John Ramsey on what it was like to put the Beethoven classical format on WCCCC-AM:
Once we received word that beethoven.com would be moved to
The only space in the Marlin building where the new station would fit was in the basement in an area formally used for storage. A contractor was found and, working with plans I drew up, he went to work cleaning out the storage area, moving walls, etc. The building was over 80 years old so we had our mechanical company come in to completely redo all of the valves that would be in the ceiling above the new studios because a leak would be disastrous.
While this was going on I had to specify and order the studio equipment and plan out all of the wiring. The intent at this point was to build a facility that would support five or six internet stations as initially there were plans to start at least four other webcasts centered around formats as diverse as Jazz, Opera, Pops and Blues. We wanted to keep Beethoven.com live for at least half of the day, but program automation equipment was needed to cover the rest of the day. And this automation equipment had to be capable of running the other five stations as well! After looking at several vendors we chose Broadcast Electronic’s Audio Vault automation system. The delivered system cost well over $250,000 and took up two, seven-foot equipment racks!
In an effort to save both time and to recycle materials I made the decision to reuse the soundproof doors and studio windows left over from the former WCCC radio facility on
Since beethoven.com and the other proposed stations would exist in the “digital domain” in the sense that they would be web-only stations I made the decision early on to build all-digital studios and I chose Harris Impulse audio consoles for each of the two studios. And since each studio would service up to six different stations, the entire facility was built around a SAS digital audio router.
It took two weeks to get the space ready since we had to deal with removing some walls, putting up new walls, installing windows, doors, carpeting, a drop ceiling, acoustic materials as well as air conditioning. This left us less than a week to get the studios built and all of the wiring done.
With the help of IT director Scott Baron and my sons, Ryan and Daniel, we met the deadline and got beethoven ready to go on time.
I has designed and built well over a dozen radio facilities before, but building a web-only facility was a bit different. For instance, we had to look at audio processing differently since we were processing the audio for webcast and not for AM or FM broadcast.
The cut over from the
In late 2009 WCCC AM started carrying the Imus in the Morning show, being promoted here in front of the Asylum St. studio building.