Radio Currents Online - Dec 13 - Dec 26, 2004

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Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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Ibiquity Plans Announcements at CES
Columbia, MD - Dec 22, 2004 - Ibiquity Digital and leaders from the radio broadcast industry will brief reporters on several major developments in HD Radio at the company's 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) press conference on Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. at Ibiquity's exhibit booth.

The list of participants includes:

  • Bonneville - Bruce Reese, President, and Chair of the NAB Radio Board
  • Clear Channel - Jeff Littlejohn, Chief Technology Officer
  • Cox Radio - Neil Johnston, Vice President
  • Entercom - David Field, President
  • Greater Media - Tom Bender, Sr. Vice-President and Regional General Manager/Detroit
  • Ibiquity Digital Corporation - Bob Struble, President
  • National Public Radio - Michael Starling, Chief Technology Officer
  • Radio One - Scott Royster, Chief Financial Officer, and Linda Vilardo, Chief Administrative Officer

    Wireless Bureau Seeks Comment on Migratory Bird Collision Report
    Washington - Dec 14, 2004 - In a Public Notice, the FCC seeks comment on the report of Avatar Environmental regarding migratory bird collisions with communications towers. The report was filed with WT Docket No. 03-187.

    On Aug. 20, 2003, the Commission released a Notice of Inquiry, In the Matter of Effects of Communications Towers on Migratory Birds, to develop a record on how, and to what extent, migratory birds may be affected by communications towers. The NOI sought comment on existing scientific research concerning the number of migratory bird collisions with communications towers and the role that specific factors, such as lighting, height and type of antenna structure, weather, location, physiographic features of sites and migration paths, may have in increasing or decreasing the incidence of such collisions.

    To help the Commission evaluate the scientific studies, it retained Avatar, an environmental risk consulting firm. After reviewing the scientific studies referred to by the comments and reply comments, Avatar submitted a report of its findings. In a section entitled "Conclusions and Recommendations," Avatar explained that "[a]lthough most of the causes and possible solutions for increased avian mortalities associated with communication structures remain speculative, a few conclusions have been advanced with some degree of confidence within the scientific community studying this problem."

    The report noted the following:

  • The greatest bird mortality tends to occur on nights with low visibility conditions.
  • All other things being equal, taller towers with lights tend to represent more of a hazard to birds than shorter, unlit towers.
  • Towers with guy wires are at higher risk than self-supporting towers.
  • Certain avian families tend to be more affected than others, among them vireos, warblers and thrushes.
  • There are no studies to date that demonstrate an unambiguous relationship between avian collisions with communication towers and population decline of migratory bird species.

    The report states that more research is warranted to identify specific causes and possible solutions to the problem.

    The FCC seeks comment on the Avatar report. Comments are due on or before Jan. 13, 2005, and reply comments are due on or before Jan. 28, 2005.

    KFI Tower Felled by Plane Crash
    La Mirada, CA - Dec 19, 2004 - The Associated Press reports that a private plane crashed into the tower of KFI-AM at 9:45 a.m. on Dec. 19. The single-engine Cessna 182 brought the 760' tower down. The two people on the plane were killed. Their identities have not yet been released.

    The plane was en route to Fullerton Airport from El Monte when it crashed. Fullerton airport is about one mile from the tower site. The FAA reports that the pilot did not issue any distress reports.

    KFI's tower has resisted earthquakes and a brush with a private plane once before. The tower survived the previous air incident. The tower's guy wires were replaced in March 2004 after 47 years of use.

    KFI reports that the station was off the air for about an hour before switching to an auxiliary tower at the same site at about 5kW. The station is licensed for 50kW into the main antenna.

    NRSC Announces Open Data Application for RBDS
    Arlington, VA - Dec 13, 2004 - The National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) has designed a standards program to improve the display of broadcast information for FM radio.

    The NRSC's Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) Subcommittee has begun development of an Open Data Application (ODA) to improve the ability of broadcasters and receiver manufacturers to display song title, artist and other program information associated with FM radio broadcasts. ODA is expected to be incorporated into the U.S. RBDS Standard. The features that it provides will also be considered for incorporation into the in-band on-channel digital audio broadcasting standard currently being developed by the NRSC's Digital Audio Broadcast Subcommittee.

    The subcommittee is still considering how the ODA would be structured, and has two proposals already. Interested parties may submit their proposals to the NRSC by Jan. 15, 2005. Send proposals to:

    Megan Hayes
    Manager, Technology & Standards
    Consumer Electronics Association
    2500 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22201-3824
    Tel: (703) 907-7660


    David Layer Director, Advanced Engineering
    National Association of Broadcasters
    1771 N Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    Tel: (202) 429-5339


    OMT Raises $1.4 Million in New Investments
    Winnipeg, Manitoba - Dec 20, 2004 - OMT has raised about $1.4 million in new investment through a private placement offering and completed a financial restructuring of OMT. Concurrently with the restructuring, OMT completed the redemption of all of its issued and outstanding preferred shares for a total value of $3,702,784. The preferred shares were held by Renaissance Capital Manitoba Ventures Fund Limited Partnership, EGF and ENSIS Investment Limited Partnership.

    Enco Systems and NPR Sign Automation Contract
    Southfield, MI - Dec 20, 2004 - Enco Systems has signed an agreement with National Public Radio (NPR) to supply several automation systems to interconnected public radio stations.

    In spring of 2005, NPR will roll out the PRSS Content Depot, the third generation of the Public Radio Satellite System, which will replace multi-channel, real-time audio feeds with IP streams and file transfers of programs. As part of that rollout, NPR will provide a basic automation system to interconnected public radio stations that either currently do not have an automation system or that have a system that cannot be made compliant with the Content Depot. Under this station automation contract, NPR will provide Enco Systems' DADpro32 software and Enco-built automation hardware to these interconnected stations.

    PRSS interconnected stations will be informed by NPR regarding their eligibility for the new automation systems, and systems are expected to begin arriving at stations in April 2005. The rollout of Content Depot will begin in May 2005.

    Lightner Electronics Acquires Service Rights for Memphis-made Auditronics Consoles
    Claysburg, PA - Dec 16, 2004 - Lightner Electronics has purchased the service rights and all remaining spare parts for Auditronics console models manufactured at the original Auditronics facility in Memphis, TN. Lightner is working with many of the original parts manufacturers to arrange for additional custom runs of switches, pots and other components for most of these consoles.

    Lightner has also acquired all the original factory test and calibration equipment, allowing the company to diagnose, repair and restore most Auditronics consoles back to the original factory specifications. Lightner service manager, Dwayne Rosko, who has more than 20 years experience repairing and refurbishing professional audio equipment, will be the primary contact for parts and service.

    To contact the company for parts or service call 814-239-8323 or e-mail

    WFAE Taps BE for IBOC
    Charlotte, NC - Dec 17, 2004 - WFAE, Charlotte's NPR news station, placed an order for a Broadcast Electronics HD Radio system in December. The public broadcaster is targeting a February 2005 HD Radio air date.

    Using second-tier HD Radio funds by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Public Radio station will acquire two BE FMI HD Radio transmitters with BE FXI 60 digital FM exciters for HD Radio conversion of WFAE 90.7 FM in Charlotte and its repeater station, WFHE 90.3 FM in nearby Hickory, NC. Each station also will get a BE XPI 10 exporter unit in anticipation of secondary audio services becoming available at a later date.

    For transmission, WFAE has on order a BE FMI 201 HD Radio transmitter and BE FM 35T single-tube transmitter for a dual-input configuration of both analog and digital signals into a panel antenna. On order for its repeater station is a BE FMI 703 HD Radio transmitter to transmit the analog and digital signal into an existing antenna.

    Ibiquity Certifies Atmel's IC T4260 for IBOC Receivers
    Columbia, MD, and Heilbronn, Germany - Dec 15, 2004 - Ibiquity Digital has certified the Atmel T4260 RF tuner chip for use in automotive and home HD Radio receivers. The T4260 is a front-end chip to tune the receiver and convert signals into a decodable signal. The integrated fast fractional PLL allows locking times of less than 1ms.

    Atmel designs and manufactures microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF components.

    Intelix Relocates
    Middleton, WI – Dec 14, 2004 - Intelix, a U.S. manufacturer of audio and video equipment, will relocate all operations as of Jan. 15, 2005. The new facility will be located at:

    2222 Pleasant View Road
    Suite #1
    Middleton, WI 53562

    All other contact information will remain the same:

    Phone: 608-831-0880
    Toll-free: 866-4-MATMIX
    Fax: 608-831-1833

    Sales Call
  • EMF Broadcasting in California expands audio network with additional Wheatstone BRIDGE Router components. Shipment is slated for January 2005.
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) will deploy Pocketrec’s portable digital audio solution, starting with "Radio Free Afghanistan." RFE/RL will use Pocketrec to give their broadcasters a lightweight tool for news gathering. RFE/RL will also integrate the Pocketrec Server Applications, which includes the Pocketrec Rich Media Router.
  • Univision's KBTQ-FM has installed new studios using Axia IP-Audio networking for studio interconnection and routing.
  • Digidesign, the audio division of Avid Technologies, has sold 150 Digidesign Icon integrated console systems since the product began shipping on April 18, 2004. The 150th Icon system was sold to Nathaniel Kunkel, a Grammy-nominated and Emmy award-winning producer, engineer and mixer.
  • People

    Frisch Joins Transaudio Group as Eastern Regional Sales Manager
    Las Vegas, NV – Dec 22, 2004 - Transaudio Group has appointed Lewis Frisch as the company's eastern regional sales manager. Based in Nazareth, PA, Frisch will provide sales support to Transaudio Group's network of dealers and representatives in the region, as well as to customers through the company's direct-to-customers high-end division.

    With more than 30 years experience in the recording and broadcast industries, Frisch is probably best known in the industry for his association with the now defunct U.K.-based mixing console manufacturer, Amek, as eastern regional sales manager and press officer from 1990 through 1994, and as the company's southeastern representative for several years prior to that. Previous to those positions, Frisch managed an Amek dealership, Showcase Audio/Video Systems in Atlanta.

    Following his tenure with Amek, from 1994 through 2000, Frisch was the sales manager for Comprehensive Technical Group, an Atlanta-based systems integrator. Frisch also served as eastern regional sales manager for Gepco International, the Chicago-based manufacturer of audio and video cable, which he joined in January 2001.

    A member of the Audio Engineering Society since 1981 and an Associate Member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Frisch began his recording and broadcasting career in AM radio in 1963 before designing, building and operating his own recording studio in Atlanta between 1976 and 1980. He then moved into professional audio equipment sales while also operating one of the region's first real-time tape duplication facilities.

    Robinson Promoted to President of ABC Radio Networks
    Dallas, TX - Dec 21, 2004 - James M. Robinson, who most recently served as general manager of ABC Radio's WRQX-FM and WJZW-FM in Washington, DC, has been promoted to president of the ABC Radio Networks.

    In his new position, Robinson has overall responsibility for the radio network that includes ABC News, ESPN, Radio Disney and several syndicated 24-hour formats. ABC Radio Networks also distributes Paul Harvey, Sean Hannity, Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, Dick Bartley and Bob Kingsley. ABC Radio Networks has more than 4,700 affiliate stations.

    Robinson joined ABC Radio's WRQX-FM in 1990 as general sales manager and subsequently became general manager in 1993. He later added the GM duties for WJZW-FM in 1997. Before joining ABC, he held positions with Washington stations WTOP-AM, WMZQ-AM/FM, WWDC-FM and WEEL-AM.

    Altinex Promotes Grieco
    Brea, CA - Dec 14, 2004 - Altinex has promoted Mark Grieco to senior international sales manager. Grieco joined Altinex in October 2001 with a B.A. in human geography and dual minors in economics and French. He then went on to earn his Masters of international management, specializing in global marketing. In additional to speaking fluent English, French and German, he speaks conversational Spanish and has a basic knowledge in a few other languages.

    Hired as a regional international sales representative, he was promoted in September 2003, to international sales supervisor.

    Daryl Webster Joins Scott Studios
    Dallas - Dec 14, 2004 - Scott Studios has hired Daryl Webster as vice president of customer support for the company's SS32, SS Flex, Maestro and Protégé digital studio lines.

    Webster, a 22-year radio veteran, recently held similar positions for five years at Prophet Systems in Ogallala, NE, and holds certification by the International Customer Service Association. Webster also has three years customer service engineer experience with RCS in White Plains, NY. Webster worked on-the-air for 10 years as an announcer and program director in Seattle and Anchorage, Alaska.

    Internet Watch

    Live365 Adds Windows Media Player 10 Support
    Foster City, CA - Dec 15, 2004 - Live365 has launched its Online Store in Windows Media Player 10. Online listeners will be able to access and play Live365's stations within the Windows Media Player environment.

    Live365 offers free listening stations as well as commercial-free subscription channels through VIP membership.


    Yellowtec Releases New Software for Intellimix
    Monheim, Germany - Dec 22, 2004 - New Intellimix version 3.0 software is available from Yellowtec for the desktop mixer. The new software offers enhanced features.

    The mixing system is designed for journalist workstations, newsrooms, sports commentators, audio contributions or dubbing. It combines a compact user surface with a remotely located 1RU base unit. The system includes an integrated input selector for 14 digital and analog sources, an alphanumeric display for each fader, and two mic preamps.

    A new feature in the V3.0 software is the EQ Power Mode, which provides real-time access to all parameters in the channel EQs via the rotary shaft encoders on the control unit. The External Router Control feature, which reconfigures the rotary selector switch on a channel to allow control of an external router, can be activated using a Smart Card. The level indicators are now also configurable as pre- or post-fader.

    It is now possible to activate the headphone or loudspeaker outputs when Intellimix powers up, and to define the start-up level for both of these outputs individually. Parallel activation of both monitor outputs may also be enabled via the configuration software.

    Loading new set-ups via a host computer now requires a single mouse click: V3.0 can create assignments that are downloaded to the base unit when clicking on a predefined set-up.

    The new software will be available as a free download to all Intellimix users after Jan. 1, 2005, from

    Steinberg Announces Cubase SX3.0.1 Update
    Hamburg - Dec 15, 2004 - The first update to Steinberg Media Technologies Cubase SX3 music production system is now available. Including new features and a new reverb virtual effect processor, Cubase SX3.0.1 is available now for download from

    Steinberg Ships Nuendo 3
    Hamburg - Dec 15, 2004 – The latest version of Nuendo is now shipping to Steinberg distributors worldwide. Nuendo 3 offers a range of new features and technologies.

    Its new functionality includes AAF support, X-Send integration, new Media Management tools, Audio Warp tools, 10-minute audio prerecord utility and support of the new Studio Connections protocol developed by Steinberg and Yamaha.

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