We had the opportunity to chat with Neerav Patel, the Chief Operating Officer and Principal at Empire Broadcasting Corporation.
RCS: Why did you get into radio?
NP: When I graduated high school and attended Siena College in Loudonville, NY (suburb of Albany, NY) I was told by my orientation leaders to “get involved” in on campus activities. At that point I was a Pre-Med major with aspirations of Medical School (following the family tradition). Since Biology and Chemistry were so much fun (joking), I became quite interested when I saw an email from 88.3FM WVCR looking for on air talent.I sent an email back to the head of WVCR (Terry O’Donnell, now Program Director of Clear Channel Poughkeepsie, NY) and expressed my interest. I ended up working my way up to General Manger and stayed to work for Siena College full time after graduation as the GM of station. While working at WVCR, I furthered my education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management & Technology where I received my MBA.
After receiving my MBA, I took a year off and traveled the world to learn about globalization visiting Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Honk Kong; Singapore, Mumbai and Delhi, India; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Once back in the USA, I started Scanris Teleradiology (radiology interpretation services via the internet). We had an office in the USA and in India. Teleradiology is the transmission of radiological patient images, such as X-Rays, CT’s and MRI’s from one location to another for the purposes of sharing studies with other radiologists and physicians.
Teleradiology improves patient care by allowing Radiologists to provide services without actually having to be at the location of the patient. This is particularly important when a sub-specialist such as a MRI Radiologist, Neuroradiologist, Pediatric Radiologist, or Musculoskeletal Radiologist is needed, since these professionals are generally only located in large metropolitan areas working during day time hours. Teleradiology allows for trained specialists to be available 24/7.
As much as I enjoyed healthcare, the radio bug never left me. Joe Reilly, former President of the New York State Broadcaster’s Association was forming a group to purchase radio stations and asked if I would like in… I jumped at the opportunity and the rest is history!
RCS: How do you see radio evolving?
NP: Radio has to reinvent itself once again… Radio has always had the power to reach and influence people. Instead of just relying on the transmitter, radio has an imperative to reach the audience via digital means. I’ll be the first one to admit that I do not have a tuner in my house. I utilize the Sono’s system (shameless plug) where all my audio is delivered via the Internet.
RCS: Why is technology so important to your operation?
NP: In the simplest form: Technology = efficiency = increased margin. If you have no margin – you have no mission.