Radio Currents Online - Feb 23 - Feb 29, 2004


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Clear Channel Imposes Decency Standards


San Antonio, TX - Feb 25, 2004 - Clear Channel has announced that is undertaking a new Responsible Broadcasting Initiative to ensure that the material aired by its radio stations conforms to the standards and sensibilities of the local communities they serve.

Mark Mays, president and COO of Clear Channel Communications, said the company will institute a zero-tolerance policy for indecent content that will include company-wide training and automatic suspensions for anyone that the FCC alleges has violated indecency rules on the air. In addition, the company announced that all of its contracts with on-air performers are being modified to ensure that DJs share financial responsibility if they utter indecent material on the air.


FCC Reports LPFM Interference Findings to Congress


Washington - Feb 19, 2004 - Following significant actions of FCC rulemakings, a Presidential Act and Senate inquiry, the FCC has issued a report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives.

When the FCC authorized LPFM licenses on Jan. 20, 2000 it imposed minimum distance separation requirements consistent with current FM protection standards. The requirements specified spacings between the LPFM stations and first- and second- -adjacent stations. The FCC found that LPFM stations would not cause significant interference to third-adjacent channel stations. On Sept. 20, 2000, the Commission, on reconsideration, adopted complaint and license modification procedures to ensure that significant third-adjacent channel interference problems would be resolved expeditiously. On December 21, 2000, President Clinton signed the Act into law, requiring the Commission to impose third-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements on LPFM stations and to conduct independent field tests and an experimental program to determine whether the elimination of third-adjacent channel protection requirements would result in LPFM stations causing harmful interference to existing FM stations operating on third-adjacent channels.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission adopted an order imposing third-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements on LPFM stations consistent with the third-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements currently in effect for full-power commercial and NCE FM stations. In July 2001, the Commission selected the Mitre Corporation to conduct the required LPFM field tests and experimental program, and to prepare a report containing the analyses required by the Act.

Because of budgetary constraints that became apparent at the conclusion of Mitre's market research, the required LPFM field tests and experimental program were divided into two phases. In Phase I, Mitre was required to take LPFM field strength measurements and make high-quality digital recordings, and to analyze the effect of third-adjacent channel LPFM stations on the transition from analog to digital terrestrial radio.

Phase II of the LPFM field tests and experimental program would consist of audience listener tests based on the Phase I digital recordings and an economic analysis of the effect of third-adjacent channel LPFM stations on existing broadcasters.

Mitre completed Phase I of the LPFM field tests and experimental program and delivered its final report to the Commission on June 2, 2003. The Commission accepted the Mitre Report and issued a Public Notice on July 11, 2003, requesting public comment on the Mitre report.

The Mitre Report contains the following conclusions/recommendations concerning LPFM stations and existing third-adjacent channel FM stations:
1. Reduction or elimination of existing third-adjacent channel LPFM minimum distance separation requirements is possible without increasing the potential for third-adjacent channel LPFM interference to existing stations.
2. Adoption of a more stringent third-adjacent channel LPFM emissions mask would mitigate LPFM interference potential because most LPFM transmitters achieve spurious emission suppression in excess of the current mask value.
3. Third-adjacent channel LPFM stations will have little or no effect on the transition to terrestrial digital radio since third-adjacent channel LPFM interference to digital receivers is unlikely to occur beyond 130 meters from the LPFM transmitter.
4. Due to the lack of measurable interference produced by third-adjacent channel LPFM stations during testing, the listener tests and economic analysis scheduled for Phase II of the LPFM field tests and experimental program should not be done.

During the reply comment window, 24 parties filed with the FCC. Eighteen filers support elimination or modification of the existing third-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements for LPFM stations. Only three filers supported retention of the third-adjacent channel rules as they currently stand. Most of the others support eliminating or substantially relaxing the third-adjacent channel rules.

Following the Mitre findings and reviewing the filed comments, the FCC has proposed to Congress that several steps should be takenm.

  • The existing third-adjacent minimum distance separation requirements between LPFM stations and existing full-service FM stations and FM translator and booster stations should be eliminated.

    The Mitre Report states that, even in the worst case, no third-adjacent channel interference between an LPFM station and an existing full-service FM station will exist beyond a radius of 1.1km around the LPFM transmitter site. According to the Commission, its technical studies similarly showed that LPFM stations do not pose a significant risk of causing interference to existing full-service FM stations or FM translator and booster stations operating on third-adjacent channels.

  • Congress should re-evaluate the necessity of completing Phase II testing.

    The results of Phase I testing call into question the necessity of completing Phase II. In Phase I, the Mitre field tests found that no 100W LPFM station significantly degraded the reception of a full-service station at any distance greater than 126m from the LPFM transmitter. Also, with the exception of a single anomalous result, no significant LPFM-related degradation to the reception of a full-service station was identified at a distance greater than 333m from the LPFM transmitter, a test result based on more than 1,400 measurements.

    The FCC report was submitted on a Friday, so Congressional action has not yet occurred.


CBI Announces Convention Agenda


New York - Feb 24, 2004 - The future generation of radio professionals will converge at the National Student Media Convention, March 18 to 20 in New York City. Sponsored by College Media Advisers (CMA) and the broadcast sessions developed by Collegiate Broadcasters Inc. (CBI), the convention will offer 200 sessions to 1200 students and their advisers. A variety of student media will be represented. A preliminary agenda has been set.


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Business



Dreyer Media Licenses Apt-x


Belfast – Feb 25, 2004 - Germany's Dreyer Media has signed a licensing agreement with Audio Processing Technology, the creator of the Apt-x algorithm, to allow Dreyer to incorporate Apt-x into its range of record/playback radio automation systems.

Dreyer Media is a specialist software developer for radio automation applications and offers technical consultancy to radio stations throughout Europe. As well as developing custom programming for radio stations, the company also acts as European representative and development and technical support partner for On Air Digital USA, a division of Smarts Broadcast Systems.


RF Software Donates Prize at NRB Convention


Charlotte, NC – Feb 18, 2004 – At the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Charlotte, NC, Jennifer Hickman, president of RF Software, was invited to attend the Sunday morning Prayer Breakfast with the Moody Broadcasting group. Joseph DiPietro of RF Software gave demonstrations of the company's newest software, and following the demonstration RF Software provided a copy of RF Investigator V2.0 as a drawing prize. The winner was Harry Griffeth of Bible Broadcasting Network, who was delighted to hear that his group had won the software.


Sales Call
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  • The Wichita, KS, division of Aeroflex has received an order for 83 IFR2975 P25 radio test systems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to test the Bureau's new digital radio technology. Designed for bench and field operations, the IFR2975 incorporates advanced test features for secure and classified communication systems. Delivery of these test systems will occur in the next 60 to 90 days.


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Internet Watch



Broadjam and Live365 Announce Partnership


Madison, WI, and Foster City, CA - Feb 25, 2004 – Broadjam, a provider of Internet and desktop tools for musicians, record labels and publishers has formed a cooperative marketing partnership with Internet radio network Live365. Independent artists associated with Broadjam will have direct access to Live365 for easy-to-use tools and services that will enable them to set up their own radio stations and gain exposure through Live365's audience of more than 3 million listeners a month.

Broadjam has created an independent music website at www.broadjam.com. This music community was designed to enable independent artists to upload their music online, get their songs reviewed through Broadjam's song review mechanism, create personal Web pages, and qualify for its popular Top 10 Charts. The Broadjam website currently features over more than 100 Top 10 lists that are automatically generated from song reviews.

Broadjam is also a provider of Internet and desktop tools for musicians, record labels, and publishers, with a client list that includes Billboard, Warner/Chappell, the Academy of Country Music, and Taxi. The company's software package, Metajam, prepares songs for digital searches then uploads song data and audio files for easy perusing by fans and industry pros looking for just the right music.

Live365 (www.live365.com) is an independent digital broadcasting network, aggregating and broadcasting a wide array of passion-driven music and talk broadcasts programmed by an enthusiastic, dedicated and diverse global community. Live365 programming is created by music fans; anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can create his own Internet radio station for a small monthly fee.


RIAA Sued for Racketeering


Feb 20, 2004 - From Mac Central - A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against the RIAA under anti-racketeering statutes, charging the group with using scare tactics to extort money from the individuals it sues for copyright infringement from downloading music files.

Michele Scimeca is one of more than 1,000 alleged online file-swappers sued by the RIAA since the middle of 2003. The RIAA filed another batch of 531 lawsuits on Feb. 18. The RIAA has settled a number of those lawsuits, which is what Scimeca filed a complaint about in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey.

"Instead of merely providing service of the complaint upon the various defendants, including Ms. Scimeca, the Plaintiffs have opted to include a letter discussing and prompting settlement of the copyright infringement action," the complaint states. "This scare tactic has caused a vast amount of settlements from individuals who feared fighting such a large institution and feel victim to these actions and felt forced to provide funds to settle these actions instead of fighting the institution."

The complaint argues that the main intent of the RIAA's lawsuit campaign is to extract financial settlements from those sued, and charges the group with violating Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws.


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