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Tom Ray ‘Presents’ Virtually at NAB

Updates attendees on the impact of WOR's new tower site

Tom Ray, engineering exec for Buckley and WOR(AM) in New York, made a little history at the NAB Show by doing his presentation using Skype.

Moderator Andy Laird of Journal Broadcast told attendees this was the first time a Skype presentation was part of the Broadcast Engineering Conference. The software allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet.

Ray presenting via Skype from his home office in New Jersey with only one hiccup when the Internet connection was lost, however the problem was quickly corrected. The family poodle “Scrappy” almost became part of the show, he told me, because right before the appointed time, he just had to sit on Tom’s lap.

He talked about WOR’s chance to rebuild its transmission facilities when Buckley moved its tower to the New Jersey Meadowlands, a story RW has reported. The developer for the site is in bankruptcy so the tower is the only thing out there now, according to Ray.

Asked about non-technical problems with the tower site because it’s a wetland, Ray said environmental concerns were minimal compared to what had been there because the site was an old dump.

WOR now does need to increase the slope of a culvert because “the environmental people in New Jersey believe it’s liable to cave in and block the waterway. We’re worried too,” he said. “The floodwaters come up 9 feet at flood level and WOR’s transmitter building is 12 feet above flood level but we don’t want it to flood.”

Another interesting point: WOR has been IBOC since 2002 and Ray said he notices a faster receiver lock on HD Radios than he had at the old site.

The presentation was cool except for an inglorious end when convention workers “carried” Tom away to get ready for the next speaker.