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Radio Currents Online - Mar 10 - Mar 16, 2008
NAB Announces Crystal Radio Awards Finalists
Washington, DC - Mar 10, 2008 - The National Association of Broadcasters announced the 50 finalists for the 2008 Crystal Radio Awards competition today. Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service. This year's finalists are:
|KABC-AM Los Angeles, CA||WBEB-FM Philadelphia, PA|
|KBIG-FM Los Angeles, CA||WCMT-AM Martin, TN|
|KCVM-FM Cedar Falls, IA||WDAY-AM Fargo, ND|
|KFOR-AM Lincoln, NE||WDBR-FM Springfield, IL|
|KGO-AM San Francisco, CA||WDFN-AM Detroit, MI|
|KIRO-AM Seattle, WA||WDRV-FM Chicago, IL|
|KKLI-FM Colorado Springs, CO||WFLS-FM Fredericksburg, VA|
|KMJM-FM St. Louis, MO||WGCV-AM Columbia, SC|
|KNOX-AM Grand Forks, ND||WGN-AM Chicago, IL|
|KOGA-AM Ogallala, NE||WGY-AM Latham, NY|
|KOZT-FM Fort Bragg, CA||WHIZ-AM Zanesville, OH|
|KPKX-FM Phoenix, AZ||WHUR-FM Washington, DC|
|KPRS-FM Kansas City, MO||WILV-FM Chicago, IL|
|KRAI-FM Craig, CO||WIZM-AM La Crosse, WI|
|KRSP-FM Salt Lake City, UT||WJBC-AM Bloomington, IL|
|KSFI-FM Salt Lake City, UT||WKRQ-FM Cincinnati, OH|
|KSJQ-FM St. Joseph, MO||WLEN-FM Adrian, MI|
|KSL-AM Salt Lake City, UT||WQNZ-FM Natchez, MS|
|KSTZ-FM Des Moines, IA||WRVW-FM Nashville, TN|
|KUAD-FM Windsor, CO||WSBA-AM York, PA|
|KUDL-FM Kansas City, MO||WSNA-FM Memphis, TN|
|KUZZ-FM Bakersfield, CA||WSYR-AM Syracuse, NY|
|KYKX-FM Longview, TX||WUBE-FM Cincinnati, OH|
|KZEN-FM Columbus, NE||WUGO-FM Grayson, KY|
|WAWZ-FM Zarephath, NJ||WYCT-FM Pensacola, FL|
Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms. Finalists will be honored and winners announced at the Radio Luncheon on April 15, during the NAB Show.
Bush Says "No" to Fairness Doctrine
Nashville - Mar 11, 2008 - The National Religious Broadcasters convention, held in Nashville, included a speech from President George W. Bush. During his speech, Bush commented on the current Democrat-supported effort to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and the Republican response to block it. From Bush's speech:
"[T]here's an effort afoot that would jeopardize your right to express your views on public airways. Some members of Congress want to reinstate a regulation that was repealed 20 years ago. It has the Orwellian name called the Fairness Doctrine. Supporters of this regulation say we need to mandate that any discussion of so-called controversial issues on the public airwaves includes equal time for all sides. This means that many programs wanting to stay on the air would have to meet Washington's definition of balance. Of course, for some in Washington, the only opinions that require balancing are the ones they don't like."
He went on to add this pledge: "If Congress should ever pass any legislation that stifles your right to express your views, I'm going to veto it."
The attendees at the convention Applauded Bush's statements.
Audio Engineering Society Celebrates 60 Years
New York - Mar 11 2008 - The Audio Engineering Society celebrated its diamond anniversary in the city where it was founded on March 11, 1948. The small group of professional engineers that gathered then has grown into an organization with more than 14,000 members and 169 sections in 48 countries worldwide. To mark the occasion, the AES New York Section hosted a standing-room-only celebratory gathering at NYC's New School for Social Research. The event was highlighted by a screening of excerpts from the forthcoming AES Oral History Project.
The film featured anecdotes by Columbia Records engineer Frank Liaco; Louis Goodfriend, first editor of the AES Journal; Norman Pickering, inventor and AES officer; and Les Paul, the godfather of multi-track recording, provided the audience with insights, revelations and thanks to Les Paul, occasional laughs. Comprised of more than 120 exclusive, hour-long interviews, the anthology was shot by Irv Joel and edited by Harry Hirsch, members of the AES Historical Committee. The AES will begin making interviews from the Oral History Project available on DVD later this year.
Following the introductions, revered audio professional and former AES president Floyd Toole discussed the trailblazing work of Harry F. Olson. A pivotal force in technology development, Olson presented the first technical paper at the initial AES meeting. Toole's address illustrated how far the art and science of audio has evolved since 1948.
NAB Challenges Internet Streaming Decision
Washington, DC - Mar 12, 2008 - The National Association of Broadcasters filed a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court on March 10 challenging the Copyright Royalty Board decision that drastically increased the amount of money paid by local radio stations and webcasters for sound recordings streamed over the Internet. The brief, jointly filed with appellants Bonneville International and the National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee, argues that the CRB failed to follow the statutory standards for rate-setting and ultimately adopted a rate structure founded upon flawed methodology.
An excerpt from the 49-page filing 49-page filing reads:
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
The Board’s threshold ruling that terrestrial radio stations that stream their stations on the Internet (“Simulcasters”) must pay a per-performance, per-listener royalty, instead of an annual flat fee royalty, was unlawful. The Copyright Act requires the Board to determine the rates and terms that a willing buyer and willing seller would have negotiated in the marketplace, and it separately requires the Board to identify the different “types” of webcasters that should pay different rates. Simulcasters submitted extensive evidence showing that these statutory tests required an annual flat fee royalty, because that is what Simulcasters have negotiated in other similar marketplace contexts and because a per-performance fee structure would undermine Simulcasters’ business models. The Board’s Order never addresses any of Simulcasters’ arguments. See Order at 17-25 (JA__). This is a fundamental violation of basic principles of administrative law. Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983) (decision must be reversed if it “entirely failed to consider an important aspect of the problem”).
Even if the Board could have justified a per-performance fee structure for Simulcasters, the Board’s determination of the precise royalty rates was unlawful for four principal reasons. First, the Board’s decision to use royalty agreements between record companies and interactive webcaster services as benchmarks was arbitrary and violated the Act’s “willing buyer/willing seller” standard. Although the statute permits the Board to look at rates and terms from market agreements involving “comparable types of digital audio transmission services,” interactive services are not remotely “comparable” to the non-interactive services at issue here. Second, the Board’s brief discussion of why Simulcasters should not pay a lower per-performance rate than Internet-only webcasters was arbitrary and failed to consider the record evidence. Third, the mathematical model on which the Board relied in its attempt to adjust for indisputably significant distinctions between interactive and non-interactive services produces absurd results, and the Board’s one-sentence rejection of Simulcasters’ criticisms was patently arbitrary. Fourth, the Board did not consider the record evidence in refusing to permit Simulcasters to use the alternative “aggregate tuning hours” method for calculating royalties.
Mega Media Group Contracts for Custom PPM Ratings
New York - Mar 10, 2008 - Mega Media Group has signed a multi-year contract for station-specific custom Arbitron Portable People Meter listening estimates for Pulse 87 FM (WNYZ-LP). WNYZ-LP broadcasts on the audio portion of a low-power TV station on VHF channel 6. In addition, the station has signed an agreement to license the standard, syndicated PPM radio ratings services for the New York Metro, which does not include estimates for low-power television stations broadcasting as radio stations. Only AM and FM radio stations are currently eligible to be reported in Arbitron syndicated services. These agreements will take effect when Arbitron commercializes the new audience ratings technology in New York.
This agreement allows Mega Media Group to use the monthly WNYZ-LP station-specific custom PPM listening estimates as well as the standard, syndicated New York Metro PPM radio ratings.
The monthly custom studies will report all standard dayparts, 21 demographics and listening estimates including average-quarter-hour persons, AQH rating, AQH share, cume persons, cume rating and average weekly time exposed for WNYZ-FM.
Targetspot Completes $8.6 Million Series B Financing
New York - Mar 11, 2008 - Targetspot has completed an $8.6 million Series B round of financing, led by Bain Capital Ventures. Existing investors Union Square Ventures, CBS Corporation and Milestone Venture Partners also participated in the round. Jeffrey Glass, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, will join Targetspot's board of directors.
The Series B funds will be used to build Targetspot's team of technologists and sales professionals. Targetspot's technology allows businesses to create, buy and place their own advertising messages within streaming media.
Two Alabama Cities Adopt Alert FM
Jackson, MS - Mar 11, 2008 - Alert FM, the FM-based digital alert and messaging system from Global Security Systems, is now being used in Birmingham, AL, and Selma, AL. Selma radio stations WALX and WJAM and Birmingham radio stations WBHJ, WBHK, WBPT, WNCB and WZZK join stations in Mobile, AL, and Florence, AL, as some of the first in the state to deploy a local platform for Alert FM. Alert FM will allow emergency managers to send emergency alerts and messages to citizens, businesses and schools before, during and after a crisis.
Alert FM is the first system to use commercial radio broadcast signals to transmit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather warnings and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) presidential alerts.
Residents in these areas can receive warnings and alerts through personal, portable Alert FM receivers and can receive local emergency information in the future if local counties purchase licenses to send such messages. Alert FM uses RBDS carriers to send emergency information. Targeted alerts and messages are delivered by satellite to FM sites and can be received on Alert FM receivers, wall units and other mobile devices.
ABU Honors DRM Chairman
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Mar, 10, 2008 - At the ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2008 taking place in Kuala Lumpur from March 10 - 13, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), a DRM associate member, honored Peter Senger with a lifetime achievement award . Senger is the chairman of the DRM Consortium and DRM director at Deutsche Welle.
The ABU award recognizes Senger's commitment and long-term contribution to the development of the DRM standard. Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is a digital broadcasting system for the broadcasting bands below 30MHz. The DRM system was developed by the DRM Consortium, an international not-for-profit organization composed of broadcasters, network operators, manufacturers, broadcasting unions, research institutions and regulatory bodies.
Senger has been the chairman of the DRM Consortium since its founding in 1998. The organization now has more than 100 members in 34 different countries.
Fifty Thousand Watt Software Ships Automatic Transmission
Plymouth, MN - Mar 10, 2008 - Automatic Transmission from Fifty Thousand Watt Software is now shipping. The software is a low-cost automation software program designed for ease of use.
Recordings are organized into file folders. A typical installation will have several folders for different types of music, plus folders dedicated to commercials, jingles, weather and other elements. A playlist directs Automatic Transmission to randomly select recordings from a particular sequence of folders. Recordings in each folder can be weighted so that some songs or commercials play more often than others.
A no-repeat option specifies a minimum amount of time before a recording can play again. In addition to a music rotation, Automatic Transmission can be programmed to play particular recordings at a specified time. Automatic Transmission will transition from a music rotation to timed broadcast, and then back to music rotation. For Internet radio use, Automatic Transmission can broadcast song titles, so that the text can be viewed on the listener's computer.
Automatic Transmission runs under Windows. A free, fully functional 30-day trial is available for download at www.50kws.com.
Harris Synchrocast 3 Enables Single-Frequency Networks over IP Links
Cincinnati - Mar 11, 2008 - Harris will introduce Synchrocast 3 IP simulcasting capability with its Intraplex Netxpress IP multiplexer at the 2008 NAB Show. With Synchrocast 3 IP simulcasting, Intraplex Netxpress users now can use Harris’ simulcast technology to create Single-Frequency Networks (SFN) over IP transport networks, which allows them to expand their coverage area and listener base.
Synchrocast 3 features upgraded hardware modules, plus new software that interfaces Synchrocast 3 technology with the Intraplex Netxpress audio over Internet Protocol (IP) networking platform. Until now, Synchrocast 3 was only available for Intraplex multiplexers, which use dedicated, wired T1/E1 telco circuits.
Prism Sound Upgrades Dscope Analyzer
Cambridge, UK – Mar 11, 2008 - Prism Sound will be showing new software for its Dscope Series III audio analyzer at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas. The Version 2.1 software upgrades functionality of the Dscope Series III unit. Key features include:
- Generation and analysis using Windows sound devices, including multi-channel device support
- 192kHz sample rate support on AES3 and S/PDIF digital audio interfaces
- Support for measurement microphone sensitivity and frequency response calibration
- Time domain averaging to reduce the effects of random noise on measurements
- Analog I/O can now sample at 48kHz as well as 96kHz and 192kHz to increase LF resolution of FFT analysis
- Script debugger allows breakpoints, single stepping, examination/setting of variables, etc
- Ability to import and export sample buffers and WAV files
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