The Olympic Radio Organization is, by number of stations, the third largest radio network in Colombia. Operates 38 broadcasters in 17 cities, including two in Panama. All have a technological coordination from their headquarters in Barranquilla.

There are five brands that the group has. Four in FM: Olympic, Radio Tiempo, Mix and La Reina; and one more in AM: Emisora ​​Atlántico, focused on regional news. He stressed the head of Systems of the organization, which in most of the cities where they are located, the stations occupy the first places according to the studies of audience measurement.

For 10 years the company has installed new transmission equipment in solid state, hybrid for HD radio and analog. According to Tulio Naranjo, supervisor of the technical department, always seeking to improve the quality of the signal to air and have energy efficiency.

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The engineering area of ​​the station is divided into two departments: the first is the technology, of which a team of engineers 10 is responsible for equipment and systems for radio production to the console. The second department is the technician, with three engineers in the national direction, in charge of the infrastructure to get the signal on air from the stations, in addition to the studios. Both departments have a technician in each of the offices.

For the acquisition of technology, the company is based on the standards that apply to US radio stations. In addition, they always try to work with the same brands to make the operation of the systems easier and to have a stock of spare parts for possible repairs or maintenance, which are carried out by the station's team. The purchases are made mainly abroad, directly with the factories.

Closeness with their listeners
One feature that highlights the stations of the Olympic Radial Organization, is that they try to have direct contact with their listeners. That is why, in almost all the venues the stations are on the first floor, with large windows and listeners can approach and see how the radio programs are made and in some cases even interact with them through a microphone enabled in the street and that communicates with the study.

For this purpose, the studies of the stations have improved visually. In addition, they have begun to implement cameras to transmit video through social networks. Given the good result, they are thinking of implementing visual radio systems in some specific stations that have interesting content to watch.

This contact is complemented by a strong presence in digital media. For several years the stations started with their website, then they included streaming and now they have applications. Given the growth in this field, they created a department called Digital Unit, which brings together people from the technical area, IT and marketing, in order to look for alternatives to market digital products.

Tulio Naranjo added that "From analogue transmission we are also improving with digital processing, with good coverage and quality of service, which allows the listener to stay in the traditional station for its audio and not migrate to ICT. This is the challenge facing sound broadcasting today. Even the AM station of the Organization also makes digital processing, that's why it stands out among the rest of AM. "

Another tool that Olympic uses in its stations is the RDS, which allows adding complementary information that is published on the screen of radios that accept this technology and makes it appear that it was in a digital environment. This implementation started in some venues but now they want to standardize it in all of them.

Finally, both engineers pointed out that among the projects the group has, is to continue reviewing what's new from remote transmissions, energy-efficient equipment, improve audio quality, to continue at the technological forefront.

Luis Carlos Perdomo pointed out that from the digital point of view they are looking for how to expand advertising options focused on segmented spaces for different audiences. In addition, expand the stations that are exclusively digital channels, as in the case of Radio Time Classics, which emerged after identifying that the classics in Radio Tiempo is one of the most listened to spaces.

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.



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