Radio Currents Online - Jun 12 - Jun 18, 2006


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

Indecency Fines Increase
Washington - Jun 15, 2006 - President Bush has signed the legislation that raises radio and TV indecency fines by a factor of 10. The new law allows for a fine as high as $325,000 per violation. The new law also places a cap on continuing violations from an incident at $3 million.


CEA: All Public Alert Devices are Not the Same
Arlington, VA - Jun 1, 2006 - As the 2006 hurricane season begins, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reminds consumers that certified public alert devices are the best way to stay informed about potential weather and emergency issues as they arise. Devices that feature the registered Public Alert logo meet standards and requirements developed by the CEA in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

CEA President Gary Shapiro said, "The Public Alert certification program and logo was designed to make it easier for consumers to choose the device that will offer the best and most timely information in the event of an emergency."

Some of the enhanced features included in Public Alert-certified devices include on-demand, local and national alert information 24 hours a day triggered by warnings received directly from government sources; specific alerts for specific geographic regions; and messages that automatically activate the device.

The CEA notes that IDT/Oregon Scientific, Midland, Radio Shack, Reecom Electronics, Sima and Viatek are licensed to market products with the Public Alert logo, but these retailers may also carry products that do not meet the criteria established by CEA and NOAA.


House Committee Examines Public TV for Emergency Alerts
Washington - Jun 12, 2006 - John Lawson, president of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS), and Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) are working to convince Congress to pass the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act. Congressman John Shimkus (IL) and Representatives Mary Bono (CA), Charlie Melancon (LA), Phil English (PA) and Albert Wynn (MD) introduced the legislation. Part of the WARN Act proposes to use public TV digital transmitters as the backbone for the reception, relay and retransmission of emergency alert messages.

The APTS recently completed the proof of performance of a Digital Emergency Alert System in a pilot project between the APTS and the Department of Homeland Security. The APTS demonstrated that digital public television stations can act as a wireless network capable of datacasting public alerts and warnings.


President Clinton, Broadcasters Honored for Public Service
Washington - Jun 13, 2006 - Broadcasters gathered on June 12 for the NAB Education Foundation's eighth annual Service to America Awards Celebration. They honored former President Clinton with the Leadership Award, Gulf Coast broadcasters with the Samaritan Award for their relief efforts before, during and after Hurricane Katrina and other local broadcasters.

President Clinton received the Leadership Award for his lifetime commitment to public service. He urged broadcasters to use their collective voice to promote a national culture of public service. President Clinton lauded the power of the combined use of traditional media and the Internet in relief and public service efforts.

The NAB also used the event to announce that local radio and TV stations generated a record $10.3 billion in public service in 2005, through a combination of airtime donated for public service announcements and money raised for charity and disaster relief.

The award winners
Service to America Television Award
WPBF-TV West Palm Beach, FL

Service to America College Radio Award
KMSU- FM Mankato, MN, Minnesota State University

Service to Children Awards
Radio: KVAK-FM/AM Valdez, AK
Television: WLTV-TV Miami, FL

Service to America Partnership Awards
Television: KRON-TV San Francisco, CA, with partners: Students Rising Above, The Peninsula Community Foundation, The Summer Search Foundation
Radio: WTMX-FM Chicago, IL, with partner Children’s Memorial Hospital

Service to America Friend in Need Awards
Television: WSET-TV Lynchburg, VA
Radio: KHUM-FM Ferndale, CA


Commenters Seek to Eliminate Public File Requirements
Washington - Jun 15, 2006 - In January 2006, a petition for rulemaking was filed with the FCC that called for the elimination of the FCC's Public Inspection File rules (73.3526 and 73.3527). On May 19, the petition was assigned FCC rulemaking RM-11332.

Statements to oppose or support are due at the Commission by June 19. Comments can be filed electronically at this link. Enter RM-11332 in the box marked "proceeding."

All the comments to date support the notion of eliminating the Public Inspection File, as is suggested in the original petition.


Business

McDSP, TC Electronic Partner on Licensing
Mountain View, CA, and Westlake Village, CA - Jun 13, 2006 - McDSP and TC Electronic have entered into an impulse response license agreement that allows McDSP to use the impulse responses of the reverbs in the TC Electronic M5000 processor in the McDSP Revolver plug-in software. The agreement also applies to other future McDSP products.

TC Electronic owns intellectual property rights in its reverbs, and the company has noted that a licensing agreement should be arranged for another company to use any of its technology.


Vibes Media to Provide Messaging to CBS Radio
Los Angeles - Jun 7, 2006 - CBS Radio is launching a text messaging service to its listeners to provide an interactive experience that will also benefit advertisers. The deal covers 41 CBS stations to provide the Iradio Instant Response Text Messaging Platform.

Vibes has already offered the service to stations owned by Clear Channel, Emmis, Citadel and XM Satellite Radio. With the system, station listeners can participate in promotions and contests via text messaging on mobile phones.


Sirius Orders Fourth Satellite
New York - Jun 8, 2006 - Sirius Satellite Radio has placed an order with Space Systems/Loral to design and build a new satellite. The satellite is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008. Sirius plans to launch the satellite on a Proton rocket from the International Launch Services (ILS).

Sirius currently flies three satellites in highly elliptical orbits so that at least two of them are visible at any time in the United States. This fourth satellite will complement these three by being launched into a geostationary orbit. This hybrid constellation will provide redundancy and enhanced coverage.

The cost to design, build and launch the satellite will be about $260 million.


Sales Call
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The Howard Stern Show is using Neoscreener call screening software for its Sirius-delivered program. The Neoscreener is linked with a Telos 2101 phone system.
Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group has purchased Harris' Intraplex multiplexers to distribute 16 unique radio programs from the Honggiao Radio Broadcast Building in Shanghai to transmitter sites at four locations that reach the group's entire coverage area.

People

Grimes Named New President of Continental Electronics
Dallas - Jun 14, 2006 - Robert A. Grimes has been named president of Continental Electronics. He will be responsible for all day-to-day operations. His background includes more than 20 years of engineering design, marketing and sales, organizational development and presidential leadership. He comes to Continental Electronics after serving as president of Trak Microwave and a member of the board of directors for Radyne. He also served as manager of international projects for Harris.


Sacks Named Vice President of Axia Audio
Jun 13, 2006 - Cleveland - Marty Sacks returns to the Telos companies as vice president of the Axia Audio division. Sacks was previously national sales director for Telos Systems from 1999 to 2003, overseeing sales for the Telos and Omnia brands. At this new post, Sacks will be responsible for managing the division's growth.

Sacks' career as a broadcast engineer includes American University's WAMU-FM and Washington, DC's WPGC. He helped build sales at Pacific Research and Engineering, was director of radio sales at Electronics Research, and most recently held the post of VP/COO at Streamline Publishing.

Sacks assumes his new position immediately and can be reached at 216-241-7225, or via email at marty@axiaaudio.com.


Eye on IBOC

BE Provides AM HD Radio System in Indonesia
Quincy, IL, and Surabaya, Indonesia - Jun 15, 2006 - Private AM radio has been restored in Indonesia with the installation of a Broadcast Electronics (BE) transmission system broadcasting an HD Radio signal on 1062 in Surabaya, Indonesia. The medium wave HD Radio system was installed on Radio Sangkakala in April. The transmission marks the return of private AM radio to Indonesia, 15 years after private AM stations in Indonesia migrated to FM.

The broadcaster is a religious group affiliated with Bethany Assembly of God, which purchased three adjacent frequencies and began broadcasting HD Radio in hybrid mode from the center frequency at 1,062kHz. The station uses BE AM 10A transmitter with ASI 10 HD signal generator.


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