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Visual Radio 2018

Sponsored by

January 2018 From the Publishers of Radio World




MULTICAM RADIO drives the full video broadcast by using informations from audio console and automation software. AUDIO CONSOLE




Artificial Intelligence choose the best camera preset according to the speaking situation and switches in a natural way.

Enrich your video content with graphics. Speakers are automatically titled.

MULTICAM RADIO is integrated with major audio consoles and automation softwares: AERON

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Visual Radio 2018

January 2018

Sponsored by

From the Publishers of Radio World


“Everything You Hear Is Everything You Should See”


“This Innovative Spark of Creativity”


Do What You Already Do Best: Tell Stories


“Start With What You’ve Got. Look Around”


Facebook Live a Year Later


Seven Lessons Learned in a Year Teaching “MoJo”

Visual Radio 2018 I’m a journalist and a former radio news guy who has also sold radio technology for a living. Like you I’m always asking myself: Where is radio going next? How will it survive and thrive? And what does that mean for my career, where do I fit in? In the past year or two, Radio World has taken the lead in exploring this new special arena of visual radio, to suss Paul McLane out what radio people in various types of organizations Editor in Chief have been doing in creating video. Yes, radio people had long gotten used to the idea of sticking a webcam up in front of their morning team, and many stations had a YouTube presence, but it seemed that the idea of visual radio was becoming much more dynamic and more integrated into the life of radio lately. On average, according to Activate, video captures the largest share of attention of the 12 hours that Americans devote to tech and media consumption daily. The boom in digital assistants and mobile video will only increase the trend. Overall, consumers are going to dramatically increase time spent watching digital video. Radio companies need to be there. Also, we increasingly hear our industry leadership saying that they’re “agnostic about the distribution platform.” Some may not come right out and say it, but most of these CEOs would probably tell their morning mirror, “I’m not a radio person. I’m a media person. I’m a content person. Radio may be an important part of that; but it’s just part of it.” Further, video is where more money is. Revenue from online videos — including subscription streaming services, individual purchases and online ads — are expected to make up about 15 percent of the $200 billion U.S. market for television and video in 2018. That’s part of the world in which radio is now competing. Why shouldn’t video be part of the visual economy? With our recent Radio World Visual Radio Symposium in the nation’s capital, we took a closer look at the subject; but not everyone can get to Washington so easily; so we decided to bring the best of that event to our first eBook of 2018 and to explore this fast-growing business segment further. Radio and all media companies now compete in a world of social media influencers; of creator-driven, on-demand content. Video is touching organizations of every size and type. Let me know how it’s touching you at


“Wow That’s a Good-Looking Studio!”

Cover Art Credits: Microphone art by Laptop photo

Visual Radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018



“Everything You Hear Is Everything You Should See” Jenna Land puts visual strategies to work for Beasley Media Group Charlotte

You might call Jenna Land a prophet for visual radio. She speaks with humor and animation when discussing the need for radio industry people to think and communicate visually. Land is digital sales manager for Beasley Media Group Charlotte. She gave the opening keynote remarks at Radio World’s recent Visual Radio Symposium. Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. owns and operates 63 stations in 15 large and mid-size markets. Approximately 19 million consumers listen to its stations weekly over the air, online and on smartphones and tablets and engage with its brands and personalities through digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, text, apps and email. Land began her career in radio as a promotions assistant with CBS Radio. A graduate of UNC Charlotte, she majored in communication studies with an emphasis on journalism and organizational communications.

Jenna Land

Land: I don’t think it falls to individual sales managers anymore. It falls to all of the leadership and the talent. All of our talent on all of our radio stations need to embrace the visual piece of it. That’s what helps grow their base for listeners and their audience for their morning shows or afternoon shows. The sales manager becomes important because it’s more offerings that we can offer to our clients. The program directors should embrace it because it will grow their audience base. And the market managers too. If you really want to be a leading market, or a leading cluster of stations in your market within your company, that’s a great way to grow revenue. It’s not just one person or one department anymore. It’s every single department. Even promotions when they’re on site, they need to be using visual, whether it be pictures or videos or Facebook Live or Instagram live, to attract people to the events and to let people know that, “Hey, we are live and local on the street two doors down from you,” for example. So it falls to everybody now — which is completely different than a couple years ago when it was the digital sales manager, maybe you had another manager; but now it really falls to everybody.

Radio World: Having participated in the Visual Radio Symposium, what did you take from those conversations and what you heard other speakers say? Land: Going in, it was more of a question: “Is radio and video important together?” And coming out of it, the answer is: Absolutely, 100 percent, without a doubt, it’s vital for radio to have a visual element piece — not only have a piece but embrace it and use it, not only on social but on their website and so on. It was an astounding “yes.” RW: What does it mean to think visually at an organization, and how does it play out at a radio company like yours? Land: Everything you hear is everything you should see. So everything you hear on air should have an element of visual to it — whether that be social, whether that be website, whether that be podcast, whether that be preroll, it needs to have that visual element. It’s not just a silo of audio; it is now a combination of appealing to different senses, visual being one of them. RW: At a 21st century radio media company, who should be responsible for leading and creating this visual strategy? Where will the impetus come from?

RW: It seems safe to say that employers are beginning to look for different skill sets as part of the hiring process. How

visual radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


does that play out? Land: If you are looking for that video role, you obviously need to have some video editing skills. But we all now, for the most part, have access to phones with video cameras and access to social media accounts. I like to look at people’s social media accounts and what they’re doing personally. And if they don’t have professional experience but have the “know-withal,” it can be taught. I’m not a highly skilled video editor for example; but I know what it takes to take a good Facebook Live video. One of the biggest skills is just to embrace social media and to use it. Just like selling radio — if you want to be a great radio sales person, you have to know your product; and the great news is that knowing your product is just listening. Same thing with social media and videos. If you want to know how to sell it or how to make it better, go online and watch some on social media, or go online and watch some pre-rolls on YouTube and see which ones stick out to you. It’s a great way to learn some pointers about what really attracts that visual consumer as opposed to just audio.

As part of a holiday campaign with a local credit union, several Beasley stations sent air talent into the community with $100 gift cards to give away. Watch a sample here.

RW: Specific to social media, are there one or two platforms that are critical to start with? Land: I would start with Facebook first because it’s the largest. It doesn’t skew the youngest; it might not work as well for, like, a top 40 station. However it is the largest. And then depending on the format and the audience, I would either go to Twitter and/or Instagram. But I would start with Facebook, start building an audience there and start boosting posts and really being rich with content — so that when your consumers and when your listeners interact with your brand on Facebook, it “pops” and you’re giving them something of value. Because with social media, you’re one click away from very bad negative comments or someone not following your brand. It’s important that you provide the consumer what they want, which is great content.

to promote it. And it was interactive, it was versatile. We used some of our urban stations, our top 40 station, our country station and our adult contemporary station, which goes Christmas music during the holidays. We were able to interact with all four brands with one client. Many different people were not only touched and got a free gift card but they were also appreciative. And on social media, people liked it, shared it and commented. It provided this visual element of their favorite personality out at, let’s say, their grocery store, giving away gift cards. It’s pretty cool. You can’t do that on radio; but with the ability on social media and Facebook Live, people were able to sit or be on their mobile phone, be at their office, be on the airplane getting ready to take off, and watch these feel-good moments unfold. RW: What else should we know? Land: We work in a vibrant, thriving industry. Radio is not dead. It’s very alive. And what has helped for it to stay alive is this visual piece. We see great growth potential in radio; we see great growth opportunities and great things that we can offer our client that other companies can’t do, and other industries can’t do, because we’ve embraced this visual piece. It’s cool to watch the “old radio,” if you will, evolve. Radio hasn’t changed as far as what it provides: information, entertainment. But what has changed is the consumption of radio. Radio has done a very good job changing to people’s new behaviors and how they consume media.

RW: Can you give us a recent example of a project that made good use of visual communication? Land: We just completed one that was really cool, leading up to the holidays. We did 12 days of giving with a local credit union. We were able to use four out of the seven of our stations and 12 different talents. Each day, a talent would go out into our community with $100 gift cards and give them away for the holidays. We captured this all on Facebook Live. People were able to share the joy not only on sight but also with social media and provide that warm feel-good going into the holidays. What was unique about this campaign is we did not use spot radio at all. It was all social media that we used

Visual Radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


Q Radio the Scene for Radio Q Radio SetsSets the Scene for Radio When independent broadcaster Q Radio needed to move their Belfast Studios, it represented an ideal opportunity for them to start afresh and bring their unique brand to the forefront of Northern Irish Radio. In today’s instant and content-hungry world, modern radio needs to provide more than ever to engage, maintain and grow audiences, however this needs to be in addition to, not at the expense of, making great radio. Radio in Northern Ireland, particularly Belfast, is highly competitive. Q Radio seized the opportunity to get ahead by enhancing live content through well produced video; live streaming; and making this engaging content instantly available and shareable on social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook Live. However, Q Radio realized that their choice of technology was key in helping them meet their brief within an affordable budget. There’s no doubt that many large corporate radio bands do multiplatform very well, with generous budgets akin to grand-scale TV production, but we all know that radio generally demands more for less! This is where sophisticated software coupled with the right hardware makes all the difference. With years of expertise and experience in providing turn-key projects, Q Radio selected Richard Lawley of Radio Studio Services to help them solve problems, design and deliver their dream. Q Radio chose Axia consoles, Fusions for their main on-air studios, and IQs for production and news booths. Richard Lawley enthused…”The Axia AoIP audio platform enables us to provide powerful, flexible control of client stations’ audio in a far more economic format than ever could be achieved with traditional analog equipment, and the user interfaces are all attractive and ergonomically pleasing, enabling us to design studios that enhance the creative process for presenters and production staff”. With the AoIP Audio network in place, integration between console, PhoneBOX, OASIS, Virtual Director, and playout sys tem is seamless. Broadcast Bionics talkshow software, PhoneBOX is a real game changer. It’s a multitool for the studio, incorporating a

feature-rich phone in system, multifaceted Social Media System, and Virtual Director vizualization system. All on one screen, this was a simple choice for Q’s state-of-theart studios. “We knew Virtual Director was the perfect solution for us as soon as we saw it. It’s unobtrusive yet powerful. It allows us to quickly produce quality video clips to share on social media, increasing our presence, and strengthening our brand with minimal effort. The system also live streams so our online listeners can also be viewers of “QTV,” giving them a live view of the presenters at work in the studio, with nice switching and branded graphics detailing now and next playing tracks. We’re the only station in Northern Ireland to do radio like this, and it’s paying off. Our listeners and advertisers love it,” says Jonathan Gold, Program Manager, Q Network. Indeed, Facebook share figures quickly soared, hitting 7.3K for an entertaining drive-time link about Siri! There is no doubt that Q Radio studios were designed to be seen. The branding is clear, thought has been given to camera positions, the lighting is right, and the ambience inspires the best in the presenters. It’s the epitome of the modern studio.


Welcome the Bionic Studio! Q Radio Sets thetoScene for Radio CONTROL ROOM

Powered by

When independent broadcaster Q Radio needed to move their Belfast Axia Smart Switch Studios, it represented an ideal opportunity for them to start afresh andLivewire bring their unique brand to the forefront of Northern Irish Radio. In AES67 today’s instant and content-hungry world, modern radio needs to provide Control Monitors more than ever to engage, maintain LEGACY Host Mic Guest Mic CONNECTIONS (AES67this Conn.) (AES67 Conn.) and grow audiences, however AES/EBU needs to be in addition to, not at the RF of, making great radio. expense ANALOG StudioIreland, Radio in Northern Cameras Monitors particularly Belfast, is highly ETHERNET competitive. Q Radio seized the opportunity to get ahead by Virtual Director: Intelligent Camera Switching enhancing live PhoneBOX: content Talkshow through well System OASIS: On Air Social Interaction System produced video; live streaming; Skype: TX for Radio and making this engaging Prize Management content instantly available and shareable on social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, When you walk into the studio and it knows who you andare Facebook Live. However, (face recognition); you take a caller and know exactly Q Radio realized thathave theira music show and you automatiwho they are; you choice of technology was key from the artists you’re playcally see social media posts in helping them meet their ing in real time. You’re in the Bionic Studio. When you’re brief withinaan affordable hosting talk show and you see social posts from people budget. There’s doubt that you’re talkingno about, and are able to track the mood and many large corporate radio mind of your listeners as they react to the conversation, bands multiplatform generous budgets thendoeffortlessly sharevery yourwell, best with moments on YouTube. akinYou’re to grand-scale TV production, but we all know that in the Bionic Studio. Then there are intelligent radio generally demands more for less! This is where tools creating metadata and unmixing live radio for Prosophisticated software coupled with the right hardware duction, Digital, and Online. But what’s the secret? makes all the difference. With years of expertise and experience in providing turn-key Q Radio In 1985, when Steve Churchprojects, founded Telos Systems, selected Richard Lawley of Radio Studio Services to help he had a clear vision of how radio technology should work them solve problems, design and deliver their dream. better. As IT technology developed, he saw the huge poQtential Radioinchose Axia consoles, theirbroadcast main an Ethernet topology Fusions suited tofor routing on-air studios, and IQs for production and news booths. audio. In 2003 he and Telos CTO Greg Shay invented LiveRichard ”The Axia AoIP audio platform wire, Lawley and AoIPenthused… has gone on to completely revolutionize enables us to provide powerful, flexible control of client the architecture and infrastructure of modern broadcast stations’ audio in a far more economic format than ever facilities. could be achieved with traditional analog equipment, theinterfaces rest is not are history. and theBut user all attractive and ergonomically pleasing, enabling us to design studios that enTen years ago Broadcast Bionics lead designer Dan hance the creative process for presenters and production McQuillin started conspiring with the Telos Alliance team staff”. to leverage the audio and data flowing through Livewire With the AoIP Audio network in place, networks and tap into the power of computer processing integration between console, PhoneBOX, and smart software to deliver unprecedented OASIS, Virtual Director, and playout sys intelligence and dramatically simplified studio tem is seamless. workflows. Broadcast Bionics talkshow software, PhoneBOX is a real game changer. It’s a multitool for the studio, incorporating a

Telos Z/IP ONE IP Codec

TERMINAL ROOM Ethernet Switch

Axia PowerStation Axia Fusion Console

Telos Vx Talkshow System

Telos Alliance xNode (I/O expansion for non-Livewire devices)

Audio Delivery PC with IP-Audio Driver

The result is the Bionic Studio, a pioneering suite of tools actively listening, watching, and reacting. Harnessing the power of Axia Livewire’s pure AoIP architecture coupled with advanced machine learning, the Bionic Studio understands live radio in real time, delivering unprecedented information, enhanced content, and unparalleled control. From recognizing feature-rich phone in system, multifaceted Media faces and Social transcribing System, and Virtual Director vizualization system. All on speech to employing one screen, this was a simple choice for Q’s state-of-themachine learning to art studios. tag, segment, and “We knew Virtual Director wasannotate the perfect solution radio, truly for us as soon as we saw it. It’s unobtrusive yet powerful. It smart active tools allows us to quickly produce quality video clips to share effortlessly automate on social media, increasing our presence, and strengthenthe metadata needed ing our brand with minimal effort. The system also live to deliver shareable, searchable, and linkable content. streams our online listeners be viewers The BionicsoStudio enables not justcan newalso listener experi-of “QTV,” giving them a live view of the presenters at work ences, but provides actionable data and creation/reuse of in the studio, with nice switching and branded graphics content to effectively monetize these new platforms. detailing now and next playing tracks. We’re the only station in Northern do radio like this, and it’s paying Using the Ireland power oftoLivewire’s IP infrastructure, Axia off. says Jonathan Gold, Our listeners and advertisers love it,” and Broadcast Bionics have reinvented radio again, Program Manager, Q Network. Indeed, Facebook share making possible the real-time nonlinear content of the figures soared, hitting responsive, 7.3K for an intuitive, entertaining future toquickly create more dynamic, and drive-time link about Siri! engaging programming. There is no doubt that Q Radio studios were designed to be seen. The brandTheingBionic Studio is here. is clear, thought has been given to Broadcastpositions, Bionics: camera the lighting is right, Axia and and Livewire+: the ambience inspires the best in the presenters. It’s the epitome of the modern studio.


“ T his Innovative Spark Q A of Creativity” Stokes Nielson says radio is now realizing how powerful an addition video truly can be Stokes Nielson, founder and CEO of Channel Greatness, has 15 years’ experience in the global entertainment business as a new media entrepreneur, original video content pioneer and award-winning recording artist/producer. He produces content and consults for major brands and international broadcast media companies. He was among the speakers at the Radio World Visual Radio Symposium.

a lot of intimate interviews, intimate performances occurring around these big events, and finding a way to bring the audience more into those events. Then people realized that it doesn’t have to be these big events, it can be everyday radio. The audience gets attached to the on-air talent. Some of the talent that we have in radio … Once you get a camera on them, they’re just as — often more — compelling than broadcast television talent. There is this innovative spark of creativity going on right now in original video content creation from the radio side. On-air talent is realizing, “Wow, this is a whole new way that I can further that connection with the audience.” So for me, it’s a really, really exciting time.

Stokes Nielson

Radio World: What is Channel Greatness? Stokes Nielson: Channel Greatness is a global collaborative of creative producers. While our base is in Nashville, Tenn., and I’m a proud Nashvillian, we have content creators all over the world that are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to get their content out. Also we provide original content creation for numerous clients. It’s a fairly new company, we’re only about a year and a half old, but in that time we have done work with companies like Comcast, Shanghai Media Group, Westwood One and its parent company Cumulus. One of the reasons I started this company is all of the new ways that you can get great video content out, including radio’s foray into the visual world. At the end of the day, what all media companies are looking for is audience. Radio has a fantastic and loyal audience; so now we’re bridging the gap on how to super-serve this incredibly loyal audience with great robust video content.

“There is this innovative spark of creativity going on right now in original video content creation from the radio side.” One of the things that I loved about the conference was having those people in the same room and for me to hear from Jenna [Land] and Mic [Fox] about what was going on at Beasley and Emmis. I can remember in 2015 when we did our first backstage shoot with Westwood One at the Billboard Music Awards. People were just starting to realize, “Oh, we’re gonna be able to monetize this.” Very quickly, it’s gone from an afterthought to part and parcel of the business.

RW: You mentioned work with companies we think of as “radio.” What sort of projects? Nielson: One of our big initiatives was helping people see what was going on when they were listening to Westwood One coverage of major red carpet events, content that you weren’t seeing on TV. More backstage,

RW: For radio organizations that would like to be more engaged, how would you recommend they get started?

visual radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


Nielson: We live in a time when you can go out and buy an iPhone and it’s going to have a camera on there that will look good, deliver 1080p and be able to grab good light. Would I love if everybody went out and had access to a [Canon EOS] C300 or something like that? That’s great, but it’s not necessary to get your message across. What is necessary is that the audience needs to have a pleasing user experience. Examples of Channel Greatness work in radio can be seen in this promo clip. I am adamant about companies that need to broaden their audience. This is a stability. Make sure your camera is stable. Number two, great time for those collaborations. lighting. Make sure you have proper lighting. You can get portable LED lights; go to B&H Photo and check out some RW: If someone is shopping for a service like yours, a third of their portable lighting rigs, it’s not that expensive. party to help ramp up video, what tips would you give or They are perfect for studio and non-studio shoots. You mistakes to avoid? want your subject to pop off the screen. Nielson: Dive in to their promotional reel and make sure Audio capture is crucial. Stop using the microphone that you’re seeing the type of quality content that you from your camera or your phone that’s capturing all this need. And [they’ve] got to be reliable and fast. ambient noise around you, just get a simple lav and little I’ve so enjoyed working with companies, whether it portable Zoom setup so that you get great audio. be Comcast, whether it be Westwood One, that value Then last, and not least, is the content. It’s just gotta quality done with reliability and in a cost structure that is be compelling. Allow your on-air talent to really go for fair. So if I’m a company wanting to get involved in this, it, and really connect, and really be themselves — the I have to see a reel that not only excites me, shows me deeper connection that the audience is looking for. the quality of the content, but also that this company has [Video] also allows you to globalize your content. worked with some pretty big players. As media in the United States, especially in the “How long will it take you to turn this around for entertainment industry, we’re very lucky. Our musicians, me?” Those are conversations that you have to have. our actors, our producers, our directors are valued all With a glut of content production companies, reliability over the world — in many countries, valued way more and speed are things you never want to suffer from. than their own creative talent; and radio, a lot of times, Your audience deserves to get their content in a timely is the front line of getting interviews and insights into manner. And it’s got to be somebody that’s reliable. these amazing artists. Your interview is not just going to be seen by people in Atlanta or New York or Dallas or RW: What else should we know? whatever your local market is; now it’s going to be seen Nielson: It’s never too late to dive in. If you’re a radio globally. company or you’re in an independent station and just It spreads the influence of your station, of your on-air feel like, “Oh man, I don’t know what to do with all this, I talent, beyond the radius of your listening audience; and don’t know how …” Part of it is jumping in. You just have that’s exciting, man. Those are simple things that you can to get involved. If you follow just some of the simple do, and then you’re right there in the game. steps that we talked about to make sure your video has Once you engage — once you’ve got your quality quality and it has engaging content, you start getting in setup, and you’ve got your on-air talent comfortable with the game. going for it — if you can do it daily that’s great, because But I will say this: The media leaders in radio of the you’re going to see that audience grow and grow and next 10, 20, 30 years, they’re going to be the ones who grow. really know how to harness the power of video. And [work] with other on-air talent and other media

Visual Radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


How far can you take your programming? Your audience is doing more than listening to the radio. The technological boom of the past decade has created a rich new landscape for multimedia experiences. There are opportunities to create innovative new programming. Not to mention, using different media platforms lets you access entirely new audiences. So how can you harness that?

Follow your morning show, wherever they go 93.3 WMMR Philadelphia has been around for over 48 years, which makes them one of the oldest rock stations in the country. When a new morning show, The Preston and Steve Show, came to their station, there was an opportunity to broaden the station’s reach. “We wanted to allow our audience not only to hear what was going on at WMMR, but also see it”, said Rodney Byrd, Assistant Chief Engineer for WMMR (Beasley Media Group). Byrd and his colleagues decided they wanted wireless capabilities, and so WMMR purchased a LiveShot system. LiveShot delivers high-quality, low-latency video and audio over a range of IP networks, and is capable of providing two-way media simultaneously. At only three pounds, LiveShot is versatile for a wide range of applications, even over challenging connections.

“With the introduction of the LiveShot to the Preston and Steve show, we can take the audience on their adventures,” said Rodney. “Recently, we took our program director, our overnight DJ, a former intern, and a friend of the show to Escape The Room, an interactive puzzle in which participants need to solve clues to get out of a locked room. The facility had some CCTV monitors that they use to monitor the participants in the room,” said Rodney. “By using an outboard switcher and a hand held camera, the members of the Preston and Steve show in the studio were able to watch the group go through the puzzles. The switched output from our studio was also streamed to our listeners, in a way that still preserved the secrets of the room.” “The LiveShot has definitely changed how we do our live shows. The continuing improvements and updates to the Comrex LiveShot, including Cross-Lock and bonding technology, has introduced endless possibilities for our station.”

Get involved with your community Beasley Media Group Philadelphia’s “Campout for Hunger” is the single largest food drive in the country. When Neumann University was offered the chance to

Inside the tent at Camp Out For Hunger 2016.


Neumann Media using Comrex LiveShot to cover the papal visit to Philadelphia in 2016. cover the event, Sean McDonald (Director of Media at Neumann University) saw an opportunity. “The minute I saw LiveShot, I knew I could use it to teach students about remote web video broadcasts. Essentially, it’s a satellite truck without the truck or the satellite. So I thought it would be a genius way to teach students how to transmit remotely from the field in a cost-effective and flexible fashion.” Neumann students created live video coverage for

the most popular morning radio show in Philadelphia. “We used our primary LiveShot to cover stunts, and transmit video over 4G networks back into our field studio,” said Sean. “Our students had a chance both to network, and to get a sense for the urgency of live programming.” “LiveShot is one of the unsung heroes of bonding technology,” said McDonald. “It provides so much capability in such a small package, we find it invaluable.”

To learn more about LiveShot, visit or contact

See Comrex at NAB Show Booth C2330


Do What You Already Q A Do Best: Tell Stories  ow do you translate a DIY storyteller mentality H to a traditional broadcast outlet? If I were starting out fresh today, I think I’d become a YouTuber. I’d pick a specific topic I enjoy — say, shooting videos or old motorcycles or really good coffee — and start making videos about it. I’d set out to make my first video in a day or less with tools I had on-hand — get to it, get it done and upload it. Phew. The hard part is over … I’ve started something. From there, I’d set myself a simple schedule. Something consistent, but do-able ... say, one video a week. That rule, no matter what it was (one a day, week, month) would be sacrosanct. Then I’d set to work without too much ceremony. The videos would be a mix of style and

Travis Gilmour is co-owner of Video Dads, an Emmy awardwinning production company specializing in video storytelling for documentary, corporate and public media clients. Video Dads also run the site, which provide video and audio gear reviews for professional media producers. Radio World: Having spent a lot of time with radio people seeking to think visually, what advice can you offer? Travis Gilmour: As a professional video producer, media trainer and fellow storyteller, the biggest advice I give to folks looking to get into more visual forms of storytelling is “go for it.” The beauty of this advice in 2018 is that it doesn’t come with a built-in gear purchase checklist, a list of specific software to master or any of the budgetary and planning questions that came along with that even a few years ago. With the ubiquitous availability of excellent tools (smartphones) and platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, traditional blogging), the essential key is to do what you already do best: Find the most compelling stories you can and tell them. And if you think about it, seasoned reporters and other radio talent, regardless of background, actually have an edge over the masses of newbies diving in to the storytelling profession every day: You have the experience, the story ideas and associated contacts, and an established audience and their trust. Of course, this is not denying that there is a definite path towards improving, building audience, dedicating more and more time to the craft of visual content production, using more professional gear, mortgaging your house to purchase said gear, etc. etc. But when asked, “How do I start on my journey to becoming a visual storyteller,” the answer is in the question: Start! 

More people than ever are getting into “the business” — and more often than not they’re doing it DIY, outside of the traditional broadcast ladder. — Travis Gilmour

genre: reviews of products I already use, DIY tips and tricks, more lengthy hands-on how-tos. If I was at a loss for video types and styles, I’d find a successful YouTuber I liked and copy the hell out of them. Once I had a few videos under my belt, I’d spend time promoting them to places on the internet where my niche audience might congregate — a specific Reddit sub dedicated to my area, traditional website “forums” where people post, industry blogs, etc. But remember: To be “of the internet,” you have to be a full participant. You need to comment and respond to comments, foster relationships, dedicate time and energy into generating unique content and your own point of view. Then I’d lather, rinse and repeat. If I was too busy to start a full-fledged new YouTube world, I’d maybe start smaller. My favorite low-impact social media engagement tool is Instagram. It’s not nearly the convoluted time suck that Facebook can be (yet!),

RW: Can you give examples of radio organizations “thinking visually”? Through what tools or platforms? Gilmour: I’ll answer in a roundabout kind of way by talking about how I use and think about social media platforms — YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

visual radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


Travis Gilmour, right, at work on a project in California.

discussion, the real meat of the engagement comes from the Q&A and audience participation. Be open to answering questions at any time they pop up on the screen ... because that interaction is what this is all about. It’s a social medium, after all. Overall it’s best to pick a platform that you like and focus on it, rather than go and create an account on every platform and spread your content (and time) too thin.

and it gets straight to the visual part of storytelling that grabs people. It’s not a huge investment for the creator. And now with the addition of Snapchat-like features in the “Stories” medium, it’s only getting richer and more versatile. But in order to stand a chance at building a following on Instagram or any platform, you have to be a user and start to learn how people use it and why. So get the app, log in, follow some of your competitors, industry leaders or just some interesting celebrity types, and take it in. Elevators and the line at the bakery are great places to start. Like most everyone, I’m a little tired of Facebook. But in the past year or so, we’ve done a few Facebook Live video streams for clients and industry partners; and marketing folks love the level of engagement and amount of time people will spend watching and asking questions. Think of it as a really informal webinar; you need a very clear topic, which you should be able to cover in 10 minutes (or less!) in a pretty compelling way. Be yourself — be funny or dry or whatever you are, but be authentic. Of course, just like with a webinar, you’ll need to advertise that you’re doing it, using both your traditional and social media channels. But if you do them regularly, people will start to follow and anticipate them. From there, as with a traditional webinar or in-person panel

RW: How can radio people monetize video, for profit or more effective fundraising? Gilmour: “But can it make money?” is one of the big “what ifs” that keep good ideas in the boardroom or at the staff retreat. Unfortunately, nobody can answer that question for you except you. That said, think of it this way: Whether we choose to realize it or not, we’re in a golden age of audio storytelling. You can call it the “Podcast Boom” or think of it as a shift in the way people are getting their audio content, but the truth is more people than ever are getting into “the business” — and more often than not they’re doing it DIY, outside of the traditional broadcast ladder. If you listen to successful or even middlingly successful podcasts, you’ll find something familiar to folks in comContinued on page 14 ❱

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in making themselves marketable visual communicators? Gilmour: Again, you just have to start. If it were me starting today, I would buy a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera and learn how to use it well. Something like a Canon 5D MKIV or Sony a7S II and a good lens or two. You can go cheaper and get good results, but think of the initial investment as a down payment on your having to put the time to actually learn to use the thing. Every lesson or tutorial you could ever need for this type of equipment is already on YouTube, just waiting for you to pick up the camera and do A video for the PBS Digital Studios web series “Indie America.” Click to play. something with it. That exact path took me from not having picked up a mercial and public radio: the commercial underwriter. professional camera since high school to being a multi Major online brands like, Blue Apron, Casper Emmy-award-winning video producer in about three mattresses, website companies like Squarespace and Wix years; and it’s done the same for my partner in Video — they’re all over the underwriting of the podcast world. Dads and, as well as some of our students. And if the number of podcasts, their audience share and Did other aspects of my life and career suffer as a result? the continued growth of that area are indicators, people Maybe. OK, probably. But you’re always richer for the are making money. journey.  The same is true for video. Our small town of about   50,000 has more than one person who is a full- or partRW: What other questions should we be asking? time YouTuber, which means they’ve been able to give up Gilmour: The biggest thing is “What am I truly passionate the day job and focus their energy completely on their about?” If you can’t find the answer within your current monetized content. The secret to this is not necessarily job, you should still pursue it; but you’ll have to either that these folks are the next primetime broadcast-starsmake it fit in, or build it on the side until it becomes a fullin-waiting, but rather that they found their particular time job. niche that they are truly passionate about, and they treat I like to have an A, B and C path all going at one time, it like a full-time job. And the commute is pretty nice. haha! Originally, I was a public radio and television fundHow do we translate this DIY self-starting storyteller raiser moonlighting as a video producer. Then I became mentality to a traditional broadcast outlet? The short a public television and radio video producer moonlightanswer is that it might not be that easy. Say you find ing as an independent video producer, media industry someone within the ranks of your staff who has the skills, trainer, and an audio/video gear blogger. Now I’m an passion and drive to become an amazing podcaster or independent in all those things, working on a host of YouTuber … what’s to keep this person from jumping other projects to keep myself engaged and moving forship and doing their own thing? Probably very little, at ward in my passions. the end of the day. It’s a problem. But that doesn’t mean we can’t study the success of the creators in this space RW: Examples of good visual communication to share? and learn from them.  Gilmour: There are so many out there today that it’s To me, the key lessons are focus — pick a storytelling almost reductive to highlight any one. If you’re passionniche you’re passionate about and can do authentically; ate about a specific area, go Google it, search YouTube, persistence — at first you will not succeed, but you must Facebook or Instagram and find the person who’s already learn from it and keep at it; and diligence — you have to doing it. If you don’t find anyone, it’s probably time to fill be consistent and post regularly or it’s just not going to the void yourself. happen. Along with this must come a constant willingIf you’re interested in my work and the work of ness to fail and tweak your approach based on the feedmy partner-in-crime Slavik Boyechko, you can check  back you get every day. or our gear review content at RW: What skill sets should people pursue if they’re interested visual radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


“Start With What You’ve Q Got. Look Around” A Radio America Network’s Rich McFadden shares practical advice about getting started

functional radio studio, with a Telos Axia control surface and board. The control room is probably 12 by 16 [feet], and the studio with the green screen and the lights and cameras — we have two studios, actually — but that one connected to the control room is about the same. Then … we took our main radio Rich control room and the studio that was McFadden attached to it, and basically gutted it and turned it into an empty room that could be radio and video. We used to have a large talk table in there with four microphones, and we took that table out, and put in two sit-stand adjustable height tables with tabletop microphones. We redid the background on all four walls to be a more video-friendly color and added some lighting in there. That room is approximately 18 by 18. We have two different sets that we can roll in there. I can roll one or two of the adjustable height tables in for kind of a desktype set. Or we have the lounge set that we can roll in there with two chairs and a table or a couch, book cases, backgrounds, end table type things to make a lounge. Either lav or tabletop microphones, depending on the set that we roll in there. Our lounge set is basically our green room furniture, which gets traded whenever we need to put a lounge set in the studio.

Rich McFadden is vice president of operations for Radio America Network, which produces and syndicates talk programs to some 600 stations; it also syndicates more than 30 weekly radio programs. Its video department produces a weekly show for Newsmax TV from a political radio show; it has created a video version of its daily talk shows for the web and produces weekly business video podcasts for clients with guests. Radio World: You recently participated in the Visual Radio Symposium, and you’re passionate about radio becoming multimedia content providers. Why do you feel so strongly about this? Rich McFadden: It’s where everybody is. Look at your Facebook feed — people are more likely to click on a video than anything else in their feed. If you’re not providing that content to them, you’re likely to get passed up. RW: If I’m not mistaken, your video Studio 66 is more of a combo facility. McFadden: It is. When we first installed a video studio, we basically took out a small conference room and put a green screen and a couple of cameras and some lights in there, and then on the other side we had a good-sized closet that we turned into a control room. We put a NewTek TriCaster in there. As we got busier and more things started to happen, after G. Gordon Liddy retired, we knocked the wall out and turned his former office into a control room. That has become our video editing studio and control room. About seven years ago, when we first built it, we put a TriCaster in there, which was just replaced this past month with a Blackmagic ATEM switcher and three HyperDecks for recording and playback purposes and two web centers to be able to connect to Skype and other web interfaces and Zoom. Day to day, that is our control room, and it is also a fully

RW: Can you give broadcasters an idea how much money they might need to spend to achieve a similar installation? McFadden: The Blackmagic Design equipment that I just bought is fairly inexpensive and very versatile. I invested about $5,000. That includes the Blackmagic equipment, the cabling, distribution amps, to be able to do just the video switcher and web interfaces and recording decks … about five grand for the equipment cabling and all that to do the switcher, the recording decks, the web interfaces, just equipment. Then, if you want to go into Continued on page 18 ❱

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the furniture and the room, probably another four grand just to get the sets, maybe a little bit more. RW: Do you recommend people create special sets or think that’s more of an advanced element? McFadden: It’s a little bit more advanced. You start with what you’ve got. Look around and see how you can make what you’ve got look a little better. Lighting is the most important thing. Find a space that you have that’s not distracting and that you can light well and start there. RW: What advice would you give to a radio manager who’s looking to get serious about video but who has a limited budget? McFadden: Again, start with what you’ve got. If you’re not making any money on video, don’t go crazy spending money on it. Figure out where you’re going to be able to create some revenue. Once you have a revenue source, start trying to grow it and then spend accordingly. When we first started doing video, it was basically just to support our radio shows. Then we got into doing live media tours, audio news release tours or video news release tours for some of our advertising agents. We installed a line to be able to connect to TV stations and created a situation for producers to be able to run the tour. That helped us pay for the studio install. Once we did that, we started creating other revenue sources and such. We helped Peter Schiff for two years do a video version of his radio show. He was in Connecticut in his home, and we had a video feed of him into our TriCaster and then switched and produced the whole video show as well as the radio show out of our studios. That was a revenue source for us to help pay for the TriCaster. Everything we’ve done, we’ve created the revenue source first and then built it out to be able to do the business and grown it from there.

Top: Radio America syndicated host Dana Loesch is shown appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper from her home studio using a LiveU 200e to connect to CNN. For Facebook Live and other web applications she uses a BlackMagic Design Web Presenter to interface with her pro camera. Bottom: Radio America weekly syndicated program “Behind The Curtain with Jack Burkman” is produced as a TV version of the radio show for Newsmax TV. It features remote video guests using Skype and Zoom. 

Our American Veterans’ Center gets a couple of million views a year, and it makes a few hundred bucks a month. You’ve really got to put something together that’s getting big, big, big views to make that work. For us, it’s production, and it’s supplementing our existing advertisers. RW: For people who don’t initially have a revenue source, what are your thoughts on starting with lower-tier video hardware, such as GoPro? McFadden: GoPro is great. You might want to watch the fisheye angle of that. You might be better off going with a Mevo. A Mevo is a great little multipurpose webcam that’s actually got its own built-in software switcher, and you can broadcast, stream live, right to Facebook or YouTube or live stream. It’s $300. I still buy equipment on Amazon that we use for remote hosts. We’ve got hosts that we send an LED light that I paid, I don’t know, $80 for on Amazon. We can buy a soft box that goes around that light for $30. You can buy a Logitech webcam and HD webcam for $60 to do your live streaming with or just record to your computer.

RW: Monetization, for profit or for fundraising, is one of the biggest concerns radio people have. McFadden: One of the ways that we monetize our video is just by selling production services. We do not try to compete with any production houses because you will beat your head against the wall. We help people create engaging content and, being radio professionals, that’s what we are good at. Yes, every kid can sit down with a computer and edit video, but can you create engaging content? You can put it on YouTube and hope you get enough clicks, but that’s going to be tough. We sell it as an addon for some of our existing advertisers to help build up the audience that we have. If somebody is advertising on a radio show, we can upsell them with some video content from one of our hosts that they put out.

RW: Are there pieces of equipment worth shelling out more money?

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McFadden: Well, if you’re looking to build a little bit of a video studio, the Blackmagic stuff can’t be beat. The TriCaster’s really nice, and it’s got a lot of features, but I just didn’t need all of the features it had. When you’re talking about the difference between $1,000 for the Blackmagic switcher and $19,000 for the NewTek TriCaster, the Blackmagic switcher is very basic, but it does everything that I need. Then you can add components because it’s modular and add to it as you grow. For $1,000, you can buy the ATEM switcher and then you can buy the HyperDeck recorder for $495 and the web presenter interface, if you want to connect your cameras to Skype or Zoom, that’s another $495. You can buy what you need, when you need it.

A lot of people have basic video editing skills. Not a lot of people have skills with a camera and lighting. That is a skill where it really puts your résumé on top, if you can do that. RW: Tell me about McFadden: is a website that has video tutorials for almost anything you can think of. I mean anything. Even our accountant might use it [to learn] some of the accounting software. Our marketing people might use it for marketing software, database software. What we use it for more is video, audio editing tutorial software. It’s usually pretty up to date with the latest version of the software. Every intern that comes in here get the login for Lynda. com and goes and watches the tutorial course, which is anywhere from eight to 12 hours long on Adobe Premiere and Photoshop. For $25 a month for, it pays for itself over the course of the year.

RW: What’s the role of Skype in your setup? McFadden: We’ve actually been phasing out of Skype and using Zoom a lot more. Skype is good if the other user is an existing Skype user, and they know what they’re doing with it, but I find that most people don’t use their Skype enough or don’t have an account. If you use Zoom, they don’t need an account. All they need is some sort of a webcam and a microphone. If they have a nice webcam, I just send them the link to the conference and connect with them, help them set up their shot and their lighting so that it looks good, and then you can actually record right in Zoom so that it’ll record for you, and it also separates the audio tracks.

RW: At the symposium, you shared a video clip of “American Valor.” What should readers know about it? McFadden: This is actually a great example of how video can help you grow something into a totally different project. American Valor is part of our American Veteran’s Center project lineup for the year. The American Veteran’s

RW: Is it a subscription service? Is it free? McFadden: They have a free option, but you’re limited to 40 minutes. … If you need long-form, you would pay [$15] a month. … If you have multiple users under one account, you can also pay for that. We use that all the time, even just for audio podcasts. We did a recording with an advertiser yesterday. They used to call in on the phone, and I just sent them a link. They called in and recorded their script, and we’ve got the commercial. It sounds a lot better than the phone. We use it for audio, video, guest hits, whether it’s audio or video. It’s pretty much our go-to.

“American Valor” was a short that turned into a longer feature, then into a one-hour show, then into an organization and a nationally syndicated annual special.

RW: Would you say that a lot of radio employers are now looking for video skills? McFadden: If I’ve got a batch of résumés sitting there, the ones who have video skills will definitely go to the top.

Center grew out of a radio commentary, which then grew into a radio show about World War II veterans, which then grew into a whole organization which was an offshoot of the Radio America Network, our sister organization. … It has grown into the National Memorial Day Parade and the Honors Program, kind of an Oscars for veterans, giving awards or recognition to a set of veterans every year for their service and their sacrifice. … That’s a one-minute feature that turned into a fiveminute feature, that turned into a one-hour show, that turned into an organization that is now a nationally syndicated annual special.

RW: What skills are most important to make someone a marketable visual communicator? Photoshop, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere or experience working with cameras — what are you looking for? McFadden: Even if they just know any basic video editing, iMovie, that’s helpful, but we use Adobe Premiere here and Photoshop. Those are the skills I look for.

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Facebook Live a Year Later How can live video fit into your station’s digital strategy in 2018?

However, I have seen radio stations that have invested a lot of resources into taking their live video streaming to the next level in terms of production value and content quality.

Seth Resler holds the title of digital dot connector at radio consultancy firm Jacobs Media. Radio World: In 2017, you shared “7 Tips for Radio Stations Using Facebook Live.” It was a period when this function was still relatively new. The learning curve for social media platforms can be steep and changes can come fast. Is Facebook Live still a hot tool, or have broadcasters and their target audiences shifted eyes elsewhere? What’s the buzz? Seth Resler: Facebook Live is still buzzworthy, as radio stations appear to be seeing a lot of engagement, and Facebook is reportedly placing a lot of emphasis on live video streaming. Whether buzz is turning into revenue, however, is another matter entirely.

RW: How will stations know if their experiments in live video are successful? Resler: Every radio station should set goals for its digital strategy. These goals should connect directly to revenue. For example, a radio station might include getting listeners to “register for the email database” or “stream the station” as its digital goals. The more goal completions you can attribute to live video streaming, the more successful it is.

Don’t get caught up in adopting a new digital tool just because you think you have to. Always keep your overall digital goals in mind.

RW: Facebook recently announced that it will, again, tweak its Newsfeed algorithm, this time to prioritize content shared by users’ family and friends. How might this affect stations’ social media efforts? Resler: Most analysts expect that this change will have a negative effect on all businesses, including radio stations. We won’t know for sure until it plays out. Radio stations may want to invest more resources into other social networks, if they see a decrease in traffic from and engagement on Facebook. Our founder, Fred Jacobs, recently blogged about this move by Facebook. You can see his thoughts here.

Broadcasters should be wary when it comes to online metrics. Just because you can quantify something, that doesn’t mean that it’s important. Avoid data points that you can’t connect back to the station’s bottom line. The number of likes and comments that a live video gets can be a positive sign, but if you can’t translate them into revenue, don’t overestimate their importance.

RW: What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of live video on social media, as opposed to more highly produced content that you can edit and then share online? Resler: Most live video has a short shelf life; produced video can be evergreen, and still engage fans months or years after it was created. I think it’s also harder to use live video to drive people to a specific action, such as clicking through to a station website.

RW: If a station is just starting out, what’s the most important element to focus on for Facebook Live or similar platforms? Resler: The most important element to focus on is driving traffic back to your website, where you can encourage people to complete digital goals, such as signing up for the email list, clicking on an ad, or streaming the station.

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Doing video well takes a lot of effort. If you’re just starting out and you have limited resources, carefully consider whether more tried and true channels like Twitter or YouTube would be a better place to invest resources.

Videos need not be fancy or long to have impact (here, Sandy Waters at Entercom’s 98.9 The Buzz in Rochester plugs her new car from local dealer Ide Volkswagen). But Seth Resler notes that actual live video usually has a short shelf life and can be harder to use to drive people to a specific action.

RW: Anything else readers should know? Resler: To reiterate what Fred said in the blog post referenced above, it’s important for radio stations to focus on creating quality content in a space that they “own,” not “rent.” Facebook’s goal is to keep people on Facebook, and that may not align with your radio station’s goals. When you livestream video on Facebook, you’re creating content for Facebook. There may be a place for this in your radio station’s digital strategy, but make sure you step back and fully understand what that place is. Don’t get caught up in adopting a new digital tool just because you think you have to. Always keep your overall digital goals in mind.

Seven Lessons Learned in a Year Teaching “MoJo” Andrew Brain

“Journalists have used smartphones for nearly 10 years, to create content for radio, online and social platforms and — as the cameras and associated apps have improved — for TV,” writes Corinne Podger. “As mobile journalism becomes more widely used, universities and colleges are building ‘Mojo’ into formal journalism degrees.” Podger, who taught a BA Journalism class at Macleay College in Australia, wrote about this topic at radioworld. com. Over a 12-week term, students learned mobile photography, video shooting, social and TV package editing, podcast creation and live streaming. To keep course Corinne Podger demonstrates a mobile reporting app to materials and tools up to date, she consulted journalists student, Shantelle-Ann Marquis. around the world about their work to integrate mobile content into newsroom workflow. “It’s been a fascinating journey into an evolving landscape of story production.” Her article touches on key lessons learned for educators and newsrooms keen to increase their Mojo output. Click on the image at right to read it.

Visual Radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


Video’s Out of Control Rob Goldberg had a dream that one day automation systems would play nice, all cables would be color coded, and that audio would be broadcast through the speakers so crisp and clean the angels would rejoice. Video never even entered the picture. Never in his wildest dreams did he envision that video would become so much a part of his occupation as a radio broadcast consultant. “These days, it’s almost a commodity in the studio,” says Goldberg, the CEO of RadioDNA in Minneapolis, Minn., which has designed, installed and managed large studio projects for Entercom, Gabriel Media, Hubbard, Ingstad Media, among others. Of the half-dozen or so studio projects he’s managed in the last two years, the majority have included some video capability. Hubbard’s new facility in Phoenix, for example, has a video production studio and a green room. “Video

is almost a given today due to social media and YouTube, and it’s probably going to get a whole lot more important when 5G wireless hits,” he says. Most of Goldberg’s studios slave cameras to microphones using camera automation software into the WheatNet-IP audio network. “You can literally ‘ACI control’ the cameras,” he says. ACI is Wheatstone’s control interface used by automation companies and other technology partners to tightly integrate WheatNet-IP audio networking with automation and other functions. With this control interface, broadcasters can automatically control camera switching based on whether a mic is on, the mic fader is up, and audio from the mic is coming across as meter data.

That is, video starts to roll only when the host or a guest speaks into a live microphone -- not if there’s just an open mic. Goldberg cautions broadcasters that slaving cameras to an open mic only can lead to some embarrassing moments on video. The most likely scenario is that video will continue to roll live on an empty chair after a jock has gotten up from the console to use the restroom, for example. Those same automated safeguards and controls can be applied to all mics in the studio, so studio cameras can be turned on or off and can be made to switch between guest positions or fade to a talent group when two or more mics are live.

Automating camera operation through the IP audio network adds that little extra professionalism to video production, yet relieves talent of yet one more thing they have to deal with during a busy show, according to Goldberg. “We want the cameras to be transparent in the studio, so that talent can focus on content and not studio mechanics,” he says. Of course, he’s also a firm believer in keeping sightlines in the studio simple, removing bulky meter bridges, turrets and outdated outboard gear and making each studio as much a showcase as it is functional for when the cameras do begin to roll. “We can’t begin to do any of that without getting the IP audio networking infrastructure down first,” he says.


Designed and built in the USA • Phone +1-252-638-7000 • |

In addition to reducing hardware bulk and offering cleaner studio sightlines, IP audio networking systems like WheatNet-IP add a professional element to video production. Automating cameras to microphones through the IP audio network adds several important criteria so that video starts to roll only when talent speak into a live microphone, and not just when the mic is open. This reduces the potential of filming an empty chair after a jock has gotten up from the console. For more information, click here

Photos above and on facing page are of Hubbard’s Phoenix facility - installation by Radio DNA

“Wow That’s a GoodLooking Studio!” Here are crucial considerations when planning a radio space with video in mind What major considerations should one weigh when planning a serious video-ready facility for a radio operation? The images on the following pages provide some answers. They are a sampler of a presentation by Gary Kline, a consultant and former corporate director of engineering and broadcast IT for several U.S. radio companies who often speaks to conference audiences

and clients about facility design considerations, for instance at the 2017 AES show in New York and the Radio World Visual Radio Symposium in Washington. He has worked on visually-oriented radio projects such as the new SunTrust Park Studios for 680 The Fan in Atlanta, NASH Campus in Nashville, Cumulus San Francisco and Dallas, and Benztown in Los Angeles. Learn more about his work at

“I came across this image of an RTBF facility in Belgium and chose it as my cover slide,” said Gary Kline. “This is not a project I worked on; rather I think it truly captures what is becoming the new look/feel of the modern radio studio. Panasonic profiled the facility here. It’s a custom-made visual radio studio that opened in the past couple of years — high-tech look; excellent lighting, not by accident; visual aids to aid the viewer and video audience; and lots of open space so everyone feels comfortable, but not so far apart that you lose contact with the other cast members or guest.”

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When incorporating video into a new or existing radio studio, remember that additional equipment will be required. “While that may seem like a no-brainer,” Kline said, “it is important to state up front, as considerations for budget, rack space, furniture design, power requirements and proper video equipment selection are critical to a successful visual radio delivery to the viewers.” If you plan for the video component only towards the end of the project, you may have to install gear in inefficient or inconvenient locations.

When designing or modifying furniture, ensure that you have a clear sense of who needs to see whom within the studio. “Which producer needs to see which talent,” Kline said. “Does the call screener need a direct line of sight to anyone? Does the board op need to see everyone in the room or just a few key personnel? Do you have monitors blocking sight lines? Do you have mic arms (or mics themselves) that block the head shot? Is the lighting positioned properly so that each subject is lit for video?”

Every sight line, video shot, and lighting setup is checked and then checked again

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Video and visual communication is still a relatively new technology for radio, Kline noted, and as such, the engineering staff may not be fully versed in all of the nuances. “Which cameras to use? What does SDI mean? Who makes video switchers and which ones are the best for radio in general or more specifically, for your particular use case? What is good set design? Exactly how many lights are required and where should they be placed? How do we stream the video? How do we archive it? What are best practices for production and editing workflow?” Kline noted that these are just a few examples of the many questions that need to be answered. “If you don’t have all the answers, it’s OK. It’s ok to not know everything about video and lighting. There are many good knowledgeable people in or near every city and they will help if you ask them. Get resourceful. Vendors can help you too. Your in-house social media staff will likely be able to contribute and should be part of the plan from Day 1. Even if you don’t have a social media staff you may have colleagues at the station who have some experience with video or lighting or set design. Ask. But don’t try to do everything on your own without the proper experience.”

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Have a larger view of the overall video design so everyone on the team can review and discuss the proposed scope and workflow. “Video can be more involved than a straightforward audio console installation and will likely involve more folks than usual in the planning,” Kline said. “Knowing simple things like the number of cameras and how they will interface to the audio console and other control systems is critical. Things such as graphics and storage should be considered early on and figured into the overall plan.” Your integrator should be able to help with this. If the local engineering staff is doing the work, they should produce the documentation — in advance so all necessary stakeholders can review it.

FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING THAT MAY BE YOU ….OR IT MAY BE YOU AND OTHERS Your station digital or social media team should know visual so don’t forget about them. They should already be on your team.


Your integrator should give you a Block Diagram (and more) before you sign off on the project. If you are the integrator, draw your own

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In this example of an actual radio studio that incorporates video, notice that everything is placed out of the way of the announcer. “Monitors and touchscreens are recessed so as not to block sight lines. Microphones utilize low-profile mic booms. Almost everything at the announcer’s position is hidden from the camera. The back walls are lit with LEDs that can change color on cue for different segments of the show as needed. Video cameras (upper left corner) are remote controlled and recessed into the wall for minimal intrusion into the room.” PTZ HD Cameras recessed into wall

“There are many visual elements visible in this reallife visual radio studio,” Kline explained. “Everything, right down to the furniture, was carefully selected. The design of this room included highly competent interior designers, lighting designers, video experts, and very skilled in-house engineers. It was a team effort that was carefully planned. There are lights throughout the space and many can be adjusted for color and brightness. There are several commonly used lighting configurations that are controlled by computer so with one push of a button everything in the room can change instantly. This makes it easier for the operators to choose from a few common lighting scenes. They can also custom design — for special applications — their own scene. The lights themselves, positioning, color temperature, etc. were all strategically selected for excellent visual representation on camera.”

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PTZ HD Cameras recessed into wall

Another example of how the remote pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras are mounted. One goal is to not overwhelm guests or announcers with large cameras. Yet another PTZ mounted overhead can point at the audience for reaction shots.

Continued on page 30 â?ą

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“Notice in the control room design that there is a back operator position. This is for, among other things, video control and directing. It has sight lines to the talk studio so the video operator can see everyone clearly.”

Pre-wired for cameras: • • • •

CAT6 for PTZ CAT6 for IP VIDEO / POE COAX for SDI 120V AC in ceilings

• 4 cameras per room

An example of a pre-wire studio plan for visual radio. Kline advises that you pre-wire for the most common camera types and bring all of it to a central location, most likely your Technical Operations Center, for easy interfacing into switchers, storage, audio systems and others. “In this photo you will see SDI and Cat-6 terminations. Each pre-wired camera position received SDI and two Cat-6 cables plus power. The SDI is for cameras that output SDI for video. The Cat-6 cables are for PTZ control and possibly POE for cameras that will accept it. The Cat-6 may also be used for cameras that feed video over IP.” visual radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


Gary Kline has helped manage the systems and technical integration of over $4 billion of broadcast transactions using his expertise to improve efficiencies while reducing costs. Contact him at or visit

“This sums up many of the things mentioned in my other comments. Not mentioned earlier but included in this summary is something gaining traction in the video for radio space. That is speech-to-text. As more and more video content is recorded and stored, this amazing technology will be instrumental in making your station content friendly and searchable for both staff and the public. A few good companies provide this technology now and it should be part of any visual radio and media asset management design in my opinion.”












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Administration & Production Publisher John Casey Editorial Director Paul J. McLane Production ManagerS Karen Lee & Lisa McIntosh Advertising Coordinator Caroline Freeland Radio World Founded by Stevan B. Dana Copyright 2018 by NewBay Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA Globe graphic © / Edward Grajeda

Visual Radio 2018 Radio World | January 2018


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Profile for Future PLC

Visual Radio 2018 (Radio World ebook) - Jan 2018  

Visual Radio 2018 (Radio World ebook) - Jan 2018

Visual Radio 2018 (Radio World ebook) - Jan 2018  

Visual Radio 2018 (Radio World ebook) - Jan 2018

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