Radio Currents Online - Feb 24 - Mar 02, 2003

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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News


AES Proposes Revision to AES10
New York - Feb 27, 2003 - The AES Standards Committee (AESSC) has released a call for comment on the revision of Standard AES10-1991, which describes the data organization for a multichannel audio digital interface designed for the serial transfer of digital multichannel audio. It includes a bit-level description, features in common with the AES3 two-channel format and the data rates required for its use. AES10-1991 is more commonly referred to as MADI.

The specification provides for the serial digital transmission of 32kHz to 96kHz, having a resolution of up to 24 bits per channel. The format makes possible the transmission and reception of the complete 28-bit channel word (excluding preamble) as specified in AES3, providing for the validity, user, channel status and parity information allowable under that standard. The transmission format is of the asynchronous simplex type and is specified for a single 75ohm coaxial cable point-to-point interconnection, or the use of fiber-optic cables.

The revised draft, AES10-xxxx, recognizes other uses that the interface has been used for, notably distributed routing, resulting in the increase in channels to the maximum of 64 at 48kHz, the introduction of 96kHz sampling in digital audio origination and the use of data transmission in the carrier system. Draft AES10-xxxx can be accessed at www.aes.org/standards by clicking on the link, drafts out for public comment.
Media Ownership Review to Finish in May
Washington - Feb 26, 2003 - On Feb. 26, FCC Chairman Michael Powell said that he anticipates that the current effort to overhaul the rules that limit ownership of newspapers and radio and TV stations probably will be completed in May. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 in Richmond, VA.

The four other commissioners testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's telecommunications panel Wednesday. Commissioner Michael Copps has eagerly sought public hearings on the media ownership review - more than any other commissioner - and plans to hold his own hearings during March. He is planning on events in Seattle and Durham, N.C. It is not yet known if the other commissioners will attend the Copps hearings.

Copps feels that broad and deep studies are required so the Commission can make the best decisions regarding any changes to the media ownership rules. Powell disagrees and thinks that the Richmond hearing will be sufficient. The commission has already received thousands of comments on the subject.
Copyright Office Bombarded with Common CD/DVD Use Ideas
Washington - Feb 24 2003 - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a consumer activist organization, has helped 245 consumers submit comments to the Librarian of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office requesting protection for certain ordinary uses of CDs and DVDs.

The requests seek exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to permit bypassing of certain technological protection measures for copyrighted works.

Currently, the DMCA prevents Americans from listening to copy-protected music CDs on certain stereos and personal computers; viewing foreign movies on DVDs on U.S. players due to region-coding restrictions; skipping through commercials on some movie DVDs; and viewing and making fair uses of movies that are in the public domain and released on encrypted DVDs.

Most of the public comments described difficulties with the DMCA's ban on bypassing technological locks on copy-protected CDs and movies released on DVD.

In a survey of the filings, 55 comments described problems with copy-protected CDs, ranging from inability to play music that they had purchased to complete computer operating system crashes requiring major computer repair.

Another 130 comments focused on problems playing foreign movies on region-coded DVDs. One person originally from Denmark expressed frustration at not being able to play movies his mother gave him. Others discussed special interest works and foreign movies that are only available outside of the United States, but unplayable on U.S. DVD players.

Several parents wrote describing their concerns about unskippable commercials and promotional material in a number of Disney movies released on DVD. And several expressed frustration about the limited use that could be made of public domain movies, such as Charlie Chaplin's Movie Marathon, which was released on a CSS-encrypted DVD.

For more information visit www.eff.org.
Panels and Agenda Set for Broadcast Ownership Hearings
Washington, DC - Feb 21, 2003 - FCC announced the format, list of panelists and moderator for its field hearing on broadcast ownership rules to be held in Richmond, VA. The one-day field hearing is being held Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The hearing will be organized into three panels, each of which will focus on one of the FCC’s key policy goals of broadcast regulation: diversity, localism and competition. The panel members were selected with the goal of making the panels balanced and informative, and include representatives from consumer groups, industry and leading academic institutions. After each panel, there will be an opportunity for any member of the general public to make comments during open microphone sessions.

Thomas Krattenmaker will moderate the hearing. Krattenmaker is currently senior counsel in the Washington office of the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC, where he specializes in telecommunications transactions and antitrust issues. Before joining the firm, he was director of research in the FCC’s Office of Plans and Policy under Chairman William Kennard. He has taught and written extensively on constitutional law, antitrust law and communications law, policy and regulation in positions at Georgetown University, the College of William and Mary, the University of Connecticut and the University of Natal in South Africa.

The FCC’s review of broadcast ownership rules has generated one of the most exhaustive records in Commission history. The FCC has received more than 15,000 comments in this proceeding, the majority of which are from the general public.

The six broadcast ownership rules to be discussed at the hearing and the years they originally were adopted are:
1. Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Prohibition (1975);
2. Local Radio Ownership (1941);
3. National TV Ownership (1941): remanded by D.C. Circuit;
4. Local TV Multiple Ownership, aka "Duopoly rule" (1964): remanded by D.C. Circuit;
5. Radio/TV Cross-Ownership Restriction (1970);
6. Dual Television Network Rule (1946).

The hearing is open to the public and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. All interested persons are invited to attend. A live audiocast of the hearing will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis through the FCC’s website at www.fcc.gov . In addition, the transcript will be available on the FCC website within 14 business days of the hearing. The transcript will be a part of the record in the broadcast ownership rulemaking proceeding.

Interested members of the public may also participate in this proceeding by filing comments electronically using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) and ECFS Express at www.fcc.gov.

A complete agenda and panelists is available through the FCC's website: hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-231387A1.pdf.

IEC Votes in Favor of DRM International Standard
Geneva - Feb 24, 2003 - The International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) has given the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) on-air system the highest approval as an International Standard. The IEC voted in favor of the DRM standard IEC 62272-1 Ed. 1: Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) - Part 1: System Specification. DRM is the world's only non-proprietary, digital system for short-wave, medium-wave and long-wave with the ability to use existing frequencies and bandwidth across the globe. With near-FM quality sound that offers an improvement over analog AM, DRM will revitalize the AM broadcasting bands below 30MHz in markets worldwide.

The vote for the DRM standard was held on Jan. 31, 2002. Pierre Vasseur, chairman of the Joint Rapporteur Group ITU-IEC and director, advanced business at DRM member company Thales Broadcast & Multimedia, will officially report the IEC results to the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) Working Party Group 6E at its next meeting in mid-March.

With DRM's commercial roll-out drawing nearer, DRM will launch its inaugural broadcasts toward the ITU's WRC 2003 in Geneva this June. DRM has also received endorsement by the ITU for all three broadcasting bands below 30MHz—short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave. Last year, the administrations of the ITU member countries approved a revised version of Recommendation BS1514, now called Recommendation BS1514-1 (Digital Sound Broadcasting Below 30MHz). It states that DRM is an ITU-R Recommendation for all the broadcasting bands spanning 150kHz to 30MHz. No other digital radio system has received such broad recommendation (including short-wave, as well as medium-wave/AM and long-wave) by the ITU.

Additionally, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) published a Technical Specification of the DRM system in September 2001. The document is called ETSI TS 101 980 V1.1.1 (2001-09), Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) System Specification.
INCITS Redefines Role
Washington - Feb 20, 2003 - Following announcements on new standards and projects, the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), which boasts members from technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Network Appliance and Oracle, now has a strengthened link to the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC). The new standards body supplants the 41-year-old INCITS (formerly ANSI-accredited X3) and the Joint Technical Committee 1 Technical Advisory Group (JTC 1 TAG). The latter had carried the United States position on many IT standards to ISO/IEC—a function that will now be performed by INCITS.

Other ANSI-accredited standards organization integral to the announcement are the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)/Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the Uniform Code Council (UCC). Together, their standards programs combined with that of the "original" INCITS have accounted for nearly all of the formal IT standardization work in the world, and all had used JTC 1 TAG to send new projects and US positions to ISO/IEC.

The new organization creates a forum for these ANSI-accredited groups to formulate standards policies together. The action will streamline the process of submitting U.S. standards to international bodies, eliminating the redundancy in standards development that can sap resources and cause confusion in the marketplace.
Schieffer to Keynote NAB Radio Luncheon
Wasington - Feb 21, 2003 - Bob Schieffer, CBS News' chief Washington correspondent, will keynote the NAB2003 Radio Luncheon, April 8 in Las Vegas. Schieffer began his broadcasting career in radio at KXOL-AM, Ft. Worth, TX, while attending college at Texas Christian University. One of broadcast journalism's most experienced Washington reporters, he has anchored and moderated CBS News' Sunday public affairs program, Face the Nation since May 1991. He has covered Washington for CBS News for more than 30 years and is one of the few broadcast or print correspondents to have covered all four major beats in the nation's capital: the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill. Before joining CBS News, he was a reporter at The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and later became news anchor at the Dallas/Fort Worth CBS affiliate.

He is also author of the newly released book, This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV, which is currently ranked #3 on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list. The book offers insights and behind-the-scenes looks at the news events over the 40-plus years of his career.

The NAB Radio Luncheon, sponsored by ASCAP, will also feature NAB Hall of Fame inductee Scott Shannon, program director and air personality for WPLJ-FM.
Wonderful World of Disney Honored by NAB Hall of Fame
Washington - Feb 20, 2003 - The Disney anthology television series will be inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame at the NAB2003 Television All-Industry Luncheon, April 7 in Las Vegas. Michael Eisner will accept the award on behalf of The Walt Disney Company.

The Disney anthology includes Disneyland, Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Disney's Wonderful World, Walt Disney, The Disney Sunday Movie, The Magical World of Disney and, as it is currently known, The Wonderful World of Disney. Since the inception of the show in 1954, this award-winning series has provided a steady stream of family programming that has entertained generations of children and adults with a mixture of cartoons, live-action adventures, documentaries, nature stories, theatrical films and made-for-TV movies.

Walt Disney was creator and host of the series from 1954 until his death in 1966. As chairman, Eisner assumed the role of host in 1986, making him the longest-running host of any prime-time series in network history.

Business


Cox Chooses Harris for Digital in Miami
Cincinnati - Feb 27, 2003 - Cox Radio's WEDR-FM 99.1 in Miami will install IBOC transmission equipment using a Harris Z24HD digital transmitter. The new Z-HD digital transmitter will work in conjunction with the transmitter already in place at the station. High-level combining will be used to create the hybrid analog and digital signal.

Cox Radio is the third largest radio broadcasting company in the United States, and it operates stations primarily in markets ranked 10-70 based on revenues. Cox owns, operates or provides sales and marketing services to 67 FM and 11 AM stations in 18 markets.
SAS and WBS Enter Joint Agreement Toronto and Burbank, CA - Feb 21, 2003 - Edward Fritz, president of Sierra Automated Systems (SAS) and Eugene L. Johnson, managing director of Ward-Beck Systems (WBS) have entered into a joint venture between their two companies. The first joint product launch will be a new audio console based on the Ward-Beck R2K series. The R2K series was first introduced in 1998 and has proven hugely successful in the Canadian radio market, capturing more than 90 percent of market sales during the past five years.

Ward-Beck Systems has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Sierra Automated Systems for many years, integrating SAS router controllers in the R2K, Renaissance and R series radio consoles.

The new console series will be unveiled at NAB 2003. With functional and styling features defined by SAS, this console will be marketed in the United States exclusively through SAS and its dealer network. The console will offer fully integrated control of SAS routers and pave the way for both companies to offer cost-effective operational systems for digital radio as it evolves.

SAS will have access to the entire Ward-Beck product line and WBS is investigating the use of products, such as the SAS Rio switcher in non-traditional applications.

People


Mackie Promotes Loyko to Sr. VP
Woodinville, WA - Feb 25, 2003 - Mackie Designs has promoted Frank Loyko to senior vice president sales, worldwide. With this announcement, Paul Rice steps down as Mackie's senior vice president of international sales and business development. Loyko will assume global responsibility for sales initiative across all Mackie Designs brands, while Mackie's marketing group takes over business development initiatives.

According to Mackie, this is the next step in the restructuring plans that the company put into motion last November.

Loyko was most recently Mackie's sr. vice president of sales, U.S.


NPR Adds Director of Diversity Management
Washington, DC - Feb 24, 2003 - NPR has appointed journalist and diversity professional Walt Swanston as director of diversity management, a new position, to shape diversity strategies in staff development for the national nonprofit radio service. Swanston will head a diversity initiative with the overall goal of ensuring that NPR is an inclusive, productive workplace, so that NPR programming can reflect and attract listeners from the increasingly diverse American population.

Swanston brings to her new position more than two decades in journalism and 12 years in diversity-focused work with the media. She comes to NPR from the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF), where she directed the organization's diversity, educational and international programs for the past three years. Before coming to the RTNDF, Swanston served as the executive director of UNITY: Journalists of Color, and spearheaded the UNITY '94 and UNITY '99 conventions. She also has served as executive director of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), directed diversity programs at the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and consulted for Knight-Ridder.

Ms. Swanston's journalism career includes posts as executive editor at WUSA-TV in Washington and reporter/producer for WETA-TV in Washington, during which she reported on Congress, the White House and the 1976 presidential campaign. She has written on assignment for The National Journal, National Observer, Washingtonian Magazine and The Washington Post. Early in her career she reported for The Washington Star, San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Sun-Reporter.

Swanston has received the Honor Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri, the Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Outstanding Service to Scholastic Journalism award from the Journalism Education Association.
Ledtronics Intros New District Sales Manager
Torrence, CA - Feb 21, 2003 - Ledtronics has added Jeffrey Mizel as its new district sales manager for upstate New York, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Florida and Puerto Rico. Mizel brings more than 32 of experience in the electronics industry. Mizel can be reached through his New York office:
88 Pacific Blvd.
Long Beach, NY 11561
516-880-8874
ledtronics@optonline.net






Internet Watch


Arbitron Enhances Internet Broadcast Ratings Service New York - Feb 18, 2003 - Arbitron is enhancing its Internet Broadcast Ratings service featuring Measurecast technology to facilitate buying and selling of audio and video advertising on Internet Broadcast stations. The expanded service will include sales training tools for Internet broadcast sales organizations and the publication of traditional broadcast-style audience metrics. These initiatives are part of Arbitron’s transition to a subscription-only Internet broadcast audience ratings system.

Starting in March 2003, Arbitron Internet Broadcast Services will be available exclusively to subscribers. The service features a three-part approach to Internet broadcast ad sales including credible third-party audience ratings, sales training and publicity. Arbitron’s Internet Broadcast Service is designed to support a sales model patterned closely after traditional broadcast networks. The publication of traditional metrics, such as average quarter hour audience (AQH) and unique users (cume), is designed to allow advertisers to integrate Internet broadcasting seamlessly into their existing media planning process.

Arbitron states that consumers do not differentiate between terrestrial and satellite radio, and this change will allow buyers and sellers to strip away the technical details of how the programming is delivered and focus on the value of the audience delivered.

Arbitron also notes that people who tune to Internet broadcasts are "upscale, media savvy and heavy users of new technologies and digital devices."
Eimac Power Tube Reference Manual Online
San Carlos, CA - Feb 24, 2003 - The Eimac division of CPI has posted its reference guide The Care and Feeding of Power Grid Tubes on its website at www.eimac.com. Covering device fundamentals, theory, equipment design considerations and applications information, this book is a useful reference when working with power tubes.

The book is currently out of print, but the posting to Eimac's website in PDF format includes many updates such as an all-new section on inductive output tubes (IOT). Eimac plans to reprint the reference later this year with more updates. The electronic posting fulfills the immediate requests that the company has had for the book.

Products


Enco Systems Intros Interactive Radio System
Southfield, MI - Feb 28, 2003 - Enco Systems has released Enter Active Radio, a system designed to provide interactivity for listeners and revenue generation for broadcasters.

While stations can easily use their website to provide program-related information to its listener, Enter Active Radio allows listeners to vote for or against songs, perform searches within the station's inventory, purchase music, critique songs and commercials, and chat with other listeners. Listeners can also request a text message to be sent to their mobile phone indicating when a favorite song is about to play. Song dedications can be sent to others as text messages in the same manner. Enter Active Radio provides the links to these mobile phone text messages.

Enter Active Radio can be implemented with or without streaming media. It also provides targeted online advertising, demographic knowledge that assists in targeting of radio advertising and cost savings through automation. Enter Active Radio was developed in cooperation with Gangverk and uses the company's Mayo Radio technology. Gangverk is headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Enter Active Radio technology is worldwide patent pending.

A 10-minute movie demonstrating Enter Active Radio is available online at www.enco.com/sales/demo. Enter Active Radio can be tested at www.enteractiveradio.com. An user account can be established and tested.

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