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Radio Currents Online - Nov 3 - Nov 9, 2003
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
FCC's Adelstein Seeks Payola Probe
Washington - Nov 5, 2003 - In a speech to the Federal Communications
Bar Association, FCC Commissioner Jonathon Adelstein called for action
in the recent pay-for-play practices in broadcasting. In his speech, he
cited various practices used by radio stations to charge record labels
and artists for radio airplay. The practice, when done carefully, falls
legally within the scope of payola rules. More recently, some TV
stations have begun a practice of charging to conduct interviews. One
station in Tampa has charged $500 for a two-minute segment during the
local news. A station in Mississippi has charged $2,500 for a four- to
six-minute segment. These interviews have come under scrutiny because
they are aired during the regular newscast and carry the appearance of
news content when they are technically considered advertisements. A
disclaimer appears in the closing credits identifying the segment as a
paid feature, but Adelstein feels that is insufficient.
In his speech, Adelstein said, "It’s been 40 years since enactment of the payola statutes. It’s time for the FCC to probe whether our rules adequately deter potentially new forms of payola."
He went on to say that there is a real need for the FCC to review its sponsorship identification rules to make sure it addresses modern day pay-for-play practices in the most effective way possible.
FCC Announces AM Auction and CP Filing Window
Washington - Nov 6, 2003 - The FCC's Media Bureau (MB) and the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) have announced an auction
filing window for certain AM station construction permit applications.
The filing window will open on Jan. 26, 2004, and will close on Jan.
30, 2004. In connection with this window, the MB also announced that it
will not accept AM minor change construction permit applications
between Jan. 12, 2004, and Jan. 30, 2004.
The window is available for proposals for new AM stations and major modifications to authorized AM facilities. Proposals submitted in the filing window must protect all minor change applications filed before Jan. 12, 2004. The window will not be available for frequencies in the AM expanded band or for major changes in existing AM expanded band stations.
AM minor modification applications are governed by first come/first served processing procedures and generally may be filed at any time. However, to avoid the possibility of mutual exclusivity with new and major change applications submitted during this auction filing window, the MB will institute a temporary freeze on the acceptance of AM minor change applications at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time, Jan. 12, 2004. The freeze will remain in effect until the close of the window. AM minor change applications filed during this freeze will be dismissed.
More information is available on the FCC's website at this link. (DA 03-3532)
NAB Announces Crystal Radio Awards Deadline
Washington, DC - Nov 5, 2003 - The National Association of
Broadcasters' 2004 Crystal Radio Awards competition entry deadline is
Feb. 2. The NAB Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for their
outstanding year-round commitment to community service. Finalists will
be honored and winners announced at the Radio Luncheon, Tuesday, April
20, during NAB2004 in Las Vegas. Winners will also be honored at the
Service to America Gala in Washington, DC, on June 14.
Stations across America will be honored for their outstanding efforts to provide responsive, individual service to cities, counties and towns they serve. To enter, a station must submit a 12-page document, summarizing its community service efforts for the year. Crystal finalists and winners will be chosen by judges from the radio and community service fields. For an entry form or more information, see the NAB Radio website at www.nab.org/radio or call Chris Suever at 202-775-3511.
Copyright Office Seeks Comments
Washington - Oct 8, 2003 - The Copyright Office is requesting public comment on what regulations it should adopt relating to records of use for past performances of sound recordings by means of digital audio transmissions (including Webcasting) since Oct. 28, 1998. Initial comments are due Nov. 24, 2003. Reply comments are due Dec. 22, 2003. The notice may be found at the Copyright Office's website:www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2003/68fr58054.html.
Chyron Sells Pro-Bel Subsidiary
Melville, NY - Nov 6, 2003 - Chyron has sold all of the stock in its
wholly owned subsidiary Chyron UK Holdings Limited and its operating
subsidiary Pro-Bel Limited, which constituted all of the company's
signal distribution and automation business. The purchaser of the
business is Oval (1883) Limited, a UK company jointly owned by LDC and
certain members of the Pro-Bel management team.
The sale allows Chyron to reduce its debt and focus on its core competency, the development of real-time graphics systems. Among other products, Pro-Bel manufactures audio routing equipment.
New Owner for Continental Electronics
Dallas - Nov 4, 2003 – DRS Technologies has completed its
acquisition of Integrated Defense Technologies (IDT). In the
transaction, a wholly owned subsidiary of DRS was merged with IDT. The
transaction was completed following approval by a majority of
IDT’s stockholders at a special meeting held earlier today. IDT
has owned Continental Electronics since 2000.
Continental has had several owners since it was founded in 1946, including founder James Weldon, LTV, Varian Associates and Tech-Sym.
More IBOC Tests in Mexico
Cincinnati - Oct 9, 2003 - Grupo Radio Centro hosted a demonstration
on AM and FM IBOC and DAB broadcasting at Mexico's first broadcast
convention, CIRT. Attendance at the convention was reported to be more
During the convention, Harris demonstrated AM IBOC and Eureka 147. The AM IBOC demo was installed at the Grupo Radio Centro located in Santa Catarina, Ixtapalapa, Mexico City. The station was XEN on 690kHz. This station already has three Harris transmitters: one DX-25U, one 3DX-50 and one DX-100. The antenna system is an omnidirectional antenna that is 108 meters tall.
Harris installed two audio processors - one for analog AM and the other for IBOC - a Harris Dextar Epal and Harris Dextar AM exciter. The system was first installed the stations DX-25U and later moved to the DX-100. This marks the first installation of IBOC in a DX-100.
KFRG Gets Back on Air After Fire
San Berndardino, CA - Nov 6, 2003 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) is
supplying two FM transmitters to KFRG-FM, which lost its transmitter
building and just about everything in it to the firestorm that blazed
through California recently. The Infinity station is the LP-1 for the
greater San Bernadino/Riverside area. It was added to the fire fatality
list on Oct. 25 along with two other stations, KCAL-FM and KSGN-FM,
broadcasting from Cloudland Forest Road. In addition, KECR-AM also
suffered equipment losses from the fire.
After seeing that the fire had destroyed the transmitter building, KFRG Chief Engineer Kevin Scott called BE, which supplied Infinity stations with transmitters in the past and had an FM-30T 30kW on order for KFRG as part of a large, corporate purchase order from Infinity Broadcasting. BE shipped KFRG a new 30kW transmitter within hours after the call, several weeks ahead of schedule.
With the transmitter building in ruin, however, Scott wasn’t optimistic that he would be able to install the 30kW transmitter any time soon. He planned to bring a storage locker to the Cloudland site to serve as a temporary transmitter structure. He also needed a lower powered 10kW transmitter that could feed the four-bay antenna system to provide a 26kW ERP signal. KFRG is licensed for 50kW ERP.
A second call to BE started the expedited shipment of a new FM-10T 10kW transmitter. The transmitter was shipped via a white glove shipping method, getting to Los Angeles in 39 hours. Scott plans to use the transmitter during the next few months while rebuilding the site at Cloudland, at which time he'll install the BE 30kW transmitter and use the 10kW for backup.
The station has been operating from a temporary antenna at Box Springs since the fire, on a backup tower graciously loaned by KGGI-FM, a Clear Channel station. Concluding that a backup location is as important as having backup equipment, KFRG corporate officers are currently applying for a license to set up an auxiliary transmitter from Box Springs, with plans to purchase yet another BE transmitter for backup there.
Sonifex Receives Order for Portable Recorders
Irthlingborough, UK - Oct 10, 2003 - Sonifex has received an order from All India Radio (AIR) for 300 Courier flashcard portable recorders. The recorders are to be used throughout India for local broadcasting. They will be used in conjunction with the Dalet Radio Automation System.
Harris Inks Distribution Agreement with Desktop Technologies
Cincinnati - Nov 5, 2003 - Harris has been named a distributor of
News Boss, an automation product by Desktop Technologies, a Sydney,
Australia-based radio technology company.
News Boss, a newsroom automation system, was designed as a Microsoft Windows-based product. It is a radio-specific automation system that uses a true database for management of news data. News Boss is fully scaleable and configurable, with installed systems ranging from a single workstation to more than 80 users. The system's key features include dynamic newscast management, automatic capture of multiple wire services, ingest of satellite feeds, simple-to-use audio recording and editing, high-quality prompter for on-air presentations and WAN and Internet connectivity. News Boss is currently installed in over 280 worldwide locations (140 in the United States) in 22 countries.
APT Plug-in for Adobe Audition Sees Acceptance
Hilton Head, SC - Oct 28, 2003 - The Adventure Radio Group is
benefiting from Audio Processing Technology's (APT) plug-in for the
Adobe Audition audio editing software, previously known as Syntrillium
Cool Edit Pro.
Codec manufacturer APT, initially designed its plug-in for Cool Edit Pro, which has been a standard in broadcast and post production facilities. However, following Adobe’s acquisition of Syntrillium, the plug-in now works well with Adobe Audition, which has been upgraded to incorporate Cool Edit Pro.
APT’s plug-in provides an easy path for Apt-X file format encoding, decoding and editing. The plug-in is available as a download from APT's website. It is simple to install and ready to go once it is registered. The software is compatible with Cool Edit Pro 2000, 1.2a, 2.0 and 2.1, and also with Scott Studios, Computer Concepts, Barrcode, The Management, Smarts and generic Apt-X files (.DSS, .SND, .DAF, .CUT, .AUD).
Adventure Radio, based in Hilton Head Island, downloaded its plug-in soon after APT launched the product at NAB2003. The stations use the APT plug-in to save time by ripping CDs directly into the facility's Scott Studios system in the .DSS format. The stations no longer need to decode and re-encode audio from other file formats to Apt-X. The conversion can be done directly.
Andrew Acquires Yantai Fine Cable Assets
Orland Park IL - Nov 3, 2003 - Andrew has acquired selected assets
of Yantai Fine Cable Company, a manufacturer of products for
telecommunications and broadband cable TV infrastructure providers. The
assets have become part of a new subsidiary, Andrew Broadband
Telecommunication (Yantai) Company that will occupy the former Yantai
Fine Cable manufacturing premises in Yantai, in China's Shandong
province. More than 300 former Yantai Fine Cable Company employees,
including specialist cable engineers, became Andrew employees.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Principal products manufactured by Andrew Broadband telecommunications will include a braided 75 ohm subscriber access cable for broadband networks, a braided 50 ohm cable for broadband wireless, Wi-Fi, telematics, and microwave backhaul applications and a braided 50 ohm cable for in-cabinet wireless jumper assemblies.
Rohde and Schwarz Names Regional Sales Manager
Columbia, MD - Nov 4, 2003 – Tom Jordan, a broadcast industry
veteran credited with deploying Leitch's first U.S. field-based
professional sales force, and known for his service to industry
organizations such as SMPTE, NATAS, the SBE and the AMA has joined
Rohde and Schwarz as a regional sales manager.
Jordan will support a growing customer base, as well as generate new business. He will analyze and evaluate customer requirements as well as develop strategies to successfully respond to the rapidly evolving marketplace. Jordan's territories include the New York networks and the southeastern states reaching from Virginia to Florida.
Jordan most recently held the position of senior vice president of strategic relations for Leitch following a five-year tenure as Leitch's vice president of U.S. sales. Prior to Leitch, Jordan served as regional sales manager for Tektronix Television Division where he helped develop an automatic test set application for analyzing color TV camera performance.
Jordan’s experience also includes leadership roles at RCA Broadcast Systems and at Harris Broadcast Division where he led a team that developed the company's first studio color camera products, and at General Electric Broadcast where he developed the first automatic contrast compression system for color TV cameras and received a patent for a unique shading modulator design.
Jordan holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Beck Appointed Eventide General Manager
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Eventide has formed a new Audio Software
group and Jason Beck, who led the development of the Eclipse and
Clockworks Legacy plug-ins, will lead the development team.
Beck recently announced the introduction of two new plug-ins for Pro Tools TDM for Mac, Eventide Reverb and the Octavox Harmonizer. Also, version 1.1 of its Clockworks Legacy plug-in bundle is available.
Sadie Appoints Thompson to U.S. Director of Sales
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Ed Thompson will be responsible for the
ongoing education of the audio community on the benefits of such
advanced technologies as DSD. Thompson will help develop and implement
a new, intensified sales approach, and strengthen relationships with
Sadie's network of dealers and reps, along with prominent mastering and
Thompson is an accomplished engineer with a broad range of experience, including time spent working at Ohio State University’s public radio and TV services, and doing music and sports audio mixing for such high-profile clients as ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN. Thompson has been the recipient of two regional Emmy Awards, with a third nomination. Additionally, Thompson honed his skills as an engineer for renowned classical pianist Earl Wild, with credits on Wild’s Grammy-winning The Romantic Master: Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions as well as the 2002 Grammy-nominated Wild album Reynaldo Hahn: Le Rossignol Éperdu.
BSI Releases New Version of Simian
Eugene, OR - Nov 6, 2003 - Broadcast Software International (BSI)
has released Simian 1.6. BSI has incorporated more than 100 user
suggestions in recent releases, including improved deckfade macros to
increase user control, improved index handling and playback on MP3
files, added control over the Async deck, increased webcasting
functions and serial strings, and a Reset Cart command to allow Simian
to go back to the first item in a cart, even if all the items have not
Other new features include Dynamic Time Compression, which allows broadcasters to condense their broadcast without any pitch-shifting, enabling them to easily meet top-of-the-hour deadlines every time. BSI's Smart Carts ensure that out-of-date spots will not be played (and artists can be set to a specific rotation even within randomized carts), and Simian can also check a log as of a certain date so that broadcasters can check their schedule days in advance. Simian will hold and play back EAS or traffic messages at the end of songs or spots. Mixer fader gang control has been added to the satellite feature set and BSI Simian also has improved voice-tracking with remote capability.
More info at www.bsiusa.com.
Minilink USB Interface Now Available
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Neutrik's Minilink USB interface for the
Minstruments series is a field-retrofittable link that enables PC-based
communications between NTI's Minilyzer and Digilyzer and allows easier
documentation and data acquisition of all device functions.
In conjunction with the upgraded firmware for the Minilyzer and Digilyzer, the instruments will be able to handle screen shots and provide data storage for post processing.
Hitplayer Now Available
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Digigram has made Hitplayer available through its North American distribution network for systems contractor, installation and pro audio markets. Hitplayer combines two standalone audio players with IP network services into a solution for automated and interactive audio applications.
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Also in the March Issue
- The "And More" of Automation
- FCC Enforcement Items to Watch
- Testing AM Antennas
- New Products
- Field Report: Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1
- New Products at the 2014 NAB Show
- Side by Side: IP Codecs