Radio Currents Online - Jun 6 - Jun 12, 2005

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FCC Looks to Streamline FM Allotments, AM Licensing
Washington, DC - Jun 9, 2005 - The FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks comment on a number of proposals to revise and improve FM Table of Allotment and AM community of license modification procedures. The FCC intends the proposals to streamline these procedures, facilitate the expeditious licensing of proposals that advance the fair, equitabl, and efficient distribution of radio services, and reduce current backlogs.

The NPRM seeks comment on proposals to modify certain aspects of AM and commercial FM application processing. It also imposes a freeze on the filing of new petitions for rulemaking to amend the Table of Allotments, as well as announces a one-time settlement window for those parties involved in the nearly 300 open commercial FM allotment dockets. This window will expedite the introduction of improved service to many communities during the Commission's consideration of the NPRM.

The NPRM seeks comment on:

  • Permitting Community of License Minor Change Applications - Proposes to allow AM and FM licensees and permittees to change their community of license by first-come/first-served minor modification applications, streamlining the current two-step procedures.
  • Requiring Simultaneous Filing of Form 301 with Petitions to Add New FM Allotments - Proposes to require filing Form 301, and paying the required filing fee, with all petitions to add new FM allotments to the Table. This will help ensure that parties who value new allotments most - those who participate in broadcast auctions - will be the ones seeking to add new FM allotments.
  • Limiting the Number of Modifications to the Table in One Proceeding - Proposes to limit the number of modifications to the table proposed by any one party to five, absent compelling public interest reasons.
  • Seeking Comment on Circumstances Under Which Sole Local Service Could Become a First Local Service Elsewhere - Asks whether this policy should be relaxed and, if so, what standards should be applied in allowing such station relocation.

    This action is in response to a petition for rulemaking filed by First Broadcasting Investment Partners that sought changes to the FCC's current procedures for modifying the FM Table of Allotments and changing broadcast stations' communities of license in the AM and commercial FM services.

    The FM Table of Allotments lists by community the channels and classes of radio facilities designated for use in the non-reserved portion of the FM band (92.1 to 107.9MHz). The table includes communities in the United States, its territories and possessions. Current procedures require the filing of a petition for rulemaking to add a new allotment to the table. The petition must specify a community, channel and station class, and must demonstrate compliance with basic technical rules at the petition's proposed station location.

    FCC Docket 05-120

    118th AES Touts Success
    Barcelona - Jun 7, 2005 - The organizers of the 118th Convention, held for the first time in Barcelona, are calling the show a success. More than 250 exhibitors attended the convention, which includes nearly 50 companies exhibiting for the first time. 6,200 attendees traversed the convention floor.

    The attendance figure is similar to the attendance at the 116th convention held in Berlin last year.

    The 120th AES Convention will be held in Paris from May 20 to May 23, 2006, at the Porte de Versailles.

    FCC to Hold Open Commission Meeting on June 9
    Washington - June 2, 2005 - The FCC will hold an open meeting on June 9, 2005. The meeting is scheduled to commence at 9:30 a.m.

    The scheduled agenda includes several items, including review of the following topics:

  • Revision of Procedures Governing Amendments to FM Table of Allotments and Changes of Community of License in the Radio Broadcast Services (RM-10960)
    The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning procedures for amending the FM Table of Allotments and other procedures for making certain modifications to broadcast facilities.

  • Requirements for Digital Television Receiving Capability (ET Docket No. 05-24)
    The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning its rules requiring new TV receivers to include the capability to receive off-the-air digital broadcast TV signals.

  • Implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and Modernization of the Commission's Competitive Bidding Rules and Procedures
    The Commission will consider a Declaratory Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement certain provisions of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and to update the Commission's competitive bidding rules and procedures.


    WFAE Updates with Dielectric, Prepares for IBOC
    Raymond, ME - Jun 9, 2005 - Dielectric Communications has provided a new antenna to WFAE-FM, a National Public Radio station serving the Charlotte, NC, area. The DCBR antenna was installed to improve the station's signal pattern and facilitate a transition to IBOC broadcasts. The transition to IBOC makes WFAE the state's first public radio station to implement HD Radio broadcasts.

    Tim Warner, P.E., WFAE's consulting engineer, attributes the selection of Dielectric because of the antenna's rugged active element and the single hybrid method of implementing a dual-feed IBOC antenna.

    WFAE previously used a side-mounted directional antenna on a large-face tower with multiple rental clients. The large face of the tower caused significant pattern compromises, especially for a side-mounted antenna. Further complicating the matter, a full-power class C fourth-adjacent station's blanketing area corresponded with the area where the old antenna's performance had deteriorated the most.

    The station paid for the project through a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency's Public Telecommunications Facilities Program. In addition to the DCBR antenna, Dielectric supplied transmission lines for analog and digital services, an auxiliary antenna and installation services.

    Kenwood to add SRS Support to Mobile Receiver
    Santa Ana, CA - Jun 6, 2005 - Kenwood will include SRS Wow and SRS Circle Surround Automotive in a new mobile multimedia receiver. The Kenwood Excelon DDX8017 is the first aftermarket automotive head unit to include SRS Wow and SRS Circle Surround Automotive technologies. The DDX8017 is a 6.5-inch wide dual in-dash monitor with DVD, WMA, MP3, Sirius satellite and HD Radio capabilities.

    SRS worked with Kenwood and Freescale Semiconductor to enable adjustment of each individual SRS Wow component for each speaker.

    Norway Signs to use Arbitron Portable People Meter
    New York - Jun 7, 2005 - The Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) has been selected to measure radio audiences across Norway. A steering committee of the Norwegian National Radio has signed a five-year contract with TNS Gallup to establish a panel of 400 people equipped with Arbitron's PPM system beginning in the first quarter of 2006.

    While other countries also use the PPM for TV audience measurement, Norway is the first country outside the United States to use the system for commercial ratings for radio. In 2000, TNS first used Arbitron's PPM audio encoding technology in its set-top TV meters in Singapore. In Belgium, Vlaamse Radio en Televisie (VRT) has used the PPM to measure both and TV exposure in a 450-person marketing panel since 2003. VRT recently announced that it will expand its PPM panel to 530 individuals.

    In 2004, BBM Canada, the Canadian industry consortium for audience ratings, adopted the PPM as the official ratings system for buying and selling commercial airtime on French-language TV in Quebec and Montreal. In addition, tests of the PPM have been conducted in more than 15 countries, and commercial license agreements have been signed covering more than 30 countries.

    Orban/CRL Announces MBL Tour for June, July
    Tempe, AZ - Jun 7, 2005 - The list of cities on the Orban/CRL Mobile Broadcast Laboratory tour for June and July have been announced. Stops include several SBE chapter meetings and radio and TV station groups. The tour will present the line of Orban and CRL products, as well products from Audemat-Aztec for FM, AM and TV RF metering and RBDS encoding.

    June 2 - 3Little Rock, AR
    June 6 - 10Memphis and Nashville, TN
    June 14 - 17Jackson, MS
    June 21 - 24Birmingham, AL
    June 28 - July 1Shreveport and Monroe, LA
    July 6 - 8Little Rock/Pine Bluff, AR
    July 12 - 15Kansas City, MO
    July 19 - 22St. Louis, MO
    July 26 - 29Louisville, KY
    To arrange a stop on the tour, contact David Rusch at 480-403-8300 or

    The tour schedule is subject to change.

    KFWB Launches Traffic Alert Service
    Los Angeles - Jun 6, 2005 - KFWB has launched its Traffic on Demand service, which pulls technology and information from the Mobile Media Company, Westwood One and 3 United Mobile Solutions. The service delivers customized traffic text messages to users' cell phones.

    Available to the majority of Los Angeles mobile phone subscribers, KFWB Traffic on Demand is accessed by sending a chosen route number via text message to telephone number 98011. The traffic status of that highway is then sent via return text message, at a cost of $0.75 per message.

    In addition to KFWB's own traffic reports, traffic information is supplied by Westwood One with 3 United providing the application that enables the information to be used on mobile phones. Mobile Media is providing the connectivity to the mobile network operators and manages the mobile messaging platform.

    Sales Call
  • Broadcast from the Grand Studio at RTL Paris, 'Les Grosses TĂȘtes' (The Very Large Heads) talk show is now using Studer Vista 7 digital mixing console as part of a complete refurbishment of the studio.
  • Topradio, a dance music radio station in Belgium, is now using Soundcraft's RM1ds compact digital on-air broadcast console in its new on-air studio.
  • Harris has sold two Z-Series solid-state analog FM transmitters to Central Ontario Broadcasting, owner of two radio stations in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. The sale was arranged through CHUM Radio, a division of CHUM Limited that comprises 33 radio stations throughout Canada. Central Ontario Broadcasting will build a new combined transmitter facility for both stations and install a Harris Z15FM transmitter for CFJB and a Z10FM transmitter for CKMB.
  • People

    TC Electronic Names Blecher Director of Sales
    Westlake Village, CA - Jun 7, 2005 - Ken Blecher has been appointed director of sales for the live, install and broadcast markets for the TC Electronics US. Blecher, who has 25 years of industry experience, will start July 1, 2005.

    Blecher spent the last several years as an independent pro audio consultant for U.S.-based systems integrators, contractors and manufacturers assisting firms with strategic and tactical planning, marketing and sales. Prior to establishing his own consulting and design business, Blecher created a new sales and marketing organization at Harman Professional Projects Group. In his role as director of contracting market development for Harman, Blecher integrated JBL Pro and all other Harman pro audio products into the contracting marketplace. Before that he owned his own system integration firm in the Florida area.

    Furman Sound Names Keller as Executive VP
    Petaluma, CA - Jun 6, 2005 - Dave Keller has been named to the position of executive vice president of sales and marketing at Furman Sound. He assumes the role after having been with the company since July 2004 when he joined as vice president of the consumer electronics division, business development, and international sales. Keller's responsibilities will include overseeing the sales and marketing functions for Furman's consumer, professional and international divisions.

    Keller's 31-year industry experience has spanned CAT-V, professional, and consumer A/V markets. In consumer product management roles, he most recently served as president of Digital Envoy, and previously had been COO of Escient, a provider of Internet home-entertainment products. He is also a former board member of CEDIA. On the professional side his experience includes senior management roles at Starnet Development Group, Dynatech Video Group, Quanta Corporation, Texscan and RCA.

    FCC's Martin Makes Appointments
    Washington - Jun 3, 2005 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced his intention to appoint Donna Gregg as the media bureau chief. Chairman Martin also announced that Roy Stewart will serve as senior deputy chief of the Media Bureau and Deborah Klein will serve as deputy chief of the Media Bureau.

    Gregg has served as vice president of Legal and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and as a partner in the communications practice of the Washington, DC, law firm of Wiley Rein and Fielding. She began her legal career as a staff attorney in the Commission's former Cable Television Bureau. She has been a senior lecturing fellow in telecommunications law and policy at Duke University School of Law and a member of the board of directors of the North American Broadcasters Association. Gregg received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, and she received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law.

    Roy Stewart has 40 years of service at the Commission. Stewart most recently served as the Media Bureau's chief of the Office of Broadcast License Policy. He began his Commission career in the former Broadcast Bureau, serving as an attorney in the Television Application Branch, chief of the Transfer Branch, and chief of the Renewal and Transfer Division. Following the reorganization of the Broadcast Bureau in 1982, Stewart was named chief of the Mass Media Bureau's Video Services Division, and he later served as chief of the Mass Media Bureau before the Bureau was merged with the Cable Services Bureau into the Media Bureau. Stewart received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from Cornell Law School.

    Deborah Klein most recently served as acting chief of the Media Bureau. She previously served as the Media Bureau's chief of staff, where she worked to implement the Commission's policies relating to electronic media, including broadcast and cable TV, radio and post-licensing satellite issues. Prior to becoming chief of staff, she was chief of the Consumer Protection and Competition Division in the Cable Services Bureau. Before joining the Commission in 1994, Klein served as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition. Klein received her B.A. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law.

    Internet Watch

    V-Soft Updates Station Zip Code Locator
    Cedar Falls, IA - Jun 6, 2005 - On June 1, V-Soft Communications updated the FCC databases used by the company's Web program to locate AM and FM signals based on Zip codes. The program has added AM night to its existing database of AM day and FM signal coverage.

    By specifying a Zip code, the program delivers a list of all radio stations, sort ordered by FCC-calculated signal strength. By specifying a station's call letters, the program delivers a list of all Zip codes with calculated signal strengths within the station's coverage area.

    Access the service at


    Soundfield Surround Zone for Pro Tools now Shipping
    Las Vegas - Las Vegas Pro Audio, the direct-sell division of Transaudio Group, is now shipping Soundfield's Surround Zone plug-in for Digidesign Pro Tools for Mac and PC. The Surround Zone combines the hardware features of the SP451 surround processor and the MKV System and accepts the B-Format information generated by any of the current Soundfield microphone models.

    A full surround recording can be captured using a Soundfield microphone incorporating a patented multi-capsule array. Because the microphone captures the sound at a single point as opposed to multiple spaced microphones, all channels are completely phase coherent. Each microphone system outputs Soundfield B-Format, which is a three-dimensional snapshot of any acoustic event.

    Once the Soundfield B-Format is in the Digidesign environment, the plug-in enables the user to generate various surround mic-arrays with variable polar patterns. Specifically, the Surround Zone provides a choice of three separate 5.1 arrays, individual 6.1 and 7.1 arrays, independently variable width of both the front and rear pairs, phase coherent LFE and individual level controls with mute and solo all with bar graph metering.

    Digigram Announces Ethersound Plan for Multichannel Radio
    Grenoble, France and Barcelona, Spain - May 28, 2005 - Digigram announced at the 118th AES convention in Barcelona its Ethersound-based product plan for a 5.1 or 7.1 multichannel radio automation infrastructure. Digigram's network approach uses Ethersound technology and standard Ethernet components to distribute audio. Through the end of this year, Digigram will launch several PCI sound cards with high channel-count Ethersound connectivity and Ethersound audio bridges with AES/EBU I/Os that are shaped similarly to the existing ES8in and ES8out models.

    Stereo paths can be cumbersome with multiple feeds, but discrete surround feeds will require additional connections. Digigram recognizes that console manufacturers have released multichannel consoles, and the company hopes that Ethersound will be used to simplify the link between these consoles.

    Compliant with IEEE 802.3, Ethersound networks provide transmission of 64 channels per cable in 24-bit PCM audio at 44.1 or 48kHz in each direction, plus bi-directional control and monitoring data, with a latency of six samples (125 microseconds at 48kHz).

    To equip the radio automation servers, Digigram will launch different PCI sound cards with the capacity to transmit and receive up to 64 Ethersound channels. The PCX and VX sound cards will be upgraded to include Ethersound capability. In addition, Digigram will launch a new range of linear sound cards that will be limited to Ethersound connectivity only but offer a higher channel count than the PCX and VX models.

    Axia Releases Smartsurface Update
    Cleveland - Jun 6, 2005 - The Axia Smartsurface version 2.5 software has been released. The primary update to the software adds compression, de-essing and a noise gate to mic channels. The processing supplements the existing three-band parametric equalization. The dynamics processing was designed by Omnia Audio.

    In addition, the new software adds enhanced control of automation systems, improved set/save/recall functions, and the ability to stop and start multiple pre-defined audio sources with a single button press.

    Merging Technologies Announces Pyramix Native V5.0
    Switzerland - Jun 6, 2005 - Merging Technologies has upgraded the software-only version of their Pyramix Virtual Studio DAW Pyramix Native. The standard Native system offers two to four inputs and outputs. The more advanced Native Media Bundle offers eight inputs and outputs. Both versions have increased from eight to 24 track editing, mixing and processing. Native and Media Bundle now contain all the increased functionality of the Pyramix Virtual Studio V5.0 software with the option of 96kHz sample rate. Pyramix Native operates on any Windows XP-based desktop or Laptop PC using the computer's on-board audio engine or ASIO compatible audio card.

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