Radio Currents Online - Sep 13 - Sep 26, 2004


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News

North Carolina Proposes Rules for Worker Safety on Communications Towers
Sep 22, 2004 – In August, the state of North Carolina proposed rules that address worker safety on communications towers. The proposed rules would require employers to provide fall protection for all employees working on towers or to implement a fall protection plan if a fall protection system is not feasible. Employers also would be required to assess hazards, supervise work, provide additional training for employees, implement emergency rescue procedures, prevent overexposure to RF electromagnetic fields and comply with a host of record-keeping requirements.

The proposed rules are more industry-specific than the existing North Carolina and OSHA standards in use today. The proposal is likely due to several tower accidents in North Carolina, such as the one in 1999 where a three-man tower crew fell to their deaths. The North Carolina rulemaking could spur other states to initiate similar measures.


FCC Moves Forward on Agreement to Ease Burden of Siting Towers
Sep 21, 2004 - Broadcast Engineering - The FCC has adopted a Nationwide Programmatic Agreement to provide tower builders with certainty over tower siting and ease the burdens of the approval process.

The FCC expects two other relevant parties, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices, to enter into the agreement by the end of the month.

Key elements include:

  • Describing standards for identifying historic properties that may be affected by an undertaking and assessing effects on those properties
  • Prescribing procedures, including enforceable deadlines for State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO) and commission review
  • Providing forms designed to standardize filings to SHPOs
  • Outlining procedures for communicating with federally recognized Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations to ensure protection of historic properties
  • Establishing categories of undertakings that are excluded from the section review process, including enhancements to existing towers, replacement and temporary towers, certain towers constructed on industrial and commercial properties or in utility corridor rights-of-way, and construction in areas designated by a SHPO

    FCC Report: U.S. Lags in High-speed Access
    Washington - Sep 20, 2004 - An FCC report has found that despite growth, the United States is falling further behind other countries in rolling out high-speed Internet services. The study determined that U.S. high-speed Internet lines had tripled to 28.2 million by the end of 2003 from June 2001, but the country at best was in 10th place in international rankings, down from fourth, behind nations such as Canada and South Korea.

    President Bush has pushed for universal broadband access by 2007 while Democrat challenger Sen. John Kerry has pledged tax breaks to boost broadband deployment.

    FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, said the agency had failed to establish a coherent policy for broadband, sacrificing the nation's rank. He also noted that service was as cheap as $10 a month in Japan for 8Mb/s versus $30-$50 for 1Mb/s to 3Mb/s in the United States. Copps thinks that current efforts to deploy broadband services across the country are insufficient.

    Still, the report showed the increase was three-fold over the 9.6 million lines as of June 2001. About 26 million of the subscribers were residential or small businesses.


    XM, Sirius Authorized for New Repeaters
    Washington - Sep 15, 2004 – The FCC has granted XM and Sirius special temporary authority (STA) to operate terrestrial repeaters in their licensed satellite frequency bands. XM requested STAs for 49 terrestrial repeaters in addition to those already operating. Sirius received STAs to change the technical parameters of 16 terrestrial repeaters that are already operating.

    A consolidated opposition to both applications was filed by the WCS Coalition. The WCS Coalition represents the interests of licensees in the Wireless Communication Service that operate in frequency bands adjacent to the 2,320MHz to 2,345MHz frequency bands used by XM and Sirius. The WCS Coalition asked to deny both STA requests on the grounds that operation of additional or modified SDARS terrestrial repeaters will cause an increased potential for interference to licensees in the adjacent WCS spectrum.

    On the XM application, 35 of the requested 49 additional repeaters will operate with a power level of 2kW or less, and the remaining 14 repeaters will operate at power levels of 10kW EIRP or less. Twelve of the 16 Sirius repeaters will replace a one-sector antenna with power greater than 5kW EIRP with a two-sector antenna with 5kW EIRP per sector. The remaining four Sirius installations will replace a two-sector antenna with power greater than 5kW EIRP with a two-sector antenna with 5kW EIRP per sector.


    FCC Provides Update on FM Auction 37
    Washington - Sep 13, 2004 - The FCC has received 697 FCC Form 175 (short-form) applications to participate in the upcoming auction of 288 FM broadcast construction permits scheduled to begin on Nov. 3, 2004. The applications have been reviewed for completeness and compliance with the Commission’s rules, and have been classified as follows:

    Accepted For Filing363 applications
    Incomplete308 applications
    Rejected26 applications

    Applications accepted for filing are listed alphabetically in an attachment at this link These applicants will become qualified bidders on receipt of the required upfront payment due by Sept. 24, 2004.

    Applications found to be incomplete will receive overnight correspondence indicating what information is required to make the applications acceptable for filing. These applicants may become qualified bidders if they resubmit their applications to correct the deficiencies indicated and make the required upfront payments by Sept. 24, 2004.


    BMI Hitmakers to Perform at Marconi Awards
    A BMI all-star roster of singer/songwriters has been assembled to perform at the 16th annual Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show. Lead singers Larry Hoppen from Orleans, Jimmy Jamison from Survivor and solo recording artist Robbie Dupree will team up to entertain at the annual radio awards ceremony.

    Hoppen's band, Orleans, penned award-winning hits including "Dance With Me," "Still The One" and "Love Takes Time," which was co-written by Hoppen. Survivor hits include "High on You," "Eye of the Tiger" and "The Search is Over." Grammy-nominated as Best New Artist of the Year, Dupree had the top 10 singles "Steal Away" and "Hot Rod Hearts." Together, those songs have had over 14 million radio performances.

    Established in 1989, The NAB Marconi Radio Awards are named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, and are given each year to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Awards will be presented in 22 categories.


    Business

    Netia Partners with Manreo
    Claret and Paris, France - Sep 23, 2004 - Further to its management buy out, Netia has joined with Manreo. Manreo has developed software for intranet/Internet network sharing, broadcast via video broadband/ADSL and mobile systems and audiovisual archive lookup.


    Prophet Partners with Axia
    Cleveland - Sep 22, 2004 - Prophet Systems Innovations and Axia Audio have entered a partnership agreement to license the Axia IP-audio driver for the Prophet Nexgen software, allowing Prophet workstations and servers to send multiple channels of real-time uncompressed digital audio over the Axia network without PC soundcards. Additionally, Prophet Systems will offer Axia audio networking devices for resale when bundled with Nexgen system packages.


    Ninth Annual Webby Awards Opens
    San Francisco - Sep 22, 2004 – Adding an opportunity for radio programs and networks to compete, the Webby Awards announced its annual call for entries with 35 new categories, more than doubling the number of awards it will bestow.

    Radio websites can compete in the awards in the Best Radio Website category, as well as open categories such as Best Home Page, Best Navigation/Structure, Best Use of Sound, Best Use of Animation and Best Copy.

    The 8th Annual Webby Award winner for Best Radio Site was KEXP (www.kexp.org).

    More information on the awards is available at www.webbyawards.com


    Shure Opens New Technology Annex
    Niles, IL - Sep 1, 2004 - Shure has opened the Shure Technology Annex, an addition to the company's corporate headquarters. The 65,000-square-foot, two-story structure is occupied by the company's engineering and quality laboratories, service department, tool and model shops, archives, training rooms and receiving dock.

    The technology annex features a microphone lab that includes laboratory space and offices. There are also two new anechoic chambers, one for the development of new products and the other for quality engineering testing. A space is available for a future third chamber. There is a critical listening center to house a recording studio and test products, a quality engineering lab for environmental testing of product reaction to heat, cold, moisture, corrosion and other potential hazards, an RF chamber and the Shure archives, which contain historical photos, documents and products.


    Mexico Tests AM IBOC
    Quincy, IL - Sep 21, 2004 - Broadcast Electronics is participating in tests of the HD Radio AM system in Mexico. The tests are being conducted in cooperation with the Cámara de la Industria de Radio y Televisión (CIRT) and Grupo Radio Centro, Mexico's leading radio broadcaster with 11 stations in Mexico City. This follows five months of testing of a BE-equipped HD Radio FM system on the group's XHFAJ-FM, which was concluded in early 2004.

    A Broadcast Electronics ASI 10 HD Radio signal generator was installed on the 100kW transmitter of XEN-690 in Mexico City on Aug. 31. Several months of field testing will be conducted on the AM system, and the results of the AM and FM tests will be given to the Secretaría de Comunicaciones (SCT), the government agency which oversees broadcasting in Mexico, for the purpose of selecting a national digital radio standard. The SCT is expected to choose an AM and FM digital standard in 2005.

    "Hundreds of thousands of measurement points and nine hours of video and audio have been recorded for the FM, and I expect the AM will go through similar rigorous testing," commented John Schneider, Broadcast Electronics sales manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.

    The AM system will be demonstrated to industry leaders at the CIRT's national fall convention in Mexico City, which will be held Oct. 6-8. Attendees will receive a full report on the FM field test results at that time.


    Shively Builds Caribbean Emergency Antenna Replacements
    Bridgton, ME - Sep 20, 2004 - Shively Labs has received a large number of requests for assistance from radio stations throughout the Caribbean and the southwest coast of the United States for replacement FM radio antennas. Shively is working overtime to assist broadcasters who are off the air as a result of hurricane storm damage. The Cayman Islands and Jamaica have been particularly hard hit. For example, Shively is supplying antennas for one Jamaican broadcaster who alone lost 15 transmission sites. Additional sites are expected to be identified as communications with remote areas are established and storm damage assessment continues.


    Digigram Releases Bidirectional Ethersound Technology
    London - Sep 12, 2004 - At PLASA 2004, Digigram released an extended Ethersound specification along with its first implementation to all Ethersound licensees. The spec enables bidirectional audio distribution over the same cable as well as higher sample rate conversions at 88.2, 96 or 192kHz. The Ethersound licensees currently include Netcira by Fostex, Nexo, Bouyer, Innovason and Auvitran.

    Previously, the Digigram Ethersound protocol was restricted to unidirectional audio distribution. The bidirectional system provides 64 channels of 24-bit/48kHz audio. The system latency remains at 125 microseconds.


    Burk Revises ARC-16 Manual
    Littleton, MA - Sep 15, 2004 - Covering firmware versions 4.6 and above, Burk Technology's new manual includes several additions from the previous manual. Available Sept. 15 online at www.burk.com, the manual now provides the latest firmware upgrades (5.4, 5.6) and more detail on multi-site ARC-16 operations. The setup and configuration process is explained at greater length and the manual now offers a troubleshooting section based on customer support issues recorded over time.

    Also added to the manual are instructions for the Enhanced Speech Interface (ESI) and for the Auto Load software. Previously, these were explained in separate manuals. Installation instructions for the boards that go in the ARC-16, such as the I/O boards, computer interface and modem boards are now provided. Users will now have instructions on how to swap boards out and move them around. Pictures and diagrams are now included throughout the book to make the manual easy to use.


    Netia Bought by Company's Management Team
    Claret, France - Sep 16, 2004 - The management team and employees of Netia have bought the assets of the company from existing shareholder EVS Broadcast Equipment. This operation has the support of investors: I-Source Gestion (France) and Mangrove Capital Partners (Luxembourg).

    Christophe Carniel and Pierre Keiflin founded Netia in 1993 and are directors of the company today.


    XM Launches Public Safety Channel
    Washington - Sep 10, 2004 - XM Emergency Alert (Channel 247) is now dedicated to providing updated information before, during and after natural disasters, weather emergencies and other hazardous incidents to listeners across the country.

    The new channel provides information such as evacuation routes, shelter locations and updated weather emergency information for impacted areas. XM Emergency Alert also provides data from several national and local government sources, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Red Cross, local police and fire departments and eyewitness reports.


    Sales Call
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  • WFCJ-FM, owned by Miami Valley Christian Broadcasting Association, recently upgraded from its original Broadcast Electronics’ Audiovault AV100 to the latest version of Audiovault Vaultxpress digital audio storage and studio system software. Upgrading to the Vaultxpress will allow the station to use more MP3 files and have more hard drive space in a faster system.
  • Capital Public Radio of Sacramento, CA, has ordered an additionwal Wheatstone D-8000 digital audio mixing console for future configuration into the existing networked audio system consisting of three D-8000s, one D-16 on-air console and Bridge digital router. Capital Public Radio currently operates the public broadcasting services of California State University Sacramento and University of the Pacific.
  • Wicks Broadcast Solutions and Commonwealth Broadcasting, one of the two largest station groups in Kentucky, have entered into an agreement to integrate Wicks’ Deltaflex 4 Broadcast Management System into Commonwealth’s radio stations. Commonwealth Broadcasting operates 24 radio stations.
  • Telos has delivered several orders to stations around the world. The Zephyr Xstream ISDN codec has been popular, with Minnesota Public Radio purchasing two, XM Satellite Radio purchasing three, Billy Graham Ministries purchasing one and SABE, South Africa purchasing four. Also, Cumulus Topeka recently installed six One-x-Six talkshow systems. Look for a Facility Showcase in the October issue of Radio magazine.
  • The Boston Globe has signed an agreement to receive online radio monitoring and spot analysis service from Media Monitors. The service, Aircheck, delivers same-day radio station airplay information via its website, www.mediamonitors.com.
  • People

    Ledtronics Introduces New OEM/MRO Rep
    Torrance, CA - Sep 20, 2004 - Ledtronics has hired Kurt Weegmann as its OEM/MRO representative for Minnesota. Weegmann bring 20 years of experience in electronics and sales to the solid-state lighting arena. His knowledge of electrical systems enables him to demonstrate how LED technology can be employed in complex lighting applications. He will provide customers in the Minnesota area with application assistance and other value-added services.

    Contact Weegmann at:

    Applied Technologies
    2585 Christian Parkway
    Chaska, MN 55318
    phone: 952-361-6542
    fax: 952-361-6546
    e-mail: kweegmann@att.net

    BE Names VP of Strategic Marketing
    Quincy, IL - Sep 13, 2004 - Neil Glassman will join Broadcast Electronics as vice president for strategic marketing. As a key member of the executive team, Glassman will be responsible for directing product positioning and branding, as well as developing and implementing short- and long-range strategies and tactics to increase BE market share worldwide. In addition, he will oversee worldwide marketing, advertising, media relations, online presence and trade shows.

    Glassman draws on two decades of management, sales and marketing experience in the broadcast equipment, audio electronics and telecommunications industries in his new post. As managing director of Cowan Communications, he has consulted on marketing communications for BE for the past year. Before that, he launched the U.S.-based division of French digital audio networking company Digigram in 1997. Previously, he was a consultant for Cleveland-based Telos Systems and Omnia Audio. Glassman was the sales and marketing manager for Bradley Broadcast for six years before that.

    Glassman can be reached at nglassman@bdcast.com.


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