Radio Currents Online - Mar 14 - Mar 20, 2005
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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FCC Considers LPFM Options
Washington, DC - Mar 17, 2005 - The FCC adopted a Second Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that modifies the rules governing low power FM (LPFM) service, seeks comment on a number of ownership and technical issues for this service and imposes an immediate six-month freeze on application grants of FM translator new station construction permits. The FCC created LPFM service in January 2000.
The FCC reports that there are about 590 stations on the air serving mostly mid-sized and smaller markets. In February, the Commission held a forum to explore how LPFM stations are meeting the needs of their communities and to identify issues affecting the future of the LPFM service.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comments related to LPFM ownership and application rules. Topics include whether LPFM authorizations should be transferable and what limitations should apply, extending the deadline for submission of a time-share proposal after a mutually exclusive group of LPFM applicants is announced, renewal of licenses granted under involuntary time-sharing, restricting LPFM ownership to local entities, and prohibition of multiple ownership of LPFM stations.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also seeks comment on LPFM technical rules.
The adopted order also gives immediate relief to stations seeking to relocate their transmitter sites by expanding the definition of minor change to 5.6km for LP100 licensees and 3.2km for LP10 licensees. It also gives authority to the Media Bureau to waive the LPFM construction period rule to provide an additional 18 months to LPFM permittees to complete station construction.
The six-month freeze imposed by the adoption of this order on the grant of all FM translator new station construction permits is effective on the release of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
The order also clarifies the definition of locally originated programming by re-emphasizing language from the First Report and Order that original intent of this rule was to encourage licensees to maintain production facilities and a meaningful staff presence within the community served by the station.
Second Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 05-75).
Martin Named Chairman of FCC
Washington - Mar 16, 2005 - President Bush has designated Kevin Martin to be the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Martin, who has been a commissioner since 2001, will take the reigns of the FCC as issues that will shape the broadcast industry come to a head. Chief among those will be the ultimate resolution of a date certain for the completion of the digital transition and switch-off of analog television service.
Each commissioner issued a statement of congratulations.
Martin served as deputy general counsel on Bush's first campaign and then was an economic adviser to the President before being named to the FCC in 2001. Martin's wide, Catherine, is a special assistant to the President on economic policy and has worked as an adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Senate confirmation is not required for the appointment because Martin is already on the Commission.
The Associated Press notes that Earl Comstock, a former aide to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has been recommended to Bush by Stevens. The AP also notes that Michael Gallagher, assistant commerce secretary and head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; former Texas utilities regulator Rebecca Armendariz Klein; and Pat Wood, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are other possible candidates.
SBE Creates New National Committee
Indianapolis - Mar 14, 2005 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has established a standing national committee, called the Regional Convention Strategies Committee. SBE President Ray Benedict, CPBE, has appointed SBE board member Vinny Lopez, CEV CBNT, of Syracuse, NY, to chair the committee. The purpose of the committee is to encourage growth, foster development and exchange of ideas among the many regional conventions sponsored by SBE chapters throughout the country.
Ray Benedict said, "With more than 10 strong regional, state and local conventions that are directly operated by or produced in association with SBE chapters, it is only logical to pool the resources and experiences of the people involved in these efforts. Doing so helps the established convention improve their events, and it creates a resource for the newer conventions to more easily produce successful events."
Lopez eagerly embraces his new assignment and the potential that the new committee brings to the society. He added, "The SBE currently has many strong regional conventions, and the exchange of ideas and strategies regarding operations, exhibitor recruitment, and other conference practices can only make each convention better. Our first task is to establish the committee membership. Then we will begin compiling information on best practices for a successful convention."
For more information about the SBE or the Regional Convention Strategies Committee contact John Poray, executive director, at 317-846-9000 or visit the SBE website at www.sbe.org.
Quantegy Auction Set, New Sources Arise
Opelika, AL - Mar 15, 2005 - Quantegy will be auctioned March 24 at Espy, Metcalf and Poston P.C., in Dothan, AL. The final sale’s hearing will be at 10 a.m. March 25 at the United States Courthouse in Opelika, AL. With objections from unsecured creditors withdrawn, the signed Asset Purchase Agreement between Quantegy and Discount Tape now rests in judicial hands. Frank Foster, vice president of Discount Tape, said he hopes for a minimum bid of $5.85 million.
Meanwhile, new sources for analog tape are emerging. ATR Magnetics said it plans to have its formulation available by mid-year, made at its York, PA, facility. Dutch-based Recordable Media Group International (RMGI) has acquired production and formulation patents from Emtec, previously the tape division of BASF. The company's products are expected to hit the market in May.
Telex Communications to Distribute Blue Microphones
Burnsville, MN - Mar 15, 2005 - Telex Communications has become the distributor of Blue Microphones for Europe, Canada, South America, Africa, Middle East and most of Asia. Details of the program will be announced at Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany, in April.
DRS Technologies Sells Continental Electronics
Dallas and Parsippany, NJ - Mar 11, 2005 - DRS Technologies has completed the sale of its DRS Broadcast Technology and DRS Weather Systems units to The Veritas Capital Fund II, a New York-based investment company, in a stock purchase transaction.
DRS Broadcast Technology and DRS Weather Systems were subsidiaries of Integrated Defense Technologies (IDT), of which Veritas was the largest shareholder. IDT was acquired by DRS on Nov. 4, 2003.
"The sale of these units was a strategic decision to concentrate our resources and integration efforts on our core defense technology businesses," said Mark S. Newman, president of DRS Technologies. "We believe their established customer bases will continue to be well served in the transfer of these operations to a buyer that is focused on their success and very familiar with them, having been a former owner."
DRS Broadcast Technology is better known to broadcasters as Continental Electronics, a name that the company has used since 1946 when it was founded. During the past two years, the Continental name has been used as part of the transmitter product line.
Veritas is keeping Continental as a separate business unit that will be called Continental Electronics, which will continue to operate at its current location in Dallas. Bret Brewer, broadcast marketing manager for Continental, said, "Nothing has changed for the operation and how we work with broadcasters."
DRS Weather Systems develops and manufactures Doppler weather surveillance radar systems, receivers, components and software primarily for U.S. and international governments, meteorology and aviation and research institutions. DRS Weather Systems will continue to operate at its current location in Enterprise, AL.
Digigram Adds to Distribution Network
Arlington, VA - Mar 15, 2005 - Digigram has added two new representatives for its product portfolio of networked audio devices. The new reps will extend Digigram's distribution network for the systems contractor, installation, broadcast and pro audio markets in the United States.
New York-based RF Productions (917-873-3602), under the leadership of Tom Bensen, will cover the Northeastern United States, to include metro New York City.
Joe Desmond Associates of Rohnert Park, CA (www.joedesmondandassoc.com), headed by Joe Desmond, will serve Northern California and Northern Nevada.
Promo Only and Destiny Media Technologies Partner with Mediabase
Orlando, FL - Mar 11, 2005 - Promo Only and technology partner Destiny Media Technologies have agreed to incorporate Promo Only's secure digital delivery software, Promo Only MPE (Media Protected by Encryption), into the Mediabase research engine. Mediabase will make Promo Only MPE available on the Mediabase service in the United States and Canada.
Under the agreement, Mediabase will display icons adjacent to certain song tracks within the Chart or Daily Log sections of its licensed research service provided through Mediabase’s password-protected website. These icons enable radio stations that license Mediabase to audition and download full length music tracks and Promo Only MPE meta data in pre-release or post-release. Additionally, Mediabase will incorporate icons that will allow subscribers to download and install the software required to use and launch the Promo Only MPE system. Promo Only MPE will be available at no cost to subscribers.
Promo Only MPE has a security system that locks the distributed content and allows labels to track who is accessing their property. Each song is uniquely encrypted so that only those with the MPE program can access it. In addition, an ID code specific to each user is applied when a song is requested; meaning that only registered users can access the song and, once installed, the ID cannot be moved to any other computer.
Valdez Appointed VP of Orban/CRL
Tempe, AZ - Mar 17, 2005 - Rebecca Valdez, human resources director of Orban/CRL, has been promoted to the newly-created position of vice president of administrative operations. Valdez joined the company in 2000 as marketing coordinator and has worked in a wide variety of activities, including sales support, accounting, payroll and trade show management.
Prior to joining the company, Valdez's work experience includes senior staff positions in broadcasting, network operations, banking and the health care fields. Valdez attended Clark County Community College in her native Las Vegas, Nevada and majored in business management.
Wilson Named President of Dielectric Communications
Raymond, ME - Mar 16, 2005 - Dielectric Communications, a division of SPX, has named David J. Wilson as its president. Prior to joining Dielectric, Wilson served as vice president of business development for SPX's Cooling Technologies and Services business and SPX's Edwards Systems Technology business.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of business administration from Babson College.
Ibiquity Adds to Broadcast Marketing and Promotions Department
Columbia, MD - March 14, 2005 - Ibiquity Digital has expanded its broadcast marketing department, hiring Renee Jamerson and Roy Sampson as managers of broadcast marketing where they will work with radio stations on promoting HD Radio. Both Jamerson and Sampson will report to Don Kelly, director of broadcast marketing.
Ibiquity hired the pair to help the broadcast industry drive consumers to local retailers to buy HD Radio receivers. David Salemi, vice president of marketing for Ibiquity described the team's role as one to enhance AM and FM's digital rollout, support radio stations, and build awareness and enthusiasm for HD Radio broadcasting throughout the country.
Jamerson most recently was director of FM operations and promotions for Infinity Broadcasting's Maryland cluster where she managed the day-to-day operations and programming for five radio stations. Prior to that, she was promotion/marketing director for Washington's classic rock station WARW-FM; a segment host at WNVT, also in Washington; and promotion coordinator/producer at Baltimore's WBFF/WNUV. Jamerson received her Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Towson University.
Sampson began his radio career as a part-time announcer at WEBB in Baltimore while still in high school. With more than 30 years of radio management experience, Sampson comes to Ibiquity Digital from Times-Shamrock Communications Baltimore classic rock station WZBA where he was marketing/promotions manager. Prior to that, he was operations manager for Summit Communications' WXYV-WCAO. Among Sampson's previous positions are assistant program director at Boston's WILD; program director at WUFO in Buffalo; and national music director for Sheridan Broadcasting Company. He attended Northeastern University and the Columbia School of Broadcasting in Boston.
Ferree Named COO of CPB
Washington - Mar 14, 2005 - Ken Ferree, most recently chief of the FCC's Media Bureau, will become the chief operating officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The announcement was made by Kathleen Cox, president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
While at the FCC, Ferree gained a reputation as an unyielding supporter of digital migration, and a strong advocate for setting a firm date for completion of the digital transition.
Ferree joined the FCC in May 2001, when Chairman Michael Powell appointed him chief of the cable services bureau. In January 2002, he became chief of the newly created media bureau, where he was responsible for policy and programs relating to cable and broadcast TV, radio and direct broadcast satellite services. Prior to joining the FCC, Ferree was a partner at the Washington law firm Goldberg, Godles, Wiener and Wright, where he had a communications practice. Until 2001, he was also an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Nancy Risque Rohrbach, a policy and communications executive, has joined the CPB as senior vice president for corporate and public affairs. She will oversee the CPB's internal and external communications and its strategic effort to promote public broadcasting.
In addition to serving almost eight years in senior positions in the White House, Rohrbach was director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and earlier, senior vice president for public and community relations at US Airways.
David Creekmore, currently the CPB's senior director of business planning, will become vice president, finance and administration. In the past year, he has led major policy and efficiency planning efforts within CPB.
Pogo Products Introduces AM/FM Radio Recorder
March 17, 2005 - The Radio Your Way AM/FM radio recorder from Pogo Products allows users to record a radio program, such as AM talk radio, sports, news or music, and play those recordings back at a more convenient time. The unit automatically records radio broadcasts via a daily or weekly timer-function; totally unattended. Users can also transfer and archive recordings to a PC or Mac with an available USB port. Visit www.pogoproducts.com/ryw_lx.html for more information.
Media Monitors Expands Data Availability
White Plains, NY - Mar 17, 2005 - Media Monitors has added new advertiser data to its nationwide subscriber list. Starting in late March, current clients of Media Monitors services will be able to view the name of the ad agency of record for advertisers, as well as target demo for a particular spot or campaign. This data will be applied to selected radio and newspapers being tracked daily by Media Monitors.
No client setup or request is necessary. The additional information will automatically be displayed to current Media Monitors subscribers beginning March 28, 2005.
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