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Radio Currents Online - Apr 3 - Apr 9, 2006
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2006 Nominees
Chicago - Apr 6, 2006 - The field of nominees has been announced for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Winners in each of the categories will be inducted during the national radio broadcast from Chicago's Renaissance Hotel on Nov. 4. Premiere Radio Networks will produce and distribute the one-hour broadcast at 10:00 p.m. ET. The 2006 nominees for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame follow.
Network or Syndicated Active
Network or Syndicated Pioneer
Local or Regional Active
Local or Regional Pioneer
Ballots will be mailed in May to radio executives, broadcast historians and all NRHOF members. The voting deadline is Aug. 1.
BIA Ranks Radio's Top Financial Performers of 2005
Chantilly, VA - Apr 6, 2006 - BIA Financial Network has released the results of its analysis of radio station revenues from 2005. It found that the top 10 revenue-generating stations in the United States remained virtually unchanged from 2004. With the exception of WGN-AM (Chicago), which generated $52 million and took the tenth spot away from KOST-FM (Los Angeles), most station revenue remained flat. New York's WLTW-FM continued in first place with $68.3 million in revenue, and KROQ-FM (Los Angeles) moved to the second spot with $67.6 million, switching places with WINS-AM (New York), which posted $60.8 million.
BIA attributes the consistent placement to the "lackluster radio business environment in 2005." The newcomer to the top 10 billing radio stations for 2005, WGN-AM Chicago, was in 12th place last year. It swapped spots with KOST-FM, Los Angeles.
Note: On April 13, BIA revised these statistcs after obtaining additional data. See Currents Online for the week of April 10 for the update.
|WLTW-FM||Lite AC||Clear Channel||68,300||New York|
|KROQ-FM||Alternative||CBS Radio||67,600||Los Angeles|
|WINS-AM||News||CBS Radio||60,800||New York|
|KFI-AM||News/Talk||Clear Channel||59,300||Los Angeles|
|WCBS-AM||News||CBS Radio||57,200||New York|
|WFAN-AM||Sports/Talk||CBS Radio||54,000||New York|
|KIIS-FM||Top 40||Clear Channel||52,800||Los Angeles|
|WFNY-FM||Rock||CBS Radio||52,500||New York|
|Top ten billing stations, 2005 revenues. Source: BIA Financial Network|
New to this year's report, BIA has added the top 10 grossing local radio clusters.
|CBS Radio||310,800||Los Angeles||2|
|Clear Channel||285,800||Los Angeles||2|
|CBS Radio||262,700||New York||1|
|Clear Channel||211,100||New York||1|
|Top Ten Billing Local Radio Clusters, 2005 revenues. Source: BIA Financial Network|
NAB Awards 2006 Broadcast Research Grants
Washington, DC - Apr 3, 2006 - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has awarded six research grants to academic scholars as part of its annual Grants for Research in Broadcasting program. Each year, this competitive program attracts research proposals from broadcast scholars throughout the country. Through the program, first initiated in 1967, NAB has awarded more than 300 research grants approaching $1 million in support of academic studies.
This year's recipients and their research topics are:
The annual NAB grants program is designed to stimulate interest in broadcast research, with special focus on economic, social or policy issues of importance to the commercial broadcast industry. The goal is to make high quality academic research opportunities available to industry practitioners and academic scholars. Proposals are evaluated by an independent panel of academic and industry research professionals and by representatives of the NAB's Committees on Local Radio Audience Measurement (COLRAM) and Local Television Audience Measurement (COLTAM).
The final reports for these projects are expected by May 2007. Last year's recipients will present preliminary results of their research at the 2006 Broadcast Education Association Convention in Las Vegas. More information about these studies can be found by contacting NAB Research and Planning at 202-429-5489. Details about the research grants program are available at www.nab.org/research/grants/grants.asp.
DRM Re-elects Chairman
Istanbul - Apr 3, 2006 - During board elections held at the end of March, the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium re-elected its chairman, Peter Senger of Deutsche Welle, to a fifth, consecutive, two-year term. Senger has served as DRM chairman since the consortium's inception in 1998.
DRM's long-time vice chairman and treasurer, Jan Hoek of Radio Netherlands, stepped down from his DRM role. After being appointed director general of Radio Netherlands last year, Hoek had indicated he would leave the post as of this election. Radio Netherlands, however, remains on the DRM Steering Board.
DRM elected two new vice chairmen: John Sykes of the BBC World Service and Alain Delorme of TDF. Albert Heuberger of Fraunhofer IIS was elected to fill the treasurer role.
The voting took place in Istanbul in March where DRM held its annual general assembly and board meetings, this time hosted by Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) under the auspices of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). DRM's elections take place every two years.
The consortium also added three members to its newly created Executive Committee: Dietmar Schill of Sony International Europe; Pierre Vasseur of Thomson Broadcast and Multimedia; and Jochen Huber of Transradio Sendersysteme Berlin. The Executive Board will be chaired by Albert Heuberger of Fraunhofer IIS. The Executive Board consists of the aforementioned four members, as well as the DRM chairman, the DRM vice chairmen, the Technical Committee chairman (Donald Messer of Radio Netherlands) and the Commercial Committee chairman (Michel Penneroux of TDF).
Lindsay Cornell of BBC New Media and Technology was selected as Technical Committee vice chairman, and Gary Edgerton of WRN was chosen as Commercial Committee vice chairman.
DRM elected four new companies to its 18-member Steering Board: Radio France, Radioscape, Transradio Sendersysteme Berlin and WRN. They join re-elected Steering Board members the BBC, Coding Technologies, Continental Electronics, Deutsche Welle, Fraunhofer IIS, Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Radio Netherlands, Robert Bosch, RTL Group, Sony International Europe, TDF, Thomson Broadcast and Multimedia, T-Systems Business Services and VT Communications.
NAB2006 to Feature FCC Chairman Martin
Washington - Apr 3, 2006 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will speak April 25 at the FCC Chairman's Breakfast during NAB2006. The FCC Chairman's Breakfast is part of the Business, Law and Regulation Conference, where the NAB brings federal regulators and legal experts together to highlight legal issues of the day and teach broadcast managers, station owners and station counsel how to deal with ever-evolving technology policy.
Last year, President Bush appointed Martin to the FCC chairmanship following his four-year stint as FCC commissioner. Before joining the FCC, Martin was a special assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and was deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Martin was an advisor to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth. He has also served in the Office of the Independent Counsel and worked as an associate at the Washington law firm of Wiley Rein and Fielding. Before joining Wiley Rein and Fielding, Martin was a judicial clerk for U.S. District Court Judge William M. Hoeveler, Miami, FL.
Martin received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters in Public Policy from Duke University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Federal Communications Bar Association.
Also attending NAB2006 will be FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein, Michael Copps and Deborah Taylor Tate.
Museum of Broadcast Communications Receives Major Donation
Chicago - Apr 6, 2006 - NBC News and WMAQ NBC5 have announced a joint, multi-year agreement to The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) valued at $600,000. The donation includes $200,000 in cash to be used in the final phase of the museum's construction, as well as support for the TV News exhibit in the museum. NBC and WMAQ will provide several artifacts and a large collection of archival video. NBC News will also produce a video presentation for the news exhibit, anchored by NBC Nightly News Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams. NBC and WMAQ will also provide ongoing support for the news exhibit as it is updated in the years ahead.
Audemat-Aztec Partners with GSS
Miami - Apr 5, 2006 - Audemat-Aztec has delivered broadcast technology equipment to Global Security Systems (GSS) for its emergency alert services. Audemat-Aztec RBDS encoders, FM/RBDS monitoring units and Broadcast Manager have been selected by GSS and are being installed to cover the state of Mississippi.
Global Security Systems is a systems integrator, service provider and manufacturer of homeland security and natural disaster first-alert systems. The company is headquartered in Jackson, MS, with offices in Louisiana, Florida and Washington, DC.
Eye on IBOC
Harris, NPR Labs to Demo HD Radio Services for Hearing, Visually Impaired
Cincinnati and Washington - Apr 4, 2006 - Harris and National Public Radio Labs will offer a technology-driven display at NAB2006 demonstrating how HD Radio can offer radio service to listeners who are hearing and/or visually impaired. The demonstrations will be held at the Harris booth C807.
The demo will preview captioned radio text for the hearing impaired, and extended hybrid mode operation of radio reading services for the visually impaired sent over the HD Radio air chain. The complete proof-of-concept design will feature Harris transmission equipment for insertion of the program material in the HD Radio multicasting stream, and Kenwood and Boston Acoustics radios to receive the dedicated Radio Reading Service channel and a radio captioning display of an NPR program.
Many NPR Member stations broadcast Radio Reading Services for the Blind, a program that offers readings of books and publications over analog subcarriers, to about one million weekly listeners, or 10 percent of the potential visually impaired audience. The addition of this service to the HD Radio multiplex of audio and text-based services will provide far easier access for listeners and increase reading service audience size. Similarly, the HD Radio multiplex can carry the new captioned radio text service to deliver news, weather and other important information to the hearing impaired.
Broadcast Electronics Introduces HD Radio to France
Quincy, IL, and Paris - Apr 7, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) has installed an HD Radio FM system on an independent station in Paris, France. Towercast, in partnership with independent broadcast syndicate SIRTI and NRJ Group, began broadcasting an HD Radio signal on 88.2MHz last week using a BE low-powered transmission system. In the next phase of the trials, Towercast plans to multicast two or more channels of programming.
"As a group, we're very interested in the HD Radio technology because it lets us move right into digital broadcasting without giving up analog," said Anders Rällvik, who is the technical lead for testing digital technology for Towercast. "I believe we’re the first broadcaster to use HD Radio live, 24 hours in Europe."
Towercast, a subsidiary of NRJ Group, is the first privately held French tower company, managing several hundred elevated points for the transmission of radio broadcasts (FM, DAB), digital terrestrial TV, telecommunications (UMTS, BLR) and professional radio. Towercast is present in Finland with its subsidiary Telemast and in Belgium with Towercast Belgium.
SIRTI is a professional organization of 123 independent local and regional broadcasting operators. NRJ Group is a European broadcast group with four major radio networks in France and a TV station.
Towercast is broadcasting HD Radio with a test license granted by Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), France's broadcast authority. CSA has also granted Towercast an experimental license to broadcast HD Radio on 93.9MHz, and the group will begin broadcasting a single channel of digital audio on that frequency in the next month. It will eventually add another program channel to test HD Radio multicasting as well as any channel spacing interference.
Comet Appoints Head of Vacuum Capacitor Unit
Flamatt, Switzerland - Mar 31 2006 - Comet has appointed Heinz Wuethrich to head of the Comet Vacuum Capacitors Business Unit. In this position, Wuethrich will oversee the company's development, production, sales and service of vacuum capacitor components/modules for the broadcast and semiconductor markets.
Wuethrich brings many years of experience in technical leadership to Comet. Previous to his appointment as head of the Vacuum Capacitors Business Unit, he held different key management positions with the Swatch Group, where he developed new markets while establishing national and international manufacturing plants. Prior to that, he was the general manger for Ten Cate Enbi, where he introduced systems to the automotive industry and played a major role in the company's reorganization. He also served as head of development for Central Europe at Electrolux.
Wuethrich is a graduate mechanical engineer HTL and production engineer SIB/SIZ, earning a degree from the St. Gallen Executive Management Program. He is also certified as an EFQM assessor.
NEA Foundation Appoints New Board Members
Washington - Apr 6, 2006 - The NEA Foundation has appointed three new members to its board of directors: Steve Sidel, president of Discovery Education; Larry Nelson, director of collaboration and partnerships for the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC) at Sun Microsystems; and Jessie Woolley-Wilson, executive vice president of Leapfrog Enterprises and president of Leapfrog Schoolhouse.
Sidel became president of Discovery Education in February 2006. Previously, he served as executive vice president of Discovery Education. Sidel began his tenure with Discovery in 1997 as director of legal affairs. In 1998, he was named vice president of legal affairs and in 2001, senior vice president and deputy general counsel. He earned his JD at Harvard Law School and his BA in political science at Brown University.
Nelson became director of collaboration and partnerships for the GELC at Sun Microsystems in February 2005. Prior to this post, he was responsible for Sun Microsystems' K-12 strategy and solution partnerships. Before joining Sun, Nelson was vice president of marketing and finance at Schoolcity.com where he managed marketing, business development, telemarketing and sales. Prior to Schoolcity.com, he was president of Decision Development, a privately held educational software and Internet publisher. He has also worked for General Foods, Proctor and Gamble and Bloomingdales. Nelson earned his MBA from Cornell University in 1987 and his BA in political science from Vassar College in 1983.
Woolley-Wilson joined Leapfrog Schoolhouse as vice president of marketing programs in June 2003. In 2005, she was appointed executive vice president of Leapfrog Enterprises and president of the Education and Training Group. Woolley-Wilson's education industry experience spans more than 12 years, and includes management roles at Collegeboard.com; Myroad.com, a company she helped launch; and Kaplan. Woolley-Wilson received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in English from the University of Virginia.
Harris Sells first High-Power Tube Transmitter for HD Radio
Cincinnati - Apr 6, 2006 - Harris has sold its first HT-HD+ tube-type HD Radio transmitter to Clear Channel radio stations WCOL-FM in Columbus, OH, and KRFX-FM in Denver. The HT-HD+, to be formally announced at NAB2006, marks Harris' foray into the HD Radio market with high-power, tube-type transmitters. Dan Mettler, regional vice president of engineering for Clear Channel Radio, will supervise the installation and testing of the first HT-HD+ transmitter at WCOL. The KRFX installations (two 22kW models) will follow shortly after, with a combined TPO of 41kW.
The HT-HD+ is expected to be available for shipping around July 2006.
Broadcast Electronics Updates Dashboard
Quincy, IL - Apr 5, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) will debut its new Dashboard upgrade for its importer line at NAB2006. The Dashboard offers a menu operation and an automated restart for the IDI 20 Data Importer, which is used to provision and encode the HD Radio bitstream for HD2 multicasting.
A common complaint by early HD2 multicasting adopters has been on-air continuity, in particular relaunching importer functions should a power or other transmission failure occur. Dashboard includes a click-and-go start-up feature that can be remotely accessed through a network or Internet connection.
Audemat-Aztec Receives Navigator HD FM Certification
Miami - Apr 4, 2006 - Ibiquity Digital has certified the Audemat-Aztec Navigator HD mobile FM and HD Radio field strength meter. The Navigator HD is a compact and portable unit for field surveys, as well as on site/studio monitoring of a station's analog and HD Radio FM signal.
The Navigator HD can decode SPS, SIS, PSD and measure level, time and phase alignment between the analog and the digital signals. In FM analog mode only, the Navigator HD enables multi-station RF surveys and the monitoring of modulation, pilot and RBDS SCA injection level.
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Also in the April Issue
- Update on Transmitters
- On-air Missteps to Avoid
- Tower Lease Renegotiation
- New Products
- Applied Technology: Streaming with the MPEG HE-AAC Audio Codec
- Side by Side: Studio Furniture
- Practical Use: Circulators and Isolators