Radio takes center stage, the sessions at the 2003 NAB Radio Show

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The NAB Radio Show is radio's big chance to stand on its own without being overshadowed by other media segments. This convention focuses on delivering audio entertainment to a mass audience. The event goes beyond the borders of traditional radio by integrating information about non-traditional radio topics, such as streaming and a station's online presence.

Philadelphia hosts the convention this year; a city that has not seen the Radio Show in a long time. Speculation as to the convention's success varies in opinion, but the new location offers easy access for the eastern seaboard and parts of the Midwest.

The sessions and show floor offer something for almost everyone at the station. Radio magazine's NAB Radio Show preview provides plenty of useful information to help you get the most from the convention.

By the way, the show floor has been given a new name this year. It is called the Radio Exchange by the NAB. Keep this in mind when using the NAB materials to plan your time at the convention.

Session spotlight

The NAB Radio Show has a strong programming and management feel, but there are also three full days of technical sessions, which feature knowledgeable presenters and topics relevant to the current state of radio. In addition to the technical program, there are sessions in the management track that cover radio technology and topics of interest to technology managers. Between the exhibit floor and the sessions, attendees will have plenty to do to keep busy for three days.

The Technical Workshops concentrate on radio transmission for analog and IBOC digital systems. Each full-day workshop features speakers who are recognized in their field. The sessions provide practical and theoretical information that should help attendees improve their stations today and prepare for the changes tomorrow. Workshop attendees also receive a certificate signifying their attendance. Attendance may also be used to earn SBE recertification points.

Technical Workshops

Whether your interest is in the latest digital technologies, such as DAB and networked facilities operations, to the optimization of an RF facility, the technical workshops provide practical information to operate the station today and plan for its operation tomorrow.

AM/FM Antenna Certification Workshop

October 1, room 201B

The antenna system is the final link between a station and the listener's receiver, and proper maintenance of this system is important to a station's success. This workshop will provide engineers with helpful tips on maintaining antenna systems and troubleshooting RF problems related to the antenna, transmission line, coupling and monitoring systems. In addition, the presenters will also provide suggestions on dealing with the FCC when a transmission system problem is encountered or changes in the RF system are required.

The presenters for this day-long session are Charles A. Cooper, engineer, du Treil, Lundin and Rackley; Benjamin Dawson, president, Hatfield and Dawson; Ronald Rackley, partner, du Treil, Lundin and Rackley; Thomas Silliman, president, Electronics Research; and Bob Surette, manager RF engineering, Shively Labs.

Session schedule

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
FM Antenna Systems Overview

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
FM Antenna System Maintenance

10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Working with the FCC

11:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Questions & Answers

1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
The RF Components of an AM System

1:45 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
AM Directional Antenna Troubleshooting

2:20 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
AM Directional Antenna Repair

2:50 p.m. to 3 p.m.

3 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.
Bandwidth Concepts for AM Antenna Systems

3:25 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Dealing with the FCC

3:50 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Questions & Answers

Digital Radio Certification Workshop

October 2, room 201B

Everything is turning to digital and radio is no exception. While the final details on digital transmission are still in the works, converting a station's studio facilities to digital today is realistic and practical.

Session Schedule

9 a.m. to 12 noon
Ethernet for Studio Audio Systems

Steve Church, CEO, Telos Systems

1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
HD Radio Conversion 101

Jeff Detweiler, broadcast technology manager, Ibiquity Digital; Scott Stull, director of broadcast business development, Ibiquity Digital

4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m
New Methodology for Presenting AM Coverage and Interference Data

E. Glynn Walden, consultant

AM/FM Transmitter Certification Workshop

October 3, room 201B

This session complements the Broadcast Antenna Workshop and presents a thorough discussion of transmitter troubleshooting. The 8th annual transmitter workshop will provide insight to new RF technicians and a refresher to seasoned engineers. It will cover the basic building blocks of transmitters and investigate a variety of real-world transmitter failures. A panel of representatives from the major transmitter manufacturers will be on hand to discuss maintenance tips for their products. Practical disaster examples will be discussed, as well as the solution for recovery. In the Chief Engineer's Lessons Learned panel discussion, attendees will review a checklist of transmitter site maintenance duties, which is useful for helping station management understand the depth of an engineer's responsibilities. A workbook will be provided to each attendee.

John Bisset, RF district sales manager, Harris

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Principles of Transmitters

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Basic Troubleshooting

1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.
A Discussion with the Transmitter Manufacturers

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Living through the Nightmare - You're Off the Air

More Sessions of Note

Here are some sessions that cover technical and legal issues that may be of particular interest to Radio magazine readers.

October 1
Grappling with New Ownership Rules

8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., room 201C
This session will look at the new ownership rules and the new definition for radio markets in particular.

October 2
FCC Breakfast

7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., Philadelphia Marriott Salon E
Bruce Reese, president and CEO of Bonneville International, will moderate this session with FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy.

Keynote Address
9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., Pennsylvania Convention Center Ballroom A
member of the NAB Broadcast Hall of Fame and Marconi Radio Award winner, Rush Limbaugh will deliver this year's keynote address.

Ownership Etc.: The Changing FCC Regulatory Environment
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Session moderator Jack Goodman, senior VP/ and general counsel of the NAB, will host panelists Ken Ferree of the FCC, John Fiorini of Wiley Rein and Fielding, attorney Brian Madden of Leventhal Senter and Lerman, and Melodie Virtue of Garvey Schubert and Barer as they discuss the new ownership rules, spectrum use, IBOC and more.

What You Always Wanted to Know About IBOC but Were Afraid to Ask
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
This session for managers will discuss the various aspects of IBOC from finance to formats. Planned panelists include manufacturers, digital experts and industry leaders.

How Can Arbitron's Portable People Meter Help You?
4 p.m. to 5 p.m., room 204C
Representatives from Arbitron will discuss the methods behind the system that has been undergoing tests in Philadelphia.

October 3
Congressional Breakfast

7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., Philadelphia Marriott Salon E
Congress has focused on issues delving into issues of broadcast ownership, Internet streaming and copyright, advertising regulation and political ad costs. Members of Congress will be on hand to discuss these topics and more.

New Technology: Gadget, Godsend or Gotcha?
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
New technology offers new opportunities, but it also offers new distractions. This session will discuss how to best use breakthrough technology to be more efficient and effective.

The People Meter: Does It Measure Up?
1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m., room 204C
This candid discussion of the Arbitron Personal People Meter will cover the system's potential effects on management and ad rates and also discuss how it works.

More IBOC outside the convention

Broadcast Electronics will host an IBOC seminar on October 1 at the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott hotel from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The company has conducted similar sessions around the country over the past two years.

The session will be conducted by Broadcast Electronics' engineering and marketing departments. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required. To register, e-mail

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