The Corporate Engineering Department

The Corporate Engineering Department at Crawford is the technical backbone of the company. It exists to create and maintain the infrastructures necessary for broadcasting at the company’s 22 radio stations. In addition to engineering, our corporate engineering department exists as the technical research and development arm of the company, exploring, developing and implementing new technologies and keeping our company on the leading edge of technology in every aspect of our business. Other activities include property development and management, project oversight, facility design and construction, regulatory compliance, purchasing and budgeting. We seek to hire the very best engineering personnel and provide the best training and support to those personnel.

Crawford’s objective in the technical realm is to provide the very best state-of-the-art studio and transmitter facilities possible. We make strategic investments to keep our radio stations head and shoulders above the rest in terms of quality, reliability and listener experience. We have taken AM and FM broadcasting to new levels with the very best in solid-state transmitters, broadband antenna systems, the very latest in audio processing technology, audio over internet protocol (AOIP) infrastructure and digital transmissions (HD Radio).

Our Corporate Engineering Department is headed by Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD, DRB. Cris has held that position since 1984 and continues to direct the technical affairs of the company, serving in essence as the in-house consulting engineer for the company.


Crawford strives to remain on the leading edge of technology in every aspect of its operations, including studio, transmitter, internet and mobile. On many occasions our company has been way out ahead of the pack and worked with manufacturers to develop new technology. In others we were early adopters of technologies that were developed for other segments of the communications industry, adapting those technologies to our own unique needs.

Among the newer technologies in use at Crawford are:

HD Radio (digital) – Crawford was well out in front of the rest of the industry when it began hybrid digital radio transmissions on its FM stations in the early 2000s. Today we continue to transmit digital HD Radio signals on all our FM and most of our AM stations, providing listeners with superior sound quality, title/artist information, multicast channels and, in some cases, “Artist Experience” data for radios with displays that support it.

Internet Streams – Crawford has since the earliest days of streaming provided simulcasts of its on-air programming via high-quality internet streams. These streams provide listeners in homes, offices and elsewhere an alternative means of “tuning in” to our stations using their computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Alexa Skills – All of our internet streams include Alexa skills, which can be installed on Amazon Echo smartspeakers. There is a link on each station’s website to the Alexa skill, so installation is easy. Once installed, listeners can simply say, “Alexa, listen to…” and the station’s name or callsign and the smartspeaker becomes a “radio.”

Audio Over Internet Protocol – Behind the scenes at Crawford, many of our stations operate using all-digital studio and transmitter facilities employing Audio Over Internet Protocol (AOIP) technology, a means of transmitting sound using a private gigabit computer network within our facilities. This results in superior sound quality and unsurpassed signal-to-noise ratio for our listeners and the ultimate in flexibility in routing/controlling/mixing signals for our technical and operations staffs.

Broadband Data Links – Wherever possible, Crawford employs broadband microwave data links to connect its remote transmitter sites to its studio locations. These links provide a means for us to transmit main channel as well as multicast audio from studio to transmitter using digital means, a practice which produces superior sound quality on the air. These links also provide us with an unsurpassed level of control and monitoring of our transmitter sites including IP control/monitoring of transmitters, antenna systems, security systems and HVAC. We can also visually monitor our transmitter sites using arrays of visible and infrared surveillance cameras to protect them from thieves and vandals.

Energy Saving Technology – Unseen by our listeners, many Crawford facilities employ various energy saving techniques and technologies. Our high-power AM stations employ Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) technology, which reduces power consumption by 30% or more at those sites. Many of our towers use LED beacons and marker lamps, which consume one-tenth of the power of conventional incandescent tower lighting. Our transmitters are the most energy efficient units available.





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