Radio Currents Online - Dec 5 - Dec 11, 2005


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News

MSRC Releases Emergency Preparation Toolkit
Washington - Nov 16, 2005 - The Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) has unveiled what it calls a Model Vulnerability Assessment Checklists for radio, TV, cable operators and direct broadcast satellite operators. The documents are designed to assist the broadcast outlets in preparing for emergencies. The documents, called a toolkit, was developed by the Toolkit Working Group for the MSRC.

The MSRC Toolkit Working Group is co-chaired by Bob Ross of CBS and Andy Scott of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA). Each toolkit addresses the unique needs of the various outlets. The MRSC will present a paper on the toolkit at NAB2006.

The toolkit is intended to help the media assess the vulnerability of their facilities in an emergency and to assist in developing recovery plans. Additionally, the toolkit is intended to help the media define roles for their staffs in an emergency, access internal and external communications, develop emergency procedures, and address recovery and periodic plan testing.

While the toolkit provides a basic checklist for stations to use in verifying emergency preparedness, each station should take proactive action to ensure that the station is actually ready. The documents are available on the FCC MSRC website at www.fcc.gov/MSRC.

The MSRC was formed after 9-11 to study and recommend best practices to keep the broadcast and multichannel video distribution industries operational in the event of an emergency.


Radio Alliance Created to Advance Rollout of HD Radio
New York - Dec 6, 2005 - Eight of the top U.S. radio companies announced a strategic alliance to accelerate the rollout of HD Radio. Called the HD Digital Radio Alliance, the group's charter focuses on three goals.

  • To coordinate the rollout of HD Radio, including coordinating the formats on multicast channels.
  • To work together to secure automotive design wins and lower receiver price points.
  • To jointly market HD Radio, in partnership with receiver manufacturers and retailers.

    Member companies will also devote more than $200 million in commercial inventory on their own stations in 2006 to promote HD Radio and the multicast channels.

    The effort is open to all U.S.-based radio companies. The group expects to announce its first market-specific HD2 programming line-up at the beginning of 2006, including launch dates, specifics on specialized multicast signals, and a nationwide consumer marketing campaign.

    The charter members jointly announced the groups creation at a press conference held in New York. The initial members are Bonneville International, Citadel Broadcasting, Clear Channel Radio, Cumulus, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media and Infinity Broadcasting. Peter Ferrara has been was named CEO of the organization.

    Ferrara has a background in radio-group management, station ownership and trade association oversight. Among his previous executive positions, Ferrara was a senior vice president of Clear Channel Communications, COO of U.S. Radio and Granum Communications, executive vice president of the National Radio Broadcasters Association, and a board member of the National Association of Broadcasters.

    Serving as the Alliance's oversight management committee are Clear Channel Communications president and CEO Mark Mays; Greater Media president and CEO Peter Smyth; and Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander.

    The member companies have agreed to coordinate the use of all multicast channels to create the greatest diversity of formats. The goal: create new, unique and compelling content within a high-quality listening experience across a broad spectrum of music, news and entertainment programming. The groups will create local content for the multicast channels in each market. These channels will also initially be commercial-free.

    Several manufacturers have committed to produce HD Radio receivers, including ADA, Alpine, Boston Acoustics, Day Sequerra, Delphi, DICE, Eclipse, JVC, Kenwood, Panasonic, Polk, Radiosophy, Rotel, Sanyo, Visteon and Yamaha.


    Business

    Buckley Names Harris as Preferred HD Radio Vendor
    Cincinnati - Dec 8, 2005 - Buckley Broadcasting, owner and operator of 19 stations in seven markets as well as the syndicated WOR Radio Network, has selected Harris as its HD Radio transmission preferred vendor. Harris and Buckley Broadcasting have agreed on a four-year commitment for the provision of HD Radio transmitters, Flexstar HD Radio products and Dexstar exciters to Buckley Broadcasting's ten FM and nine AM stations in New York, Connecticut and California. The first installation is currently underway at WDRC-FM in Hartford, CT, and installations will continue early next year at WSEN-FM in Syracuse, NY, and KWAV-FM in Monterey, CA. Subsequent installations will be staggered over the remainder of the four-year period.

    Buckley Broadcasting's FM stations will install Harris Z-Series and Mini-HD separate amplification FM transmitters (depending on power requirements) with Flexstar HDX-FM exciters, while its AM stations will install a mix of 3DX-50, DX and DAX AM transmitters with Dexstar exciters. The FM stations also will install Harris Flexstar HDI-100 importers and HDE-100 exporters at the studio to combine audio and data into a single bandwidth-efficient stream en route to the transmitter. Most of the FM stations also will use the Harris Split-Level combining method.


    V-Soft Schedules Training at NAB2006
    Las Vegas - Dec 6, 2005 - V-Soft Communications has scheduled a training session to be held just before the NAB2006 convention in Las Vegas. The session will focus on broadcast engineering allocation problem solving using the company's software. Previous sessions have attracted a range of participants, from new users to experienced users.

    An RSVP is requested for the session to be held April 15 and April 16, 2006, before the convention floor opens. E-mail Kate Michler at kmichler@v-soft.com or call 800-743-3684. V-Soft also welcomes suggestions for discussion topics.


    Fluke Networks to Acquire Visual Networks
    Everett, WA - Dec 2, 2005- Fluke has entered into an agreement to purchase Visual Networks for about $75 million. The closing of the transaction is subject to Visual Networks shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Visual Networks will become a part of Danaher's Fluke Networks business.

    Visual Networks, headquartered in Rockville, MD, is a provider of network test and application performance management systems. Fluke Networks provides products to test, monitor and analyze enterprise and telecommunications networks and to install and certify fiber and copper infrastructures.


    People

    SSL Promotes Managers
    Oxford, UK - Dec 8, 2005 - Solid State Logic has made several promotions in its U.S.-based sales and service departments.

    George Horton has been promoted to sales manager for the U.S. Western region, Mexico and South America. Horton moves over to sales after 16 years as an SSL service engineer and manager. His SSL career began at the company’s UK headquarters; he then traveled the world as service engineer with brief stops in Singapore. Horton took over as SSL Los Angeles service manager in 1998. He will continue to work from the Los Angeles office, reporting to Phil Wagner, president of SSL Inc.

    In the Service Department, Phill Scholes moves from SSL New York to Los Angeles to replace Horton as Los Angeles service manager. Scholes initially joined SSL as a service engineer at SSL UK headquarters and moved to New York as service engineer in 2004.

    Bill Brown has joined the SSL Los Angeles team as service engineer, reporting to Scholes. Brown, spent 14 years with AMS Neve.

    Rob Penney, service engineer at SSL UK, moves into the same role at SSL New York, where he will report to Thomas Jensen, New York service manager.


    Westwood One President and CEO Resigns
    New York - Dec 8, 2005 - Shane Coppola is stepping down from his position as president and chief executive officer of Westwood One. Coppola, who is also resigning as a director, will continue to serve as a consultant to the company and its board of directors through June 2007. The board of directors of Westwood One has named the chairman and chief executive officer of Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, Joel Hollander, as interim president and CEO. A search for a permanent successor will begin immediately.

    Currently a director and formerly president and CEO of Westwood One from 1998 to 2003, Hollander has served in his current executive role with Infinity since January 2005. He will continue to serve in this position with overall responsibility for Infinity's 179 radio stations as well as oversight of the day-to-day operations of Infinity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom. Previously, he was president and chief operating officer of Infinity from 2003 to 2005.


    Martin Names Chairman of Hurricane Review
    Washington - Dec 2, 2005 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has named Nancy Victory to serve as the chairman of the Commission's independent panel reviewing the effect of Hurricane Katrina on the communications network.

    Public safety and communications industry representatives will make up the panel. It will review the impact of the hurricane on the telecommunications and media infrastructure in the Gulf region affected by Katrina and make recommendations on how to improve disaster preparedness, network reliability and communication among first responders.

    Victory is the former assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.


    Products

    Translantech Adds Remote Features to Ariane Sequel
    New York - Dec 8, 2005 - Translantech has updated the operating system of its Ariane Sequel to version 1.03 to enhance the unit's operation through a Windows remote-control application. The update is available on the Translantech website at www.translantech.com in the downloads section. A ZIP file contains the two files.

    The Remote Windows Application provides access to the Ariane Sequel's settings, and it replicated the front-panel display.

    Translantech has also updated the manual for the unit to include information about the Remote Windows Application. A new addition to the manual is a section for user comments. This allows Sequel users to provide insight and suggestions about the operation of the audio leveler.


    Broadcast Electronics Updates Dashboard for HD Radio Importer
    Quincy, IL - Dec 8, 2005 - Broadcast Electronics has released a software upgrade for its importer line. A new Dashboard interface for the IDI 20 Data Importer adds updated menus and an automatic restart feature.

    A common concern of early multicasting adopters has been on-air continuity. In particular, the importer functions needed to be relaunched after a power failure or other transmission failure. BE's Dashboard includes a click-and-go startup feature that can be remotely accessed through a network or Internet connection.

    A default TCP/IP communication link between the IDI 20 and BE's FSI 10 HD Radio signal generator is also part of the upgrade to improve system robustness and reduce network packet losses typical of earlier UDP communications.

    The IDI 20 Data Importers with Dashboard version 1.2.0 are shipping now. Existing IDI 20 units can be upgraded with Dashboard, and FSI 10 HD Radio signal generators can be upgraded with the default TCP/IP link (v2.2.5) in the field. Contact BE customer service at service@bdcast.com or 217-224-4700.


    Day Sequerra Achieves Ibiquity Certification for Model M2.0
    West Berlin, NJ - Dec 6, 2005 - Day Sequerra has received Ibiquity certification for its M2.0 HD Radio modulation monitor. The M2.0 monitors AM, FM and HD Radio signals, including multicast signals. It received one of the Radio magazine Pick Hit awards at NAB2005.

    The M2 offers over-sampling 24-bit/96kHz DAC combined with the proprietary Class A-biased audio output circuitry that provides transparent and dynamic audio. The high-resolution, peak and hold 50-segment LED meters indicate the RF carrier modulation percent and audio modulation in decibels. The M2 uses a multi-function display for tuning and other station information. The monitor also includes alarms for over-modulation, loss of audio and loss of carrier. All tuner functions can be monitored and controlled remotely via an optional PC interface.

    Optional remote monitoring and factory software upgrades will be available in the first quarter of 2006.


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