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ENCO Simplifies Broadcast Media Workflow at Seacrest Foundation Studios

November 17, 2023

ENCO President Ken Frommert with Ryan Seacrest, Chairman & Founder RSF

Novi, Michigan-based ENCO is among the latest vendors to join the Ryan Seacrest Foundation’s technology partner community, helping the foundation establish a simplified media workflow at 14 Seacrest Studios locations in pediatric hospitals across the United States.

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and educational initiatives. Its primary initiative is to build broadcast media centers (Seacrest Studios) that allow pediatric patients to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media, and contribute positively to the healing process for children and their parents.

RSF opened its first Seacrest Studios in 2010 with an emphasis on the radio side of broadcast and production. Over the last several years RSF’s strategy has expanded to include a larger video component.

“There were always video elements so that patients could visually take in what was happening in the studio inside their rooms,” said Nicole Mead, VP Business Development and Operations, Ryan Seacrest Foundation. “As technology has evolved along with the desires of young patients, we have made significant investments on the video production side. Seacrest Studios locations today have the appearance of a combination radio and television studio. The square footage of Seacrest Studios has essentially doubled since our first build.”

With these changes came the need to modernize their technology footprint within both new and existing Seacrest Studios. The radio automation workflow was a specific emphasis. In addition to a desire for a more simplified on-air and production workflow, RSF also wanted a solution that offered direct hooks into some of the video production elements under consideration at the time. These are some of the reasons that inspired RSF to standardize on ENCO’s DAD radio automation solution across all locations, including the recently opened Seacrest Studios inside Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, NY.

“We spent nine months researching how we could best modernize and simplify the Seacrest Studios infrastructure and workflow,” said Cayce Long, Senior Communications Specialist. “ENCO gives us a very powerful all-in-one solution to handle file conversions, metadata and other production elements that previously required separate components and manual intervention. For example, DAD’s Dropbox utility automatically manages all required conversions and places in the appropriate file directories for scheduling. We schedule everything centrally from our network operations center in Nashville, but DAD makes it very easy. In fact, on most days we don’t have to go into the system to create the day’s program schedule. DAD simply takes care of it using the rules I provide for each day.”
DAD can also seamlessly interoperate with video technologies added to Seacrest Studios, including new PTZ cameras at many locations.

“ENCO helps us fuel a visual radio workflow in addition to our traditional radio programming,” he said. “We recently brought in guests from the Nashville Zoo here at our Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt location in Nashville, and the guests included arachnids that we wanted on camera,” said Long. “Radio today also means capturing video inside your studio for your Twitch and YouTube channels, or building a library of video and audio podcasts. ENCO helps us tick all those boxes.”

The latest Seacrest Studios at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, which opened in late September, will cater to a highly diverse community of patients across many nationalities. Mead sees DAD playing a valuable role in bringing a similarly diverse array of programming to patients.

ENCO worked closely with the RSF team to provide DAD training services in advance of the installations. This has proved invaluable to the non-profit organization as they work to fulfill and expand their mission of helping children tap into creative processes that help them thrive, while bringing an uplifting spirit to each hospital community.

“We have heard innumerable stories of uplift from patients and families based on their Seacrest Studios experiences,” said Mead. “We have some patients, including a young girl in Colorado, who gained so much from their broadcasting experiences that they have continued to host weekly programs in the studio following discharge. I don’t think any of us ever quite envisioned the power that Seacrest Studios would bring to these pediatric communities, or that we would have 14 locations by the end of 2023. Companies like ENCO are helping us bring the gift of healing to many.”

“We all have challenges in our lives, but those challenges seem trivial when you are in the company of young kids who are fighting for their lives,” said ENCO President Ken Frommert, who attended the grand opening of the Queens studio. “We witnessed first-hand the joy that the Ryan Seacrest Foundation is bringing to kids and their parents, and it is inspiring to play a role in their efforts to offer healing opportunities for these families.”


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