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Fresh Digs for Emmis Terre Haute
Emmis Communications became a station owner in Terre Haute, IN, in 1998 when it bought WTHI and WWVR. At the time, the stations were co-owned with and housed in the same building as WTHI-TV. The TV station signed on in 1954 from a facility in the heart of downtown Terre Haute. The original TV tower, which supports WTHI-FM, still stands on the site.
After more than 50 years, this original studio facility was due for an upgrade. Emmis began selling its TV stations in the mid-2000s, so the radio stations were looking for a home of their own by 2012.
A local developer had plans to build a new office building next to the former studio building. With one FM using the tower as its main transmitter site, the new office building was an ideal location. Emmis made plans for the move.
The new and the old
The WTHI-FM transmitter was installed on the third floor of the former studio building. With the pending move, the first step was to build a new transmitter building at the base of the tower. This was completed while the new office building was being built.
To relocate the transmission facilities, one transmitter was moved to the new transmitter building, and the coax feeding the antenna was pulled out of one building, rerouted down the tower and attached to the newly installed transmitter switch. Then the second transmitter was moved into place. Axia Nodes were installed in the new transmitter building and in the old studio to handle the audio. Once the new studios were complete, an audio switch from the old studios to the new studios was seamless.
Once the new studio building was complete, Kendall Myers, chief engineer of the Emmis stations, got to work building the new studios. Equipment had been ordered, and some prewiring had been completed to speed the installation process. Myers also selected an Axia audio system for the facility.
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