August 07, 2020
A familiar sound in Philadelphia radio vanished from the airwaves in recent weeks, as KYW Newsradio 1060 chose to ditch the clicking teletype noise that has filled the background of broadcasts for decades.
The track, a relic from the era when teletype printers were common in newsrooms, had long been digitized and played on a loop from a flash drive for some time prior to its recent disappearance. An example of the unmistakable noise can be heard in the 1983 broadcast snippet below.
KYW brand manager and program director Alex Silverman gave the Inquirer a facetious explanation for the move on Thursday.
"They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986, and our supply finally ran out – so alas, old reliable is out of commission until further notice," Silverman said. "As technology has evolved over the years, so has KYW Newsradio, and the sound of the station should reflect the modern, nimble, multi-platform news organization we've become."
The part about running out of supply created a bit of confusion on Twitter, where some people may have taken it literally. SportsRadio 94WIP brand manager Spike Eskin appears to have faked outrage over Silverman's comment. Both KYW and 94WIP are owned by Entercom, which switched the AM station's partnership from CBS3 to NBC10 earlier this year.
Just excuses again from @AlexSilverman. Are we to believe he couldn't find a new one on Ebay? Or simulate the sound some how. Does he think we are fools? https://t.co/eYiwVwBv0P pic.twitter.com/RyuhIeA0hm— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) August 6, 2020
“They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986, and our supply finally ran out” https://t.co/jNAjnYLW4x— dhm (@dhm) August 6, 2020
Understood and appreciated. That the core mission remains the same is exactly my point. Our signature sounds have evolved to showcase that for every era. I’ll jump on your Action News analogy to add... long after radar, but not to this day.— Alex Silverman (@AlexSilverman) August 6, 2020
The change is part of a broader effort to modernize the station, including the introduction of an updated KYW jingle last year.
I love that KYW Newsradio still runs that fake teletype sound in the background. It's one of the most distinctive audio brands in radio.— Steven (@nj_linguist) February 26, 2010
I love that KYW in Philly still plays the fake teletype-sounds bed under their broadcasters' voices— Like a fool, like an idiot (@Popple_Vuh) January 17, 2012
I absolutely LOVE how some news radio stations still play the teletype noise in the background. KYW Philly, 1010 WINS NYC. Others??— Ted Land (@TedLandK5) March 26, 2012
Best part of KYW, after you, of course, is the teletype sound effect. Enjoy!— Skip Foreman (@skipforeman1) September 29, 2018