Radio Currents Online - Apr 11 - Apr 17, 2005

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Armstrong Commemorative Broadcast Scheduled
Alpine, NJ - Apr 11, 2005 - In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Major E.H. Armstrong's first public demonstration of wide band frequency modulation, Steve Hemphill, owner of Solid Electronics Laboratories, and Charles Sackermann Jr., the CEO of CSC Management, who is the owner of the Alpine Tower in Alpine, N.J., will transmit a commemorative FM broadcast from the Alpine Tower site on June 11 and 12, 2005.

The pair has secured Special Temporary Authority from the FCC to conduct the broadcast on Major Armstrong’s original FM frequency of 42.8MHz under experimental call sign WA2XMN.

The broadcast program material will consist of David Ossman's dramatic production of Empire of the Air, which is based on the book by Tom Lewis. Broadcast plans also include excerpts from a 1941 test broadcast between member stations of the original New England Yankee Network, featuring voice recordings of Major Armstrong himself, Paul deMars (Yankee Network chief engineer) and others.

There will also be a rebroadcast of the final sign off of Major Armstrong's pioneer FM station W2XMN/KE2XCC, which went dark on Feb. 25, 1954, after Major Armstrong's death. A streaming Webcast of the commemorative broadcast is also planned.

Additional information about the commemorative broadcast and about the Alpine tower site can be found at

Digital Audio Services Expected to Boom
Mar 21, 2005 - Forrester Research released its study titled The Future Of Digital Audio, which examined the various forms of audio entertainment options available to consumers. In the report, Forrester notes that new digital audio services such as satellite radio, Internet radio, IBOC, podcasting and subscription and data service business models are changing the way consumers listen to radio. Terrestrial, Internet, satellite and podcasting radio are expected to grow steadily, and by 2010, 20.1 million households will listen to satellite radio and 12.3 million households will synchronize podcasts to their media players.

The report notes that consumer acceptance of HD Radio, Ibiquity's IBOC technology, will lag the other forms initially, but it will pick up closer to the end of this decade, reaching 9.7 million U.S. households by 2010.


Broadcast Electronics Starts Training for Consulting Engineers
Quincy, IL - Apr 13, 2005 - Broadcast Electronics will begin a series of engineering sessions specifically for consulting engineers starting June 1 at the Wyndham City Center hotel in Washington, DC. The company will introduce its Learn and Earn with BE educational series by offering an insider's look at two topics foremost on the consulting engineer’s radar screen:

  • HD Radio AM and FM System Evaluation.
    - Basic system operating parameters - Spectral measurements - Equipment setup and installation - Evaluation of interference issues - Coverage issues - Issues unique to AM HD Radio installations
  • Getting on the Synchronous FM bandwagon.

    Consultants will learn the latest tools available from BE and techniques being used in the United States and Europe to specify a working synchronous FM system that is functional, FCC compliant and HD Radio compatible.

    John Bisset, Northeast regional RF sales manager for Broadcast Electronics, notes that the goal of these sessions is to arm consulting engineers with the latest developments that are important to his trade. BE chose the Washington location because of its convenient location for many who are interested in these topics.

    Consulting engineers who participate in these sessions will receive a certificate of participation from BE and also will be listed on the BE website as a resource for stations and groups seeking these services.

    The two initial sessions will take place consecutively on the morning of June 1. They are being offered at no charge and a complementary lunch will be offered. Although the sessions are free, pre-registration is required. Consulting engineers can obtain agenda details and register for one or both by sending an e-mail to

    Digidesign Honored in Top 25 Places to Work
    Daly City, CA - Apr 13, 2005 - The San Francisco Business Times, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and East Bay Business Times seek and rank the companies in the San Francisco region whose employees rate them the highest on policies, procedures, culture and practices that make them the best workplaces. Digidesign has been recognized as one of the top 25 best places to work among companies with 101-350 employees in the Greater Bay Area. Manufacturer of the Pro Tools digital audio workstation, Digidesign was granted the award as part of the second annual survey of best companies to work for.

    Quantum Market Research administered the survey asking the employees of each company 40 key questions about their workplace for input on their work climate and culture, management practices and specific policies and benefits offerings. When the surveys were complete, the winners were separated into three groups based on the size of their Bay Area workforce.

    AOL, XM Create Online Radio Service
    New York and Washington - Apr 11, 2005 - America Online and XM Satellite Radio will join forces to create a new online radio service. The service brings the programming of XM and the AOL Radio Network to provide a free Web radio offering and an enhanced radio offering that will be available to AOL members at no additional charge and as a premium service to consumers online. The new offerings are expected to roll out beginning this summer.

    XM will integrate select AOL original programs such as Radio KOL, AOL Music Sessions and AOL Music Live into its satellite radio service. The companies will also work together to develop new programs and services for the online and satellite space.

    Sales Call
  • The New York Philharmonic has upgraded to a new streamlined digital recording system anchored by the Lynx AES16 192 kHz interface, Steinberg Nuendo and Yamaha DM2000 V2 console. This system allows it to digitally record, edit and deliver the performances in three to five days to Chicago's WFMT Radio Network for national syndication of "New York Philharmonic This Week."
  • Sweden's SBS Radio, which broadcasts via 53 radio stations in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Greece, has installed 34 APT Worldnet Ohio ISDN codecs to distribute radio content from SBS Radio's studios to its transmitters, which are located all over Sweden.
  • WOR has purchased an Axia IP-Audio networking system, which will be part of the station's new facility in Manhattan that includes four talk studios, four control rooms and a production room for a total of nine studios, plus six news booths and a master control/tech center. Included in the purchase are nine Axia Smartsurface Studio Control Surfaces and Studio Mixing Engines, and dozens of Audio Nodes that connect analog and digital audio sources to the switched-Ethernet-based Axia IP-Audio Network.
  • CHUM has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Unique Broadband Systems to be the principal supplier of the transmitter infrastructure required to implement its proposed subscription radio service, CHUM Subscription Radio Canada (CSRC). UBS deployed XM Satellite Radio's terrestrial repeater networks in 77 markets in the United States.
  • Michael Stuber, a radio producer who operated from his studio in Boston, has added Genelec S30D monitors in his studio. Huber creates original radio promos and other branding and ID material for two Swiss radio stations: Radio Aktuell and Toxic FM. Parsons Audio, based in Wellesley, MA, supplied the S30D monitors for Stuber's enterprise. Stuber's studio also includes a Digidesign Pro Tools HD 2 system and Presonus Central Station.
  • Austereo, Australia's largest radio broadcaster, has chosen a suite of Worldnet codecs from APT to replace hardware and software codecs from other manufacturers. The APT codecs were chosen for the low delay and compatibility with other manufacturers' codecs.
  • People

    Continental Electronics Taps Spragg from Harris
    Dallas - Apr 13, 2005 - Don Spragg joins Continental Electronics as engineering product manager. His responsibilities will include product line strategy, R and D requirements, research for new and emerging technologies, and new product development program management to include products for the implementation of DRM and IBOC. Spragg hosts a long history of RF experience from his time with HCJB World Radio, Crown International and most recently Harris Broadcast as director, radio RF products and programs.

    After receiving a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Dearborn in 1968, Spragg joined HCJB. Based in Quito, Ecuador, Spragg was initially involved in maintenance and design engineering for the group’s short wave operation. During his tenure at HCJB, he held engineering and management positions of increasing responsibility.

    Among other achievements, Spragg was project manager for the development of a 500kW short wave transmission system. In 1992, he was employed by Crown International where he started a broadcast business that builds low power FM radio transmitters. Spragg joined Harris in November 1998 as AM radio product manager.

    Price Retires from Journal
    Milwaukee - Apr 8, 2005 - Randy Price, senior vice president for the Journal Broadcast Group will retire from his position on May 31, 2005. The announcement was made today by Doug Kiel, president, Journal Communications, vice chairman, Journal Broadcast Group.

    Price joined the broadcasting business when most TV programming originated on film stock and FM radio was just becoming a force with listeners. Managing through a number of technological changes and nearly 30 years, Price embraced the industry’s move toward digital technology. In the past 15 years, he spearheaded the Journal Broadcast Group's build out to digital facilities, HDTV and HD Radio. Price has managed through tape format transitions in TV news gathering, radio's clustering of stations in a single operation and led the company’s efforts to link traditional broadcast engineering with the information technology advances of a digital high speed business.

    Prior to joining the Journal Broadcast Group, Price served as chief engineer at WGBO-TV, Chicago; WISN-TV, Milwaukee and WDTN-TV, Dayton, OH. He began his engineering career in WTCN-TV (now KARE-TV), Minneapolis.

    The Journal Broadcast Group will conduct a national search for Price’s replacement.

    Journal Broadcast Group owns a total of 38 radio stations and seven TV stations in 11 states and operates an additional TV station under a local marketing agreement.

    Internet Watch

    Best Radio Site Award Nominees Announced
    New York - Apr 12, 2005 - The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for best radio site in the ninth annual Webby Awards. The five nominees in the category are:

  • American RadioWorks
  • BBC 6 Music site
  • BBC Radio Player
  • KEXP Radio
  • Virgin Radio

    The Webby Awards are the international honors for web sites. Winners of The 9th Annual Webby Awards will be announced on May 3 and honored at a gala ceremony in New York on June 6, 2005.


    Logitek Ships Mosaic Console
    Houston - Apr 11, 2005 - Logitek Electronic Systems has begun shipping its new Mosaic digital console. Logitek president Tag Borland reported that the initial purchasers of the Mosaic were KAXE-FM in Grand Rapids, MI, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The KAXE system is about to go on-air, and the ABC is in the process of installation.

    KAXE purchased two Mosaic-12 consoles along with a Logitek Audio Engine; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation purchased a large system comprising six Audio Engines, three Mosaic-12 consoles, three Remora-10 consoles, three Remora-4 consoles and various router control panels via Logitek’s Australian distributor Maser.

    In addition to the Mosaic shipments, Logitek announced the shipment of several Console Router Systems to customers in the United States and Europe. Recently shipped systems include:

  • KASU (Arkansas State University): a system upgrade including new components for the Logitek Audio Engine, along with one Numix-12 console and one Remora-4 console
  • KRFC, Fort Collins, CO: a Console Router system including an Audio Engine, one Remora-4 console and two Remora-10 consoles
  • KRZA, Alamosa, CO: two console systems, each with an Audio Engine and a Remora-10 console
  • WUSF, Tampa, FL: a system with one Audio Engine and two Numix-12 consoles
  • WBWI, West Bend, WI: an upgrade for an existing system plus a new console system consisting of an Audio Engine and a Remora-10 console
  • EMAP: a large Console Router system consisting of four Audio Engines, four Numix-12 consoles and one Numix-6 console.

    Logitek has also announced receipt of new console orders from several customers.

    Salem Communications, Seattle, has ordered 10 Audio Engines that will be networked via optical fiber. Control surfaces include eight Remora-10 consoles; one Remora-4 console; one Numix-6 console, one Vmix virtual console and numerous interface/control devices.

    KKDA, Dallas/Ft. Worth has ordered a system with one Audio Engine, one Mosaic-16 console and one Remora-10 console.

    WUMB, UMASS Boston has ordered multiple systems including three Audio Engines, one Numix-12, one Numix-18 and two Remora-4 consoles.

    WVIA-TV/FM, Pittston, PA has ordered two Audio Engines, one Remora-10, vMix Virtual Console software and router controllers.

    Finally, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, has ordered a system comprising one Audio Engine, one Remora-16 console and one Remora-10 console.

    Eye on IBOC

    WGUC-FM Tests Neural Audio Surround Sound Technology
    Cincinnati - Apr 12, 2005 - As part of its ongoing testing of surround sound technologies, WGUC-FM in Cincinnati has broadcast a previously recorded and produced performance of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on March 20, 2005, using Neural Audio's digital audio technologies.

    After testing Neural Audio's Neustar 5225 two-dimensional downmixer and Neural's SEE (Spatial Environment Engine) rendering system, Don Danko, WGUC vice resident of engineering noted that the performance of the Neural surround technology met or exceeded all of the station's criteria.

    Alex Kosiorek, audio recording and mastering engineer of WGUC's Corbett Studio Audio Recording and Production facility said, "I am particularly pleased with the stereo downmix as compared to the original stereo mix. With minimal adjustments, the accuracy of the surround sound recording was faithfully reproduced."

    WGUC spent two days at Neural Audio headquarters in Kirkland, WA, studying the surround technology in stereo and 5.1 listening rooms. WGUC and Corbett Studio original content was used in the review process. The station's review requirements included:

  • The stereo downmix would not be compromised compared to the actual recorded stereo mix;
  • The encoded/decoded surround sound could not have any (or very, very little) perceived difference when compared to the actual surround sound recording;
  • All tested systems must be able to survive the analog FM broadcast because it will be some years before critical mass reaches HD Radio' listeners.

    The Neural 5225 2D downmix system is scaleable for backward and forward compatibility allowing analog, digital, lossy, linear, stereo and 5.1 to co-exist in the existing broadcast environment. Audio is encoded with a watermarking to provide compatibility with existing 2.0 equipment.

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