Radio Currents Online - Aug 29 - Sep 4, 2005


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

Entercom, Clear Channel Form United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans
Overland Park, KS - Sep 2, 2005 - A "United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans" initiative has formed between Entercom and Clear Channel Communications and will be streaming soon from Baton Rouge, LA. Entercom and Clear Channel combined their remaining stations still on air to form a simulcast, "United Radio of New Orleans-Project Katrina."

"We are working to get one of Clear Channel Radio's Baton Rouge station streams converted over to the joint efforts here," said Marty Hadfield, vice president of engineer for Entercom. "Once we get that going, whoever wants to tag on to it can get it. This could happen any hour now. I think the stream will be posted at one of disaster relief sites (http://www.stormaid.com/main.html), along with one of the ones we're setting up."

Entercom is still operating New Orleans stations WTKL-FM, WEZB-FM and WLMG-FM and has turned off WSMB-AM and WKBU-FM. WWL-AM is on the air at reduced power (from 50 to 27kW) to conserve fuel and has about 20 days left at that power level.


NAB Asks its Members for Donations
Washington, DC - Sep 1, 2005 - The NAB is asking its members to donate much needed equipment to the TV and radio stations affected by the hurricane. Also, local radio and TV stations across the United States are partnering with the American Red Cross to provide public service announcements that advise citizens how to donate money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The NAB and its Board of Directors plans to work with the industry to raise $100 million in cash donations for relief efforts. This program, called Broadcast Unity for Katrina Relief, includes a $1 million cash donation from the NAB to the American Red Cross. The NAB is designating Sep. 9 as Broadcast Unity Day. The NAB is asking all stations on that day to dedicate a minimum of 60-seconds each hour to the relief effort. Radio PSAs of 10, 25 and 30 seconds can be downloaded from www.nab.org, while TV stations can order a free overnight dub by contacting Sarah Roberts at sroberts@nab.org.


SBE to Help Members in Need in Hurricane Katrina Disaster Areas
Indianapolis, IN - Sep 1, 2005 - In an effort to help its members affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has created a special e-mail address so members in need, or others on their behalf, can contact the SBE National Office and relate their need. The e-mail address is hurricanehelp@sbe.org. In this way, the SBE will act as a clearing house, putting those who can offer help in touch with those who have requested it.

Those who can offer assistance are also asked to contact the national office using the same e-mail address, to let the SBE know what assistance they are able to offer. The national office staff will contact members across the country that have offered their help, and put them in touch with those seeking assistance.

Assistance may be needed to provide temporary housing, clothing and personal items or possibly equipment or parts for station facilities that have sustained damage. People may also call the national office at a special number, 317-846-9092, or visit the SBE website, www.sbe.org to offer help or report a need.


FCC Alters Procedures after Hurricane Katrina
Washington, DC - Aug 31, 2005 - The Media Bureau division of the FCC has changed its procedures to help radio and TV stations in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina resume broadcast operations. For example, requests for special temporary authority may be submitted by informal letter or email.

Also, section 73.1680 of the Commission's rules permits FM and TV stations to erect temporary antennas without prior authority from the FCC. It also allows AM stations to use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna as an emergency antenna. The Media Bureau is waiving the requirement that licensees notify the Commission within 24 hours of the commencement of operations employing such antennas.

Next, the Media Bureau is permiting an AM licensee to operate with such facilities during nighttime hours based on the licensee's good faith determination that such operations are necessary to the safety of life or property or where dangerous conditions of a general nature exist. However, licensees must notify the Commission within 48 hours of the commencement of such operations. Authority to operate with daytime facilities during nighttime hours may be rescinded on licensee's failure to resolve all interference complaints. This waiver is effective until Oct. 1, 2005.

The Media Bureau encourages any station that has discontinued operations as a result of Hurricane Katrina to submit a notification and, if necessary, request authority to remain silent within the periods specified in Section 73.1740(a)(4) of the Commission's rules. The Media Bureau waives this rule to accept notifications within 30 days and requests to remain silent within 60 days of the discontinuance of operations. Notifications and requests may be submitted by informal letter, email, or by filing electronically through CDBS. This waiver is effective until Dec. 1, 2005.

On request, a permittee of a broadcast station located within a Federal Disaster Area will be provided an additional 90 days to complete construction. Stations located outside such areas will be provided an additional 90 days on submission of a particularized showing of construction delays caused by Hurricane Katrina.


SBE Networking Certification Hits Milestone
Indianapolis, IN - Aug 31, 2005 - The number of persons holding the Society of Broadcast Engineers' (SBE) Certified Broadcast Network Technologist certification has exceeded the 1,000 mark. SBE's National Certification Committee introduced the Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT) certification in 2000 after Terry Baun, CPBE CBNT, who was then chairman of the SBE National Certification Committee, identified the chasm between traditional RF, audio and video-based broadcast engineering and computer networking. Baun saw that the IT element of broadcast engineering could be lost to computer technicians, which would have detrimental effects to broadcast engineers. Designed as a way to demonstrate a person's familiarity with networking hardware used in business and audio/video applications in broadcast facilities, the CBNT has not only provided a way for broadcast engineers to show their proficiency in this area, but it has also provided a means to bring IT technicians into the field of broadcast engineering.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers is the professional organization for radio and TV engineers and those in related fields. SBE has more than 5,700 members in 110 chapters across the United States. There are also members in 30 other countries. Most chapters meet monthly and offer educational programs and an opportunity to network with their peers.


Radio Industry Offers Help with Hurricane Katrina Relief
Washington, DC - Aug 31, 2005 - In an effort to help the recovery process, Orban/CRL is offering emergency service, parts, loaner equipment and technical assistance, some at no charge to the stations in greatest need. Broadcasters whose stations have experienced damage because of Hurricane Katrina and who would like information on how Orban/CRL can be of assistance are asked to call the 24/7 emergency hotline at 480-403-8391.

Harris has committed $150,000 to relief efforts for victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The funds represent a combination of a $100,000 corporate gift and a Harris dollar-for-dollar match of employee gifts up to $50,000. Harris is also shipping studio gear to Clear Channel in Baton Rouge, and two radio FM transmitters to Clear Channel in Mississippi.

Telos, Omnia and Axia Audio are offering priority technical support, troubleshooting and loaner equipment. Telos is staffing after-hours e-mail tech support, with call-backs where needed. Support staff can be reached 24/7 by e-mailing support@Telos-Systems.com. Support is also available by phone at 216-241-7225 during office hours.

Armstrong Transmitter is providing an STL lifeline for special audio programming being sent from Baton Rouge to stations in New Orleans. This audio life line is a joint effort between Entercom and Clear Channel Communications.

Also, a spokesperson for Dielectric said the company has been in contact with group owners at many of the individual stations in the affected areas to let them know that the company has standby systems ready to go.

Both Armstrong and Dielectric mentioned that the bigger problem right now for their contacts is obtaining generators and fuel, and then getting fuel trucks into the sites that are not underwater.


Business

Balsys Purchases Systems Store
Winter Garden, FL - Sep 1, 2005 - Balsys Technology Group has purchased the assets of Systems Store from RDA Group. Operational since 2000, www.Systemsstore.com is an online resource for technical tools and supplies for the broadcast, professional audio, video, telecom and IT industries. It offers products from manufacturers such as ADC, Allen Tel, Belden, Flextray, Gepco, Krone, Leader, Lowell, Middle Atlantic, Neutrik, Panduit, RDL, Siemon, Switchcraft, Wheelock and Whirlwind.


TC Group Acquires TC-Helicon
Risskov, Denmark - Aug 29, 2005 - TC Group has wholly acquired TC-Helicon, a manufacturer of vocal technology products. TC Group already owned 50 percent of TC-Helicon, which is headquartered in Canada. By purchasing the remaining 50 percent of the shares from IVL Technologies, TC-Helicon is now a full-fledged member of a group that includes Tannoy, Lab. Gruppen, TC Electronic and TC Applied Technologies.


Moody Broadcasting, Barnabas Road Media Ink Deal
Indianapolis, IN - Aug 30, 2005 - The Moody Broadcasting Network (MBN) has selected Barnabas Road Media to provide Internet hosting services for nearly a dozen Moody radio stations throughout the United States. MBN stations will now be able to provide live, streaming audio of Moody programming to more than one million listeners in the United States and around the world.

Barnabas Road Media will be the sole streaming media provider to the 11 Moody-owned stations in the country. The cities and stations included in the agreement are WMBI, Chicago; MBN, Chicago; WCRF, Cleveland; WDLM, East Moline, IL; WGNB, Zeeland, MI; WGNR, Anderson, IN; WKES, Lakeland, FL; WMBV, Dixons Mills, AL; WMBW, Chattanooga, TN; WRMB, Boynton Beach, FL; and KMBI, Spokane, WA.


Klotz Digital, HHB Communications Team in Canada
Norcross, GA, and Toronto - Aug 29, 2005 - Klotz Digital Audio Systems has appointed HHB Communications as its exclusive distributor for broadcast products in Canada. Headquartered in London, HHB founded its Canadian subsidiary in 1997. Under the agreement, HHB will sell all of Klotz's broadcast products.


Sales Call
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  • Cheng Sheng Broadcasting Corporation has launched Harris' Digital Radio Monidale (DRM) system to provide digital radio broadcasts throughout Taipei and the surrounding areas.
  • Radio Notre Dame, a Catholic radio station in Paris, has upgraded its audio facilities by installing a Studer On Air 3000 digital audio broadcast console. Radio Notre Dame prepares a daily program of music and speech-based productions, which is syndicated to other Catholic networks throughout France and Africa via satellite and the Internet.
  • People

    Crown Broadcast Appoints COO/CFO
    Elkhart, IN - Aug 29, 2005 - The International Radio and Electronics Corporation has appointed Steven Burns as the chief operating officer and will continue as the chief financial officer for Crown Broadcast IREC. Burns will begin in this capacity on Oct. 1, 2005.

    Burns has gained his experience in executive management and finance with companies such as Zenith and Fetters. Burns has been the CFO of Crown Broadcast since 2001.

    Cleo Betts will continue as engineering manager for Crown Broadcast. Ralph Tubbs will continue as the manager of manufacturing, and Kent Koselke will continue as the manager of sales and marketing.


    Products

    BE Debuts Audiovault with AV Logger
    Quincy, IL - Sep 2, 2005 - Broadcast Electronics has created a new audio capture and archiving module for its Audiovault digital audio system. The AV Logger is capable of recording multiple audio feeds from a wide range of sources at a variety of bit rates, and provides file markers for logging events such as the opening or closing of a microphone. It can be configured to record multiple sources at once, or record audio inputs independently to capture left and right channels separately at differing bit rates. The AV Logger module can be integrated with any Audiovault system in the field, or can be purchased as a standalone application.


    Cubase SX/SL 3.1 Now Available from Steinberg
    Hamburg - Sep 1, 2005 - Steinberg Media Technologies has updated its Cubase SX and Cubase SL music production software products. Cubase SX/SL 3.1 features more than 50 new functions as well as numerous other enhancements, and is available now as a download from www.steinberg.net. The update to 3.1 brings new developments in the area of hardware integration. The Studio Connections functionality, which links Cubase SX to MIDI hardware supporting this standard, has been upgraded to include full audio integration.


    Tascam's DM-3200 Now Shipping
    Montebello, CA - Aug 31, 2005 - The DM-3200 from Tascam, a 48-channel professional digital console, is now shipping. Based on the DM-24, the DM-3200 adds more busses, more effects, more auxes and USB connectivity. Its user interface includes 16 rotary encoders with LED indicators to display mixer settings at a glance. Up to 6.1 surround panning is available, and the optional IF-SM/DM Surround Monitoring interface card adds multichannel monitor, bass management and downmix capabilities.


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