Radio Currents Online - Apr 2 - Apr 8, 2007


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BIA Report: Radio Revenues Stagnant in 2006
Chantilly, VA - Apr 3 2007 - According to a report from the BIA Financial Network, the radio industry experienced a second year of less than one percent growth in revenues in 2006, achieving a mere 0.4 percent increase in station revenues. The first edition of BIAfn's quarterly Investing In Radio market report says that the year closed with $18.1 billion in income, just slightly higher than the $18 billion recorded in 2005. BIAfn predicts the industry's slump will begin to rebound in 2007 with a growth rate of 2.2 percent.

"As the radio industry continues to adjust to its competitive role within the entertainment industry we still see a slight improvement in radio industry growth," said Mark R. Fratrik, vice president, BIA Financial Network. "The growth we have recently seen has primarily been in the mid level and small markets and should continue, as these markets have responded better to the competitive challenges facing the radio industry."

BIAfn also notes that 2006 was the first time in six years that radio transactions returned to volumes above $22 billion ($24.9b in 2000 and $22.9b in 2006) and the number of stations sold nationwide exceeded 1,000 (1,794 in 2000 and 2,100 by the end of 2006). The high level is connected to the announced privatization of Clear Channel Communications, but even without that sale it demonstrates overall that the industry is considered a smart investment in the long term.


Business

EBU Taps APT Oslo For Surround Pilot
Belfast - Apr 6, 2007 - The European Broadcast Union (EBU) has struck a deal with Belfast-based codec manufacturer APT to use the company's Worldnet Oslo units as part of a pilot scheme designed to develop surround sound broadcasts.

During 2007, 20 Worldnet Oslo units will be deployed to several European Public Service broadcasters who will use them to transmit live radio broadcasts in surround sound. The pilot project has an option to provide an additional 50 units in 2008 to the remaining member and affiliate broadcasters that belong to the EBU.

In recent months the EBU has been actively seeking to agree on formats and standards with regard to transporting multichannel audio. A working group brought together the collective findings of those broadcasters who had already experimented with live surround sound, including ORF in Austria and WDR in Germany. Both of these broadcasters had successfully used APT products for this purpose and on the recommendation of WDR, fellow German state broadcasters Bayerischer Rundfunk, Suedwestrundfunk, ARD Crosspoint and Hessischer Rundfunk had also adopted APT's Worldnet Oslo for their 5.1 transmissions.

The APT Worldnet Oslo has E1 and IP interfaces, a modular design and several coding standards including linear and J.57 with MPEG Layer II, G.722 and J.41 due for release, as well as APT Enhanced Apt-x algorithm.


Sales Call
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Kilim, the Sennheiser/Neumann distributor in Israel, has supplied audio equipment to the Academic Center 'IDC' in Herzelia. Nine radio studios and three TV studios were opened to serve the students and the foreign networks in Israel. Kilim supplied a collection of Sennheiser microphones and headphones plus Neumann BCM 705 broadcast microphones. All radio studios were equipped with the new Mika microphone arms from Yellowtec.
WhiteBlox, an IPTV provider, has inked an online broadcasting deal with MVS Radio in Mexico. The deal will allow radio stations to broadcast live and on-demand video and audio over the Internet via Iseeradio, WhiteBlox's solution for radio stations. First to launch will be the EXA FM Network, a division of MVS Radio comprised of 54 stations in seven countries, reaching an audience of more than 18 million 18 to 35 year-olds in Mexico.
Adult Contemporary Christian radio station WWIB in Chippewa Falls, WI, has installed a 24-port ES4524D Edge-Core gigabit Ethernet switch from Small Tree Communications. The switch is being used to alleviate a bottleneck that was affecting workflow within the station's six studios.
Jampro Antennas has been awarded a contract to provide Broadcast Consultants India with broadband multi-frequency FM antennas, balanced frequency combiners and RF components. The equipment will be used as part of phase II of a plan adopted by the Indian government to build a shared infrastructure for 240 privately owned FM radio stations across the country.

People

Rice Joins RCS
White Plains, NY - Mar 30, 2007 - RCS has hired Richard Rice to be the company's midwest regional sales manager. Rice will be based in St. Louis.

Rice's experience lies in the Internet and information technology sectors as a business development leader. His background includes interactive Web, computers and software development. Previously, Rice was the western region sales manager for Broadcast Electronics. Before that he was the director of business development for IT firm Midwest Information Technology Group, and prior to that, he was in charge of operations for an instant messaging software development company.


Senator Landrieu to Speak at NAB2007
Washington - Apr 3, 2007 - U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisianna will be a featured speaker during the Washington Policy and Politics Breakfast and the All-Industry Opening Keynote Event at NAB2007. Both events will take place on April 16.

The Washington Policy and Politics Breakfast will feature an in-depth discussion with Sen. Landrieu. The breakfast, which begins at 7:30 a.m., will examine current political trends and how decisions made in Washington can impact broadcasters nationwide.

During the All-Industry Opening Keynote at 9 a.m., the senior senator will discuss the unique lifeline service provided by local broadcasters before, during and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged her home state.

Landrieu is currently the chairman of the Disaster Recovery Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and serves on the Senate Appropriations, Energy and Natural Resources, and Small Business Committees. She began her public service career in 1979 when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the Louisiana state legislature. Eight years later, she was elected Louisiana State Treasurer. In 1996, Landrieu became the first woman from Louisiana elected to the Senate. She was re-elected in 2002.


IDC Names Chairman of the Board
Ottawa - Apr 4, 2007 - Peter Scovell has been elected chairman of the board of directors of International Datacasting Corporation (IDC). Chairman Denzil Doyle resigned the post and will continue as an active director on the board. Doyle served as chairman for the past 12 years.

Scovell, a member of IDC's board of directors for the last four years, has more than 25 years of experience managing technology enterprises including senior positions heading Nortel's fixed wireless business and later Nortel's global strategy in satellite wireless access. Today he is head of Newlyn Technologies, an international technology consultancy he founded in 1999. In that capacity he works closely with the New York-based private equity company Warburg Pincus, advising on all aspects of the communications and information technology sectors, from broad strategy to investment advice. He also serves on several boards including Comdev, is a chartered physicist and a fellow of the Institute of Physics. He has a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Leeds and more than 30 semiconductor, photonics and wireless patents to his name.


Cumulus Media Names Co-COOs
Atlanta - Apr 05, 2007 - EVP John Dickey and EVP/COO Jon Pinch will share the day-to-day operating responsibilities as co-COOs of Cumulus Media, the owner and operator of 350 stations in 68 U.S. cities. The two will each oversee about half of the company’s markets including the eight Cumulus Media Partners markets that were acquired in May 2006.

Products

Tieline Adds Cellular Module into Codec
Indianapolis - Apr 4, 2007 - Wireless broadband cellular broadcasts are now possible without a separate cell phone as Tieline Technology unveils two new 3G voice-enabled software modules embedded into its Commander codec. New global 3G networks are enabling broadcasters to deliver wireless stereo FM quality remote broadcasts from the field back to the studio at bit rates comparable with ISDN performance.

The new optional embedded modules come in two choices: one offering connectivity to all three HSDPA/UMTS/GSM frequency bands and the other offering connection via CDMA EV-DO Revision A networks and the CDMA EV-DO Release 0 and IX networks.

Tieline first introduced 3G wireless broadband cellular remote software modules at NAB2006. Previously, users had to connect a 3G-enabled cellular phone to the codec. The new modules will be demonstrated at Tieline's NAB2007 booth, N9311.

3G broadband connections enable data transfer at download speeds of up to 3Mb/s and upload speeds of up to 384kb/s via HSDPA networks. If the 3G connection supports the bandwidth, IFB can be carried over the same connection as the broadcast backhaul.


Eye on IBOC

NDS to Showcase Conditional Access for HD Radio Las Vegas - Apr 4, 2007 - NDS will unveil its conditional access capability for HD Radio at NAB2007 at its booth, N7137, as well as in partner demonstrations with Broadcast Electronics (N7106) and Harris (N2505). The BE and Harris demonstrations will demonstrate the integration of the NDS technology into the two companies' transmission equipment.

The Harris demonstration will include details of the system test that was carried on WUSF-FM, Tampa in March. The BE demonstration will detail the technology integration into the BE IDI 20 Importer.

NDS already provides conditional access technology for TV set-top boxes.


Hyundai, Jaguar to Offer HD Radio Receivers
Columbia, MD - Apr 4, 2007 - Hyundai and Jaguar have committed to offering HD Radio receivers in upcoming models of their automobiles. Hyundai will offer HD Radio on its rear-wheel drive premium sports sedan scheduled for introduction in 2008. Jaguar will offer HD Radio technology in its redesigned 2008 luxury XJ sedan.

In 2005, Hyundai announced that it would be the first automaker to standardize satellite radio in all of its vehicles.

HD Radio receivers are available on the 2008 Jaguar XJ line-up as an option. It has a suggested retail price of $500.


Internet Watch

Musicians Campaign for Net Neutrality Protection
Washington - Apr 2, 2007 - A coalition of musicians has launched a Rock the Net campaign to lobby Congress to mandate the neutrality of the Internet. The group wants laws to ensure broadband network operators treat all Internet traffic equally. Several high-profile artists, including R.E.M. and OK Go, will present a series of concerts throughout the country to increase awareness of the issue.

Jenny Toomey, executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, said the open nature of the Internet has given a middle class of artists access to wider audiences than ever before. Many of these artists would be denied innovative opportunities to connect with audiences if they were forced to pay premium rates for high-speed traffic to flow to their sites.

Internet subcommittee chairman Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) said the Rock the Net campaign will help him get network neutrality legislation on the books. "It's going to be big," he said. "It's going to be powerful."

Markey said the key question in the network neutrality debate should not be how it affects established Internet firms such as Amazon.com or Google, but rather how it affects the ability of smaller startups to tap into the Internet and expand. "The great thing about the Internet is that no one has to ask permission to get his voice heard," he said.

Andrew Schwartzman, president of the Media Access Project, said that for musicians, network neutrality is just as much about uploading content as it is downloading. Artists, he said, should be able to upload without facing higher prices so that they can take advantage of social media and distribute their works.




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