Radio Currents Online - May 19 - May 25, 2008


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Follow Up: FCC Summit on EAS
Washington, DC - May 19, 2008 - The Federal Communications Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today hosted a Summit on Emergency Alert System (EAS). Called Promoting an Effective Emergency Alert System on the Road to a Next Generation EAS, the summit was designed to discuss the current state of the nation's EAS and what is needed to transition to a more robust, next-generation alert and warning system. The four-hour event included two panels with speakers with many varied interests in public warning.

The event was streamed online and will be posted for playback at the FCC's website.

Derek Poarch, the chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) led the summit. The first panel, moderated by Tom Beers, chief of the Policy Division PSHSB, discussed the current state of the nation's EAS initiative. Discussions focused on failure points within the system and ways to improve testing protocols. The second panel was moderated by William Lane, chief engineer of the PSHSB, and discussed new technologies, possible policies and protocols that should be implemented to ensure compatibility between Federal implementation of the Common Alert Protocol (CAP) architecture and state government operations.

Both panels provided a great deal of information and shed some insight on methods currently used in various cities, states and regions. The discussions were lively, as both moderators noted, and certainly will encourage additional discussion and idea exchange among the participants. An action item list for a follow-up was not presented, which could allow the process to become nothing more than an exercise to talk about the problem but not really provide any solutions or answers.

Many broadcast interests were represented at the meeting, and a significant focus of the summit was the role that broadcasters play in public warning. Various emergency management offices were represented as well.

Following the summit, several participating groups, including the SBE, the NAB, NASBA and FEMA, met to review the summit proceedings and discuss future plans for the effort. Part of this included a proposed plan of working groups to coordinate and address the various needs and issues. This working group proposal was submitted by the SBE. Read that proposal at this link.

According to notes posted by Richard Rudman on the SBE Roundtable e-mail list, the post-summit meeting attendees agreed to support a meeting in Chicago on July 10 where manufacturers would sign off on a CAP EAS profile they would all follow.


NABEF Partners with 10 Universities in Scholarship Program
Washington, DC - May 19, 2008 - The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) has formed a partnership with 10 schools from across the country for the NABEF Scholars Program. The program, launched in 2006, provides scholarships to outstanding communications students with financial need from diverse backgrounds. To administer the scholarships, NABEF has teamed with 10 universities to provide one scholarship to a deserving student at each university in the amount of $5,000 per year for the student's junior and senior years. The participating schools for the 2008-2010 program are:

  • Ball State University, Muncie, IN
  • Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC
  • Savannah State University, Savannah, GA
  • Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL
  • St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN
  • University of Montana, Missoula, MT
  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
The scholarships, aimed at increasing diversity in broadcasting, are awarded to broadcasting majors who have demonstrated ability and promise in the communications field. Each student must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to continue the scholarship through their senior year. As part of the scholarship, students must perform an internship at a licensed radio or television station.

The NAB Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the public interest in supporting and advocating education and training programs, strategies to increase diversity, initiatives stressing the importance of the First Amendment, community service, philanthropy and timely broadcasting issues.


Business

Danagger Audio Works Closes Business
Kelowna, BC - May 19, 2008 - Rob Robson, president of Dannager Audio Works, announced that the company is closing its doors for business. In a statement, Robson said, "It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Danagger Audio Works has had to close its doors. The Plan B Silence Eliminator, our only product, is no longer available or supportable. I have been sustaining our company with personal resources for several months, but the end of our rope has been reached. The last several months of very low sales have been devastating to a small operation like ours."

Robson noted that the Plan B was launched in 2002. In his words, the product, which was much more than a silence detector, was designed "to give engineers a break and to prevent radio listeners from drifting away." Robson's experience as a broadcast engineer and his lifelong enthusiasm for radio were his reasons for developing the product. He attributes the downturn in the U.S. economy as being the catalyst in the company's financial situation.

More info on the company's progress and situation was provided by Robson:
"Our patented concept of a self-contained audio backup device remains valid, and some great new designs were being developed before it became clear we could not afford to produce them. I have not abandoned hope that it may be possible to secure support for the existing Plan B units and a way for the new designs to see the light of day. However, the last few months have drained me and my company in every possible way, and there is nothing more we can do at this point.

"I sincerely apologize to anyone who will be inconvenienced by this news. Having been shocked and annoyed at the sudden disappearance of companies in the past, I know how it feels. Now I also realize that it's much worse for those on the inside.

"Christine [Robson's wife and business partner] and I will truly miss seeing all the great people we've met at the NAB over the years. As a designer, discussing ideas face-to-face with end users from a wide range of broadcast facilities has been an incomparable experience. Radio's survivors are passionate, resourceful people, and it is very difficult to have to say goodbye. We will do our best to remain in contact with the friends we've made as we start over in hopefully greener pastures."

Radio magazine will report on any updates about future product support or development when it becomes available.


Clear Channel Expands Station Streaming
San Antonio - May 19, 2008 - Clear Channel Radio has struck a deal with Reciva, a provider of Internet radio modules for broadband applications, to stream all of its stations on Reciva-powered receivers. U.S.-based companies that manufacture Reciva-based Internet Radios include C. Crane, CTA Digital, DM Tech, Grace Digital Audio, Sangean and Tangent. An automatic upgrade allows existing radios to receive Clear Channel Radio stations.

The Reciva Gatepass, which is at the heart of all Reciva-enabled Internet radios, provides Internet radio services via the Reciva Gateway to play online radio in almost every format. Reciva's technology is available as a software license or hardware modules.


Sales Call
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Information Radio Network has chosen Axia Audio to supply mixing and audio routing equipment for their new studios in Memphis, TN. IRN programming is distributed via satellite to more than 700 radio stations daily. The equipment includes a 20-position Axia Element console, Axia Analog Line Nodes, Pathfinder PC Router Control Software and Axia Iprobe network management software. The sale was made by Broadcasters General Store.
Foneshow announced a new partnership to develop original content with talk show host and renowned media personality Austin Hill. Through this affiliation, Austin Hill fans can access exclusive content anywhere, anytime, via mobile phone using Foneshow’s patent pending technology. Foneshow has built a telephony-based distribution platform for short-form audio (primarily news/talk radio and podcast programming). The platform leverages the cellular telephone network and enables users to subscribe to, access, publish, share, and consume short-form audio programming immediately from any cell phone.
Los Angeles' KPCC-FM, the flagship station of Southern California Public Radio, has chosen Axia Audio to supply mixing and audio routing equipment for an upcoming rebuild of their main on-air studio. The equipment, sold through Broadcasters General Store, includes a 24-position Axia Element console, four Analog Line Nodes, four AES/EBU Line Nodes, an Axia Microphone Node, Pathfinder PC Router Control Software and a variety of studio accessory panels for mic and headphone source control.
South Central Communications' WJXA-FM and sister station WCJK-FM have ordered two 28-position Element consoles plus a complement of Microphone Nodes, Analog Line Nodes, AES/EBU Line Nodes, a Router Selector Node and Axia Pathfinder PC Router Control Software to be used in their main on-air studios. Several Mic Control + Headphone Selector panels were also ordered for studio guest positions. The order was placed through Broadcasters General Store.
JORF, an AM radio station in Japan, is the official radio broadcaster of the Japanese ′Hakone Ekiden’, a two day relay marathon from Tokyo to Hakone, and back again, a distance of 120km each way and this year was the 84th running of the event. Because the broadcast needed to be over such a long distance and was partially set in Tokyo′s dense building conurbation, standard radio wave propagation would have been subject to shadow areas or loss of reception. JORF set up numerous temporary RPU receiving sites along the marathon route. At each of the sites, there was an ISDN audio codec that sent audio to the Broadcasting Centre which then switched the appropriate audio source at the correct time, and sent it to JORF′s master control room by ISDN. Although this procedure addressed many of the broadcasting difficulties, the ISDN often became disconnected and so, as a backup method, they used two Sonifex DHY-03 telephone hybrids with a simple telephone line connection. The Sonifex hybrids were sold and supported by Maple Audio Technology Corporation.

People

Gould Rejoins Omnia Audio
Cleveland - May 19, 2008 - Omnia Audio has hired Cornelius Gould to rejoin the Omnia Audio R&D team. Gould has 19 years of experience as a broadcast engineer, most recently with the engineering department of CBS' Cleveland radio cluster.

Gould previously worked for Omnia as a customer support engineer in the 1990s. He has now been hired as an audio processing research and development engineer for Omnia Audio.


Entercom Names Schuth Manager of Network Ops
Bala Cynwyd, PA - May 19, 2008 - Fred Schuth has been named the manager of network operations for the Entercom corporate information technology department. Schuth joins Entercom from Group Publishing of Loveland, CO, where he managed and supported the company's data center operations. In his new role, Schuth will be based in Denver and oversee operations in Entercom's western data center. He will also work closely with Entercom's 23 markets throughout the country.

Schuth holds a Master of Science degree from Regis University. He is a 1995 graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in communications.


Reese to Receive National Radio Award
Washington, DC - May 21, 2008 - Bruce Reese, president and CEO of Bonneville International, will receive the NAB National Radio Award at The NAB Radio Show, held Sept. 17-19 in Austin, TX. Reese has served as chairman of the NAB Radio Board and the NAB Joint Board of Directors. During his tenure as Joint Board chairman, Reese helped establish NAB Fastroad (Flexible Advanced Services for Television and Radio On All Devices), a technology advocacy program aimed at developing new technologies for broadcasters. As the immediate past joint board chairman, Reese also currently serves on the NAB Executive Committee.

In addition to his leadership at NAB, Reese has served on the board of directors for the Associated Press and Radio Advertising Bureau. He currently serves on the NAB Education Foundation's board of directors, where Bonneville is the charter sponsor for the Celebration of Service to America Awards, an event established by NABEF in 1999 recognizing broadcasters for outstanding service to their local communities.

For years, Reese has demonstrated his commitment to community service through his participation in a number of organizations, including the Salt Lake Area Chamber and Pioneer Theater Company. Within the medical community, Reese has worked with the Primary Children's Medical Center and the LDS Hospital Heart and Lung Institute Community, both of which are owned and operated by Intermountain Healthcare, where Reese has served on the board of trustees. Reese has served on the board of directors for United Way of Salt Lake, where he was recently honored with the 2008 Compassionate Leader of the Year Award, as well as the Brigham Young University Alumni Association, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1973 and juris doctorate in 1976.

As president and CEO of Bonneville International Corporation, Reese oversees and operates 31 radio stations and KSL-TV Salt Lake City. Prior to joining Bonneville, Reese practiced law at firms in Washington, DC, and Denver.

Previous National Radio Award recipients include last year's honoree Jerry Lee, David Kennedy, John Dille, Lowry Mays, Jeff Smulyan, Bill Stakelin and Nancy Widmann.


Debut Broadcasting Names Sutton as Corporate Chief
Nashville - May 14, 2008 - Debut Broadcasting Corporation has named Bill Sutton as its corporate chief engineer. In his new position, Sutton will maintain all day-to-day responsibilities of Debut Broadcasting-owned radio stations and ensure the stations are regularly updated to meet FCC standards and advances in industry technology. Furthermore, Sutton represents a key position within Debut's Super-Regional Cluster strategy to assist the company in integrating its new stations into a cohesive operating system.

Sutton primarily developed his skills during his time as chief engineer with Clear Channel, where he maintained and oversaw several of the company's stations in Iowa. He was also charged with rebuilding three studios, including maintaining its equipment, computers and networking capabilities in Bryan, TX. Prior to working for Clear Channel, he spent one year in Bristol, TN, as chief engineer of three radio stations. Sutton began his career in broadcast engineering in 1998 with Broadcast Tech Service in Mississippi, where he was a contract engineer until 2003.

Sutton majored in vocal music at the State University of New York, Potsdam, and went on to receive a post-graduate degree in pastoral ministry at Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville.


Products

Equator Audio Research Ships Q8 Studio Monitor
San Diego, CA - May 19, 2008 - Equator Audio Research is now shipping the Q8 studio reference monitor. The Equator Q8 measures 13" x 13" x 13" and features an 8" woofer coupled with a 1" compression horn driver through a two-way active amplifier. The enclosure is constructed of 13-ply Baltic Birch.


EYE ON IBOC

Mexico Authorizes HD Radio Within 320km of U.S. Border
Columbia, MD - May 21, 2008 - Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission (COFETEL) announced that it is authorizing radio stations within 320km of its border with the United States to begin transmitting with digital HD Radio technology. The official statement from COFETEL states:

Considering the extent of the development and implementation of the IBOC system in the United States of America, Mexico is required to take decisive action so that [the country's AM and FM radio stations] in the zone located within 320 kilometers of the northern border of Mexico can transmit at the same technological level so that they can provide the benefits of quality service to the radio listening public.

Stations that want to transmit with HD Radio technology must request authorization from COFETEL and must commit to assisting the commission in studying the technology.




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