By George “G-Man” Henry
Dixie Country 98.5/100.1
Host & Program Director
Dixie Country is a 50,000 watt FM country station in Selma, Alabama, with an additional 100,000 watt FM station in Demopolis, Alabama. We’ve branded the stations, so instead of calling it Dixie 100, we branded the whole footprint Dixie Country. No matter where you are, if you can hear the station, you’re in Dixie Country.
The audience potential between the two signals is just over a million people – during non-primetime hours, we carry mainstream country music, but during our primetime local programming, we focus on community based events in addition to the country music. The footprint stretches across much of Alabama to the Mississippi border
Until a few years ago, we were using early old technology – in fact, it would be late 60’s technology, MARTI transmitters/receivers/telephone lines ect. So when we had the opportunity to upgrade, and become a bigger radio station, I was in charge of how all this was going to work.
What we needed was a way to get the audio successfully from point A to point B without it sounding like there’s been a serious loss in quality. We got two Comrex ACCESS units, which I had heard about, but had never experienced. To begin with, we used these as the link between the Selma studio and the Demopolis studio, the bilateral function enabled to send and receive from both directions. We originated from Selma, where the live show portion of our broadcast originated, and send it with COMREX ACCESS to the Demopolis studio and then on to our transmitter, and you never could tell from where it was originating. We are blessed enough to have a fiber cable from our internet provider. Kind of our own private pipeline between here and Demopolis. The amount of delay is only about one second. With the net cue feature offered on the rear of the COMREX ACCESS, we can play separate commercials, then rejoin at the end of the break.
We broadcast many high school football games, as part of our local programming. The COMREX ACCESS PORTABLE w/MIXER is unmatched in ease of use and quality of sound! To make our remotes happen, we also use the Comrex ACCESS portable. As long as you
Have a high speed internet connection, you have the ability to do a remote from anywhere in the world! We could tell – if we had an issue, we could change the network on which we were broadcasting. In addition, there are smartphone apps for Access that we’re beginning to experiment with – these have the potential to make multiple remotes possible as well.
The customer support has been exceptional. I never feel like I need to jump through hoops to get somebody on the phone. There was one time when my portable wouldn’t restart, and I was able to get a portable unit from Comrex by the very next day.
It’s a joy to be able to, wherever you go, you hear your radio station playing, because it’s so community involved. Comrex is a large part of our community programming.
George “G-Man” Henry is the Program Director and “Rise N Shine” morning host for Dixie Country 98.5/100.1, and he is one of Alabama’s most experienced country music morning show host. For more information on Dixie Country, visit http://www.dixiecountry.net/home/on-air.