Bonneville Phoenix moves its three-station operation


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The complexity of Bonneville Phoenix operation is apparent with just a short visit to the new facility. It would be next to impossible to operate as it is today had it remained in its downtown space.

Bonneville Phoenix recently moved its entire broadcast radio operation to a new location, consolidating three stations (KTAR-AM/FM and KPKX-FM) into a remodeled, 29,000-square-foot facility. Several factors contributed to the move, beginning with the acquisition of the second FM signal in 2006. This allowed us to split the KTAR brand into two operations: News/Talk 92.3 KTAR-FM and Sports 620 KTAR-AM. Consequently we saw a large increase in staff and the previous facility lacked adequate space and parking.

We considered an upgrade of the existing facility, but it would not solve the parking issue or add real estate. A second option was to purchase space in a nearby building to accommodate our music station, KPKX-FM 98.7 the Peak. This was a not feasible option from a financial perspective.

News/talk 92.3 KTAR-FM features a master control room and voice track studios.

News/talk 92.3 KTAR-FM features a master control room and voice track studios.

A year-long evaluation led to the selection of our new location. Program management firm The Murray Company provided interior design, project management and construction services, encompassing the complete remodel job. The interior was gutted and built to its current configuration, utilizing 27,000 square feet of the rentable 29,000-square-foot space.

Facility layout and infrastructure

The conceptual design phase concluded with an intelligent layout plan. The goal was to ensure that the music operation received the same space and attention of the news/talk/sports operation. KPKX had little room to evolve in the old facility, so it was crucial to provide an environment where the station could establish a personality.

We decided to create talk and music wings. Each wing has its own rack room, studio suites, production facilities and workstations, as well as dedicated sales and office staff. Both technical operations have Harris PR&E Vistamax facility routing and studio networking at their respective cores.

The KTAR voice track studio. Operators have views of each studio in the KTAR cluster, ideal for visual cueing in a fast-paced environment.

The KTAR voice track studio. Operators have views of each studio in the KTAR cluster, ideal for visual cueing in a fast-paced environment.

Each rack room employs a Krone 110 punch block interface system from ADC to accommodate cross connects for various studio components. Quabbin Datamax single pair CAT-5e cables accommodate the core low-density wiring for rack-mounted equipment. Krone punch blocks are reliable and capable of supporting high-quality audio, AES3 audio, networking and control, even when mixed in the same 25-pair cable. The Krone 110 blocks are CAT-6-rated, high-band, network-quality punch blocks that minimize failures and establish patch bays for permanent and temporary connections. Datamax is the Harris cable of choice for console wiring and handles all but mic level applications with ease.

The more complex talk wing has the larger of the two rack rooms, featuring 19 Harris Integrator racks and one open-frame 23" communications rack to house fiber for ISDN, optical Internet, IFBs and PRIs, while the music wing contains six racks. Both rack rooms are populated with a variety of satellite receivers (XDS, Starguide III, Max, Tiernan), studio workstation computers and infrastructure for various studio components (Telos 2101 Desktop Director, Comrex ISDN and POTS encoders). All computers for Broadcast Electronics Audiovault Flex automation delivery are KVM-extended to their respective studio destinations. This removes the computers from the operational areas, leaving only the monitor, keyboard and mouse.

The Vistamax studio networking systems for each wing reside in their respective rack rooms, with the music wing opting for the Vistamax Envoy system. Both Vistamax frames are wired to their associated punch block systems via Hitachi Power Sum 25-pair CAT-5e trunk cables terminated with Amphenol connectors. Studio trunk cables are done with Mohawk CAT-5e 25-pair cables along with a number of four-pair CAT-5e and CAT-6 home runs for specific equipment applications. All office telephony and networking is done with CAT-6 cabling. KVM extension is done with CAT-5 cabling since the CAT-6 twist introduces timing and phase error. This simple connection completes a large portion of the high-density wiring requirements and minimizing cable runs across the facility.

The Vistamax systems map signals from each station en route to the processing system. The first two stops in the air chain out of Vistamax are the EAS Interrupter unit and an AES/EBU splitter. The splitter sends the signals in two directions: One stream feeds a real-time Omnia processing and monitoring system, and the second stream hits an Air Tools 6100 profanity delay and ATI Digital DA before reaching the Moseley STL systems, stream encoders and Ilogger.

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