SELMA, ALA. — WDXX, Dixie Country, is a 50,000-watt FM country station in Selma, Ala., with an additional 100,000-watt FM station, WINL, in Demopolis, Ala. We’ve branded the stations, so instead of calling it Dixie 100, we branded the whole footprint Dixie Country. No matter where you are, if you can hear the station, you’re in Dixie Country.
The audience potential between the two signals is just over a million people — during non-primetime hours, we carry mainstream country music, but during our primetime talk show hours, we focus on community-based programming. The footprint stretches across much of Alabama to the Mississippi border
Until a few years ago, we were using early ’80s technology — in fact, it would be late-’60s technology, with regards to the Martis themselves. When we had the opportunity to upgrade, and become a bigger radio station, I had to be the one to figure out how all this was going to work.
What we needed was a way to get the audio successfully from Point A to Point B without it sounding like there’s been a serious loss in quality. We got two Comrex Access units, which I had heard about but had not experienced. To begin with, we used these as the link between the Selma studio and the Demopolis studio, and we used the bilateral function to send and receive from both directions. We set up a full studio in Selma, where the live portion of our broadcast originated, and we’d receive it in Demopolis and send it to our transmitter, and you never could tell from where it was originating.
We broadcast frequently from high school football games, as part of our local programming. To make our remotes happen, we use a Comrex Access portable. With the Comrex portable unit, we have the ability to do a remote from anywhere.
We saw off the bat that was a great thing — if we had an issue, we could change the network on which we were broadcasting. In addition, there are smartphone apps for Access that we’re beginning to experiment with — these have the potential to make our remotes easier, as well.
The customer support has been exceptional. I never feel like I need to jump through hoops to get somebody on the phone. There was one time when my portable wouldn’t restart, and I was able to get a portable unit from Comrex the very next day.
It’s a joy to be able, wherever you go, hear your radio station playing because it’s so community involved. Comrex is a large part of our community programming.
For information, contact Chris Crump at Comrex in Massachusetts at (978) 784-1776 or visit www.comrex.com.