Radio Currents Online - Aug 25 - Sep 07, 2003


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Senate Panel Backs Further Ownership Action


Washington - Sept 4, 2003 - A U.S. Senate panel voted to prohibit the FCC from enforcing its new rule allowing TV broadcast networks to acquire more local stations. The action would bar the new rules from taking effect for one year. This comes one day after a federal appeals court blocked the rules from going into effect pending judicial review. On a voice vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to prevent the FCC from spending money to allow companies to reach more than 35 percent of the national audience. The provision was attached to the $38.4 billion annual spending bill for the FCC, and the Commerce, State and Justice departments.

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a similar measure but the White House has threatened to veto the spending bill because of the FCC provision.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain has already dissapproved of the Appropriations Committee decision, stating that this committee has usurped the jurisdiction of his committee. McCain characterized the Appropriations Committee action as a "misuse of the appropriations process" and that his committee already sent a bill to the floor addressing the issue.


FCC Ownership Rules Delayed by Federal Court


Philadelphia - Sept 4, 2003 - Following a motion and petition by the Prometheus Radio Project, a non-profit association that supports micropower and community-based radio, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit granted a stay to the FCC rules that were about to go into effect, allowing for broadcast station ownership rules to change as per the FCC ruling from one month ago. The court wants to investigate the claims made by the Prometheus Project that the new rules would cause irreversible harm to the media landscape if enacted. In addition, if the rules were to take effect, Prometheus claims that it would be impossible to undo any ownership changes that benefited from the change. The Circuit Court also stated that the there would be no harm in granting the stay until a judicial review was completed.

It is likely that Congress will overturn part of the FCC rule changes in due time.


World DAB Forum, DRM Agree to Future Cooperation


IFA, Berlin - Aug 30, 2003 - Two leaders in the global digital radio community have struck an agreement to collaborate on the development of their systems, paving the way for the digital radios of the future. The World DAB Forum and the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium announced their co-operation during a press conference at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, Germany.

The two organizations, which have many members in common, have agreed to cooperate in fostering conditions that are favourable for both digital systems. It is anticipated that this close collaboration will pave the way for a new genre of future digital radios on the market, enabling listeners to receive any digital radio service without having to worry about the underlying transmission system.

The World DAB Forum is an international, non-governmental organization whose role is to promote the awareness, adoption and implementation of DAB digital radio worldwide. Its members include public and commercial broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and other companies and bodies committed to converting the technology behind Eureka 147 system into a commercial marketing success. More info is available at
www.worlddab.org

DRM is a non-proprietary, digital system for short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave with the ability to use existing frequencies and bandwidth across the globe. The DRM system was developed, tested and standardized by the DRM Consortium. Founded in Guangzhou, China in 1998 and headquartered in Geneva, the consortium has expanded into a group of 82 broadcasters, network operators, equipment manufacturers, broadcasting unions, regulatory bodies and NGOs representing 29 countries. More info is available at www.drm.org


FCC Announces Settlement Period Pending LPFM Apps


Washington - Aug 28, 2003 - The FCC's Media Bureau has announced a settlement period for the mutually exclusive Low Power FM (LPFM) new station applicants named in a six-page list. The list of affected applicants can be viewed at these links: Excel format, Acrobat format. Requests for approval of universal settlements that are filed by Oct. 31, 2003, and that satisfy all requirements set forth below will receive expedited processing.

This universal settlement period is designed to facilitate the rapid licensing of new LPFM stations. During this filing period, the Commission will waive its rules and permit settling applicants to file major change amendments specifying new FM channels. This limited waiver policy will allow settling applicants to use all available FM channels to resolve technical conflicts and obtain construction permits. The Media Bureau has reactivated its LPFM channel-finder tool to help applicants identify available alternative frequencies. This utility is available at www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/lpfm_channel_finder.html. This waiver opportunity for Windows I, II and III filers will end at the close of this settlement filing period. No other major change amendments will be accepted. Minor amendments also may be filed as part of a settlement. Applicants are encouraged to use time-share agreements and technical amendments to eliminate conflicts.

In addition, to provide settling applicants with maximum flexibility, the Commission will waive another rule and permit the receipt of consideration in excess of legitimate and prudent expenses. As a result, no applicant will be required to satisfy the related certification and disclosure requirements, but settling applicants must comply with the Commission’s general settlement rules in all other respects.

Time-share proposals must be in writing, signed by each time-share proponent, and submitted as part of the settlement proposal. Each time-share proponent must propose to operate its LPFM station for at least 10 hours per week.


Webcaster Alliance Files complaint Against RIAA


Las Vegas - Aug 27, 2003 - Webcaster Alliance (WA) has filed a complaint alleging anticompetitive conduct against the RIAA and its leading members. In July, the alliance notified the RIAA of its intention to initiate legal proceedings unless the RIAA took concrete steps to address anticompetitive conditions that the WA believes will threaten to eliminate small commercial webcasters and injure the music market.

Webcaster Alliance's allegations arise from an alleged unlawful agreement among certain participants in the December 2002 agreement between the RIAA and certain webcasters that was allegedly intended to harm competition, which would in turn harm the distribution of independent music that competes with RIAA material.

Read the Webcaster Alliance complaint against the RIAA:
www.webcasteralliance.com/docs/WA_complaint.pdf.


Patent Awarded for Internet Radio Ad Insertion


Denver - Aug 15, 2003 - David Minter and Albert Baldocchi have been awarded US patent 6,577,716 covering insertion of advertising and other content into radio broadcasts streamed over the Internet. The patent is titled Internet Radio System with Selective Replacement Capability.

The patent application was envisioned to allow local content to be distributed nationally with alternate advertising that is more appropriate to the Internet audience. The processes covered under the patent are already in limited use today. The patent holders plan to work with the companies that are already using this process to develop licensing agreements.

Radio magazine expects that companies already providing ad-insertion services will take appropriate measures to dispute the patent if they can prove that their use predates the application.


FCC to Study Effect of Towers to Migratory Bird Paths


Washington - Aug 20, 2003 - The FCC has adopted a Notice of Inquiry to gather comment and information on the impact that communications towers may have on migratory birds. This inquiry is part of the Commission’s environmental and historic preservation action plan announced by Chairman Powell in May 2003.

The point is to determine whether towers pose a significant risk to birds as they migrate during the year. To the Commission’s knowledge, to date there have been no studies sufficient to support a reliable estimate of the number of migratory birds that may have died as a result of collisions with communications towers. Some literature suggests that certain factors, such as tower height, lighting systems, type of antenna support structure and location, may increase or decrease the hazards that towers pose to migratory birds, there does not appear to be systematic research on an adequate scale regarding exactly how and to what extent, if at all, these factors contribute to any risk to migratory birds.

The inquiry is designed to gather comment and information on scientific research and other related data relevant to migratory bird collisions with communications towers. Depending on the record developed in this proceeding, the Commission will consider whether the current state of research would support further action, including possible amendments of its environmental rules.


DRM Announces IFA 2003 Plans


Berlin - Aug 25, 2003 – Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), which debuted earlier this summer, will be exhibiting at IFA 2003, the consumer electronics show. Six weeks ago in Geneva, 16 broadcasters sent the world’s first DRM broadcasts across the globe. Since then, the number of stations transmitting live, daily DRM programs and periodic specials has risen to 25. DRM will showcase live broadcasts on a range of receivers, including a new second-generation DRM consumer radio that will be available for distribution later this year.

Following a DRM press conference, a DRM Symposium will be held in which DRM’s experts will delve deeper into the system’s technical and commercial features. Scheduled to speak are Michael Pilath of T-Systems Mediabroadcast, Michael Knietzsch of Thales Broadcast and Multimedia, Christian Hoerlle of Telefunken Sender Systeme Berlin, Stefan Meltzer of Coding Technologies, Gerd Kilian and Olaf Korte of Fraunhofer IIS, Wolfgang Schaefer of Robert Bosch GmbH, and Markus Zumkeller of Sony International Europe.

At IFA 2003, Coding Technologies (CT) will present the first, 2G DRM consumer radio, the DRM Receiver 2010. A joint development by CT, Mayah and others, the DRM Receiver 2010 is smaller and less expensive than the first-generation models. As the first mass-produced DRM receiver, it will be ready for distribution in late 2003.

Fraunhofer IIS will present the DRM FhG Prototype Receiver, the NewsBox DRM Radio. It is a DRM receiver prototype designed to fit in a 19" hi-fi tuner rack, developed in the BMBF project, Radio Mondo. It plays DRM audio and text, and permits navigation within the new data application News Service Journaline, conveying categorized news in text form. Fraunhofer will also showcase the professional receiver, FhG Software Radio and the DRM Software Radio.

Robert Bosch GmbH will showcase a modified car receiver that receives DRM signals on long-, medium- and short-wave (49m band only), using a conventional integrated RF front-end up to the first IF. Digital decoding of the DRM signal is managed by a PC. Data services including Internet pages, slide shows and text will also be demonstrated.

Telefunken Sender Systeme Berlin will organize the technical equipment for several live demonstrations. These include a fully modulated DRM MW signal from Deutschlandradio Berlin’s site in Berlin/Britz, with a TRAM line transmitter TRAM25 and the newly developed Modulator DRM DMOD 2; Single Channel Simulcast on long-wave from T-Systems site Zehlendorf with a TRAM line transmitter TRAM/P500 L and Modulator DRM DMOD 2; Single Channel Simulcast on MW from T-Systems site at Zehlendorf with a TRAM line transmitter, TRAM 50 and Modulator DRM DMOD 2; DRM transmissions from Putbus, Rügen with a 10kW TRAM transmitter and the modulator DRM DMOD 1; DRM transmissions on short-wave in the 11m Band from DeutschlandRadio Berlin’s site in Berlin/Britz with DRM DMOD 1 and a 1kW output amplifier; and DRM transmissions on short-wave from Wertachtal.

T-Systems Mediabroadcast will present the data service DRM Mobile Presenter (MP). It allows for wireless transmission of character-based information and simple pixel diagrams to an end device, such as an LED ticker module display. MP-based applications allow content providers to send information quickly. DRM transmissions can distribute this information over large areas, with few or single transmitters.


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Business



Dalet Plus Hits 2,000 Mark


Paris - Sept 5, 2003 — Dalet Digital Media Systems announced that Dalet Plus products have been adopted by 33 organizations, totaling more than 2,000 workstations worldwide. The Dalet Plus platform was introduced last year and has since evolved into four distinct applications: Dalet Plus News Suite, Dalet Plus Media Library, Dalet Plus Radio Suite and Dalet Plus ActiveLog.

Dalet's international client list consists of Dalet Plus installations for television, radio, education, corporate and government organizations. The company's customers include Fashion Show Mall (Las Vegas), KQED (San Francisco), United States Senate (Washington, D.C.), Washington and Lee University, Canal Sur (Spain), Cyprus Broadcasting (Cyprus), Catalunya Radio (Spain), Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (Paris), Parlement de Bruxelles (Belgium), Radio France International, Radio Télévision Marocaine, Radio Mauritanie, Russian State Television and Radio, Slovak Radio, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain), Warsaw University, Scottish Parliament, SKY Network Television (New Zealand) and World Audio (Australia).


APT Intros Apt-x Evaluation Module


Belfast - Sept 5, 2003 - Audio Processing Technology (APT) has introduced an evaluation PCB. Now companies interested in licensing Apt-x digital data compression algorithms can do so in their own labs. The evaluation PCB has S/PDIF digital interfaces. Developers can also access functionality such as bit-rate modes, algorithm selection, adjustable or bypassed sample-rate conversion and integral autosync by configuring the DIP control switches or the settings within the supplied Windows GUI. The module is also supplied with an expansion header to allow developers access to the full data path.

Both Standard and Enhanced Apt-x algorithms are available to licensees on various formats including Motorola 56xxx, Analog Devices, ARM, ASIC and DLL.


Texas Instruments Intros AM/FM/IBOC Chipset


Dallas and Columbia, MD - Sept 5, 2003 - Texas Instruments and Ibiquity Digital have released plans to introduce the first single-chip baseband to integrate all of the digital functions required to build a combined analog AM/FM and IBOC receiver. For use in automotive applications, TI's second-generation IBOC digital baseband, is based on TI's programmable digital signal processor technology, and a new, complementary intermediate frequency (IF) analog front end (AFE). The unit can also provide audio processing, and MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) CD support on the baseband.


Crown Receives ISO Certification


Elkhart, IN - Aug 31, 2003 - Crown International has received ISO 9001:2000 certification of its Quality Management System. Crown originally achieved certification to the ISO 9002:1994 standard in 1999. This new version of the ISO quality standard places a greater emphasis on top management involvement in the Quality System as well as a focus on continual improvement. Additionally, the audit for compliance with the standard now examines the extent to which a company's Quality System contains customer-focused elements, including understanding needs, meeting requirements, keeping customers informed and measuring satisfaction. A company receives ISO 9001:2000 certification on verification by an independent auditor that it has complied with the standard.


Jutel Gets Big Investment Push


Oulu, Finland - Aug 25, 2003 - Europe's capital investor group 3i and the management of Jutel have struck a deal that will put 5 million euros into Jutel's business operation. Jutel develops and markets digital content management systems for broadcasters. Radioman is the company's flagship product.

The 3i Group investment will increase the number of Jutel's shareholders. After the new ownership arrangements, Jutel will have three major owners: 3i Group plc, Polar Electro Group and the operational management together with Jutel's employees. Until 2000, Jutel's business operations mainly concentrated on the broadcasting markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), but since then the company has been expanding its markets. At the moment, Jutel's business and operational opportunities are global, Asia and North America being the most important regions for expansion.


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People



Burk Appoints New Managers


Littleton, MA - Sept 3, 2003 - Burk Technology has appointed new department managers to head the operations and customer support departments at the company’s facility in Massachusetts.

Kevin Frappier has been promoted to the position of operations manager, where he oversees day-to-day manufacturing operations. Frappier came to Burk Technology in 1996, and served as the customer support manager for the past four years.

To take responsibility for the customer support department, Robyn Cloutier joined the company. Cloutier brings 15 years of customer-service experience to the position. She is credited with implementing new processes to reduce customer wait time and align the department with Burk's ISO9001:2000 Quality Policy.

James Murphy was also added to the customer support team.


Harris Appoints Berger to District SM


Cincinnati - Aug 26, 2003 - The Harris Broadcast Communications Division (BCD) has promoted Scott Berger, previously a Broadcast Center inside sales representative, to BCD district sales manager for the North American radio sales team. Berger will begin his new responsibilities immediately, while continuing in his Broadcast Center role during the transition. He will be responsible for the Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky sales territory.

Berger joined Harris in August 2002 from Clear Channel Communications where he was an advertising and non-traditional revenue (NTR) account executive. While in that position, Berger was responsible for selling new marketing concepts. Prior to Clear Channel, Berger was a member of the United States Air Force.


APT Adds Two to Staff


Belfast - Aug 25, 2003 - Audio Processing Technology (APT), the developer of Apt-X, has appointed two new members to its staff. Formerly with telecommunications company Nevada, Kevin Campbell has joined APT as customer support (hardware) manager, with responsibility for after-sales support across the company's entire range of hardware products, including the Worldnet series. He will be the first point of contact for existing customers.

APT has also appointed Dr. Trevor Scott PhD as licensing support manager with responsibility for helping new licensees to integrate APT's Apt-X algorithm into third-party products. Scott, who was previously based in New York, joins the company from the banking industry where he wrote specialized software. He also has extensive DSP implementation knowledge in mission-critical applications.


Tramont to Become Chief of Staff


Washington – Aug 20, 2003 – Bryan Tramont is currently serving as Powell's senior legal advisor, advising him on FCC agenda and circulate issues, and specifically on wireless, international, technology and consumer concerns. Before joining the FCC, Tramont was an attorney with the law firm of Wiley Rein and Fielding. He also clerked for the Honorable Duane Benton on the Supreme Court for his home state of Missouri.

Tramont replaces Marsha MacBride, who had served in the position since Powell became chairman in 2001, and who announced on Monday that she was stepping down as chief of staff.


Intelix Adds Smith to Sales


Middleton, WI - Aug 14, 2003 - Intelix, a U.S. manufacturer of audio and video hardware and software, has added Amos Smith to its growing sales network. Smith will serve as an Intelix inside sales engineer and primary sales representative for Northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and most of Missouri.

Smith is the newest addition to Intelix’s sales representation team approach, instituted in May 2003. Through the team approach, design, sales and support are accomplished by a two-person team of professionals who are familiar with every stage of the audio and video installation. Smith will be working with Intelix applications engineer Alan Grout.

Smith served as an account executive with The Tape Company and as a national sales associate for design and sales with Full Compass Systems.


Wegener Adds Key Managers


Duluth, GA – Aug 18, 2003 - Wegener has made key management additions and changes to the company’s sales, marketing and engineering departments. The company has appointed Jay Batista to the newly created position of vice president, corporate development. Batista comes to Wegener from Harris Corporation’s Broadcast Communications Division where he led a sales and marketing team of four sales directors and more than 60 sales people. In his new position Batista is responsible for creating and implementing a new corporate sales strategy.

Batista holds a BA from Miami University (Ohio), and an MA in broadcast management from Ohio University. He has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences on the subject of digital television.

Kamy Merithew joins Wegener as vice president, marketing. Merithew comes from Motorola/General Instrument where she served as product line manager for professional satellite video receivers used in the broadcast and cable industries. Merithew holds a BS in general engineering from Harvey Mudd College, and an MS in electrical engineering from the University of California at San Diego.

Jeff Simyon has been named vice president, control systems engineering. Simyon has managed Wegener's Compel Network Control Group. Simyon holds a BSEE from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


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Products



Orban Updates Digital Audio Manual


San Leandro, CA - Sept 3, 2003 - Orban has released the 2003 edition of Maintaining Audio Quality in the Broadcast Facility. The revised edition is available for free download from www.orban.com. The file can be saved locally with the usual Internet browser commands. This edition has more material about digital than previous editions, and it debunks common digital audio myths.

This version uses some of the enhanced functions of Adobe Acrobat 6, but previous version of Acrobat Reader will be able to view the material.


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