Radio Currents Online - Mar 24 - Mar 30, 2008


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Sirius, XM Merger Clears DOJ
New York and Washington - Mar 24, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has informed Sirius and XM that it has ended its investigation into the pending merger of the satellite broadcasters without taking action to block the transaction. This decision means the DOJ has concluded that the merger is not anti-competitive and it will allow the transaction to proceed. Sirius and XM each obtained stockholder approval in November 2007. The pending merger is still subject to approval of the Federal Communications Commission.

From the DOJ's ruling: "After a careful and thorough review of the proposed transaction, the Division concluded that the evidence does not demonstrate that the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is likely to substantially lessen competition, and that the transaction therefore is not likely to harm consumers."

The deal has been the subject of debate since it was proposed, and the National Association of Broadcasters has expended substantial resources to block the transaction. Many speculate that the FCC will not defy the DOJ's decision, although the FCC could impose certain restrictions to appease the opponents.


DRM logo

DRM Elects New Leaders
Bonn, Germany - Mar 28, 2008 - Every two years, the Digital Radio Mondiale consortium holds elections to decide the members of its steering board. After 10 years as chairman of DRM, Peter Senger retired from both DRM and his position as Deutsche Welle's director DRM. His successor comes the BBC World Service in London. Ruxandra Obreja, controller business development, BBC World Service has been unanimously elected as the new chairman of the DRM Consortium and DRM Association.

The voting took place in Bonn at Deutsche Welle offices. Peter Senger, who served as chairman of the Consortium for the past ten years, was recognized for his contributions to the development of the DRM standard.

Obreja introduced her vision to the members, saying "DRM is on the threshold of a new era. Thanks to the brilliant work of our technical colleagues over the past ten years, the DRM standard is now mature. The challenge for all of us is to ensure that in the next few years the DRM standard is taken up on a mass scale. I see this as both the biggest challenge for the consortium and me personally."

With he change in leaderships, the DRM Project Office will relocate to the BBC offices in London.

The DRM also elected two vice chairmen: Jochen Huber of Transradio Sender Systeme Berlin, and Giuseppe Allamano of RAI Way. Michel Penneroux of TDF was re-elected as commercial committee chairman. Lindsay Cornell of the BBC was re-elected as technical committee chairman.

DRM's treasurer and EB chairman, Albert Heuberger of Fraunhofer Institut, stepped down from his DRM role. Alexander Zink of Fraunhofer IIS was elected as treasurer and vice chairman of the DRM Association. Jochen Huber of Transradio Sender Systeme Berlin is now the executive board chairman.

DRM elected five new companies to its steering board: Analog Devices, Dolby Laboratories, RAI Way, SWR Suedwestrundfunk and TDP. They join the re-elected steering board members BBC, Continental Electronics, Deutsche Welle, Fraunhofer IIS, Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Robert Bosch, RIZ Transmitters, TDF, Thomson Broadcast and Multimedia, Transradio Sender Systeme Berlin, VT Communications and WRN.


NABEF Announces Service to America Winners
Washington, DC - Mar 27, 2008 - The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) announced the winners of the 10th annual Service to America Awards. The winners will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America Awards dinner on June 9 at The National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The celebration recognizes outstanding community service by local broadcasters.

Service to America Television Award
This award recognizes a television station for the totality of its efforts and its commitment to excellence in serving its community.
WYFF Greenville, SC
Owner: Hearst-Argyle
During 2007, WYFF worked with more than 48 local community organizations on public service and community initiatives. At the core of the station's outreach is its Community Task Force program involving monthly meetings with community leaders to discuss local issues, concerns and ideas. WYFF also has long established relationships with the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, the Urban League and the United Way. Other station efforts include the South Carolina Shrinkdown, Safe Kids Upstate, Holiday Sunshine Fund and Virtual Toy Drive.

Service to America President's Special Award
Univision Communications and its local radio and television stations
Univision Communications became the first media company to launch an original, comprehensive national public service campaign designed to educate and prepare the Hispanic community for the transition to digital television. Launched on Oct. 1, 2007, this national multi-platform public service campaign includes PSAs featuring some of Univision, TeleFutura and Galavisión's most popular hosts, a Web presence, 30-minute television specials, local newscasts and local outreach efforts.

Service to Children Awards
These awards spotlight television and radio stations for outstanding programs, campaigns and public service announcements produced for the benefit of children.

Radio
KSTP-FM Minneapolis, MN
Hubbard Radio
The annual KS95 for Kids Radiothon, which raised more than $912,000 in 2007, is more than an annual event. It is a year-round partnership between KSTP, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare and Children's Cancer Research Fund that impacts children and families dealing with cancer and other health challenges. Since 1999, the annual 60-hour broadcast has raised more than $9.5 million.

Television
KRGV Weslaco, TX
Manship Family Stations
Located near the Texas-Mexico border of the Rio Grande Valley, KRGV serves a unique population. Many families in this area live in poverty, and the needs of the children in this community are great. From providing coats, school supplies and library books to helping students prepare for college through its "Gear Up" and "Masterminds" efforts, KRGV helps provide opportunities for needy children to meet their potential.

Service to America Friend in Need Awards
These awards honor broadcasters for outstanding service in the face of natural disasters and other potentially life-threatening situations.

Radio
WYCT Pensacola, FL
ADX Communications
When WYCT learned that a local Naval Reserve Unit in their community was deploying to Kuwait, they decided to make them a part of the family. The station got to know the men and women of Battalion 11, broadcast their stories and saw them off when they left for the Middle East. For Thanksgiving, the station sent a member of their morning show to the Middle East to deliver "Letters from Home." In just three days, the station received more than 14,000 letters, far exceeding their goal of 3,000.

Television
KTVB-TV Boise, ID
Belo Corp.
In March 2007, KTVB News Group took on the issue of methamphetamine use and became the exclusive media contributor to "March Against Meth." The station dedicated 100 percent of its public service resources to this statewide month-long campaign to educate adults and children. Moreover, the campaign resulted in the Idaho Governor's involvement in launching the Idaho Meth Project and created new support for building the area's first detox center.

Service to America Partnership Awards
Given to one television and one radio station, these awards recognize broadcasters and their corporate or community partners for exemplary public service.

Radio
Omni Broadcasting
Partner: Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota
Omni Broadcasting Company consists of ten FM radio stations and two AM radio stations in Central and Northern Minnesota. Each December, Omni stations broadcast the annual 24-hour "Radiothon to End Child Abuse." In 2007, Omni stations provided free airtime valued at $276,000. The 2007 radiothon raised over $220,000. More than $2 million has been raised since the partnership began in 1989.

Television
KTVK Phoenix, AZ
Belo Corp.
Partners: Fore Adoption Foundation and Aid to Adoption of Special Kids
Since "Are You My Family" premiered in June 2006, 59 children have been featured on the KTVK newscast and on the web. Of those, 32 have been matched with adoptive families - well over twice the rate at which these children are normally adopted. In 2007, the station also produced a special half-hour program to explain the adoption process. Because of the success of this special partnership, the state agency responsible for these children is considering expanding the strategy throughout the state of Arizona.

Service to America College Radio Award
This award recognizes a non-commercial or commercial tax-exempt college radio station for its efforts to serve its community.
WCRX Chicago, IL
Columbia College Chicago
WCRX Radio, Columbia College Chicago, is deeply connected to the students and to the community it serves. From a food drive to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository and its Job Outlook '07 to award-winning student produced PSAs and original programming, WCRX provides excellent student opportunities and experiences, creating future broadcast leaders. In 2007, WCRX won two student production awards from College Broadcasters, Inc. - one for best documentary and one for best PSA.

In addition to recognizing broadcasters for outstanding service to their local communities, the Leadership Award, the NABEF's highest honor, will be presented to Quincy Jones. The Samaritan Award will be presented to Randy Owen who will accept the award on behalf of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids.

Business

Clear Channel Turns to Thumbplay for Mobile Website Content
New York - Mar 24, 2008 - Thumbplay has signed a deal with Clear Channel Radio to deliver customized mobile content stores across more than 650 Clear Channel station websites. Thumbplay's content is contextually featured in areas including the Just Played box and Top 20 On Demand lists on all participating stations' home pages. In addition, links to the mobile content store are found in the Last 10 Played playlist on each site.

The partnership allows station listeners to purchase songs as ringtones. As part of the integration, each radio station site will host a customized store featuring format-appropriate mobile content. Thumbplay also developed a customizable widget allowing DJs at each station to choose their favorite ringtones and update those selections themselves online.


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George Mason University is the first university in the nation to install Global Security Systems' Alert FM for emergency alerting on campus. Alert FM is an FM radio-based alert and messaging system that allows authorized personnel to create and send alerts and messages to specific groups of first responders, students or campus buildings before, during and after a crisis.

StreamGuys has created an Embedded Flash Media Player that is now available for radio stations and other audio applications for live and on-demand online streaming. Aspen Public Radio (KAJX-FM and KCJX-FM) an NPR member station in Aspen, CO, is among the first radio stations to launch the player, going live with the new player in late February. The Embedded Flash Media Player from StreamGuys allows listeners to remain immersed in the station’s website while listening to the live program stream, and then retain the stream after navigating to other websites.
Radio Television Belge Francophone (RTBF) has chosen Dalet Enterprise Edition as its Digital Asset Management platform to optimize the digitization of its radio and television operations. Dalet Enterprise Edition will be used to index, catalog and harmonize content in this multiuser, multiplatform environment. This deployment is part of the NUMPROD project which targets the overall digitization of the French-speaking public broadcaster of Belgium. At the RTBF, Dalet Enterprise Edition will act both as a newsroom computer system and as a digital asset management platform.
Philadelphia's 105.3 WDAS-FM used two Tieline demo units for its wireless 3G remote at Philadelphia's annual Unity Day celebration, held outside the Philedelphia Museum of Art. The codecs were tested while driving along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and broadcast continuously for nine hours. The codec software profile was programmed to provide bi-directional mono audio and a separate communications channel, which was used for talkback. The station connected using a Tieline EV-DO 3G module.
Jerry Heckerman, chief engineer at Renda Broadcasting in Florida is responsible for four radio stations in the Fort Meyers and Naples regions. Heckerman purchased a pair of Tieline Commander G3 field units, putting them to work around the U.S. and overseas. Recently, he used 3G at the Country Music Awards in Nashville, TN. At the remote end, Heckerman connected using an EV-DO Rev A network with Tieline's EV-DO plug-in module. In the studio, his codec was attached to a dedicated DSL connection to ensure reliable data rate were achieved.

Products

BSI Unveils Op-X Automation
Eugene, OR - Mar 24, 2008 - Broadcast Software International (BSI) has introduced Op-X, the company's newest studio automation system. Op-X will debut at the 2008 NAB Show. Op-X has been designed for intuitive operator interface and ease of maintenance. The system has been in fulltime operation at more then 30 stations nationwide for the past 18 months, as product features have been enhanced and real-life testing has been completed.


Broadcast Bionics Upgrades Phonebox Solo
United Kingdom - Mar 27, 2008 - Broadcast Bionics will be showing an upgraded version of Phonebox Solo at NAB 2008. Solo is an all-in-one PC-based broadcast phone system. It includes a multi-line call director, multiple phone hybrids, call screening with database, and an integrated call recorder and editor using VOIP or conventional phone lines.

New features being introduced include the ability to conference up to four calls on one hybrid, support for a Linksys VOIP telephone, GPI external device interface, function key shortcuts and a set of caller classification icons for easy caller selection.


People

Steve Gordoni

Gordoni Joins Inovonics
Santa Cruz, CA - Mar 26, 2008 - Steve Gordoni has joined Inovonics as the North American sales/marketing manager. He joins Inovonics with more than 25 years of experience in broadcast and audio system equipment sales. Prior to joining Inovonics, he served as North American sales manager for Audemat and Orban, and as area sales manager for Broadcast Electronics and 360 Systems.


Wohler Appoints Templeman-Holmes as VP of Sales and Marketing
Hayward, CA - March 24, 2008 - Wohler Technologies has appointed Kim Templeman-Holmes as vice president of sales and marketing. In this role he will lead Wohler's sales and marketing teams while taking on strategic planning and product and business development.

Prior to joining Wohler, Templeman-Holmes served as vice president and general manager of Harman Pro North America, where he directed business activities including sales and marketing P&L, operations, and customer service for the company's Studer, Soundcraft, and AKG brands. Before moving to the U.S., Templeman-Holmes was sales director for DAR, where he restructured national and international operations. Prior to that he was managing director of Studer U.K. and previously served as international sales director for Trident Audio Developments.

He is based at Wohler's California headquarters.


Wayne Young

Jampro Antennas Adds Young as Regional Sales Manager
Sacramento, CA - Mar 26, 2008 - Wayne Young has joined Jampro Antennas in the newly created position of regional sales manager for Canada and the Eastern United States. Before joining Jampro, Young was manager of broadcast services for Radian Communications Services. While at Radian, he managed the construction of more than 150 FM sites in 30 states and supervised the construction of numerous terrestrial repeater sites for satellite radio expansion into Canada.

Young began his career in broadcasting with Newfoundland Broadcasting, rising to the position of transmitter chief engineer. Later, he was engineering manager for Rogers Media in Toronto, the seventh largest radio market in North America. At Rogers, Young managed the engineering group that supported CHFI and 680 News, Canada's largest all news radio station. In addition, Young has been a vice president of construction for a major broadcasting general contractor and a corporate chief engineer for a mid-market radio group.




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