Radio Currents Online - Jul 24 - Jul 30, 2006


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Exhibit Space Sells out for 2006 NAB Radio Show
Washington - Jul 27, 2006 - The exhibit space for the NAB Radio Show has sold out. More than 100 companies have reserved booth space at the convention this year. The NAB Radio Show will be held Sept. 20 to Sept. 22 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.


Men are Biggest Podcast Users
Hollywood, CA - Jul 20, 2006 - More than six percent of U.S. adults, or about nine million Web users, have downloaded podcasts in the past 30 days, according to The Economics of Podcasting, a report released today by Nielsen Analytics. In a first quarter 2006 study, more than 1,700 participants were surveyed on their podcasting usage. About six percent of respondents described themselves as regular podcast downloaders; more than 75 percent of whom were male. The findings show that a significant percentage, about 38 percent, of active podcast downloaders say they are listening to radio less often.

Some of the key findings of the study:

  • The most successful podcasts garner as many as two million downloads a month, enabling them to attract mainstream advertising.
  • Overall, 60 percent of respondents surveyed said they "always" fast forward past commercials in their podcasts. Women were more likely to fast forward than men, with 67 percent saying they "always fast forward."
  • Given the ability to skip commercials, advertisers are already devising more effective means to reach consumers, such as embedding their messages within the program content or having podcast hosts endorse their products and services.
  • The survey found that the average length of the podcasts being listened to was 44 minutes. This may change with the growing popularity of video podcasts, which generally tend to be shorter.
  • 72 percent of respondents who regularly download podcasts say they download an average of one to three podcasts per week. About 10 percent of all podcast downloaders could be characterized as "heavy users," downloading eight or more podcasts per week.

To gauge podcast usage, Nielsen Media Research is launching several projects that will explore how best to collect and measure podcasting data. The first project, to be launched this fall, will measure a panel of 400 Ipod users with a software application that can be downloaded onto a PC and interface with Itunes software. Each time an Ipod is connected to a computer to sync with Itunes, Nielsen will record all content accessed, and will provide detailed usage information.

Starting in the second half of 2007, Nielsen also will begin testing its Solo Meters for portable media devices. The new meters will track audio and video usage on mobile platforms, whether users connect via Bluetooth technology or a wired headset.


Terrestrial Radio Shows Well in New Music Discovery
Glendale, CA - Jul 21, 2006 - A Bridge Ratings study of music consumers reflects continued satisfaction among a sample of 12 to 54-year-olds for the role terrestrial radio plays in new music discovery. Of the 2,500 people sampled, 45 percent mentioned terrestrial radio as their preferred destination for discovering new music over Internet radio and peer-to-peer sharing networks.

A year ago when this study was last conducted, Internet radio scored much better among all consumers in the study (27 percent), but the expanding satisfaction and use among youth with sites such as Myspace and Napster has cut significantly into the importance this age group places on Internet radio as a source for new music discovery and filtering. These online virtual communities are fast-becoming excellent sources of discovery for music consumers 12 to 34 years of age.

The sample size was 2,500 music consumers age 12 to 54. Data was collected through a phone-based, random digit dialing methodology. The study sample error is +/-2.0 percent. The study was conducted during June 2006.


FCC Opens Media Ownership Proceeding for Public Comment
Washington - Jun 21, 2006 - The FCC has adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on how to address the issues raised by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Prometheus vs. FCC, which two years ago stayed and remanded several media ownership rules that the Commission had adopted in its 2002 Biennial Review Order. The Further Notice also opens a comprehensive quadrennial review of all of the media ownership rules, as required by statute.

The Further Notice details the issues raised in the Prometheus ruling regarding the Commission's earlier decisions and rationale. It discusses, and invites comment on, the rules that the court remanded. Some of the specific questions that are being asked follow.

  • Should the Commission revise the limits adopted in the 2002 Biennial Review Order on the number of stations that can be commonly owned in one market, or is there additional evidence or analysis available now on which the Commission can rely to further justify the limits adopted then?
  • Similarly, to address the court's concerns, should the Commission revise these numerical limits or is additional evidence available to further justify them?
  • How should the Commission address radio/TV and newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership issues?

The item also seeks comment on the court's remand of certain proposals relating to minority ownership. In addition the Further Notice seeks comment on whether these rules sent back to the Commission by the court, as well as the dual network rule that was not at issue in Prometheus, are necessary in the public interest as a result of competition.

In a statement, Commissioner Michael Copps noted that "this innocuous-looking document initiates the single most important public policy debate that the FCC will tackle this year." Copps has vigorously opposed concentration of media ownership.

Commissioner Adelstein notes that the FNPRM has some serious ramifications tied to it. He stated that "the manner in which the Commission is launching this critical proceeding is totally inadequate. It is like submitting a high-school term paper for a Ph.D. thesis. This Commission failed in 2003, and if we don’t change course, we will fail again."

Read the FNPRM at this link.


Business

SBE Day Planned for NAB Radio Show
Dallas - Jul 24, 2006 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Chapter 67 of North Texas has arranged to present a day of technical presentations and SBE certification exams at the 2006 NAB Radio Show on Sept. 20. The morning presentations from 9 a.m. to noon will cover broadcast antenna systems and digital technology for radio. An SBE certification exam session will be offered from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

To take an SBE exam during the NAB Radio Show, submit a certification exam application to the SBE National Office by Aug. 25. Certification exam applications are available at the SBE website. For more information, contact Megan Clappe, SBE certification director, at mclappe@sbe.org or 317-846-9000.


Sales Call
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Votionis S.A., which owns and operates Argentina's AM Radio 10 news station and FM station Mega 98.3, has selected a Jampro 97.5MHz high power sidemount antenna with custom brackets and pattern measurement.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has purchased Netia's Radio-Assist 7.5 digital audio content management system for on-air delivery in its seven News and Current Affairs and Radio networks across Australia. The software will be used throughout the ABC Radio Network and includes integration with Inews for the news department.
The Irish public service broadcaster RTE Radio is refurbishing its radio studios using 10 Studer On Air 3000 digital mixing consoles. The digital upgrade encompasses the four Dublin-based studios of RTE Radio 1 and RTE 2 FM, as well as studios used for the classical music station, RTE Lyric FM. Three On Air 3000 desks are being installed in the broadcaster's regional stations and there are plans for a new remote studio that will use the On Air 3000.
Jampro Antenna is supplying Kent State University's WKSU-FM with two low power JLLP antennas to expand the station's repeater and translator system. The installation will augment the station's existing Jampro systems and extend WKSU's coverage to outlying areas.


People

Burns Appointed President of Crown Broadcast
Elkhart, IN - Jul 27, 2006 - The Chairman of the International Radio and Electronics Corporation (IREC, Crown Broadcast), Leonard Isaacs, announced that Steven K. Burns has been appointed president for Crown Broadcast by the board of directors. Burns will begin in this capacity July 31, 2006.

Burns is a CPA with an MBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a BBA in marketing and management from Ohio University. He has experience in executive management and finance with companies such as Zenith Data Systems and Fedders. Burns has been operating in the COO/CFO capacity with IREC since 2005.



BE Employees Celebrate 20 Years
Quincy, IL - Jul 21, 2006 - Two Broadcast Electronics (BE) employees recently celebrated their 20th anniversary with the company. Kathy Ellerbrock and Audie Breeden were presented with an award for their service.

Ellerbrock, is the company's payroll/benefits administrator, and Breeden is an engineering technician.



Products

TC Electronic Ships M350
Westlake Village, CA - Jul 14, 2006 - TC Electronic is now shipping the M350 dual-engine 1RU processor. The successor to the M300, the M350 combines 15 new TC reverbs with 15 multi-effects including delay, modulation and compression.

The unit also features an AU/VST-compatible software editor, which allows for integration with DAW systems. The software is a a free download from www.tcelectronic.com. The M350 features 256 factory presets plus 99 user presets.


Eye on IBOC

BE to Offer HD Radio Seminar at NAB Radio Show
Quincy, IL - Jul 26, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) will kick off the NAB Radio Show with a free and seminar on the business opportunities and operational challenges of HD Radio. HD Radio: All the Basics and More will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Miro Room at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, on Sept. 19. A second seminar with the same agenda will be held on Sept. 20, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Anatole's Travertine Room.

BE will feature issues facing program directors, station managers and engineers now planning for HD Radio conversion or whose stations are already on-air in digital. Admission is open to all radio broadcasters. The afternoon-long seminar will be divided into three, one-hour sessions.

HD Radio Conversion: Processes, Pitfalls, Strategies and Successes
A look at how stations are moving to HD Radio and its impact on station operations, listeners and the bottom line. Multicasting and messagecasting will be explored, along with a look at how Internet broadcasting has played a role in stations' HD Radio implementations. This session is geared toward non-technical and technical radio broadcasters, but with emphasis on management and programmer roles.

HD Radio Conversion: Technical Planning and Realization
The equipment used to convert stations to HD Radio continues to evolve. This session will look at current system architectures, how HD Radio interleaves with analog equipment/operations and a look at upcoming developments. This session will address the interests of operations managers, engineering and other station decision-makers.

HD Radio Conversion: Nuts and Bolts Technical Issues
Based on their experiences converting hundreds of stations to HD Radio, BE engineers will cover key technical topics of importance to broadcasters considering converting to digital or expanding their digital operations. This technical session is for engineers and other broadcasters who have never performed an HD Radio conversion as well as those who have conducted multiple conversions.

More information on the seminar is online at www.bdcast.com/bulletins/NABRadioHDRadioSeminar/index.php.



Clear Channel up to 300 HD Radio Stations
San Antonio - Jul 26, 2006 - Clear Channel Radio today announced that it now offers HD Radio broadcasts on 300 of its radio stations across the country. Clear Channel plans to provide HD Radio broadcasts on 95 percent of its stations in the top 100 markets by the end of 2007.

Clear Channel maintains a list of its station transmitting IBOC on it website at www.clearchannelmusic.com/hdradio. The site also includes general information about HD Radio for consumers.


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