Merlin Media Updates on a Very Short Schedule

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TOC already had 15 racks in place. To house the new equipment, two new Middle Atlantic racks were added to TOC, as well as one rack in the air studio. A third rack was added in TOC for the new IT equipment. This was done initially during the LMA, because Emmis is a publicly traded company and Merlin is private, so certain Sarbanes-Oxley rules had to be observed. That third IT rack now houses the station’s IT equipment.

The extra racks added for the transition

The extra racks added for the transition

As equipment arrived at the Radio Systems facility near Philadelphia, the news workstations were built and prewired with StudioHub+. Likewise, StudioHub+ panels were dropped in place at the stations. This preliminary work allowed installation to proceed quickly, which helped the accelerated time schedule. In most cases, the prewiring made the installation plug and play.

Outside efforts

To pull cables and upgrade the electrical service as needed, as well as some drywall work, Patrick Berger took advantage of his already existing relationships with the building owners and trades. Chicago is known for its strong unions, but there were never any difficulties in getting the work done. The building has several trade contractors it uses, and those groups had already worked in the radio station, so it was easy to outline the scope of the project and set them to work.

Because most of the equipment is connected with StudioHub+, it wasn’t necessary to spend time attaching multitudes of connectors. Low-voltage contractors could handle the wiring.

The Newsroom workstations are all built the same. Each rack has two Axia Router Selector nodes, a Telos Hx1 hybrid, a StudioHub+ 10-slot panel populated with modules to essentially create a small mix position with a mic input, headphone output, source selector, profanity delay control and additional I/O. An air monitor, router monitor and convenience outlets are also available. Each news workstation can be put directly on the air for newsroom actualities.

One workstation also houses two Comrex Access codecs so they are visibly accessible at all times. Another workstation has expansion space for another codec if it’s needed in the future.

- continued on page 4

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