Radio Currents Online - Apr 28 - May 04, 2003

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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President Signs PROTECT Act

President Bush greets Tamara Brooks after signing S. 151, the PROTECT Act of 2003. Brooks, was rescued after an AMBER Alert was issued in Orange County, CA. Donna Norris, left, embraces her son Ricky, after the bill signing. The AMBER Alert system is named in honor of her daughter, Amber Hagerman. White House photo by Paul Morse.
Washington - Apr 30, 2003 - In a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush signed into law the Protect Act of 2003. This name of the Act is cited as the Prosecutorial Remedies and Tools Against the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003.

The Act is designed to offer protection to minors and expands the AMBER Alert system that up to now has been a voluntary effort. Last year, at the direction of the president, Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed an AMBER Alert coordinator to oversee the nationwide effort. This new law formally establishes that position and empowers the coordinator to set clear and uniform voluntary standards for the use of AMBER Alerts across the United States.

The new law also addresses issues dealing with child pornography. The new law strengthens federal penalties for child kidnapping and other crimes against minors.

In addition, the law creates pilot programs to help nonprofit organizations that deal with children to obtain quick and complete criminal background information on volunteers.
NATE Moves to new Headquarters
Watertown, SD - Apr 30, 2003 - The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) is moving to a new headquarters on May 19, 2003. The new address is:
8 Second Street SE
Watertown, SD 57201-3624

The website and phone numbers remain the same:
605-882-5865, 888-882-5865
605-886-5184 fax

Founded on March 31, 1995, NATE is a non-profit trade association that provides members with uniform safety standards, improved communications, and a unified voice to help shape the future of the tower industry.
FCC's Powell Expects to Drop Cross-ownership Rule
Seattle - Apr 29, 2003 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell defended his plan to allow media companies to own newspapers and TV stations in the same city. Powell said it's likely that the FCC will drop the rule when it meets June 2, ending a 28-year ban on media cross-ownership. After speaking at the Newspaper Association of America convention in Seattle, Powell told reporters that he believes that a change is likely, however, he added that it is not definite.
Broadcast Electronics Organizes IBOC Training Sessions
Quincy, IL - Apr 29, 2003 - Broadcast Electronics engineers are on the road educating, informing and preparing broadcasters for IBOC (Ibiquity's HD Radio) conversion. Broadcast Electronics has sponsored more than a dozen informational training sessions in key U.S. markets in the past 18 months, covering everything from cost of conversion to the technical considerations of high- and low-level IBOC combining.

"Our goal is to educate the broadcaster, so as they prepare for HD Radio, they?ll have everything they need to make informed decisions," said Richard Hinkle, director of RF engineering for the transmitter manufacturer. On the tours, Broadcast Electronics engineers have been available to field questions and help broadcasters develop workable plans for IBOC implementation. Representatives from antenna manufacturers are occasional road companions who also participate in the sessions to offer antenna considerations unique to IBOC implementation.

The IBOC training sessions have been held in major metropolitan areas and have been attended by engineers with Infinity Radio, Bonneville, Cox Radio, Clear Channel, Jefferson-Pilot, ABC Radio and Entercom. The company's HD Radio session held on April 6 during the NAB convention was attended by more than 100 people. Before the convention, Broadcast Electronics sponsored HD Radio sessions in a dozen cities, including Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Kansas City, San Diego, Denver and the Milwaukee area. Post NAB2003 sessions were held in St. Louis on April 24 and in Denver on March 25. Upcoming training sessions will be held in Houston on May 21, in Washington, DC, on June 12, and in Lincoln, NE, on August 14.

The sessions are occasionally sponsored in cooperation with local SBE chapters or state broadcaster associations. The informational sessions are open to broadcasters free of charge. To arrange a Broadcast Electronics sessionin your area, e-mail John Abdnour at


Harris Obtains Distribution Agreements
Las Vegas - Apr 7, 2003 - Harris' Broadcast Communications Division has been named the exclusive North American distributor of two products: the Orban Audicy2 workstation and Pocketrec software.

The Orban Audicy2 uses a DSP-based Digigram soundcard and integrates with other digital delivery systems. Built to support Microsoft Direct-X plug-ins, the workstation edits WAV and MP2 files.

Created for use in Microsoft's PocketPC and similar portable devices, the Pocketrec software uses Windows-compatible files to upload recorded data to the radio studio. Pocketrec software can edit and label material on a Pocket PC, then send the material to a studio via the Internet, remote access or the studio's docking station. Pocketrec received one of the 10 Radio magazine Pick Hit awards at NAB2003.
DPA Establishes U.S. Subsidiary
Las Vegas - Apr 7, 2003 - DPA Microphones is establishing a wholly owned subsidiary in the United States. The new company will be responsible for marketing, sales, technical support and customer service in North America. As of March 31, 2003, the operations are headquartered in Lyons, CO.

Bruce Myers has been named the president of the new subsidiary. Myers is a 30-year veteran of the pro audio industry. Most recently, Myers was general manager of field operations for Tannoy North America. Prior to that, Myers worked at Bose in the professional division.

Chris Walsh has been named product manager for the subsidiary. Walsh comes to DPA from Tannoy North America as well. At Tannoy Walsh held the position of sales manager for DPA Microphones, as well as for Tannoy studio products. Before joining Tannoy, Walsh spent six years at Martinsound as vice president of sales and marketing.
SAS and SVS Partner
Burbank, CA - Apr 7, 2003 - Sierra Automated Systems and Sierra Video Systems have announced a strategic partnership to create the SVS Sequoia Routing System. This system uses an SAS designed-and-built digital audio and data router. Sequoia's digital audio and data routing system is based on an SAS'32KD digital audio network and is fully integrated into Sequoia's control system. The network accommodates analog and digital audio inputs and outputs in groups of 32 channels, up to 512x512 in one 6RU frame.
Technet Systems Group Installs Studiohub+
Auburn, NH - May 1, 2003 - Technet Systems Group, a broadcast equipment supplier and systems integrator, has completed its first Studiohub+ wiring installation for WRHI Radio of Rock Hill, SC.

When the project was finished Bob Smith, Technet?s site installation supervisor, noted that using Studiohub+ saved the crew two days of installation time per studio. As an added bonus, because all the equipment had to be moved once to a temporary room and then again when the studios were refurbished, Studiohub+ kept re-wiring to a minimum.
First Mediaworks and Mediaspan Combine Internet Service Businesses
Research Triangle Park, NC ? Apr 29, 2003 ? Mediaspan Group, a provider of pre-press software and Internet new media programs for newspapers and radio stations across the country, and First Mediaworks have combined their radio Internet services businesses. As a result of this acquisition, First Mediaworks will become a division of Mediaspan Group.

Based in San Clemente, CA, First Mediaworks provides online programs and marketing solutions for radio stations, and currently serves more than 1,500 broadcast properties worldwide. First Mediaworks CEO Chad Meisinger will take over as president of the new division. First Mediaworks has a blue chip radio customer base that includes ABC Radio Networks, Infinity Radio, Entercom, Citadel, Cumulus, Saga Communications, Radio One and the Armed Forces Radio Networks.
Fairlight to Re-open May 2003
Sydney, Australia - Apr 29, 2003 - John Lancken, CEO of Fairlight, has announced that the company has undergone a reorganization, securing new owners but retaining the key research, development and management personnel to ensure there is continuity in product development, support and manufacturing. The new owners have also purchased all the essential assets including intellectual property, trademarks, patents, inventory, plant and equipment. The company will continue to trade as Fairlight.

Subject to finalizing arrangements for new premises in Sydney, manufacturing of new products will commence in early May 2003. The new company plans to launch several updates and upgrades to the product line.
Ten Stations Choose Harris for IBOC
Cincinnati - Apr 24, 2003 - Ten radio stations have made the committment to purchase and install IBOC equipment from Harris. The purchases include a Dexstar IBOC exciter. Several of these stations have also purchased new Harris Z-HD transmitters.

The stations that have recently purchased a DEXSTAR AM/FM exciter include:
  • WCLV-FM 104.9, Cleveland, OH - Cleveland Classical
  • WNWV-FM 107.3, Cleveland, OH - Elyria-Lorain
  • WWFE-AM 670, Miami, FL - Fenix Broadcasting
  • WOWO-AM 1190, Ft. Wayne, IN - Federated Media
  • WJNA-AM 640, West Palm Beach, FL - James Crystal Holdings
  • KZIA-FM 102.9, Cedar Rapids, IA - KZIA
  • KMRY-AM 1450, Cedar Rapids, IA - Sellers Broadcasting
  • WASE-FM 103.5, Elizabethtown, KY - W&B Broadcasting
  • WRHC-AM 1550, Miami, FL - WRHC Management
  • WXGI-AM 950, Richmond, VA - Gee Communications

    WNWV-FM, KZIA-FM, WCLV-FM and WASE-FM have purchased new Z-HD transmitters. WRMR-AM 1420, another Cleveland classical station, will upgrade its current Gates 5 transmitter and WJNA-AM 640 will upgrade its existing Harris DX50 transmitter.

    KMRY-AM and WXGI-AM have purchased a DAX AM transmitter from Harris' DAX 1-6kW line of transmitters.


    Harland Joins ERI
    Chandler, IN - Mar 31, 2003 - Bill Harland has joined Electronics Research as product line manager for the company's antenna division. Harland has held product line and sales management positions in the broadcast equipment industry for more than 25 years. His most recent positions include account manager and product line manager for Andrew and prior to that as director of domestic sales for Broadcast Electronics.

    In this new position, Harland will be providing guidance for ERI's new product development efforts and will also be responsible for developing new systems and tools to allow the company to be more responsive to antenna and filter system customer requirements. He will also be in charge of launching the company's new TV antenna product line.
    Jenkins Appointed to AKG Position
    Nashville, TN - Apr 7, 2003 - AKG has appointed Paul Jenkins to the position of U.S. national sales manager. In this role, Jenkins will manage the company's sales force, including the 15 independent sales firms representing the AKG Acoustics line of products. Previously, Jenkins served as AKG's western regional sales manager. Before joining AKG, Jenkins was a regional sales manager for Audio-Technica.
    Eventide Names a Director of Product Management
    Little Ferry, NJ - Apr 28, 2003 - Eventide has named professional audio industry veteran David Fournier to the position of director of product management. Specifically, Fournier will be responsible for overseeing product design, engineering and implementation. Fournier plays the role of the customer advocate in the process, as well as works to developing a marketing strategy.

    Having earned a B.A. in Music Performance, with a concentration in sound recording technology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Fournier started his career at Lexicon as a marketing assistant. After creating a software Q&A group, he left the company after seven years of service as a product manager and joined Vibrint Technologies in the capacity of Senior QA Engineer. Fournier comes to Eventide from Line 6, where he was most recently the pro audio product manager for the music products and technology manufacturer.


    Contour Design Enhances Support for DPS Velocity and Protools
    Windham, NH - May 1, 2003 - Contour Design added Leitch's DPS Velocity and Digidesign's Protools to the list of applications with pre-programmed settings for the Contour Shuttlepro multimedia controller. The new application settings are available for free download on Contour Design's website at Protools settings for Contour's new Shuttlexpress multimedia controller are also available now, with DPS Velocity settings to follow later this month.

    With Contour's Shuttlepro, DPS Velocity and Protools users can now enjoy better control and productivity, compared to using just a keyboard and mouse.
    Goldeneagle Version 2 Now Shipping
    Las Vegas - Apr 7, 2003 - Goldeneagle FM from Audemat-Azttec is an FM multireceiver system designed as an off-air monitoring system with remote control capabilities. The Goldeneagle offers functions such as audio streaming, audio recording, automatic scanning and measurement consultation and storage. From one or several antennas, the system monitors automatically in real time the quality and continuity of up to 40 FM signals and notifies the relevant person of any problem by sending an alarm.
    Telos Xtream Upgrade Released
    Las Vegas - Apr 5, 2003 - Telos' Zephyr Xtream Version 2.5 software is now available. This software contains enhancements and additions that enable users to connect with Zephyr Xport, the portable Telos codec that can use analog and digital telephones lines. The abillity to connect to the Zephyr Xport POTS/ISDN codec reduces the overall cost of remote systems, because a single studio-side transceiver can take the place of dedicated ISDN and POTS codecs. Zephyr Xtream users can download Version 2.5 software at no charge by visiting
    Symetrix Upgrades Symnet to Version 3.5
    Mountlake Terrace, WA - May 1, 2003 - Symetrix has released an upgrade to the Symnet Audio Matrix system with version 3.5 of the Symnet Designer application software and the new Control I/O hardware. Improvements to the designer software include basic time alignment to compensate for DSP latency within the Symnet hardware, a volume ramp-up after downloading for loudspeaker protection and increased interactivity between Adaptive Remote Control (ARC) units connected to a Symnet system. Graphic EQ processing modules in mono and stereo, and automatic verification of firmware version in the Symnet hardware units when bringing the system online with a Windows PC are also included in this software upgrade. THe expected release date is June 30, 2003.

    Version 3.5 will support a new hardware device known as Control I/O. Intended to be connected to a Symnet ring via RS-485, this unit offers users expanded external control options through the eight analog control inputs, eight open collector outputs with +5V pull-up resistors, four control relays, RS-485 port, four Adaptive Remote Control (ARC) ports and 15-pin joystick MIDI port. Control I/O gives system designers the ability to generate external commands for a Symnet system through ARCs, generic programmable MIDI controllers, potentiometers, incremental encoders and rotary switches. Control I/O can then interface directly with lamps, LEDs, lighting systems, audible and visual alarms, cart machines, routers - virtually anything that can be controlled from a current loop or normally open/normally closed dry relay contacts.
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