Radio Currents Online - Jul 18 - Jul 24, 2005

        Radio on FacebookJoin us on Facebook

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

Click here to view the Currents Online archive.
Click here to receive the Currents Online Weekly E-mail.


Eastlan Survey: 80 Percent of Americans Have Little Interest In Satellite Radio
Sisters, OR - Jul 20, 2005 - The interest in satellite radio seems unchanged over the past four years, according to a study released by Eastlan Resources. The finding: 80 percent of Americans remain unlikely to subscribe to satellite radio in the future. These findings are from an Eastlan Resources study of 2,512 Americans (12 years or older) conducted in the first quarter of 2005.

The new data echoes the findings of an Eastlan study from Spring 2001 in which 80 percent of Americans questioned would have no interest in purchasing a new satellite-delivered radio service that offered dozens of commercial-free radio channels for a monthly fee of around $10.00. Details of the 2001 study are available at

In the new study, Eastlan found that 5 percent of those studied are currently subscribing to satellite radio while another 9 percent are likely to subscribe to satellite radio sometime in the future.

In addition, 5 percent of those participating in the study had never heard of satellite radio, and 37 percent of those unaware of satellite radio were 65 or older.

While the data sounds promising for terrestrial radio, it could be interpreted that 20 percent of Americans are interested in satellite radio, which equates to nearly 60 million people. It is unlikely that many terrestrial radio stations would be willing to summarily lose 20 percent of their audience.

NAB Calls for Speakers for NAB2006
Las Vegas - Jul 20, 2005 - The NAB is looking for technology speakers to keynote and participate in panel sessions to be scheduled during NAB2006 April 22-27, 2006. Speakers will have the opportunity to express their opinions concerning the opportunities and challenges of the new media age. Interested individuals should submit a 200 word summary of your topic, a brief biography and contact information by Friday, Oct. 7, 2005.

The NAB is also looking for presenters for the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference. This is a technical conference where presenters deliver technical papers ranging over a variety of topics relevant to the broadcast and allied industries. Presentations are limited to 30 minutes in length, including five or 10 minutes for questions from the audience. The NAB invites interested individuals to submit a proposal to present a technical paper at our conference. Proposals should be clearly written and be no more than 200 words in length. The proposal should explain what conference attendees can expect to learn from your paper. Papers are due Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. The selection process will begin at that time.

For more information on the speaking opportunities visit

NPR Releases KCSN Booster Test Data
NPR has released an engineering test report detailing the results of using synchronous booster transmitters with hybrid IBOC digital FM transmission systems. The report is the product of six months of testing on the boosted signal of public radio station KCSN-FM, licensed to California State University, Northridge, in conjunction with National Public Radio.

For those unacquainted, booster technology involves the application of a secondary source, co-channel, phase synchronized FM signal used to fill in substantial gaps in an FM broadcast station's coverage, usually caused by terrain-induced shadows. The booster transmitter is generally situated at the approximate center of the gap, with precise control applied to the power level and phase of the booster transmitter, to present a relatively smooth transition between signals for mobile receivers operating in the mobile environment.

But along with the rigorous requirements imposed by analog FM, Ibiquity's HD Radio technology adds another layer of complexity to the equation when main and booster signals carry a hybrid IBOC signal. Precise timing adjustment must be made not only between the digital and analog signals on each transmitter in regard to the digital signal's latency, but also between each transmitter's analog and digital signals.

KCSN is reported to be the first FM station to have tested the technologies in tandem, and did so with the combined assistance of NPR, Broadcast Electronics and Harris.

The testing reportedly involved measurements made at more than 40,000 locations, compiled using GPS coordinate data and analyzed with computer mapping software.

Results are said to be promising, with signal improvements of as much as 40dB with the booster transmitter operating and few negative byproducts generated by the two-source system.

The complete report can be viewed courtesy of NPR at this link.

RAB Releases PPM Analysis
New York - Jul 15, 2005 - The Research Subcommittee of the Radio Advertising Bureau PPM Task Force has released a preliminary report that analyzes the commercial viability of the PPM from a research perspective. This is a separate report from the PPM Economic Impact Study that will be released at a press conference on July 20.

Distributed to the RAB board of directors, radio industry leaders and the radio trade press, the report provides detail on specific research questions about the implementation of the PPM. The subcommittee developed 188 questions about the implementation of the PPM, the vast majority of which Arbitron has provided answers to so that the subcommittee can conduct an evaluation of the PPM device. The remaining questions will be answered from the forthcoming Houston market test.

View a PDF of the report at this link.

The Research Subcommittee was formed in January of 2004 and was given a clear mandate by the RAB Board of Directors to determine the feasibility of the PPM as a commercial service from the research side of the business.


Transaudio Group Adds Heil Sound Mics to line
Las Vegas - Jul 21, 2005 - Transaudio Group has signed an agreement to distribute Heil Sound's line of microphones throughout the United States. The Heil Sound PR 20, PR 30 and PR 40 have been developed for broadcast, recording and live sound applications.

XM Invests in Worldspace
Washington - Jul 19, 2005 - XM Satellite Radio has made a strategic investment of $25 million in the common stock of Worldspace, a satellite radio provider for Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In connection with the investment, XM will cooperate with Worldspace to develop satellite radio products, technology and distribution and supplier networks.

In addition, XM will have warrants to acquire $37.5 million in additional Worldspace stock and an option to invest along with Worldspace and other partners in various countries around the world.

Worldspace provides news, music and educational programming to a global service area through its subscription service with its two geo-stationary satellites, Afristar and Asiastar.

Worldspace was a founding stockholder in XM, but sold its interest in XM in 1999.

Radiosoft Acquires Slattery Software Assets
Toccoa, GA - Jul 20, 2005 - Radiosoft has acquired Slattery Software's FCC-related businesses and all its intellectual property. Slattery Software provides online products for filing FCC forms, performing frequency searches and completing data analysis. Slattery Software formerly competed with Frequency Finder, a Radiosoft company.

Radiosoft's first order of business is the development of an interface for both products. Slattery Software customers can call Radiosoft at 706-754-2725 with questions or visit for more information about the company and its products.

Comet Opens Silicon Valley Technical Resource Center
Stamford, CT - Jul 15, 2005 – Comet has opened a new technical resource center in San Jose, CA. The new office provides more than twice the space of the previous West Coast facility. The 5,200 square-foot facility was chosen primarily due to the efficient layout of the building and its proximity to existing customers in the area.

The new facility will serve as a center of excellence for the Comet North America service team providing the ability to inventory the entire line of Comet products and perform onsite service and repairs. The technical resource center features three inspection service laboratories with x-ray inspection systems.

Erinmedia Allies with Navigauge with Plans for Acquisition
St. Petersburg, FL - Jul 20, 2005 - TV ratings provider Erinmedia has reached an exclusive strategic alliance agreement with Atlanta-based Navigauge, which will enable Erinmedia to acquire Navigauge's key assets and intellectual property in the fourth quarter of 2005, subject to the execution of a definitive agreement. The merger would create a single radio/TV/outdoor ratings service. The board of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the agreement.

Sales Call
  • Broadcast Electronics has been awarded a contract to supply 42 FM transmitters to Antenna Hungaria RT, the largest TV and radio operator in Hungary. The transmitters will be shipped by August 2005. Included in the order are BE FM 5C 5kW solid-state transmitters and BE FXI 250 digital FM exciters.
  • The Findlay Publishing Company has ordered a new Audiovault digital audio system to interconnect seven stations in two states. WFIN-AM and WKXA-FM in Findlay, OH, WCSI-AM, WKKG-FM, WINN-FM, and WWWY-FM in Columbus, IN, and WRBI-FM in Batesville, IN, will connect to the system via a VPN.
  • Quebec's CEGEP School of Radio and Television Broadcasting has purchased an Audioarts networked audio system that includes three D-75 radio consoles, 16 R-55 radio consoles, three ADR-32 routers, 29 XY controllers and prewire for the entire system that is wired to Krone blocks.
  • People

    Hilmer Swanson Dies
    Quincy, IL - Jul 21, 2005 - Hilmer Swanson died July 21 North Adams Home Quincy. He was 72.

    Swanson, born in Davenport, IA, attended Valparaiso Technical Institute in Valparaiso, IN. He served in the Army during the Korean War, and graduated from the Army Radio Signal School with honors.

    After working a short time at Bendix in Davenport here he worked on his first invention, the Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner, he decided to continue his education at Iowa State University in Ames. He received his bachelor of science degree in engineering from Valparaiso Tech Institute. He then went on to graduate school at the University of Iowa in Iowa City where he worked as a student teacher while working on his master's degree. He was an honorary member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and a life member of IEEE.

    In Cedar Rapids and Dallas, TX, Swanson worked for Collins Radio. A friend suggested he contact Parker Gates about working for Gates Radio. Gates was interested in AM transmitters and gave Swanson a desk and lab space. Swanson worked for Gates and then Harris for 35 years. He has been granted 26 patents including patents in the United States, Canada, France, Russia, Australia and the British Commonwealth.

    In 1990 he received the National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Achievement Award. In his honor of this award Harris has named one of its company streets in Swanson's name and also gave John Wood Community College a scholarship in his name for the study of radio broadcast technology. He has received many awards through Harris. The company's highest award, The Harris Fellow, was presented to him at the home office in Melbourne, FL.

    Swanson retired in 1999. Since then, he and his wife have performed missionary work in Palau, Chili and Estonia by putting Christian AM radio stations on the air.

    Memorial contributions may be made to St. James Radio Broadcast or to his latest project, the Estonia AM Radio Project.

    Information provided by the Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.

    Harris Places Miklich to Oversee Ops in Quincy
    Quincy, IL - Jul 21, 2005 - Chuck Miklich, a manufacturing and engineering management executive, has joined the Harris Broadcast Communications division as director of operations and site executive for the Quincy, IL, operation. The Quincy operation manufactures Harris' line of analog and digital radio and TV broadcast transmission systems and provides training and service and parts support.

    Before joining Harris, Miklich served as vice president of manufacturing for the Stahl Division of Scott Fetzer, a manufacturer of commercial truck equipment based in Wooster, OH. Previously he held a variety of manufacturing positions, including 16 years at Modine Manufacturing in Jefferson City, MO.

    Miklich holds a bachelor's degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and an MBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    Mouser Appoints New VP of Sales
    Mansfield, TX - Jul 20, 2005 - Mouser Electronics has hired Tim Sanghera as the vice president of sales. Sanghera has more than 17 years experience in developing corporate strategies, technology roadmaps and marketing programs at the corporate level of several companies.

    Most recently Sanghera served as vice president of semiconductor products for Digi-Key. Prior to that post, he was distribution sales manager for the Americas at Winbond Electronics, focusing on business development and marketing mixed-signal, non-volatile, I/O and memory products. Sanghera has also held positions within the distribution sales team of Sharp Electronics, marketing that company's LCD, opto, memory and ARM-based products.

    Zeni Moves to New Role at Orban/CRL
    Tempe, AZ - Jul 20, 2005 - Phillip T. Zeni Sr. has been tapped to fill a newly created position as executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions for Orban/CRL. Zeni has held the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company since 2002.

    RFA Founder, President to Retire
    Washington - Jul 19, 2005 - Richard Richter will retire July 29 as founding president of Radio Free Asia (RFA) after more than a half-century in print, broadcast and electronic media. Richter, a long-time executive producer with ABC, CBS and PBS TV, was chosen by the bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to launch RFA in 1996, shortly after Congress authorized its creation as a surrogate broadcaster to provide news and information to East Asian countries that lack free media.

    Under Richter, RFA has launched news broadcasts to the closed countries of East Asia in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, Wu (Shanghaiese), Tibetan, Uyghur and Vietnamese. RFA reporters broadcast to their homelands using their native languages and dialects. RFA also maintains a website in nine languages at .

    Before founding RFA, Richter worked for 25 years at ABC News and CBS News as a producer, senior producer and executive producer for news and documentaries. He is a founding senior producer of Good Morning America. Richter worked as executive producer for the Public Broadcast Laboratory, a two-year experiment in public TV, which preceded the creation of PBS, before joining ABC.

    From 1989-94, Richter was at Washington PBS affiliate WETA as executive producer of news and public affairs. He managed production of Washington Week in Review, news specials and other documentary programs and series for broadcast on PBS.

    Richter began his career as a reporter for Newsday and went on to work as a writer and editor for The New York World-Telegram and The Sun. He received a B.A. in English from Queens College in New York. He also was the recipient of the CBS News Fellowship at Columbia University for the study of African affairs, and from 1963-67 he served on the Peace Corps staff in Washington and Kenya.

    The BBG has named Libby Liu, RFA's vice president for administration and finance, as the acting president of the corporation until a new president is selected.

    AES Charter Member and Former Executive Director Dies
    New York - Jul 19, 2005 - Donald J. Plunkett, a charter member of the Audio Engineering Society, executive director for 20 years and past president, passed away in New York on July 15. Plunkett was 81 years old.

    As a young man, Plunkett came across a Columbia Graphaphone cylinder recording reproducing machine in his grandparent's attic, and thus began a life-long love affair with recording. His career highlights include working at NBC, Capitol Records, Fairchild Recording Equipment and with other professional audio pioneers such as Emory Cook, in equipment manufacture and operation. He was involved in the fledgling independent record market in the days when it was regarded as a niche market, and the 78 rpm lacquer disk was state-of-the-art.

    In January 1948, Plunkett met Norman Pickering and Ted Lindenberg who were part of the organizing committee for the Audio Engineering Society. He became a member of the committee and was involved in the formation of the society in February 1948. He attended the first formal meeting of the AES in March 1948. From that point the society moved ahead rapidly. During its formative years, Plunkett was president, executive vice president and governor. Following the society's first two pivotal decades he was appointed AES executive director in 1974. In the ensuing years, he was responsible for the expansion of membership into Europe and the implementation and stability of AES conventions in several parts of the world. He remained active in AES affairs far beyond its 50th anniversary in 1998, attending international conventions and serving as a good will ambassador.

    Plunkett received numerous AES honors throughout his more than 50 years of active service. These include fellowship and honorary awards, and the Distinguished Service Medal.

    Dmarc Names Director of Media Relations and Events
    Newport Beach, CA - Jul 16, 2005 - Dana Honor has been named the director of media relations and events at Dmarc. Formerly the director of meetings and events for the Radio Advertising Bureau, Honor has more than 10 years of event planning and management. She will manage media relations and coordinate Dmarc's participation at radio and advertising events and conferences, and will be based in Dallas at Dmarc's Scott Studios offices.


    Pomona Electronics Releases New Broadcast Product Catalog
    Everett, WA - Jul 21, 2005 - Pomona Electronics has released a new broadcast product catalog. The 24-page catalog features more than 150 broadcast connectivity products.

    Click here to receive the Radio magazine Currents Online Weekly E-mail.

    Acceptable Use Policy
    blog comments powered by Disqus

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Today in Radio History

    Milestones From Radio's Past

    The history of radio broadcasting extends beyond the work of a few famous inventors.

    EAS Information More on EAS

    NWS XML/Atom Feed for CAP Messages

    The feed provides feeds for all US states and territories.

    Wallpaper Calendar

    Radio 2014 Calendar Wallpaper

    Need a calendar for your computer desktop? Use one of ours.

    The Wire

    A virtual press conference

    Information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements.

    Join Us Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
    Radio magazine cover

    Current Issue

    National Public Radio

    Building For The Future

    Browse Back Issues

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]