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C3SR Study: XM-Sirius Merger Constitutes a Monopoly
Washington - Mar 29, 2007 - On March 28, 2007, The Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio (C3SR) sent a study to the FCC and the Department of Justice that demonstrates the proposed merger between XM and Sirius would create a monopoly and would therefore violate antitrust laws. The C3SR is a group dedicated to protecting the interests of the more than 14 million satellite radio subscribers in the United States.

The study was conducted by J. Gregory Sidak of Criterion Economics at the request of the C3SR. The study analyzes the likely competitive effect of the proposed merger. Sidak, a former Deputy General Counsel for the FCC, was asked to determine whether subscription-based satellite digital audio radio services are a relevant product market for antitrust purposes, and to assess the unilateral pricing effects of the proposed merger in the relevant product market.

One issue concerning the proposed merger is that satellite radio sees itself as part of the overall electronic media landscape that competes with terrestrial and Internet radio. The C3SR obviously disagrees. The NAB also states that the satellite radio merger would create a monopoly.

The study concludes that satellite radio services are a distinct antitrust product market and that a merger would be anti-competitive because it constitutes a monopoly. Even under broader definitions of monopoly, the report concludes that a merger would increase seller concentration ratios to unacceptably high levels.

In the end, the study says that a merger would result in efficiencies for XM and Sirius that would not benefit consumers, and that the conditions offered by XM and Sirius would not preserve consumer welfare. The study considered competition from other audio products, such as MP3 players and Internet radio, and determined that satellite radio is a distinct product market for antitrust analysis.

The study is available at the C3SR website at this link.

The C3SR was created by a group of law students at George Washington University in Washington, DC.


FCC Reviews NCE Applications
Washington - Mar 30, 2007 - The FCC has reviewed about 200 mutually exclusive applications for new or modified noncommercial educational (NCE) FM station construction permits. Each of these applications is cut off from the filing of new competing applications and is mutually exclusive with at least one other cut-off application. These applications have been submitted by 76 mutually exclusive groups.

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order, the commission has determined that two of these applications will be processed as singletons (not mutually exclusive with any other application) and tentatively has selected 74 applications from the remaining 74 groups for grant by application of the NCE point system.

Details of the points decision are available at the FCC website at this link.

In the order, the FCC announced that it will also open a filing window for NCE FM new and major change applications in October 2007.


NAB Releases FCC Rules & Policies Handbook
Washington - Mar 26, 2007 - NAB radio members will soon receive an updated copy of the publication entitled FCC Rules & Policies for Radio. This handbook covers many aspects of radio operations from contests and promotions to public files and station logs. The handbook’s goal is to help stations avoid inadvertent rule violations. This is the fourth edition of the handbook.

Handbook Topics
Alcohol AdvertisingBroadcasts of Telephone Conversations
Contests and PromotionsDefamation: Libel and Slander
Drug LyricsEmergency Alert System
Hoax BroadcastsInvasion of Privacy
Lotteries and CasinosMechanical Reproduction Announcements
Obscene or Indecent MaterialOperator Licenses
Off-the-Air/OutagesPayloa and Plugola
Point-to-Point CommunicationsPolitical Editorial Rule and Personal Attack Rule
Public Inspection FileQuarterly Issues-Programs List
RF Radiation Regulation ComplianceSponsorship Identification
Station Identification AnnouncementsStation Licenses
Station LogsTobacco Advertising
Tower Lighting, Painting and Marking
NAB members can contact the NAB’s radio office at 800-455-5394 to request additional copies.

NAB Announces Board Election Results
Washington - Mar 28, 2007 - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced the results of the 2007 NAB Radio and Television Board elections. The two-year terms of the newly elected board members will begin in June 2007.

NAB Radio Board of Directors
1-New EnglandPeter H. Smyth*
President and CEO, Greater Media; Boston
3-PADan Savadove
President and CEO, Main Line Broadcasting; West Conshohocken, PA
5-WV-KYSteven W. Newberry*
President and CEO, Commonwealth Broadcasting; Glasgow, KY
7-FL-PR-VIBill Hendrich*
VP and Market Manager, Cox Radio Jacksonville; Jacksonville, FL
9-GA-ALRandy D. Gravley
President and CEO, Tri-State Communications, WLJA-FM and WPGY-AM; Jasper, GA
11-OHMatthew Mnich
President and CEO, North American Broadcasting Co.; Columbus, OH
13-MIBruce Goldsen*
President and GM, WKHM-AM/FM, Jackson Radio Works; Jackson, MI
15-TN-ARBobby Caldwell*
Owner and CEO, East Arkansas Broadcasters; Wynne, AR
17-ILW. Russell Withers Jr.*
President, Withers Broadcasting; Mt. Vernon, IL
19-OK-N. TXKevin S. Perry
Vice President, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Co.; Oklahoma City
21-MN-SD-NDBob Bundgaard*
President, Lakes Broadcasting Group, KLKS; Breezy Point, MN
23-N. CA-AKRodney Chambers*
President, KSUE/KJDX/KHJQ, Sierra Broadcasting; Susanville, CA
25-OR-WAPeter Benedetti*
President and CEO, New Northwest Broadcasters; Seattle

NAB Television Board of Directors
Jim Conschafter*
Sr. VP Broadcast Stations, Media General Broadcast Group, Richmond, VA
Paul Karpowicz*
President, Broadcasting Group, Meredith Corporation, Hartford, CT
John C. Kueneke*
President, News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, St. Louis
Paul McTear
President and CEO, Raycom Media, Montgomery, AL
Ralph M. Oakley
Vice President and COO, Quincy Newspapers Inc., Quincy, IL
John E. Reardon*
President and CEO, Tribune Broadcasting Co., Chicago

*- incumbent.


Business

The Symetrix family of processors (top to bottom): AirTools 6200 (2005), Symetrix 628 (1997), Symetrix 528E (1993), Symetrix 601 (1992), Symetrix 528 (1983).

Symetrix Celebrates 30 Years
Mountlake Terrace, WA - Mar 26, 2007 - Symetrix traces its roots to the ideas of company founder Dane Butcher in the early 1970s, while he worked on the East and West Coasts as a recording engineer. Recording tools piqued his imagination, and he turned his product ideas into reality when he took a job working for Greg Mackie at Tapco and learned to design electronics. In 1976--six months after taking the job at Tapco--Butcher started Symetrix in the Belltown area of Seattle, WA, less-formally known as Skid Row. Butcher and his first employee, James Husted, supplemented their modest Symetrix income with repair work and studio maintenance around town.

A surplus electronic components company was located across the street, and with its parts Butcher manufactured the first Symetrix product, the SG-1 signal gate, and the company's subsequent compressors, limiters and phasers. After about two years, the small Symetrix team was able to cast off their odd jobs and devote themselves fully to the company.

In the nearly three decades that followed, Symetrix products grew in sophistication. The first Symetrix products were aimed at the studio and live markets. As needs were identified in other markets, products were created. This is how the 528 voice processor was developed.

Butcher explains, "By the early 1980s we'd had some success in broadcast making telephone interfaces for talk shows. We wanted to do more, and so we thought pretty deeply about what was already there and, more importantly, what wasn't.”

With that, Butcher turned his attention to the front end. He put together a good mic pre, a compressor/limiter optimized for broadcast, a downward expander, a de-esser and a three-band parametric EQ. The elements already existed in other products. What started as a cocktail napkin sketch grew into one of the company’s most successful products: the 528 voice processor. The 528E is the current model.

Symetrix later introduced additional brands to better identify their products with specific markets, which is how Lucid, Air Tools and Symnet were created.


Clear Channel Adds Music Channels to Mspot
Orlando, FL - Mar 27, 2007 - Music programming from 10 Clear Channel stations can now be heard on Mspot’s radio services. In addition, Mspot expects to distribute live broadcasts from almost 100 Clear Channel Radio stations in April.

Clear Channel Radio is providing CHR and Urban programming from five of its terrestrial stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. In addition, Spanish-language content from four Latin channels and a playlist of Hip-Hop hits are available to subscribers commercial free.


Sales Call
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Denise Plante of the KOSI-FM Denver Murphy and Denise Show is the first radio personality to adopt the Heil Pink Pearl as her primary on-air microphone. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of Heil Pink Pearl microphones will be donated to The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for the purpose of raising the awareness of breast health and breast cancer.
Greater Media's WJJZ-FM in Philadelphia has purchased two Harris HD Radio transmitters and Flexstar equipment for multicasting. The equipment will allow the station to broadcast supplementary channels alongside its main channel programming.

People

AKG Hires Tschanun as VP of Sales
Vienna - Mar 26, 2007 - AKG Acoustics has hired Ralf Tschanun to be the vice president of sales. Heading the entire global sales team, Tschanun will be based in AKG’s Vienna office and will report directly to AKG Acoustics President Stefan Gubi.

Tschanun has a background in technology and business education with degrees in electronics and technical communication, and an MBA from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Prior to joining AKG, Tschanun worked with IBM and Cisco.


Panamax/Furman Promotes Swan to VP of Ops
Petaluma, CA - Mar 27, 2007 - Panamax/Furman Sound has promoted Chris Swan to vice president of operations for Panamax and Furman. Swan has served as the Panamax director of operations since 2000.

Since joining Panamax in 1994, Swan has been involved in obtaining the company’s ISO 9000 certification and product development. In addition, Swan led the shift to overseas manufacturing.

Before joining Panamax, Swan was an owner and vice president of Jemco Enterprises. He also worked at Kallen's Computer Products and Seagate Technologies. Swan holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from San Jose State University.


Wheatstone Hires West Coast Systems Engineer
New Bern, NC - Mar 28, 2007 - Wheatstone has hired Kelly Parker as the west coast systems engineer. Parker’s broadcasting career spans more than 15 years and includes knowledge of studio design and implementation. He will head the west coast technical office in Northern California.

Prior to joining Wheatstone, Parker was employed by Network Minded, a consulting company made up of former Susquehanna engineers, specializing in broadcast and IT. Parker served as chief engineer for the Susquehanna stations in San Francisco, later being promoted to senior systems engineer for Susquehanna Radio.


Symetrix Appoints Jones as East Coast Regional Sales Manager
Mountlake Terrace, WA - Mar 28, 2007 - Symetrix has appointed Chris Jones to the position of East Coast regional sales manager. Symetrix created the position in response to increased sales volume and will soon fill an analogous position on the West Coast. Jones is located in Greenville, SC, and will report directly to Paul Roberts, Symetrix director of sales.

Jones’ experience in pro audio includes work as a musician, radio DJ, and recording engineer in the 70s before applying his skills in sales and marketing positions. Most notably, Jones led a six-member team that specialized in marketing professional audio equipment in Texas and neighboring states for 15 years.


Kawasaki Named BSW VP of Marketing
Tacoma, WA - Mar 29, 2007 - BSW has hired Steve Kawasaki as vice president of marketing. Kawasaki joins the audio equipment supplier after five years with Loud Technologies where he was the director of sales for North America for the past three years.

Kawasaki has spent 25 years in pro audio. He spent a decade as a freelance sound engineer and then joined Symetrix where, over the course of 10 years, he worked his way from a product specialist to vice president of business development.

Products

Zaxcom Ships ZFR800 Hand-held Recording Microphone
Pompton Plains, NJ - Mar 26, 2007 - Zaxcom is now shipping the ZFR800 hand-held recording microphone, designed for portable interview recording. The ZFR800 records eight hours of uncompressed audio on a removable 2GB memory card. An integrated time-code receiver allows users to jam time code and sync multiple ZFR800 units remotely. The ZFR800 provides an ergonomic, camouflaged control pad for one-handed control of all record functions. It can be used with any Shure screw-on capsule.

Audio files are always recorded without compression. The recorder includes Zax Convert software to select the desired audio file format and resolution, such as WAV files in 16- or 24-bit resolution with a sample rate of 32, 44.1, 48, or 48.048kHz. The software will also convert files to MP3 format.

Shure has no affiliation with Zaxcom and has not endorsed nor will it warranty the use of its heads on non-Shure products. Zaxcom will exhibit at NAB2007 in booth N9017.


Internet Watch

Barnabas Road Media Launches Internet Radio Survival Forum
Indianapolis - Mar 19, 2007 - Barnabas Road Media (BRM) has created a new website to host the Internet Radio Survival Forum (IRSF) at www.irsf.net/phpBB2/index.php. The forum was created as an information exchange following the Copyright Royalty Board's announcement of new steaming royalty rates that are retroactive to 2006.

The new rates are substantially higher than before, and with the retroactive element, some existing webcasters could be forced into bankruptcy. Details of the Copyright Royalty Board's ruling were posted in the Radio Currents on March 7. Click here to read that story.




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