Bridge-IT Lifts Q102 Ratings
Rick Daniels is an experienced Program Director and co-owner of Virtual Formats LLC. He recently turned around the fortunes of Q102 in a big way.
In 2011 Virtual Formats LLC approached Q102’s owners with a proposal to revamp the format and station overall. In essence we offered a turnkey radio solution. We felt the station had been underperforming and that we could increase audience share by revamping the on-air content and overall branding.
The package we offered included the creation of a new website, which included online streaming of all programming. After careful analysis the station’s owners accepted our proposal because they saw the financial potential of the new structure.
Q102 has a 100kW transmitter and is able to transmit over an 80 mile radius. 15 months ago the station was located at Owensboro, KY with the transmitter site positioned at Ohio County, KY. We were asked to run the station from Owensboro in order to centralize the operation, however to do this would require either a new transmitter, or a cost effective way to transport audio from Owensboro to the existing transmitter 30 miles away.
A new transmitter would have cost around $250,000, but I spoke with Dave Hertel from Newman Keys Engineering and he recommended we look at Tieline IP codecs as an affordable alternative. I had used POTS codecs previously for sports play-by-play coverage, but IP was something entirely new to me.
I contacted Tieline’s office in Indiana and discussed the Bridge-IT point-to-point IP codec as a solution. I couldn’t believe my ears when they explained that a pair of Tieline codecs would deliver high quality stereo audio at a fraction of the cost of a new transmitter. For less than five thousand dollars we could remotely transmit high fidelity, low delay IP audio from Owensboro to the existing transmitter, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure costs!
We purchased and installed Bridge-IT codecs at both the transmitter and studio and both are connected to AT&T fiber connections. The link has been great success – it sounds great and is extremely reliable. The only time we have been disconnected is when the fiber network went down briefly; the codecs themselves have performed flawlessly.
Since the inception of the new format our ratings have increased significantly and this has assisted the sales team to triple revenue over the last 12 months! There is no reason why revenue won’t continue to grow so all in all it has been a terrific success.
We have also purchased a pair of Bridge-IT codecs which we use for remotes and I am keen on using all the resources at my disposal to serve the local community. This includes taking radio to the people as much as possible. I plan to increase the number of our local remotes, including play-by-play coverage of local sports, as we add more codecs like Bridge-IT, Report-IT and the Tieline Mic Adapter to our arsenal of equipment.
One of the great additions to our current format has been weatherman Paul Poteet. He is now our regular weatherman on Q102 and everyone loves him. He is a renowned performer who also broadcasts regularly on the number 1 station in Indiana. He connects from his home and we use a Tieline Bridge-IT Codec to connect live with him using IP.
Currently we broadcast throughout 38 counties in 3 States and have an audience of 1.1million. We also have plans to expand our operation by using Q-Wireless high speed IP links to create a network of independent stations throughout Western Kentucky, each with its own format and branding.
Without the Tieline Bridge-IT IP codecs we couldn’t have put the new format in place at Q102. It has opened our eyes to the possibilities that Tieline IP codecs present for delivering new and unique programming solutions at a very affordable price.