Radio Currents Online - Feb 13 - Feb 19, 2006


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News

FCC Responds to SBE on Automatic Terminations
Washington - Feb 13, 2006 - In a letter to SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay, Cathleen A. Massey, deputy chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, clarified various aspects of the FCC's 2005 Declaratory Ruling dealing with automatic termination of Broadcast Auxiliary licenses. The SBE had requested that the FCC issue such clarifications following meetings with FCC staff in Gettysburg, PA, in February 2005.

The Clarification Order just released, which the SBE has placed on its website, addresses certain aspects of the 2005 FCC Automatic Termination order that were unclear. "The clarification letter," Imlay said, "is long overdue. BAS licensees are entitled to understand what obligations they have to fulfill in order to avoid the ultimate sanction of license termination, and they are entitled to know what the effect of the new requirements is on long-outstanding licenses which have been modified." Imlay notes that many inquiries about the process have been received by the SBE, not only from engineers, but also from communications lawyers who found the FCC's orders on automatic terminations confusing.

SBE representatives had met a year ago with FCC staff and had obtained answers to most of the questions about the 2005 Declaratory Ruling. At the FCC staff's suggestion, the SBE requested written confirmation of the advice received. The FCC was reluctant to do so until now. The clarification letter confirms that Part 74 licenses are subject to the Automatic Termination provisions; what the effect is on modified licenses if the modification is subject to termination for failure to file a timely Notification of Completion of Construction; and the best means of protecting old license parameters, during the period after a modified license is granted but before the modified facilities are constructed.

Although the FCC did not agree with the SBE's suggestion that further public notices concerning the process are necessary, the clarification letter itself serves that function as a practical matter, given that the letter was publicly released by the FCC in the Daily Digest of Feb. 13, 2006.

SBE President Chriss Scherer said, "The SBE is pleased that the Commission has now responded to our effort to make the ULS process regarding automatic terminations understandable. Unintentional BAS license terminations, especially for fixed facilities, are now a high stakes situation, given the expensive and cumbersome procedures for obtaining new and modified fixed BAS licenses."

For further information, contact SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay at bfitpc@aol.com.


Business

BE to Host Several New Technologies at NAB2006
Quincy, IL - Feb 17, 2006 - At NAB2006, attendees to the Broadcast Electronics (BE) booth will find a "pavilion of new technologies." BE plans to display radio text services for the hearing impaired using RDS/HD Radio data channels and audio services for the visually impaired using HD2 multicasting channels of the HD Radio broadcast. NPR Labs will participate in the demonstration.

The company will also promote personalized radio applications for mobile phone and Web users. BE will co-demonstrate a music alert system from FM411 and Mozes’ application for bookmarking songs played over the air. Listeners log onto the Mozes website to view their personal bookmarks as part of an interactive, e-commerce link. The FM411 music alert application instant-messages to mobile phones any songs of interest about to be played on-air. Data is supplied by BE’s Now Playing application and broadcast over a station’s HD Radio text channel.

BE will also demonstrate a live traffic feed from Traffic.com transmitted on an HD Radio channel to an in-car system. Traffic updates supplied by Traffic.com, a provider of real-time traffic information in the United States, will be broadcast live. This system is used by drivers to make informed decisions about the routes they choose to travel.

BE will also have promotional outdoor billboards or small LED signs for indoors displaying station "now playing" information (artist/title).


V-soft to Host Training Seminar at NAB2006
Cedar Falls, IA - Feb 16, 2006 - Prior to NAB2006, V-Soft Communications will hold its 4th annual engineering training seminar, which will focus on specific broadcast engineering projects such as station upgrading, translators, single frequency networks and boosters, interference analysis, and move-ins. The seminar will spotlight numerous features in the Probe 3 propagation prediction program, FM Commander frequency search software, AM-Pro AM allocation program and many others.

The seminar will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Circus Circus Hotel in Las Vegas. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for attendees on both days. For additional information, contact V-soft at kmichler@v-soft.com or 800-743-3684.


Investment Company Buys BE
Quincy, IL - Feb 16, 2006 - Audax Group, an investor in middle-market companies based in Boston, MA, has acquired Broadcast Electronics (BE). BE manufactures HD Radio transmission products and a complete studio suite integrating on-air production and automation activities with over-the-Internet and HD Radio data delivery. It was previously owned by Thompson Street Capital Partners.

"BE's strong market position makes it an attractive platform in broadcast radio equipment," said Geoffrey Rehnert, Co-CEO of Audax Group.

No details of the sale have been disclosed.


APT Tapped for Transatlantic Broadcasting
Belfast, Ireland - Feb 16, 2006 - Sirius Satellite Radio has entered into an agreement with BBC Radio to broadcast BBC's music channel Radio 1 to Sirius subscribers. To accomplish this, the companies are using Audio Processing Technology’s (APT) Enhanced Apt-x algorithm as the coding method for the transfer of audio between London and New York and an APT Worldnet Ohio codec was installed in both locations. Using an X.21/V.35 link operating at 256kb/s, the Worldnet Ohio enables the transfer of a stereo feed and also provides a mono back-up over ISDN.


Broadcast Electronics Plans HD Radio Seminar at NAB2006
Feb 14, 2006 - Quincy, IL - Broadcast Electronics (BE) will hold its fifth annual Las Vegas HD Radio seminar on April 23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center during NAB2006. This seminar sees the largest attendance of the dozen seminars that BE holds around the country each year.

Included in the discussion will be practical solutions for conversion, as well as the latest information in transmission and studio technology. The seminar also will serve as a discussion forum for broadcasters interested in field-tested HD Radio conversion techniques and new developments advancing HD Radio.

Registration for the event begins in March. The seminar is free to all interested broadcasters and will be held April 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N-114.


Sales Call
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KJNP-FM, North Pole, AK, ordered a new JHPC antenna from Jampro Antennas and RF Systems. The JHPC antenna is the medium-power version of the Penetrator antenna.
Metro Radio Group of Nova Scotia has purchased additional Wheatstone G-5 12 fader control surfaces and upgrades to a Wheatstone networked audio system. The system consists of two Generation 5 control surfaces and a Bridge digital audio network. The station previously purchased its first G-5 surface in early 2005.

People

NAB, BEA Announce Beville Award Winner
Washington - Feb 17, 2006 - The NAB and the Broadcast Education Association will award the 2006 Hugh Malcolm Beville Jr. Award to Jerry Lee of WBEB-FM, Philadelphia, at the BEA Annual Convention Welcome Reception, which will be held at 6 p.m. on April 26 at the Las Vegas Hilton. The Beville Award recognizes the memory and life's work of broadcast research pioneer Mal Beville, and is presented annually in honor of outstanding contributions to the field of broadcast audience research.

Lee is the president of WBEB-FM in Philadelphia. Lee's accomplishments include service on the NAB's Committee on Local Radio Audience Measurement (COLRAM), of which he is a charter member; his role in helping to create the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council, a group comprised of Arbitron clients who advise the ratings company on methodological and other issues; and his current role as Chairman of the Research Committee of the Radio Advertising Effectiveness Laboratory (RAEL), an industry group that produces and promotes original primary research studies designed to highlight the effectiveness of radio as an advertising medium. Lee is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the NAB, the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Broadcasters' Foundation. He also has received many honors and awards throughout his career, including the Broadcast Foundation's American Broadcast Pioneer Award, the Caring Institute Award and enshrinement into the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters' and the Broadcasting and Cable Halls of Fame.


Clear Channel Names New President
San Antonio, TX - Feb 15, 2006 - Randall T. Mays has been named president of Clear Channel Communications, while retaining his chief financial officer responsibilities. Mays has served as a director of the company since April 1999 and was most recently appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mark P. Mays remains with the company as chief executive officer. This change is effective immediately.


Nautel Hires Conlon as CEO
Hackett's Cove, NS - Feb 13, 2006 - Peter Conlon has joined Nautel as president and CEO. Conlon has worked in the telecommunications industry for many years. He is the former CFO of Positron Fiber Systems, and was previously the vice president of finance, operations and planning for the North and South American business regions at Newbridge Networks. Most recently, Conlon provided business financing and market expansion assistance to small- and medium-sized companies in the United States and Canada.

Nautel manufactures medium-wave AM and FM radio broadcast transmitters, navigational radio beacons, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) transmitters, medium-frequency (MF) telegraph and NAVTEX transmitters, and high-frequency (HF) amplifiers for dielectric heating applications.


NAB Adds to Government Relations Team
Washington, DC - Feb 8, 2006 - Mike Mullen will join the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) as the director of government relations. Mullen comes to the NAB from the office of Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Doyle (D), where he served as senior legislative assistant since March 2004. With particular focus on legislation pertaining to the digital TV transition and the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act, Mullen was responsible for all telecommunications, technology, consumer protection and health care issues before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Prior to joining Doyle's staff, Mullen worked for Rep. Jim Turner (D-TX). During Mullen's six-year stint, he served as legislative assistant, and later, senior legislative assistant, focusing on telecommunications, technology, health care and trade.

Mullen received a bachelor's degree from James Madison University in 1996.


Dawson, Rackley to Receive NAB Engineering Radio Achievement Award
Washington - Feb 13, 2006 - Each year, the NAB presents its Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards. First established in 1959, the awards are given to individuals for their significant contributions that have advanced the state of the art of broadcast engineering. This year's winners, Benjamin Dawson, Ronald Rackley and S. Merrill Weiss will be honored at the NAB2006 Technology Luncheon on April 26 at NAB2006.

This year's radio award goes to consulting engineers Benjamin Dawson and Ronald Rackley. They have presented seminars on AM broadcast antenna system design and optimization at many NAB Radio Show conventions and are well known to most radio broadcasters. Although Dawson and Rackley work for different consulting firms, they have recently formed a joint venture to consult on a variety of international projects.

Ben Dawson is the managing partner of the firm of Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers in Seattle, and has practiced as a telecommunications consulting engineer for the last 30 years. He has designed, implemented and refurbished medium wave antenna systems with as many as 10 towers at power levels as high as 2MW. He began his career while still in junior high school and obtained an FCC First Class Radiotelephone license at the age of 16. While in high school, he worked for commercial and noncommercial stations in the Portland, OR, area, and as an assistant to consulting engineer Harold Singleton. In college, he was chief engineer of the student-operated commercial station, WHRB-FM, Cambridge. He was educated at Harvard College, Portland State University and the University of Washington. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (Electrical) in Washington and California. He is a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and The Society of American Military Engineers.

Ron Rackley is partner in the engineering firm of du Treil, Lundin and Rackley of Sarasota, FL. Rackley is an electrical engineering graduate of Clemson University, where his studies were specialized in the area of electromagnetic fields. He worked as a radio station chief engineer and was a consultant to other nearby stations during college. Following his formal education, he worked for two engineering firms and a major manufacturer of antenna system equipment before cofounding a predecessor to his present firm, du Treil, Lundin and Rackley in 1983. He is a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, which he has served as president. He also served as vice president of the Broadcast Technology Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Rackley has published numerous articles and papers relating to broadcast antenna systems, and has participated in writing chapters on medium-wave antennas for two college-level engineering handbooks. He particularly enjoys applying modern technology and analysis methods to AM directional antenna systems. He has adjusted directional antenna patterns ranging in complexity to 12 towers and in power to two megawatts. He has designed a number of multi-frequency AM antenna systems as well. He was a consultant to USA Digital Radio during its early years of digital radio development and has recently been called on to assist numerous client stations with evaluating and improving their AM antenna systems for HD Radio. He is a registered Professional Engineer. He holds General Class Radiotelephone and Amateur Extra licenses from the FCC.

The NAB also announced the recipient of the Television Engineering Achievement Award: Merrill Weiss. Weiss is a consultant in electronic media technology and management. He has nearly 40 years experience in broadcasting and related fields and draws on extensive experience designing, building and managing new technical facilities for various electronic media companies. His consulting practice has served clients throughout the broadcast industry in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Earlier in his career, Weiss worked with NBC, Imagex and Westinghouse Broadcasting.

He conducted the experiments that led to the first digital TV standard (CCIR Recommendation 601) in 1981 and has been involved in the development of virtually every digital TV standard since then. He is currently involved in the development of enhanced and interactive TV and other technologies that depend on the convergence of TV, computing and data communications.


Products

Logic Pro 7.2 Now Compatible with Pro Tools
Cupertino, CA - Feb 13, 2006 - Apple Logic Pro 7.2 is compatible with Digidesign Pro Tools|HD systems using version 7.1 of Digidesign Audio Engine. Logic Pro 7.2 is available from the Apple website at www.apple.com/logicpro. Customers using Pro Tools HD 6.9.x and earlier software must use Logic Pro 7.1 or earlier.

To install the Pro Tools files needed to support Logic Pro 7.2, customers must download Pro Tools HD 7.1cs4 or higher, which is available as a free update for all Pro Tools HD 7 owners from the support section of the Digidesign website www.digidesign.com/download/cs.


Eye on IBOC

HD Alliance Launches Website
Orlando, FL - Feb 13, 2006 - As part of it efforts to promote HD Radio to consumers, the HD Digital Radio Alliance has launched HDRadio.com. The website touts itself as "the new epicenter of consumers' digital radio lifestyle" and "promises to be the go-to resource for consumers for all things HD digital radio."

According to the alliance's announcement of the website launch, the website will provide consumers with information about HD Radio technology, HD Radio signal availability and where HD Radio receivers can be purchased.


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