Radio Currents Online - Feb 27 - Mar 5, 2006

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Congressman Intros Bill on Audio Broadcast Flag
Washington - Mar 1, 2006 - Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), a member of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, introduced legislation that he says is "designed to facilitate deployment of digital radio services, ensure consumer choice and protect the property rights of content creators." Through the use of the audio broadcast flag, Ferguson's legislation, called The Audio Broadcast Flag Licensing Act of 2006 (ABFLA), is "designed to safeguard government-issued digital spectrum from being used to undermine intellectual property rights or cause economic harm to those who create content."

Ferguson said his legislation also would ensure a fair marketplace for consumers and a level playing field among satellite and HD radio and download services such as Itunes, Rhapsody and Napster.

Original cosponsors of ABFLA are Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA), Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

There are several key elements of the Ferguson bill.

  • The bill requires digital radio services using government spectrum to acquire the same licenses from music creators that download and subscription digital music services currently must obtain to provide the same services.
  • The bill strikes the right balance between creating new radio services that bring more choices to consumers, and protecting the property rights of creators, as well as preventing unfair competition between radio services and download services.
  • The bill provides for private market negotiations of an audio broadcast flag that will differentiate between radio broadcasts and download services, and require a market license only for download services.
  • The bill intends to prevent one device or technology manufacturer from having an advantage over another and will maximize the range of broadcast receiving devices made available to the public.

    The bill clearly states that the adoption and implementation of an audio broadcast flag should in no way delay the final operational rules for digital radio.

    The bill is not yet posted to the Congress website, but appears to have the number HR-4861.

    Kahn Files Suit Against Ibiquity, Others
    New York - Feb 26, 2006 - In a suit filed in the Southern District Court of New York, Leonard Kahn has charged Ibiquity, Lucent Technologies, Clear Channel and others with suppressing competition and monopolizing AM and FM radio. Kahn's suit claims that the defendants boycotted Kahn's Cam-D system and defamed Cam-D and Kahn personally.

    Kahn notes that the FCC Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from Apr. 20, 2004, lists Ibiquity as the sole developer of IBOC technology, and that Ibiquity's various partners--including the group owners, equipment manufacturers, the CEA, the NAB and NPR--each has a financial interest in the FCC approving Ibiquity's technology.

    Kahn has requested a trial to show that antitrust laws have been violated.

    Kahn further alleges that the defendants refused to purchase any of his technology, and specifically breached a contract for Cam-D tests on WADO-AM in New York. WADO entered into an agreement with Kahn to test CAM-D. When the station was sold to Univision, the contract was terminated. The suit claims that Univision has an equity interest in Ibiquity, but that the contract interference was not the act of Univision, but rather the group of defendants as part of its boycott of Kahn's technology.

    In its 25 pages, the suit goes on to name other companies that have partnered in the conspiracy, including Intel and Buckley Broadcasting.

    Holman to Keynote NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference
    Washington - Feb 28, 2006 - Tomlinson Holman, known as an innovator in sound engineering and professor of film sound at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, will provide the keynote address at the 60th Annual NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference on April 23 during NAB2006. Holman will explore how broadcasters can compete in today's marketplace filled with high-quality pictures and sound.

    In addition to his role at USC, Holman is chief scientist at Audyssey Laboratories, developer of automated room equalization used by Denon in many receiver models. Prior to his position at USC, Holman spent 15 years at Lucasfilm where, as corporate technical director, he developed the THX Sound System and its companions the Theater Alignment Program, Home THX and the THX Digital Mastering program. Holman holds six U.S. patents and is a fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society (BKSTS) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). He has lifetime achievement awards or honorary memberships from the Cinema Audio Society, the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, and the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

    Holman is the author of three books, Sound for Film and Television, 5.1 Surround Sound Up and Running and Sound for Digital Video. He will participate in a book signing for his newest book, Sound for Digital Video, on April 24 at the NAB Store in the Central Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    The Broadcast Engineering Conference is produced in partnership with the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

    FCC Commissioner Adelstein to Speak at NAB2006
    Washington - FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein will speak on April 25 at NAB2006. Adelstein will participate in the Business, Law and Regulation Conference where federal regulators and legal experts come together to highlight the most important legal issues of the day and teach broadcast managers, station owners and station counsel how to best deal with ever-evolving technology policy.

    Adelstein, an advocate for consumer rights, has traveled the country to garner the public's insight on such issues as broadcast ownership and indecency. He has been vocal in his opposition to sponsorship of prepackaged news stories, and has championed the interests of artists and musicians calling for more playlist diversity on radio.

    Before joining the FCC, Adelstein served for 15 years as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. For the last seven years, he was a senior legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), where he advised Senator Daschle on telecommunications, financial services, transportation and other key issues. Adelstein also worked as a staff aide to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman David Pryor (D-AR) and was a special liaison to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and a Legislative Assistant to Sen. Donald Riegle, Jr. (D-MI).

    FCC Adds New Features to CDBS
    Washington - Feb 28, 2006 - The FCC's Media Bureau has added several features to the Consolidated Database System (CDBS). The new features of the Bureau's electronic filing system include new CDBS Web page and expanded user assistance, electronic filing for various non-form submissions, improved security and FRN management, and procedures to announce changes to the database. The changes are designed to improve reliability, security and responsiveness from the CDBS.

    The new CDBS web page is This site provides an entry point to electronic filing, public access, and the system user's guide. A new tool, the FRN Manager is also available from the page.

    Almost all of the FCC's official broadcast forms must be electronically filed. After logging on to a CDBS account, the menu screen shows the 32 available forms. The FCC has added a link to a new section called Additional non-form filings. Generally, the non-form filings are notifications and requests that would otherwise be submitted in a letter. In the coming months, the FCC will expand the list of non-form filings.

    The FCC has modified CDBS to accept filings for stations only if the FRN supplied with the application is already associated with the station. A new tool, called the FRN Manager, allows an applicant to add an associated FRN to a facility.


    Nielsen Exits PPM Research Program
    New York - Mar 1, 2006 - On Feb 28, 2006, Nielsen Media Research did not exercise its option to participate in a commercial deployment of the Arbitron Portable People Meter as a radio and television ratings service in local markets in the United States. In a statement, Arbitron noted that the action will allow Arbitron complete flexibility to "meet the needs of [its] customers in terms of when and at what speed [it] deploy[s] the Portable People Meter as an audience ratings system in the United States." Nielsen has expressed its desire to use the Arbitron Portable People Meter as one component in its portfolio for television ratings.

    Arbitron will concentrate its efforts on previously announced plans to create a PPM ratings service for radio. To date, the company has announced signed contracts for a PPM-based radio ratings service with a number of agencies, advertisers and broadcasters. Most recently, Spanish Broadcasting System and J.L. Media signed agreements to use the PPM service in Philadelphia and Houston.

    Balsys Expands
    Winter Garden, FL - Feb 28, 2006 - Balsys Technology Group is expanding its building to accommodate its growing business. The company added 1,650 square feet about a year ago, and is planning another 3,300 square feet to be finished by August 2006.

    Balsys Furniture features custom design and fabrication, with each piece designed for a specific room and application, and including consideration for wire management and maintenance. Using CNC Routers (robotic cutting machines), Balsys specializes in curved designs and irregularly shaped rooms. Complete prewiring, testing and documentation is available as well.

    Loud Technologies Trades on NASDAQ
    Woodinville, WA - Feb 27, 2006 - Loud Technologies stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market beginning Wednesday, March 1, 2006, at the market open under the symbol LTEC. Loud Technologies manufactures and distributes professional audio and music products. It is the corporate parent for Alvarez, Ampeg, Crate, EAW, Knilling, Mackie, SIA and Tapco.

    Sales Call
    KVEG-FM Las Vegas switched all its mics and now uses Heil PR-40 mics.
    Simmons Media Group in Salt Lake City, owner of 10 regional radio stations, is using Harris' Intraplex Synchrocast digital multiplexers to interconnect three of its stations: KEGA-FM, KJQN-FM and KFMS-FM. The system allows the stations to increase their coverage and provide phone and IP service to the remote transmitter sites. The system also uses seven frequency boosters per station to cover shadow areas in the mountainous terrain.
    NL Broadcasting of Kamloops, BC, has purchased six Audioarts consoles with Net-75 and Wheatstone Wheatnet audio router.
    Logitek has sold a large console and router system to Salem Communications in Honolulu, HI. A system including eleven Audio Engines, 10 Remora consoles, Vmix and various router controllers will be installed at KAIM, KHUI, KGMZ, KHNR, KHCM and KGU.


    AWRT Awards Trembly as Engineer of the Year
    McLean, VA - March 1, 2006 - In partnership with the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) named Cristy Trembly as the recipient of the first-ever AWRT/SBE Outstanding Female Engineer of the Year Award. This award will be presented at the 2006 AWRT Annual Leadership Summit and Business Conference on March 11, 2006, during the AWRT Power Breakfast.

    The award recognizes the woman who has made significant contributions to the broadcast industry, whose professional track has been technical in nature, and who has advanced the goals and objectives of the SBE or AWRT while simultaneously promoting the field as a career path for women in the electronic media.

    Trembly, a current AWRT and past SBE member, has worked in TV for 30 years and currently works as studio manager/engineer-in-charge for CBS Television City in Los Angeles.

    Trembly's career in TV began in Morgantown, WV, at WWVU-TV. She moved to Los Angeles and KMEX-TV in 1979 and eventually to CBS Television City in 1992.

    Doty Elected NATE Chairman
    Watertown, SD - February 13, 2006 - The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has elected Don Doty, vice president of Doty-Moore Tower Services, as its new chairman. The election was held during the association's 11th annual conference and exposition in Orlando, FL, held Feb. 13-16. Doty assisted in the formation of the NATE organization and has served as vice chairman of the association since its inception in 1995.

    Other elected leaders include Pat Cipov as vice chairman and Terry Sharp as NATE's secretary/treasurer.


    Broadcast Electronics Expands The Radio Experience
    Quincy, IL - Mar 3, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics will unveil expanded functions of The Radio Experience at NAB2006 with new studio applications for text generation and management as well as an RBDS generator and RBDS data receiver.

    The company will demonstrate song title, artist and other radio text messaging at its booth, plus demonstrate new business opportunities in RBDS electronic signage, such as promotional outdoor billboards and indoor LED signs.

    A centralized data management application for a multi-station cluster will be shown, and several Now Playing features will be demonstrated. Now Playing features include a Live CD module for instant CD song title and artist text retrieval and News Flash Pro and Live Data modules for live text alerts of breaking news, traffic or weather bulletins.

    Firstcom Music Libraries Available in BWF
    Dallas, TX - Feb 28, 2006 - Firstcom Music has released its 15 libraries in the Broadcast Wave file (BWF) format. More than 2,000 CDs containing about 40,000 compositions are included in this update.

    The BWF files are sampled at 48kHz and include metadata about the song, including title, composer, publisher and description.

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