The Planet (103.7 FM) and its sister station, soft-rock KYXY (96.5 FM), are installing the Audio Vault system, where songs and commercials are digitally stored as computer files. Presently the Planet and KYXY depend on live DJs to play CDs and cartridge tape machines. Both local stations, owned by Viacom/Infinity/CBS, currently need to have a live DJ present 24 hours a day.
"I think there are only a handful of stations in the country that still use CDs and cart machines," said Charlie Quinn, program director of KYXY.
Once Audio Vault is installed, the Planet and KYXY can opt to use live DJs or have their announcers prerecord or "voice track" their shifts. Every other major San Diego station is run with a computerized, digital-based system similar to Audio Vault.
"Audio Vault means automation, and automation means fewer DJs," said a radio insider.
Although Quinn said "I will not be pinned down" in reference to whether or not he will be getting rid of any live DJ shifts, he did say, "KYXY is not under a budget restraint to cut costs."
Todd Little, program director for the Planet, did not respond to a request for comment.
Clear Channel stations are known for using voice-tracking in lieu of live DJs, but other stations, including Star 100.7 and KIFM, all use voice-tracked DJ shifts during weekends and overnight hours.
Quinn said both the Planet and KYXY will be able to use Audio Vault in two to three months.