Managing calls for stations across the country
According to a recent Nielsen study, 94% of millennials are reached by radio, and contemporary Christian stations reach more than 14.5 million listeners every week. There’s an all-time high in Christian broadcasting activity – from 2007 to 2009, the number of Christian radio stations in the US jumped from 721 to 781, and continues to grow.
This activity is made possible in part by companies like Global American Enterprises. “We’re kind of like middlemen for small Catholic and religious radio operations,” said Ron Crider, chief engineer of GAE. “A lot of them are very small, and can’t afford their own equipment. We provide facilities and resources for production, and make it possible for them to sound like a high-budget operation.”
GAE provides services to a variety of broadcasters. “We work with about a dozen different types of stations, from Catholic stations in Florida, to commercial religious stations in Colorado,” said Crider. “Overall, we deal with about twenty-five different clients on a daily basis.”
For any call-in programming, GAE connects their clients to a Comrex STAC VIP. “They schedule their call-in programming with us, and are able to use our equipment for superb audio quality. It’s a way for teeny tiny stations to sound first class, without spending an arm and a leg.”
Transitioning to SIP
Before purchasing STAC VIP, Crider had used Comrex STAC Classic systems for years, and loved the functionality. “But when we changed facilities recently, we were looking for a way to get rid of our POTS lines.” And so, it was time to say goodbye to the STAC Classic.
Crider and his team investigated several other options before eventually deciding to purchase STAC VIP. “We found out that even though the STAC system is relatively expensive, the overall savings of having VIP and using SIP lines was very cost-effective,” said Crider. “We decided to spend more to purchase a VIP, because we’ll save enough money in a year from cutting out our POTS lines to pay for the unit. It’s very cost effective.”
“Transitioning to SIP lines was initially scary, because they were so different from POTS,” Crider said of the installation. “But Comrex technical support, within one hour, was able to train me from being a complete amateur at SIP lines, to getting STAC VIP online and running. They worked with both me and with our IP provider, and we were able to get everything working perfectly. When we do it again in the future, set up will be no problem at all.”
Easy to Use
According to Crider, even his greenest clients have no difficulty navigating STAC VIP. “Like the STAC Classic, the STAC VIP is intuitive,” said Crider. “While most of our hosts are not seasoned broadcasters, they still have no difficulty figuring out the user interface.”
Crider also appreciates that users are able to log into STAC VIP from anywhere in the country. “Even though our hosts are all around the country, they can log in from their own offices and see who’s on the line. They can see how long calls have been going, and can put callers on the air themselves. We have call screeners in our central location, but hosts can still mute callers and manage calls on their own. It makes their shows run much more smoothly.”
STAC VIP has integrated seamlessly with Global American Enterprises’ new VoIP system. It has made call management simple for their clients across the country. “We love how this unit works,” said Crider, “and we’re planning to get more of them in the future.”