Radio Currents Online - Jul 11 - Jul 17, 2005


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News

Rep. Hinchey Intros Bill on Media Ownership
Washington - Jul 14, 2005 - Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has introduced the Media Ownership Reform Act of 2005 (MORA). Hinchey, who is the chairman and founder of the congressional Future of American Media (FAM) Caucus, authored the bill because he sees the consolidation of ownership problematic because "only a select group of individuals get to determine what information Americans can receive via television, newspaper, radio and other media."

According to the Congressman's press release, MORA is a broad measure that "seeks to undo the massive consolidation of the media that has been ongoing for nearly 20 years." The bill seeks to restore the Fairness Doctrine, reinstate a national cap on ownership of radio stations, and lower the number of radio stations one company can own in a local market. It further reinstates the 25 percent national television ownership cap, requires regular public interest reports from broadcasters and provides for more independently produced programming on television. The bill establishes new public interest obligations to ensure broadcasters are meeting the needs of local communities and requires increased and sustained public input and outreach so that Americans have a voice in the programming they receive.

Diane Watson (D-CA) is the principal cosponsor of Hinchey's MORA measure.


FCC to Hold FM Auction Seminar
Washington - Jul 13, 2005 - To help applicants prepare for the upcoming FM Auction 62, the FCC will hold a one-day seminar that will provide information about pre-auction procedures, service and auction rules, conduct of the auction and the FCC auction system. The seminar is free. Representatives from each company may attend on a reservation basis, first-come first-served until room capacity is filled. The seminar will be held July 27, 2005, at the FCC offices, 445 12th Street, SW; Washington, DC 20554. Registration is required by July 25.

Registration is open from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The seminar runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hotel information is available by calling 888-225-5322 and selecting option two.

The registration form is available at http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/62/resources/Auction62RegistrationForm.pdfthis link.

The seminar will be available online after seminar. For information, go to wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/default.htm?job=auction_summary&id=62 and scroll down to Auction 62.


FCC Releases FY2005 Regulatory Fees
Washington - Jul 7, 2005 - The FCC has released its schedule of regulatory fees for fiscal year 2005. One significant change in the schedule applies to AM and FM construction permits. When the regulatory fees for construction permits were established in 1994, the fee was set at an amount that was commensurate to the limited nature of station operations under the terms of a construction permit. However, since 1994, the FCC has noted that the amount of fees expected to be collected has increased, while the payment units have decreased. In its notice, the FCC noted that the combination of increasing expected revenue and decreasing payment units for the construction permits has resulted in a regulatory unit fee that is higher than that of some licensed stations.

To rectify this situation, the FCC has set the AM, FM, VHF and UHF construction permit fee to be no higher than the regulatory fee associated with the lowest licensed station for that fee category.

In the FCC's FY 2005 NPRM, the current schedule of regulatory fees does not include service categories for digital broadcasters. Licensees pay regulatory fees based on their analog facilities. While this does not yet apply to radio stations, a licensee that has fully transitioned to digital broadcasting and has surrendered its analog spectrum would have no regulatory fee obligation under the current fee regime.

The FCC does not require AM Expanded Band radio stations to pay regulatory fees for their expanded band AM station at this time.

FY 2005 Radio Station Regulatory Fees ($)
Population ServedAM Class AAM Class BAM Class CAM Class DFM Classes A, B1 and C3FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 and C2
Less than or = 25,000625475375450550725
25,001 to 75,0001,2259255506751,1251,250
75,001 to 150,0001,8251,1507501,1251,5502,300
150,001 to 500,0002,7501,9501,1251,3502,3753,000
500,001 to 1,200,0003,9502,9751,8752,2503,7504,400
1,200,001 to 3,000,006,0754,5752,8253,6006,1007,025
More than 3,000,0007,2755,4753,5754,5007,7509,125

AM Construction Permit: $310
FM Construction Permit: $550

Read the FCC's notice at this link.


NAB Announces 2005 Marconi Radio Awards Finalists
Washington - Jul 11, 2005 - Finalists for the NAB Marconi Radio Awards competition have been selected. Established in 1989, and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. An independent task force selected finalists in 22 categories. Ballots will be sent to members of the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy later this month.

The finalists are:

Legendary Station
KFI-AM Los Angeles, CA
KNBR-AM San Francisco, CA
KSL-AM Salt Lake City, UT
WIBC-AM Indianapolis, IN
WMMR-FM Philadelphia, PA

Network Syndicated Personality of the Year
Bob and Tom, Premiere Radio Networks
Bob and Sheri, Jefferson-Pilot Radio Network
Dr. Joy Browne, WOR Radio Network
Kidd Kraddick, Premiere Radio Networks
Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks

Major Market Station of the Year
KFI-AM Los Angeles, CA
WEEI-AM Boston, MA
WHUR-FM Washington, DC
WPHI-FM Philadelphia, PA
WTOP-AM Washington, DC

Large Market Station of the Year
KIRO-AM Seattle, WA
KQQL-FM Minneapolis, MN
KSTP-FM Minneapolis, MN
WSB-AM Atlanta, GA
WSTR-FM Atlanta, GA

Medium Market Station of the Year
WDBO-AM Orlando, FL
WKUS-FM Norfolk, VA
WQOK-FM Raleigh, NC
WSM-FM Nashville, TN
WTCB-FM Columbia, SC

Small Market Station of the Year
KRCH-FM Rochester, MN
WCIZ-FM Watertown, NY
WIKX-FM Punta Gorda, FL
WJBC-AM Bloomington, IL
WLEN-FM Adrian, MI

Major Market Personality of the Year
Dunham and Miller, KTCK-AM Dallas, TX
Bill Handel, KFI-AM Los Angeles, CA
Glenn Ordway, WEEI-AM Boston, MA
Sam Sylk, WGCI-FM Chicago, IL
Joseph Butterball Tamburro, WDAS-FM Philadelphia, PA

Large Market Personality of the Year
Mario Alberto, KLQV-FM San Diego, CA
Kelly, Jonathan and Mudflap, KYGO-FM Denver, CO
Lanigan and Malone, WMJI-FM Cleveland, OH
Joe Soucheray, KSTP-AM Minneapolis, MN
Steve and Vikki, WSTR-FM Atlanta, GA

Medium Market Personality of the Year
Dave Daniels and Darrin Cantrell, KJUG-FM Visalia, CA
Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis, WLHT-FM Grand Rapids, MI
Brent Johnson, WTCB-FM Columbia, SC
Dino Tripodis and Stacy McKay, WSNY-FM Columbus, OH
Don Weeks, WGY-AM Albany, NY

Small Market Personality of the Year
Brian Filzen, KNUJ-AM New Ulm, MN
Bobby Gaye, KSJB-AM Jamestown, ND
Ward Jacobson and Cathy Blythe, KFOR-AM Lincoln, NE
Allan James, WZWZ-FM Kokomo, IN
Eric McGuire, WVAQ-FM Morgantown, WV

AC Station of the Year
KOIT-FM San Francisco, CA
WALK-FM Long Island, NY
WBEB-FM Philadelphia, PA
WLHT-FM Grand Rapids, MI
WZID-FM Manchester, NH
Adult Standards Station of the Year
KEZW-AM Denver, CO
KJUL-FM Las Vegas, NV
KKZZ-AM Ventura, CA
WAMB-AM Nashville, TN
WNAK-FM Nanticoke, PA

CHR Station of the Year
KQKS-FM Denver, CO
KTTB-FM Minneapolis, MN
WPOW-FM Miami, FL
WSTR-FM Atlanta, GA
WVAQ-FM Morgantown, WV

Classical Station of the Year
KDFC-FM San Francisco, CA
KFUO-FM St. Louis, MO
WCPE-FM Wake Forest, NC
WFMR-FM Milwaukee, WI
WRR-FM Dallas, TX

Country Station of the Year
WGH-FM Norfolk, VA
WIVK-FM Knoxville, TN
WTHI-FM Terre Haute, IN
WUSY-FM Chattanooga, TN
WXTU-FM Philadelphia, PA

NAC/Jazz Station of the Year
KIFM-FM San Diego, CA
KSDS-FM San Diego, CA
WJJZ-FM Philadelphia, PA
WNWV-FM Cleveland, OH
WQCD-FM New York, NY

News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year
KIRO-AM Seattle, WA
KTCK-AM Dallas, TX
WGY-AM Albany, NY
WIBC-AM Indianapolis, IN
WJBC-AM Bloomington, IL

Oldies Station of the Year
KCMO-FM Kansas City, MO
KQQL-FM Minneapolis, MN
WCIZ-FM Watertown, NY
WMXJ-FM Miami, FL
WNCT-FM Greenville, NC

Religious Station of the Year
KCMS-FM Seattle, WA
KLTY-FM Dallas, TX
KSBJ-FM Houston, TX
WFMV-FM Columbia, SC
WTLC-AM Indianapolis, IN

Rock Station of the Year
KCFX-FM Kansas City, MO
KOZT-FM Fort Bragg, CA
WFBQ-FM Indianapolis, IN
WMMR-FM Philadelphia, PA
WPYX-FM Albany, NY

Spanish Station of the Year
KFLC-AM Dallas, TX
KLNV-FM San Diego, CA
KLVE-FM Los Angeles, CA
KSCA-FM Los Angeles, CA
KSSE-FM Los Angeles, CA

Urban Station of the Year
KBLX-FM San Francisco, CA
WBLS-FM New York, NY
WERQ-FM Baltimore, MD
WRKS-FM New York, NY
WTLC-FM Indianapolis, IN

The winners in each category will be announced on Sept. 22 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.


Deadline Set for LPFM Comments
Washington - Jul 8, 2005 - The FCC released the notice that it sought comments on proposed changes to the LPFM rules last March, but the deadlines for comments and reply comments have just been set. The comments are due 30 days after the notice appeared in the Federal Register, which was done on July 7. Comments are due Aug. 8. Reply comments are due by Aug. 22. Among other things, the proceeding proposes changes to the FCC's rules governing ownership transfer of LPFM stations and the interference limit's the stations must afford full-power stations.


Business

XM to Acquire WCS Wireless
Washington - Jul 13, 2005 - XM Satellite Radio has signed an agreement to acquire WCS Wireless, a private entity, for 5.5 million shares of XM Common Stock. The principal assets of WCS Wireless are wireless spectrum licenses in geographic areas covering 163 million people throughout the United States, including 15 of the top 20 metropolitan markets. On average, WCS Wireless licenses include 10MHz in the frequency bands adjacent to XM's satellite radio service. XM and WCS Wireless expect to close the transaction before the end of the year, subject to necessary government approvals.

XM's sees the acquisition of WCS Wireless as a way to expand its existing business with a variety of multimedia subscription services, including video and data. XM expects to announce more detailed plans for the use of this additional spectrum in the future.


Dmarc Moves Maestro Support, Adds Features
Overland Park, KS - Jul 13, 2005 - Dmarc has relocated the support offices for its Maestro products to a new high-tech facility in Overland Park, KS, just outside Kansas City. The 2,600 square-foot facility houses the support, quality assurance, research and development departments for Maestro and Maestro Protege products.

At the same time, Dmarc is releasing Maestro Version 3.3.3 with upgrades including quicker startup and import/export features for WAV and MP2 files. Maestro was first introduced in 1995.

The new office address is 10800 Farley, Suite 220; Overland Park, KS 66210. Sales and customer service are in Dallas at the Scott Studios headquarters and can be reached at 800-726-8877 for sales or 800-255-6350 for customer service. Dmarc's headquarters are in Newport Beach, CA.


Arbitron Reaches PPM Recruiting Goal for Houston Trial
New York - Jul 12, 2005 - Arbitron has reached its goal of recruiting 2,100 consumers, age six and older, to participate in the Houston demonstration of its Portable People Meter (PPM) system. One reason for testing the system in Houston was to demonstrate Arbitron's ability to recruit a PPM panel in an ethnically diverse market, and further demonstrate that Hispanic and Black consumers will participate in a PPM media panel.

Arbitron will also demonstrate two new technical innovations in the PPM system in Houston. One technical advancement makes it possible to automatically distinguish in-home and out-of-home radio and TV use. The other addition enables the PPM to automatically detect and measure time-shifted viewing and listening done with digital video recorders (DVRs) and digital audio recorders (DARs).

The Houston data that will be released in September and every month thereafter will include the new consumer measures. The Houston demonstration will continue through the Winter of 2006.


BE Supplies Equipment for 10 Bosnia FMs
Quincy, IL - Jul 13, 2005 - The NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina acquired new Broadcast Electronics (BE) transmitters this month that, along with BE transmitters sent in 2004, are being used to establish 10 new radio stations in nine cities. The new stations are part of the Radio Mir network, which promotes national unification. BE has been involved in the region since the SFOR erected its first FM to communicate with the population.

In 2004, the SFOR purchased Broadcast Electronics' FM 1C1 solid-state transmitter, FM 2C solid-state transmitter and FM 5C solid-state transmitter with FXI 60/250 digital FM exciters, plus a Marti STL 20C studio-to-transmitter link. Last month, the SFOR added two BE FM 5C transmitters and another FM 3C transmitter as well as two FXI 250 digital FM exciters, among other equipment.


Promo Only MPE Hits 3,000 User Mark
Orlando, FL - Jul 11, 2005 - Promo Only MPE has surpassed the 3,000 mark for radio programmers and directors using the system. The Promo Only MPE System launched its music industry digital distribution in October 2004. To date, Promo Only MPE has delivered more than 800 tracks for Universal Music Group (UMG) and more than 1,500 tracks overall for labels including Warner Bros. Records, RCA Music Group, Atlantic Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Jive Records, Virgin Records, Rhino Records, Curb Records and major Christian Record labels.


AEG, AOL, XM Form Network Live
New York, Los Angeles and Washington - Jul 12, 2005 - A joint venture between AEG, America Online, XM Satellite Radio and Kevin Wall has been launched as Network Live. The venture creates a multi-platform digital entertainment company that will deliver live entertainment through the Internet, satellite, broadcast and other media. Wall, who most recently served as executive producer of Live 8, is the chief executive officer of the new company.

Network Live will produce live programming focusing on music and comedy performances; many of them originating from AEG-owned or operated venues. AOL and XM will promote the events to their subscribers.


Rohde and Schwarz to Supply Qualcomm with Transmitters for Mediaflo
Columbia, MD - Jul 11 2005 - Rohde and Schwarz has agreed to supply Qualcomm with NV7000 transmitters for the company's Forward Link Only (FLO) technology to be deployed on Mediaflo USA's network. The network will deliver program choices and live, streaming video and audio to U.S. consumers' mobile phones in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Mediaflo USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, will deploy and operate a nationwide media delivery network in cooperation with U.S. wireless operators. The network will deliver 100 channels of video and audio programming to third-generation (3G) mobile phones. Mediaflo expects to begin commercial operation of the new network in 2006.


Sales Call
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  • Family-owned KMTX purchased an FMI 106 transmitter package from Broadcast Electronics as the first step in a five-year HD Radio plan that includes multicasting, data services and listener education of digital radio. The transmission package is for KMTX FM 105.3 in Helena, MT.
  • Clear Channel Denver, comprised of eight regional radio stations, will upgrade eight existing Harris Intraplex Crossconnect servers and add four additional systems this summer to build closed-ring audio transmission paths for KRFX-FM, KBPI-FM, KMGG-FM and KTCL-FM. Coupled with Harris DCS-9560-ACC Crossconnect frames, Intraplex Enhanced Apt-x audio cards will establish signal redundancy between the main transmitter facilities, auxiliary sites and on-air studios.
  • People

    Harris Makes Key Appointments
    Cincinnati - Jul 11, 2005 - Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications Division (BCD) announced a series of personnel appointments and internal promotions within its Radio Broadcast Systems business unit.

    Tom Jones, who most recently served as director, Radio Transmission products, has been promoted to director, Radio Engineering. In his new role, Jones will provide leadership to all radio RF engineering resources and be responsible for new product development, cost reduction activities and engineering utilization across the business unit. He will oversee a staff that includes David Sparano.

    Sparano, who held positions for Harris BCD from 1995 to 2003 (including principal design engineer), rejoins Harris as project engineer, Product Optimization. In his new role, he will focus on optimizing Harris radio products through incorporation of customer feedback, product design changes, improved supply chain management, more efficient manufacturing methods and shorter processing times. Jones' organization also includes Ted Staros, director, radio engineering - consoles; Jeff Malec, senior manager, radio engineering - transmission; and Kim Rosevold, supervisor, radio sustaining and support.

    The business unit's systems and consoles business will also see changes with the promotion of J.T. Barclay to product line director, Radio Systems and Consoles. Barclay brings nearly 11 years of experience with Harris to his new role where he will also oversee the systems engineering team led now by Scott Russell, systems engineering supervisor. In his new position, Barclay will oversee all aspects of the business unit's radio systems and consoles business.


    Humke Appointed Orban/CRL VP of Manufacturing
    Tempe, AZ - Jul 15, 2005 - Patricia Humke has been appointed to the position of vice president of manufacturing for Orban/CRL and Orban-Europe. She will supervise the manufacturing, purchasing, production scheduling, technical services and inventory control of all company locations.

    Since being hired in 2004, Humke has achieved substantial improvements in manufacturing productivity, purchasing effectiveness and production control. Humke is also helping lead the effort to assure the company's compliance with the European Union's new manufacturing and recycling directives on Restrictions on Hazardous Waste (RoHS) and Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in a timely and cost-effective manner.

    Humke is a graduate of Quincy University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. From 1975 to 2004, she was an employee of Harris. She worked her way through Harris to her final assignment as the senior site manager and director of operations of the Harris facility in Carlsbad, CA. During her years with Harris, she took on a wide range of assignments from manufacturing mini-factory team manager in Quincy, IL, to manufacturing manager in Cambridge, England.


    Products

    Steinberg Unveils Cubase SX/SL 3.1
    Hamburg, Germany - Jul 12 2005 - Steinberg Media Technologies released an updated for Cubase SX3 and Cubase SL3 music production systems. Cubase SX/SL 3.1 offers new features and capabilities including full integration of external hardware instruments and effects including Studio Connections Audio integration, support for Steinberg's Dolby Digital and DTS encoders and expanded editing and mixing functions. The update will be available for download in August 2005.

    Among the new features coming to Cubase SX with the 3.1 update is the latest stage of the ongoing Studio Connections collaboration between Steinberg and Yamaha, which allows Yamaha hardware to be integrated in Steinberg host applications. Also new to Cubase SX 3.1 is the ability to control external hardware effects via MIDI, giving full control over external effects hardware from within Cubase SX.

    Cubase SX 3.1 now includes support for Steinberg's optional Dolby Digital and DTS encoder plug-ins.


    Bird Electronic Commemorates 300,000th Model 43 With Charity Auction
    Solon, OH - Jul 11, 2005 - Bird Electronic has reached the 300,000 unit mark on the production of its Model 43 Thruline wattmeter. To commemorate the event, an auction will be held for the 300,000th unit itself, presented with a special gold-plated finish.

    The auction is planned to begin on Aug. 1 and close on Aug. 30. It will be hosted online by www.auctionfire.com, and bidding is open to anyone. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to a charity organization of the winner's choosing.

    Bird began production of this wattmeter in 1952, and the Model 43 quickly became a cornerstone of the industry. It was the first device manufactured on a production scale for the radio industry that allowed RF energy to flow through the device, and this function is the basis for the Thruline name.


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