Radio Currents Online - Feb 12 - Feb 18 2007


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News

HD Radio Ad Campaign for BMW Begins
Orlando - Feb 14, 2007 - The next effort in the HD Digital Radio Alliance's marketing of HD Radio launches an 85-market radio advertising campaign highlighting BMW's in-car HD Radio offering. BMW recently became the first automotive manufacturer to offer factory-installed HD Radio receivers as an option in all of its 2007 models.

A press release from the alliance states that the campaign will feature a mix of commercials on alliance-member stations touting the "consumer benefits of HD Radio available in BMW cars." Specifically, the ads will note the "benefits" of more programming, digital sound and no monthly subscription. The BMW campaign is similar those for Circuit City, Radio Shack and other partners.

The spots can be heard online at www.hdradioalliance.com.


Business

Florida Broadcasters Look to GSS for Alerting
Orlando - Feb 9, 2007 - The Orlando Sentinel reports that Pat Roberts, president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, recommends that the state association work with Global Security Systems (GSS) to install the company's system across Florida. The announcement comes just after a tornado passed through Central Florida, and while the devastation of the last hurricane season is still fresh in people's minds.

The GSS system uses FM radio subcarriers to distribute warning alerts. GSS is also looking to add the receiving capability to cell phones and media players.

The GSS system is being adopted in Missisippi. For now, emergency-management officials near Jackson, the state capital, can send messages to its 82 local emergency-management offices.


Broadcast Electronics to Host HD Radio Seminar
Lessons learned from the first 1,000 HD Radio stations will be the focus of the Broadcast Electronics engineering seminar at the NAB convention. The seminar will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on April 14 in room N211.

The seminar is free to all broadcasters. Go to www.bdcast.com to register.


Media Audio Plans Market Study of Smart Cell Phone
Dallas - Feb 9, 2007 - The Media Audit/Ipsos is developing an electronic audience measurement system that tracks listener habits by using a device called a Smart Cell Phone. This system does not require listeners to carry a device strictly for listening measurements like the Arbitron PPM. The Media Audio study will be conducted in Houston and will include a panel of 2,500 respondents aged 12+ to use a cell phone that monitors radio listening.

An initial core of five of the nation's nine largest radio broadcasters, representing more than 25 percent of all radio revenue, have agreed to support The Media Audit/Ipsos media measurement initiative financially. The company expects that additional radio broadcasters will join the initial group of Clear Channel, Cox, Cumulus, Entercom and Radio One during the next several weeks. The Media Audit/Ipsos is one of three finalists bidding for the U.S. radio measurement contract with Arbitron, and Mediamark Research.


Sales Call
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Danagger Audio Works has provided eight Plan B Classic Plus units to Malar Publications, parent company of India's Air Media Network.  Recent privatization of the Indian airwaves has sparked a number of new radio installations and the need for turnkey devices.
Omnirax has completed the first phase of a furniture project for Youth Radio in Oakland, CA. Omnirax provided two webcast studios, a performance space control workstation, conference room furniture and modular workstations.
Westwood One chose Omnirax to furnish the studio for Dennis Miller's first ever radio show. The furniture consists of a compact talk table with room for several guests.
2NUR FM, the community station of the University of Newcastle in Australia, has designated Dalet to digitize its production and on-air facilities.

People

Journal Communications Names Gardner to VP Position
Milwaukee - Feb 8, 2007 - Journal Communications has named Carl Gardner to the newly created position of vice president, digital media. In his new role, Gardner will have responsibility for the continued development and implementation of the overall corporate digital and online strategy that leverages the company's print and broadcast outlets. He will work with managers to help guide digital distribution expansion, product development and technical support.

Gardner assumes this new position while concurrently serving as executive vice president, TV and radio operations and digital interactive media for Journal Broadcast Group, the broadcast division of Journal Communications.

Gardner joined Journal Broadcast Group in 1991, serving until 1997 as vice president of WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM in Milwaukee. From 1995 to 1998 Gardner served as executive vice president-radio for Journal Broadcast Group and as president-radio from 1998 to 2005. He became executive vice president, TV and radio operations in 2005, where he has been working with Journal Broadcast's Web teams to launch dozens of sites. He oversees the company's TV and radio stations in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Lansing broadcast markets and is also responsible for the Journal Broadcast's Technology Group and Journal Broadcast's digital interactive media initiatives.

Gardner has spent his entire career in broadcasting, including on-air experience as a reporter, news anchor, talk show host and disc jockey. He progressed through positions in news management and programming prior to station management and his corporate executive roles. He is a 1977 graduate from the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned a B.A. in communications. His broadcasting career began in Seattle, and included stops in Denver and Portland before joining Journal in Milwaukee.

Gardner is a member of the Radio Advertising Bureau Board of Directors and the Associated Press Advisory Board. He is a past chairman of the NAB Radio Board, on which he served from 2000 to 2004, and a past member of the NAB Executive Committee.


Products

Coding Technologies Releases Kit to Provide Surround to Phones
Feb 12, 2007 - Coding Technologies has released a new MPEG surround software development kit (SDK) for embedded platforms to bring surround sound to mobile phones. These new SDK combines Coding Technologies' MPEG-4 AAC Plus with the newly standardized MPEG surround compression technique.


Audemat-Aztec Releases Goldeneagle HD Ver 1.4
Miami - Feb 5, 2007 - Audemat-Aztec has released software version 1.4 for its Goldeneagle HD monitor. The new release is based partly on input from customers to improve the unit and is available free of charge.

Many major new features are available in the update. First, the Goldeneagle HD is now capable of displaying the complete NRSC (5A) mask for AM and FM HD Radio stations. The unit can also monitor the station's compliance with this mask on a regular basis and issue alerts for out-of-tolerance conditions. Another new feature is automatic monitoring of the digital/analog audio time alignment, with alerts via e-mail, SMS, SNMP trap or voice call.

New capabilities have been added to the modulation monitoring feature that was introduced in V1.3. Peak weighting and filtering have been added to provide a more accurate measurement consistent with traditional analog measurements. The modulation monitor can now measure modulation on the 67kHz and 92kHz subcarriers. The unit can now be configured to monitor the entire FM spectrum and send alerts when changes in RF level are detected.

Other enhancements include sticky frequency selection, maintaining 30 days of recorded readings, scheduled recording of analog or digital audio, time alignment measurements accessible from the touch screen, user-controlled time-out for real-time measurement and audio listening, and a new maintenance mode.

To obtain the software update, contact Audemat-Aztec Technical Support Manager Tony Peterle at peterle@audemat-aztec.com or 305 249 3110.


Orban Ships Optimod-DAB 6300
Tempe, AZ - Feb 15, 2007 - The Orban Optimod 6300-DAB is now shipping. The 6300 is a multipurpose stereo audio processor for digital radio, digital TV, digital satellite, netcasts, STL protection, audio production and digital mastering.

With 20kHz audio bandwidth and 48kHz internal sampling rate, the 6300 succeeds the Orban Optimod-DAB 6200. The 6300 contains a stereo enhancer, AGC, equalizer, phase-linear multi-band compressor/limiter with two or five bands, and two independent stereo look-ahead peak limiters. The 6300 also includes the CBS Loudness Controller and Orban's new Precode technology, which pre-processes audio to minimize audible artifacts in low bit-rate codecs, such as the Ibiquity HDC codec used in HD Radio.


Pro Tools Interface Now Available for Lynx Converters
Anaheim, CA - Feb 16, 2007 - Lynx Studio Technology's Aurora 16 and Aurora 18 converters now interface with Digidesign Pro Tools|HD systems. An LT-HD L-slot interface provides digital input and ouput in a format that is recognizable by Digidesign Pro Tools|HD systems.

The new LT-HD L-slot expansion card allows as many as 32 channels of A/D-D/A conversion. It supports full channel count at sample rates up to 192kHz. The LT-HD also allows I/O functions to be controlled and monitored within Pro Tools, while interfacing with the HD system using standard Digilink cables.

Eye on IBOC

Sharper Image Adds HD Radio
San Francisco and Orlando - Feb 7, 2007 - The Sharper Image, the retailer known for carrying high-end consumer gadgets, has added HD Radio products to 188 Sharper Image stores nationwide and to its website. The retailer is being added to the currently running radio ad campaign as well.

Sharper Image is distributing the Boston Acoustics Recepter Radio HD and the Sangean tabletop receiver online now. Retail stores carry the Boston Acoustics model now and will add the Sangean to its shelves in April. The Boston Acoustics Recepter Radio HD will be on the cover of the company's latest catalog.

Adding another established and recognized retail outlet to the HD Radio distribution chain is good for HD Radio, and the move will help to increase awareness of the technology. The Sharper Image is known as a high-end retailer by some and as a fancy gadget retailers by others. The next move by the HD Digital Radio Alliance to distribute HD Radio receivers should be to encourage K-Mart, Wal-mart, Target and similar discount retailers to promote the technology. Until then, HD Radio will continue to be seen as an expensive toy and not so accessible to consumers.




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