Radio Currents Online - Apr 17 - Apr 23, 2006


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News

Survey: Radio is Important to Americans
Charleston, SC - Apr 19, 2006 - Americans rate the importance and relevance of local commercial radio very highly, despite the entry of high-technology competition, a national survey commissioned by American Media Services shows. The survey found that 78 percent said radio is important in their everyday lives, and 91 percent said radio is important in American life in general. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) said they listen to radio at least once a day.

The telephone survey of 1,004 American adults was conducted April 13 to 15, 2006, by Omnitel. The survey is considered accurate within plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The new findings complement those in AMS’ initial survey in January: 64 percent said they were listening to radio as much as, or more than, they were five years ago. In the AMS survey, 57 percent of men and 49 percent of women said they listen to radio at least daily.

The availability of music, news and reports on weather and traffic continues to be the most often cited reasons for listening to the radio, with 98 percent of respondents saying they listen to radio for one of those features.

Additional statistics:

  • 78 percent usually tune to a local radio station when they get in their car
  • More people had a favorite local radio personality in their local markets (37 percent) than a favorite television personality percent (32 percent), newspaper personality (7 percent) or personality on a local internet site (1 percent)
  • When asked what about the different qualities that make a good radio personality, they ranked four as most important: 89 percent said they liked to listen to someone who makes them think, 82 percent said one who makes them laugh, 79 percent wanted a personality they could trust, and 76 percent said a good radio personality has strong ties to the local community
  • Overall, 41 percent of respondents said they liked to listen to stations that have a good balance of music, news, weather and traffic information. That rated above playing their kind of music (26 percent) or making them laugh (3 percent).
  • Of those respondents who had a "favorite media personality," 37 percent said their favorite personality worked on the radio, while 32 percent said their favorite worked on television.
  • 61 percent of those likely to change stations during commercial breaks do so in a minute or less.

    RAB and Media Monitors Present Radio Sales Training Workshop
    New York - Apr 20, 2006 - The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) will present a free sales training workshop called Breaking The Daily Habit: Winning New Radio Dollars From Print in Kansas City on May 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The workshop is sponsored by Media Monitors.

    The session is part of an ongoing free nationwide sales training series that began last year. For the first time, this event will also be preceded by a special one-hour training session exclusively for radio sales managers or general managers, also conducted by the RAB, to teach managers the best ways to instruct their salespeople on how to sell against the print medium.

    Endorsed by the Missouri Broadcasters Association, the session is offered free of charge to the first 50 radio station sales managers and account executives in the area to register.

    The session will be held at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, 200 West 12th Street, Kansas City, MO. Applicants may register by phone at 1-800-67-MEDIA ext. 274, or by e-mail at seminar@mediamonitors.com.

    Conducted by RAB Senior Vice President of Training Lynn Anderson, Breaking The Daily Habit: Winning New Radio Dollars From Print discusses ways to position radio’s strengths against newspapers and explains the trend that exists between newspapers’ dwindling circulation figures and their share of local advertising budgets. Anderson previously worked as president and general manager of KIIS-FM/AM in Los Angeles.


    Business

    Instant Live Delivers Surround Recordings of the Cult
    Santa Ana, CA - Apr 20, 2006 - SRS Labs and Instant Live, a provider of onsite concert recording and distribution, have teamed to record and distribute each of the 19 dates on The Cult’s Return to Wild tour. Each of the 19 shows were recorded in SRS Circle Surround, and are now available for sale in limited edition deluxe packages at retail locations as well as on the Instant Live website at www.instantlive.com. Additionally, two tracks from the collection of recordings, She Sells Sanctuary and Wildflower, are currently airing on the radio. These are the first SRS Surround-encoded recordings delivered to radio stations via Instant Live.


    Logitek Announces User Training Session Dates
    Houston, TX - Apr 19, 2006 - Logitek Electronic Systems will conduct its first-ever user training session on Sept. 14 and 15, 2006 in Houston. The class is open to all current Logitek console users; cost is $950 for the two-day program. The training course will cover system architecture and connectivity, advanced system configuration, networking multiple Audio Engines, automation system interfaces, and beginning and advanced software training for AE Config, Vtools and clients, Supervisor and Command Builder.

    Registration information is available at www.logitekaudio.com. Follow the links from the home page.


    Furman Sound Partners With D-Tools
    Petaluma, CA - Apr 19, 2006 - Furman Sound's line of power conditioning products are now available in D-Tools system integration and design software. The partnership with D-Tools provides integrators and installers with access to all Furman product information.


    IDC partners with Axia
    Cleveland - Apr 17, 2006 - Axia has entered into an agreement with International Datacasting Corporation (IDC) to include Livewire network connectivity in IDC satellite receivers. The deal allows IDC receivers to communicate directly with Axia Livewire Ethernet audio systems.


    BE Provides PAD for NPR HD2 Programming
    Quincy, IL - Apr 18, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics ((BE) will participate in an initial rollout of program associated data (PAD) services for one of NPR's new HD2 multicast programming channels. BE is providing PAD, such as song title and artist text, for Xponential Radio, the AAA format produced by NPR member station WXPN Philadelphia. The "now playing" text will be offered to participating NPR member stations in association with the Xponential programming content. Data and audio content are then rebroadcast by the individual stations as part of their HD Radio multicast digital signals.

    Xponential Radio is one of five 24/7 music programming services offered by NPR to stations for HD2 channel distribution. The four other channels feature classical, folk, electronica and jazz programming and are in partnership with public radio and music production companies.

    As part of the deployment, BE will format PAD for Xponential Radio at its data center and distribute text messages to stations through an Internet connection for synchronous broadcast with associated audio content. Stations will also be provided with the capability of displaying the currently playing and nine previously played song details on their websites. A resource Web page will be hosted by BE for stations to access historical PAD information to respond to listener inquiries.

    In addition to the core services offered by BE, Xponential Radio stations have the option of adding BE's additional messagecasting services for interleaving of call signs, station branding, traffic updates, weather forecasts, sports scores and other local text messages.


    SCMS Adds Stull as Keynote Speaker
    Pineville, NC - Apr 14, 2006 - SCMS has asked Scott Stull, vice president, broadcast business development for Ibiquity Digital, to deliver the keynote address during lunch at the SCMS Communications Conference focusing on digital radio.

    Stull will talk to attendees about the status of digital radio conversion, new happenings in radio broadcast and developments and availability of digital receivers.

    The conference, which is free to broadcasters, is being held on June 1 in Charlotte, NC. More info and registration is available at www.scmsconference.com.


    Sales Call
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    Radio Systems is providing its Millenium Digital Console to the new WTWP-AM/FM Washington Post studios. The studio consoles and wiring systems are provided by Radio Systems’ Millenium Digital broadcast consoles and Studiohub+ CAT-5 wiring.
    Radio Ethiopia, the national radio network of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has contracted Jampro for seven turn-key FM tower and antenna installations. Ethiopia currently operates 13 stations broadcasting AM and shortwave in 16 local languages as well as English.
    Zimmerman Advertising, Omnicom Group's "Brandtailing" arm, has signed a contract to use of Portable People Meter (PPM) based radio audience estimates. The agreement covers the U.S.-based radio planning and buying activities of Zimmerman Advertising, part of the Omnicom Group.
    Singapore Management University's SMU campus radio station and Union Works, which operates and manages two radio stations in Singapore, recently took delivery of Netia Radio-Assist 7.5 systems. SMU Campus Radio is a student-run station, while Union Works operates and manages the 91.3 WKRZ-FM (English) and 100.3 UFM-FM (Chinese) radio stations in Singapore.

    People

    Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Broadcast Communications Division
    Melbourne, FL - Apr 17, 2006 - Harris has named Timothy Thorsteinson president of the company's Broadcast Communications Division. Thorsteinson had been serving as president of the Leitch Technology business unit of Harris, which was acquired in October 2005. He succeeds Jeremy Wensinger who is being promoted to a senior leadership position within the Harris Government Communications Systems Division. Wensinger held the position of president for two years.

    Thorsteinson joined Leitch Technology as president in November 2003. Prior to joining Leitch, he was vice president of Grass Valley products for Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions, where he was responsible for a variety of product lines including switchers, server/storage units, digital news production, signal management, film imaging product lines, and TV/film production products. Previously, he served as president of the Grass Valley Group.

    Prior to joining Thomson/Grass Valley, Thorsteinson was with Tektronix from 1991 to 2001. He served as president of Tektronix Pacific Operations, one of three units established to accelerate growth in key international markets.

    Before joining Tektronix, Thorsteinson served 12 years with National Semiconductor where he designed several programs focused on process re-engineering and total quality management. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.


    Johnson Joins Axia Audio
    Cleveland - Apr 15, 2006 - Marc Johnson, the first person to install an Axia IP audio networking system, has joined Axia. Johnson was the chief engineer at Auburn University's WEGL-FM in Auburn, AL, and while there installed the Axia system in the Spring of 2004. Johnson now joins Axia as an applications engineer.

    Johnson began his broadcasting career in 1996 at Athens Broadcasting's WZYP-FM, and has been chief engineer of WEGL since 2002. He is president of Premier Solutions, a VoIP and network design company based in Auburn, AL. He holds a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from Auburn University, and will receive MBA and B.S.E.E. degrees from Auburn in 2007.

    Johnson will be based from his home office in Auburn.


    Mouser Electronics Hires New Vice-President
    Mansfield, TX - Apr 20, 2006 - Mouser Electronics has hired Mike Scott in the newly created position of vice president of products for active and passive components. Scott is a 21-year veteran of Freescale Semiconductor and Motorola.

    Since 1993 he has managed Freescale's global distribution sales operations including programs with Arrow and Avnet, as well as Mouser and other catalog and specialty distributors. Prior to managing distribution channels, Scott handled semiconductor sales and marketing efforts at Motorola.


    Eye on IBOC

    Neural Audio Supports 16kb/s Multicasting and Internet Streaming Capabilities
    Kirkland, WA - Apr 20, 2006 - Neural Audio has certified that its codec pre-conditioning digital audio system, Neustar 4.0 and its new software version, Neustar SW4.0, can enable broadcasters to transmit supplementary digital audio channels on FM at 16kb/s with minimal degradation of audio quality. Neural’s HD1-2-3-4 broadcast demonstrations will be available at the Harris Booth #C807 and by appointment in the Neural suite.

    Additionally, KUOW-FM, Seattle, Wash., has announced that that it will begin broadcasting a HD4 channel using Neural’s codec pre-conditioning digital audio system, Neustar 4.0 pending FCC and Ibiquity approval. When implemented, KUOW’s multicast streams will deliver two channels of news and information in stereo along with a 16kb/s BBC channel and a 22kb/s music channel featuring Swing Years and Beyond programming.


    Broadcast Electronics Demos HD Radio with Four Channels, Closed Captioning
    Quincy, IL - Apr 17, 2006 - At NAB2006, Broadcast Electronics (BE) will host the first public demonstration of four audio program channels via HD Radio plus a closed-caption radio service for the hearing impaired designed by NPR Labs. The captioning runs on part of the Advanced Application Services data stream. The demonstration is sponsored by BE in partnership with Ibiquity Digital with participation from NPR.

    The demonstration is representative of how stations might broadcast multiple services over HD Radio. A news/talk program will be carried on the main channel, with two music formats on the HD2 and HD3 channels. A fourth multicast channel will carry radio reading services for the visually impaired. A separate data channel illustrates closed captioning of the news/talk program for the hearing impaired.

    Mike Starling, chief technology officer of NPR Labs, said, "This demonstration features technology innovation from BE and proves that the concept is not just viable, but also within reach."

    The demonstration will take place at BE's booth N1808. Representatives from NPR Labs will be available at the booth during exhibit hours.


    WGUC-FM Multicasts with Neural Digital Codec Pre-conditioner
    Kirkland, WA, and Cincinnati - Apr 17, 2005 - WGUC-FM 90.9, Cincinnati’s Classical Public Radio, has begun HD Radio multicasting using Neural Audio’s Neustar Plus digital codec pre-conditioner. WGUC, one of the leading public broadcasters of classical music, has recently added a 24-hour jazz channel (HD2) to its line up.

    The new WGUC channel features nationally syndicated programming from Jazz Works. WGUC has been broadcasting its classical music programming with HD Radio technology since 2003 under a grant from the Cinergy Foundation.

    Neustar Plus and the Neustar 4.0, debuting at NAB 2006, have been built from the ground up as a codec pre-conditioner to improve multicast transmission. Neustar 4.0 is fully networkable and upgradeable in the field. The Neustar platform can perform as a stand-alone solution or in tandem with traditional audio processing to maximize the potential of any low-bit-rate audio path for HD Radio, Internet, ISDN/POTS, Satellite, DAB and DRM.


    80 Stations Plan Conversion to FM Extra
    Milpitas, CA - Apr 14, 2006 - The Idea Bank consortium of broadcasters has selected DRE’s FM Extra digital subcarrier system as part of its digital radio strategy. The Idea Bank consortium represents nearly 500 radio stations across the United States and meets twice a year to discuss issues that affect the future of radio. At the group's Atlanta meeting in April, it announced that the group plans to initially convert 80 stations to FM Extra this year.

    Over-the-air FM Extra broadcasting was displayed at the meeting from WREC-FM 91.1 in Atlanta with two digital channels of stereo audio simultaneously with the primary stereo analog channel and RBDS.

    DRE states that FM Extra can be used with HD Radio transmissions to provide even more digital channels to listeners. DRE also states that DRE-capable production receivers will be available by the end of June 2006.


    Products

    Product Update: Radiosophy Multistream HD
    Apr 19, 2006 - Radiosophy reports that its testing has confirmed that recent design changes in the Multistream HD receiver have solved the sensitivity issue and exceeded the company's design expectation. A manufacturing schedule will be released by the end of April. The company expects to begin delivering units near the end of June 2006.


    Burk Technology Ships Autopilot 3
    Littleton, MA - Apr 13, 2006 - Burk Technology is now shipping the Autopilot 3 broadcast facility control software. Autopilot 3 works with the ARC-16 transmitter remote control system to provide PC-based facility management and automatic control for unattended operation. The new version provides an expanded feature set and refinements to existing functionality, including custom views for drill-down site displays, updated navigation interface, reintroduced the macro syntax used in previous versions, e-mail alarm notifications, data display on real-time charts, and virtual channels for more flexible condition reporting.

    A fully functional demo of Autopilot 3 is available at www.burk.com/autopilot. New licenses and upgrades are available through dealers.


    Day Sequerra Intros HD Radio Alarm Options
    West Berlin, NJ - Apr 17, 2006 - Day Sequerra will introduce a Performance Loss Module providing alarm capabilities as an option for its M2.0 and M4.0 HD Radio modulation monitors at NAB2006. Using proprietary heuristic DSP algorithms, the Day Sequerra Performance Loss Module cannot be fooled by pink noise or test tones, and will generate alarms when real program silence is detected in HD Radio or analog broadcasts. Unlike external silence-sense units, the Day Sequerra module can trigger an alarm on the loss of HD Radio-specific signal attributes, such as OFDM modem lock, MPS digital audio, multicast digital audio, incorrect analog delay bit as well as loss of analog audio (mono or stereo) and RF signal strength.

    The Day Sequerra Performance Loss Module has five assignable alarm outputs via 24Vdc 1A SPDT dry-contact relay closures on plug-in Euroblock modular connectors. Setup and program the equipment via the front panel controls and vacuum-fluorescent display of the host M2.0 or M4.0.

    The M2.0 and M4.0 each received a Radio magazine Pick Hit Award at NAB2005.


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