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Radio Currents Online - Nov 5 - Nov 11, 2007
FCC Seeks Info from XM, Sirius on Merger
Washington - Nov 6, 2007 - According to several news outlets including Reuters, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, the Federal Communications Commission sent questionnaires to XM and Sirius to gather additional information about the satellite radio providers' operation, including distribution contracts, programming arrangements and equipment locations. The FCC also asked for clarification on programming that will be duplicated between the two companies and could be consolidated. The Journal reports that the FCC has also requested information on interoperability between the two services.
The satcasters have a short deadline to respond to the inquiry since the FCC's 180-day clock on resolving the matter ends on Dec. 6, 2007.
NRSC Posts Revised Documents
Washington - Nov 5, 2007 - In September 2007, the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC), a joint effort of the NAB and the Consumer Electronics Association, met and adopted two NRSC guidelines and two revised NRSC standards. These documents, NRSC-1-A (NRSC AM Preemphasis/deemphasis and Broadcast Audio Transmission Bandwidth Specifications), NRSC-2-A (Emission Limitation for AM Broadcast Transmission), NRSC-G100 (Bandwidth Options for Analog AM Broadcasters) and NRSC-G200 (Harmonization of RDS and IBOC Program Service Data Guideline), are now available for download from the NRSC website.
California Fires' Impact on Radio
The recent fires in Southern California greatly affected the broadcasting community in general, but the effect on radio brings reality to engineers across the country. In an article written by Gary Stigall, posted on the SBE San Diego Chapter 36's website, Stigall highlights some of the most memorable moments to take away from the fires. Stigall wrote that on the evening of the first fires, Oct. 21, stations began going live wall-to-wall with neither commercials nor the usual primetime programming. Notably, all seven Clear Channel radio stations started simulcasting.
On Monday, Oct. 22, Stigall wrote, Lincoln Financial Media's KSOQ-FM 92.1 satellite station becomes the first casualty as fire burned electrical power lines feeding the station. "While less publicized, enormous fires also break out in Baja California, Mexico. One such fire, a few miles south of the Harris Ranch Fire, burns the electrical transmission lines feeding broadcast facilities on Cerro Bola near Tecate," Stigall wrote. "XEBCE (FM) is off the air until the line is prepared."
"Tuesday night," Stigall wrote, "KPBS crews bring a spare 1000 watt transmitter from their desert station in Calexico back to the San Diego State University studio site. Bext supplies a two-bay antenna from their shelf stock downtown, and KPBS staff mounts it overnight on their STL tower. By morning, KPBS-FM 89.5 is back on the air from Gateway Center at about 400-ft elevation AMSL."
On Wednesday, new poles were installed, putting KSOQ (FM) back on the air as KSON-FM, and Thursday, a motorcade of fuel trucks and broadcast engineers drove up Mt. San Miguel, refueling generator storage tanks. On Friday, KPBS put a temporary generator in place.
As of Oct. 23, the Southern California fires had burned a total of 347, 362 acres. To read Stigall's full article and see photos from the damage to KPBS, click here.
CEA Forms International Advisory Committee
Arlington, VA - Nov 5, 2007 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has formed a new International Advisory Committee to provide counsel surrounding ongoing CEA initiatives related to international matters. All divisions within CEA are represented on the Committee, which will total 15 following the addition of one more member.
Members of the CEA's International Advisory Committee include Mary Alexander, director, government relations, Panasonic; Gregg Chason, vice president, industry affairs and relations, Philips Electronics; Randy Fry, president, Fry's Electronics; Rick Goricki, director of sales, Plantronics; Kathy Gornik, president, Thiel Audio Products; Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO, Gibson Guitar; Kevin Lee, vice president, marketing and product development, Monster Cable Products; Mark Luden, president, The Guitammer Company; Charles Mauzy, president, Digital Railroad; Mike O'Neal, president and CEO, Team Products International; Paul Sabbah, Stamford International; Petro Shimonishi, vice president, Net Streams; Herman Sperling, group vice president, marketing, Harman Consumer Group; James Williamson, vice president, technology standards office, Sony Electronics.
Comment Window Opens on EAS
Washington - Nov 2, 2007 - On July 12, 2007, the FCC released a second report and order and further notice of proposed rulemaking addressing next generation EAS to better serve the needs of those with disabilities and non-English speakers, expansion of the base of EAS participants, state-level and geographically targeted EAS alerts, and improved coordination with state and local governments.
On Nov. 2, 2007, the second report and order and further notice of proposed rulemaking in this proceeding was published in the Federal Register, which sets the comment and reply comments dates.
Comment Date: Dec. 3, 2007
Reply Comment Date: Dec. 17, 2007
EB Docket No. 04-296
Dolby Labs to Acquire Coding Technologies
San Francisco and Stockholm - Nov 08, 2007 - Dolby Laboratories has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Coding Technologies for a purchase price of approximately $250 million. The deal is expected to be complete in the coming weeks.
Miklich Named BE VP Operations
Quincy, IL - Nov 7, 2007 - Charles (Chuck) Miklich has been appointed vice president of operations for Broadcast Electronics. Miklich is responsible for all manufacturing, global sourcing and business activities for BE. He joins the company after serving as director of operations for Harris in Quincy. Prior to Harris, Miklich was vice president operations for Stahl in Wooster, OH.
In a related move, the company also appointed Kathy Ellerbrock, a 21-year BE employee, to the newly created position of HR manager.
Hosa Promotes Sweeney to Operations Manager
Buena Park, CA - November 2007 - Hosa Technology has promoted Ben Sweeney to the position of operations manager. Possessing an extensive background in the music products and consumer electronics industries, including positions as sales and product manager with several prominent companies, Sweeney brings a wealth of experience to his new position.
In his new capacity, Sweeney will be charged with overseeing Hosa’s internal systems and processes, which includes development of the company’s website and catalog materials. He will also serve as the liaison between internal departments and third-party providers, including manufacturer’s representatives. Further, Sweeney will be responsible for implementing data management and warehouse procedures as well as coordinating the company’s international distributors in the areas of sales and marketing.
Sweeney has a proven track record in a variety of job capacities that make him well prepared to assume his new responsibilities. A native of Australia, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Media Production from Australia’s Griffith University and also possesses a retail sales and marketing diploma from Monash University of Victoria, Australia. From 2001 to 2005, he served as national sales manager for Intelliware Australia, a distributor of products from Mark of the Unicorn, Sony Media Software, Cakewalk, and Hosa/Zaolla, among others. From 2005 to 2007, he was the national retail sales manager for Sibelius Software of Australia. Upon coming to the United States in June of 2007, he started with Hosa Technology as the company’s regional sales manager.
RCS Updates RCS News
White Plains, NY - Nov 8, 2007 - RCS has enhanced RCS News, its standalone newsroom software that enables reporters to write newscasts, receive and revise wire copy and digitally record, edit and playback audio.
RCS News 3.1 features a revamped toolbar that can be customized to only show the commonly used tasks, the ability to more easily dock and undock windows, and new messaging when key mappings are applied.
Current RCS News users can contact RCS contact support for an upgrade.
V-Soft's Implementing Automatic Update to Probe 3
V-Soft's Probe 3 program will incorporate an automatic update that will be implemented in two stages. In Probe, there will be a new item under the Help menu allowing a user to set the update settings including the username, password, location of where to save previous versions, and number of backups to keep.
There will be another option allowing a user to check for updates, which will identify update availability, display the updates to the new version, and provide the ability to download and install the update. After the update has been downloaded, the user will receive a successful update confirmation message and the program will restart.
In the second stage of the update, the user will not have to select to download the update; Probe will automatically check for updates when the program is opened, and present the update available window when necessary. Another V-Soft program, FM Commander, also has an automatic update function of both the FM database and the program executable itself.
Burk ARC Plus Adds Mobile Web Connectivity
Littleton, MA - Nov 6, 2007 - The ARC Plus from Burk Technology now allows remote access via Web-enabled cell phones and PDAs. Virtually any device with Web access can now monitor transmitter readings and allow remote operators to review alarms, issue commands and run macros without a PC.
With mobile connectivity in the onboard Web server, ARC Plus users gain a dashboard-style monitoring and control interface, complementing front-panel and PC-based control. Dial-up access via telephone remains unchanged, providing a backup for IP connectivity. Because the ARC Plus is backwards compatible, ARC-16s connected to the ARC Plus are also accessible via the secure mobile interface.
Mobile web accessibility is now shipping with all new ARC Plus systems. Current users can upgrade free by visiting the support section.
Eye on IBOC
Harris Helps Bring HD Radio Broadcasting to Thailand
Cincinnati - Nov 6, 2007 - Fatima Broadcasting International of Thailand has begun multicasting using Harris HD Radio transmitters, becoming one of the first HD Radio broadcast services in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2006, Fatima Broadcasting International won the rights to broadcast over a country-wide sub-carrier service for 85 FM stations from the Public Relations Department of Thailand's government.
Harris delivered two HD Radio transmitters to Loxley, a Harris representative in Thailand. Loxley handled installation, technical training and post-sales service for the two-region project. The company installed a Z8HD+ transmitter to service the Bangkok region and a ZX2000 transmitter for the Chaingmai area.
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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