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Reconstructing WEBE 108 and WICC
Cumulus tackles the challenge of an in-place rebuild.
WEBE-FM (WEBE108) and WICC-AM became sister stations in 1989 and moved into a new facility at the end of that year. Most licensees try to build a facility to last a long time, and these stations managed to get 20 years of service from theirs. But after all that time, the analog infrastructure and equipment, as well as years and years of layering new systems on top, meant it was time to upgrade.
In late 2010, the lease for the stations was due to expire, and the owners were looking at alternative office spaces, but the landlord and Cumulus reached an agreement for the stations to stay.
From a construction standpoint, it's easier to build a new facility and move in rather rebuilding in place; but a new facility has its own challenges as well. Cumulus was ready for the challenge.
Dave Supplee, regional engineer for Cumulus, was the lead for most of the project. The first part of the plan was to evaluate the current space and begin planning for the changes. The rebuild extended beyond the studios and included much of the office area. Supplee and his team worked to provide the IT infrastructure to the office areas, but most of that work was left to a contractor to finish.
On the studio side, the studios were completely rearranged and remodeled, and the technical operations center (TOC) was modified. Even the existing wiring was replaced.
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