A New Look and Feel (and Some EAS Info, Too)

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I am sure you noticed that Radio magazine looks different this month. It's a new design and we think you'll like it.

No doubt you first noticed that this issue is a little larger than our previous edition. It's still an easy-to-read magazine size, but we have a little more space to deliver the information you need. Now that you're inside I'm sure you'll see that the new look is fresher, bolder, more focused and easier to read. The cosmetic changes can be found throughout the issue, but the presentation itself is part of our ongoing commitment to you: We provide the relevant and important information you rely on to help you do your job better. Everything we do is focused on providing meaningful content.

You know that the latest industry news in posted daily at RadioMagOnline.com. Everything in print also appears online, but the monthly edition of Radio magazine provides insight and analysis with an expert voice. The print edition also provides practical context. Our seasoned contributors - Jeremy Ruck, Lee Petro, Kevin McNamara, Doug Irwin, Chris Wygal and many others - work in radio. It's their job and their passion, and they bring this experience to you every month.

So with the new design comes a renewed focus on the information we deliver. Radio magazine has been and always will be about the technology of radio broadcasting, from the mic to the transmitter or streaming server.

The seeds of this redesign were planted almost a year ago. We gathered ideas, talked to readers and refined the process to achieve what you are holding right now. We're proud of what we have achieved. Let us know what you think at radio@RadioMagOnline.com.

CAP deadline extension

On Sept. 16, the FCC ruled to extend the Common Alerting Protocol compliance deadline from Sept. 30 until June 30, 2012. I think I heard a collective sigh of relief that afternoon. While the extension allows some leeway, there are those who think the extension was not necessary.

I talked to several people heavily involved with EAS at the Radio Show, including manufacturers. From a practical standpoint, the extension was needed. The rules say stations must have the ability to receive CAP-encoded messages, but in reality that was still theoretical. There was nothing for a station to connect to for the CAP Messages.

Manufacturers reported that while FEMA has a server online for them to test CAP compliance, the servers were not reliable and would go offline too often. It's hard to test a system that isn't there. The manufacturers also told me that many stations were still hesitant to purchase equipment because there were too many unknowns and undefined elements in the Rules.

The FCC admits there are lots of Part 11 updates that need to be put in place, which was the main reason for the extension. All these factors make the extension a logical move by the FCC.

But with the extension comes the chance of further delays. We all work on deadlines. As a deadline approaches, we work harder to meet it. The (now changed) looming deadline was stirring lots of action from stations. The manufacturers were already working hard on the problem. With the extension, I fear much of the station effort momentum will be lost. With nine months to go, many will ignore the situation until July 30, 2012.

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