Beasley Builds Anew in Las Vegas

May 7, 2014

When a licensee obtains new stations in a market, it can sometimes take months or years to integrate the various operations from multiple facilities into a single, combined operation. This was the case with the Beasley Broadcast stations in Las Vegas. After several acquisitions, Beasley had five stations operating from three different facilities around the area.

Two of the facilities were on East Tropicana, and the third was on East Desert Inn Drive. The plan to consolidate all under one roof was established several years ago, and the search began for a suitable location. There were two main criteria: Find a building that was in a safe part of town, and was also higher in elevation to facilitate radio paths.

The studio for Coyote 102.7 is a mirror image of the other air studios.

While Las Vegas appears to be completely flat, there are variations in average terrain in the valley. The area to the west is slightly higher. This area also provided suitable options for being safe after hours.

The Bob 107.9 studio has a slightly different configuration because of the room dimensions. The guest area is to the side instead of to the front of the console.

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While the search for a new place was underway, the existing studios were kept running as best as possible, knowing a new facility was in the works. Upgrades were needed, but they were put off. But while the upgrades weren''t implemented to the old studios, they became the basis of plans for the new studios.

The talk studio for AM720 KDWN.

In April 2012, a building that met Beasley''s requirements was found. The two-story building was purchased and remodeling began in June 2013.

The building was previously occupied by a real estate agency. The entire second floor was completely remodeled to house the studios and technical operations center. About one-third of the first floor was remodeled to house the sales and administration offices. A 70'' tower was built next to the building to hold STL and other antennas.

The performance studio is an intimate space that can seat about 20 guests.

Bring in Some Help

The lead architect on the project was V Three Studios of St. Louis. To facilitate the project, and to adhere to state laws, SCA Design of Las Vegas was the architect of record. SCA was the firm that designed the building when it was built in 2007, and had access to all the plans of the building. Strata Building Group was hired to build the actual studios. With the plans developed and a contractor in place, construction on the studios began in June 2013.

Studio A – production (one of several)

There are 12 studios in the facility. One design plan was to have studios maintain a certain consistency between rooms. All the FM control rooms are essentially the same. The same is true for all the production studios, except one. Because some staff members work across several stations, it made sense to keep layouts and operations similar between rooms. There are subtle differences that were dictated by a particular station''s format or operation.

The production room that stands apart also serves as the back-up air studio, which is why it was designed differently. The AM studios were set up for the particular needs of an AM talk station.

Studio C – smaller production

The second floor of the building is made of wood. There was concern that it did not have sufficient mass to prevent transmission noise from entering the studios. For this, a raised, floating floor was installed. When you exit the second-floor elevator, there is a slight grade that steps up about 2”. The small incline is often not noticed by visitors.

While the construction and installation progressed smoothly for the most part, there were some bumps along the way. The previous facilities did not have suitable performance spaces, so one was planned in the new building. As the performance studio/conference room was being built, it was quickly realized it was too small. The plans were changed to provide more room and make it a more functional space.

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Another obstacle was based on geometry. While the plans said the building was square, it turns out it was not perfectly square. The studio furniture, designed and supplied by Omnirax, needed some small, last-minute updates to fit the spaces properly. The furniture was built to the exact specs provided, it just turned out the specs had an error.

Traffic for all the stations originates from this studio.

To the Equipment

The previous studios were built around analog consoles and discrete wiring, which was the common practice when they were built. This was another planned upgrade for the new facility: An integrated audio routing network. An IP audio network and control surfaces from Wheatstone was chosen to handle the audio needs. A new WideOrbit automation system rounded out the foundation of the new studios.

The rack room

When it came time to switch the new studios online, there was no fuss. As the new facility neared completion, the audio feeds from the old buildings were sent to the building and then fed to the various studio-to-transmitter links via the audio network. This made the old studios simple audio network sources. And a new automation system at the new studios provided all the necessary audio files. When it was time to switch, a new source fed the STL and the new facility was on the air.

The news studio has room to add additional workstations. There are six TV monitors on the walls.

So after an extended period of waiting before work on the new studios could begin, Beasley in Las Vegas finally has a new home. And from when the work was begun in June 2013, the stations were all on the air from the facility by the middle of December 2013. And even better, the project was completed one month ahead of schedule. That''s a lucky roll of the dice.

Equipment List

■ APC 2200
■ Audion Labs Voxpro 5
■ Barix Exstreamer 500
■ Belar FM HD Monitor
■ Burk ARC Plus, ARC-16, Assurance Controller
■ Comrex Access, Hotline, Matrix
■ DaySequerra M4
■ Denon DN-630, DN-C635
■ DM Engineering Multistation Relay Adapter
■ Dorrough Model 40-A, Stereo Signal Tester
■ Fostex RM-2
■ GatesAir Intraplex Cross Connect Server, Intraplex HD Link, Intraplex STL Plus
■ Gorman-Redlich CRW-S
■ Inovonics 630, Inomini 632, Inomini 634
■ KRK Rockit 8
■ Microwave Networks 11GHz STL
■ Middle Atlantic racks
■ Moseley 6010, DSP6000E, Lan Link 900
■ Omnirax furniture
■ Rolls RS-80
■ Sage Digital Endec
■ Spectracom GPS Ageless Oscillator
■ Symetrix 528E
■ Telos 2x12, Delta 100, One, NX-12, Zephyr, Zephyr Xsream
■ Tieline Express
■ Titus Technologies on-air lights
■ Wheatstone Blades, E-1, E- 6, Sideboard, Vorsis M1
■ Wideorbit Radio Automation
■ Worldcast Systems APT Horizon Nextgen

Scherer is a contract engineer and recording engineer in Kansas City, and former editor of Radio magazine.

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