Radio Currents Online - Apr 10 - Apr 16, 2006


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News

Digital Media Increases in Consumer Use
New York - Apr 13, 2006 - Arbitron and Edison Research have released a study that shows that radio programming continues to be a popular consumer choice, especially in its new forms such as Internet radio, satellite radio, HD Radio and podcasting. The study, called The Infinite Dial: Radio’s Digital Platforms, explores this expansion of the radio market and its implications for advertisers and media planners.

The study shows that Internet radio is growing rapidly. The monthly audience age 12+ now tops an estimated 52 million, which is an increase from an estimated 37 million people in 2005. The weekly Internet radio audience also increased 50 percent over the past year, with 12 percent of the U.S. population age 12+ (an estimated 30 million) having listened to Internet radio in the past week, up from 8 percent in 2005.

In 2006, awareness of XM and Sirius satellite radio has reached equal levels of 61 percent awareness each among those age 12 and older. Nearly one in five non-subscribers to satellite radio say they are "very" or "somewhat" likely to subscribe to satellite radio in the next 12 months.

More than one-third of Americans say they are "very" or "somewhat" interested in HD Radio; more than 40 percent of satellite subscribers say they are interested in HD Radio as well. More than one-third of those who said they were interested in HD Radio say they would be likely to purchase an HD Radio receiver at a $100 price point, and 58 percent of those interested say they would be likely to purchase at $50.

Details of the study are available at This link.


BIA Reranks Radio's Top Financial Performers of 2005
Chantilly, VA - revised Apr 13, 2006 - BIA Financial Network has released the results of its analysis of radio station revenues from 2005. It initially found that the top 10 revenue-generating stations in the United States remained virtually unchanged from 2004. However, after additional data was received, BIA revised the initial results as follows.

Call LettersFormatOwner2005
Revenue
(x$1,000)
Market
KROQ-FMAlternativeCBS Radio67,600Los Angeles
WINS-AMNewsCBS Radio60,800New York
KFI-AMNews/TalkClear Channel59,300Los Angeles
WLTW-FMLite ACClear Channel58,900New York
KPWR-FMRhythmic/CHREmmis57,900Los Angeles
WCBS-AMNewsCBS Radio56,200New York
KIIS-FMTop 40Clear Channel52,800Los Angeles
WFAN-AMSports/TalkCBS Radio52,500New York
WGN-AMNews/TalkTribune52,400Chicago
KLSXTalkCBS Radio51,200Los Angeles
Top 10 billing stations, 2005 revenues. Source: BIA Financial Network

Update on Cumulus Acquisition of Susquehanna
Atlanta - Apr 12, 2006 - Cumulus Media expects the pending acquisition of the radio broadcasting business of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff by Cumulus Media Partners to be completed in May 2006. Cumulus Media Partners is a private partnership created by Cumulus, Bain Capital, the Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners to acquire the radio broadcasting business of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff.

The sale, initiated in October 2005, is for about $1.2 billion. In connection with the formation of Cumulus Media Partners, Cumulus agreed to contribute its four radio stations in the Houston and Kansas City markets in exchange for membership interests in Cumulus Media Partners.


Retailers Reveal Aggressive HD Radio Campaigns
Orlando - Apr 10, 2006 - Three major retailers now plan to offer HD Radio receivers in their stores nationwide beginning this month and have announced marketing and education campaigns to support new customers. Tweeter, Crutchfield and ABC Warehouse/Detroit are three retailers committed to the effort. The companies are rolling out in-store and online education to assist customers, train their staffs, establish in-store and point-of-purchase marketing, provide Spanish-language versions of marketing and advertising, and air customized commercials running on the HD Digital Radio Alliance member radio stations.


Business

Vista Broadcast Group Standardizes on Imediatouch
Winnipeg, MB - Apr 11, 2006 - The Vista Broadcast Group has standardized its entire radio group on OMT's Imediatouch digital audio delivery system. Vista Broadcast Group operates 19 radio stations across Vancouver Island and the British Columbia interior. This newly formed radio group will use a centralized audio distribution infrastructure using Imediatouch for all on-air operations. Vista will also use the Imediatouch Remote Voice Tracking application and Wide Area content sharing features to share audio and talent voice tracks across the group.


Netia Joins Axia Partners
Cleveland - Apr 10, 2006 - Axia has added Netia to its list of partners. Netia can now supply its clients with bundled, customized Axia IP-audio networking components that allow any audio workstation PC running Windows to send audio directly to an Axia audio network from its network interface card.


Burk Technology Partners with Orbital Data Net
Littleton, MA - Apr 10, 2006 - Burk Technology has chosen Orbital Data Net (ODN) of Columbia, MO, as the exclusive supplier of satellite communication links for integration with Burk Technology's line of broadcast facility control systems. With this partnership, Burk Technology customers will be able to establish TCP/IP links to remote broadcast facilities that previously had no broadband connection. Broadcasters deploying ODN's satellite communication solutions will not only be able to use remote control over their LAN/WAN, but will also have a new, cost-effective means to stream live video/audio and data.

ODN uses a Ka band network. The company can also provide audio and video links for primary STLs and remote broadcasts using specially designed satellite-based VSAT units.


Sales Call
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Public radio station and NPR affiliate KUOW-FM, 94.9, Seattle, WA, has added an additional channel to its multicasting line-up for HD Radio using Neural Audio's Neustar product line.
Alaska Public Radio has purchased Day Sequerra's M2.0 HD Radio modulation monitor.
Clear Channel's Asheville, NC, station cluster has chosen Axia for its new 13-room studio complex. Element modular control surfaces, Axia Audio Nodes and other IP-Audio equipment will be used throughout new networked on-air studios for WWNC, WPEK, WKSF-FM, WQNS-FM and WQNQ-FM. Multiple production and news facilities, editing rooms and a technical operations center are also being equipped by Axia.

Eye on IBOC

Ibiquity Digital Certifies Second Generation Reference Design
Hong Kong - HK Electronics Fair - Apr 11, 2006 - Ibiquity Digital has released a new, upgraded HD Radio Reference Design for tabletop and home receiver manufacturers. Optimized for heightened AM/FM sensitivity and reduced bill-of-material costs, version 2.0 provides a fast-track manufacturing option for OEM/ODM consumer electronics manufacturers to integrate HD Radio technology into current and future AM and FM radio product lines.

There are now more than 20 Asia-based radio manufacturing companies involved in developing HD Radio products. The list includes Kiryung Electronics, Rockridge Sound Company, Orient Power, City Electronics, Opus Art and Technology, Sangean, Jazz Hipster, Wistron-Neweb and Zylux Acoustic.

Ibiquity's HDM1181 HD Radio Reference Module Version 2.0 uses existing HD Radio chipsets in a flexible, cost-optimized hardware design that is supported by standardized software drivers and simplified production testing equipment. The module is now certified and available to all HD Radio licensees.


Clear Channel Provides HD Radio Promos
San Antonio - Apr 10, 2006 - The Clear Channel Radio Creative Services Group is making radio advertisements promoting HD Radio, which are available to the 12 member companies of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. The new spots play on the theme of high definition: Are You Def Yet?

Alliance member companies, which include large, small and independent radio operators, will have access to spots that are ready-to-air. Samples of the new creative can be heard at www.areyoudefyet.com.


People

Tannoy Announces New Managing Director
Strathclyde, Scotland - Apr 7, 2006 - Andrzej Sosna has been appointed to be the managing director of Tannoy. Sosna joined the company six years ago at its Scotland-based headquarters as sales and marketing director. The company organization and management team was restructured when TC Group bought the TGI group of companies in 2002, and since that time Sosna has served as Tannoy's product development director.


Enco Appoints Campion as Sales Director
Southfield, MI - Apr 10, 2006 - Patrick J. Campion has rejoined Enco Systems as the sales director for the Central Region. Campion most recently spent three years as the operations manager for Salem Communications in Minneapolis. Prior to his position at Salem, he was a technical support specialist at Enco. With more than 10 years of experience in radio, he has worked in many areas from on-air to engineering to sales.

Campion will be based at Enco's headquarters in Southfield, MI.


WAY-FM Media Group Makes Engineering Promotions
Nashville and Colorado Springs, CO - Apr 10, 2006 - WAY-FM is making two changes to its engineering and technology department. Morgan Grammer has been promoted to director of engineering and technology. Grammer will oversee the design and implementation of IT systems for the WAY-FM Media Group, which includes nine station clusters around the country. He will also become the architect in the design of new stations, major upgrades and emerging technologies such as HD Radio, wireless devices and streaming. Grammer will serve all local engineers in the areas of consulting, research and direction as engineering issues arise. Previously, Grammer served as the company's western regional corporate engineer.

Jim Turvaville will vacate his post as the southeast region corporate engineer in Nashville and will relocate to Colorado Springs, CO, where he will take on the duties of the company's corporate expansion specialist. He will oversee the modifications and build-out of FM translators, research and coordinate FCC filings for station upgrades, tower lease negotiator, and prepare new station FCC applications for translators and full-power stations when filing opportunities occur. Grammer and Turvaville will report to Bob Augsburg, president of WAY-FM Media Group.

WAY-FM Media Group operates 13 full-power stations and the Christian Hit Radio Satellite Network. The company also operates 26 translators and has permits to build about 75 others.


Internet Watch

Webby Awards Announce Best Radio Site Nominees
New York - Apr 11, 2006 - The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for Best Radio Site in The 10th Annual Webby Awards. The five nominees in the category are:

  • kexp.org
  • Youth Radio
  • Accuradio
  • Voices
  • npr.org

    Last year's winner for Best Radio Site was Virgin Radio.

    The Academy unveiled nominees in more than 65 categories. A list is available at www.webbyawards.com.

    The winners will be announced on May 9, 2006.


    Products

    Orban Ships First Optimod-AM 9400
    Tempe, AZ - Apr 11, 2006 - Orban has shipped the first Optimod-AM 9400 audio processors. This processor features two processing chains: one for AM analog broadcasting and one for netcasting/digital radio broadcasting. The only processing common to the two channels is the AGC and stereo enhancer.


    Radio Systems, Axia Partner on Products
    Logan Twp, NJ, and Cleveland - Apr 13, 2006 - Radio Systems is collaborating with Axia Audio to include Axia's Livewire IP-audio networking technology in Radio Systems' Millenium audio consoles. Using a Livewire connection, Millenium consoles can interface directly to Axia audio networks, as well as other Livewire-capable devices--such as digital delivery systems, codecs and audio processors. The system can exchange program audio, machine logic and program-associated data over an Ethernet connection.

    The Livewire technology allows broadcasters to build audio networks of any size using standard switched Ethernet to connect a few rooms or an entire facility.

    The Millenium digital consoles are available in six-, 12- and 18-channel configurations.


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