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Radio Currents Online - Mar 7 - Mar 13, 2005
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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FCC Clarifies Position on IBOC Multicasts
Washington - Mar 8, 2005 - In a Public Notice dated March 8, the FCC recognized the feasibility of using FM IBOC technology for the transmission of multiple program audio channels, and recognized the progress made in this area by NPR and its "Tomorrow Radio" technology initiative.
At the same time, the Commission noted that operation in the multicast audio mode is clearly not authorized under the current notification procedures in place for FM broadcasters currently operating IBOC digital transmission using Ibiquity's HD Radio standard. In order to operate with multiple audio streams, IBOC broadcasters must first request and receive experimental authorization from the FCC.
The notice goes on to detail the authorization filing procedure as follows:
"The staff will continue to authorize multiple digital audio transmissions as experimental operations under the provisions of 47 C.F.R. 73.1510. Requests for experimental authority pursuant to Section 73.1510 require only an informal application, typically a letter, and include no fee or form. The staff normally approves requests to participate in this type of experimental program within a week of receipt. The matter of expanded notification procedures will be addressed in the next Report and Order in this proceeding. For additional information, contact Susan Crawford or Ann Gallagher at the Audio Division, Media Bureau at (202) 418-2700".
The complete document is available at hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-609A1.doc
Powell Says Goodbye
Washington - Mar 10, 2005 - The FCC has an opening for the position of chairman. Michael Powell bid farewell on Thursday. President Bush has not yet named a successor. Powell's last open meeting was held March 10.
Possible candidates for the top slot include current FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood; Michael Gallagher, an assistant secretary at the U.S. Commerce Department; and Rebecca Klein, former head of the Texas public utility commission.
Powell was appointed to the FCC in 1997. He was named FCC chairman in 2001.
DRM Votes to Extend its System to 120MHz
Paris - Mar 10, 2005 - The members of the Digital Radio Mondiale consortium voted to begin the process of extending the DRM on-air system into the broadcasting bands up to 120MHz. This decision will enhance the range of non-proprietary, digital radio solutions offered worldwide by the DRM consortium and the World DAB Forum, which work together on projects of mutual interest. In combination with one another, the digital systems of the World DAB Forum and DRM will provide digital systems, sometimes in the same bands, in markets across the globe.
DRM, a non-proprietary system that has been endorsed by the ITU, IEC and ETSI, currently covers the broadcasting bands below 30MHz (short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave). DAB Digital Radio is also a non-proprietary system endorsed by the ITU and ETSI, which was developed to work in the broadcast bands between 30MHz and 3GHz and will therefore work satisfactorily in Band II (87.5MHz to 108MHz).
The World DAB Forum and DRM announced their cooperation at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin in 2003. DRM and the World DAB Forum hold regularly scheduled, joint meetings on key technical and commercial topics.
DRM will begin work on its band extension project right away. The design, development and testing phases are expected to be completed between 2008 and 2010.
NASBA Hosts EAS Summit
Washington - Mar 3, 2005 - The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations hosted a Summit on the Emergency Alert System in Washington at the end of February to bring government authorities and broadcasters together to develop appropriate plans at the state and local level for effective public communication. Speakers at the event included Ann Arnold, Texas Association of Broadcasters executive director and chairman of the Government to Media Subcommittee for the FCC's Media Security and Reliability Council; David Barrett, CEO of Hearst Argyle Television and chairman of the FCC Media Security and Reliability Council; Suzanne Goucher, Maine Association of Broadcasters president; Reynold Hoover, director, Office of National Security Coordination for FEMA; Ron Laney, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice; Frank Lucia, retired FCC chief of EAS; and Herb White, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service.
State broadcast association presidents, governor-appointed emergency management officials, state emergency communications committee members and various federal officials attended the meeting. Summit attendees agreed that states must ensure that the Emergency Alert System is robust and that established communication protocols are in place to prevent disasters. NASBA assembled experts and materials to help educate attendees on the importance of registering their state-wide EAS plans and assisted attendees with information to identify federal grants to upgrade existing systems.
Plans are underway for regional meetings and a follow-up summit next year.
One purpose of the summit was to provide attendees from areas without a registered EAS plan with the tools necessary for their area to implement a plan and be equipped with federal funding information to purchase communications upgrades for EAS.
Neural Audio Presents Broadcast Brain to Lyons and Ibiquity
Kirkland, WA - Mar 7, 2005 - Neural Audio presented its Broadcast Brain Award to Ibiquity Digital and Mike Lyons, Ibiquity vice president, after market business development recently. Ibiquity Digital recently approved the Neural Audio 5.1 surround sound digital audio system as compatible with the HD Radio System.
"Mike Lyons and Ibiquity Digital have consistently emphasized an open approach for new technologies and 'killer apps' seeking to augment the HD Radio system," said Mark Seigle, Neural Audio president. "We wanted to thank Mike and Ibiquity for recognizing Neural Audio’s surround sound technology as compatible with the HD Radio system and enhancing the listener’s experience with their ground-breaking approach to digital radio."
NPR Consolidation in Cincinnati
Cincinnati - Mar 11, 2005 - Consolidation is nothing new in commercial radio, but it's a new game for public radio. Cincinnati classical radio station WGUC-FM (90.9), licensed to Cincinnati Classical Public Radio and affiliated with the University of Cincinnati, has signed an agreement to purchase public station WVXU-FM (91.7) and the seven stations in the X-Star Network, which are owned by Xavier University.
WGUC reports that the purchase price is $15 million. Richard Eiswerth, president of WGUC, said the deal is the second highest ever paid for an established public radio license in U.S. broadcast history. It is the largest public radio consolidation deal in terms of the number of stations involved.
Plans for the acquisition began in September 2004, but word of the transaction was kept quiet. Both station staffs were informed today during simultaneous meetings. For the past five years, WGUC's strategic plan included a goal to better serve its classical music and news audiences. Once consolidated, WGUC will be exclusively classical, moving all its news and public affairs programming to WVXU. The WVXU staff and operation will move from the Xavier University campus studios to WGUC's studios.
WVXU employs 21 people full-time. WGUC has 26 full-time employees. Some staff cuts are expected, but exact details are not yet known.
NPR Engineering Brain Trust Receives Neural Audio Award
Kirkland, WA - Mar 7, 2005 - Neural Audio presented its Broadcast Brain Award to four National Public Radio (NPR) program participants for NPR’s 2005 New Year’s, Toast of the Nation, the first live national broadcast of a radio 5.1 surround sound event. Receiving the award were Mike Starling, NPR vice president of engineering; Ben Roe, NPR director of music; Jan Andrews, NPR senior engineer; and Mike Pappas, KUVO-FM, Denver, chief engineer.
In making the presentation, Mark Seigle, Neural Audio president, cited the 13-hour Toast of the Nation team’s commitment to bringing new technology such as 5.1 surround sound to NPR listeners across the country.
Neural Audio, integrating its Harris Broadcast/Neural Neustar Ultralink digital audio conditioner and Neustar 5225 mix-edit transcoder for 5.1 surround sound, supplied the audio processing and surround sound technology for the NPR event that highlighted surround sound mixes from venues in Paris, Boston, Washington, Manhattan, The Apollo Theater in New York, Clarksdale, MS, and Oakland, CA.
Her primary role will be to lead the day-to-day operations of the Imediatouch marketing and sales staff, execute new strategies to facilitate further sales growth and enhance customer care through quarterly surveys, monthly newsletters and customer driven product development.
Tetlock joined OMT at the beginning of 2001 as an account manager. Prior to OMT, she spent three years as the marketing and sales manager at Quantic EMC., an electronic engineering software company. Tetlock also received a Bachelor of Commerce, Honors degree from the University of Manitoba specializing in marketing and international business.
Ibiquity Digital Expands Detroit Office
Columbia, MD - Mar 9, 2005 - Ibiquity Digital has hired Steven Cowherd as senior director of OEM business development. He will be based in the company's Pontiac, MI, office. With more than 20 years experience in the automotive industry, Cowherd will be responsible for partnering with automotive manufacturers and their suppliers to develop and deploy HD Radio technology and its telematic applications.
Prior to joining Ibiquity, Cowherd held several managerial positions at Visteon in marketing, sales and business planning, where he successfully expanded Visteon's business for U.S., European and Asian auto manufacturers. Cowherd received his Masters in science-management from Central Michigan University and a BA from Michigan State University.
Leland Joins Dielectric's Radio Sales Team
Raymond, ME - Mar 8, 2005 - Matt Leland has joined the Dielectric Communications radio sales team. Leland's area of responsibility will be the Northeastern U.S., including Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Leland has worked in the broadcast industry for more than 25 years focusing on radio products. He joined Dielectric in 1994, and has worked in design and product enhancement capacities.
New Director of Sales at Altinex
Brea, CA - Mar 3, 2005 - Altinex has promoted Mark Grieco to director of sales. In his new role, Grieco will be responsible for all areas of sales and business development at Altinex.
Grieco joined Altinex in October 2001, and was recently promoted to senior international sales manager. His management skills and his wide range of experience with international business will help him to build and expand Altinex markets in the United States and abroad.
He holds a masters degree in international management, specializing in global marketing, and is fluent in French and German and conversant in Spanish.
Liberty Names New President
Colorado Springs, CO - Mar 4, 2005 - Liberty Wire and Cable has appointed Andy Bergdoll to the post of president. Bergdoll joins Liberty from US Filter, a subsidiary of Siemens, where he has held progressively responsible positions around the world since joining the company in 1993.
Bergdoll brings general management experience and hands-on functional experience in sales, marketing, new product development, sourcing and materials management to his new role at Liberty. He was part of the original management team at US Filter that grew the company from $50 million to more than $1 billion in revenue prior to its sale to Siemens last year.
Prior to moving to Colorado, where he resides, Bergdoll was based in Singapore where he built and ran US Filter's Asia Pacific operations. Before joining US Filter, Bergdoll was a senior associate with the consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton. Previous to that he held various engineering and management positions with General Electric in its Lighting and Space Systems divisions.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University and completed his Master of Business Administration degree at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Pennsylvania native replaces Gary A. Michelson, the company's founder. Bergdoll will also fill the position of president held by Shely Saidman. Both Michelson and Saidman will remain active in Liberty as consultants, board members and investors.
Radio Advertising Information is Available at OnTheRadio.net
West Orange, NJ - March 7, 2005 - OnTheRadio.net allows users to locate radio advertising information. The database includes call letters, genre/format and contact information for more than 13,000 radio stations throughout the United States. Any station can subscribe by sending the company an e-mail or filling out the online registration. The site will list any radio station's data for free, and if the station participates in the commercial listing the site provides free banner advertising for the radio station as well.
To provide data about the station, the radio station needs to fill out a form at www.ontheradio.net/registerStations.aspx. The company also provides a live data feed to every participating radio station that will list all of their current advertisers and current commercials on the radio station's website. The fee to list a commercial is $0.05/commercial for the first 5,000 commercials per month, $0.025 for commercials 5,001-10,000 and $0.0125 for any commercial over 10,000. When a radio station sells a commercial it logs on to the website and fills in the dates and times that the commercial is scheduled to air. The data is saved up to 60 days in advance and eight days past. So users can look for a commercial they heard on Monday all the way until the following Monday.
Sony Selects Radioscape's Digital Radio Module Design
London, UK - Mar 8, 2005 - Sony has chosen Radioscape's RS350A DAB module design as the basis for its upcoming automotive DAB radios. The software-defined digital radio module allows the receiver to be configured for specific requirements.
The module has several features specifically for automotive use. It can process three DAB channels on a multiplex simultaneously to provide any combination of audio channels and data channels of news or travel information. Service linking enables the radio to automatically move to associated stations when the first goes out of range using linking information provided by the broadcaster. The module also provides phantom power for an RF amplifier at the base of the antenna.
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