How did you get started in radio? Chances are that you hung around a station, then watched and learned from other people. But Drew Bennett, National Sales Manager of Scheduling Products at RCS says there are two things wrong with that approach. “First, it’s possible that the people you learned from didn’t know what they were doing. Second, if they did know, they might not tell you because they wanted to have the edge.”
Meaningful, formalized education in the broadcast industry has always been hard to come by. That’s why RCS has launched RCS Academy, a way for you to learn about GSelector, Zetta and Aquira, and get certified for what you know.
As Bennett explains, you don’t even need to leave home: “The courses are online and self-paced. They’re broken down into segments with an exam on each. Once you pass, you earn a micro-degree. For example, when you master the library section of GSelector, you get a library badge and micro-degree. When you have completed all the chapters, you can take the final exam. If you pass, you’re certified.” The cost for online courses ranges from $300-$600.
Bennett adds that there are numerous benefits to certification. You can order a diploma to hang on your wall, a lapel pin, and digital badge that can be used on professional sites such as LinkedIn. Your name and contact info are also listed in the RCS directory of ‘Super Users’, where potential employers can seek you out.
RCS Academy is rolling out in 2019. By the end of the first quarter, the GSelector course will be available online. That will be followed by comparable online courses on Zetta and Aquira. The next step will be moving the program to college campuses, as Bennett explains: “These courses will also be available for college credit. Our first campus will be Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, and we will continue to expand to other schools.” He adds that each college will determine the tuition fees for the courses.
(RCP, Warsaw, Poland, 2004)
As the RCS office in Poland celebrates 15 years of service, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the milestones for both our company and Polish radio. Not surprisingly, the two have become closely intertwined.
Radio broadcasting in Poland has its origins in the early days of the medium. Polskie Radio, Poland’s state-owned national public-service radio was founded in August of 1925 with temporary broadcasts from Warsaw. A permanent broadcast schedule from the capital began in April, 1926. One national channel was operated. Beginning in 1931, it was broadcast over one of Europe’s most powerful longwave transmitters, situated at Raszyn, just outside Warsaw. Polskie Radio also operated nine regional stations. All Polish broadcast activities ceased in September of 1939, with the outbreak of World War II.
In late 1944, state-owned broadcasting resumed from Lublin, and continued for the next 45 years. The state monopoly on broadcasting only ended in 1989, with the first free elections in Poland. At that time, pirate broadcasters began to operate, and some of them eventually became commercial stations. One such operation, Radio Malopolska Fun, began broadcasting in Cracow during January 1990. It went on to become the top-rated commercial station in Poland, now known as RMF-FM, belonging to the Bauer Group.
The owner of RMF FM, Stanislaw Tyczynski knew Philippe Generali, the President and CEO of RCS. The two connected, and by mid 1991, RMF FM was the first station in Poland to be using Selector. Over the next decade, other big players in the Polish market followed, including Radio Zet and Radio Eska, both signing Selector/Linker 12 contracts.
This growth spurred the 2002 opening of an RCS branch office in Poland. Tomasz Dykiert, head of that office recalls how he first came to work for RCS. ”I was an RCS customer and true evangelist, responsible for the deployment of Selector on the Radio Eska network. While vacationing in the United States, I had the opportunity to travel to White Plains NY, tour RCS headquarters and meet with Robin Prior. He arranged an interview with Kenny Lee Karpinski. It went well, and at the end of the day, Philippe came in, smiled and said ‘Join us.’ ” The RCS Poland office staff was soon expanded to include Bartek Kubacki and Wojtek Wisniewski.
Dykiert recalls that at the time, only one RCS product was widely used, Selector 12. That was about to change, as RCS exhibited at the 2004 Radio Conference Poland, a local event that was very similar to Radiodays Europe. ”We promoted Selector 15 and Master Control 15, while still offering Selector 12. By the end of 2006, we were supporting six local sites using Master Control in Poland. All of them have now migrated to Zetta.”
2004 was also an important year for RCS due to the introduction of GSelector. Dykiert adds, ”The first European GSelector contract was signed in Poland in the spring of 2006. The user was an internet broadcaster with five streams. This was easily accomplished thanks to GSelector’s multi-station management feature.” Right now, almost 600 Internet only stations use GSelector for multi-station scheduling with different projects and different entities, from one channel to 150, all using just one database.
The success of GSelector was followed closely by the introduction of Zetta, and it too had significant sales in Poland. As Dykiert notes, ”By autumn of 2009, RCS was invited by Polish Radio to demonstrate GSelector with fully automated playout options, which included Zetta.” One year later, GSelector and Zetta were selected to manage 85 internet radio channels, which are part of project moje.polskieradio.pl, founded to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Polish Radio.
After 27 years with an RCS presence in Poland, and 15 years with an office in that country, GSelector is the most used scheduling software in Polish stations. RCS clients are also migrating to RCS News, Zetta and Aquira.
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In the days of large media groups who own multiple stations, South East Radio stands out in Ireland as a local and family-owned station based at Custom House Quay in Wexford. They began broadcasting in October 1989 and currently employ approximately 40 people on a full or part-time basis. In addition to its web stream, South East Radio broadcasts on a main FM frequency of 95.6, and sub-frequencies of 96.2 and 96.4.
South East Radio is all about localism, and the station has a community diary for local announcements and charity events, as well as bereavement notices to ensure that listeners are informed about local activities.
Their ability to serve the community was greatly enhanced when they recently upgraded from a competitor’s system to RCS GSelector, Zetta, Aquira and Burli Newsroom. Programme Director and News Editor Michael Sinnott has high praise for the transition. ”The RCS team of Joe Dyer and James Davids were amazing. They did the transition and training in just two days, and the changeover itself was seamless.”
”The RCS system was like a breath of fresh air,” Synnott continues. ”It’s very user-friendly, and even our veteran broadcasters with 20 years on the old system were able to quickly come up to speed with RCS. In the past four weeks since switchover, we’ve used it for both live assist and total automation, and it’s just a dream to work with.”
South East Radio broadcasts with an adult contemporary format, targeting listeners in a 30 plus demographic. ”Our audience is very loyal, listening an average of 4.5 hours per day,” adds Sinnott. ”We provide music, local news and community events coverage. While other stations rotate from about a thousand songs, our longer time spent listening demands a larger mix, and we draw from a library of 10-20,000 songs.” He adds that, as with the rest of the station, the library made a smooth transition from the old system to GSelector.
In addition to its weekday adult contemporary programming, South East Radio has specialty programs on the weekend, including country, oldies, Christian, business and sports broadcasts.
Broadcasting from a small community such as Wexford demands a total commitment to localism. In addition to extensive news coverage of local events and public service announcements, South East Radio has a mobile truck with a full calendar of remote broadcasts. The flagship morning show with Alan Corcoran keeps listeners informed, stimulated and entertained, as well as posing tough questions on behalf of its listeners.
Some of their localism agenda is unique in the Irish radio market, as Sinnott explains: ”For the past 14 years, we’ve been presenting a monthly outstanding achievement award to citizens who do remarkable volunteer work, or perform acts of heroism. We also give awards to local businesses who exceed at customer service. Both of these awards are completely driven by nominations from our listeners.”
Part of the drive for outstanding community involvement comes from the fact that South East Radio has been a local business run by the Buttle family since it signed on in 1989. Sinnott laments the fact that most stations in Ireland are now part of large media conglomerates, and there are only 4-5 independent radio broadcasters left in the country.
By Bill Webber, Product Manager
GSelector 4.7.0 was recently released on September 12. 4.7.0 has 30+ enhancements. Here is my top 5 countdown of new features in this latest version of GSelector.
#5 – Gap Time in Editor Consideration Window
There’s a new Gap Time option for the Editor Test Bar. It shows the over/under for the timed segment if you were to choose the selected record in the Consideration window. Go to Editor Parameters to select the “Gap” option for the Test Bar. You can control where ‘Gap” appears and also set an appearance threshold to help flag over-scheduled or unscheduled situations. In this example, if “I Want You To Want Me – Live” was selected to replace the “R.E.M.” song, the hour would be 25 seconds over-scheduled.
#4 – Secondary Run Dates
We’ve added Secondary Start/End Times to the Run Dates tab for songs and links. You can either Include or Exclude these date/time ranges. There’s also a Yearly Anniversary option for each Secondary range. In this example, the link can be scheduled on 4-Oct and 6-Oct but not 5-Oct.
#1 – Inline Editing
You can now edit directly in the Library Browse grid. You no longer have to open the Song window to edit songs (or links). Click the last toolbar option or press the Spacebar (like in Selector Version XV) to start inline editing. Type directly in text fields or use the drop down controls to select the options. Click the last toolbar option again or press Ctrl + Spacebar to exit inline editing mode.