Blackburn Radio Unifies its 14 Radio Stations

Toronto, Ontario – April 12, 2011 – Blackburn Radio Inc. announced today that it has installed SDS Symphony, a flagship broadcast management system by leading North American provider Specialty Data Systems (SDS), at each of its 14 radio stations across Ontario. 

The London, Ont.-based broadcaster – which has radio stations in Chatham, Leamington, London, Sarnia, Windsor and Wingham – explained that it chose SDS’s broadcast management solution because it met the company’s need to unify its operations, increase efficiency and avoid duplication.  

 “Our goal was to not only improve efficiency at a market level, but to also provide consolidated real-time data for head office,” said Walter Ploegman, Director of Operations and Marketing for Blackburn Radio. Prior to installing the SDS system, Ploegman explains that Blackburn had separate installations of traffic and billing software, and all data required manual entry and extensive manual consolidation. 

“Now, since all processes are done automatically without the need to manually import and export data, our group is realizing valuable time savings while increasing data accuracy and streamlining our operations,” Ploegman said, adding that he appreciates the dedication displayed by the SDS support team throughout the transition to the new system. “Although change is difficult with any software conversion, the SDS team has worked hard to minimize any uneasiness felt by our group – from training all the way through to our first log assembly.” 

SDS Symphony provides broadcasters with the ability to instantaneously share information between stations and across departments – from sales, traffic and programming to operations and accounting – eliminating the need for data re-entry and cross-verification. Users access information online in real time and data is filtered and formatted to meet specific needs. The system eases programming of airtime, booking orders, scheduling promos, enforcing credit rules, and producing sales and commission reports.

“Whether a company has one station or multiple outlets, SDS Symphony consolidates and centralizes data so that information is always up-to-date and accessible,” said Dave Cole, President of SDS, adding that the technology also has the ability to adapt as broadcasters grow and the market evolves. “The system’s two-way flow of data allows for faster implementation, and reduces redundancies and costs, giving broadcasters better clarity and control of all aspects of their business while maximizing efficiency and profits.” 

Blackburn Radio – founded in 1922 when Arthur Blackburn was granted one of the first radio licenses in Canada – has a successful tradition of marrying state-of-the-art technology with high-quality local programming and community service, news and entertainment. With the goal of meeting the specific needs of the local markets it serves, Blackburn Radio provides a diverse range of format choices, including contemporary, modern, adult hits, rock, news and talk, sports, country and oldies stations.  

SDS, established in 1993, is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to broadcast sales, traffic, programming, operations and accounting. A mid-sized company with more than 250 television and radio station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains an agile and customer-focused company.

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