Cumulus wishes to acknowledge some of the engineers that assisted with the build:
Marc Lehmuth, Zach Harper, Troy Pennington, Martin Stabbert, Yancey McNair, Robert Combs, Justin Tucker, Dave Supplee, Bobby Dotson, Trey Bryant
The set and studio for "America's Morning Show" from NASH. This space can seat an audience and the set can be removed from the stage to accommodate live performances by guest artists.
When you think about Nashville, the first thing that comes to mind is probably music—particularly country music. In 2013, Cumulus launched the NASH brand of country music lifestyle and entertainment programming with NASH FM 94.7 in New York City as the flagship station. Early that year, the NASH brands received new headquarters as Cumulus constructed the NASH campus and studio facilities in the heart of Nashville.
View from the control room window of the Kix Brooks Studio. Kix and his guests feel comfortable and cozy in this inviting room. Mics, headphones and cables are unobtrusive. Cleverly positioned HD PTZ cameras with low camera angles get under hat brims.
The NASH label encompasses a number of brands spanning various multimedia platforms including “America''s Morning Show,” “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr,” “American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks,” “Kickin'' It with Kix” and others. All of these brands originate from the new campus.
Control Room for "America's Morning Show" Studio
Behind The Build
Radio magazine interviewed Gary Kline, director of engineering for Cumulus, about the new facility.
Radio: This truly is a unique facility. Tell me a little bit about some of the main design goals behind the NASH studios.
Kline: The goal was to lay the foundation for a cutting-edge broadcast and production facility to support our NASH brand globally. We intend for this property to become a campus with various production facilities located on our expansive property near downtown Nashville. We wanted the very latest and most modern technology for audio, video and multimedia production. One of our design goals was to ensure we could distribute and produce high-quality HD video, and the very best audio content for broadcast, streaming, web, television, etc. All of this had to be handled in an efficient manner so that we could maximize our production capabilities while retaining the ability to reconfigure and respond to new programming requests quickly. We also incorporated space for our publishing partner, Country Weekly Magazine. They have a full editorial room as well as storage and conference areas.
Radio: Building a new facility always comes with unique challenges—I can imagine the challenges are even greater when building a facility designed for national origination of an entire family of brands. Can you tell me a bit more about some of the challenges that you faced during the design and build process?
Kline: Essentially we gutted the old Citadel facility down to the concrete floors and steel rafters. Before we could do that, however, we had to move WGFX (FM) and WKDF (FM) over to our other large broadcast facility at Music Circle. WGFX is a sports/talk station with a complex format, and the flagship station for the Titans. Building new studios for them was no small task, and that had to be done before the operation could be moved. The same is true for WKDF. A lot of work had to be done at Music Circle to expand and prepare our existing TDM audio routing system to accommodate the new family members. Hats off to our excellent Nashville engineering team, which handled this large project. Another challenge (after we cleared the building of live broadcast stations) was designing the new layout, which had to accommodate both radio and television studios. We brought in an architect and interior design firm to assist us with this. The design was an iterative process with many meetings to hash things out. The challenge was not only figuring out what went where, but also thinking in terms of the future. For example, we had to make sure we had enough rooms allocated for video and audio production to handle growth over a period of years. Another challenge was being ready for future furniture and studio layout changes; so we installed floor conduits and cable jacks throughout the facility in all sorts of places, some hidden. If you pick up the floor rug in Kix''s studio you''ll see what I mean! Oh, one other interesting challenge—one that I think we nailed…Installing multiple monitors and mics without blocking camera angles. Check out Blair Garner''s studio.
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