Radio Currents Online - Aug 8 - Aug 14, 2005


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News

SBE Launches Voluntary Frequency Coordinator Accreditation
Indianapolis - Aug 10, 2005 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has launched a voluntary accreditation program for frequency coordinators. The accreditation program is intended to "maintain the quality and professionalism" of coordination by ensuring consistency of approach and accountability to established standards.

According to the society, despite the existence of many capable volunteers serving as frequency coordinators, there hasn't been a mechanism by which the SBE can attest to the quality of the service being provided across all markets. Given the fact that the SBE works at the national level with the FCC, a coordination program that is "perceived as uniformly professional, capable and responsive to the industry's needs" is becoming increasingly important.

The SBE will not require volunteer frequency coordinators to be accredited or ask non-accredited coordinators to resign. Whether or not accreditations will be required of frequency coordinators will be left to local chapters. The society has published a list of requirements that an accredited frequency coordinator will be expected to fulfill. For more information, visit sbe.org.


BMW to Offer HD Radio Receivers as Installed Option in 2006
Detroit - Aug 5, 2005 - Autoweek reports that BMW of North America will offer HD Radio receivers as a factory option in its 2006 7 Series models. The sedans begin production this fall. BMW has not announced the price of the option.


Mark Plotkin Headlines Legislative Breakfast at the NAB Radio Show
Phildelphia - Aug 8, 2005 - Political commentator and analyst Mark Plotkin will discuss the shifting political landscape in Washington at the Legislative Breakfast on Sept. 23. Active on the political scene since the late 1960s, Plotkin hosts The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin for Bonneville International's WTOP-AM in Washington, DC. He is also a contributor to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the British Broadcasting Company and has made numerous appearances on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, C-SPAN and Australian TV. Plotkin has provided analysis of national politics in major publications throughout the nation, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Time and The New Republic.


Business

Broadcast Electronics Restores Iraqi Station
Ramadi, Iraq - Aug 11, 2005 - Stuart Peters, customer service manager of Broadcast Electronics, dodged mortar and mayhem recently to re-establish an AM station in Iraq. Donning a helmet and protective clothing, Peters journeyed to an AM transmitter site in Ramadi, located about 30 miles west of Fallujah.

The AM station on 864kHz was commissioned by the U.S. Marines to deliver Arabic broadcasts of local government news and updates to the Iraqi community there. A Broadcast Electronics AM 10A 10kW transmitter had been sent ahead and partially installed before local engineers abandoned the transmitter site under threat of insurgents.

The station had been down for months. The power grid and transmitter grounding were among the items left unfinished. Peters volunteered to go to Iraq to re-establish the AM station, all the while aware of the contractors who had entered the country before him and been held captive or worse.

"That bothered me a little bit, but one of the things that made me feel more secure was knowing that I’d be on a military base the entire time and pretty much guarded by the Navy and the Marines," said Peters.

After returning to the air, the station has broadcast to the greater Al Anbar province of Iraq and can be heard in Fallujah during the day and as far away as Al Asad, 70 miles northwest, at night.

The AM is the first in a network of stations expected to broadcast on 864kHz throughout Iraq.


Wohler Technologies Gets New Home
Hayward CA - Aug 9, 2005 - Wohler Technologies is settling in to its new facilities this month. The new San Francisco Bay-area facility at 31055 Huntwood Avenue in Hayward, CA, 94544, gives Wohler the space needed to accommodate the current product demands and expansion for future needs.

The company's local number will change, and it will be announced once it is available. The toll-free number will remain the same: 888-5 WOHLER.


Sales Call
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  • Globecast UK Limited, a subsidiary of France Telecom, has taken delivery of the UK's first AEQ BC2000D digital broadcast console. The studio will be used for Globecast Radio's evening and weekend programming and is equipped with RCS Master Control, Burli news automation, a multi-line telephone call-in system, an AEQ Eagle ISDN codec and an AEQ Swing portable ISDN/POTS mixer.
  • Telenor has begun scheduling its international satellite inventory with Schedulink from Scheduall, running from two main locations (UK and Norway) and in several currencies.
  • The call screening products from Condron Broadcast Engineering now support the Telos 2101 phone system.
  • People

    V-Soft Communications Adds Puls
    Cedar Falls, IA - Aug 9, 2005 - Adam Puls joins V-Soft Communications as technical support and marketing specialist. He comes to V-Soft from British Petroleum where he was a point-of-sale computer systems analyst and problem manager. In addition to numerous software-related, technical duties at V-Soft, Puls will serve as a marketing analyst. He is a graduate of Luther College in management information systems.


    Continental Electronics Makes Management Appointments
    Dallas - Aug 8, 2005 - Continental Electronics has made four staff appointments to handle the company's efforts with digital radio. Named to the position of director of business development is Matthew Straeb and to the position of engineering product manager is Don Spragg. Within the marketing department, Michael Troje is assuming the position of broadcast sales manager from Bret Brewer, who will continue as regional sales manager.

    As director of business development, Straeb will be responsible for the marketing and sales of Continental's new digital radio transmitters in the United States. Straeb began his career in broadcast with Continental Electronics more than 20 years ago as an electrical design engineer and now comes full circle to rejoin the company. In the interim, he has held several marketing and upper-level management positions in the industry. Most recently Straeb served as vice president of marketing and product management for Da Vinci Systems, where he oversaw the company's entrance into the emerging digital intermediate market in the film industry. Previously, he ran Orad's operations in North America, serving first as vice president and general manager and then as president.

    Don Spragg, Continental Electronics' new engineering product manager, will be responsible for product line strategy, including new product development program management for the implementation of DRM and IBOC. Spragg's most recent position was with Harris as director of radio RF products and programs. Before that he started a broadcast business for Crown International, building low-power FM transmitters. He also held various engineering and management positions with HCJB.

    Recently appointed to the position of sales manager, Michael Troje has considerable experience in sales and channel management, which will allow Continental Electronics to further develop and enhance its customer relationships. Troje has more than 25 years of service to the broadcast industry as domestic sales manager for Broadcast Electronics and later as national sales manager for Shively Labs' TV products division. Most recently he served as vendor sales manager for Continental Electronics, a responsibility he will continue to uphold.

    As a regional sales manager, Bret Brewer will continue to serve customers in the territory he has maintained for more than 10 years, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.


    National Radio Hall of Fame Names Class of 2005
    Chicago - Aug 8, 2005 - A group of six national and local radio celebrities representing politics, sports, humor and classic comedy will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame during a nationally broadcast ceremony on Nov. 5. The inductees are:

  • Comedy team Abbott and Costello
  • Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster
  • Ann Compton, ABC News Radio White House correspondent
  • Myron Cope, Pittsburgh Steelers color commentator
  • The late Jean Shepherd, radio humorist

    The Museum of Broadcast Communications, home to the National Radio Hall of Fame, is in the midst of a major capital fundraising project to update its building. Construction is under way and the new museum is scheduled to open in late summer 2006.

    Inductees were selected through a national balloting process that included participation by radio executives, broadcast historians and members of the National Radio Hall of Fame.

    About the inductees
    Bud Abbott and Lou Costello teamed in 1936 and were catapulted to national fame in 1938 after performing what would become their signature skit, Who’s on First? on the Kate Smith Radio Hour. The Abbott and Costello Show was broadcast on the ABC Radio Network from 1941 to 1946 and on NBC from 1946 to 1949. The duo made 38 feature films and appeared on numerous TV programs. Lou Costello died in 1959 at age 52 and Bud Abbott died in 1974 at age 76.

    Marty Brennaman has been the voice of the Cincinnati Reds since 1974. His signature call proclaiming his team's victory, "this one belongs to the Reds!" has been heard over WLW Cincinnati by millions of major league baseball fans over the past three decades. In 2000, Brennaman was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to the game of baseball. Throughout his career, Brennaman has called numerous World Series on radio for NBC, including the 1975 match-up between the Reds and the Boston Red Sox.

    Ann Compton, ABC News Radio national correspondent, has covered every president since Gerald Ford and has reported on seven presidential campaigns. Compton, who recently was elected president of the White House Correspondents Association, joined ABC News in 1973 and has been assigned to the White House since 1974. Her reports are heard regularly on ABC News Radio.

    Myron Cope recently announced his retirement, completing a 35-year career as radio color commentator for the Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League team. Cope, who joined the Steelers radio team in 1970, introduced the Terrible Towel, when he urged Steelers fans to wave gold dish towels at the players as way to create excitement in the stands. The gimmick caught on and became a rallying tool for the players and fans during the Steelers' string of Super Bowl championships in the 1970s. Cope also was known by fans for his scratchy voice and repertoire of unique exclamations such as "Okel Dokel" (his version of "okey-dokey"), "Feh" and "Yoi," which he used to punctuate his on-air commentary during games.

    Jean Shepherd, the late talk humorist and storyteller hailed by many as the inventor of free form talk radio, began his broadcasting career in 1948 in Cincinnati. He later landed an on-air job at WOR New York, where he mesmerized late-night listeners during the 1950s and 1960s with colorful stories, many drawn from his own life experiences as a youth in Hammond, IN. Shepherd, whose masterful style of storytelling has been compared to Mark Twain and James Thurber, is widely known as the author and narrator of the popular 1983 MGM film, A Christmas Story, as well as numerous books. In addition, he authored articles in a diverse selection of national publications including the New York Times, Mademoiselle, Car and Driver and Mad Magazine. Shepherd died in 1999 at age 78.


    Products

    Bias Ships Peak Pro 5
    Petaluma, CA - Aug 10, 2005 - Bias is now shipping Peak Pro 5, which includes several new features. The playlist has been revised to include a graphic waveform featuring optional staggered or linear views with Quartz-2D drawing and transparency. This allows crossfades and tracks to be adjusted visually. The playlist also features unlimited undo and redo, support for keyboard triggerable controls for auditioning and nudging and bounce to multiple word lengths.

    The new version offers replication-ready CD burning with ISRC entry, writing CD track indexes, PQ subcode editing, CD text and other features conforming to the Redbook specification.

    Vbox, the graphic effects routing window, now supports Audio Units plug-ins and VST plug-ins. In addition, many of the program's on-board DSP algorithms have been improved.


    Danagger Plan B Deluxe Enhances Playback Automation Abilities
    Vancouver, BC - Aug 5, 2005 - Danagger Audio Works, maker of the Plan B family of dead-air prevention devices, has added a software feature to make its Plan B Deluxe capable of local insertions, automatic bypassing and other automated functions. The existing Plan B Deluxe can be programmed to play user-defined replacement audio when silence is detected on the main program feed. Users now can add control elements to a backup playlist to execute commands such as halt playback, bypass silence detection, and close relay n. Combined with the system's ability to start playback from an external closure or at a specific time of day, the Plan B Deluxe can be used to insert local programming during a network break and rejoin the network after the break.

    The new software will be installed on all new systems and will be available Sept. 6 to current users on an exchange basis. Plan B Deluxe owners receive the new software free of charge if they return the original software to the factory. A download site for the new software will also be set up in September.

    The Plan B Deluxe detects silence on digital or analog program lines, and can provide time-of-day specific replacement audio from CD/DVD, hard drive, Compact Flash or USB storage devices. The Plus option allows backup audio to be injected from a secondary digital or analog program source. WAV, MP2 or MP3 audio files can be uploaded to the Plan B Deluxe through an Internet connection. The system notifies users of alarm conditions via telephone and e-mail, and a Web interface provides remote control and audio management functions.


    MGE Enhances GUI on Comet UPS
    Costa Mesa, CA - Aug 8, 2005 - MGE UPS Systems has enhanced the graphical user interface (GUI) display on its popular line of Comet Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) with power ratings from 40 to 150kVA. The new GUI offers active mimic diagrams that provide real-time information on load status alarms, battery measurement, input power status and setup. It also Tracks and logs all changes in UPS status. The GUI, available for use with Windows or Linux operating systems, serves as a stand-alone Web server with its own IP address and Ethernet connection.


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