Radio Currents Online - Oct 14 - Oct 27, 2002

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SBE Plans Membership Fee Increase for 2003

Phoenix - Oct 17, 2002 - Citing increasing costs, the Society of Broadcast Engineers Board of Directors unanimously approved an increase in membership dues for regular, senior, associate and student members, effective January 1, 2003.

SBE dues for most members have not changed since 1992. The Society's Board, agreeing with a recommendation from the SBE finance and SBE executive committees, determined an increase was necessary at this time to keep the SBE on a firm financial footing. The SBE has operated with a deficit budget in both 2001 and 2002, using cash from reserves to make up the difference. Expenses have been kept as low as possible while still providing the resources to carryout the programs and services of the Society.

The dues increase proposal was a part of the 2003 budget approved by the Board during its meeting October 16 in Phoenix.

The rate for regular, senior and associate members will rise $5 to $60 per year. This is the first dues increase for these membership categories since April 1992. Dues for Student Members will rise $3 to $18 per year, which will be the first increase for this member category since 1996. The new rates will apply to new members that join on or after January 1, 2003 and for current members who are due to renew April 1, 2003.

Membership dues for youth members will remain at $10 while dues for sustaining members will stay at $550 per year.

Life membership remains free. There is a one-time $35 application fee for those applying for life membership, which took effect earlier this year. Members who are retired and have held membership in the SBE for at least 10 consecutive years at the time of application for life membership, can qualify.

Local SBE chapters will also share in the increased revenues from the dues increase. Chapter rebates, which are paid to chapters who meet at least five times each year, will increase because they are determined by the amount of dues paid by regular, senior and associate members. The overall increase should be approximately $3,513 beginning with the 2003 program year, bringing the total amount in rebates paid to qualifying chapters to more than $36,000 per year.

ITU Recommends DRM for Three-band Use

Geneva - Oct 23, 2002 – The on-air system company Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) has received endorsement by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for three broadcasting bands below 30MHz: short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave. Administrations of the ITU's member countries approved a revised version of Recommendation BS1514, now called Recommendation BS1514-1 (Digital Sound Broadcasting Below 30MHz). It states that DRM is an ITU-R Recommendation for all the broadcasting bands spanning 150kHz to 30MHz. No other digital radio system has received such broad recommendation by the ITU. The ITU, which has 190 member countries, had approved its original recommendation of the DRM system within BS 1514 in April 2001.

This development marks another milestone in DRM's progress toward universal standardization. DRM has been endorsed by the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC), which published its DRM Publicly Available Specification (PAS 62272-1) earlier this year. Additionally, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) published a Technical Specification of the DRM system in September 2001. The document is called ETSI TS 101 980 V1.1.1 (2001-09), Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM); System Specification. Free downloadable copies are available at the ETSI website at

DRM is the world's only non-proprietary, digital AM system for short-wave, medium-wave and long-wave, with the ability to use existing frequencies and bandwidth across the globe.

Labor Coalition to Review Ownership Studies by FCC

New York - October 3, 2002 - A group of labor organizations representing professionals in the broadcast, communications and entertainment industries have retained the services of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) to review the data released in various ownership studies by the FCC.

The studies were released by the FCC in advance of a rule making, relative to existing rules that limit ownership of broadcast media. Organizations fear that these rules may be eradicated under the current Commission. The unions also endorsed a recommendation by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps that public hearings on media ownership should be held around the country before the Commission makes its final recommendations on the rules.

CEPR is representing the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America (TNG-CWA), the AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees (DPE) and the Writers Guild of America/East (WGAE).

The Fluke Digital Multimeter is Recalled

Everett, WA - Oct 23, 2002 - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Fluke is recalling about 40,000 digital multimeters, 17,200 of which were sold in the U.S. The recalled units take longer than normal to display readings of ac voltages above 500V, sometimes as long as 18 seconds. Users can misinterpret the delayed reading to mean that high voltage is not present. Some meters with model numbers 175, 177 and 179 are affected. See the following website for specific information:

SBE Certification Program Receives Veterans Affairs Reimbursement Approval

Indianapolis - Oct 7, 2002 - In an effort to assist qualified individuals in obtaining Certification from the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the SBE Certification Committee has applied for and received approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizing most of the current levels of SBE Certification as educational opportunities suitable for VA financial reimbursement.

"The Certification Committee continues to look for ways of making SBE Certification more accessible to the Society's members and the broadcast industry," said Chriss Scherer, CSRE, chairman of the SBE's National Certification Committee. "I encourage any veteran who is eligible to receive the educational benefit to take advantage of it. Linda Baun, SBE certification director, saw the application and approval process through completion and deserves the credit for making this happen."

For tests taken after March 1, 2001, the Department of Veterans Affairs added a license or certification reimbursement benefit to the G.I. Bill. This benefit is designed to help veterans obtain the necessary certification to show competency in an area of skill. Many military electronics technicians look at careers in communications and broadcasting after discharge. This program provides a financial means for veterans to obtain the recognition they deserve to secure a technical career in broadcasting and electronic media.

Only tests specifically approved for the G.I. Bill are eligible for the reimbursement credit. The Society of Broadcast Engineer's Certification Committee has received approval on the following Certification levels:

  • Certified Broadcast Technologist - CBT

  • Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer - CBRE

  • Certified Broadcast Television Engineer - CBTE

  • Certified Senior Radio Engineer - CSRE

  • Certified Senior Television Engineer - CSTE

  • Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer - CPBE

  • Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist - CBNT

  • Certified Television Operator - CTO

    "I commend the Certification Committee and especially Linda Baun for their efforts. This is great news for broadcast engineers who are also veterans," said Troy Pennington, CSRE CBNT, president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. "The SBE appreciates the work of our veterans and are pleased that we are able to extend this benefit to those veterans applying for SBE Certification."

    To be eligible for the reimbursement, a veteran must be eligible for the Montgomery G.I.Bill and active duty (also called the MGIB or Chapter 30), VEAP (also called Chapter 32) or Dependents' Educational Assistance (also called DEA or Chapter 35). Additional details on the reimbursement program are available through the SBE National Office and will be provided to certification exam applicants on request.

    The SBE Certification Program was established to create an industry benchmark for evaluating a broadcast engineer’s skill and proficiency.

SoundExchange Releases Temporary Royalty Payment Plan

Washington - Oct 18, 2002 - H.R.5469, also known as the Small Webcaster Amendments Act of 2002, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 7 by a unanimous voice vote. Following this action, the bill went to the Senate, where it failed to be reviewed an passed before Congress adjourned. Because the bill was not passed before the webcaster royalty deadline of Oct. 20, 2002, webcasters are expected to submit payments in accordance with the Librarian of Congress’ ruling.

H.R.5469 was introduced to extend the payment deadline by six months. It was designed to provide relief for small webcasters until a royalty negotiations between webcasters and record companies were completed. The Senate will review H.R.5469 when it reconvenes in November. It is expected that the Senate will also pass the bill.

Because of the Senate's failure to pass H.R. 5469 before October 20, SoundExchange announced a temporary payment policy for small webcasters on behalf of its sound recording copyright members. The policy states:

SBE Announces Location for 2003 National Meeting

Phoenix - Oct 17, 2002 - During the Society of Broadcat Engineers' meeting of its board of directors, the location for the Society's annual National Meeting was decided. The 2003 meeting will be held in Madison, WI, during the Broadcasters Clinic 2003, October 14 to 16.

The SBE has held its national meeting to coincide with various conventions of SBE chapters for several years. The 2002 meeting was held in Phoenix.


TMS Assists Broadcasters with DCS, Maestro Systems

Olathe, KS - Oct 25, 2002 - Scott Slocum has created an organization to assist broadcasters who are operating with the DCS and Maestro digital audio systems. Turnkey Media Systems of Olathe, KS, has purchased a stockpile of used DCS machines, parts and some new software modules to increase flexibility and functionality to the DOS-based and Windows-based configurations.

In addition, the company will be offering Windows-based traffic and billing software for radio and television, plus Windows-based music scheduling software, and paperless studio systems for production and contest management.

Scott can be reached at his Olathe office at 913-568-2254, or by e-mail at

NMP Installs i2i Media System in New York

Princeton, NJ - Oct 24, 2002 - Nassau Media Partners will install its i2i Media digital visual messaging system at the New York Waterway within the next 30 days. A strategic alliance with Clarity Visual Systems, a provider of digital visual messaging and the technology partner with NMP on the waterway project, was announced in July 2002.

Nassau will broadcast advertising, branded lifestyle content, as well as news, weather, sports and financial news, seven days a week, to more than 70,000 daily New York Waterway ferry commuters. The i2i Media system will also display real-time ferry schedules and emergency information in all New York Waterway terminals.

CSS Named Certified Regional Repair Facility for Will-Burt

Denver - October 23, 2002 - Creative Studio Solutions is now a certified installation, repair and overhaul facility for the Will-Burt Company of Orrville, Ohio, manufacturers of Will-Burt Telescoping Mast Systems.

CSS will serve the Rocky Mountain Region’s television and radio broadcast communities. CSS is now the only certified Will-Burt repair and installation facility covering Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska.

Ibiquity's HD Radio Technology Licensed to Delphi

Detroit - Oct 21, 2002 - Delphi, a transportation, mobile electronics components and systems technology company, has licensed Ibiquity's HD Radio technology, allowing the mobile electronics manufacturer to integrate the Radio technology into receivers slated for availability to automakers in the 2004 calendar year.


Gillon Joins Harris Field Sales

Cincinnati - Oct 22, 2002 - Matt Gillon has joined Harris' Broadcast Communications Division (BCD) as manager of field sales. Gillon will be responsible for directing all day-to-day sales activities and the sales representatives for Harris Radio field sales in the United States.

Gillon brings more than 16 years of radio broadcast experience in general and sales management to the Harris organization. Most recently, he was vice president of sales for KCOB-AM/FM/KRTI-FM of Newton, IA, where he was responsible for directing the company's sales marketing team for radio. Gillon has also served as general manager and director of sales for Two Rivers Broadcasting, L.P., owners of KBGG-AM, KGGO-FM, KHKI-FM, KJJY-FM and KRKQ-FM, where he managed a 60-person staff. Additionally, Gillon has worked in a number of sales capacities with Des Moines, IA, stations Star 102.5/Lite 104.1, the Meredith Publications Crafts Group, Oskalossa, IA, station WHO-AM, KRMD-FM and KBOE-AM/KOSK-FM, and Otumwa, IA, stations KLEE-AM/FM.

He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a B.A. degree in communications studies.

Mack Takes Tascam Leadership

Montebello, CA - Oct 16, 2002 - Audio industry veteran Jim Mack has assumed leadership of TEAC America's Tascam division. Mack's promotion follows the recent resignation of Gene Joly, who left to accept a new career opportunity. The move also comes on the heels of the recent promotions of Gregg Hildebrandt to Tascam western regional sales manager and Chuck Prada to Tascam eastern regional sales manager.

Originally hired as Tascam's division manager in 2001, Mack has been primarily responsible for the restructuring of Tascam's worldwide product development process. In his expanded role, Mack will also assume leadership duties for Tascam's sales, marketing and business development efforts.

Prior to joining Tascam, Mack spent seven years at Alesis, ending his tenure there as vice-president of sales and marketing. Mack has more than 25 years of industry experience, including 11 years as an independent representative for a variety of music and audio manufacturers, and over a decade in management in the consumer and professional audio retail sectors.

Soundcraft Announces Major Rep Restructure

Nashville, TN - Oct 14, 2002 - Effective Sept. 1, Soundcraft USA has made a significant number of changes to its independent manufacturers rep network. Soundcraft USA's newly appointed firms, listed with their respective principals and territories, are as follows:

  • Sigmet - Sam Helms - Metropolitan NY and middle Atlantic states

  • Talbot Marketing - Dave Talbot - Upstate NY

  • Robert Louis Associates - Robert Podolinski - OH and PA

  • Innovative Audio Sales - Andy Combs - MI

  • Sound Marketing Central - John Reda/Mike Flynn - IL and WI

  • Sound Marketing East - John Reda/Gerry Schrader - IN and KY

  • Sound Marketing West - John Reda/Perry Celia - S. CA and NV

  • MJA Marketing - Marcus Johnson - MO, KS, NE and IA

  • Network Sales & Marketing - Bob Schmid - MN, SD and ND

    The remainder of Soundcraft's domestic territories continue to be handled by their pre-existing rep firms.

Prior Becomes RCS VP/Africa

White Plains, NY - Oct 14, 2002 - Robin Prior has been appointed vice president/Africa for RCS. Prior is a broadcast industry veteran, involved in South Africa radio and TV broadcasting for more than 30 years.

Before joining RCS in the USA, Prior ran his own broadcast-related companies, including a turnkey radio and TV station installation and systems integration company. He was responsible for installing and commissioning several TV and radio station complexes throughout Southern Africa. Prior's company represented RCS in Africa for 10 years before he moved to the USA.

During the past six years at the RCS World Headquarters in New York, Robin has been responsible for the Support and Installation Department as well as Product Management for RCS Master Control. He was named vice president-international in April 2002, where his responsibilities included all RCS activities outside the Continental USA and South America.

Powell Becomes VP of RCS International

White Plains, NY - Oct 14, 2002 - RCS has appointed Michael Powell of the UK as its newest vice president, international division. Powell will replace Robin Prior, who is relocating to his homeland of South Africa to head RCS activity in that continent.

Powell, a native of the UK and a former newspaper journalist, joined his first radio station in 1980, soon becoming news director and morning show presenter. In 1983 he helped set up Guildford's County Sound AM & FM, becoming PD in 1984 and CEO in 1986 when he signed up as one of the first UK users of RCS Selector. His innovations included being the first UK radio company to end simulcasting and the first to bring U.S.-style Gold format radio to the UK.

In 1990, Powell launched radio development company Infinity Media, not affiliated with Infinity USA, which merged with UKRD Group, where he became CEO. Powell acted as launch CEO for UK stations Pirate FM, 96.4 The Eagle, and at Star FM as one of the first UK users of RCS Master Control. He was a founding director of many UK stations including Fox FM, Oxford and two Kiss-branded stations that were later sold to Chrysalis Group for $27 million. During this time he also served as a Director of RCS (UK).

In 2001 with Powell as Chairman, Infinity Media de-merged from UKRD Group to concentrate on new cross-platform radio formats. To take the role at RCS, Powell will be relinquishing his duties at Infinity.

Allen & Heath Appoints Lewty

Agoura Hills, CA - Oct 15, 2002 - Dave Lewty has been appointed to the newly-created position of applications specialist at Allen & Heath USA. He is a well-known live sound expert with an extensive background in touring and installed performance sound.

North American Pro Audio (NAPA) established Allen & Heath USA to provide U.S. distribution for the British audio mixing console manufacturer.

Lewty joins Allen & Heath USA after two years with a prominent southern California amplifier manufacturer. Prior to that, he was responsible for the initial introduction of the Innovason digital mixing console in the United States, working directly with the French manufacturer and the U.S. importer for several years.

Lewty, who started in the industry as a touring live sound engineer and musician in Europe, was transferred to the United States from Manchester, England in 1992 by AMEK, the British console maker. Initially establishing an East Coast sales office for AMEK U.S. Operations, he relocated to the company's Los Angeles headquarters a year later. There, Lewty served as live sound sales manager, working to introduce AMEK's Recall and 501 by Langley automated performance sound consoles. He left AMEK in the late 90s as national sales manager.

Internet Watch

Gefen Updates Music Search

Woodland Hills, CA - Oct 21, 2002 - Gefen's sound effects-search software, SFX Search, has migrated to a new online home at With a new Web interface and additional libraries, offers a selection of sound effects, production music and element libraries, easily searched by category or library name.

Thousands of samples are now available with new licensing arrangements in the works for an even greater selection in 2003. Users can purchase individual samples for one-time usage or a complete library to add to their collection. Individual sound effects range in price. Some of the categories available include airplanes, animals, crashes, fantasy, funk, foley, rock/pop, sports and warfare.

A high-speed Internet connection is requred to download and sample sound effects. Users can purchase online as well.

SFX Search software is also available through Gefen.


DG Systems Rolls Out Enhanced Features

Dallas - Oct 24, 2002 - DG Systems has launched a series of enhanced features and an upgraded version of its DG Online solution. These enhancements will make it easier for advertisers, agencies and record labels to deliver radio commercials and music releases through its DG Audio Distribution Service.

The new DG Audio Distribution upgrades and features include a new electronic traffic and order management interface that eliminates re-keying orders; online spot and music upload capabilities that upload media directly from users’ desktops; a customer service program that proactively reaches out to clientele; DG Media Manager audio technology rolled out to its nationwide network of radio stations; and DG Online 5.3, which now offers upgraded features, such as online order entry and management for streamlined audio and video distribution.

Syntrillium Book Offers Instructions, Tips

Los Angeles - Oct 5, 2002 - Syntrillium Software and U.K. publisher PC Publishing have partnered to publish Audio Editing With Cool Edit by Richard Riley, a book on PC-based music recording and editing using Syntrillium Software’s Cool Edit technology.

The 160-page paperback explains how to install and set up the program, how to record from a variety of sources, how to apply EQ and effects like flanging, reverb and delay, and how to sync via MIDI and SMPTE. Readers will learn how to use plug-ins to enhance, clean up and improve recordings, and how to save in multiple file formats, including MP3 and .wav for any platform.

For users who master to CD, the book explains how to use Cool Edit’s tools for normalizing the mix, executing complex multiband compression, noise reduction and inserting silence, test tones and signals. There’s also a troubleshooting section and a collection of tips and tricks gleaned from the author's experience using the program.

Stardraw Upgrades with Rubber-banding

London - Oct, 10, 2002 - Stardraw introduces Rubber-banding as an enhancement to its design and documentation applications. The new functionality means that elements in schematic designs stay connected as the user moves them within the document. To change the look of a block schematic and move products, drag the selected symbols to their new position or nudge them with the arrow keys. Rubber-banding operates independently of modifiers, such as snap to grid.

AKG Completes, Distributes Mic Check

Nashville, TN - Oct 1, 2002 - AKG Acoustics has completed and is distributing its Mic Check, a CD-ROM and audio CD that enables musicians, producers, engineers and dealers to compare the contrast AKG microphones with various features and prices. The audio CD can be played in a standard CD player or as a CD-ROM and includes 89 tracks.

Orban Ships Optimod 8400HD

San Leandro, CA - Oct 16, 2002 – The first Optimod-FM 8400 audio processors, equipped with the new HD FM processing module, have shipped. The 8400HD FM processor has been used on-air in Ibiquity HD Radio tests on alternative-rock-formatted KROQ (Los Angeles) and classical KDFC (San Francisco).

The 8400HD FM system features multiple outputs to drive the analog and digital HD Radio transmission channels, both of which operate simultaneously during HD Radio transmission. The 8400HD FM's analog outputs are identical to those in the Optimod-8400, and are optimized to accommodate the pre-emphasis used on the analog FM channel.

The 8400HD FM adds an extra AES/EBU output to drive the digital HD Radio channel. This output provides look-ahead peak limiting that operates in parallel with the FM peak limiting. The look-ahead limiting is optimized to make the most of the limited bit-rate codec, used in the HD Radio digital channel. By eschewing any clipping, the DR output prevents the codec from wasting bits encoding clipping distortion products, allowing the codec to use its entire bit budget to encode the desired program material instead.

Sonifex Offers Software Upgrade

Los Angeles – Oct 5, 2002 – Sonifex has announced a new software upgrade for the Net-Log audio logger. The Net-Log is a four-channel audio logger that can record weeks of programming on a large internal hard disk. The current version supports as many as five simultaneous streams of playback, file creation for e-mailing, auto-archiving and recording control by remote contacts, weekly schedule or live events.

The release of the upgrade in November will include support for larger hard drives, an increased number of recorded cuts and an increased number of recording programs. The software upgrade is free and will be available on the Sonifex website at

Eventide Introduces Boards for Orville

Los Angeles – Oct 5, 2002 – Eventide has introduced two digital I/O expansion boards for its Orville effects processor: the AES/EBU and the ADAT. These hardware upgrades are available for factory installation to all existing users of the Orville and the blank panel version. These boards provide expanded digital input and output capability for existing units.

Auditronics' ALM-12D Passes Test at KCBQ

New Bern, NC - Oct 14, 2002 - Salem Communications' KCBQ received an Auditronics ALM-12D, a digital radio console that combines the functions of a router and an on-air audio console within the control surface, to use for production. Before installation was completed, however, the station's plans changed.

Craig Caston, chief engineer, needed a control room to accommodate a new morning show: "Mark Larson with Larry Marino," a news and talk program. The show, which is produced in San Diego and Los Angeles for the entire Southern California market, needed an on-air facility rather than one just for production.

The last minute change in plans dictated that the original production space be transformed into the Larson studio. The ALM's compact footprint fit nicely into what would normally be considered a smaller-than-usual control room. Furthermore, its internal routing and mix-minus capabilities allowed it to adapt quickly for a combination news and call-in on-air environment. The console's ability to assign any source to any input fader location is reinforced to the talent by definable alphanumeric displays. Reconfigurable mix-minus mixes keep communications with remote callers and studios simple.

Syntrillium Supports Windows Media 9 Series

Los Angeles - Oct 5, 2002 - At the AES Convention, Syntrillium Software previewed its audio editing software's support for the Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series platform, and more specifically, the new Windows Media Audio 9 Professional codec that enables Web-based delivery of six-channel surround sound with full-spectrum, full-resolution audio.

With its support for this Windows Media codec, Syntrillium's Cool Edit Pro 2.0 audio recording, editing and mixing application offers a way to encode 5.1 audio channels to a single Windows Media Audio stream at a variety of bit resolutions and sampling rates, including 24-bit 96kHz full-resolution audio.

Digigram Releases MAC OS X Drivers

Los Angeles - Oct 5, 2002 - Digigram has released the Mac OS X drivers for its Vxpocket v2, Vxpocket 440 and VX222 sound cards. The Vxpocket range enables audio production on laptops. Drivers are downloadable from the Digigram site.

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