Radio Currents Online - Apr 30 - May 6, 2007


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Broadcasters Jointly File to Modify AM Rules
Washington - May 4, 2007 - A group of broadcasters, broadcast consulting engineers and broadcast equipment manufacturers have jointly filed ex parte comments with the FCC in the long-standing further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) called An Inquiry Into the Commission's Policies and Rules Regarding AM Radio Service Directional Antenna Performance Verification (MM Docket 93-177). The FNPRM was established to consider allowing computer modeling as a means of verifying AM directional antenna performance.

The filing group, calling itself the AM Directional Antenna Performance Verification Coalition, is comprised of these groups:

BroadcastersConsultants/Manufacturers
Beasley
Bonneville
Buckley
CBS
Citadel
Clear Channel
Cox
Crawford
Cumulus
Entercom
Entravision
Family Stations
Journal
Lincoln Financial Media
Morris Communications
Mutlicultural Radio
Peak Broadcasting
Regent
Salem
Carl T. Jones
Cavelll, Mertz and Assoc.
Communications Technologies
du Treil, Lundin and Rackley
Radiotechniques Engineering
Hammett and Edison
Hatfield and Dawson
Khanna and Guill
Radiotechniques Manufacturing
Sellmeyer Engineering

The work of this group over the past five months has produced the filing, which offers suggested modifications to the FCC Rules to permit computer modeling. The filing notes that the requirements of the current rules to verify antenna performance rely on field strength measurements is flawed because such measurements are often unreliable because of terrain, seasonal, and construction effects. The coalition submits that computer modeling can better evaluate the realities of terrain without the unpredictable effects that affect field strength readings.

The coalition includes revisions to two sections of the FCC rules: 73.151 and 73.61. It also suggests an addition to create 73.155, and also a new rule for Parts 17, 22, 27 and 73 that covers construction near or on an AM tower.

The coalition is comprised of a number of leading broadcasters and consultants, and their collective voice will no doubt have a significant influence on the FCC's action on this, assuming that some action is taken in the near term.

The complete text of the filing will be available on the FCC in a few days.


Update on WUVT Project
by Chriss Scherer, editor
Blacksburg, VA - May 2, 3007 - After news of the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy was distributed, radio broadcasters learned that one of their own, Station Engineer Kevin Sterne, was one of the people injured. Sterne and his family requested that donations and support be directed to the campus station while Sterne heals.

At that time, the station was operating at a reduced power level. On April 27, the station received a part that it had ordered for its Broadcast Electronics transmitter. That part was installed, and the transmitter was further tuned and returned to the air at its full 3kW that evening.

That same day, the Society of Broadcast Engineers and Clear Channel began combining their efforts to help the station realize its goal of moving the transmitter facility out of the current elevator penthouse. Cumulus, who owns the tower that sits on land owned by the university, joined the effort, because this tower site had already been identified as a potential site for the relocated facility. On May 2, the school gave the go ahead to commence the process of investigating a tower move.

Over the weekend and the first days of May, several manufacturers offered support through equipment of services. Clear Channel had already offered a 5kW Harris transmitter, six-bay ERI antenna and a prefabricated building for the new site if they were needed. ERI has offered to retune and modify the antenna as needed by the station.

Orban, Dielectric, Telos/Omnia/Axia and, through the SBE, consulting engineers Hammet and Edison and the law firm of Booth Freret, Imlay and Tepper have all offered to assist if they can. As the project details are determined, specific needs will be decided. Other companies continue to come forward to offer assistance. Donations of materials and services can be directed to Chriss Scherer, president of the SBE, at cscherer@sbe.org.

There will be certain aspects of the project that cannot be donated, and the station still seeks financial donations to offset these costs. Send these to:

WUVT
att: "Kevin" or "Transmitter"
350 Squires Student Center
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0506

There is also a secure donation space online at www.wuvt.vt.edu. Select DONATE from the menu. In the space for "Show/DJ/Time Slot to Credit" enter "Kevin" or "transmitter."


Arbitron Releases Philadelphia PPM Ratings
New York - Apr 27, 2007 - Arbitron released the first so-called currency radio ratings from the Philadelphia Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings service. The March PPM survey ratings covers March 8 through April 4.

Philadelphia is the first radio market in the United States to be measured by the Arbitron PPM system, an electronic audience measurement technology that has been in U.S. market trials since 2001. Over the next three years, the PPM is scheduled to be deployed in the top 50 markets in place of the paper-and-pencil diary method that the company has used to collect radio audience estimates since 1965.

One new finding indicated by the PPM ratings in Philadelphia is an increase in the composition of the radio audience (people 18+) who are employed full time compared to what was reported by the radio diary.


Business

Harman International to be Acquired by KKR and GS Capital
Washington - Apr 26, 2007 - Harman International Industries has entered into an agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and GS Capital Partners in a transaction valued at about $8 billion. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Harman board of directors, following the recommendation of a special committee of independent directors. KKR initiated discussions with Harman and structured the transaction so that current Harman stockholders have the opportunity to participate in the future upside potential of the enterprise. The company will continue to be named Harman International Industries and Dr. Sidney Harman, founder and executive chairman, will remain executive chairman.

Harman International Industries is the parent company of Harman Kardon, JBL, AKG, Studer, Mark Levinson, Infinity and other companies in the professional and high-end consumer electronics industries.


New Management for RTW
Cologne - May 3. 2007 - After 42 years of business, Renate and Rudolf Twelker have handed over the management of the German manufacturing and distribution company RTW Radio-Technische Werkstaetten to a younger successor. Andreas Tweitmann has now taken responsibility for the management of the company and has already been instated as chief executive officer. Renate and Rudolf Twelker will soon retire from the company's management team but they will continue to provide support as consultants until the end of 2008.

RTW's key products and technologies include peak program meters and a surround sound analyzer.

Andreas Tweitmann studied telecommunications engineering in Hanover and has worked as a planning engineer, project manager and marketing specialist for a number of German companies in the professional audio sector, including Amptown Sound and Communication and Sennheiser. Between 2001 and 2006 Tweitmann was director of sales and marketing at Sennheiser, where he was responsible for Neumann products in Germany.

The transfer of RTW to Andreas Tweitmann will be completed over a period of three years. Tweitmann will continue the management of the company in its present form. In addition to the form of the business organization, the number of employees, the product and sales portfolio and the production facility in Cologne will remain unchanged.


Studer, Digigram Partner on Ethersound Interconnectivity
Northridge, CA - May 2, 2007 - Studer and Digigram have announced the joint development of an Ethersound interface card for Studer consoles. Designed to fit into the Studer D21m I/O system rack, initially for use with the Studer On Air 3000 console but also compatible with Studer's Vista series and routing systems, the card will allow 128 channels of audio (64 inputs/64 outputs) to be connected to the D21m via a single Cat-5 connection. A second Cat-5 connection permits daisy chain or redundant ring topologies, the latter allowing for the network to remain uninterrupted should a cable be broken.

Inputs and outputs can be patched internally within the console on the On Air 3000's own I/O screens. Digigram's own control software can be used to route signals between different Ethersound-enabled devices over a standard Ethernet network.


Update on Clear Channel Radio Divestitures
San Antonio - May 2, 2007 - Clear Channel Communications has provided additional updates on the divestiture process for its departing radio markets. Clear Channel previously announced that it was attempting to divest 448 radio stations in 88 markets. To date, Clear Channel has entered into definitive agreements to sell 362 radio stations in 72 markets for a total consideration of about $820 million. Since its most recent update on April 26, 2007, Clear Channel has signed definitive agreements with various parties to sell 201 stations in 38 markets. The company expects these transactions to close during the second half of 2007.

Clear Channel continues to pursue the divestiture of the remaining 86 stations in 16 markets. The stations remaining are in the following markets: Ashland/Mansfield, OH; Ashtabula, OH; Centralia, WA; Charlottesville, VA; Defiance, OH; Dickinson, ND; Frankfort, KY; Grand Forks, ND; Marion/Carbondale, IL; Rome/Utica, NY; San Luis Obispo, CA; The Florida Keys, FL; Tri-Cities, WA; Victorville, CA; Yakima, WA; and Yuma, AZ.


Logitek Expands in Australia
Las Vegas - Apr 16, 2007 - Logitek Electronic Systems has formed Logitek Australia to handle sales, support and service of Logitek products there. A partnership between Logitek and Dingbat Technology, Logitek Australia replaces Maser Technology as Logitek's dealer in Australia. Besides supporting Australian customers, Logitek Australia will expand the company's presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian office and warehouse is located in Sydney.

Contact Logitek Australia at +61.413.940.659.


Clear Channel, X-Digital Partner
Englewood, CO - Apr 17, 2007 - Clear Channel Satellite Services has entered into an agreement with X-Dgital Systems to distribute and resell the XDS-Pro line of satellite receivers. X-Digital's XDS-Pro receivers are designed for the broadcast radio market and feature technology to reduce operational costs and increase time to market for new products and services.

XDS-Pro 4 is currently available from Clear Channel Satellite Services.


BE Receives Multiple Transmitter Orders at NAB2007
Quincy, IL - May 2, 2007 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) returned from the NAB convention with a number of transmitter sales, including some from Univision and Regent Communications.

Regent Communications signed orders for BE transmitters for its Flint, MI, and Lafayette, LA, stations while at the NAB convention. Univision, the country's leading Spanish-language media company, also placed orders during the show for two BE HD Radio transmitters and one BE backup transmitter for its Phoenix stations.

The Univision order covers transmitters for KHOT-FM and its booster frequency in Phoenix. Univision has previously purchased BE transmitters for stations in Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Fresno, Miami and New York.

Regent Communications ordered a BE FMI 201 solid-state HD Radio transmitter, a BE FMI 21T tube HD Radio transmitter and a BE FMI 25T tube transmitter for HD Radio transmission.


Gepco Adds New York Branch
Des Plaines, IL - Apr 30, 2007 - Gepco has added a New York branch to serve its customers in the northeast region. The 5,000-square-foot space located in Chestnut Ridge, NY, about 30 miles north of Manhattan, will stock all of Gepco's current cable, connector and distributed products.

In addition to being able to fulfill and ship orders throughout the northeast, the facility will offer a will call area for customers looking to pick up materials on-site.The New York branch will be opening for business in May 2007.


Sales Call
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Sandusky Broadcasting has installed an APT Worldnet Oslo codec as a studio-to-transmitter link for two of its five Seattle stations, KQMV and KWJZ.
Auralex Acoustics' Space Couplers were installed in Studio A, a tracking and mixing room, in the studios of the Music Production and Engineering department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
XM Satellite Radio has installed Adam Audio speakers throughout its radio facilities. XM has equipped the Jazz at Lincoln Center Studios, from which it broadcasts performances, with Adam speakers.
WFLS-FM, TBS Taiwan, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Liuzhou Radio in China have ordered Logitek Mosaic digital console systems. WLPO, KDCR, Journal-Tulsa, Radio America, Univision and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have purchased Logitek's Remora console.
"Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase," a podcast by a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline that originates from aboard the airline's flights, has purchased a Marantz PMD660 digital audio recorder to create her podcasts.
The newly-built Busch Stadium, home to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, incorporated Belden Brilliance audio/video cables into its design.
APT has supplied TP Emitel, a subsidiary of Telekomunikcja Polska, with several Worldnet Oslo codecs for the distribution of stereo radio programs throughout Poland. The codecs will also distribute RS-232 data for RDS with the stereo audio.
Scheduall has supplied and implemented its Scheduall Enterprise Series system at the BBC World Service to manage resources related to global content programming, which accounts for geographic separation, time zones and language.

People

Scharf Joins Sennheiser as Western Region Manager
Old Lyme, CT - Apr 30, 2007 - Sennheiser Electronic has appointed Robby Scharf to the position of western region market development manager, pro and MI products. In this role, Scharf functions as the key liaison for contractors, consultants, sound hire companies and recording studios to introduce new products, implement training sessions and provide product application advice. Scharf is based in Los Angeles and reports to Jamie Scott, Sennheiser western regional sales manager.

Scharf's experience began in the recording, production and creative arenas of various audio/video companies. Subsequently, he held several positions within Guitar Center's management division, with the most recent being pro audio district division manager/product specialist, Los Angeles. In addition to being an accomplished bass player, Scharf's background provides a solid understanding of the Sennheiser product line as well as its end users.


Bipes Joins Small Tree in Marketing, Sales
Oakdale, MN - Apr 30, 2007 - Small Tree Communications, a networking and storage solutions company, has appointed Jeffrey Bipes to director of marketing and sales. Bipes will be responsible for continuing and facilitating Small Tree's growth in markets dependent on higher bandwidth and system performance.

Bipes comes to Small Tree with nearly 25 years experience in sales and marketing for companies such as Apple and Autodesk. Prior to joining Small Tree, Bipes owned and operated Chromium Switch Products, a supplier of CRM/IT/Custom Product Solutions serving the small business environment. Before that he served as business development manager for Metaphase Technology. Bipes was product and marketing manager for Autodesk and Apple prior to that.


APT Appoints Howard to Board
Belfast - Apr 30, 2007 - Quentin Howard, chief executive of Digital One and president of the World DMB Forum, has joined the board of directors of APT in a non-executive capacity. Howard's board-level experience includes intellectual property licensing, which dates back to 2000 when he became actively involved in the evolution of the DAB semiconductor market through a joint venture between Digital One and Imagination Technologies. The DAB silicon chip development resulted in the formation of Frontier Silicon supplier of DAB receiver modules to OEM and ODM manufacturers.

Howard is an electrical and electronics graduate and has worked in UK commercial radio since the mid-1970s, holding numerous key positions including director of engineering at GWR Group where he pioneered many technological firsts in the UK, including satellite distribution, digital studios, computer play-out systems, audio processing and integrated comms/IT networks. Howard built Classic FM's studios and national FM transmitter network and subsequently received the radio industry's Sony Gold Award in recognition of these technical achievements.

Howard is also the founder of Digital One, which was awarded the UK's first national DAB multiplex licence and began transmission in 1999. The company broadcasts eight national digital radio services and five mobile TV services.

Howard was elected president of the World DAB Forum in 2005. He served as a member of the World DAB steering board for nine years and is on the board of the UK's Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB). World DAB, now renamed World DMB Forum, oversees the interests of 130 member companies and organizations from 40 countries.


Aviom Hires McGinn as VP of Sales and Marketing
West Chester, PA - May 3, 2007 - Aviom has appointed Michael J. McGinn as the company's vice president of sales and marketing. McGinn's experience includes working with Shure, Ecolab and Eastman Kodak in general management, senior executive and board membership.

During his time with Shure, McGinn served as the global VP of sales and marketing. McGinn now oversees all of Aviom's worldwide sales and marketing efforts.


Beyerdynamic Appoints Froula as Pro Audio Business Unit Manager
Farmingdale, NY - Apr 30, 2007 - Beyerdynamic has appointed Paul Froula to business unit manager for the company's pro audio division, which encompasses the music/performance, broadcast/video production and studio/recording markets within the United States. Froula previously served as the company's director of marketing.

As unit manager for the Pro Audio Division, Froula will be responsible for overseeing and developing new business partnerships. He will also liaise with Beyerdynamic's parent company, based in Heilbronn, Germany, on program implementation within these markets.

Froula previously worked for professional audio manufacturers and as a recording engineer and musician. In addition to his new position, Froula will continue to develop and manage Beyerdynamic's Artist/Engineer Relations division.


Becht Joins Harris as Southern Central Region SM
Cincinnati - May 4, 2007 - Harris has named Terrence Becht as a district sales manager of the Radio Broadcast Systems Business Unit. In his new role, Becht will be responsible for a five-state territory that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Becht brings more than 20 years of experience to his new position, including 14 years as eastern sales manager of radio products for Electronics Research, and seven years as vice president of sales and marketing for Central Tower.


Digigram Adds Two Broadcast Specialists
Arlington, VA - May 3, 2007 - Digigram has added two members to its Digigram U.S. team. Eric Richardson joins as director of strategic marketing, while James Ohana takes on the role of solutions integration manager.

Richardson, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Berklee College of Music, has extensive experience in developing audio, TV and music technologies, starting in 1989 as an engineer for New England Digital. He has held key senior management positions at Fostex Research and Development, Infotech and Dalet Digital Media Systems, and is president of Futurewave, an AV/IT consultancy. Ohana is also a Dalet veteran, having begun his professional services career at Dalet in the Paris office in 1996. During his tenure, he managed and championed many Dalet customer deployments including ABC, NPR, Worldspace and XM Satellite Radio. He was also responsible for Dalet's most recent and largest radio installation to date at CBC Radio.


Products

SE Ships USB Mics
Somerville, MA - Apr 27, 2007 - SE Electronics is now shipping the USB2200a and USB1000a mics. The USB2200a is a USB2 microphone based on the SE2200a capsule. Its audio circuitry provides a 16-bit/48kHz path with a 24-bit/48kHz output to a USB connector. It features low latency headphone monitoring of less than 1ms with mix control and a proprietary chip and software set that embeds the software drivers.

The USB1000a is an entry level USB-only mic. It has the same chip and software set as the USB2200a.


Merging Increases Processing Power in DAW
Switzerland - Apr 18, 2007 - Merging Technologies' has increased the processing capability of its Pyramix digital audio workstation by including the MYK-X30 DSP card and daughterboard options. The MYK-X30 cards offer 1.2 GFlops of peak processing power and a memory bandwidth of 1600MB per second. One MYK-X30 card permits Pyramix systems to mix 48 channels and their strip tools plug-ins simultaneously to stereo and surround buses.


Wireworks Updates Product Line to RoHS Compliance
Hillside, NJ - May 3, 2007 - Wireworks' entire line of products are now manufactured in compliance with the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and the California Electronic Waste Recycling Act.

The RoHS Directive was originally established to address concerns regarding the accumulation of hazardous wastes resulting from consumer products. To meet the stringent requirements of the directive, Wireworks' products are manufactured free of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalant chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).


Axia Releases Update for IP-Audio Driver
Las Vegas - Apr 19, 2007 - Axia Audio has released version 2.4.7.3 of its software for its IP-Audio Driver for Windows. The software now has an added audio recording path through the Windows Mixer for easier recording of local audio streams. It also offers reordered stream identifiers for easier configuration when using multiple output audio playback or digital delivery systems.

The driver comes in two versions: a one-input/one-ouput version with audio editing workstations and a 16-in/16-out version available directly from Axia Delivery System partners. The upgrade is free to registered users.


MXL.007 USB Mic Now Shipping
El Segundo, CA - Apr 30, 2007 - MXL Microphones, the pro audio division of Marshall Electronics, is now shipping the MXL.007 USB stereo condenser microphone. The MXL.007 features two gold diaphragm capsules with an X/Y pick-up pattern that connects directly to a computer through the USB connector. The mic supports USB 1.1 and 2.0.

The mic includes a built-in three position attenuation switch. The mic ships with a travel case, a desktop microphone stand, a 10-foot USB cable, a windscreen, an owner's manual and an application guide.


Internet Watch

Webby Awards Radio Winner Announced
New York - May 1, 2007 - The 11th Annual Webby Awards announced the winner for Best Radio site of the Year. The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet, including websites, online film and video, interactive advertising and mobile websites. The academy announced winners in more than 100 categories from more than 60 countries and a full list of winners can be found at www.webbyawards.com.

The winner in the radio website category is BBC Radio 1.

In addition, more than 400,000 votes were cast by people around the world for their favorite sites, videos and ads in The Webby People's Voice Awards. The People's Voice Award in the Radio category is NPR.org.

The winners will be honored on June 5 at New York City's Cipriani Wall Street.




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