Radio Currents Online - Jun 30 - Jul 13, 2003

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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News


Arbitron Update on PPM
New York - July 8, 2003 - Arbitron held a press conference on July 11 to update interested parties on the progress of the Portable People Meter (PPM). Overall, Arbitron said the results they are seeing from the PPM make sense and are in line with what they expected. In particular, radio is showing a greater reach with the PPM than the current paper diary methods. The PPM is finding additional listeners that Arbitron didn't know about with the diary. While goals for the future of PPM were broad in scope, Arbitron did mention that the next PPM ratings marketing effort will be somewhere with a strong Hispanic component.
Radio Magazine's Battison Receives SBE Honor
Indianapolis - July 10, 2003 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) conducts an annual awards program to recognize the efforts of its members. The recipients of the 2002 awards have been announced, and the 2002 winner in the category of Best Technical Article, Book Or Program by an SBE Member is Radio magazine technical editor John Battison, P.E.

The award recognizes the author of the best technical article, book or paper in its contribution towards the increase of scientific, operational, artistic or technical knowledge in the broadcast engineering industry.

Battison's winning article was published in the April 2002 issue of Radio magazine. The RF Engineering column, titled New Tower Standards, outlined the changes in the EIA/TIA tower standards in Revision G. Read the April column at beradio.com/ar/radio_new_tower_standards.

The complete list of SBE award recipients will be posted soon. Award winners will be honored at the SBE National Meeting Awards Banquet, Oct. 15, in Madison, WI.
Copyright Office Publishes Regulations for Soundexchange
Washington - July 10, 2003 - The Copyright Office has announced the final regulations that will govern Soundexchange, an unincorporated division of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), when it functions as the designated agent for royalty payments and statements of accounts from nonexempt subscription digital-transmission services that make digital transmissions of sound recordings under a statutory license.

These regulations are applicable to the initial license period beginning Nov. 1, 1995, through Dec. 31, 2001. The regulations take effect on July 18, 2003.

To view the Federal Register announcement, visit www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2003/68fr36469.html.
FCC Issues NPRM on AM Three-minute Rule
Washington - July 7, 2003 - On July 1, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to resolve a conflict between Sections 73.62 and 73.1350(d)(2) of the Commission’s rules regarding the operation of AM stations with directional antennas. Both of these rules are invoked when an AM broadcast station’s directional antenna operating parameters or monitoring point field strengths exceed operating tolerances. Section 73.62 of the rules, which specifically governs directional antenna system tolerances, provides that whenever the operating parameters of a directional antenna cannot be maintained within the tolerances specified in the rule, an AM broadcast station has 24 hours to identify any excessive monitoring point field strengths followed by three hours to take corrective action. In contrast, Section 73.1350(d)(2) of the rules, which addresses transmission system operation, requires that in the event of any condition of antenna parameters or monitoring points out of tolerance, station operation be terminated within three minutes unless power is reduced sufficiently to eliminate any excess radiation.

This inconsistent directive in the rules leaves AM licensees unclear as to the correct course of action they must take when an out-of-tolerance indication is observed.

The NPRM can be viewed online at these links:
Word Document, Text File, Adobe Acrobat File

Comments are due by Aug. 29, 2003. Reply comments are due by Sept. 18, 2003.
Webcaster Alliance Threatens Legal Action Against RIAA
Las Vegas - July 9, 2003 - Webcaster Alliance (WA) expressed its concerns about anticompetitive conduct in the market for Internet radio in a letter to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The Alliance notified the RIAA of its intention to initiate legal proceedings unless the RIAA takes concrete steps to address anticompetitive conditions in the market that threaten to eliminate small commercial webcasters.

Webcaster Alliance's allegations arise from a December 2002 agreement between the RIAA and certain webcasters that the WA alleges will eliminate competition in Internet radio. The WA further states that the agreement would in turn harm the distribution of independent music that competes with RIAA material.

The Webcaster Alliance letter to the RIAA is posted online at www.webcasteralliance.com. There is no direct link to the letter.
FCC Releases New Ownership Rules
Washington - July 2, 2003 - The FCC released its new rules on media ownership. With this reduction on ownership limits, this will likely start an appeals process that will join the challenges already raised by Congress.

The rules fill 257 pages, including a historical survey of the 20th-century media industry, supporting Chairman Powell's belief that the FCC has little role in regulating media content. Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein issued a 39-page dissent following the release.

According to Adelstein's dissent, "We've now heard from nearly two million people, almost all opposed to the decision…yet we march ahead with our new rules. Now is the time for the FCC to reconsider the rule changes on its own in recognition that it acted against the public interest."

Part of the rule change included a redefinition of radio markets, which could affect several large owners. To prevent groups from trying to take advantage of any loopholes, the Commission will not allow a party to receive the benefit of a change in Arbitron Metro boundaries unless that change has been in place for at least two years. This applies to enlarging a metro and shrinking a metro to divide an owner's non-compliant station holdings into separate markets. This also circumvents a station combo that no longer complies with the rules to rely on a changed market definition to suddenly bring the combo in compliance.

President Bill Clinton wrote a letter to the New York Daily News calling on Americans to write to Congress and ask for the new ownership rules to be fixed. According to Clinton, the rule changes will turn TV and radio into "McMedia."

The rules will be entered into the Federal Register within the coming weeks. They take effect 30 days after appearing in the register.
NFCB Joins Webcaster Alliance
Las Vegas - July 3, 2003 - The National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) has joined the Webcaster Alliance, a trade organization dedicated to providing information, education, support and services to every aspect of the streaming media community. (www.webcasteralliance.com)

NFCB, a national alliance with more than 200 stations, producer, and others committed to community radio, promotes projects among its members including National Youth Radio in Training Project, Low Power FM and the Rural Programming Initiative.
SAG/AFTRA Merger Fails
Los Angeles - July 2, 2003 - The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild had made plans to merge the two organizations to increase the voice represented by the two groups. 27,553 of the 36,310 AFTRA members voting (75.88 percent) cast their ballots in support of the proposed SAG-AFTRA Consolidation Plan. SAG members, however, failed to produce the 60 percent vote necessary to pass the referendum, and therefore consolidation of the two unions will not occur. The SAG vote was 57.78 percent for, 42.22 percent against consolidation.

John Connolly, AFTRA national president, and Greg Hessinger, AFTRA national executive director, issued the following statement:
"The concept of combining actors, broadcasters and recording artists into a single powerful union made perfect sense to our members because of AFTRA's historical breadth and fully integrated locals. AFTRA's membership already embraces all of these media workers and more, and we enjoy a rich tradition of working collaboratively to the mutual benefit of all."

FCC Releases FM Translator Singletons
Washington - June 30, 2003 - On Feb. 6, 2003, the FCC’s Media Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced an auction filing window, from March 10, 2003, to March 14, 2003, for the filing of applications for new FM translator stations and major modifications to authorized FM translator stations in the non-reserved FM band. The filing window was subsequently extended to March 17, 2003. By a public notice, the Audio Division released a list of timely filed applications that are not mutually exclusive with any other applications submitted in the filing window. These applications, called "singletons," are exempt from the Commission’s auction procedures.

Applicants listed in the announcement (available at these links:PDF, Excel file) must submit a complete FCC Form 349 by Aug. 29, 2003. All applicants also must submit the required application filing fee, if applicable, and a FCC Form 159, Remittance Advice. Applicants that previously filed complete applications on FCC Form 349 prior to the 2003 FM translator filing window must comply with these requirements.

The staff will study the submitted singleton FCC Form 349 applications for acceptability. It will subsequently issue CDBS-generated public notices entitled Broadcast Applications listing those applications determined to be acceptable for filing. A petition to deny the FCC Form 349 application must be filed within 15 days following the release of the pertinent public notice. Interested parties should monitor these CDBS Broadcast Applications Public Notices.
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Business


Nautel’s First Forum for Broadcasters a Success
Hackett’s Cove, Nova Scotia - July 10, 2003 - On June 20, 2003, Nautel Limited opened its doors to broadcast industry vendors and Atlantic Canadian broadcast engineers for the first Nautel Forum@the Factory. The forum, attended by 25 area broadcast engineers, was an opportunity for broadcasters and manufacturers to meet and exchange ideas on the present state and future of radio broadcast equipment.

The full-day forum featured interactive presentations and live, hands-on product demonstrations from the participating manufacturers, including Audio Precision, Belar and Omnia Audio.

Demonstrations held at the forum included the latest in FM and AM IBOC technology using Nautel’s solid-state broadcast transmitters. Belar offered a sample of its modulation monitoring products, while Omnia showcased its audio processing equipment and Audio Precision discussed the latest in electronic test equipment.

Scott Campbell, president of Nautel, indicated that the forum would likely be a recurring event and may be expanded to include other geographical regions.
Wheatstone, CSS Tapped for Entercom Denver
New Bern, NC - July 2, 2003 - When Entercom debuts operations from its new suite of broadcast studios in Denver, the facility will be using Wheatstone and Audioarts Engineering technology, and related products including consoles, routers and furniture. The undertaking represents a major rebuild of the broadcasting company’s Denver area multistation operations, as well as the fifth Entercom project that Wheatstone has been awarded in the past year.

Entercom operates four radio stations in the Denver area: KALC-FM, KOSI-FM, KQMT-FM and KEZW-AM.

The project, designed and installed by Creative Studio Solutions (CSS), an engineering and design company located in Wheat Ridge, CO, will consolidate operations of all four stations into one building. The facility will consist of 12 new studios: four on-air, four production, three news and one live room. KALC was the first to go on-air from the new facility located in The Denver Technology Center on June 12. The other three stations will be rapidly staged-in.

Four Wheatstone D-8000s will be installed in each of the on-air studios. The D-8000 is a digital, modular radio console with dual-domain inputs (analog and digital). The three production studios will be fitted with Audioarts Engineering R-17 audio consoles to produce each station’s imaging and production content creation.

A large Wheatstone Bridge Audio Network routing system was selected to accommodate transmission of signals throughout the entire complex. Eleven rooms of Wheatstone custom furniture round out the order. Wheatstone provided direct CAD-level support to CSS and Entercom to facilitate the design process.
Right Track Marketing Appointed Reps for Eventide
Little Ferry, NJ - June 12, 2003 - Eventide has appointed Right Track Marketing to serve as Eventide’s manufacturers representative for the Mid-Atlantic region. Covering Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, both Eventide and Right Track will work closely to implement an integrated sales and support program.

Headquartered in Kinnelon, NJ, with additional offices in Maryland and Virginia, Right Track Marketing is a sales and marketing company that represents several manufacturers in the professional audio industry, including AKG, Apogee, Fostex, Tascam and Waves.

The Right track sales team is Bob Jordan, director of sales, Mid-Atlantic division; Steven Savvides, president; Russ Groover, sales representative; and Richard Shaeer, sales representative.

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People


RF Specialties Adds Funk to Sales Team
Kansas City, MO, and Richmond, IN - July 9, 2003 - Rick Funk, a 25-year veteran of the broadcast industry, joins RF Specialties of Missouri after 15 years with Harris. For the past six years, he was district sales manager for the Great Lakes states, selling transmission and studio equipment for Harris. Prior to this position, he spent a total of nine years in studio equipment sales, which included founding the the Chicago office of Allied Broadcast Equipment. Before his career in broadcast sales, he served in a variety of radio station technical and on-air positions including chief engineer of WIMZ-FM in Knoxville, TN, and assistant chief engineer of WLOO-FM, Chicago.

In his new position, Funk will be responsible for representing the entire RF Specialties of MO line, including Broadcast Electronics (in selected states), Wheatstone and more than 400 other leading broadcast equipment manufacturers. Funk’s primary focus will be the Great Lakes region around his office in Richmond, IN.

Funk will be based in Richmond, IN, and can be reached at 765-966-1990 or by e-mail at rf@insightbb.com. His fax number is 800-859-5481. The office address is 1651 Capri Lane, Richmond, IN 47374.
OMT Technologies Adds to Staff
Winipeg - July 3, 2003 - OMT Technologies has added David Burnham as the company's quality assurance manager. Burnham will oversee quality assurance for OMT's suite of Imedia broadcast products and custom media solutions. In this role, he will develop and execute detailed test plans that enhance the overall quality of OMT's products and systems. He brings 16 years of direct experience to OMT with various broadcast, hardware and software companies such as Symantec, Digeo, Radius and Supermac.
Mackie Names O'Neil as CFO
Woodinville, WA - July 1, 2003 – Jamie Engen, president of Mackie Designs, has appointed Tim O'Neil as the company's chief financial officer. O’Neil brings nearly 20 years of financial management experience to Mackie.

He most recently served as CFO of Redmond, WA-based Trendwest Resorts. From 1988 to 1998, O'Neil worked for Bank One headquartered in Detroit, MI. There he served as vice president of corporate banking and later, director of loan syndications, Bank One Capital Markets. O'Neil also served as operations manager at Centra from 1984 to 1987. O'Neil will work out of Mackie’s headquarters in Woodinville, WA.




Intelix Adds to U.S. Sales Force
Middleton, WI - July 1, 2003 - Intelix, U.S. manufacturer of audio/video hardware and software, has added Chris Jones of The Jones Sales Group, John Pearson of Pearson and Pearson Marketing, and Steve Lichtenauer of SLsales to its U.S. sales representative force.

Representing Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, Jones is a tenured sales and marketing professional with more than 30 years of experience in the audio and video industry, including performing and broadcasting. In 1987 he founded The Jones Sales Group in Flower Mound, TX, just outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Jones can be contacted directly at The Jones Sales Group by phone at 817-430-0989, fax at 817-430-0051 or e-mail at chris@jonessalesgroup.com.

Representing eastern Montana, Southern Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, John Pearson of Pearson and Pearson Marketing is a tenured sales and marketing professional with more than 22 years of representation experience. Specializing in audio systems and video surveillance, Pearson and Pearson Marketing is located in a 2,250 square-foot office in Denver. Pearson can be contacted directly at Pearson and Pearson Marketing by phone at 303-306-6800, fax at 303-306-6888 or e-mail at jpearson@pearsonandpearson.com.

Representing northern California and northern Nevada, Steve Lichtenauer is a tenured sales and marketing professional with more than 25 years of experience in the audio and video industry. Lichtenauer served as product and sales manager for Telex Communication from 1977 to 1985, and founded Lichtenauer & Associates manufacturers representatives in 1985. Lichtenauer can be contacted directly at SLsales by phone at 916-630-7793, fax at 916-625-9116 or e-mail at stvlin@mindsync.com.

Intelix website: www.intelix.com.


HBC Promotes Stewart to VP
Dallas - June 30, 2003 - Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation has promoted David Stewart to vice president of engineering. Stewart is responsible for technical operations and equipment at existing stations, locating upgrade paths and improving signals of current stations and proposed acquisitions, and for training and supervising the technical staffs of the stations.

Stewart began his career in broadcasting in 1976 while in high school and continued after attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. He has held engineering management positions in both television and radio. In 1985, Stewart arrived at Tichenor Media Systems as chief engineer of KBNA-AM/FM in El Paso, TX. In 1997, he moved to Dallas to become HBC’s corporate engineer. As corporate engineer, Stewart oversees market engineering managers, general maintenance, studio and transmitter site construction, station move-ins and upgrades.

Stewart is a member the Society of Broadcast Engineers and is a former chairman and co-editor of the newsletter Chapter 38 in El Paso. He was recently elected to chairman of Chapter 67 in Dallas after previously serving as vice chairman.
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Products


Adobe Unveils Adobe Audition
San Jose, CA - July 7, 2003 - Adobe Systems has released Adobe Audition software, a multitrack recording studio for Windows-based PCs. Previously named Cool Edit Pro 2.1, this product was acquired from Syntrillium Software in May 2003 to address the demanding needs of audio and video professionals in studios, broadcast facilities and post-production houses. Delivering advanced audio mixing, editing, mastering and effects processing capabilities, Adobe Audition is a professional-level audio tool that allows users to edit individual audio files, create loops, import more than 45 DSP effects and mix as many as 128 tracks.

The newest addition to Adobe's cast of Digital Video products; Adobe Audition is available as a stand-alone product or in the new Adobe Video Collection.

Adobe Audition for Windows 98, 2000 and XP is expected to ship in the United States and Canada by the end of August 2003. Registered users of Cool Edit Pro 2.x can obtain a free upgrade to Adobe Audition. Previous version register users including Cool Edit 2000 can upgrade for $99.
Marti Launches Dual-Frequency RPU
Quincy, IL - July 10, 2003 - Marti recently introduced a new wide-band, dual-frequency RPU transmitter with models covering the bands from 135MHz to 180MHz, 215MHz to 250MHz, 235MHz to 265MHz, 300MHz to 350MHz and 430MHz to 480MHz. The new SRPT-30 remote transmitter is based on Marti's frequency-synthesizer and RF power amplifier design-a design that overcomes the limitations of crystal-controlled RPUs used in the past.

According to John Lackness, Marti technical sales manager, there was a limitation in the previous crystal control design that would allow the dual frequencies to be less than 2MHz apart. This was especially true in the VHF band. The RF synthesizer design allows frequencies to be as much as 50MHz apart. The new design allows greater flexibility for stations and may preclude the need for separate transmitters for wide-spaced frequencies.

The SRPT-30 replaces Marti's RPT-30 remote transmitter. The SRPT-30 provides a 20W to 30W output depending on band selected. The matching receiver, the SR-30, will be available in September.
Audioarts DX-16 Gains Acceptance
New Bern, NC - July 10, 2003 - Audioarts Engineering has delivered orders to Cumulus Media and Whitney Radio for numerous DX-16 consoles, the company’s latest generation of digital on-air audio consoles.

Cumulus Media has taken delivery of several Audioarts Engineering DX-16 consoles for installation in the organization’s new facility in the Appleton/Oshkosh market of Wisconsin. In addition, Whitney Radio selected DX-16 consoles for WVOX, its regional community station located in New Rochelle, NY. WVOX serves residents of suburban Westchester County, NY, and the North Bronx region.

Audioarts Engineering’s DX-16 digital on-air radio console debuted at NAB2003. The console features a compact footprint and a built-in router that assigns any source to any input or monitor. The DX-16 controls 16 input channels and two caller phone channels. It is equipped with digital bargraph metering, alpha source displays, analog and digital stereo mix buses including program, audition, mono 1, mono2 and four mix-minus outputs. Assignable machine control ports are opto-isolated.
Digigram Updates Four Sound Cards
Montbonnot, France - July 7, 2003 - Digigram has updated four of its sound cards to be compliant with the next generation of PCI bus. The updated cards operate at the 3.3V standard.

The new sound cards, available only through Digigram OEM partners, include the PCX822v2, PCX442, LCM440v2 and VX822. The updated cards will replace the following existing cards: PCX822np, PCX440np, LCM440 and VX820, all of which will be discontinued as of Sept. 1, 2003.

All Digigram multichannel sound cards have been updated with a Universal PCI interface, making them compatible with 3.3V, 5V and mixed 3.3/5V environments. Digigram has stressed that the new cards offer offer equivalent if not better better performance than the previous cards. The company has made efforts to ensure compatibility with existing applications.
Burk Technology Releases Lynx 4.2
Littleton, MA - June 30, 2003 - Burk Technology has released version 4.2 of the Lynx software for the GSC3000 and VRC2500 transmitter remote control systems. The new version features automatic report printing and custom user privileges, along with more flexibility in how users manage multiple connection settings.

Burk showed Lynx 4 with the application’s new Custom View designer in April at NAB2003. Broadcasters use Lynx 4 to build a customized interface for monitoring and controlling remote broadcast facilities.

Lynx 4 is a free download from the Burk Technology website at www.burk.com.
Sennheiser Limited Edition MD 421 Commemorative Issue
Old Lyme, CT – June 30, 2003 - Sennheiser USA has introduced the MD 421 Special Edition microphone to commemorate the 90th birthday of Sennheiser founder, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fritz Sennheiser.

The new MD 421 Special Edition uses the large diaphragm, dynamic element of the original microphone. The mic recaptures the performance of the original 1960s design, which was one of Sennheiser's most popular dynamic mics for more than 35 years, and will be limited to 990 production units. Each limited edition microphone features gold-plated hardware, comes with a velour-lined wood jewelers box and a desk stand, and includes a numbered certificate of authentication personally signed by Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser.

Like the original, the new MD 421 Special Edition offers a highly directional cardioid pickup pattern for feedback rejection and features the five-position bass roll-off switch and hum-compensating coil of the original.
Voxpro PC Adds Networking
Seattle - June 30, 2003 - Voxpro PC Software now includes the Voxpro PC Network functionality, which enables two or more Voxpro PC workstations to link for instantaneous file transfer between workgroup members. All Voxpro PC products come with a one-year standard product warranty and free software upgrades for 12 months. In addition, the company has changed the price of several products in the Voxpro PC digital voice editor family.
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