Radio Currents Online - Aug 25 - Aug 31, 2008


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FCC's Martin: Free Broadband for Everyone
Washington - Aug 25, 2008 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin now says high-speed Internet access is so important to the welfare of U.S. consumers that the country can’t afford not to offer it free of charge to everyone. In an USA Today article, Martin said that there is a social obligation in making sure everyone can participate in the next generation of broadband services.

Facing opposition from mobile phone providers, Martin hopes to use spectrum due to be auctioned next year. He says that it's important for the FCC to find ways to meet the consumer demand for greater access to the Internet and wireless technologies. By attaching a free broadband condition to the sale of the AWS-3 (advanced wireless services-3) spectrum, Martin hopes to increase broadband adoption in rural areas in particular. He says that only 25 percent of network capacity would have to be reserved for free broadband. The rest could be used to provide premium broadband services.

T-Mobile, who paid $4 billion two years ago to buy AWS-1 spectrum, which abuts the AWS-3 spectrum, opposes Martin’s plan. While the FCC's goal of providing broadband alternatives for rural customers is "noble," the approach would cause service disruptions for T-Mobile's data customers, said Cole Brodman, T-Mobile's CTO.


FCC Looks to Block Wireless Mic Use in 700MHz Band After DTV Transition
Washington - Aug 25, 2008 - The FCC tentatively plans to ban the use of wireless microphones and other devices in the 700MHz band after the transition to digital television Feb. 17, 2009. The FCC also wants to prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or shipment of devices that operate as low-power auxiliary stations in the 700MHz band after the transition is complete. Anticipating the decision, wireless microphone vendors like Shure have not manufactured such mics since the end of 2007.

Wireless microphones have long been sharing the spectrum with broadcasters on channels 52 through 69. Those channels, however, are being reclaimed for advanced wireless uses.

Responding to consumer groups, the FCC Enforcement Bureau has opened an investigation into how manufacturers market wireless microphones to users. The Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, in a complaint filed in July 2008, alleges that users of wireless microphones, including Broadway stage shows and churches, are unwittingly violating FCC rules that require licenses for the devices. The group accused wireless manufacturers of deceptive advertising in how they market and sell the microphones, which largely operate in the same spectrum as broadcast TV stations.

Most wireless microphone owners are unaware that FCC rules require them to obtain a license. Wireless microphones that operate in the same frequency bands as broadcast TV stations are intended for use in the production of TV or cable programming or the motion picture industry, according to FCC rules.

The FCC rarely enforces the licensing requirements on the microphones because there have been so few complaints; the microphones are programmed to avoid TV channels. However, the transition to digital broadcasting has forced the FCC to act.

The wireless microphone issue stems from the FCC's consideration of using the TV white spaces, the spectrum between TV channels, for transmitting wireless broadband signals.


FCC Ponders HD Radio for Sat Radio
Washington - Aug 27, 2008 - In a Notice Of Inquiry from the FCC, the commission looks into the idea of requiring HD Radio or other services to be included in future Sirius XM receivers. The NPRM also reverses the idea and asks if satellite radio should be required to be included in all HD Radio receivers.

The 60-day comment period will begin after the FCC publishes the notice in the Federal Register.

MB Docket No. 08-172


SBE Elects Officers and Directors
Indianapolis - Aug 28, 2008 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers has tallied the results of its national elections. Re-elected as the society's president is Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT, vice president of engineering for Radio Lincoln Financial Media, Atlanta. Following the election results, Thomas said, "I look forward to the roll-out of the first on-demand education courses. I also am hopeful for an even more successful year taking our message to engineers and gathering more support for our shared objectives."

Vincent Lopez, CEV CBNT, will serve another term as vice president. Lopez is currently director of engineering for WSYT-TV/WNYS-TV, Syracuse, NY. Ted Hand, CPBE 8-VSB AMD, chief engineer for WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV, Charlotte, NC, was re-elected as secretary, and Ralph Hogan, CPBE CBNT DRB, director of engineering of KJZZ/KBAQ, Tempe, AZ, was re-elected as treasurer.

The board of directors has 12 seats, and each director servers a two-year term. The board seats are staggered so that 6 positions are included in each annual election. Elected to the board to begin two-year terms are:

  • Ralph Beaver, CBT; President, CEO, Media Alert; Tampa, FL
  • Jim Bernier, CPBE CBNT; Director, Maintenance, Design and Engineering, Turner Entertainment Networks, TBS; Alpharetta, GA
  • Gary Liebisch, CPBE; Regional Sales Manager, Nautel; Milford, OH
  • Scott Mason, CPBE; Regional Director of Engineering, CBS Radio; Los Angeles
  • Mark Simpson, CPBE CBNT AMD; Director of Engineering/MIS, Citadel Broadcasting - Tucson; Marana, AZ
  • Jeffrey R. Smith, CEA CBNT; Supervisor Broadcast Systems, CE WWPR, Clear Channel Radio - NYC; New York City

    The remaining six members of the board of directors currently in the middle of their two-year terms are Cris Alexander, CPBE AMD DRB, director of engineering, Crawford Broadcasting, Denver; Andrea Cummis, CBT CTO, engineering and operations consultant, A.C. Video, Roseland, NJ; Dane Ericksen, CSRTE CBNT 8-VSB, senior engineer, Hammett and Edison, Sonoma, CA; Clay Freinwald, CPBE, RF systems engineer, Entercom-Seattle, Auburn, WA; Hal Hostetler, CPBE, senior engineer/IT director, KVOA Communications, Tucson, AZ; and Jerry Massey, CPBE CBNT 8-VSB AMD DRB, corporate regional engineer and director of engineering, Entercom Communications, Greenville, SC. Chriss Scherer, CPBE CBNT, will remain on the board as the immediate past president.

    When the new directors take their offices, directors Keith Kintner, CPBE CBNT; Tom Ray, CPBE; Chris Tarr, CBRE CBT CBNT DRB; and Larry Wilkins, CPBE CBNT AMD; will step down from the board.

    SBE officers serve one-year terms. Board members serve two-year terms. The new officers and board members will be sworn in at the SBE national meeting in Madison, WI, on Oct. 15.


    Business

    KFLP-FM Uses Stream Guys and Barix for Syndication
    Floyada, TX - Aug 26, 2008 - Floydada, Texas-based Paramount Broadcasting is preparing for its second season of broadcasting its popular West Texas Friday Night Scoreboard Show on KFLP-FM using Stream Guys low-latency (BRTP) Internet distribution service with Barix audio-over-IP hardware devices. The joint system has been deployed to deliver the show via IP to 35 affiliates in 33 markets. The IP architecture provides a reliable, high-quality audio solution that reduces operational costs compared to the company's previous reliance on satellite technology for program distribution.

    The West Texas Friday Night Scoreboard Show is entering its tenth year on the air. The weekly show reports highlights and scores of as many as 150 Friday night high school football games, and is a highly popular program throughout Texas.

    After its first season, KFLP used a satellite provider to distribute the show. During that time occasional conflicts with other syndicated sporting events and a shortage of receivers presented problems. These scheduling conflicts often made it difficult for affiliates to receive consistent programming. When Paramount decided to implement the Barix/Stream Guys system, the station wanted something that would be both cost-effective and easy to operate, while retaining ownership of the end-to-end system.

    A live feed is sent from the KFLP studios via a Barix Instreamer-100 audio encoder over the Internet where an aggregated server infrastructure from Stream Guys receives the feeds and transports them over a streaming network to the 35 affiliates including the flagship station, KFLP.


    Dielectric Expands Partnership With Trans-Tel
    Raymond, ME - Aug 27, 2008 - Dielectric Communications will expand its existing relationship with RF product manufacturer and installer Trans-Tel. As part of the companies' new agreement, Dielectric will utilize Trans-Tel's expanding production capabilities to manufacture its antenna and RF designs in Brazil.

    Trans-Tel will continue to offer its consultation and technical support services to customers as it ramps up its production capabilities for Dielectric.


    BW Acquires Danagger Audio Works
    Vancouver, BC, and London, UK - Aug 28, 2008 - BW Broadcast has acquired Danagger Audio Works and the rights to the Plan B line of dead-air prevention devices. The agreement, which was signed after a series of recent meetings at BW's London offices, also sparks a collaboration between BW Broadcast and Danagger founder Rob Robson.

    The deal provides BW with the exclusive rights to produce a self-contained audio loss protection system. Included in the deal was an arrangement for Robson to design a series of new products for BW Broadcast, including an updated version of the Plan B.

    Support for legacy Plan B products will be handled by Robson through the Danagger website. In addition, BW plans to create a trade-in program to allow broadcasters with older units to receive a discount on the new products. No delivery date has been set for the new Plan Bs, but development work has begun in earnest.


    Sales Call
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    Radio Oreb, located in Lisiera (about 75 km. east of Venice) has installed Axia Audio routing to its studios. Part of Italy's Radio in Blue syndication network, the project encompassed two broadcast studios, which were rebuilt with Axia Element modular broadcast consoles and an IP-audio network consisting of Axia AES/EBU Nodes, Analog Nodes and Microphone Nodes, plus Studio Engine mixing engines and assorted control software.

    Deutschlandradio in Cologne, Germany, is upgrading its Fairlight infrastructure by installing three Xynergy MPC96 desktop media creation systems into its radio post production facilities. The broadcaster has been using Fairlight technology for more than 10 years and currently runs MFX3+ and Satellite systems, which are being used for audio drama productions. The new Xynergi systems will enable it to speed up its workflow and provide clients with exceptional file format compatibility. Deutschlandradio's first Xynergy system was installed in January and its exceptional performance and productivity has driven the decision to procure additional systems. Two further Xynergi systems will therefore be installed by the end of the summer and all three will be networked together to create an integrated production environment.

    The Clear Channel station group in Mobile, AL, has upgraded its installation of Phonebox Solo from four lines to eight lines. The stations needed extra line capacity due to increased phone traffic during the active 2008 summer weather season. The upgrade was accomplished with a change of the software license key.

    People

    Jay Tyler

    Wheatstone Promotes Tyler to Director of Sales
    New Bern, NC - Aug 25 2008 - Wheatstone has promoted Jay Tyler to director of sales. He will oversee the sales team for all of the company's product lines: Wheatstone, Audioarts Engineering and Vorsis. He reports directly to Wheatstone President Gary Snow.

    Tyler joined Wheatstone is 1996 as sales manager for the Audioarts Engineering product line. He later worked on many of Wheatstone's larger consolidation projects. In 2006, he was promoted to director of Latin America sales. In addition to his new role, Tyler will continue to manage Audioarts distribution.


    Sennheiser Appoints Two in Sales
    Old Lyme, CT - Aug 26, 2008 - Sennheiser has added Daniel Shawgo and Eric Reese to its south-central U.S. sales team. As regional sales representatives, Shawgo is responsible for all accounts in the northern Florida area while Reese covers the northern Illinois and eastern Wisconsin territories. Both report to Regional Sales Manager Rick Renner.

    Shawgo has worked in sound and lighting and sales for more than 25 years. He previously worked as a manufacturers' sales representative for Sales Force and Associations.

    Reese's ten-year career focused heavily on installed sound and music industry products. He came to Sennheiser from an engineering position at SPL Integrated Solutions, and owns and operates a PA company called Loud and Clear Productions. His career also includes engineering roles at Ford Audio-Video and Peavey Electronics.


    Jeff Haley

    RAB CEO to Keynote NAB Radio Show Luncheon
    Washington, DC - Aug 26, 2008 - Radio Advertising Bureau President and CEO Jeff Haley will discuss the future of radio during The NAB Radio Show Luncheon held Sept. 19 in Austin. The luncheon will also include the presentation of the National Radio Award, given this year to Bruce Reese, president and CEO of Bonneville International. During the luncheon presentation titled A Conversation about Radio's Future in a Digital World, Haley will discuss the digital opportunities that will promote the future expansion of radio.

    Haley has played a major role in the Radio Heard Here initiative, a campaign recently established by the NAB, the RAB and the HD Digital Radio Alliance. The campaign is designed to showcase the advances in digital technology that have enhanced radio programming. Prior to serving at RAB, Haley managed marketing and sales teams across a variety of media platforms.

    In 1989, Haley joined Time Inc. as a member of the launch team for Entertainment Weekly. He served as sales development manager and Midwest marketing manager before joining Children's Television Workshop (CTW) as group vice president. Haley is currently on the board of directors for the Ad Council and a member of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council. He is also cochairman of the Radio Creative Fund (RCF), the governing body of the Radio-Mercury Awards.


    Beyerdynamic Appoints Two for Pro Audio
    Farmingdale, NY - Aug 25, 2008 - Beyerdynamic has created two new positions for the company's pro audio market. Anthony Zammit has been appointed to the position of sales and marketing support specialist-pro audio. Zammit's primary function will be to provide sales support to Beyerdynamic's pro audio dealer base across the US, while overseeing various aspects of public relations and interfacing with the press.

    Zammit previously worked for a well-established pro audio manufacturer in a sales support role and also has many years of experience as a professional performing and recording musician and teacher.

    Dana Froula has been appointed to the position of market development manager-pro audio. Froula will manage and develop the broadcast, studio and touring markets. She will also direct the company's artist relations program.




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