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Radio Currents Online - Feb 5 - Feb 11 2007
NRSC Releases Results of AM Audio Study
Arlington, VA - Feb 02, 2007 - A new study addressing the quality of AM broadcasts when stations reduce the bandwidth of their transmitted signals to less than 10kHz is providing the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) with information on possible ways to improve the listener experience with AM radio. The study will help the NRSC's AM Broadcasting (AMB) Subcommittee determine if any changes should be made to the NRSC standards that define optimal bandwidths for AM transmitters and receivers.
The NRSC is jointly sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Its purpose is to study and make recommendations for technical standards that relate to radio broadcasting and the reception of radio broadcast signals.
When the subcommittee began considering the study, it was noted that some broadcasters have already reduced the bandwidth of their analog AM signals 5kHz or 6kHz in an effort to reduce the interference in the AM band. This is done based on the understanding that most consumer receivers are already bandlimited to 5kHz or less. A proposal was put forth for the NRSC to consider reducing the bandwidth specification in NRSC-1, -2 and -3 to something less than 10kHz. The subcommittee decided to study analog AM receivers and consumer reaction to reduced bandwidth before any changes could be made.
Before considering potential changes to the NRSC-1, -2, and -3 standards, the AMB is sharing the results of the AMSTG study and seeks industry input.
FCC Issues STA to Pirate FM
Goldfield, NV - Feb 2, 2007 - The Pahrump Valley Times reports that a pirate radio station in Goldfield and Tonopah, NV, has been granted special temporary authority to operate the station. In June 2006, the FCC shut the 100W pirate station down for operating without a license. The FCC responded to a filed complaint.
Rod Moses, the operator of Radio Goldfield Broadcast, was granted the STA on Jan. 29. The STA not only allows the pirate to operate, but authorizes a different frequency. The station previously operated on 100.3. It will now operate on 106.3 at 100W.
Moses began operating Radio Goldfield in March 2005. He programmed community news and played oldies from an MP3 player. A letter to Moses from James Bradshaw, the FCC deputy chief of the Audio Division Media Bureau, states, "In support of the request, RGB states that the station provides current road conditions, information on local law enforcement and public safety." The letter also cites Section 309(f) of the Communications Act of 1934, which authorizes the commission to grant the temporary allowance in cases of "extraordinary circumstances requiring temporary authorizations in the public interest."
The FCC action is not the result of Moses' efforts alone. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid contacted FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to endorse the Radio Goldfield operation and its public interest contributions. According to the Times article, letters protesting the shutdown were sent to all the members of the Nevada congress. All of them except Reid declined to take action after receiving a letter from the FCC stating that Moses was operating illegally. Moses also credits Esmeralda County Commissioner R.J. Gillum and a local Goldfield activist with helping his cause.
Unfortunately, the FCC action sets a precedent to encourage pirate operations as a way to force granting an LPFM license. It's not surprising that Moses was able to obtain public support for his unlicensed station; most pirates have some community support.
The Pahrump article includes the statement, "Chalk one up for the little guy in a battle against the federal bureaucracy." The result is that an individual has been rewarded for bad behavior.
Read the original article at this link.
Harris Trims Broadcast Comms Division
Melbourne, FL - Feb 5, 2007 - According to an article on Floriday Today's website, Harris is cutting costs in its Broadcast Communications Division because of a weak performance in its radio and TV transmitter business. The newspaper's article says "Harris plans to incur $5 million worth of 'severance and facility exit costs' in the first half of this year, which will result in cost savings of about $10 million during the company's next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Harris declined to comment when Radio magazine contacted them.
Audio Agent Becomes Symetrix Latin American Dealer
Mountlake Terrace, WA - Symetrix has appointed Audio Agent, located in Bellevue, WA, as its Latin American dealer/distributor. Audio Agent will be responsible for the Symnet, Air Tools and Lucid brands.
"We believe that an aggressive expansion of the sales network, combined with increased industry awareness will yield significant results in the region," said Audio Agent Principal Dave Christenson.
Brown, a North Carolina native, has held the position of vice president of sales for the LBA Group, including LBA Technology and Lawrence Behr Associates, since August 2005. Before coming to LBA, he served as vice president of Joyner Broadcasting group. Formerly, he held senior sales positions with Shively Labs and Broadcast Electronics. His experience also includes director of engineering roles for several broadcast groups.
Brown is a Society of Broadcast Engineers Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer. He is also a member of the UK's Institute of Engineering Technology and the IEEE.
Birr Returns to Sennheiser
Old Lyme, CT - Feb 8, 2007 - The marketing division at Sennheiser Electronic is welcoming former teammate Dawn Birr back as product manager for professional products and HHB International. Birr returns after a six-month stint away from Sennheiser. She will take charge of product marketing for the 3000 and 5000 series wireless microphone systems, the MKH and MKE Series of theater, film and video microphones, broadcast boom sets, and the HSP Series of professional headset microphones.
Before her absence, Birr was the industry team leader for Neumann and all the company's distributed brands for six years.
Accuweather.com Launches Windows Vista Gadgets
State College, PA - Feb 8, 2007 - Accuweather.com has launched two free weather systems for the Windows Vista operating system. Accuweather.com Forecast displays up-to-date severe and winter weather warnings, current conditions and five-day forecasts, as well as access to radar and videos. The Forecast Radar Gadget adds a radar display image and access to regular forecasts and news. Both provide severe and winter weather alerts.
These gadgets are available for download at www.accuweather.com and the Windows Live Gallery.
Eye on IBOC
R.V.R. to Manufacture HD Radio Equipment
Columbia, MD - Feb 6, 2007 - Ibiquity Digital has licensed R.V.R. Elettronica to develop, manufacture and market HD Radio exciters for AM and FM. R.V.R. is the first licensed HD Radio broadcast equipment manufacturer in Europe. Already familiar with HD Radio, R.V.R. installed analog and digital power amplifiers and the RF combiner for the first European HD Radio technology trial, which took place on 88 Radio Sunshine, located near Lucerne, Switzerland.
R.V.R. Elettronica was founded in 1979 in Bologna, Italy. The R.V.R. Group is composed of four companies, each of them dedicated to a specific production sector.
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