Field Report: Harris PR&E NetWave

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Radio stations WCTO-FM and WLEV-FM serve the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton market in eastern Pennsylvania, what is known locally as the greater Lehigh Valley. The two stations offer a mix of local and syndicated programming, following a model that creates a unique listening experience for local and Web audiences.

Harris PR&E NetWave

Both stations have rosters stacked with local talent, broadcasting live from our consolidated studio facility. While the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton market is firmly entrenched in the "medium market" world, local broadcasters have access to a large base of listeners. Arbitron’s latest figures rank the market at number 69 on a list of 282 U.S. radio markets.

The challenge boils down to staying cutting-edge in an active market that may not pull in the financial numbers of a New York or Philadelphia. This means giving our on-air and production staff the tools they need to broadcast a high-quality on-air product while remaining within budget.

Console requirements

We set our sights on the studio environment, with a focus on upgrading our on-air consoles. There were two primary requirements: The consoles needed to operate in a stand-alone manner today, with the capability to expand to a networked solution in the future.

Performance at a glance
◊ All sources appear on VistaMax network
◊ Heads-up meter assembly
◊ Four program buses, one offline bus
◊ Three frame sizes (8, 16, 24 inputs)
◊ Dual router option available

We looked at many available options and contacted SCMS. Our sales representative Doug Tharp immediately suggested that the Harris PR&E NetWave digital on-air console would meet our requirements.

The NetWave is built for situations such as ours. It can function without the need of router or CPU connectivity, allowing a station to essentially plug in, assign sources and get on the air without hassle.

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