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Sibling Stations Come Together at 1 Bala Plaza

In the City of Brotherly Love, Beasley stations now share one floor

Like other projects described in Radio World’s current ebook featuring new studio projects, this one was made challenging by the COVID pandemic. But despite labor and material shortages, the work was completed in two phases in 2021 and 2022.

Beasley Media Group has a major presence in Philadelphia, which Nielsen Audio lists as the nation’s ninth-largest radio market. There are more than 4.7 million age 12+ listeners in the metro. 

A street map of Philadelphia is a notable feature of the lobby, which incorporates both visual display and security elements.

Beasley has FM stations WMGK (classic rock), WXTU (country), WMMR (rock and “Preston & Steve”), WBEN (adult hits) and WPEN (sports talk), as well as AM WWDB (talk). These stations occupy leased space at an iconic address, 1 Bala Plaza in Bala Cynwyd, just outside the official Philly city limits. 

The air studio of WXTU(FM). A Ford sponsorship is reflected in wall signage and illuminated logos on furniture legs.

The Beasley operations had been spread over multiple floors; the job consolidated studios and offices to a single floor. 

“The project totaled 27,000 square feet of forward-thinking new and renovated tenant spaces that are built for the future,” said Kurt Kerns of V Three Studios, the architect and broadcast design consultant.   

The work included creating eight new studios and a new performance studio for live shows as well as renovation of eight existing studios. 

The Beasley’s offices now have better access to natural light and are centralized for better communications and collaboration. The public spaces, including the lobby, a collaborative café and a performance studio, are multi-functional to foster great conversation and improve communication.  

“The aesthetic is intended to provide an energetic atmosphere that reflects the personality of the station cluster with a strong connection to the local brand,” said Firm Principal Steve Burns of V Three Studios.

Corporate branding in the conference room off the lobby.

“Bright colors and light finishes maximize the reflection and infiltration of natural light. Privacy window films in the lobby — with an abstract of a Philly street map — help to make a connection to the local market.”

The technical lead was Mike Cooney, the chief technology officer and VP of engineering for Beasley, working with Don Melnyk, regional director of engineering, and Rodney Byrd, chief engineer in Philadelphia. 

Events space with stage, multiple monitor displays and lighting grid.

The general contractor was Daniel J. Keating Company. Structural engineering was by O’Donnell & Naccarato, while Wick Fisher White handled mechanical, electrical and engineering.

These studios feature both Wheatstone and Axia AoIP systems and surfaces. 

Omnirax provided the studio furniture. The microphone fleet includes Shure KSM 32, Neumann BCM 104, Shure SM7 and AKG 414 mics.

“This facility was successful in creating a more cohesive and collaborative operation of studios that support multiple unique local brands,” Kerns said. “The electrical infrastructure is designed to provide flexibility for future re-integration of studio equipment as the technological needs of the broadcast systems and the industry continues to evolve for content creation.”

[Check Out More of Radio World’s Facility Showcases]