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Radio Currents Online - Jan 5 - Jan 11, 2009
CRB Accepts Submissions for Radio Humanitarian and Radio Promotion Awards
Nashville, TN - Jan 5, 2009 - Country Radio Broadcasters is currently accepting applications for the 2009 Radio Humanitarian and Promotion Awards to be given at CRS-40, held March 4-6, 2009. The Radio Humanitarian Award is presented to stations in large, medium and small market categories for public service performed between Nov. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2008.
To enter, stations must submit a written presentation (two pages maximum including photos) of their community service efforts during the eligibility period. Entries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 9, 2009. Applications must include the submitter's name, city, station call letters, daytime phone number and market size.
The Radio Promotion Award is presented to stations in large, medium and small market categories for the most creative and effective radio promotions. Judging criteria include: creativity, implementation strategy, effect on cume (if measured), goals achieved, and style of submission.
Radio Promotion Award winners will receive a free trip to this year's Country Radio Seminar, including airfare, hotel accommodations and registration fees.
CRS-40 will be held March 4-6, 2009, at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, TN.
NPR to Receive Vision Free Award at CES
Las Vegas - Jan 6, 2008 - At the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, NPR will receive a Vision Free Award, presented by Stevie Wonder, for its work in accessible digital radio and broadcast services for the sensory impaired. Wonder will host the Vision Free Awards reception on Jan. 9.
Other companies receiving the recognition include
NPR is bringing captioned, Braille, and blackboard radios, as well as a new radio reading service receiver to electronics manufacturers. The new technologies come after extensive research by NPR Labs.
NPR Labs is seeking partnerships with manufacturers to develop the receivers that would serve millions of deaf, hard of hearing and blind people worldwide, as well as people who are located in remote communities needing access to schools. NPR plans to award funds for research and development prototyping that would bring these cutting edge radios into production and into the hands of the consumers within two to five years.
Captioned Radio leverages HD Radio technology and uses a built-in screen display on specially equipped receivers to allow deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences to see live radio content simultaneously with the broadcast.
Braille Radio opens the live radio experience to people who are cannot see or hear. It builds upon captioned radio technology by taking the speech to text information and translating it into Braille through an add-on electronic Braille device that looks like a small keyboard. NPR is partnering with the Helen Keller National Center to further advance the features of this new radio technology, breaking down barriers for those without sight or hearing.
Radio Reading Services are special radio side channels that offer spoken text from daily print publications through specially designated radio channels. The new design will use an HD Radio format that provides better sound quality and user-friendly features like voice prompts and audio cues that make it easier for the visually disabled to activate the service once they've purchased a new generation of HD Radio. One prototype exists currently designed by Dice Electronics that may be available as early as 2009.
Blackboard Radio relies on a Radio Data System (RDS) transmission to connect classrooms with students who are located in remote regions without access to schools. It will also assist students who are not able to leave their environment to attend class. These electronic chalkboards, now gaining popularity in American schools, would be configured to interconnect with the Blackboard Radio and transmit the screen display in real time. The Blackboard Radio display design is expected to mirror a digital photo frame in size, look and feel. This would allow for the student to see on his display screen what the teacher is writing on the electronic chalkboard in the classroom. The teacher's spoken voice is heard simultaneously via a radio subcarrier.
SBE Introduces SBE University
Indianapolis - Jan 2, 2009 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers has opened the SBE University; a series of online, on-demand courses designed to bring expert instruction on a variety of technical radio and television topics to broadcast engineers at an affordable price.
The first course offered by the SBE University is AM Antenna Modeling. Enrollment is now open. Two more courses, FM Transmission Systems and Matching Networks and Phasing will open for enrollment on January 9. Courses on technical television topics and additional radio courses will be announced soon.
Arbitron Settles with NJ and NY Attorneys General
New York - Jan 8, 2009 - Arbitron has joined in a final consent judgment with the Attorney General of New Jersey (NJAG) that will resolve all claims against Arbitron that were alleged in the lawsuit filed by the NJAG in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Middlesex County on Oct. 9, 2008. The lawsuit alleged violations of New Jersey consumer protection and civil rights laws relating to the marketing and commercialization in New Jersey of the Portable People Meter radio ratings services.
Arbitron has also joined in a stipulated order on consent with the Attorney General of the State of New York (NYAG) that will resolve all claims against Arbitron that were alleged in the lawsuit filed by the NYAG in New York County Supreme Court on Oct. 9, 2008.
As part of the NJ settlement, Arbitron denies any liability or wrongdoing. Also as part of the settlement, Arbitron will incorporate a number of actions into its improvement program for the Portable People Meter ratings service in the Philadelphia and New York radio markets, consistent with the actions already included in Arbitron's improvement program for the New York market and that are part of its agreement with the Attorney General of the State of New York.
Within the PPM services in the Philadelphia and New York radio markets, Arbitron has agreed to:
Arbitron agreed to pay the state of New Jersey $130,000 for investigative costs and expenses, and in the New York case agreed to pay $200,000 in settlement of the claims and $60,000 for costs.
Arbitron will pay a single lump sum of $100,000 to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) for a joint radio project between NABOB and the Spanish Radio Association to support minority radio; complete a non-response bias study in the New York radio market; and fund an advertising campaign in the radio trade press promoting minority radio.
Both attorneys general reserve the right to rescind their orders and reinstitute the civil action, if Arbitron has not achieved all of the specific metrics in the agreement. In New York, Arbitron must obtain accreditation from the Media Rating Council for its New York PPM radio ratings service by Oct. 15, 2009. In New Jersey, Arbitron must obtain accreditation from the Media Rating Council for either New York or Philadelphia PPM radio ratings service by Dec. 31, 2009.
Congress Intros Broadcaster Freedom Act
Washington, DC - Jan 8, 2009 - The Broadcaster Freedom Act outlines legislation that would bar the reactivation of the Fairness Doctrine. Two versions of the bill have been introduced. Senate version S. 34 of the bill was introduced Jan. 7, 2009, by Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Thune (R-SC). The bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 226) is sponsored by Representatives Mike Pence (R-IN) and Greg Walden (R-OR).
The Fairness Doctrine, first implemented in the 1940s, required broadcasters to air contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. It was eliminated in 1987 after the Federal Communications Commission found it had a "chilling effect" on free speech.
The NAB has opposed reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. Dennis Warton, NAB Executive Vice President, notes that without the requirement, there has been an "absolute explosion in alternative media outlets, providing a rich diversity of viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum."
Arbitron Commercializes PPM Ratings in Four New Markets
New York - Dec 31, 2008 - Arbitron has commercialized its Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings service in four new local markets. The radio audience estimates for the December 2008 PPM survey month (Nov. 21-Dec. 17) have been delivered to subscribers in Dallas-Ft. Worth; Atlanta; Washington, DC; and Detroit.
PPM audience estimates are now considered buy/sell currency in 14 local markets. The latest four join New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Riverside-San Bernardino and San Jose. According to Arbitron, these markets account for 51.7 percent of the estimated radio station revenue in the top 50 radio markets.
In April 2009, Arbitron plans to commercialize the PPM radio ratings service in Boston with the release of the March PPM survey report.
Arbitron Touts PPM Demographic Sample Quality
New York - Dec 31, 2008 - Arbitron released a summary of sample quality metrics for the December 2008 Portable People Meter (PPM) survey report. On average, across 14 PPM currency markets for the December 2008 survey reports that released Dec. 31 PPM panels:
On average, in the eight PPM markets that qualify for Spanish-language weighting, the PPM panels exceed the Hispanic Spanish-Dominant sample targets by 38 percent; and exceed the English-Dominant sample targets by 9 percent.
Among the persons age 18-34 demographic, the average performance across the 14 markets is 93 percent of the sample target. By race/ethnicity, black persons age 18-34 averaged 92 percent of target and Hispanic persons age 18-34 averaged 101 percent of target.
In-tab rate for persons 6+ across the 14 PPM-currency markets for the December 2008 PPM survey reports averaged 79 percent, which is 4 percentage points higher than the benchmark of 75 percent.
Details of the report are posted at the Arbitron website.
Given the pressure that Arbitron is receiving from minority groups, this data shows well for the survey company, although it is unlikely that this will appease the minority groups in their arguments.
Clear Channel Radio Launches Real-time Traffic with HD Radio San Antonio - Jan 6, 2008 - Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network (CCTTN) has launched real-time traffic services using HD Radio channels today. The service, which delivers updated traffic information at more than 500 messages per minute, is operational in 50 markets. Dual Electronics has launched the first commercial personal navigation device to offer this service. The traffic data for this service is created by a combination of Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network and INRIX floating car data. All the data that is provided is continuously monitored and updated by Clear Channel's staff of local traffic data producers.
Izotope Powers Sony Acid Pro 7 Effect Rack
Cambridge, MA - Jan 6, 2008 - Izotope has licensed several audio technologies to Sony for its recent release of Acid Pro 7 digital audio workstation. The Acid Pro Effects Rack bundle includes flanger, phaser, analog delay and dynamics effects powered by Izotope DSP technology.
Gen2media Launches Independent Music Content on Xbox Live
Orlando, FL - Jan 5, 2009 - Gen2media is showcasing independent music on Xbox Live. E360live.com on Xbox Live features original programming from all music genres from independent and up and coming artists, along with original content from today's most popular artists.
In addition to music videos, e360live.com will give consumers access to classic programming such as underground hip-hop event Scriblejam.
Now in Stores: Storecasting
Charleston, SC - Jan 6, 2009 - American Media Services Interactive (AMSI) has launched Storecasting, a customizable audio content platform for retail or corporate environments. The service offers 200 channels of programmed music or a customized music feed. The system is setup up for single or multiple locations with a provided tool set.
All messaging and branding frequency are controlled by the user and can include internal marketing messages or revenue-producing third party messages. The content for AMSI'S Storecasting is delivered via IP through the customer's Internet connection and utilizes a proprietary Internet receiver provided by AMSI.
Northrop Grumman, Global Security Systems Team on Alert Capabilities
CES Las Vegas - Jan 8, 2009 - Global Security Systems (GSS) has teamed with Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector to deploy national, state and local alert and warning systems that leverage wireless and non-wireless communications infrastructure and consumer devices such as cell phones, music players and GPS devices. The combined systems will enable the president, state and local officials, and emergency management agencies to communicate with first responders and citizens during emergencies. In particular, this collaboration addresses the requirements of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deploy an Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
The GSS Net Alert FM system uses an FM chip that can be inserted into many common consumer devices to enable them to receive weather, homeland security and local alerts including traffic emergencies and AMBER alerts. The system is currently installed in more than 10 states. The devices currently receive content from broadcast partners, and state and local agencies.
Surgex Joins Forces With ESP
Pipersville, PA - Jan 7, 2009 - AC surge elimination and power conditioning manufacturer Surgex has merged its North American operations with Electronic Systems Protection, a manufacturer of power protection technology. Surgex management will join the ESP team, and by late January all product manufacturing will be consolidated into ESP's facility in Zebulon, NC.
Holophone Moves to New Headquarters
Ontario - Jan 7, 2009 - Holophone has moved its headquarters out of the city of Toronto and into a 150-year-old farmhouse in historic Schomberg, in the township of King, Ontario. The larger facility allows the company to continue to expand and the company notes that the quieter, ranch-like setting will inspire creativity.
The new address is:
14430 Highway 27
Schomberg, Ontario, L0G1T0
The company's phone number remains the same: 416-362-7790.
DTS Acquires Neural Audio
Agoura Hills, CA - Jan 6, 2009 - DTS has acquired Neural Audio. The acquisition brings aboard executive and technical talent including Geir Skaaden, CEO; Mark Seigle, president and COO; Jeff Thompson, director of engineering; and James Johnston, chief scientist.
DTS paid $7.5 million in cash for certain assets and liabilities of Neural Audio and may pay up to $7.5 million of additional cash consideration over the next five years if certain conditions are met. The transaction closed on Dec. 31, 2008 and is expected to be accretive in 2009.
Separately, DTS hired several other executives and plans to open a research and development facility in Silicon Valley. Joining DTS and heading the R&D effort in Silicon Valley will be Dr. Jean-Marc Jot. DTS also hired Principal Audio Engineer Dr. Martin Walsh, and Senior Audio Engineer Edward Stein.
PPM Receives MRC Accreditation in Riverside-San Bernardino
New York - Jan 9, 2009 - The Media Rating Council (MRC) has accredited the Arbitron Portable People Meter radio quarter-hour ratings data in Riverside-San Bernardino. The sample used a telephone-based sample frame and telephone recruitment with landlines and cell phones.
Arbitron voluntarily submitted data to the Media Rating Council process and is following the requirements of the draft Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCOC), which requires, at minimum, that a measurement service seeking to replace an existing accredited currency product in a market submit the replacement product to a rigorous independent audit and that the results of the audit are shared with customers who are members of MRC prior to commercialization of the replacement product. The VCOC also requires a period of comparison data for customers to evaluate.
Emmis New York Stations Launch Iphone App
New York - Jan 5, 2009 - Emmis Communications New York radio stations HOT 97, 98.7 Kiss FM and 101.9 RXP have launched new Iphone apps featuring a visual interface with station music, artists and events. The tool launches via partnership with technology developer Radio Voodoo and features instant now playing elements that allow listeners to find out about the music being heard the radio and instantly download it from Itunes. The app also features event information, polls and commenting.
Broadcast Electronics Adds to Sales and Technical Team
Quincy, IL - Jan 5, 2009 - Broadcast Electronics has added to its sales and technical team. Bryan Jones, most recently director of engineering for CBS Radio in Portland, joins BE as western region sales manager. Jones replaces Ellis Terry and expands the role of regional sales manager to provide broadcasters with end-to-end system solutions. He will represent BE's RF transmitters and studio automation products and remain in Portland to serve the western U.S.
Tim White, formerly market director of engineering and IT for Clear Channel in Sarasota, FL, has been appointed RF technical service engineer. He comes to BE with 30 years of broadcast engineering experience.
BE also hired Rick Mason, formerly a U.S. Air Force technician with radio experience, as a first-level test technician for its Marti STL and transmitter brand.
Abdnour Joins Nautel
Hackett's Cove, NS - Jan 6, 2009 - John Abdnour has joined Nautel as regional sales manager, Asia/Pacific. Based in his home city of Streator, IL, Abdnour will manage Nautel's sales network in more than 40 countries.
Prior to joining Nautel, Abdnour was national RF accounts manager for Broadcast Electronics, and before that served for 20 years as Midwest district sales manager for Continental Electronics. Other experience includes the former International Tapetronics Corporation as well as radio station engineering and programming.
Taylor Tate Leaves FCC
Washington - Jan 5, 2009 - FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate has left the Federal Communications Commission. She was originally appointed to the commission by President Bush on Nov. 9, 2005 for the remainder of a term ending June 30, 2007. President Bush reappointed her to the position at that time for a term that would expire June 30, 2012. She is one of the three Republican commissioners currently on the commission, Martin and McDowell being the other two.
She issued a statement on her departure:
My term as Commissioner has come to an end, and I would like to express what a great privilege and honor it has been to serve our country and the Federal Commissions Commission over the past three years. I am grateful to President Bush for his appointment and for his confidence in my ability to make important decisions on behalf of the American people.
In cooperation with my fellow Commissioners, we have made history: implementing successful spectrum auctions, creating a new homeland security bureau, providing broadband grants for rural healthcare and overseeing the digital transition for television. I am extremely proud of our work on behalf of children and families, for persons with disabilities and for spurring new investment and innovation.
Looking to the future, I will continue to speak out on issues affecting children and families, from childhood obesity to child online safety, both here and around the world. As a proud citizen of Nashville, Music City USA, I will continue to be dedicated to protecting our stories and storytellers, and to opposing the economic and moral harm of piracy.
As a Rule 31 mediator, I am excited about launching a formal mediation practice that will utilize the skills I have practiced daily at the Commission to develop resolution, consensus and collaboration in the communications sector and beyond. Finally, I hope to be engaged in a dialogue to fully engage the Information, Communications and Technologies (ICT) sectors more collaboratively with our energy providers to positively impact our nation’s goal of true energy independence.
I would like to thank the Commission's professional staff, which includes the finest, most honorable group of civil servants in our government. They are viewed as the “gold standard” by our international colleagues and I appreciate their dedication, integrity and commitment. All Americans should be proud of their work.
And finally, I would like to thank my colleagues, and offer my best wishes as they continue to address these critical issues for America and Americans in the coming years.
Goodwin Appointed President of FDW-Worldwide
Madison, WI - Jan 7, 2009 - FDW-Worldwide, the North American distributor of Violet-Design, Sontronics, Nevaton microphones and worldwide distributors of Cable Up and Vu cables and accessories, has appointed Buzz Goodwin to the newly created position of president of FDW-Worldwide. The announcement was made by Jonathan and Susan Lipp, owners of FDW-Worldwide.
In this position, Goodwin will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of the business as well as managing worldwide sales and marketing strategies, artist relations and product development for all FDW-Worldwide brands.
Goodwin has more than 20 years of industry experience with the last 11 years in managerial roles with Harman Professional. Prior to that, he was vice president at Audio-Technica.
John Morris has been with Abacast since April 2001. He was a key member of the company's initial technology development team, ultimately promoted to the position of VP engineering and chief technology officer. He will continue to serve in that position.
Jim Kott, formerly an officer at Tukati before that company was acquired by Abacast in mid-2008, has been leading the company's marketing, sales administration and product management functions since joining Abacast. Kott will continue to serve as VP, sales, marketing and product management.
Kristy Surovic has been appointed to VP, administration. Surovic has headed the company's administrative functions since joining Abacast in early 2007.
Eye on IBOC
HD Radio Electronic Program Guide Begins Second Phase
Washington, DC - Jan 7, 2009 - A project demonstrating the viability of an HD Radio electronic program guide (EPG) has received approval and funding to proceed to a second phase, culminating in an on-air EPG field trial later this year. The project is the work of a consortium led by BIA Advisory Services of Chantilly, VA, and Broadcast Signal Lab of Boston, MA, with the cooperation of Unique Interactive, a UK-based company, and is funded by the National Association of Broadcasters Flexible Advanced Services for Television and Radio On All Devices (NAB FASTROAD) technology advocacy program.
In the consortium's first phase of work last year, it researched the industry's needs and preferences on this subject, and developed a proposal for an HD Radio EPG service architecture. This proposal, delivered to the NAB FASTROAD last fall, included several key findings, which are detailed in the project's business requirements and use cases document, which is available online at www.nabfastroad.org.
Several conclusions have already been reached. Implementing an EPG was found to be inherently more difficult for radio than for television because of a number of factors, including the mobile nature of radio listening and the wide variation in radio receiver displays. Taking these challenges into account, the consortium has proposed a design for the U.S. HD Radio EPG system that incorporates several potential design architectures accommodating a range of delivery styles.
In the project's second phase, the consortium will continue to collect feedback from the industry on the evolving concept of an HD Radio EPG architecture, and move toward end-to-end trial operation of an EPG service in laboratory and on-air environments. The proposed system builds upon an EPG-delivery specification developed by Ibiquity Digital for HD Radio, and expands its scope to interface with broadcast data authoring methods currently USED at radio stations. The proposal also considers EPG delivery to a wide variety of receiver types and displays and accommodates the possibility of third-party service bureaus providing EPG data for stations or groups.
Later in 2009, the project will conclude with several months of on-air field trials in the Boston and Providence, RI, markets, which were selected for their substantial numbers of HD Radio stations on-air, including many with coverage areas that overlap into the adjacent market (which provides additional challenges to mobile receivers in keeping a current EPG).
The consortium invites comments on its work to-date. After reviewing the document at the link above, submit comments to email@example.com.
HD Radio Adds Real-Time Traffic
CES Las Vegas - Jan 6, 2009 - HD Radio enters the real-time traffic consumer market through its advanced data services. At CES, two in-dash head units and three personal navigation devices (PND) are being shown. Five prototypes are being shown, including a built-in receiver, cigarette lighter adapter, a cradle product, a Dual in-dash unit and a Visteon advanced OEM platform.
Real-time navigation devices using HD Radio technology deliver traffic and concierge services such as gas station prices, movie listings, sports scores, stock quotes, school closings and emergency alerts.
Two broadcast groups have announced that they will offer HD Radio real-time traffic data in the near future: Clear Channel is currently offering a real-time traffic service nationally. In 2008, a group of leading radio companies formed the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, which is working with Navteq to build a nationwide broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other concierge data services via radio.
Satellite Radio Sees First Interoperable Receiver
New York - Jan 8, 2009 - Sirius XM Radio unveiled Mirge, the first interoperable satellite radio. The radio has a suggested list price of $250 and is scheduled to be available in early spring 2009.
The satellite radio provider also announced that its Sirius Everything plus XM Everything package will be available at a monthly cost of $19.99, which is less expensive than paying for two individual subscriptions.
The Mirge can display a real-time programming guide, pause, rewind and replay up to 60 minutes of live programming, alert listeners to favorite artists and songs that are playing on another channel of the active service with Tuneselect, and track the latest scores and update on stock while listening to live programming. The receiver includes an interoperable vehicle antenna, vehicle dock, vehicle power adapter, cassette adapter, aux in cable, vent and adhesive mount and remote control. The radio can be moved from the car to the home with optional accessories.
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