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In today's ever-changing content environment, an engineer needs to be prepared for any request that comes their way. The latest HD Radio equipment, streaming technologies, alternative content systems and the ever-evolving IP audio revolution is enough to keep any skilled engineer on their toes. So what does one do when asked to design and build a TV studio right in the middle of his radio station? Run with it. That's exactly what Cumulus Media-owned WQKC-FM did. This past September, engineer Rik Pike and I turned WQKC 93.9 The Ticket into a fully functional TV studio.
The Ticket is a high-energy, locally focused sports talk radio station in Louisville, KY. It is home to a fast-paced talk show hosted by nationally know athletes, Kentucky sports heroes and local celebrities Dave Ragone and Scott Padgett. Every morning Dave and Scott bring a unique take on the sports world to the Louisville and Southern Indiana airwaves. The station partnered with Cascade Media's CW network affiliate, WBKI-TV to simulcast the show on television.
The show would originate from the existing WQKC air studio. The medium-sized studio was already built around Graham Studios Radius-XP furniture in the traditional U-shaped configuration. The board operator or show producer faced the three talent microphone positions. All LCD touch-screens and monitors were mounted on Ergotron arms for ideal positioning. This type of studio layout allowed for excellent eye contact and interaction between the personalities. Because the furniture was an island design, it also provided easy access to wiring. Adding a TV show to the mix would however, prove to be a difficult task. The limited floor space did not allow for any tripods or camera mounts and four other live shows needed to broadcast daily from the studio without interrupting their workflow. A TV producer workstation needed to be constructed, and the show needed to be delivered in real-time to WBKI-TV. The engineers from both WQKC and WBKI-TV put our heads together to come up with a plan that satisfied the needs for both the radio and TV stations.
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