Radio Currents Online - Jul 4 - Jul 10, 2005


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

Crawford Accelerates HD Radio Rollout
Denver - Jul 6, 2005 - The Crawford Broadcasting Company announced plans to convert the majority of its stations to HD Radio during the next three years. In addition, Crawford has obtained experimental authority from the FCC to test HD Radio multicasting on all of its FM HD Radio stations. These tests are scheduled to begin soon.

Five Crawford stations already transmit IBOC signals: WMUZ-FM, Detroit; WPTR-FM, Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY; WPWX-FM and WSRB-FM, Chicago; and WYRB-FM, Genoa, IL. HD Radio conversions are underway in Buffalo, NY; Rochester, NY; and Birmingham, AL. Three Denver AM stations will be on the air with HD Radio signals this fall.


FCC Seeks Comments on Draft Strategic Plan
Washington - Jul 5, 2005 - The FCC has released a draft of its revised strategic plan for 2006 to 2011. The revision is to comply with the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (1993).

The FCC calls the revised draft strategic plan a "work-in-progress," but notes that it is complete enough to allow public review and comment on the strategic direction of the FCC.

The draft can be reviewed online at www.fcc.gov/omd/strategicplan. General goals are included in the plan that cover the areas of broadband, competition, spectrum, media, public safety and homeland security, modernization of the FCC.

Comments should be sent to timothy.peterson@fcc.gov by Aug. 5, 2005. Written comments can be sent to the FCC; Strategic Plan Comments; Timothy A. Peterson; 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 7? C410; Washington, DC 20554.


Business

Radioscape Expands in Asia-Pacific Market
London - Jul 8, 2005 - Radioscape opened new offices in Hong Kong as part of a multi-million dollar expansion into the Asia-Pacific region. Radioscape opened its initial premises less than one year ago with six employees. The new Asia Pacific Operations Centre will have a staff of 20 by the end of this quarter with all core functions being represented in Hong Kong.

The Operations Centre provides local sales and engineering support for radio manufacturers who are primarily based in southern China and is the hub of Radioscape's module manufacturing and logistics team. Radioscape also has a dedicated customization group in the centre, which is being expanded to create additional engineering facilities for custom software and hardware development.


Emmis Selects Creative Studio Solutions for Phoenix Project
Wheat Ridge, CO, and Phoenix - Jul 7, 2005 - Emmis Radio has chosen Creative Studio Solutions to design and integrate its new studios at KKFR in Phoenix. CSS will design and integrate three new studios for KKFR: one on-air studio, two production studios and a master control.

KKFR is building new studios after a swap of stations with Bonneville Broadcasting in January 2005. Emmis swapped KTAR-AM, KMVP-AM and KKLT-FM for Bonneville's WLUP-FM located in Chicago.

KKFR will use Wheatstone Gen-6 consoles and Mager Systems studio furniture in the new studios.


LBA Group to Distribute Tomco Equipment in North, South America
Greenville, NC - Jul 5, 2005 - The LBA Group has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for North and South America between its subsidiary LBA Technology and Tomco Technologies of Norwood, Australia. The agreement includes Tomco's TE1000 line of RF Vector Voltmeters and access to its lines of high power amplifiers and transmitters.

The TE1000 measures vector impedance, VSWR, return loss and other parameters in a lightweight, battery-powered package. Included Windows software enables an array of additional swept data capture, display and control options when used with a computer.

In addition, LBA will offer Tomco's line of RF amplifiers. These broadband amplifiers are available in a range of frequency bands from 40kHz to 500MHz, and a range of peak power levels from 50W to 8kW.


XM Eyes 5 Million Mark
Washington - Jul 5, 2005 - XM Satellite Radio Chairman Gary Parson says that his company now stands poised to behold a sight that no satellite radio provider has yet witnessed--black ink on its balance sheet.

During a recent speaking engagement in Detroit, Parson indicated that XM has passed the four million subscribers level and is on track to have about 5.5 million paying customers by the time the year is out, placing the company in a position to move into positive cash flows in 2006.

According to Parson, one million subscribers can add as much as $100 million to XM's annual cash flow.

Stock analysts, sometimes skittish in the past due to the large losses XM and its major competitor (Sirius) accumulated during start up and build out of their infrastructure, have lately been bullish on the technology. Most observers agree that either company should do well if they can meet or exceed the 10 million subscribers mark.


Sales Call
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  • Connoisseur Media, based in Westport, CT, has entered into an agreement with Wicks Broadcast Solutions to integrate Wicks' software into Connoisseur's corporate office and 10 new radio stations. Connoisseur Media will standardize on Wicks' Deltaflex traffic and billing software and Interacct accounting system software. Connoisseur will also use Wicks' Control Tower technology to capture corporate reporting data from the first day of the company's operation.
  • John Marquis of Just Great Radio uses the Prophet Systems Nexgen 101 system as part his turnkey system to provide a local radio presence via the Internet to communities without local radio service. The company currently serves stations in Ellsworth, KS, and Garden City, KS.
  • Telos has sold Profiler logging software to Northwestern College Radio; KSSN-FM, Little Rock, AR; WBZX-FM, Columbus, OH; and WYCD-FM, Detroit. Omnia has delivered Omnia-6 processors to WMZQ-FM, Washington, DC; WNVE-FM, Rochester, NY; and KCDX-FM, Phoenix. KCOF-LP in Captain Cook, HI, is using Omnia-A/X. Finally, Axia IP-Audio networks are being installed at Corus Broadcasting, Edmonton, AB; Radio Free Asia, Thailand; KMHD-FM, Mount Hood Community College; and Que Pasa Radio, Winston-Salem, NC.
  • People

    Aschenbrenner Promoted at Journal
    Milwaukee - Jul 6, 2005 - Kent Aschenbrenner has been promoted to director of engineering Great Lakes Region for the Journal Broadcast Group. Aschenbrenner assumes oversight responsibilities for technical engineering of the Journal Broadcast Group operations located in Lansing, MI, Green Bay, WI, and Milwaukee. The announcement was made by Andy Laird, vice president, chief technology officer.

    Aschenbrenner joined WTMJ in 1977 as a broadcast maintenance engineer. In 1990 he became engineer-in-charge, and was promoted to assistant chief engineer in 1997. In 2002 he was promoted to director of engineering - Milwaukee radio and TV operations.

    Aschenbrenner has an associate in applied science (AAS) degree in electrical technology and communications from Milwaukee Area Technical College. He also graduated with honors from Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) with a bachelor of science degree in management systems.


    Products

    Omnia and Axia Release Software Updates
    Cleveland - Jul 8, 2005 - Omnia Audio has released version 7.1 software and Omnia-6 Remote v7.1. Users can download the update at www.omniaaudio.com/support/updates.htm. Questions about the software can be posed to Omnia customer support before it is installed.

    Axia has also posted a firmware update for the Smartsurface (v2.49.53) and the Axia Studio Engine (v2.3.27a5) at www.AxiaAudio.com/downloads. New features include enhanced show profile creation and editing, and enhanced GPIO functions. Axia suggests that users contact Axia support to determine if the software update is appropriate for the installation before being installed.


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