Digital Radio Update - December 24, 2008


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News

Report: UK Analog Radio Sunset May Begin in 2017
A final report drafted by the UK’s Digital Radio Working Group (DRWG) indicates that a phased transition from analog broadcasting to a nationwide DAB multiplex could take place as soon as 2017, providing the government subsidizes the cost of infrastructure build-out, and relaxes key regulatory burdens.

The DRWG report, drafted at the request of British telecom officials, sets out three criteria that, once met, would set the transition in motion:

  • At least 50 percent of all radio listening taking place via non-analog channels
  • National DAB multiplex coverage equivalent or better to that of current analog FM
  • Local DAB multiplex coverage equivalent to at least 90 percent that of current analog FM

The report also affirms that DAB is the most suitable replacement for public and commercial analog radio in the UK, but that the platform must be supplemented by low-power community analog FM service as well as broadband delivery. Thus, the report calls for new receivers entering the market to be multi-mode capable, including FM, DAB and other Eureka 147 family technology. Also recommended is the development of a timetable for migration from analog services on Long and Medium Wave bands (AM) as well as FM in which LW and MW would be first to be reallocated for other applications, while VHF FM would follow last. Once set in motion, the entire process would play out over three years

DAB critics were quick to point out that the report does not address the use of the now-outmoded MPEG Layer 2 codec. The newer DAB+ standard, set for launch in Australia next May, employs 128 AAC coding, which is generally ranked as far superior to MP2 operating at 96-160kb/s rates. Controversy is also likely to surround the suggestion that government directly subsidize the cost of building out multiplex networks into rural and mountainous areas, while relaxing local content and ownership rules on commercial broadcasters.

The report represents a closing phase for the government-sponsored group, organized by the regulatory authority Ofcom, and composed of representatives from the BBC, private broadcast groups, and other interested stakeholders.


Business

Verizon Advertising on CC HD 2 Channels
In what is being billed as an HD Radio first, wireless carrier Verizon has been sponsoring a branded radio channel now carried by 21 Clear Channel stations nationwide, and also available as an Internet stream from the CC radio websites.

Dubbed Verizon New Music, the channel targets an 18 to 34 demographic, with music from up-and-coming artists, and artist interviews. According to a post in Radio Sales Today, the only ads running on the channel are two Verizon 20-second spots hourly.

Bob McCurdy, regional president of CC Radio Sales, was quoted by RST as saying that the arrangement is all about achieving first mover advantage.

Clear Channel is reportedly promoting the product over the main program channels in the featured markets, which include outlets in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, and Miami, among 14 others.


Streaming Media Standards Alliance to Launch at CES
The wide-open world of streaming media may get a shot in the arm from a new organization that seeks to develop and promote a set of open, interoperable standards and device profiles to drive the market for Internet-connected media devices.

The newly minted Internet Media Device Alliance (IMDA) will initially consist of 10 member organizations, including Frontier Silicon, Audiovox, France Telecom, Reciva, Global Radio, PURE, vTuner, TerraTec, AwoX and the BBC, but the group is actively courting additional participants from the technology, content and retail markets. To that end, IMDA has chosen the CES in Las Vegas as its venue for an inaugural assembly on Jan. 9.

The Alliance will concentrate on defining of a series of end-to-end technical standards, functions and profiles, encouraging development of a range of Internet media devices, and on the promotion of Internet-connected technology to consumers and retailers. A certification and branding program are also in the works.

Formation of the IMDA was initiated at the Internet Radio Summit in 2008, hosted by the BBC in London. Steering committee members include Harry Johnson, vTuner; John Ousby, BBC; Anthony Sethill, Frontier Silicon; Colin Crawford, PURE; Nick Piggott, Global Radio; Ben Terrell, Reciva; Olivier Carmona, AwoX; Oliver Depardon, France Telecom; Stephan Noethen, TerraTec, and Todd Beals of Audiovox.


IBOC Across America

IBOC by State: California
Ibiquity has a list of stations with licensed HD Radio technology and notes those on the air now. IBOC by state looks at various states and lists the stations making the transition. There are 170 stations in the Golden State broadcasting 255 HD Radio channels.

MarketStationHD1 FormatHD2 Format HD3 FormatOwner
BakersfieldKTQX-FM 90.1Spanish/Variety--Radio Bilingue
BakersfieldKPRX-FM 89.1Classical/NPR--White Ash Broadcasting
CalexicoKQVO-FM 97.7News/Talk/InfoGroove Salad-San Diego State University
FresnoKALZ-FM 96.7ACGroove-Clear Channel
FresnoKFSO-FM 92.9Oldies/SpanishSpanish - Tejano-Clear Channel
FresnoKCBL-AM 1340Sports--Clear Channel
FresnoKWYE-FM 101.1ACOther - MTVish-Peak Broadcasting
FresnoKMGV-FM 97.9OldiesOldies - 60s and 70s-Peak Broadcasting
FresnoKMJ-AM 580News/Talk/Sports--Peak Broadcasting
FresnoKSKS-FM 93.7CountryCountry - Classic Country-Peak Broadcasting
FresnoKFJK-FM 105.9JackRock - Triple A-Peak Broadcasting
FresnoKLBN-FM 101.9MexicanCHR - Spanish-Lotus Communications
FresnoKLLE-FM 107.9Spanish/Reggae/Hip Hop--Univision Radio
FresnoKOND-FM 92.1Mexican--Univision Radio
FresnoKRZR-FM 103.7RockGarage-Clear Channel
FresnoKHGE-FM 102.7CountryMother Trucker-Clear Channel
FresnoKSJV-FM 91.5Spanish/Variety--Radio Bilingue
FresnoKSOF-FM 98.9Soft ACVegas Lounge-Clear Channel
FresnoKVPR-FM 89.3NPR/Classical--White Ash Broadcasting
Los AngelesKRCD-FM 103.9Spanish/Oldies--Univision Radio
Los AngelesKBIG-FM 104.3Hot ACPride Radio-Clear Channel
Los AngelesKKJZ-FM 88.1Jazz--California State University
Los AngelesKWVE-FM 107.9Christian--Calvary Chapel Church
Los AngelesKCBS-FM 93.1JackAmp Radio-CBS Radio
Los AngelesKNX-AM 1070News--CBS Radio
Los AngelesKRCV-FM 98.3Spanish/Oldies--Univision Radio
Los AngelesKIIS-FM 102.7Top 40KISS FM New Music-Clear Channel
Los AngelesKSCA-FM 101.9MexicanSpanish News/Talk-Univision Radio
Los AngelesKLSX-FM 97.1TalkCountry - KFRG-FM-CBS Radio
Los AngelesKDIS-AM 1110Family Hits--Radio Disney
Los AngelesKTWV-FM 94.7NAC/Jazz--CBS Radio
Los AngelesKFWB-AM 980News-CBS Radio
Los Angeles106.7KROQ-HDFMCBS Radio
Los AngelesKROQ-FM 106.7AlternativeROQ of the 80s-CBS Radio
Los AngelesKRTH-FM 101.1Classic HitsPre-Beatles Oldies-CBS Radio
Los AngelesKXOL-FM 96.3Regat/HipHop--Spanish Broadcasting System
Los AngelesKABC-AM 790Talk--Citadel
Los AngelesKSPN-AM 710Sports--ESPN Radio
Los AngelesKDLD-FM 103.1AlternativeBest of INDIE 103.1-Entravision
Los AngelesKDLE-FM 103.1AlternativeBest of INDIE 103.1-Entravision
Los AngelesKOST-FM 103.5ACKOST Classics-Clear Channel
Los AngelesKBRT-AM 740Christian/Talk--Crawford Broadcasting Company
Los AngelesKHHT-FM 92.3Urban/Rhythm and BluesSlow Jams-Clear Channel
Los AngelesKLOS-FM 95.5AORFusion Hispanic & Anglo RockKABC-AM 790Citadel
Los AngelesKLVE-FM 107.5Spanish ACAmor Celestial-Univision Radio
Los AngelesKSSE-FM 107.1Spanish/CHRTBD-Entravision
Los AngelesKPWR-FM 105.9Rhythmic/CHRPower Dos-Emmis
Los AngelesKTNQ-AM 1020Spanish/News/Talk--Univision Radio
Los AngelesKYSR-FM 98.7Modern ACeRockster-Clear Channel
Los AngelesKWIZ-FM 96.7Mexican/Variety--Liberman
Los AngelesKKGO-FM 105.1-Go Classic CountryNews/Talk - KGIL-AMMount Wilson FM Broadcasters
Los AngelesKPCC-FM 89.3News/Talk/InfoAHORA - SpanishThe CurrentPasadena Area Community College
Los AngelesKLYY-FM 97.5Spanish/Adult HitsHispanic Oldies-Entravision
Los AngelesKCRW-FM 89.9Educational/News--Santa Monica Community College
Los AngelesKLAC-AM 570Sports--Clear Channel
Los AngelesKMVN-FM 93.9Rhythmic/Hot ACTriple A-Emmis
Los AngelesKCSN-FM 88.5Classical/American--California State University
Los AngelesKUSC-FM 91.5Classical--University of Southern California
Los AngelesKSWD-FM 100.3AAA--Bonneville International
ModestoKESP-AM 970Sports--Citadel
ModestoKATM- FM 103.3Country--Citadel
ModestoKHKK-FM 104.1Classic Hits--Citadel
ModestoKFIV-AM 1360News/Talk--Clear Channel
ModestoKJSN-FM 102.3Soft ACClassical-Clear Channel
ModestoKCBC-AM 770Christian--Crawford Broadcasting Company
ModestoKOSO-FM 93.1Modern ACClassic Hits-Clear Channel
ModestoKMPO-FM 88.7Spanish/Variety--Radio Bilingue
ModestoKWNN-FM 98.3CHR--Citadel
ModestoKMPH-AM 840Adult Standards/Talk--Pappas Radio
MojaveKCRY-FM 88.1Educational/News--Santa Monica Community College
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKSES-FM 107.1Span/CHR--Entravision
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKWAV-FM 96.9ACAdult Standards-Buckley Broadcasting
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKOCN-FM 105.1OldiesOldies 50s and 60s-Clear Channel
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKPRC-FM 100.7Spanish/OldiesSpanish AC-Clear Channel
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKDON-FM 102.5CHRUrban Hip Hop-Clear Channel
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKTOM-FM 92.7CountryCountry Rock-Clear Channel
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKAZU-FM 90.3NPR/News/InfoClassical-California State University
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKUSP-FM 88.9Variety--Pataphysical Broadcasting Foundation
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKHDC-FM 90.9Variety/Spanish--Radio Bilingue
Monterey-Salinas-Santa CruzKSQL-FM 99.1Mexican--Univision Radio
Mount ShastaKNSQ-FM 88.1News/Jazz--Oregon Board of Higher Education
Oxnard-VenturaKSSC-FM 107.1Span/CHR--Entravision
Oxnard-VenturaKCRU-FM 89.1Educational/News--Santa Monica Community College
Palm SpringsKLOB-FM 94.7Spanish AC--Entravision
Palm SpringsKPSC-FM 88.5Classical--University of Southern California
Palm SpringsKAJR-FM 95.9AC--A&J Media
Rio DellKNHT-FM 107.3Classical/News--Oregon Board of Higher Education
Riverside-San BernardinoKFRG-FM 95.1Country--CBS Radio
Riverside-San BernardinoKGGI-FM 99.1Top 40Jammin Oldies-Clear Channel
Riverside-San BernardinoKDIF-AM 1440Mexican/Oldies--Clear Channel
Riverside-San BernardinoKVCR-FM 91.9Educational--San Bernardino Community College District
Riverside-San BernardinoKCRI-FM 89.3Educational/News--Santa Monica Community College
SacramentoKSSJ-FM 94.7Smooth Jazz--Entercom Communications
SacramentoKXJZ-FM 90.9Jazz/NewsClassical-California State University
SacramentoKXPR-FM 88.9Classical--California State University
SacramentoKHYL-FM 101.1Rhythmic/OldiesUrban Ballads And Love Songs-Clear Channel
SacramentoKFBK-AM 1530News/Talk--Clear Channel
SacramentoKGBY-FM 92.5Modern ACAll 80s-Clear Channel
SacramentoKSEG-FM 96.9Classic RockBlues-Entercom Communications
SacramentoKHTK-AM 1140Sports/Talk--CBS Radio
SacramentoKNCI-FM 105.1CountryFuture Country-CBS Radio
SacramentoKRXQ-FM 98.5AORLive Rock-Entercom Communications
SacramentoKBMB-FM 103.5Rhythmic/CHR--Entravision
SacramentoKQEI-FM 89.3NPR--KQED
SacramentoKVMR-FM 89.5Variety--Nevada City Community Broadcast Group
SacramentoKXSE-FM 104.3Spanish AC--Entravision
SacramentoKRCX-FM 99.9Mexican--Entravision
SacramentoKWOD-FM 106.5AlternativeDeep Rock Tracks-Entercom Communications
SacramentoKSFM-FM 102.5Rhythmic/CHRDance-CBS Radio
SacramentoKIID-AM 1470Family Hits--Radio Disney
SacramentoKDND-FM 107.9CHRComedy-Entercom Communications
San DiegoKIOZ-FM 105.3RockRock-Mashups-Clear Channel
San DiegoKHTS-FM 93.3Top 40Pride Radio-Clear Channel
San DiegoKSON-FM 97.3CountryClassic Rock-Lincoln Financial Media
San DiegoKGB-FM 101.5-All Morning Shows-Clear Channel
San DiegoKSSD-FM 107.1Spanish/CHR--Entravision
San DiegoKSOQ-FM 92.1Country--Lincoln Financial Media
San DiegoKLQV-FM 102.9Spanish/Adult Hits--Univision Radio
San DiegoKOGO-AM 600Talk/News/Sports--Clear Channel
San DiegoKYXY-FM 96.5Soft RockChristian Rock-The Crossing-CBS Radio
San DiegoKMYI-FM 94.1Hot ACAdult Alternative (AAA)-Clear Channel
San DiegoKPBS-FM 89.5News/Talk/InfoClassicalGroove SaladSan Diego State University
San DiegoKSCF-FM 103.7ACDance Electronica-CBS Radio
San DiegoKUSS-FM 95.7CountryAll New Country!-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKMKY-AM 1310Family Hits--Radio Disney
San FranciscoKMVQ-FM 99.7Rhythmic/ACCHR-CBS Radio
San FranciscoKSJO-FM 92.3Spanish/OldiesHispanic Hits-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKOIT-FM 96.5AC50s 60s Oldies-Entercom Communications
San FranciscoKLLC-FM 97.3ACChill-CBS Radio
San FranciscoKCBS-AM 740News--CBS Radio
San FranciscoKSAN-FM 107.7RockThe Bone 2-Cumulus Media Partners
San FranciscoKITS-FM 105.3AlternativeClassic Alternative-CBS Radio
San FranciscoKFRC-FM 106.9NewsClassic Hits-CBS Radio
San FranciscoKBWF-FM 95.7CountryCountry-Entercom Communications
San FranciscoKGO-AM 810News/Talk--Citadel
San FranciscoKIOI-FM 101.380s HitsPride Radio-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKMEL-FM 106.1HipHop/Rhythm and BluesExtreme Hip-Hop-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKQED-FM 88.5NPR--KQED
San FranciscoKTCT-AM 1050Sports--Cumulus Media Partners
San FranciscoKFOG-FM 104.5AAAThe New Music Matrix-Cumulus Media Partners
San FranciscoKALW-FM 91.7News/Talk/Info--San Francisco Unified School District
San FranciscoKCSM-FM 91.1Jazz--San Mateo County Community College
San FranciscoKKGN-AM 960Talk--Clear Channel
San FranciscoKISQ-FM 98.1Rhythm/BluesClassic Hip Hop-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKNEW-AM 910Talk--Clear Channel
San FranciscoKYLD-FM 94.9CHR/DanceFuZic-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKKSF-FM 103.7Smooth JazzTraditional Jazz-Clear Channel
San FranciscoKDFC-FM 102.1ClassicalClassical Deep Cuts-Entercom Communications
San FranciscoKBRG-FM 100.3Spanish/OldiesSpanish-Univision Radio
San FranciscoKSOL-FM 98.9MexicanSpanish-Univision Radio
San JoseKVVF-FM 105.7Spanish AC/RegatUnknown-Univision Radio
San JoseKLOK-AM 1170Spanish/Talk/Sports--Univision Radio
San JoseKCNL-FM 104.9Modern RockIndie & New Rock-Clear Channel
San JoseKFFG-FM 97.7AAAHit Music-Cumulus Media Partners
San JoseKUFX-FM 98.5Classic RockDeep Tracks-Clear Channel
San Luis ObispoKCBX-FM 90.1Public--KCBX
Santa BarbaraKRAZ-FM 105.9Country--Knight Broadcasting
Santa BarbaraKQSC-FM 88.7Classical--University of Southern California
StocktonKQOD-FM 100.1Rhythmic/OldiesTropical Oldies-Clear Channel
StocktonKMRQ-FM 96.7Spanish/Adult HitsActive Rock-Clear Channel
StocktonKWSX-AM 1280Spanish/Adult Hits--Clear Channel
StocktonKJOY-FM 99.3AC--Citadel
StocktonKMIX-FM 100.9Mexican--Entravision
StocktonKCVR-AM 1570Spanish/Adult Hits--Entravision
StocktonKWIN-FM 97.7CHR--Citadel
StocktonKYKL-FM 90.7Christian Contemporary--Educational Media Foundation
Thousand OaksKCLU-FM 88.3Jazz--California Lutheran University
Thousand OaksKDSC-FM 91.1Classical--University of Southern California
Visalia-Tulare-HanfordKEZL-AM 1400Sports--Clear Channel
Visalia-Tulare-HanfordKBOS-FM 94.9CHRThe Block-Clear Channel
YrekaKSYC-AM 1490News/Talk--JPR Foundation
YrekaKNYR-FM 91.3Classical/News--Oregon Board of Higher Education

FCC Update

FCC Steps Back from Pivotal Votes on Free Broadband, IBOC Digital Carrier Boost
Feeling the heat generated by irate telecom firms, new congressional committee leadership, and a scathing congressional report on his agency oversight, FCC Chair Kevin Martin decided last week to indefinitely postpone a scheduled agenda vote that included creation of free national broadband services and an IBOC digital radio power boost -- both issues of keen interest to broadcasters.

The decision to cancel the scheduled Dec. 18 meeting came after Martin’s office received a letter co-authored by Sen. John D. Rockefeller and Rep. John Waxman, both Democrats headed for key chairmanships in their respective bodies of Congress.

Their message urged Martin to table the vote until the new administration had an opportunity to review complex and controversial issues on the agenda.

But Democrats were not alone in red-flagging the vote. Bush Administration officials reportedly asked the commission to forestall their decision on free broadband as wireless providers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint complained that such a move would damage their ability to build out their respective 3G/4G networks.

How a new, democratically led FCC will deal with the proposed HD digital power increase as well as other hot-button issues such as broadcast music performance royalties and localism isn’t yet clear. But Waxman’s appointment in particular is seen as a sign that a tougher regulatory environment awaits broadcasters.

On the issue of universal wireless broadband, reports suggest that the incoming Obama administration and democratically controlled congress appear to favor an even more sweeping approach than the one on which the Commission was to vote, perhaps as part of a broad new national infrastructure spending initiative.


Eye on IBOC

Europe Gets New DRM Service
The BBC and Germany’s Deutsche Welle have teamed together to launch a digital European radio service using DRM technology. The new channel will program 18 hours daily on 1296kHz using multiple transmitters to cover France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and neighboring countries. The same content will also be carried via DRM on an array of HF frequencies.

Programming consists of Deutche Welle and BBC international services available from early morning through evening, targeting Western and Central Europe with global news and a mix of in-depth analysis, documentaries and cultural programs in English. The broadcast stream also includes multi-media and electronic program guide (EPG) data.

More information and a program schedule are available at www.drm.org.


HD Radio Terminology

The New Language of Digital Radio
Abbreviations explained.

  • BC: Block Count
  • BPSK: Binary Phase Shift Keying
  • BTU: British Thermal Unit
  • CEA: Consumer Electronics Association
  • CCC: Configuration Control Channel
  • Codec: Coder/Decoder
  • CPP: Comment Period (Pre-vote)



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