Cumulus Atlanta Cluster United with Omnirax
ATLANTA — Life at Cumulus Media’s flagship facility in
Atlanta is never dull. Our Cumulus stations here, all FMs, include Q100 (WWWQ),
Rock 100.5 (WNNX), 99X (WWWQ-HD2), Journey 97.9 (WWWQ HD3), All News 106.7 (WYAY)
and Kicks 101.5 (WKHX). We also house the Dickey Broadcasting Co.’s stations,
all AMs, 680 The Fan (WCNN), 1230 The Fan 2 (WFOM) and 1340 The Fan 3 (WIFN).
As of this writing, there are 18 air and production studios either operating or
We’ve been working with Omnirax since our first
project in 2010 at the Atlanta Braves Turner Field where we built “a studio in
a stadium” to serve Dickey Broadcasting Company’s 680 the Fan and Cumulus Media’s
Rock100.5. Since that project, Omnirax have become Cumulus’ “go-to guys” when
it comes to broadcast furniture.
Working with Omnirax is not simply a matter of
calling up and ordering some preconfigured furniture, instead, it is a
collaborative design process. We’ve been at this address since 2001 and are
constantly in the process of developing and improving the space. In these times
of rapid change — in technology, format and business models, as well as the
necessity to maximize return on space — an efficient studio design is of
The process begins with our providing Omnirax
with field dimensions and rough drawings of our proposed space and furniture
layout. They then convert our rough drawings into precise CAD layouts and
arrange to meet via the Web. I work directly with David Holland at Omnirax. He
sits in his office in California while I’m in the Atlanta studios. We discuss
each studio individually as well as the cluster as a whole to maximize
The starting point is describing what type of studio
we’re building — air, production, voice track — and what personnel we need to accommodate.
We then get into specifics such as console size and rack requirements. For each
position, we consider console, monitors, keyboards and whatever gear needs to
be in immediate arm’s reach, within sight or concealed safely behind covers. As
we’re reviewing these considerations, David is placing elements in the drawing
and roughing out the furniture layout. I’m able to present what’s most
important for function, and he’s able to marry that with structural
considerations so the furniture is rock-solid.
The beauty of
this method is that we’re easily able to play “what if.” Testing a change in
the layout requires just minutes as we rearrange the furniture on the fly. David
is able to bring in illustrations of how Omnirax’s expertise has handled
similar situations in other studios — in the Cumulus network or beyond. Once we
have a preliminary layout, David immediately creates a PDF for me to share with
our people here: program directors, talent and management. We’ll take their
feedback and do a follow-up session to further refine the design. I provide
field measurements for power to enter the furniture system. We prefigure the
cable runs and map out all the raceways and blocking areas. Whether it is
conduit up from the floor or junction boxes in the wall, Omnirax will precision
cut holes for monitors, mics, console and other accessories so that the
furniture is ready to wire up as soon as it’s built.
You might think that the price for this level of
customization is high, but this active collaboration actually serves to keep
the price down. Working together so closely enables us to “build to budget.” Together
we make judicious decisions which most often revolve around “putting the money
where the mouth is,” and we don’t overspend for functionality we don’t need.
Plus, because of the way the furniture is conceived, built and packed for
shipping, we save time and money in labor once it arrives. The furniture
arrives with all racks fully-assembled including pre-mounted hardware and
removable access ports. The supporting panel system and countertops are flat
packed — securely shrink-wrapped with foamed edges for protection. Specialized
tools and detailed instructions for each studio are provided (including photos
of the studio fully assembled), but the truth is that after building so many
Omnirax studios we barely have to look at the directions.
Our many projects with Omnirax receive consistent
praise from our personnel, guests and engineering staff. Their CAD/CAM
manufacturing process does not just offer high precision but comes in on time
and on budget every time.
information, contact Philip Zittell at Omnirax in California at (800) 332-3393
or visit www.omnirax.com.