will continue to sell sponsorships to local and regional advertisers.

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