Beyond The Mic: Meet the Emmis Tech Team

Getting To Know People Who Make Our Advertising Happen – Questions with Jake Robinson, Rik Pike, and Schyler Wood

Media is obviously a people-business.  Personalities on-air, on-line and in social media create content that attracts audiences.

But many more people are involved in our daily operations than just the voices you hear, the faces you see or the authors you read.  Without these behind-the-scenes roles, sponsorship fulfillment to our audiences wouldn’t happen.

Today, Radio Indiana introduces you to three of the engineers who help get, and keep us, on the air.

From a music scholarship to Berkley College of Music in Boston, to a stint working in the radio industry in Chicago, and finally finding a home here at Emmis Communications, Jake Robinson has always had a passion for music and sound. Being the Director of Engineering & IT, Jake has put together an experienced and educated team that ensures our marketing success.

Rik Pike is one of these teammates and our IT Manager. Also getting his start on the music side of things, Rik took his passion for the industry and constant learning of the latest technological advances, and turned it into a career.

Schyler Wood is the Assistant Chief Engineer, and has held this role for a little over a year now. Graduating from UIndy in 2011, he got a part-time position at Emmis and continues to grow and develop. Schyler also found his way into the radio industry because of his love for music, and focuses primarily on any studio support that we need throughout the building.

If you had to explain what your day-to-day job entailed, how would you do so?Jake Robinson

Jake: Everything from the microphone, to the light at the top of the tower, and everything in between. If it has a power cord on, it in this building, is kind of under my supervision.

Rik: It would be anything from a broken printer, to working with the most advanced automation system in the industry. We cover any and everything in between.

Schyler: Wow that is a loaded question…there is a lot. One day it could be a studio issue, one day we might have a day full of (on location) broadcast. It varies, and the only consistent part of this job is the inconsistency.

How do you know when it is time to make a transition from one form of technology that we use, to another?

Jake: We, especially at Emmis, are always looking at the latest technology to keep up to date and never fall behind. Emmis has been very good with making sure that we have the resources available to make the stations sound, and work, and operate, and be as efficient as possible.

Rik: We look around us in the industry to get a feel for what is going on. NAB is definitely a conference that we attend to see what is up-and-coming out there. You get to get your hands on the new equipment and see how it’s going to work.

Schyler: This industry is 24/7, 365. Sticking with what you know is never a bad idea, but moving towards new technology is based on its reliability. We never want anything to be taken off the air.

How beneficial has Emmis Communications been, in regard to giving you all the assets that you need?

Jake: We have a cool opportunity to work with the Network (Indiana). It is one of a kind in the state of Indiana, no other facility and no other company operates a state wide radio network here. So we have just an interesting piece of technology that is at our fingertips that is fun! It, to me, separates what Emmis brings to Indiana versus any other station operator.

Rik: This job can be overwhelming at times due to all the different programs that we use. There are different technologies from one studio to the next, and we have 30 studios in this building. We always have the ability to continue learning.

Schyler: If the station needs anything, we are able to typically get access to it, and that is huge. I’ve not been in other (radio) buildings, but I know that it is not like this everywhere. The resources that we are exposed to are definitely one of the major perks to being here.