Radio Currents Online - Feb 03 - Feb 09, 2003


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News



FCC Announces FM Translator Filing Window


Washington - Feb 6, 2003 - The FCC's Media Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau have announced an auction filing window for certain FM translator station construction permit applications. The filing window will open on March 10, 2003, and close on March 14, 2003. In connection with this window, the Media Bureau has also announced that it will not accept FM translator and FM booster minor change construction permit applications and FM booster new construction permit applications between Feb. 8, 2003, and March 14, 2003.

The window is available for non-reserved band (channels 221 to 300) proposals for new FM translator stations and major modifications to authorized FM translator facilities. The Commission will also consider those FM translator station new and major modification applications that were received on or before Nov. 26, 1997, but for which no "A" cut-off list had been released by that date.

Also on file are several FM translator station new and major modification applications filed after Nov. 26, 1997, with freeze waiver requests. These applicants may also participate in the filing window. Freeze Waiver Applications have not been protected from subsequently filed FM translator minor change applications during the Competitive Bidding NPRM freeze, and this policy will continue until the window is closed. Accordingly, Freeze Waiver Applications must protect all minor change applications filed on or before Feb. 7, 2003, to be considered in the upcoming window. This is the same requirement that will apply to new FM translator station and major change proposals submitted for the first time in the filing window.

The Commission imposed a freeze on the filing of FM translator new and major change applications in the Competitive Bidding NPRM. MB has continued to process and grant FM translator minor change and FM booster applications under its processing rules since the inception of the freeze. However, the Media Bureau will institute a temporary freeze on the acceptance of minor change FM translator applications on all channels (channels 201-300) at 12:01 a.m. EST, Feb. 8, 2003. The freeze shall remain in effect until the close of the window. Minor change applications filed during this freeze will be dismissed.

From FCC Report No. AUC-03-83-A (Auction No. 83); DA 03-359.


Denver Tower Project gets County OK


Mt. Morrison, CO - Feb 5, 2003 - After four years of lobbying, RFR measurements, public hearings, public protests, newspaper editorials and mailing campaigns, the Jefferson County (Colorado) Commissioners by a two-to-one vote approved the application for a new tower and transmitter building on Mt. Morrison, CO. The applicants on the project include public TV KRMA-TV, Colorado Public Radio KVOD-FM and Denver Educational Broadcasting KUVO-FM.

The debate began in the late 1990s when Bear Creek Development Corporation (BCDC) applied to Jefferson County for permission to eliminate two towers (one from Lookout Mountain and one from Mt. Morrison) and construct one replacement tower on Mt. Morrison.

If the plans continue, the stations intend to break ground on the new tower this Spring.


Ibiquity Announces Licensing Incentive Program for 2003


Columbia, MD, and Warren, NJ - Feb 5, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital has announced a new licensing incentive program for radio broadcasters to convert to digital broadcasting using the company's HD Radio technology. In 2002, more than 130 stations in 40 markets spanning 26 states signed licenses to convert to digital; a point that Ibiquity considers a mark of the program's success. Building on this success, Ibiquity has announced a new incentive program for stations that convert to digital using HD Radio technology in the coming months.

Details of the incentive plan:


Supreme Court Reverses FCC on Next Wave Case


Washington - Feb 3, 2003 - The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuked the FCC for canceling the spectrum licenses of Next Wave Telecom because the wireless company was unable to pay its fee from a 1996 government auction.

Using a $500 million down payment, Next Wave won an auction to license the spectrum for broadband communications services. Later it filed for bankruptcy, claiming it could not afford to pay for its $4.74 billion bid. The court, in an 8-to-1 decision, ruled that the government couldn’t revoke a license for nonpayment while a business is under the protection of bankruptcy laws.

Though Next Wave, still in bankruptcy, won the five-year court case, it is unclear whether the decision will allow it to thrive in a tough economy. There is now far less demand for the spectrum from wireless telecom carriers, who are suffering their own economic problems. However, the case itself is considered important for all government-licensed spectrum holders—including broadcasters—because it determined that an agency such as the FCC may not revoke a license "solely because" a bankrupt license holder has not paid a debt that would ordinarily be covered by the bankruptcy law.

For more information visit www.supremecourtus.gov.


Americans Think Government Should Avoid Digital Rights Issues


San Francisco - Feb. 3, 2003 - More than half of Americans think the government should stay out of efforts to control online piracy — fearing that Congress meddling could create unintended consequences and stifle technological innovation.

A new survey by SutherlandGold, a San Francisco-based marketing communications firm, found that more than 53 percent think government intervention in piracy issues would just make things worse.

Despite a variety of measures pending in Congress to address online copyright issues, only 18 percent of those surveyed said it’s important that Congress make the online piracy issue a priority this year.

For more information www.sutherlandgold.com.



Business



Broadcast Electronics to Supply HD Radio to Entercom


Quincy, IL - Feb 6, 2003 - Entercom Communications has made plans to install IBOC transmission equipment at seven of its stations in Seattle and Boston. Broadcast Electronics has been chosen as the equipment supplier.

Entercom will convert Seattle FMs KISW, KQBZ, KMTT and KNDD to HD Radio using Broadcast Electronics' FXi digital exciter and FMi-201 broadband transmitters to high-level combine analog FM and digital through a shared main ERI master antenna. Using a new ERI approach to high-level combining, Entercom will introduce a separate HD Radio path into one polarity of the circularly polarized antenna so that HD Radio can broadcast at the same time as the analog FM, which is radiating from the opposite polarity of the antenna. The approach will reduce the injector loss typical of high-level combining (10dB loss in HD Radio and a 0.45dB loss in analog), eliminating the need for Entercom to purchase higher-powered HD Radio transmitters to handle the injector load.

Entercom will install FMi-201 transmitters with output powers ranging from a few watts to 875W for each station's separate HD Radio path. The Broadcast Electronics FXi 60 and 250W exciters with FSi-10 signal generators will generate the digital signal before it is amplified.

Another Entercom FM station in Seattle, KBSG, is on a separate Shively antenna system, and will be converted to HD Radio using Broadcast Electronics' FXi exciter and a Broadcast Electronics FMi transmitter, in a separate antenna transmission scheme. In addition, Entercom will convert two Boston stations WQSX-FM and WAAF-FM to HD Radio using Broadcast Electronics' FXi digital exciter and FMi transmitters in a high-level combining scheme.

Broadcast Electronics previously supplied Entercom Communications with two FXi-60 exciters and a 1kW transmitter for HD Radio conversion testing and demonstrations of two stations on a shared antenna system at the group's Seattle auxiliary site. The additional equipment will complete Entercom's conversion to HD Radio FM in Seattle and Boston.

Conversion is expected to take place within the next 90 days, after which time Hadfield said the station operator will begin making plans to roll out HD Radio to its FM stations in other markets. Entercom joins Crawford Broadcasting, Spanish Broadcasting Systems, Beasley, Bonneville, Clear Channel, Greater Media, Multi-Cultural Radio and several independent stations in planning to convert to HD Radio using Broadcast Electronics equipment.


West Virginia Radio goes Digital with Harris


Cincinnati - Feb 5, 2003 - The West Virginia Radio has selected Harris to provide transmission equipment for the radio owner's transition to digital radio broadcasting. West Virginia Radio has purchased two Z8HDs HD Radio FM transmitters and two Dexstar AM/FM HD Radio digital exciters for stations WVAF-FM in Charleston, WV, and WVAQ-FM in Morgantown, WV.

The West Virginia owned-and-operated broadcast company also operates the Metro News Statewide Network and 14 radio stations throughout the state.


AKG Names Reps for S. California and Florida


Nashville - Feb 4, 2003 - AKG Acoustics has appointed Dimodica and Associates and Western Audio Sales as its newest representative firms. Dimodica and Associates will be responsible for AKG's Florida territory, and Western Audio Sales will represent AKG in Southern California.

Dimodica and Associates is established in Florida and has business experience with systems contractors, music retailers, A/V specialists and others in the territory. Chuck Dimodica, the company's president, has more than 23 years of experience in the pro audio industry. The company's outside sales staff includes Vice President Mark Scola, Don Washburn, JC Gonzalez and Bernie Selditch. The firm's inside sales staff includes David Cefkin and George Campbell.

Western Audio Sales, led by company president Mike Klickstein, has more than 25 years experience in the professional audio industry. Outside sales employees at Western Audio Sales include Steve Linn, David Kuhner and David Weidenhoffer. Western Audio's inside sales staff includes Stacy Peddemors and Cathy Gerrior. The firm is long established in Southern California and has extensive experience working with systems contractors, music retailers, A/V specialists and distributors.

To contact either firm:



DiModica & Associates, Inc.

7041 West Commercial Boulevard
Suite 6-C
Tamarac, Florida 33319
Telephone: (954) 724-4409
Fax: (954) 724-4419
E-mail: dimodica@aol.com


Western Audio Sales
3100 Airway Avenue
Suite 110
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Telephone: (714) 444-9200
Fax: (714) 444-9210
E-mail: Sales@westernaudiosales.com


Telegartner Taps Antenna Systems and Supplies


Franklin Park, IL - Jan 30, 2003 - Telegartner, the North American affiliate of Telegartner Karl Gartner GMBH of Germany, has appointed Antenna Systems and Supplies as a franchised stocking distributor. Telegartner is a manufacturer of RF connectors, surge suppressors (gas tube and quarter wave stubs), connectors for corrugated cables (1/4" through 1 -5/8"), fiber optic connectors and RF cable assemblies. Antenna Systems and Supplies is a distribution company serving many industries, including antenna manufacturers and wireless communications. This appointment is effective as of January 2003, and Antenna Systems and Supplies is franchised to sell and service the entire Telegartner product line.


Dielectric Selected to Supply Romania Project for Harris


Raymond, ME - Feb 3, 2003 - The TCI International business unit of Dielectric Communications has been awarded a subcontract by Harris Broadcast for the supply of medium-wave radio equipment and services as part of a three-year program to upgrade and expand the medium- and long-wave broadcasting facilities of the Societata Nationala de Radiocommunicatii, the state-owned Romanian broadcast organization. The TCI contract is currently valued at $3.5 million.

Dielectric Communications and TCI will supply antenna matching systems, coaxial feeder lines and accessory items for 31 sites in Romania. As an integral part of the contract, TCI will also provide system engineering, installation supervision, commissioning and testing services.



Internet Watch



Webcasters Move Forward with Independent Artists and Labels


Las Vegas - Feb 7, 2003 - Webcaster Alliance is actively working to build a coalition of technology and music industry organizations to spread the message of the American Internet Radio Revolution (AIRR) campaign. The goal of the AIRR campaign is to create awareness of the challenges that continue to face Internet radio, and to bring attention to the effect that some of the existing regulations have on industries, that would benefit from the growth of the webcasting industry.

Webcaster Alliance attorney David LeGrand believes the timing is right to press this issue in Washington. He cites the recent Senate hearings on broadcast ownership as an indicator that legislators "understand that broadcasting on the Internet levels the playing field and fosters a level of innovation, competition and programming diversity not found in terrestrial radio today."

He continued, "One of the goals of the American Internet Radio Revolution is to bring attention to the fantastic variety of independent music that is out there and will never make it to the market under the monopolistic system that currently exists between the RIAA and its clients today. Would these major labels ever promote independent Cajun music like NewOrleansRadio.com, an Internet-only station that spotlights music from local artists? Or take the time to build a station like Internet Radio Hawaii whose Hawaiian genre playlist includes over 6,500 artists?"

Webcaster Alliance is a trade organization dedicated to providing information, education, support and services to every aspect of the streaming media community. Founded on the principles of promoting and encouraging growth for all of its members, Webcaster Alliance is committed to promoting the causes, people and technology that drive the streaming media community. Its website is
www.webcasteralliance.com.



Products



Digidesign Ships ProTools 6.0 for Mac OS X


Palo Alto, CA - Feb 4, 2003 - Pro Tools 6.0 software for Mac OS X adds a set of new features and improvements. Among the new features improved, solid interaction between the Pro Tools environment and Power Mac G4s. Other benefits include:

  • Streamlined new look for the Mix, Edit and Transport windows

  • Increased performance with dual-processor Power Mac G4 systems

  • New multi-user login functionality enables individual users to save custom display, operation, editing, automation, processing, compatibility and MIDI preferences

  • New Digibase file management utility

  • Enhanced MIDI functionality (including high-resolution groove templates)

  • Additional Beat Detective features

  • New Import Session options

  • Plug-in functionality enhancements

  • Machine Control additions

    Windows XP support of the new features in Pro Tools 6, and OS X compatibility with AVoption|XL, Unity and Media Manager are scheduled for mid-2003.




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