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Radio Currents Online - Jun 16 - Jun 22, 2008
FCC Issues Reminder on STA Filings for Emergencies
Washington, DC - Jun 13, 2008 - With the severe flooding in the Midwest, the FCC issued a reminder for licensees on the contact information to obtain emergency Special Temporary Authorizations (STAs). The FCC Communications Center is open 24 hours a day can be reached at 202-418-1122. Contacts for regular business hours and additional information is available online at www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/sta.html.
Newberry Elected NAB Radio Board President
Washington, DC - Jun 12, 2008 - During the NAB Board of Directors meeting held in Washington, NAB First Vice Chairman Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting, was elected chairman of the Radio Board. Charles Warfield, president and COO of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, was elected first vice chairman. Caroline Beasley, executive vice president and CFO of Beasley Broadcast Group, was elected second vice chairman.
At the joint board of directors meeting, NAB Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mike Williams was re-elected to the position of secretary-treasurer, and David Rehr was re-elected as president and CEO. Jack Sander, senior advisor to Belo, was re-elected as chairman of the NAB Joint Board of Directors.
FCC's Martin Says OK to Sat Radio Merger
Washington, DC - Jun 16, 2008 - While the official approval is yet to come from the FCC, Chairman Kevin Martin has said that he would approve the merger of Sirius and XM based on the conditions that have been agreed to by the satcasters. The $3.8 billion merger conditions include a three-year freeze on subscription prices, offering services with fewer channels and lower prices, and setting aside 12 channels each for noncommercial and minority access.
It's not certain how the other four commissioners would vote on the merger. The FCC's review process has been underway for about a year already, which is at least twice as long as the organization typically takes. Martin has noted that this merger has several unusual circumstances, which complicates the matter.
Arbitron Restarts PPM Commercialization
New York - Jun 12, 2008 - Arbitron will resume the commercialization of its Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings service in eight markets. Steve Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arbitron said, "We have improved our PPM samples in the four key areas we outlined last November. We have enhanced our ability to deliver PPM sample targets. We've improved the composition of our PPM panels, especially among the 18-34 demographic. We've raised the day-to-day cooperation rate of our PPM respondents. We've also put in place a number of programs designed to have a positive impact on response rates. Our commitment to continuous improvement means that we will keep working on these metrics as we go forward."
Arbitron also notes it has been "working diligently with the Media Rating Council in order to achieve MRC accreditation" for the PPM in all Arbitron markets.
New York, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Jose will commercialize with the release of the September PPM survey report on Oct. 8, 2008. On that date, the company's diary-based radio ratings will be withdrawn from those eight markets and radio transactions among Arbitron-subscribing stations and agencies will take place solely using PPM-based radio ratings.
Arbitron will deliver pre-currency PPM survey reports for Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino and Chicago with a special release of the June PPM survey report in mid-July, and with the regular release of the July PPM survey report on Aug. 13 and the August PPM survey report on Sept. 10. Arbitron will deliver pre-currency PPM survey reports for San Francisco and San Jose with the release of the July PPM survey report on Aug. 13 and the August PPM survey report on Sept. 10.
Arbitron commercialized the PPM ratings service in Philadelphia in March 2007 and Houston-Galveston in July 2007. In addition, PPM technology is currently being used for radio and/or television measurement in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Canada and Singapore.
In the revised PPM commercialization schedule released by Arbitron in November 2007, Arbitron indicated an expected commercialization of the PPM ratings service in Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit and Washington D.C. in December 2008. Arbitron is not altering that expectation at this time.
The Arbitron plan was announced at the same time as the Spanish Radio Association (SRA) was formed. The SRA is a coalition of Hispanic radio broadcasters including Spanish Broadcasting System, Entravision, Univision and Border Media. The group has concerns with the PPM data and believes it is flawed, the radio group said in a statement that the rollout of the measurement system in major U.S. Hispanic markets may have a harmful effect on the marketplace. Among key issues cited during the meeting were: concerns about the PPM's panel sample size, the increase in response rates, accurately identifying and tracking panelists by country of origin, language weighting, mobile phone-only usage, fair measurement in high-density Hispanic areas, sharing of sample information, meter placement by zip codes and documented versus undocumented listeners, per the industry group.
Radio Still Important to Young Listeners
Denver - Jun 18, 2008 - Radio has made a better showing in the latest Paragon Media Strategies study called the Second Annual Youth Radio & New Media Study. In 2008, radio stemmed the TSL erosion from the onslaught of new media documented in the Paragon Media Strategies 2007 study. This study quantifiably trends how the next generation of 25-54 year olds use radio and new media. The group interviewed 409 respondents ages 14-24 via an online survey.
The time spent listening in a typical week for the survey group increased in the categories ranging from 1 to 10 hours per week, with those reporting a weekly TSL of one to three hours climbing from 28 percent to 37 percent. Further, the overall results show that survey respondents are listening to radio more now than they have in the past.
Listening to Internet radio and CDs are holding steady for those who listen to radio less. That group is listening to portable media players and satellite radio more now.
Radio has a strong competitor when it comes to this group finding mew music. Radio comes in second (with a close tie to individual searches and friends) as the source of finding new music. The Internet is still the leading source of finding new music.
The survey also investigates HD Radio awareness, Internet radio awareness and more information. Access the complete report (registration required) at www.paragonmediastrategies.com.
V-Soft Updates Zip-Signal Utility
Cedar Falls, IA - Jun 16, 2008 - One of the most often used page on the V-Soft website is the free Zip-Signal utility. This Web program allows users to list all zip codes within a given AM or FM station's coverage area. The program sorts the zip codes by signal strength with the hottest signals being listed first. Users can also enter a zip code and the program will list all AM and FM stations within that selected zip code.
The database used by the program contains station and zip codes for the entire United States and was updated June 1, 2008. The speed of the current version of the online program has been significantly increased. The links in the Facility ID column link into the FCC's CDBS database so the user can see the full operating parameters of the station of interest.
Westwood One Finalizes $100 Million Investment
New York - Jun 19, 2008 - Westwood One has closed the sale of $75 million of a newly created series of preferred stock, 7.50 percent Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, to Gores Radio Holdings, an entity managed by The Gores Group. The Convertible Preferred Stock has an initial conversion price of $3.00 per share, which represents a 140 percent premium to the closing price of $1.25 for the company's stock price as of June 18, 2008. In connection with such sale, the Company issued to Gores four year warrants to purchase up to 10 million shares of Westwood common stock, exercisable at $5/share, $6/share and $7/share, respectively.
The preferred stock sale follows a $25 million investment in Westwood common stock by Gores in March 2008. Gores purchased 14,285,714 shares of Westwood common stock at $1.75 per share, which closed in March.
As part of the closing, WW1 increased the size of its board of directors to 11 directors. In accordance with the terms of the purchase agreement, three Gores' designees were elected to the Board: Scott Honour, senior managing director of The Gores Group; Mark Stone, senior managing director of The Gores Group and president, Gores Operations Group; and Ian Weingarten, managing director of The Gores Group. Additionally, Emanuel Nunez, senior agent at Creative Artists Agency, a Gores' nominee, was elected as an independent director to the Board
The transaction was approved by the company's shareholders at a special meeting held on June 17, 2008.
Clear Channel Total Traffic Network Expands Relationship with Mio Technology
San Antonio - Jun 16, 2008 - Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network has expanded its relationship with Mio Technology, a supplier of personal GPS navigation devices, for an additional two years. Under the agreement, CCTTN will provide, real-time traffic data to Mio personal navigation devices. Additionally, Mio will support its new products with an advertising schedule on Clear Channel Radio stations.
Mio Technology will include either one-year or lifetime traffic subscriptions with all its traffic-enabled products. Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network will be available for all Mio navigation products in the same 80 North American markets in which it provides real-time traffic information.
Tascam Adds Features to DR-1
Montebello, CA - Jun 17, 2008 - The Tascam DR-1 portable recorder has been updated to version 1.10. The update adds recording and monitoring features to the recorder. The input section now has an additional gain setting for loud sources, and the left and right channels can be reversed during recording. The built-in effects processors can be assigned to the input or playback signal. Finally, when enabling the built-in tuner the output monitoring now has added flexibility.
The Tascam DR-1 provides 1GB of included recording memory. It has a pair of condenser microphones with a pivot mechanism that allows recording at any angle. Recording is available as 16-bit or 24-bit WAV files, or in MP3 format for hours of recording time. The DR-1 includes a rechargeable battery, built-in effects, instrument trainer features and an overdub feature.
Z100 Relies on APT for Madonna Interview
New York - Jun 17, 2008 - New York Radio station Z100 recently secured an exclusive hour-long interview with Madonna to promote her new album, Hard Candy. The remote interview at Dylan's Candy Bar on 3rd Avenue was due to be delivered back to the studio via ISDN, but the local telephone company could not deliver the ISDN circuit in time. Z100 also had access to APT Worldcast Meridian units for a backup plan to deliver the interview back to the studio via IP.
Metro Broadcast Services was contracted by the Clear Channel radio station to carry out the remote engineering work for the interview. The location for the interview wasn't confirmed until the last minute for security reasons. Metro Broadcast ordered ISDN service, but knew there was a chance it would not be installed in time for the broadcast.
During the site walk-through, Courtney realized the venue had a LAN with Internet connectivity. Plan B was to use the IP connection with Worldcast Meridians at each end to provide a 15kHz bidirectional stereo audio path. The ISDN was not delivered in time, so IP saved the day for the hour-long show.
Chris Stone to Keynote 125th AES Convention
San Francisco - Jun 19, 2008 - In 1968, Chris Stone and his partner Gary Kellgren opened the New York Record Plant with a plan to nurture and inspire creativity. They believed artists needed creature comforts as well as sophisticated technology and acoustics to bring their musical visions to life.
Chris Stone has been named Keynote Speaker for the 125th AES Convention. Stone is the cofounder, past president and chairman of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Studios (SPARS) and co-founder of the Music Producers Guild of the Americas (now The Producers and Engineers Wing of NARAS). He is currently active as an educator and consultant for online music entrepreneurship at Berkleemusic.com.
Entitled The Artist Owns the Industry, Stones' keynote address will highlight the AES 125th Convention opening ceremonies on Oct. 2 in the Moscone Center Special Events Hall. Stone will explore what it takes to succeed in today's environment in which artists with limited capital create their music in home (sometimes bedroom) studios, far removed from million dollar showplace facilities and the guidance of veteran producer/engineers.
Media Monitors Promotes Kirkendall-Rodriguez and Fulbright
White Plains, NY - Jun 17, 2008 - Media Monitors has promoted Brice Kirkendall-Rodriguez to the position of vice president international development, and John Fulbright to head of technical development.
Kirkendall-Rodriguez has been with RCS/Media Monitors for 15 years and has been involved in every aspect of support and development at both companies. He will oversee the data acquisition and production for Media Monitors, and he will also help identify and develop opportunities in international markets.
Fulbright has been on the RCS development team for seven years as the head of studio applications development.
Eye on IBOC
First Mexican HD Radio Border Stations On Air
U.S./Mexican border - Jun 19, 2008 - In May 2008, Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel) authorized radio stations with about 200 miles of the U.S. border to transmit HD Radio signals.
XEEZ 970 Radio Palacios is broadcasting an AM HD Radio signal from the U.S./Mexico border town of Caborca, Sonora, using a Broadcast Electronics transmission system. XEEZ adapted its BE AM 6A solid-state transmitter for linear transmission and added a BE ASI 10 exciter to generate the HD Radio signal. XEEZ ordered the exciter and the transmitter through BE representative Distribuidora E Importadora de Radiofusion, S.A. (DIRSA).
XHTY in Tijuana has installed a Nautel V10 HD Radio transmitter. The station is operated by Uniradio. The company now operates 12 stations. Five of them serve the San Diego-Tijuana region and seven serve the Mexican state of Sonora.
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