Radio Currents Online - Jul 3 - Jul 9, 2006


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

FCC to Discuss Digital Radio in July 13 Meeting
Washington - Jul 6, 2006 - The FCC will hold an open meeting on Thursday, July 13, 2006. The meeting will commence at 9:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. On the published agenda, the Media Bureau has slated the topic of digital audio broadcasting systems and their impact on the terrestrial radio broadcast service. The Commission will consider a Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding digital audio broadcasting.


Civil Emergency Message Accidentally Sent to California Counties
Santa Barbara County, CA - Jun 27, 2006 - California conducted an intended closed-circuit test of its new EAS equipment on June 27, but unfortunately, the equipment at KHTY-FM, the LP-1 station for Santa Barbara, was fully functional and relayed the message intact. The test was broadcast as a Civil Emergency Message (CEM) without any additional details and no end of message (EOM) information. The alert was carried by most of the participating radio, TV and cable TV companies in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The CGC Communicator reports that 911 was flooded with inquiries.

A letter from J. D. Strahler, chairman of the Santa Barbara LECC, sent to the area EAS participants is posted on the CGC website. It states that the LP-1 station had installed emergency message distribution equipment from Capcom and was testing the system when the error occurred. The warning was sent at 2:29 p.m. and was effective until 8:29 p.m. on June 27.

The local EAS plan for the area codes CEM messages as must-carry. The message was coded as covering the entire state of California. As a result of the error, the Capcom vendor has changed its test procedure and will not use the CEM code for future tests.

The Santa Barbara LP-1 relayed the message, and a station employee realized the problem once the CEM header was sent. In an effort to abort the test relay, the LP-1's EAS unit was unplugged. This removed the audio message stating, "This is a test…" and prevented the LP-1 unit from sending an EOM code. The Ventura County LP-1 also relayed the message, but inserted its own EOM.

Participating stations relayed the audio of the Santa Barbara LP-1 for two minutes until the EAS units timed out. For radio station listeners, the error only placed another station's audio on the carrier. For TV stations, the video crawl indicated that there was a civil emergency but provided no additional details.

At 2:56 p.m., nearly 30 minutes after the warning was issued, Laura Hernandez, manager of the Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services for Ventura County, issued an e-mail message to community officials, which almost immediately ended the 911 calls. The message detailed the problem and asked stations to advise the public that the message was sent in error.

While mass panic from the mistake did not ensue, the test error has shown some faults in the region's EAS setup.


Business

Lackness Starts Converse RF
San Antonio - Jun 30, 2006 - John Lackness, most recently the sales manager for Marti Electronics in Quincy, IL, has left that company and returned to San Antonio where he has founded Converse RF, a broadcast equipment dealership. The venture began in March 2006.

According to Lackness, he does not want to operate Converse RF like the bigger suppliers. He will focus solely on the radio broadcast industry.

Lackness' career in radio began at a station in Floresville, TX. In 1978 he began working for stations in San Antonio. In 1995 he began working for Crouse-Kimzey.

Contact Converse RF at www.converserf.com or 210-775-2725.




Sales Call
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XM Satellite Radio and Fútbol de Primera are using Klotz Digital's broadcast equipment during the FIFA World Cup Soccer Championship 2006. XM and Fútbol de Primera are running one of the largest radio broadcast facilities in the International Media Center in Munich. The studios are equipped with a Vadis 880, and two Vadis 210 audio engines are used as console audio frames as well as central DSP and audio router with integrated level meter, EQ, gain and dyn.
Omnia-6EX audio processors have been purchased by WLTQ, Sarasota, FL; WIFE, Cincinnati; WCDX, Richmond, VA; KOMR, Phoenix; KZWY, Sheridan, WY; and WNUA, Chicago.
Telos' Profiler is now logging audio at WINS, New York; KTRU, Houston; Clear Channel, Pensacola, FL; and WCBM, Baltimore, MD.
Radio France Internationale is equipping its 18 on-air studios within the Maison de la radio in Paris with Netia's Air-DDO play-out software.
Lawo is supplying one Nova 73 HD router, two mc²66 consoles, one Zirkon XL and one Zirkon to the RTL Media Corner building of the RTL Group in Brussels. By the end of 2006, about 700 staff will be working under the new roof in TV, radio and sales.
Broadcast Electronics is equipping six new FM stations in Ethiopia with its Audiovault digital media systems, its FM 1kW transmitters, as well as STL's, towers, generators, and full turnkey installation and training.

People

Tascam Promotes Two to Manager Positions
Montebello, CA - Jul 5, 2006 - Tascam has promoted two of its veteran employees. Johnny DeLeon has been promoted to computer products channel manager and will handle Gigastudio software products and all of Tascam's computer interface products. DeLeon previously held sales and product manager positions at IK Multimedia, M-Audio and other soft-synth manufacturers.

Margie Ulm has been named Tascam's marketing communications specialist. She has been a Teac (Tascam's parent company) employee for more than 15 years, having held different positions; most recently as senior trade show coordinator. She will also continue managing Tascam's trade show coordination.


Products

Audio-Technica Updates Artist Series
Stowe, OH - Jul 5, 2006 - Audio-Technica has released the next generation of its Artist Series microphones. The updated mics are the result of market research and consultation with touring artists and live sound engineers.

The Artist Series vocal microphones offer broad frequency response and low handling noise in a durable design. Hand-held vocal models include the ATM710 cardioid condenser, ATM610 hypercardioid dynamic and ATM410 cardioid dynamic.

The Artist Series includes new models optimized specifically for instruments. These instrument microphones feature fast transient response, low distortion/noise and rugged construction. The Artist Series instrument microphones include the ATM650 hypercardioid dynamic and ATM450 cardioid condenser along with a clip-on model, the ATM350 cardioid condenser.


Eye on IBOC

Ibiquity Digital Launches New Business-to-Business Website
Columbia, MD - Jul 6, 2006 - Ibiquity Digital has launched its new corporate website at www.ibiquity.com. The website has been redesigned and expanded to better provide Ibiquity's current and future partners access to HD Radio information and materials tailored to the needs of their individual industries, such as automotive, broadcasting, equipment manufacturing and retail. Consumers seeking information on HD Radio programming content and listener benefits can link directly from the Ibiquity website to www.hdradio.com, which is administered by the HD Digital Radio Alliance.

Ibiquity has also hired Annemarie Sova to be the corporate marketing manager, with responsibilities including oversight of the new website and www.hdradioplaybook.com, www.hdradiouniversity.com and other marketing materials. Prior to joining Ibiquity, Sova worked as a marketing specialist at Nieto Engineering where she developed all of the company's marketing materials in addition to managing its trade show program. Sova reports to Vicki Stearn, director of corporate marketing.


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