KXCT/​Goodland, KS Chooses VirtualNewsCenter™

KXCT-​​FM89.1 Cat Country”  owned by Whiplash Community Radio, LLC part­ners with VirtualNewsCenter™ to deliver fresh local news for the Tri-​​State region of Northwest Kansas, Northeast Colorado and Southwest Nebraska.

Owner Chris Lash is build­ing the Cat Country Network to bring com­mu­nity radio to rural America.  “With today’s amaz­ing tech­nol­ogy, doing local news is sim­ple and great with VirtualNewsCenter™,” says Lash.“Our group of radio sta­tions sound even more local, thanks to their help.”

It’s excit­ing to part­ner with Chris to lever­age today’s tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide qual­ity local news and com­mu­nity ser­vice to rural America,” said VirtualNewsCenter™ Founder and EVP/​Technology Scott Roberts. “We look for­ward to grow­ing along with Chris as he devel­ops the Cat Country Network.”

VirtualNewsCenter™ anchor Ed Histed (Outer Banks, NC) deliv­ers 89.1 Kat Country local news­casts and online news content.

VirtualNewsCenter™ Announces Partnership with United Stations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (Wichita, KS July 10, 2013) VirtualNewsCenter™, the com­pany that pio­neered the remotely-​​produced local news indus­try nearly seven years ago, is now offer­ing ser­vices on barter in part­ner­ship with United Stations Radio Networks. This part­ner­ship renews VirtualNewsCenter™‘s com­mit­ment to a station-​​focused cus­tomer rela­tion­ship, mak­ing the ser­vice acces­si­ble to more stations

In our pre­vi­ous barter agree­ment sta­tions had mul­ti­ple affil­i­ate rela­tions con­tacts, which led to some frus­tra­tions with our cus­tomers,” said EVP/​Affiliate Relations Joel Dearing. “Not only will the rela­tion­ship with USRN reduce the frus­tra­tion, but we’ve found we are able to write agree­ments at a lower ad com­mit­ment per week. This makes our ser­vice even more afford­able, espe­cially when com­pared to the increas­ing costs of a full-​​time employee.”

At VirtualNewsCenter™, they’ve come up with a ter­rific busi­ness model that pro­vides much-​​needed ser­vices to sta­tions on a barter basis,” stated Rich Baum, EVP Sales at United Stations Radio Networks. “We’re thrilled to be able to part­ner with their team to help them expand their busi­ness through our sales efforts and also to have them give our adver­tis­ers deeper reach into a very engaged audience.”

VirtualNewsCenter™ is con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide daily con­tent to the sta­tions with unex­pired con­tracts to the company’s for­mer barter part­ner, who have agreed to shift their com­mit­ment to the new arrange­ment at the expi­ra­tion of their exist­ing contract.

Looking for the Ultimate Work-​​from-​​Home News Gig? VirtualNewsCenter has it.

LOOKING FORFEW GREAT WOMEN (News Anchors, that is!)
The world is chang­ing and smart broad­cast­ers are lis­ten­ing! Growing demand for VIRTUAL NEWS CENTER ser­vices could mean IMMEDIATE OPPORTUNITY for YOU! Rapid expan­sion at this industry-​​leading trend­set­ter is cre­at­ing even more demand for expe­ri­enced news­cast­ers equipped to excel in pro­vid­ing mar­kets with excep­tional local news in a ground-​​breaking work-​​from-​​home sit­u­a­tion. P/​T to start. Can you turn any topic into a con­cise, mean­ing­ful, com­pelling story? Let’s talk. Pleasant but author­i­ta­tive voice? Even bet­ter. Send your MP3 demo, resume and at least three (3) ref­er­ences (no links, please) to , or call 312-402-4667. Male anchors are welcome to submit materials for future openings. Let’s make news, together!

VirtualNewsCenter™ Grows to 190 Affiliates

WWON-​​AM “Big Oldies 930,” owned by Jukebox Media, LLC, is the 190th sta­tion to affil­i­ate with VirtualNewsCenter™, the com­pany that pio­neered the remotely-​​produced local news indus­try nearly seven years ago.

When bring­ing the sta­tion back to a locally focused sta­tion, I had sev­eral ser­vices from which to choose to pro­vide local news for our lis­ten­ers,” says Big Oldies 930 GM/​Owner Chuck Koblenz. VirtualNewsCenter™ pro­vided the best demo and cost effec­tive way for my lis­ten­ers to get the news they need to start their day.  Virtual News Center™ has been an impor­tant addi­tion to our morn­ing sched­ule with great results.”

VirtualNewsCenter™ Founder and EVP/​Technology Scott Roberts says, “Big Oldies 930’s tar­get audi­ence loves the great songs of yes­ter­year. But today’s local news is very impor­tant to them, too, and with VirtualNewsCenter™ Chuck is able to keep lis­ten­ers in the know with­out the huge bottom-​​line impact of hav­ing an employee in-​​house.”

VirtualNewsCenter™ anchor Kasey Kruz (Grand Rapids, MI) deliv­ers KBRV 800 AM local news­casts and online news content.

KBRV Owner: “Increasing Listenership” Due to VirtualNewsCenter™

KBRV AM 800, owned by Flash Broadcasting, is pleased to announce its recent part­ner­ship with VirtualNewsCenter™ to pro­vide local news for the station’s ser­vice area of Southeast Idaho, Northern Utah and Western Wyoming.

We are super impressed. You helped our sta­tion tremen­dously,” says KBRV AM 800 Owner/​Operator Frank Vilt. “Our sig­nal broad­casts approx­i­mately 200 miles in all direc­tions and our lis­ten­er­ship is now increas­ing thanks to VirtualNewsCenter™”

Virtual News Center Founder and EVP/​Technology Scott Roberts says, “we’re quite happy to add KBRV and are proud to be a part of the station’s suc­cess. Frank is cre­at­ing the kind of local radio that will con­tinue to be a win­ner for years to come.”

VirtualNewsCenter™ anchors Ed Histed (NC outer banks), Marina Brett (Miami) and David Jennings (Chicago) deliver KBRV 800 AM local news­casts and online news con­tent. Meet them on KBRV’s web­site at http://kbrvam800.com/about/news-personalities/

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VirtualNewsCenter™ (www.virtualnewscenter.com) pro­vides news, weather, and sports to more than 185 sta­tions in 85+ mar­kets nation­wide, and world­wide through its part­ner­ship with Radionomy Internet Radio. The company’s on-​​air, online, and on-​​demand ser­vices are avail­able via cash, barter or a combination.

Contact:  Joel Dearing, EVP/​Affiliate Relations, Virtual News Center                  877470-6397

P/​T NEWS: LOOKING FORFEW GOOD WOMEN

Well, men too – but due to our con­tin­ued growth Virtual News Center, America’s LOCAL Newsroom, has an imme­di­ate need for female anchors with avail­abil­ity for week­day morn­ing drive assign­ments.  This is a work-​​from-​​home oppor­tu­nity, part-​​time to start. If you have a home stu­dio and can you turn any topic into a con­cise, mean­ing­ful, com­pelling story, let’s talk. If this looks like it could be a good match for your skills and lifestyle, please send your MP3 demo, resume and at least three (3) ref­er­ences (no links, please) to , or call 312-402-4667.

Virtual News Center’s Sandy Preparations

In today’s inter­con­nected world, long-​​term power out­ages, flood­ing, and poten­tial for phys­i­cal dam­age to some of the Internet’s major traf­fic paths and rout­ing points may have an effect on the Internet expe­ri­ence for much of the nation. Several major infra­struc­ture providers were down for extended times last week, when the *stuff* wasn’t hit­ting the fan. The data cen­ters where those prob­lems orig­i­nated are right in the path of Sandy.
Virtual News Center’s core func­tion — get­ting the news to your sta­tion — is not depen­dent on those systems.

Redundancy on top of redundancy

Our cen­tral servers and all our core rout­ing equip­ment is housed in data cen­ters spread through­out the nation’s heart­land. Kansas City, Chicago and Dallas each host major com­po­nents of the sys­tem our anchors use to deliver your news. We designed the sys­tem to sur­vive the loss of any of those pieces, and none of them are threat­ened by Sandy.

As of 10:00am CT Monday, the core ser­vices have remained online bet­ter than 99.999% of the time for the last 14 months. This is the same expected reli­a­bil­ity as the 91-1 phone system.

A deeper bench than most major-​​market newsrooms.

As I write this, three of our anchors are expe­ri­enc­ing effects from the storm: Drew Dawson (Boston), Peter Killeen (Wilmington), and Ed Histed (NC Outer Banks). There are 21 more Virtual News Center anchors & reporters spread across the US, and some of them have already stepped in.

What could keep me from get­ting my news?

Our biggest con­cern at this point is some­thing over which we have no con­trol. There is a remote chance the loss of major Internet con­nec­tion points and data cen­ters on the East Coast will cause a cas­cad­ing fail­ure that impacts the speed with which you can down­load your casts, or that can make the down­load site inac­ces­si­ble. Because of the way the Internet is designed, that should *not* hap­pen. But the the­o­ret­i­cal pos­si­bil­ity does exist.

What should I do if I can’t download?

  1. Call the anchor assigned to those news­casts. If you need their num­ber, please reply to thise­mail and I’ll get it to you.
  2. Your anchor should be able to email you the news casts — you may want to ask them to send to a staff member’s Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account if you’re hav­ing con­nec­tion prob­lems at the station.
  3. Call me for a refeed or email­ing the casts, if necessary.
  4. Call Jen Austin if needed. In a pinch, either she or I can re-​​read the news copy down the phone and you can record it.
  5. The most likely issue is that you have some con­nec­tiv­ity prob­lem related to your ISP. If you are expe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems to other sites, please con­tact your ISP’s tech sup­port after we’ve fig­ured out a way to get your casts to you.

Could this affect other Virtual News Center services?

Yes. Our web­site and a num­ber of sta­tion news blogs are hosted on infra­struc­ture that includes Amazon’s data cen­ters out­side Washington DC. We suf­fered an inabil­ity to do cer­tain things on our web­site back­end dur­ing last week’s Amazon out­age. However, because of other aspects of our sys­tem, that did take the web­site offline. It is pos­si­ble that we will be unable to update about half our sta­tion news blogs for a time if there is a major out­age. However, I want to reit­er­ate: this does not affect the on-​​air con­tent that is the core of what we do.

It’s also pos­si­ble that gen­eral Internet con­ges­tion may affect the qual­ity or avail­abil­ity of our VoIP-​​based phone ser­vice. You may hear abnor­mal ticks or pops in actu­al­i­ties, or you may have prob­lems call­ing one of our toll-​​free lines or your vir­tual news­room num­ber. Our phone switch is in Dallas, so we do not expect this to be a prob­lem. But again, the pos­si­bil­ity exists. The num­bers listed above are cell phone num­bers, and Jen and I are both located in the cen­tral US, out of harm’s way.

A final note

On behalf of Joel, Jen and all our team, thank you for con­tin­u­ing to rely on Virtual News Center to deliver your local news day-​​in and day-​​out. We’ve taken exten­sive mea­sures to build redun­dancy in our sys­tem, so your con­tent will be there when you need it. Were Sandy not likely to have a never-​​before-​​seen impact on the major pop­u­la­tion and tech­nol­ogy cen­ters of the East Coast, we would be con­fi­dent the Internet would with­stand it. We know our sys­tem will.

For those of you deal­ing with the approach­ing storm, our prayers and thoughts are with you. We stand ready to help in any way we can as you respond and/​or recover.

Sincerely,

Scott Roberts
Virtual News Center Founder and EVP/​Technology

Merlin “Refugees” Land on the Virtual News Center Shore

Virtual News Center con­tin­ues to expand with major mar­ket talent.

Many media com­pa­nies are try­ing to cut costs, which often means los­ing very impor­tant parts of pro­gram­ming. Fortunately there is a home for tal­ented radio news pros. Virtual News Center is proud to announce the addi­tion of the fol­low­ing news pro­fes­sion­als to our nation­wide team.

Veronica Carter — Merlin/​Chicago

Veronica has spent her 25 year radio career in Illinois, Indiana, and California, heav­ily involved of all facets of news report­ing and anchor­ing. Carter is cur­rently based near Chicago.

“Working for Merlin Media was short lived, but an adven­ture to say the least! Glad to be with Virtual News Center, it’s actu­ally fun doing news­casts all over the coun­try!” – Veronica Carter

Katherine Kelly — Merlin Chicago

Katherine’s vast expe­ri­ence has had her tour­ing the coun­try by way of radio broad­casts — from Peoria, IL and the Quad Cities of Iowa then on to Seattle and Chicago. Kelly anchored news as a part of some of the country’s top morn­ing shows. She also helped launch the Oprah Radio Network on Sirius XM.

“I am incred­i­bly hon­ored to be join­ing the team at Virtual News Center.  Now I can cover just as many cities with­out leav­ing home!”  – Katherine Kelly

We’re proud to be able to offer Katherine and Veronica the oppor­tu­nity to bring their con­sid­er­able skills to bear pro­duc­ing the highest-​​quality prod­uct pos­si­ble for your sta­tion. Want to know if they’re avail­able in your mar­ket? Contact Joel Dearing today at (877) 4706397.

Virtual News Center Powers Regional KY Network

Lake Cumberland News Network is a brand-​​new regional net­work cen­tered in the Lake Cumberland area of Kentucky.

Here are some of the com­ments after the first month of operation:

Rick Wesley of RadioLibertyKY.com – “we have had lots of very good com­ments about the news on the Lake Cumberland News Network. It’s the best news in the area”

Melissa at WMKZZ93” Monticello/​Wayne County – “it’s great! The response has been great! Thank you!”

Mike Tarter, Regional Director for Forcht Broadcasting (LCNN affil­i­ates WAIN in Columbia/​Adair County, WTLO-​​AM and WYKY-​​FM in Somerset/​Pulaski County) — “It is going very well. The actu­al­i­ties on the sto­ries are per­fect. It REALLY enhances our coverage.”

Joey Hoover, WJRS Jamestown/​Russell Springs/​Russell CountyLCNN has been well received with our lis­ten­ers and in our com­mu­nity. I had three peo­ple men­tion LCNN to me just today while at lunch at a local restaurant.

KNOZ/​Grand Junction Expands VNC from Weekdays to Weekends

The setup with KNOZ is a “One-​​Plus-​​Us” arrange­ment, with one local news per­son and pro­fes­sional anchor­ing and story col­lec­tion by Virtual News Center. After only a week, here was the feed­back from owner Bill Varecha:

His local news guy is being scooped by us on a reg­u­lar basis.

About three weeks later, Bill requested infor­ma­tion on expand­ing Virtual News Center to week­end cov­er­age on his sta­tions. Seven-​​day a week cov­er­age started May 52012.