Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Local Fire!

GoodnessvGraciousThere's a scene in the movie "Great Balls of Fire" when Sam Phillips from Sun Records grabs a newly minted vinyl disc off the recorder and runs down to the local station, peers into the studio window from the street and motions to the on-air jock to give it a spin. In the next scene, we see teens in muscle cars tuning in, and well, you know the rest of the story about the rising fame of rocker Jerry Lee Lewis.

Oh, for the radio days of yore. But hold on a minute. This is where we have to insert a big, fat screeeeech

to jolt us back to reality.

Today, local is still the thing, but it's not the only thing. Music is everywhere and yet, radio is still rooted in Memphis and Cleveland and all the other places musicians play and people live. These days, broadcasters can click on any hit recorded anywhere on the planet, and catch the local scene all at the same time.

We pay attention to these things because so many of us at Wheatstone are musicians – our VP of Engineering Andy Calvanese, support techs Dick Webb and Jerry Jacobson, sales engineer Phil Owens, systems engineer Paul Picard, and even our admen Bob Martin and Mike Shane – right down to the guy who started Wheatstone, Gary Snow.

It's why we applaud stations like CKUA Radio in Edmonton, Alberta, which has a large auditorium off to their new lobby on Jasper Avenue that stands as an open invitation to local musicians and poets. We take great pride in knowing that when artists sit down with their guitars, keyboards and mics, CKUA Radio staff can simply roll in a WheatNet-IP console, quick-connect to a bulkhead and it's on the air.

We like that radio can be everywhere, and be 'live and local' at the same time, in part because of our audio-over-IP system, the WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network. We get why broadcasters want to set up a studio at the local fairgrounds via our WheatNet-IP, for example, as our friends at Saga Communications in Iowa plan to do. And, we understand why so many of our broadcast customers like to connect to the audio world at large, some with little more than an Audioarts console interfaced to a laptop through a USB.

So, you won't find us obsessing over media reports. In fact, we're pretty darned excited about all that is before radio today.


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