Kiowa County Comes Back Stronger with Clear-Com

November 01, 2011

Encore Partyline Intercom Systems Keep Thousands of Citizens Informed

Clear-Com®, a global leader in critical voice communication systems, has partnered with the Kiowa County Media Center, a ground-breaking, sustainable media outlet in Greensburg Kansas, to dramatically transform community communications. Following the EF5 tornado, one of the worst U.S. natural disasters of 2007, which destroyed Kiowa County, Clear-Com provided the community with five EncoreTM partyline intercom systems to facilitate rich collaboration within the broadcast team and promote the rapid rebuilding of their communications infrastructure. Four years after that tragedy, the construction of the Kiowa County Media Center is now complete, with the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening scheduled for November 1.

With 95 percent of all homes and buildings completely obliterated by the EF5 tornado, Kiowa County was left without a means to relay important information to one another. To avoid future problems, the community designed a communications eco-system with state-of-the-art technology to keep their citizens informed. Concurrent with these objectives, they aimed to construct a media center that was energy efficient, setting an example in both innovation and sustainability to rural communities throughout America. An HD television production studio in the Kiowa County Media Center and a 22 by 26 foot mobile production trailer were built and installed with Clear-Com’s intercoms to coordinate the broadcast of news, local events and sports, along with productions and educational programming.

“Clear-Com’s solution helped resolve the tremendous communications challenge which confronted Kiowa County,” says Janet West, President of the Kiowa County Media Center’s Board of Directors. “Their generous sponsorship of advanced and comprehensive intercom systems not only enabled us to deliver essential information to our people but it also positioned us as a high performance media outlet.”

Clear-Com’s MS-702 Encore partyline main station is set up in the Kiowa County Media Center’s control room while an RM-702 Encore partyline remote station is installed in the audio area. Within the control room of the media center, the director collaborates with the lighting designer, who manages the lighting board;  the technical director, who oversees the video switcher; and the graphics operator, who updates scoreboard, name identification and more during sports coverage. The director also corresponds with the audio technician, who controls the sound levels and mix minus for the production, as well as the floor manager, who advises the talents and camera operators in the television studio. The station’s mobile production trailer replicates the intercom arrangement and workflow of the media center.

Clear-Com’s rugged RS-603 wired beltpacks offer superior audio clarity for effortless information exchange between all members of the broadcast team, which solidifies teamwork. One channel of the beltpack is designated for the entire crew while the second channel is assigned to the talent, enabling him to receive distraction-free instructions from only the director over an in-ear monitor. The most dramatic benefit lies in the ease of coordinating across far distances, such as a football field or gymnasium, since the wired beltpacks can seamlessly operate several hundred feet from the main or remote station. 

“Clear-Com’s intercom systems are remarkably clear and give us full communications capability for all our production needs,” says Grant Neuhold, Kiowa County Media Center Programming and Technical Producer. “More importantly, since knowledge-sharing over broadcast has become easier than ever before, we’re able to connect over three thousand citizens to the pulse of breaking news.”