RIP: Our unsung radio innovator

Eugene Novacek EncoDAD RIP Andover Radio

The man who designed the ‘neural system’ of Andover’s local radio station has died.

Eugene Novacek, who designed the broadcast software used by Andover Radio, died peacefully on New Year’s Day, aged just 61.

He was the man behind Andover Radio’s automation system called EncoDAD; Enco stands for Eugene Novacek’s COmpany.

The systems from Eugene’s company allows Andover Radio to broadcast 24 hours a day, schedule and play it’s stream of music, adverts and spoken content.

When he passed, Eugene was surrounded by family after a long and valiant battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

News of the innovator’s demise comes on the day that Andover Radio founder David Harber quietly confirmed that he will be investigated for a possible spread of cancer, five years after he was first diagnosed with non-seminoma tumours.

“Eugene created the bit that allows us to broadcast twenty-four hours a day, from all parts of the Test Valley”, said David. “His software does everything here except make the coffee and empty the bins”.

Having pioneered his technology in the USA, Eugene (Gene) Novacek made approaches to the UK radio market in the mid-90s. David Harber owned one of the first UK radio stations to use the new Enco software.

David says, “His ideas were ground breaking and to meet Gene when he flew over to the UK to explain his software – then ‘personally’ install – was a real delight. He even allowed me to ‘log in’ and see the operation of one of the world’s best radio stations (WABC in New York).

“The ability to see other computers is completely normal today, but in the mid-90s it was like witchcraft”.

Eugene Novacek was instrumental in changing the world of radio broadcast forever.

Enco UK representative and controversial Andover Radio DJ Grant Francis said in a statement today, “Gene’s legacy lives through his family, the company he founded and the industry he loved and changed.

His passion for the industry and ‘cool innovations’ inspired and pioneered digital audio delivery.

The broadcast software that Andover Radio uses that was designed by Eugene is called DAD (Digital Audio Delivery).

“To me he was a fascinating and intriguing storyteller,” adds Grant. “He was nothing but supportive and enthusiastic… he also never suffered from ‘brain freeze’ as normal humans do.

“He proved this to great delight while quaffing a frozen drink called a ‘pattern buffer’ at the Hilton Hotel’s Star Trek themed bar in Vegas.”

Grant concludes, “UK radio would not be where it is today without Eugene Novacek.

Eugene Novacek is survived by his wife Judith, daughter Kristin, son Andrew and granddaughter Evany.

RIP Eugene Novacek. For us, you changed everything for the better.