Radio Currents Online - Aug 19 - Sep 1, 2002

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News


Sennheiser to Co-sponsor 5.1 Recording Seminar at AES
Old Lyme, CT - Aug 27, 2002 - Mike Pappas, chief engineer at Denver's KUVO Public Radio 89.3 FM, and president of American Digital Recordings will conduct ongoing, real-world demonstrations of 5.1 recording techniques in Demo Room 306B at AES 2002 in Los Angeles. His presentation will introduce attendees to 5.1 surround sound recording applications using Neumann and Sennheiser microphones. The presentations start every hour on the hour with a question-and-answer period following each session.

Pappas will feature his 5.1 recordings from the Count Basie Orchestra at the University of Michigan Power Center and the recent San Jose and Vail Jazz Festivals. All of these recordings used the Sennheiser MKH 800, Neumann M 150 and Neumann KU 100 in various combinations. AES attendees will listen the tracks and learn exactly how the mics were positioned during the various recordings sessions.

Co-sponsoring the 5.1 recording seminar with Sennheiser are Balanced Audio Technology (six channel amplifiers), Cardas Audio (microphone and speaker cables), Genex Research (Direct Stream Digital (DSD) multi-channel recorder), Grace Design (remote control microphone preamps) and EMM Labs (DSD A to D and D to A converters).
Global Radio Begins Plans for New Broadcast Facility
Munsbach, Luxembourg - Aug 22, 2002 - Global Radio, the developer of satellite digital radio for Europe, is collaborating with Dalet a.n.n. to design a state-of-the-art digital audio infrastructure for Global Radio’s broadcasting facility to be located in Luxembourg and operational by 2005. Dalet developed a similar system for XM Satellite Radio, which operates the largest digital facility of its kind in the world.

Global Radio’s digital broadcast facility is the latest in a series of events recently announced by the company, including signing Delphi to develop Global Radio-compatible digital car radios.

Global Radio, founded in early 2000 and headquartered in Luxembourg, is developing Europe's first satellite digital audio radio service (S-DARS). The system will carry as many as 140 channels of audio and will use three high-powered satellites. The service will launch in late 2005. Global Radio will generate revenue through a combination of subscription programming, channel sponsorship (branded channels), content and advertising revenue, data and broadcast telematics services. The company's website is www.globalradio.lu.
Harris Announces Extreme Roadshow Plans
Cincinnati - Aug 22, 2002 - Harris Broadcast, a participant in the development and testing of IBOC, is launching the Extreme Digital Roadshow, a traveling seminar designed to help general managers, radio executives and engineers better understand IBOC implementation.

Harris representatives and experts from Ibiquity and Impulse Radio will present seminars that will provide information about the digital transition, standard and market environment, as well as demonstrations. Each seminar will focus on the key issues surrounding IBOC including rollout plans, business models, availability of receivers, legal considerations and requirements, and HD Radio IBOC technology and implementation issues. Attendees will be able to learn how the IBOC implementation will affect their radio businesses, as well as what opportunities IBOC will present.

Offered at no cost to attendees, the Extreme Digital Roadshow will initially visit the six cities that have been chosen by Ibiquity for a January, 2003 IBOC broadcast roll-out. Seminars are scheduled on the following dates:
  • Seattle - Tuesday, September 10
  • New York - Monday, September 20
  • Miami - Wednesday, September 18
  • San Francisco - Tuesday, September 24
  • Los Angeles - Wednesday, September 25
  • Chicago - Friday, September 27


  • To attend a seminar, register online at www.broadcast.harris.com/radio or call 800-622-0022. Seating is limited, and registration is required.
    FCC's Powell Outlines Future Spectrum Policy
    Washington - Aug 9, 2002 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell outlined four critical elements for future spectrum-policy initiatives. Powell made his remarks at the opening of the final day of four public workshops the FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force has convened to seek broad industry, government and public input on spectrum policy issues. The four elements are:
  • 1. More efficient use of spectrum. Powell called for more efficient use of existing spectrum, not just allocation of more spectrum. Powell said the problem increasingly is that demand for spectrum far outstrips the amount of available spectrum. "The real challenge is how to get more use out of spectrum that 80 percent of the time lies fallow." Powell suggested that the answer relies on the empowerment of technology that will allow for more innovative uses of existing technologies such as software-defined radio and spectrum sharing. He also cited the need for continued use of unlicensed bands, which he called "a source of innovation for showing us the vision of alternative ways spectrum can be used that are outside the traditional ‘command and control’ model."
  • 2. Shift from a "command and control" model of regulation to market-based mechanisms. Powell said, "There is no question that we need to be able to deal with unpredictable and dynamic changes fast enough to be meaningful in the market and meaningful to consumers." He said that the "laborious process" of government command and control "has served the country well to this point, but is futilely too slow to rapidly move things to new and better innovative uses."
  • 3. Reconciling critical governmental uses of spectrum with commercial uses. Powell said that government and commercial sectors must improve the balance and processes used for reconciling critical governmental uses with commercial uses. "At a minimum, there needs to be a better process for the management of the challenges and a more unified consensus about the concepts and principles of the use of that spectrum."

    He said spectrum sharing should be part of the consideration and applauded the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for taking on the challenges of third generation (3G) wireless services and ultra wideband.
  • 4. Fostering innovation. Powell said, "There has to be air for innovation and oxygen for things that none of us can predict right now." He said there has to be "serious consideration" of new developments, such as how to expand and exploit the values of the unlicensed band and how to encourage other ways to promote innovations that have yet to be identified. "Otherwise, we freeze ourselves in time to the detriment of the market, the technology and our citizens," Powell said.

    Powell announced the formation of the Spectrum Policy Task Force in June to assist the Commission in identifying and evaluating changes and improvements in spectrum policy. The Task Force will present its recommendations in a report to the Commission by the end of October.
    Christian Music Broadcasters to Meet at NAB Radio Show
    Aug 19, 2002 - The newly-formed group Christian Music Broadcasters is hosting a meet and greet dessert buffet Friday Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. during the NAB Radio Show in Seattle at the Seattle Hilton near the convention center in the Soundview Room. This is an opportunity to meet members of Christian Music Broadcasters and to build relationships with Christians in mainstream radio.

    Christian Music Broadcasters grew out of the National Christian Radio Seminars (NCRS), which met during the Gospel Music Association convention in Nashville each April. CMB recently incorporated as a separate entity from GMA, believing there needed to be an organization focused exclusively on Christian radio. CMB will continue to work with GMA, and will also produce the Radio Boot Camp at NRB in February, and is committed to working in partnership with GMA, NRB, RAB and NAB.

    Reservations for the Christian Music Broadcasters meet and greet must be made by Sept. 6. Make reservations through with Wayne Pederson, consultant for CMB at wpeders@aol.com or 651-636-1151.
    FCC Launches FCC University
    Washington - Aug 15, 2002 - In a standing room-only ceremony for agency staff, FCC Chairman Michael Powell launched the FCC University. FCC University was created to ensure that FCC staff has the cutting edge knowledge and skills to respond to the challenges of the communications field in the 21st century. FCC University incorporates learning and development activities, including the Excellence in Engineering and the Excellence in Economic Analysis programs.

    The Chairman said, "For the Commission to function effectively and carry out its current and future mission, it must build a first class operation that is fluent in the language of new and emerging technologies, in economics and market analysis and in the legal framework governing Commission activities. The FCC University is an exciting initiative that will enable us to achieve that objective."

    Chairman Powell called for a major training and development initiative at the FCC as part of his larger FCC reform efforts after becoming Chairman in 2001. He tasked the Office of Managing Director to oversee the effort.

    An FCC University catalog provides the framework for agency staff to engage in continuing professional development. Employees can choose from a range of courses on applicable subjects as well as sections specifically geared to meet the educational needs of engineers, economists and lawyers. Courses are available on-site through FCC staff and guest lecturers, off-site through universities, professional associations and vendors/providers, through self-directed learning (online, print-based or computer-based) administered by universities and professional vendors and through distance learning also administered by universities and professional vendors.

    Business


    Leicester Sound adds APT for STL
    Belfast - Aug 27, 2002 - The relocation of GWR Group station Leicester Sound's radio studios has resulted in the purchase of a number of Worldnet Rio audio codecs developed by APT - Audio Processing Technology. The codecs, which feature APT's Enhanced Apt-X algorithm, were purchased by Leicester Sound's service provider NTL on the recommendation of Tim Donaldson, head of group engineering service for the GWR Group, which operates the radio station. They are being used as part of a new studio-to-transmitter link (STL) network.

    Donaldson was introduced to the Enhanced Apt-X(tm) algorithm during a recent listening test session that was held at Solid State Logic's (APT's parent company) headquarters in Oxfordshire.

    Leicester Sound is one of 32 local stations operated by the GWR Group, which operates national stations Classic FM, Core and Planet Rock. GWR is also the majority shareholder in Digital One, the sole commercial national digital radio multiplex company, and holds 16 digital radio licences.
    Comrex Buys Gentner Digital Hybrid Line
    Devens, MA and Salt Lake City - Aug 26, 2002 - Comrex has purchased the DH20, DH22 and DH30 digital hybrids from Clearone Communications of Salt Lake City.

    This purchase strengthens the depth of the Comrex product line and continues the company's focus in telephone interface products. The DH20, DH22 and DH30 are digital hybrids with thousands of users worldwide, complementing Comrex's existing digital audio codec family.

    Comrex will assume all manufacturing, marketing, sales and support for the digital hybrid products. Under a separate agreement, Comrex will become the exclusive distributor for the TS612 line, which will continue to be manufactured by Clearone.

    Clearone, formerly Gentner, also manufactured a transmitter remote control system that was acquired by Burk Technology, which by coincidence is also based in Massachusets in the greater Boston area.

    The sale of the telephone interface products is in line with Clearone's shift in focus to telephone conferencing systems.
    Harris to Offer Convertible Debentures
    Melbourne, FL - Aug 20, 2002 - Harris , the parent company of Harris Broadcast Division, intends to offer $125 million of unsecured convertible debentures in a private placement. Debentures are company securities backed by the company's credit and not based on equity. It is speculated that the convertible debentures will be convertible into shares of Harris’ common stock at a price to be determined. The offer will be made only to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A and under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and outside the United States pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act.

    Harris intends to grant the initial purchasers of the convertible debentures a 30-day option to purchase an additional $25 million of convertible debentures. Harris intends to use the proceeds generated from the issuance primarily for working capital and general corporate purposes including refinancing of existing indebtedness.
    AP Acquires Capitol Wire
    New York - Aug 21, 2002 - The Associated Press has acquired Capitol Wire, a Web-based news and information service devoted to the coverage of state governments for a professional audience. Capitol Wire operates a subscription-based website (www.capitolwire.com) serving government, politics and business with in-depth news and other information from state capitals in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia. The terms of the asset purchase agreement were not disclosed.

    The acquisition enables AP to expand its offerings in regional markets for government and corporate information. The Capitol Wire service will be expanded and marketed through the AP's Information Services department, which serves those markets. The news and information gathered for the Capitol Wire service will also be used to enrich existing AP state news services for AP's newspaper and broadcast members.

    Capitol Wire's site attracts subscribers affected by state legislation, regulations or contract bids in a variety of industries, including education, health care, the environment and transportation. The site provides original news reporting and other information resources, such as databases of pending legislation, regulatory actions and contract opportunities. The site also provides selected links to important state news stories appearing on other Web sites.

    Capitol Wire was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Middletown, PA. It operates news bureaus in Harrisburg, PA.; Albany, NY; Trenton, NJ; Columbus, OH; and Richmond, VA. The Associated Press was founded in 1848.
    XM Teams with Baron for Weather
    Huntsville, AL and Washington - Aug 19, 2002 - XM Satellite Radio and Baron Services, a provider of analytical weather services to the TV broadcast and emergency management industries, will join forces to develop and deliver near real-time, detailed, graphical weather services to mobile markets including marine, aviation and ground applications.

    Baron's patented Storm Cell Identification and Tracking technology, together with its Doppler Weather Radar, is provided to hundreds of TV stations with a viewing audience of more than 100 million across the United States. Baron's proprietary developments in data distribution will allow transmission of weather data over XM's satellite system.

    XM and Baron will work together to develop applications targeting specific requirements of key mobile markets, including aviation and commercial and recreational marine, and for a variety of fixed and mobile ground users. The data-only weather service will be available directly from XM.

    Commercial launch of these services is expected within the next 12 months. Announcements of specific products, timing and pricing will be made periodically over the next few months.
    Stratosaudio Begins Installation at WPST
    Trenton, NJ - Aug 1, 2002 - Stratosaudio recently completed the first half of its interactive installation for Nassau Broadcasting’s 97.5PST (WPST-FM). Tony Gervasi, senior vice president of engineering and technology for Nassau, and Barry Thomas, CTO of Stratosaudio, worked together to integrate the live feed from the Scott Systems Automation Software to the Stratosaudio Broadcast Management Software (SABMS).

    RBDS is used as the outbound transport to deliver artist, title and ad information to RBDS-compliant radios as an anticipatory step to the introduction of interactive radios produced by Stratosaudio’s consumer electronics partners. Stratosaudio uses the Radio Text portion of the RBDS specification for artist, title and ad information. The PS and PTY groups are limited to station identification, format and frequency to eliminate distraction, promote safety and comply with laws of numerous jurisdictions.

    The free SABMS application provided by Stratosaudio can be housed at the broadcast site, like in WPST's case, or it may be maintained via the Web through a user interface with radio buttons and drop down menus for managing the data rate, content flagging, port settings, time stamp and data parsing parameters to accommodate various automation packages. SABMS also sends a feed directly to the Audemat Datacaster Encoder installed at the transmitter site. An existing serial RS-232 output was used to transmit the data from the studio to the tower site.

    The data packaged by SABMS also provides a feed for the station website, providing a resource for now playing and follow-up to on-air advertising. Installation was completed over a 24-hour period and costs were limited to acquisition of the Audemat Datacaster.

    The final step of the installation includes integration of the now playing information from 97.5PST to the Stratosaudio Web Management Reporting Software, built using PHP and Oracle. The SAW MPR offers 24/7 uptime with planned collocations at various access points worldwide. SAW MPR allows a station to generate real time usage reports of listener responses as a function of CUME using various e-commerce platforms such as an interactive radio.

    For more information on Stratosaudio, visit the company's website a www.stratosaudio.com.
    Fastchannel Tops 8,000 Stations
    Seattle and Boston - Aug 17, 2002 - Fastchannel Network’s broadcast delivery unit has surpassed 8,000 service subscriber radio stations.

    Fastchannel provides an online system for trafficking commercials and print ads, linking advertising agencies, production studios, prepress houses, newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations across the country.

    People


    Telecast Fiber Makes Top Appointments
    Worcester, MA - Aug 29, 2002 - Telecast Fiber Systems has appointed Joseph Commare as the company's new vice president of operations and Gideon Uys as vice president of sales and marketing.

    As vice president of operations, Commare will oversee the company's product development and manufacturing operations. Commare has worked for Telecast Fiber Systems since 1996, when he joined the company as director of international sales and marketing. In this role, he was responsible for managing sales and providing on-site technical support for international distributors, customers and partners.

    Prior to joining Telecast, Commare worked for 16 years as a freelance audio technician on numerous major sports events ranging from Olympic games, ESPN's X-Games, NASCAR races and PGA and Senior PGA golf. Throughout his career, Commare has been a recipient of several Emmy awards for team sports coverage.

    A 19-year veteran of the TV production industry, Uys will now head up all sales and marketing activities for the company, providing guidance and hands-on support for Telecast's extensive distributor network and sales staff. Prior to joining Telecast, Uys was president of Location Solutions, a mobile TV production company he launched in 2001. Uys brings to Telecast a wealth of sales and engineering experience, including a five-year period at Duke City Video, bought in 1999 by Bexel. During his tenure with the company as head of national sales and later as vice president of engineering, Uys secured Bexel's first long-term contract by signing on ESPN. He joined Bexel from Soljay Productions, where he served as the operations and engineering manager from 1991 to 1996, and boosted the company's sales from $800,000 annually to over $5.6 million. Uys was educated at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.
    New Appointments at Encoda
    Denver - Aug 27, 2002 - Encoda Systems has announced the appointment of Robin Adams as president of Encoda's Automation Solutions Division. In his new role, Adams will further the development of the company's advanced automation systems while leading new efforts to design innovative solutions that address the industry's move toward multichannel and centralized operations.

    Adams brings more than 38 years of experience in the broadcast industry to his position at Encoda. He began his career at the BBC U.K., where he worked for more than 25 years, finishing as head of engineering news and current affairs. Adams then joined Basys, the newsroom automation company, serving as the company's officer responsible for engineering and development. In 1994 he joined Barry Goldsmith to start the automation company that eventually would become Drake Automation (DAL).

    Encoda Systems also announced the appointment of Robert Duncan as president of Encoda's Media Management Solutions Division, formerly the company's Business Solutions Division. The division provides a broad array of solutions for traffic and billing, as well as proposals, programming, asset management, digital bandwidth and e-business transactions. In his new role Duncan will guide further development and expansion of media management solutions that enable media companies to optimize the business of broadcast delivery.

    Duncan brings more than 20 years of experience in the development and delivery of enterprise-class business systems to his new role. This includes in design, development, project management, systems implementation and sales. Prior to this appointment, Duncan was senior vice president of the Business Solutions Division for Encoda. Past positions include chief technology officer for Enterprise Systems Group and president of Corporate Research and Development for Kirchman, a banking software and services provider.
    Clearone Names COO
    Salt Lake City - Aug 19, 2002 - Clearone Communications has named Gregory L. Rand as chief operations officer. He is responsible for all operational aspects of Clearone, including engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, information technology and quality assurance.

    Rand has more than 15 years of business management experience in planning, design and continuous improvement of operating systems and transportation networks. Before joining Clearone, he worked for Delta Airlines in a variety of management positions, including management representative during Delta's recent collective bargaining process. He also had responsibilities for improving the operational efficiency and reliability of the Flight Operations department, and was coordinator of operations resource control for Delta Express, a business unit of Delta Airlines.

    Rand earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of North Florida and a bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego.
    Harris Appoints Director of International Sales
    Cincinnati - Aug 19, 2002 - Harris has appointed Richard Frank as the director of international sales for Harris Broadcast Communications, and will report to Jay Batista, vice president, Harris Broadcast Communications worldwide sales and marketing.

    Frank joins Harris after a distinguished career in international sales and marketing, most recently at R.A. Jones and Company as director of international business. Previously he worked for Cincinnati Milacron as director of international sales Latin America and Asia, on an offshore assignment with the Ferromatik Milacron subsidiary as director marketing and sales-Europe, and then as managing director-Latin America for Cincinnati Milacron.

    Frank holds a BA degree in economic history from the University of Maryland and an MBA degree in international business from The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), Glendale Arizona. He is trilingual, having mastered German, English and Spanish.

    Reporting directly to Frank will be Nick Cockram, director-EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) sales; Ji Shun Mei, director-Asia-Pacific sales; Nahuel Villegas, director-Latin America sales; Nadra Newash, international business development administrator; David Poling, international sales coordinator; Anand Kurup, international studio sales specialist; William Lam, director business development-Asia-Pacific; and Thomas Ritz, director business development-EMEA.

    Internet Watch


    Billboard.com and Broadjam Create Online Music Search Portal
    New Glarus, WI and New York – Aug 19, 2002 – Broadjam and Billboard.com are collaborating to develop an online music search portal that will offer a single source for accessing, auditioning and licensing music of all types.

    The new portal, called Billboard Songsearch powered by Broadjam, will enable music professionals to search and retrieve information on repertoire authorized for inclusion in the service. The service will provide links to existing music publisher websites and catalogs. Billboard.com and Broadjam expect to launch the site in the first quarter of 2003.

    Subscribers to Billboard Songsearch will gain access to details on specific songs, including copyright ownership, publisher information and Billboard chart history. Through Broadjam's Song Management System search engine, users will be able to locate songs based on a wide range of search options, such as genre, beats per minute, publisher, lyric content and similar artists. The Billboard Songsearch site will also integrate Billboard's music chart archive, which dates back to 1955, for comprehensive research.

    Billboard.com and Broadjam aim to forge partnerships with all of the major and independent publishers to include their repertoire in the service. Additionally, independent musicians and songwriters will be able to upload their music to the site.

    Products


    Updated Public Radio Legal Handbook Now Available
    San Francisco - Aug 23, 002 - Understanding FCC regulations and legal compliance is important in an ever-changing media environment. Lack of understanding can cost a broadcast institution time, money and even a license. The National Federation of Community Broadcasters has gone a long way to ease the legal worries of non-commercial radio in the updated, on-line version of The Public Radio Legal Handbook: A Guide to FCC Rules and Regulations.

    First published in 1977, and last updated in 1986, The Public Radio Legal Handbook addresses complex rules and regulations affecting non-commercial radio stations in a concise and accessible way.

    The handbook is designed as a reference for experienced staff and a guide for newcomers. Staff will not only get all the basics - saving on excessive legal fees - but, will also find out when the first course of action should be to call a lawyer. Handbook authors will update the Handbook within two weeks of the time any changes are implemented.

    In an extensively searchable format, the handbook offers a wide variety of critical subjects, including reporting requirements, programming regulations, operating requirements and checklist, copyright law and payments, underwriting guidelines, IRS regulations, spectrum considerations, political broadcasting , indecency and Web issues.

    Stations and individuals can subscribe online at www.nfcb.org.
    Steinberg Supports Mackie Control
    Woodinville, WA - Aug 22, 2002 - Steinberg has made support available for Mackie Control, Mackie's DAW control surface, in the most current releases of Steinberg's Nuendo, Cubase SX and Cubase SL audio software.

    Nuendo version 1.6.1 with Mackie Control support is currently available in PC and Macintosh platforms. Existing Nuendo users can download the upgrade from www.nuendo.com and existing Cubase users can download the SX version 1.03 and SL version 1.03 software updates at www.steinberg.net.
    Mackie Hard Disk Recorders Add BWF Support
    Woodinville, WA - Aug 21, 2002 - Mackie Designs has released an operating system upgrade for the Mackie HDR24/96 and MDR24/96 hard disk recorders. This version of Mackie’s hard disk recorder OS (version 1.3), available free to Mackie customers, implements industry-standard Broadcast Wave as the native recording format on both units and enables compatibility with the recently announced OPT•24 and Serial•9 accessory cards. The new file format will allow simplified file sharing between Mackie products and other devices supporting the file format.

    Existing HDR24/96 and MDR24/96 users can download the free software upgrade from the Mackie website at . New units will begin shipping in September with the software pre-loaded.

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