Radio Currents Online - Jul 10 - Jul 16, 2006


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

FCC Deletes HD Radio from Agenda
Washington - Jul 13, 2006 - The FCC held an open meeting on July 13, and a topic of great interest to radio broadcasters was dropped from the agenda. The item, called Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service, was part of the FCC's effort to consider a Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding digital audio broadcasting. The action was to be a part of MM Docket No. 99-325.

No reason has yet been given for the agenda change, nor has there been any indication as to when the item will be considered by the FCC.


Outlook: A Digital EAS?
Washington - Jul 12, 2006 - The New York Times reports that a Washington PBS TV station originated a test of the Digital Emergency Alert System (EAS). The message was sent by satellite to a TV set and a satellite radio receiver. The system is being developed to deliver emergency messages to other devices as well, such as cell phones.

The new system is being developed to send video, audio, documents and graphics. According to the Times, 24 PBS affiliates have the equipment to receive and transmit the digital signal, and by the end of 2007 all PBS affiliates should receive and transmit the signal.

FEMA notes that special receivers will be provided by the end of next year to most radio and TV stations in large cities and to state emergency operations centers so they can automatically tap in to rebroadcast the special digital messages, which will be initiated by the federal government and distributed by PBS members. The new alert system is expected to cost about $5.5 million to test and deploy nationally and $1 million annually to maintain.


Keynote Speakers Announced for 2007 CES
Arlington, VA - Jul 10, 2006 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced its list of keynote speakers for the trade show that will be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 8 to Jan. 11, 2007. The list includes:

  • Bill Gates, chairman and chief software designer of Microsoft. Pre-show keynote address on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Ed Zander, chairman of the board and CEO of Motorola. Opening keynote on Monday, Jan. 8 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Robert Iger, president and CEO of Walt Disney. Afternoon keynote on Monday, Jan. 8 at 4:30 p.m.

    All the keynotes for the 2007 show will take place at The Venetian's Palazzo Ballroom.


    Business

    EAS Oops in Connecticut
    Hartford, CT - Jul 12, 2006 - An Emergency Alert System (EAS) warning, this time in Connecticut, was erroneously sent to stations, but there was no emergency. The warning used the civil emergency code, and it was carried on radio and TV stations in parts of Connecticut and New York.

    The Associated Press reports that the National Weather Service was trying to issue an alert over the marine radio system about a missing boat, but somehow also activated the emergency alert system. Stations were then advised of the error.

    Homeland Security is investigating to determine the cause of the error.

    In February 2005 a false message was sent to Connecticut warning that an evacuation order had been issued. That mistake was caused by human error.

    At the end of June 2006, a false EAS message was sent to parts of southern California with a civil emergency warning.


    Circuit Research Labs Buys Autogram
    Tempe, AZ - Jul 12, 2006 - Circuit Research Labs (CRL) has acquired audio console manufacturer Autogram. The console products will be sold under the name Autogram/CRL. Production, sales and service of Autogram/CRL consoles will move from Plano, TX, to CRL's marketing and production facility located in Benton, AR, in the Little Rock, AR, metro area.

    For more than 30 years, Autogram has manufactured consoles. Autogram founder and President Ernest Ankele, along with his wife and partner DeLores, will remain with the company on a consulting basis for three years during the transition period.

    The Ankeles are long-time friends of CRL president Jay Brentlinger, which was part of the reason for the transaction. The Ankeles had sought a buyer for their company for some time, but did not want to abandon their existing customer base. CRL's focus will be on supporting the existing products and fulfilling orders.

    The CRL facility in Arkansas has sufficient space to handle the Autogram operation. In addition, there is an existing talent pool of electronics designers who previously worked for AT&T.

    CRL has announced no immediate plans for new products under the CRL/Autogram brand.


    Sales Call
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    Rádio Globo, a broadcaster in Latin America, has chosen the Harris 3DX family of products for high-power AM transmission in Brazil. The transmitters, destined for sites in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, will also be outfitted with Harris Dexstar exciters for HD Radio broadcasting.
    CBS Radio has hired RCS to provide commercial airplay data for CBS Radio stations in Detroit and Dallas. This brings the number of CBS Radio markets using Media Monitors data to 10.
    Südwestrundfunk’s multi-purpose radio drama control room 3 in Tuebingen now produces radio drama programs and music programmes using Lawo's eight-fader Zirkon XL mixing console.
    Radio Systems has provided its Millenium digital console and Studio Hub+ CAT-5 wiring to WTWP AM and FM, the Washington Post studios. The Washington Post is broadcasting via a unique arrangement with Washington DC’s Bonneville broadcasting stations.

    People

    NAB Promotes Brown to Executive VP, Conventions and Business Operations
    Washington - Jul 11, 2006 - Chris Brown has been promoted to executive vice president, conventions and business operations, of the the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Brown joined the NAB in 1999 as senior vice president, conventions and expositions, where he has played a lead role planning and executing NAB conventions, including the NAB spring convention in Las Vegas, The NAB Radio Show and NAB New York. During his tenure, the NAB's spring convention grew from 80,000 attendees to more than 105,000 and the number of exhibitors has grown from 1,200 to 1,500.

    Brown replaces Jack Knebel, who retired earlier this year. Brown will oversee the Conventions and Expositions Group, the Advertising and Services Group and the International and Associate Group.

    Prior to coming to NAB, Brown spent three and a half years as vice president of conventions for the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA). While at PCIA, Brown helped build the association's annual convention into the largest show serving the wireless industry. Brown's career also includes a 10-year stint with the Food Marketing Institute where, as director of exhibits, he managed the sale and exhibitor services for one of the top 15 conventions in the United States.

    Brown is the immediate past chairman of the International Association of Exhibition Management, a 3,600 member trade association serving the interests of trade show managers, suppliers and related service providers, and also serves on the board of the Major American Trade Show Organizers. He holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in general administration from the University of Maryland University College.


    Products

    Audio-Technica Updates 3000 Series Wireless Mics
    Stowe, OH - Jul 8, 2006 - Audio-Technica recently added automatic frequency scanning to its 3000 Series UHF diversity wireless mic systems, and now the company is offering the new ATW-T371 hand-held cardioid condenser microphone/transmitter, which uses the company's Artist Series ATM710 cardioid condenser element. The mic is powered by two 1.5V AA batteries with a life of six to eight hours. A dual power switch selects high power for maximum range or low for extended battery life.


    Soundfield Portable Surround Mic Now Shipping
    Las Vegas - Jul 11, 2006 - Las Vegas Pro Audio is now shipping the portable Soundfield ST350 microphone system. The ST350 is comprised of a lightweight multi-capsule microphone and compact mic-pre/control unit that generates surround and stereo simultaneously at balanced line levels.

    The microphone electronics are capable of driving long cable runs, enabling the microphone to be positioned next to or a distance away from its control unit.


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