Radio Currents Online - Oct 4 - Oct 10, 2004


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News

Opposing the 5kHz Limit
Following the announcement that Clear Channel will restrict the audio bandwidth of its AM stations to 5kHz or 6kHz, Radio magazine has received comments about the directive. Most of them oppose the move by the radio giant.

We will publish some of the letters in the next issue of Radio magazine, but here are a few excerpts.

Clear Channel has its own agenda when pushing a 5kHz bandwidth. We who are required to operate a stereo signal because we use the expanded band would be forced to go IBOC or sound like crap if limited to 5kHz.

When I read that Clear Channel will reduce the AM audio bandwidth of all its stations, and that Jeff Littlejohn proposes the change to the NRSC for all AMs, I know that more investigation by our engineering community is needed. By degrading analog AM to 5kHz mono, it will make IBOC seem like a huge improvement, whereas analog stereo out to 10.2kHz is equal to or better sounding than IBOC in some instances.

This is a sad moment for those of us who really got to know AM, but I would also say that this is long overdue.

We welcome your opinion. Forward your ideas to radio@primediabusiness.com.


Business

DK Audio Becomes DK Technologies
Herlev, Denmark - Sept 30, 2004 - Unveiling a new name and logo, the company is transitioning from DK-Audio to DK-Technologies.

"We have changed our name and image to reflect the direction in which DK is moving and to remove any uncertainty over our product range," Founder Karsten Hansen explains. "Having both DK-Audio and PTV branding was confusing for our customers. Our aim is to consolidate all our products – whether they are destined for audio or video application - under a simple DK tag. This will allow us to concentrate on providing conceptual solutions, not just product, which we believe is what the industry wants."


Harris Acquires Encoda Systems
Melbourne, FL - Oct 6, 2004 - Encoda Systems Holdings, a global supplier of software and service solutions for the broadcast media industry, has been bought by Harris. Harris will acquire Encoda Systems for about $340 million in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments, customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in early November, and the acquisition will be immediate.

Encoda's products include traffic and billing and program-scheduling systems, and its automation and media asset management solutions are expected to be complementary to Harris' existing automation business. Currently, Encoda employs about 700 people with operations in the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia. It serves more than 600 customers in 34 countries.


Avcom Names Patriot as Master Distributor
Richmond, VA - Sep 22, 2004 - Avcom of Virginia has named Patriot Antenna Systems of Albion, MI, as its new master distributor for Avcom products. Patriot Antenna Systems is a manufacturer of receive-only and VSAT antennas. Patriot Antenna Systems also supplies LNB’s, feeds, mounts, connectors, cables and test equipment to support its core antenna business.


Infinity Boston Selects Harris for Turnkey Install
Cincinnati and Boston - Oct 6, 2004 - Harris will provide a turnkey, networked audio management system to the Infinity Boston radio group. Infinity Boston-owned stations WBCN-FM and WZLX-FM will relocate to the existing WODS-FM facility over the next several months. The three stations will share resources among nine studios using Harris’ PR&E Vistamax networked audio management system. Six Harris PR&E RMX Digital audio consoles built into the company’s Smoothline furniture will complete the equipment package. Harris will also provide all pre-wiring, facility design and onsite installation as a crucial part of the turnkey package.

WZLX and WBCN each will take delivery of three Vistamax-enabled RMX Digital consoles. WODS, which has operated in the renovated facility for two years, will upgrade its Harris PR&E BMX Digital audio consoles for Vistamax connectivity. All three stations will communicate and share resources using the Vistamax platform.


Communications and Power Industries Acquires Econco
Palo Alto, CA, and Woodland, CA – Oct 4, 2004 – Communications and Power Industries (CPI) has acquired Econco Broadcast Service from the founders and controlling shareholders of the company.

Established in 1968, Econco provides rebuilding services for vacuum electron devices (VED), extending the life of these devices at a cost that is lower than buying a new VED. Econco serves more than 10,000 customers from around the world.

CPI provides vacuum electron devices, satellite communications amplifiers, medical imaging generators and other related equipment for defense and commercial applications.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of October but the terms were not disclosed.


Scott Studios Sells to Dmarc Broadcasting
Dallas - Oct 6, 2004 - Dave Scott, founder of Scott Studios, has announced that he will retire in three years. He has sold his companies, Scott Studios, Computer Concepts and Scott Concepts to Dmarc Broadcasting of Newport Beach, CA. Scott remains president of the companies.

The new combo will expand Scott Studios' digital systems and add Dmarc's data technologies. Scott Systems also adds program auxiliary data (PAD) of HD Radio and RDS, as well as revenue enhancements through data advertising and auxiliary data services.

No operational changes will occur in products supported, employees, location or phone numbers of the Kansas and Dallas offices.

Dmarc is managed by Chad and Ryan Steelberg.

Purchase prices were not disclosed.


Clear Channel Continues its More Competitive Drive
San Antonio - Oct 4, 2004 - Clear Channel - In a press release, Clear Channel Radio announced the next step in its initiative to "improve the overall quality of radio to listeners and value to advertisers" with the creation of the Clear Channel Radio Creative Resource Group. The group will be a resource to advertising agencies and local stations, assisting them in creating engaging and memorable radio ads, offering creative coaching, online toolkits and ongoing direction in the creation, writing and production of compelling ad spots. The group will also train Clear Channel radio station personnel to position its sales and creative staff to be "indispensable resources in the quest for more compelling content."

In July 2004, Clear Channel announced that it was cutting back on the number of ads and promotional clutter. John Hogan, chief executive officer of Clear Channel Radio said, "We, as an industry, must also do a better job of using the power of our medium to engage and enchant listeners with better creative."

Leading the group, which will focus initially on training local station staffs, will be Jim Cook, who will serve in the newly created position of senior vice president, creative services. Also working with the group will be marketing consultants Dick Orkin and the Radio Ranch and Roy H. Williams' Wizard of Ads. Both shops will design and execute comprehensive training of local Clear Channel Radio station professionals. Assisting Clear Channel in its efforts to bring the entire radio industry along on its path will be Jack Trout, co-author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

Jim Cook has more than 30 years of radio experience and most recently served as vice president of creative services at Clear Channel Radio. Cook lent his talents to Clear Channel Radio beginning in 1995 and has acted as a leader and a resource in radio production and programming, marrying technology and talent throughout the creative process.

Dick Orkin first took aim at the world of advertising in Chicago in 1973, scoring national acclaim with comedy radio commercials for Time Magazine, GMAC, The GAP and others. Orkin currently operates a series of radio advertising creativity workshops, which evolved out of the Radio Ranch method for idea-generating.

Roy Williams' first book, The Wizard of Ads, was voted Business Book of the Year in 1998. His second book, Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads, was named the Wall Street Journal's number one Business Book in America in 1999 and became a New York Times bestseller.


Ultrasone Partners with Monroe Products for Distribution
Franklin, TN - Oct 4, 2004 - Ultrasone of America, the United States distributor for German headphone manufacturer Ultrasone AG, has signed a distribution deal with Monroe Products. Through its website (www.hemi-sync.com) and a direct mail campaign, Monroe Products will market Ultrasone headphones to its more than 500 dealers.


Sales Call
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  • Radio Suisse Romande (RSR), a subsidiary of SSR Group, has chosen to upgrade its radio broadcast facilities with the Dalet Plus Radio Suite. RSR operates five channels from 18 studios in two locations: Lausanne and Geneve.
  • Sean Hannity, syndicated afternoon radio host and Fox News Channel program co-host, build a radio broadcast studio in his home so that he can broadcast his radio program during days where inclement weather prevent him from commuting to WABC in New York City. Hannity commissioned Harris to build the facility, which includes a Harris VSDM mixer, Harris Intraplex T-1 multiplexer and Neutrik connectors.
  • Metro Radio, the Halifax division of CHUM Limited and Newcap Broadcasting, has purchased a Wheatstone Bridge digital audio router and Generation 4 control surface. The facility plans to add additional Generation series control surfaces to its new integrated audio network while they phase out use of the existing analog consoles.
  • Cumulus Media has purchased a turnkey tower and transmission system from Dielectric for broadcast of recently acquired KVST-FM 103.7, which serves the Houston market. Cumulus wants to upgrade KVST-FM from a 15,000W station to a 100,000W station.
  • Dielectric's HDR Series Interleaved Antenna System has been installed at WNNK 104.1's Harrisburg, PA, facility to permit simultaneous transmission of analog and HD Radio signals from the same antenna aperture.
  • People

    Middle Atlantic Names Director of Sales, Southeast Region
    Dallas - Sept 27, 2004 - Bill Poling has joined Middle Atlantic Products as the director of sales, southeast region. Effective immediately, Poling assumes responsibility of the southeastern United States for all Middle Atlantic Products.

    Prior to joining Middle Atlantic Products, Poling was with Rittal. Poling also worked with APW Stantron and Anvil Cases. In his new role, Poling will be managing all sales activities in the southeastern region.


    Internet Watch

    Products

    Tascam FW-1884 Updated
    Montebello, CA - Oct 5, 2004 - Tascam has released an upgrade for the FW-1884 audio/MIDI interface and control surface. Version 1.30 allows the control surface to send commands to soft synths, plug-ins and MIDI sequencers directly through its high-speed Fire Wire interface. In addition, GSIF-2 compatibility now allows it to act as a low-latency audio and MIDI interface for GigaStudio 3 and offers improved compatibility with Apple PowerMac G5 computers.


    Boston Acoustics Introduces Recepter Radio
    San Diego - Oct. 6, 2004 – At the NAB Radio Show Boston Acoustics introduced the Recepter Radio HD with HD Radio technology. The Recepter Radio HD is a HD home radio. A digital AM/FM table model, it delivers high-fidelity sound. It broadens Boston Acoustics’ Recepter Radio family, and features the HD Radio technology developed by Ibiquity Digital.

    The Recepter Radio HD includes memory tuning for as many as 20 AM/FM presets in any order desired, and incorporates two clock alarms that can be set for waking up to music, a buzzer or both. Snooze and sleep functions are also provided, as is a battery backup that retains presets and time settings, even during a power outage. The tuner’s high selectivity allows it to separate closely spaced stations clearly, while Phase Lock Loop (PLL) circuitry locks in stations, eliminating drift as it delivers the full sonic capabilities of the FM signal.

    The Recepter Radio HD will be available in Spring 2005 from authorized Boston Acoustics dealers.


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