We’re back and this week RCS Live tackled RCS News, our state-of-the-art newsroom software. With RCS News, newscasters and reporters only need a single piece of software to handle their day-to-day tasks. In this video, we took a quick tour around RCS News, highlighted some of the points of news ingest, user flexibility, the Multi Track Editor and more.
First, let’s talk about the benefit of having RCS News as your centralized newsroom operation. Users have unlimited points of ingest, they can create stories, import and edit audio, multiple anchors can read news stories or rundowns and communicate with other reporters or the studio through the RCS News interface. Now, your team doesn’t have to switch between studios or other pieces of software to hammer out different tasks. With RCS News, it’s all in one.
In regard to the wire, RCS News is all about flexibility. Newsrooms can ingest COM ports, IP, RSS, FTP, HTTP, Twitter and email. Each can be customized and isolated or highlighted to establish priority. If you can think out of the box, reporters can utilize the email ingest feature to create their own breaking_news@WRCSfm.com email for local listeners to submit any news. Then, without having to jump into another mailbox, reporters can quickly check the email and if a story is newsworthy, follow up accordingly, write up a story and publish to air. Let’s say that you’re following CNN, BBC, or ESPN news, but if a local story makes its way across the national wire, users can isolate keywords and then use those keywords to appear as breaking or significant news with its own flashing color and visual aid to catch the reporter’s eye. Remember, from layouts, ingest, to everyday workflows, RCS News is all about user flexibility and customization.
Next, we reviewed how to create Stories, Rundowns, noting the anchor specific timing, as well as user-friendly drag and drop audio functionality into each story. Of course, reporters can also edit any media utilizing the same Single or Multi Track Editor featured in Zetta. This is very advanced Multi Track Editor in which users can add or create new audio, edit elements, drag into a story, or save into a Story Library, and export to another location like their Nexgen or Zetta. Plus, RCS News is all about maximizing your workflows. Anchors can export their story direct from RCS News to your station’s Twitter account or your website, including the audio embedded in the news story.
As you can see, RCS News is not only full of user-friendly features and workflows, but RCS News acts as a centralized piece of software so that your entire team can be in one location, working with a single program to do their traditional workday.
Don’t forget that all our past videos are available for free on our RCS Archive at www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live. We’re really excited for upcoming RCS Live topics, featuring all our RCS products. If there’s a certain topic you want covered, don’t hesitate to reach out to us either through social media, your local RCS Sales Representative or RCS Support and we’ll see you next Thursday at 11am ET for RCS Live!
RCS is excited to feature the Director of Engineering for Hubbard Cincinnati, WKRQ, Brett Patram.
Brett Patram originally joined Hubbard Cincinnati to handle their local IT/network infrastructure needs. Though in addition to that, he was also handling the RF needs simultaneously. Eventually, Patram took over as Director of Engineering, claiming that it made the most sense for everyone.
In late 2019, Hubbard Cincinnati began work on their largest project which was building a new studio facility from the ground up. “We broke ground – construction began and so did my extensive planning of everything technology – radio and IT. With a lot of help and resources we made it happen and went live early last July,” he said.
In a couple of weeks, Patram will be moving back to Cleveland to resume work for the Telos Alliance as a support engineer, although he has nothing but good memories when looking back on the project and his time spent at Hubbard Cincinnati.
Currently, Patram primarily works with RCS products, GSelector and Zetta, in addition to Revma. His reasoning for choosing RCS comes down to its progressive development.
“As a previous NexGen facility, we were used to certain luxuries that NexGen offered. When it was time to review our automation choices, we were a bit surprised to find that the other vendors were still playing catch-up to NexGen! Zetta in comparison was years ahead, and was a mature product with years of development behind it.”
Patram’s choice to migrate from RCS Selector to GSelector made the most sense, based on the full integration the two products shared with each other. “We have a very particular staff that at times are very passionate about the tools they use to program and run their stations. We saw several workflow improvements that they couldn’t do without the Zetta and GSelector integration existing.” says Patram.
RCS Disaster Recovery was also included in Patram’s line of RCS products, citing that he needed a backup solution that was multifaceted. He said, “It helps us in several ways. We are always sending a current backup snapshot of our database and audio assets into the cloud. We don’t have to be directly responsible to maintain this environment.
“Our logs are also being synced and played out in the cloud environment. This creates the ultimate backup audio solution for us. When we need it, it’s always available and it’s actually going to be what we programmed and scheduled — not some canned fill audio.
“At our transmitter sites and even in the studios the streamed feed of the RCS Cloud DR instance is made available to switch into. Because all our logs and assets are backed up into this environment, all our spots continue to play if we needed to use it for any length of time.
“On top of that, being able to control these sequencers from a very familiar looking interface makes it that much easier in a true DR scenario to take control and ‘run’ the station from that environment.”
Patram also gives credit to the RCS onsite field services, saying that they did an amazing job working with the Hubbard staff by ensuring that all NexGen assets successfully migrated over to Zetta.
“It was a very smooth transition that had a lot of moving pieces. We really appreciate all the work that RCS put into our project.”
Employers need to consider the abilities of all staff in the modern workplace and they can do this by looking for support with experienced software partners.
For example, RCS teamed up with AFTRS for a breakthrough project to improve radio studio accessibility. With its all-encompassing automation software Zetta providing voice annotation functionalities, broadcasters can scale back on complex setups for a simplified – and autonomous – solution in the radio studio space.
Turning to technology for assistance
Preparing your setup for broadcast can be a complicated process and assistance can be needed plugging in microphones or tweaking mixing consoles. With RCS Zetta offering full flexibility across Linux, Windows and Mac OS systems, radio station owners can rely on a solution from a company that continues to stay mindful of accessibility needs.
According to Hypebot, there are over 15,330 radio stations in the U.S. alone, and that number continues to rise. With the COVID pandemic pushing growth due to the demand for news updates, entertainment and education during lockdowns, getting the right software for your station that supports all your employees isn’t always easy.
The RCS Zetta advantage
Zetta’s voice annotation functionality has already assisted users like AFTRS Graduate Diploma Radio student Nathan Lettes, enabling him to identify when a song is playing from the start and end points of a cue. He notes:
“It’s fantastic to have the freedom to be able to panel my own show and it is great both AFTRS and RCS have been as accommodating as they have. Time calls have never been something I have had with any playout system, it’s a bit of a game changer.”
Simple solutions like this can not only help teams to achieve their creative visions independently, but can also boost productivity among teams. In an interview with Business News Daily, Corinne Weible, co-director of Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), notes the productivity advantages the right technology can deliver:
“Technology created for people with a wide range of abilities also tends to help everyone be more productive. If companies aren’t providing the right inclusive environment, they’re going to miss out on the benefits.”
Seamless integration across RCS products
While Zetta‘s modular design has assisted on-air talent such as Lettes, it doesn’t end there. With seamless integrations across the other players in the RCS product suite (GSelector, RCS News and Aquira), RCS also offers a cloud based safety net for hosts to back up their projects and access their automations in case of a disaster.
Crucially, with the recent COVID crisis forcing stations to turn to flexible working, Zetta’s mobile counterpart, Zetta2GO, offers complete control of the playout system. The application enables teams to access files from any internet browser via a tablet or smartphone, while users can access their data logs and rotations on-the-go with full accessibility over mobile networks to cut through any limitations posed by location.
While RCS has taken the industry by storm with its innovative developments in radio tech, its support team – built on decades of experience and improvements based on the feedback from its users – plays a key role. “There’s always great service by the crew over at the RCS Support offices,” says Connor Newell, a user of the RCS product suite. “I can never say good enough things.”
With proven ease of access and a track-record of satisfied clients, it’s no surprise that the RCS product suite has picked up a string of awards and continues to be the reliable, accessible and flexible choice for radio broadcasters across the globe.
As part of our weekly RCS Live, we like to showcase all our RCS products, including Aquira and Aquira2GO. This week we were joined by Brian Radka and Max Davies from our New Zealand Aquira Team to help us break down Aquira2GO’s forecaster workflows. We reviewed how Sales Representatives could work remotely and help organize their sales projections, map out their day or route and more!
Aside from Traffic Directors, Aquira2GO is perfect for both the Sales Manager and the Sales Representative. The forecaster feature allows users to compare their revenue to budget and pipeline reporting. Users have contracts that are in Aquira that are also available to view or edit within Aquira2GO. With Aquira2GO, analyze your forecasts and budgets month by month or combine multiple quarters for a better overall picture.
Sales Representatives can also view each of their clients and adjust their budgets on the fly with Aquira2GO. If you’re on the road and you need to either update client information, attach a contract or review your prospects with your Sales Manager, it’s easy and convenient with Aquira2GO.
Once you’re logged into Aquira2GO, don’t forget to customize your experience. There are many tools and filters that users can implement in order to cater their reports to a particular client, budget, or forecast. Filter your sales down by the month or organize data with custom attributes that were created in Aquira. There’s even multiple areas that Sales Representatives can override their budget or forecasts for their Sales Managers for more accurate projections.
Aquira2GO is an extremely helpful tool for Sales Representatives and Managers who are not only on the road, but also need to quickly access a slew of Aquira metadata, contracts and numbers. Customize your workflows and incorporate Aquira2GO while you’re meeting with clients or reviewing contracts.
As always, RCS is looking for Aquira Beta users that want the latest and greatest features. If you’re interested in becoming a Beta user, reach out to RCS Support. Don’t forget to check out our past videos, including other Aquira tips and tricks over at www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live and we’ll see you next time for another RCS Live.
Cybercrime is on the rise and the stakes are higher than ever. According to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, global ransomware attacks rose to an all-time high in 2020, a 62% increase over 2019, with a notable spike of 158% in North America. It’s why radio networks need to address the problem before it’s too late.
This isn’t scaremongering, especially when you consider what happened to Cox Media Group’s WMMO-FM, which serves Central Florida. When the station suddenly stopped broadcasting, its listeners were told to check their connections. However, it wasn’t the listeners who had the problem. It was the network itself. It transpired that WMMO, along with all of Cox Media Group’s radio and TV stations, had been taken down by a ransomware attack.
To an industry that is reliant on listener numbers for ratings and to sell advertising, this is the kind of nightmare scenario that every station manager and owner fears.
Worse still, there’s a growing trend for this sort of ransomware attack, not only in the broadcast industry but across society as a whole. The recent Colonial pipeline hack, which led to fuel shortages across the US East coast, was the result of an employee using the same password on their work and their (compromised) home accounts.
As with so much else, prevention is better than cure. However, no matter how vigilant you are with your security, nothing can ever be 100% secure. But with lists containing tens of thousands of stolen passwords exchanging freely on the dark web every day, how long will it be before one of the thousands of logins you’ve created ends up in the wrong hands?
Simply being off-air for a few minutes is enough to ruin reputations and jeopardize your advertising revenue. And broadcast hijacks often go down in history. Remember The Max Headroom incident, where hijackers replaced WGN Chicago’s Channel 9 news with footage of a man in a Max Headroom mask getting hit with a fly swat? That was 32 years ago.
So, with threats both large and small seemingly on every side, what is the best way to keep your media business safe?
The answer is, of course, ever tighter security. But the price you pay for such measures is not only in dollars, it’s also an inconvenience to your creatives, who need the freedom of today’s best tech to get their jobs done.
The real solution is to arm your talent with tools that make world-class radio and which have world-class security right at their core. RCS Zetta is already the power behind the throne for countless radio giants worldwide, with RCS’s famous GSelector providing programming that audiences and advertisers love. And – should the worst happen, be it a technical failure, pandemic or a cyber attack – all of your audio is backed up to RCS Disaster Recovery’s ZettaCloud.
RCS decentralizes your operation, making it practically impossible to take down – your station and programming are everywhere. Remotely switching to the cloud takes seconds, getting you back on air with all your original programming intact. So, no matter where and when trouble strikes, you know that your shows will go on.
So, why not work with the best and be prepared for the worst? Get in touch to find out how easy it is to futureproof your stations with RCS.