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Radio Currents Online - Oct 22- Oct 28, 2007
FCC Chairman Seeks to Ease Media Ownership Rules
Washington - Oct 22, 2007 - FCC chairman Kevin Martin is promoting a plan that would dramatically relax the media ownership rules by year end. Martin wants the FCC to repeal a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city. He also wants to ease restrictions on the number of radio and TV stations a company could own in the same city.
As soon as word of Martin's plan became public, congress made plans to try to delay the move with legislation requiring additional public comment. Martin apparently has at least 3-2 majority support on the commission for the rule changes. His plan, if successful, would be a major victory for some executives of media conglomerates, the New York Times reported.
In recent months, media industry executives had all but abandoned the hope that the FCC would try to modify the ownership rules in the waning days of the Bush administration, the Times said. The revelation of Martin's plan unleashed a wave of opposition.
As the week ended, there were reports that Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-ND, and Sen. Trent Lott, R-MS, were working on legislation that would thwart Martin's proposal by requiring additional public comment and multiple proposals.
FCC commissioner Michael Copps, a leading FCC opponent of easing the media ownership restrictions, told the Times that Martin's aggressive timetable would require procedural shortcuts, giving the public too little time to comment on the proposals and industry experts too little time to weigh their impact on news operations.
SBE Organizes Next-generation EAS Meeting
Washington - Oct 18, 2007 - On Oct. 17, the Society of Broadcast Engineers chaired a meeting in Washington, DC, to discuss the next generation of public alerting. Attending the meeting with the SBE were representatives of the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations (NASBA).
The purpose of the meeting was to bring together federal agencies responsible for developing and implementing an improved emergency notification system with representatives of the broadcast industry. Representing the SBE at the meeting were Clay Freinwald, national SBE Emergency Alert System (EAS) Committee chairman, who led the meeting; Richard Rudman, a member of the SBE's EAS Committee and John Poray, executive director. Based on comments from the representatives of the federal agencies in attendance, there is much work to be done before any firm strategy for the next generation alerting plan will be known. The agencies all said that input from the broadcast industry is needed and will be solicited to help design the system. FEMA, which has primary responsibility for system architecture, anticipates a system that will provide redundancy and resiliency. FEMA said its IPAWS plan will essentially be a "system of systems" and that a next-generation EAS would constitute one of those systems. NASBA representatives made it clear that funding for any required equipment should come from the federal government.
FEMA is preparing a first assessment of architecture for the White House, due by Dec. 31 of this year. SBE representatives came away from the meeting feeling that there will likely be no action required of local broadcasters for at least a year and possibly longer. The group anticipates another meeting in January 2008 to hear updates from the federal agencies and continue the dialog.
Radio magazine observation: While the Common Alerting Protocol is to be included in the next version of EAS, the details of how it will be used are not yet decided. This function is currently assigned to FEMA. While EAS products with CAP capability are being manufactured, there is no reason for stations to install this equipment yet if the station already has a working EAS system. If a station needs new EAS equipment to stay in compliance with current EAS rules, these new units have a natural upgrade path already in place.
Cumulus Media Signs on to PPM
New York - Oct 24, 2007 - Cumulus Media has signed a multi-year agreement for the Aribitron Portable People Meter ratings services for 33 stations in eight markets. The markets covered by the agreement are Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Nashville and San Francisco. The agreement provides that Cumulus will subscribe to the PPM ratings as and when the service is introduced in each market.
RCS, Nokia Partner on Visual Radio
White Plains, NY - Oct 26, 2007 - RCS is working with Nokia to roll out the Visual Radio experience to radio listeners and cell phone users worldwide. Visual Radio enables mobile device users to receive FM radio broadcasts with fully synchronized interactive graphic content.
Visual Radio users will be able to see real-time information on artists, upcoming concert dates and other music-related topics on the phone display while listening to FM broadcasts. The service allows interactivity with the broadcast, such as participation in listener competitions and promotions. The new enhanced version of the service also allows radio stations to transmit visual advertisements at the same time listeners hear the spots on radio.
In addition, RCS has released a new version of its Radio Show software to work with Visual Radio, so that the same rich content being seen on the mobile device will also appear simultaneously on multiple digital platforms including HD Radio and the Internet.
The new enhanced Visual Radio service is expected to be available in select cities in at least 10 countries by the end of the year. More info: www.VisualRadio.com.
NAB Posts 2007 Radio Show Session Recordings
Washington - Oct 23, 2007 - Recordings of sessions from the 2007 NAB Radio Show are now available for purchase from the NAB. Session recordings are available for download or on DVD. The DVD-formatted recordings include all visible aids and have a lifetime guarantee. Go to the NAB Store for more information.
Follow Up: Broadcast Electronics Recognizes Cervon
Quincy, IL - Oct 26, 2007 - On Oct. 16, Radio magazine reported that Broadcast Electronics was planning a recognition to mark the 30th anniversary of the company's move to Quincy, IL, from the Washington, DC, area to Illinois. On Oct. 26, local Quincy community leaders, former Broadcast Electronics employees, friends and associates of BE Former President Larry Cervon and others gathered in the facility to mark the event. Radio magazine was the only industry publication present for the event.
The culmination of the event was the unveiling of a plaque that will be displayed at the facility. Joe Roark, BE CEO, made the final presentation.
Joe Roark unveils the plaque to honor Cervon and the company's move to Quincy. The plaque reads:
Lawrence J. Cervon
President 1976 - 1991
Who in July 1977 relocated the company to Quincy. His achievements and vision continue to guide BE in industry leadership.
Employees and Management
Broadcast Electronics, Inc.
October 26, 2007
Ibiquity Digital Hires Densmore as Technology Manager
Columbia, MD - Oct 24, 2007 - Ibiquity Digital has hired Steve Densmore as broadcast engineering technology manager, based in the company's Columbia, MD, headquarters. Densmore will interact with Ibiquity's broadcasting partners and internal development teams to help commercial transitions of HD Radio broadcast products and features.
Densmore previously served for 32 years as the manager of radio operations at ABC Radio. In that role, Densmore traveled the world as the engineer-in-charge for radio pool coverage of President Ronald Reagan's trips to China and the Soviet Union, President George H. W. Bush's trip to Moscow to sign the START treaty, President Bill Clinton's trip to France for the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, President Clinton's trip to Moscow for the 50th anniversary of VE day, and President George W. Bush's trips to China and Korea for the APEC summit, just to name a few. In addition, he was engineer-in-charge of ABC Radio's coverage of the last six political conventions, the last four presidential inaugurations, the funerals of President Ronald Reagan, President Gerald Ford, and Pope John Paul II, and was in Qatar and Kuwait for the start of the War in Iraq.
Steinberg Releases Cubase 4.1
Hamburg, Germany - Oct 23, 2007 - Steinberg Media Technologies has released an update to Cubase 4.1 and Cubase Studio 4.1. The updates are a free update for all registered owners. The new features include a redesigned sample editor, side chaining for VST3 plug-ins, Music XML support, compatibility with Sequel project import, support for Windows Vista. The update is available from www.steinberg.net.
Other new features include:
- Free routing and recording from summing objects enhance recording and routing functionality to offer complete routing flexibility as well as lightning-fast setup for stem recording
- Advanced Mediabay options enhance speed and efficiency working with Steinberg's revolutionary media database system with new user options
- Track Quick Controls with integrated MIDI Learn provide direct access to any track parameter from the Track Inspector, ideal for easy control of any setting using hardware remote controllers
- Global Transpose Track allows transposition of all audio and MIDI parts within one easy-to-use track for quick and easy experimentation with key and chord changes
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Also in the December Issue
- Local Radio Spotlight: Koser Radio Group
- Trends in Technology: Streaming Audio Update
- Contest Rules Rewrite and EAS Issues
- Embedded Computing, With a Side of Pi
- Field Report: TASCAM US-366