Michigan High School Radio Station Automates with ENCO
Student operators benefit from professional, feature-rich platform and a quick learning curve
Southfield, MI, December 15, 2015 – ENCO DAD radio automation powers live production and playout at many professional FM radio stations worldwide, yet its quick learning curve and ease of use also position it is an ideal educational platform. Its for these reasons that WBFH(FM) “The Biff,” broadcasting from Bloomfield Hills High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has integrated ENCO DAD into its on-air and production workflow.
WBFH(FM) “The Biff” has been voted “Best High School Radio Station in the Nation” two years running as part of the annual John Drury High School Radio Awards – and for good reason. The four-studio, 360-watt station doubles as a 24/7 community broadcast outlet, and a curriculum- based program where students can learn everything about on-air radio. When it came to selecting the automation system, Assistant Manager/Technical Director Ron Wittebols wanted a system that was easy to learn, yet powerful enough to support a professional broadcast operation.
“I have always been interested in the operations aspect of radio, especially in relation to operating with greater efficiency,” said Wittebols. “We needed something that was simple graphically to streamline our educational process, but powerful internally. We can teach the basics of ENCO DAD and have elementary, middle school and high school students running it within 10 minutes. Yet, DAD offers a very rich and immersive platform that every user can continually learn from. We continually discover new things we can do with the system.”
Wittebols appreciates how ENCO DAD simplifies the show building process, from automatic insertion of segue markers between cuts via DAD’s AutoSegue DCL, to adding rich detail to playlist files. ENCO integrates seamlessly with other systems in his on-air and production workflow, including a PowerGold music scheduling system. He is also exploring a new feature within DAD that will automate the triggering and playout of EAS feeds.
While students broadcast most of the shows from 9am to 9pm on weekdays, Wittebols also occasionally takes the on-air reins. On weekends, he remotely connects to the studio from his home, recording and uploading shows to DAD for later playout using the system’s Dropbox utility.
“I record a three-hour broadcast every Sunday with several co-hosts, and then transfer the mp3 file over a network connection to ENCO,” said Wittebols. “The Dropbox utility seamlessly transfers the file to the automation schedule, which is programmed to broadcast the show from 9pm to midnight. This is just one of the advanced features of DAD that we benefit from at Biff Radio, and we’re amazed at how many layers and features there are to the system.”
In addition to broadcasting over-the-air locally on 88.1, WBFH is also one of the few high school stations with a mobile app (Biff Radio), and can be streamed live on its website or via TuneIn.