Radio Currents Online - Nov 25 - Dec 08, 2002


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News



Arbitron Extends PPM Trial Due to Single Encoder Glitch


New York - Dec 5, 2002 - Arbitron will extend the ratings comparison portion of the Portable People Meter (PPM) market trial through March 28, 2003. The extension makes the report coincide with the Arbitron Winter 2003 radio survey period, and the Nielsen Media Research January, February and March 2003 local market television survey periods. However, the main reason for the extension is the setup of one encoder installed at KYW-AM. Following a routine upgrade of encoding equipment in late October, Arbitron technicians discovered that audio input to KYW's PPM encoder was not set to the appropriate level, which may have inhibited the encoder's performance at KYW during the spring, summer and the early part of the fall 2002 radio ratings periods. KYW engineers, working with Arbitron technicians, remedied the problem on Nov. 13, 2002.

Based on data from a new diagnostic tool created to facilitate the upgrade of encoding equipment, Arbitron also asked engineers at four other radio stations to slightly increase the audio input levels to their respective encoders. Arbitron believes that the encoders at these stations were receiving sufficient audio input throughout the test and that the performance of their encoders were not inhibited. During the past few weeks, Arbitron has reviewed the performance of every encoder at the 49 radio stations, 11 TV stations and 26 cable networks participating in the Philadelphia market trial.

Arbitron stated that extending the ratings comparison by another full radio survey period will allow the company to determine if the out-of-spec encoder input might have affected the performance of the Portable People Meter during the spring and summer ratings period. Arbitron does not expect this extension to affect the current schedule for PPM development in 2003. The previously announced response rate test will still take place in the first half of 2003, in parallel with this additional ratings analysis period.

Once Arbitron refines the PPM sampling methodology through its response rate research, the company plans use that methodology to build the first of the twin panels, as previously announced, in the latter part of 2003. The second of the twin panels will be built in 2004.

Arbitron further stressed that the KYW situation does not represent a flaw in the PPM technology. The company added that it has learned that it needs to refine its installation specifications and refine its procedures for verifying that the encoders have been properly installed. Arbitron is improving the design of its in-station monitoring equipment to allow it to analyze more completely the quality of the encoded signal.


Mandatory Electronic Filing for FCC 319, 340


Washington - Nov 25, 2002 - The FCC's Media Bureau issued a reminder that FCC forms 319 (Application for a Low-Power FM Broadcast Station License [June 2000 Edition]) and 340 (Application for Construction Permit for a Reserved Channel Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Station, [March 2001 Edition]) are now required to be filed electronically.

The mandatory electronic filing commenced on Nov. 18, 2002. Paper versions of these forms will not be accepted for filing after Nov. 15, 2002, unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Users can access the electronic filing system via the Media Bureau’s website at
www.fcc.gov/mb.

Pursuant to the 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review, mandatory electronic filing was to commence six-months after a given form was made available for electronic use. FCC Forms 319 and 340 available for electronic use prior to April 1, 2002.

While the FCC recognizes that some limited waivers of this requirement will be necessary, such waivers will not be routinely granted and the applicant must plead with particularity the facts and circumstances warranting relief.


PPW Study Calls for National Warning System


McLean, VA - Nov 25, 2002 - The Partnership for Public Warning— an organization formed to promote and enhance efficient, effective and integrated dissemination of public warnings and related information to save lives, reduce disaster losses and speed recovery— conducted a study to gauge the effectiveness of current public warning systems. The study found that, "many different [public] warning systems exist that are quite heterogeneous, are not interoperable, and do not reach all of the people at risk."

In its study, Developing a Unified All-Hazard Public Warning System, the group found that "the many government agencies issuing such warnings are inconsistent in their terminology, leading to confusion and inadequate response."

The Partnership for Public Warning was established in January 2002 at a meeting of the nation’s leading public warning experts from government, business and academia. A public and private non-profit consortium, the group combines the experience of its members to promote the efficient, effective and integrated dissemination of public warnings and information about national security threats, as well as natural disasters and other emergencies.

The group’s study calls for the Federal government, specifically the new Department of Homeland Security, to take responsibility for leading the development of a "national all-hazard public warning architecture in partnership with other Federal agencies, state and local governments, industry, universities and other stakeholders." Such a system will save lives, reduce disaster losses and speed recovery.

The development of a unified, national all-hazard warning system must incorporate insights derived from more than 60 years of social science research on how people respond to disaster warnings and how warnings can be made more effective. Contrary to popular belief, "mass panic is highly unlikely when accurate information is provided," the study reports. "People want accurate and reliable information, and if official sources do not provide it, they will seek it from less reliable sources."

The group’s study points out that "people rarely respond effectively to a last-minute, ‘out-of-the-blue’ alert to take action unless they can directly perceive the threat." Instead, public warning must be a "continuous process that peaks during rare crisis events." People at risk need to participate in the progression from tenuous information to increasingly specific information so that they "understand the imminence, severity and likelihood of experiencing a hazardous situation."

The full report is available at
www.PartnershipForPublicWarning.org. A direct link to the report may be found here.

The Partnership for Public Warning’s report was prompted by a Department of Justice request for public comment earlier this year on a proposed Homeland Security Advisory System. In June, the group convened a workshop of experts—from the social sciences, physical sciences, communications technologies, emergency management and Federal law enforcement terrorism experts—at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD. The group’s report is a result of that workshop.


NAB2003 Housing Opens December 4


Washington - Nov 25, 2002 - The National Association of Broadcasters is working with 20 hotels in Las Vegas to provide rooms to attendees for its annual convention, NAB2003, April 5 to 10. Housing will officially open Dec. 4.

The hotels participating in this year's room block are the Aladdin, Alexis Park, Bally's, Bellagio, Caesars, Palace Tower, Circus Circus, Flamingo, Gold Coast, Harrah's, Las Vegas Hilton, MGM Grand, Mirage, New York New York, Paris, Rio, Riviera, Sahara, Stardust, Treasure Island and Venetian.

Reservations can be made by calling (888) 622-8830 or (703) 205-9114 or online at
www.nab.org/conventions/nab2003

Radio magazine will have free exhibits-only passes available. Look for details closer to the convention.



Business



Clear Channel Radio Makes Syntrillium its Standard


Tulsa, OK, and Scottsdale, AZ - Dec 2, 2002 - Clear Channel Radio has standardized Syntrillium's Cool Edit Pro version 2.0 as its choice for digital audio editing, recording and mixing. The announcement comes after two rounds of purchases of Cool Edit Pro licenses for distribution to many of the 1,300 Clear Channel radio stations.

Steve Davis, senior vice president for capital management for Clear Channel Radio, placed the first order just after NAB2002 and made the software available to some Clear Channel stations through its network. It proved to be so popular that a second order was needed two months later.

Cool Edit Pro is a PC-based platform, and it has been integrated with Clear Channel’s own PC-based systems already in place.


Music Choice Selects OMT Technologies


Winnipeg, MB - Nov 28, 2002 - OMT has signed an agreement with Music Choice to supply and install a new multichannel digital audio broadcast system. The system features OMT's iMediaTouch broadcast automation software and uses the Dolby AC-3 audio technology. The agreement is valued at more than CDN $1 million, and will be implemented over the next several months.

Stu Farber, vice president of information technology for Music Choice, stated that the company selected OMT because the system could support the use of Dolby AC-3 for storage and delivery.

Music Choice provides cable and satellite customers in the United States with 54 channels of commercial-free, CD-quality music in a wide variety of music genres, along with original programs, 24 hours a day. Music Choice produces an exclusive concert series through a nationwide network of cable systems. Music Choice's audio service reaches 25 million households and the concert series airs in 30 million homes nationally. Headquartered in Horsham, PA, Music Choice is a partnership between subsidiaries of Microsoft, Motorola, Sony Corporation of America, Warner Music Group, EMI Music and several leading U.S. cable providers, including Adelphia Cable Communications, Comcast Cable Communications, AT&T Broadband, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.



People



Harris Adds Highsmith in Sales


Cincinnati - Dec 4, 2002 - Harris has added Jeff Highsmith to the company's Broadcast Communications Division (BCD) as a sales representative for the Broadcast Center Sales. Highsmith will be based at the main facility in Mason, OH, and will be responsible for client broadcast equipment needs for the U.S. southeast territory that includes Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. He also will provide client account back-up for Harris District Sales Manager Hall Kneller.

Highsmith joins Harris from WGCU-FM Public Broadcasting, Ft. Myers, FL, where he worked in radio production, operations and engineering.


Adelstein Appointment to FCC Finalized


Washington - Dec 3, 2002 - Jonathan S. Adelstein was sworn in as a member of the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 3, 2002. Before joining the FCC, Adelstein served for 15 years as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. For the past seven years, he has been a senior legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), where he advised Senator Daschle on telecommunications, financial services and transportation. Previously, he served as professional staff member to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman David Pryor (D-AR), including an assignment as a special liaison to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and as a legislative assistant to Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (D-MI).

Prior to his service in the Senate, Adelstein held a number of academic positions, including: teaching fellowship in the Department of History, Harvard University; teaching assistant in the Department of History, Stanford University; and communications consultant to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Adelstein received a B.A. with Distinction in Political Science from Stanford University, an M.A. in History from Stanford University, studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. Adelstein, 40, was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Adelstein was sworn in for a term that expires June 30, 2003.

Adelstein also appointed his staff. Lisa M. Zaina will become his senior legal advisor and wireline competition advisor. Three interim legal advisors were also appointed: Eric Einhorn for wireline competition, Barry Ohlson for spectrum and international and Sarah Whitesell for media, and Kevin Venters as staff assistant. Katherine Lapin is joining his permanent staff as confidential assistant.


Adelstein on Hold for FCC Spot


Washington - Dec 2, 2002 - After the momentary excitement of finally being confirmed as a new member of the FCC by the U.S. Senate a couple of weeks ago, Democrat Jonathan Adelstein is back to waiting. President Bush has been so busy with other matters that he hasn’t found time to sign the final paperwork needed for Adelstein to be sworn in as a commissioner. It appears the fifth FCC member of the Commission will have to continue his wait. No word yet as to when the President will find the time to make the appointment official.


Atkins Named VP/DOE for Backyard Broadcasting


Balitmore, MD - Dec 2, 2002 - Backyard Broadcasting has hired Tom Atkins as its vice president/director of engineering. Atkins has 30 years of experience in all aspects of the broadcast business. Atkins has been with Entercom for the past three years as director of engineering for the group’s Buffalo radio stations. Prior to that, he held similar positions with Sinclair Broadcast Group, River City Broadcasting, Keymarket Radio and Cap Cities. Atkins has contributed several articles to Radio magazine during the past few years.

Backyard Broadcasting owns WTYX and WRXW in Jackson, MS, and will close on its purchase of Sabre Communications in December 2002. The stations in the sale include:
Elmira/Corning NY Market: WNKI(FM) Corning, NY; WPGI(FM) Horseheads, NY; WNGZ(FM) Montour Falls, NY; WWLZ(AM) Horseheads, NY; WGMF(AM) Watkins Glen, NY.

Olean, NY (Regional): WHDL(AM) Olean, NY; WPIG(FM) Olean, NY.

Williamsport, PA Market: WGXR(FM) Lewisburg, PA; WZXR(FM) South Williamsport, PA; WBZD(FM) Muncy, PA; WILQ(FM) Williamsport, PA; WSFT(FM) Williamsport, PA; WWPA(AM) Williamsport, PA.

Muncie, IN (Regional): WURK(FM) Elwood, IN; WXFN(AM) Muncie, IN; WLBC(FM) Muncie, IN; WHBU(AM) Anderson, IN; WERK(FM) Muncie, IN; WHTI(FM) Alexandria, IN; WHTY(FM) Hartford City, IN.


Sacks Heads to ERI


Chandler, IN - Nov 27, 2002 - Marty Sacks will join the staff at Electronics Research, Inc (ERI) as director of sales. He will begin his new duties on Jan. 1, 2003, and continue to work from his office in Baltimore. In his new position he will manage the worldwide sales force for ERI antennas and towers. He will report to Jim Muleski.

Sacks joined Telos Systems in April 1999, taking over the role of national sales director. Before that, Sacks began his career in broadcast engineering in 1976 as a staff engineer for WPGC, Washington, DC. He then went on to oversee numerous studio and transmitter projects for then group owner First Media and later for Greater Media as chief engineer of WGAY/WWRC. In 1992, he transitioned into broadcast equipment sales for Northeast Broadcast Lab and later joined the sales staff of Pacific Research & Engineering in the major broadcast markets on the East Coast.


Audio Precision Appoints New Board Members


Beaverton, OR - Nov 18, 2002 - Audio Precision has appointed two industry experts to the company's board of directors. The two new members are Hisao Shimizu, sales manager, 4th Sales Department, TOYO in Tokyo, Japan, and Rudi Heijnen, CEO, Henyen in Heijen/Gennep, The Netherlands.

Shimizu has been with TOYO for 25 years, holding high-level positions in sales and marketing. He has a degree in physics from the University of Okayama.

Heijnen began his engineering career at Philips in Eindoven, then joined Heynen in 1973. He has held the title of CEO of the Heynen group of companies since 1987. Founded in 1951, Heynen is a consulting firm and distributor of test equipment throughout the Benelux countries.


International Datacasting Adds new CFO


Ottawa - Nov 26, 2002 - International Datacasting (IDC) has hired Marc A. Santerre to take over as the company's CFO, effective Dec. 2, 2002. Santerre has more than 16 years of senior financial management experience in financing, acquisitions and divestiture, and growth management. Prior to joining IDC, Santerre was the CFO for Vistar Telecommunications and GPC Government Policy Consultants, where he played an integral role in the growth of both of these entities.


Premiere Radio Names Three VPs


Los Angeles - Sep 20, 2002 – Premiere Radio Networks has created three executive vice president positions, promoting Lark Hadley from senior vice president of engineering and technology to EVP of operations; Martin Raab from senior vice president of marketing and advertising to EVP of marketing and chief strate gy officer; and Eileen Thorgusen from senior vice president of affiliate relations to EVP of affiliate relations. All three continue reporting directly to Kraig T. Kitchin, president of the network.

In his new position, Lark Hadley will oversee the logistical operations of Premiere Radio including the following departments: interactive, MIS/IT, engineering and facilities. Prior to joining Premiere Radio in 1999, he served as Dallas director of engineering at AMFM for a year, chief engineer at KHKS-FM, Gannett/AMFM Dallas for nine years and as the design engineer and project manager at AT&E/Seiko, Continental Electronics and Amtech, for a span of 15 years.

Martin Raab will be responsible for leading the long-term planning and the strategic initiatives for the network while continuing to provide direction to the company’s marketing efforts. He was senior vice president of marketing and promotion at AMFM for three years when the company merged in 2000 with Premiere Radio. He has worked in network radio since 1989 leading the marketing efforts, first for Satellite Music Network and then ABC Radio Networks. Raab began his radio career in Detroit at WCXI-AM/FM and WXYT-AM and WVAE-FM.

Eileen Thorgusen will oversee all affiliate sales efforts for the company's entertainment-based programs and services including all research tools, prep services, long-form programming and production libraries for Premiere Radio. Prior to joining the company in January 1996, Thorgusen served as district director/western region for two and half years at CBS Radio Networks and more than 10 years in affiliate relations at Westwood One.


Staff Changes at BSI


Eugene, OR - Oct 1, 2002 - The sales staff at Broadcast Software International is seeing some new faces. Jim Zix, who is already an employee of BSI as the director of training, adds director of sales and marketing to his list of duties. He currently resides in Indiana and is moving to Oregon to join headquarters. Zix has a long history with BSI and began his relationship with the company when he was one of its earliest customers. Zix joined BSI in 2000.

Mark Ruckwardt has joined the sales staff. He holds an MBA from the University of Oregon, where he also served as the graduate teaching fellow.



Internet Watch



WOR Launches New Online Format


New York - Dec 9, 2002 - WOR New York has launched The Best of Everything, a new music format incorporating a variety of pop music on one stream that listeners customize to their tastes. This new personalized online player also offers additional flavors of this unique format featuring all-Christmas music.

According to WOR, the format is targeted to adults who think that radio has forgotten them. Each listener can customize his own individual musical stream to play more of his favorites. Special buttons on the player allow listeners to play specific artists more, less or not at all.

The online station is powered by iSelector from RCS, learns and remembers a listener's musical tastes to create a specific music mix, different from any other listener’s stream. The iSelector system complies with the DCMA, and RCS has arranged approved use with all the necessary record companies.

Listeners obtain their own personalized online player from the WOR Radio website, www.wor710.com, for $4.95 per month. The first 48 hours are free. The monthly fee covers streaming costs, database management, plus record label and music publishing company fees. The online stream is delivered without commercials.


Radio Free Virgin Taps Blue Falcon Networks


Los Angeles - Nov 25, 2002 - Radio Free Virgin (RFV) has selected Blue Falcon Networks to provide the distributed delivery technology and infrastructure for its Internet broadcasting networks. The new high-end subscription audio product is called RFV Royal. RFV also turned to Blue Falcon for assistance in developing the transaction processing and account management system as well as many other features in cooperation with RFV's product and technology teams.

RFV had previously used Blue Falcon’s technology in its existing free ad-supported offering, to stream more than 50 channels of live and pre-recorded broadcasts to nearly 4.5 million consumers. While many Internet broadcasters have shut down or limited their offerings due to bandwidth costs, legislative pressures and the inability to profitably scale their services, RFV is moving full steam ahead with full implementation of the cost savings and scalability improvements enabled by Blue Falcon’s distributed platform.

Blue Falcon uses a distributed architecture that replicates content on each user’s machine, allowing each listener to become a mini server of content. Instead of listeners accessing one central server, they receive streams from other nearby listeners of the same content. This structure decreases distribution costs by reducing the number of streams originated by content providers. With Blue Falcon, each listener is also a distributor, sharing resources to streamline delivery across the network. Blue Falcon states that cost reductions can be as great as 90 percent but average 60 percent.



Products



Stardraw Unveils Stardaw.net


London - Nov 29, 2002 - Stardraw.com has released its newest CAD package called Stardraw.net. Users can design integrated systems using an online library of more than 30,000 symbols through a Web-based technology that incorporates tools and data from Stardraw's conventional software packages, including Stardraw Audio, Stardraw AV, Stardraw Lighting 2D, Stardraw Professional and Stardraw Radio.

While traditional software is shipped on CD and installed on the user's computer, Stardraw.net is delivered to a browser through HTML pages, using tools that download themselves as they are needed. Through a client/server split, drawing operations and rendering are executed on the client side, and symbols libraries and product information are stored in databases on the server. One advantage of the client/server system is that every user will always be using the most current software and symbols available. Files can be accessed, worked on and saved locally even if the Internet connection is broken. The system can be viewed at
www.stardraw.net.


EMF Broadcasting Picks up 70 Omnia Processors


Cleveland - Dec 2, 2002 - EMF Broadcasting’s K-LOVE (www.klove.com) and Air 1 (www.air1.com) networks will install new Omnia6-fm audio processors in its network. The K-LOVE Radio Network recently ran an audio processor shoot out between five major audio processing manufacturers, and chose the Omnia-6 for its installations. The units have been delivered and are currently being installed.

EMF operates 67 full-power radio stations and 145 translators. Its three Christian music networks are heard in 34 states and streamed online. The Omnia processors were sold through Broadcast Supply Worldwide.


Sonic Solutions No Noise for Pro Tools|HD Now Shipping


Nov 27, 2002 - Sonic No Noise, a suite of noise-reduction and audio-restoration plug-ins for ProTools|HD, is now available. The TDM and Audio Suite plug-ins for Mac OS and Windows XP-based Pro Tools|HD systems perform noise reduction and audio restoration, useful in the mixing and mastering stages of audio production. Its set of plug-ins isolate and eliminate audio artifacts such as hiss, scratches, hum, mechanical and impulsive noise. These processors work to remove bothersome noise without damaging original program material. No Noise can be used to restore old recordings, remove unwanted noises from field recordings and repair audio materials that have suffered damage.

An upgrade will be available for DINR users. Digidesign and Sonic will release those details when they are available.





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