Radio Currents Online - Sep 06 - Sep 12, 2004

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Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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Keynote Speaker for IEEE Broadcast Symposium Announced
Washington - Sep 10, 2004 - The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) announced that Dr. Vanu Bose, president of Vanu, will be the keynote speaker at the annual BTS Awards Luncheon scheduled for the 54th Annual IEEE Broadcast Symposium. The event will be held from Oct. 13 to 15, 2004.

Bose co-founded Vanu in 1998 to provide waveform software and design consulting services for software radio systems, and is the principal inventor of the software radio technology that serves as the basis of Vanu's products. Bose will discuss the impact of emerging technologies on the future of the broadcast industry and how the introduction of these technologies will speed the evolution of broadcast standards and services while enabling new business models.

Broadcasting remains a dynamic, constantly evolving technology as it enters the new millennium, particularly in light of the sweeping changes brought about by digital transmission for radio and television broadcasting. The mission of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) is to present the latest technical developments in radio and television broadcast transmission engineering through its annual symposium and its publications, including the quarterly IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting. The BTS consists of more than 2,000 members worldwide.

NAB Launches Radio E-mail Newsletter
Washington - Sep 8, 2004 - Called Radio Rave, the new NAB newsletter highlights positive industry developments. According to the NAB, "Radio is a vital and continually evolving medium, and the Radio Rave mission is to share that message through real-life examples."

The move is likely the result of the negative press that radio has received in consumer publications that forecast the end of terrestrial radio at the hands of satellite radio and streaming.

The first issue, sent Sept. 8, covers a recent Esquire article that praised the re-emergence of alternative rock radio. Other items include the Clear Channel spot reduction effort and the Cox and Entercom push to IBOC.

Results of SBE Election Announced
Indianapolis - Sep 10, 2004 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Officers and Board of Directors election is complete. Each year, the officers and six of the 12 directors of the board are elected by voting members of the SBE. The 2004-2005 elected officials are as follows:

  • President- Raymond Benedict, CPBE Director, Spectrum Management Viacom
  • Vice president- Chriss Scherer, CSRE CBNT, Editor Radio magazine
  • Secretary- Ralph Hogan, CPBE CBNT, Assistant General Manager, Engineering Services, Washington State University
  • Treasurer- Robert J. Russell, CSTE CBNT

    Elected to the Board of Directors were:

  • James Bernier Jr., CPBE CBNT, Director, Maintenance, Design and Engineering, Turner Entertainment Networks
  • Keith Kintner, CPBE CBNT, Radio-TV-Film Engineer, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
  • Vincent Lopez, CEV CBNT, Systems Technician, WSYT/WNYS TV
  • Thomas Ray, CPBE, Corporate Director of Engineering, Buckley Broadcasting/WOR Radio
  • Barry Thomas, CBPE CBNT, Vice President of Engineering, Westwood One
  • Larry Wilkins, CPBE CBNT, Assistant Director of Engineering, Cumulus Broadcasting

    Officers serve one-year terms. Directors serve two-year terms.

    Six board members are in the middle of their two-year terms. They are Andrea Cummis, CBT; Dane Ericksen, P.E., CSRTE; Clay Freinwald, CPBE; David Hultsman, CSRE; Mark Olkowski, CPBE; and Henry Ruhwiedel, CPBE. The Immediate Past President is Troy Pennington, CSRE CBNT.

    The officers and board members will take office at the SBE National Meeting, held in conjunction with the Bos-con SBE Regional Convention, Oct. 26 and 27 in Marlborough, MA.

    NAB, Homeland Security Launch Nationwide Emergency Preparedness Campaign
    Washington - Sep 9, 2004 - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created Are You Ready?, a step-by-step emergency preparedness guide for local broadcasters. The NAB will make this resource available to all television and radio broadcast stations during September. Additionally, the NAB will promote and distribute Are You Ready? public service announcements and develop and host an Are You Ready? section on the NAB website.

    The NAB guide helps kick off National Preparedness Month when hundreds of activities are planned throughout the nation to highlight the importance of individual emergency preparedness. The National Preparedness Month coalition, organized by the Dept. of Homeland Security, includes 81 organizations and all 56 U.S. states and territories, and encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare themselves and their families for possible emergencies.

    The goal behind the partnership between the NAB and the DHS is to enlist America's local radio and television stations in a nationwide campaign to ensure that people in their communities are taking necessary steps to prepare for natural disasters, terrorists attacks and other threats. The guide provides information and suggestions for local broadcasters as they reach out to audiences with preparedness messages. The idea is not to prompt alarm or create undue fear, but to show that preparing for uncertainty is an appropriate response to world events. The guide also provides information on how stations can help communities during and after a crisis by keeping citizens informed and by supporting local relief efforts.

    FCC Issues Temporary Freeze on Forms 301, 314 and 315
    Washington - Sep 8, 2004 - On Sept. 3, 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an order granting in part the Petition of the Commission and United States for Panel Rehearing. The action is based on Case No. 03-3388, Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC. This proceeding combined previous FCC proceedings and directives from several court decisions. Some of the issues addressed were the national broadcast ownership cap, the dual-network rule, the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership, the duopoly rule and the local radio competition limits.

    On Aug. 13, 2003, attorneys for the Media Access Project asked the Court to reject the FCC's media ownership rules on behalf of its client, the Prometheus Radio Project. The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed the FCC's order on Sept. 3, 2003, which prevented the rules from being enforced until the Court review is complete.

    In light of the Court's decision, the FCC's Media Bureau has established a freeze, effective immediately and until further notice, on the filing of all applications using FCC Form 301, 314 or 315 that involve commercial radio broadcast stations. The freeze also applies to amendments that require the use of these forms. The FCC will issue a public notice in the near future providing further information regarding the filing of new applications as well as guidance on the processing of Form 301, 314, and 315 applications that are currently pending. Applications proposing pro forma assignments and transfers of control (FCC Form 316) of commercial radio stations will continue to be processed in the normal course.

    The affected forms are:
    FCC 301, Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station (June 2002 Edition)
    FCC 314, Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License (June 2002 Edition)
    FCC 315, Application for Consent to Transfer Control of Entity Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License (June 2002 Edition)

    DA 04-2901

    Microsoft Mimics Radio
    San Francisco - Sep 6, 2004 – The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Microsoft has added a feature to its MSN Music service that could erode the services of several radio stations. By using playlists from more than 900 radio stations around the country, MSN has created its own soundalike Internet stations but without the DJ chatter, traffic, weather and commercials.

    Some of the imitated stations include San Francisco's KBLX, "The Quiet Storm," New York's WNEW, "The Mix 102.9," or Chicago's WLUP, "The Loop."

    There could be copyright infringement problems. The MSN stations use the call letters and slogan of the original to say that the format is like that station. An example from the list of stations says:
    Like 92.3 FM - - KHHT HOT 92 JAMZ Top Artists: Alicia Keys, Usher, Avant, Mario Winans.

    The stations debuted on Sept. 2 with MSN Music. The beta site can be visited at The service also provides downladable songs.

    Microsoft bought its lists of radio playlists from Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, which monitors more than 1,200 radio stations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

    The Chronicle reports that Microsoft said in a statement that "the use of station names is applied only to indicate the top artists on a station, and we believe it's simply a factual statement about the radio station, similar to many other public radio charts on the Web. If any radio station has concerns about this usage, they should contact Microsoft directly."

    LPFM Documentary to Air on NBC
    New York - Sep 3, 2004 - A documentary called LPFM: The People's Choicewill air on NBC-TV stations Sept. 26. According to a press release from the program's creator, the program "chronicles how low power FM radio is bringing diverse peoples closer together and giving new life to declining communities, new strength to neighborhoods and new voices in the marketplace of ideas."

    The release also touts the advantages to LPFM, saying that it is a low-cost service designed to promote diversity and localism and to encourage voices from the margins. The program was produced by the United Church of Christ Office of Communication, which is promoting a bill in Congress to license thousands of new LPFM radio stations. The National Council of Churches is presenting the program.

    The list of people interviewed for the program include former FCC Chairman William E. Kennard, who instigated the LPFM idea; Senator John McCain; Representative Ed Markey; LPFM Organizers Pete Tridish and Andrea Cano; FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani. There are no broadcasters listed as being part of the program.

    The supporters of LPFM are of a strong voice, and challenge the NAB and broadcasters that oppose some of the concepts behind LPFM. While the Mitre report stated that LPFM will not cause interference to licensed broadcast stations, the Mitre report was not completed as per the guidelines that were originally established.

    The initial reaction from broadcasters is that the program will be heavily one-sided, playing only on the emotional aspects of community service, completely ignoring any science or physics.

    Look for a review of the program from Radio magazine after the program airs.


    Crown Competes for Senate Productivity Award
    Elkhart, IN - Sep 9, 2004 - Crown International was recently named the first runner-up for the U. S. Senate Productivity Award for 2003. The award is given annually and is sponsored by U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). The award recognizes outstanding productivity gains or methods, which may be used by other Indiana companies to improve Indiana’s overall productivity.

    As a result of its efforts toward productivity improvement, Crown was able to cut fabrication and board assembly aggregate lead times by 90 percent, increase line efficiency by 30 percent plant-wide, reduce inventory by 20 percent and free 32,000 square feet of floor space.

    CBI Secures Member Rate for NFCB Handbook
    Oakland, CA – Sep 9, 2004 – The Collegiate Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) has developed a partnership with the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) that will allow CBI members to access the online version of the Public Radio Legal Handbook" at the NFCB member rate, a $25 discount on the $70 non-member price.

    The Public Radio Legal Handbook is a reference guide to broadcasting rules and regulations. Checklists, examples and full explanations of the law guide readers over commonly encountered procedural hurdles. Originally written by Tom Thomas and Terry Clifford in 1977, the handbook has been completely revised by John Crigler of Garvey Schubert Barer, and reviewed by Harriet Baskas, Michael Huntsberger and Marcos Martinez. Funding for this project came from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    To access this resource at the CBI discounted rate, contact the CBI via 713-348-2935.

    Apt-X Signs Licensing Agreement with Genesys
    Belfast - Sep 3, 2004 - Audio codec manufacturer APT has signed a licensing agreement with Genesys Technologies to incorporate APT's Apt-x algorithm into Genesys system software. Genesys Technologies is a provider of digital audio playout and information management systems for radio. It is also active in the development of software solutions for the radio broadcast industry

    Sales Call
  • Z Technology has shipped its newest measurement application software to the FCC. RF-Metermate is a Windows-based software application supporting the Z Technology R-506 and R-507 programmable RF field strength meters.
  • People

    Kawalek Joins Digigram
    Montbonnot, France - Sept 8, 2004 - Digigram has hired Jimmy Kawalek as the worldwide business development manager for the licensing program of Digigram's patented Ethersound technology.

    The 25-year pro audio veteran joins Digigram after three years with Peak Audio, a division of Cirrus Logic, where he was in charge of business development for Peak's Cobranet technology. Previously, he occupied various sales and marketing positions with Group One, DBX Professional, Allen and Heath, Crest Audio, QSC Audio, EAW and Renkus-Heinz.

    In addition to his responsibilities for worldwide sales of Ethersound licensees, Kawalek will also be in charge of Digigram OEM business in the United States and Canada.

    APT Promotes Campbell
    Belfast – Sept 6, 2004 - APT has promoted Kevin Campbell to the position of hardware sales engineer, with particular responsibility for the post-production and broadcast sectors in Southern and Eastern Europe and the broadcast sector in the United States.

    Campbell is a graduate from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and the University of Ulster (UU) and holds a post-graduate diploma in computing and information systems. He began his career as a PC and network technician at the UU where he was responsible for hardware maintenance, upgrades and trouble-shooting and also network management and administration. In 2000, Campbell moved to Energis Ireland (formerly where he worked within its network management centre (NMC) with joint responsibility for a multi-million pound all-Ireland fibre optic communication infrastructure.

    Campbell joined APT in July 2003 as a customer support engineer, a first-line customer-facing role that involved assisting customers with technical enquiries across the entire APT hardware audio codec product portfolio. His duties included conducting remote testing and dial-ins with customers and liasing between engineering and R&D on second and third level fault resolution. He has also represented APT at trade fares and conventions in Las Vegas, Amsterdam and Berlin, and has travelled as far as Korea in the name of APT customer satisfaction.

    His promotion to hardware sales engineer will enable him to focus on building and strengthening relationships with APT's existing distributors throughout Europe and also on forging new relationships and acquiring new distributors particularly in the EC accession countries.

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