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Radio Currents Online - Jul 17 - Jul 23, 2006
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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Summer Storm Fells St. Louis Towers
St. Louis - Jul 20, 2006 - After powerful storms and strong winds hit St. Louis, nearly 500,000 homes and businesses were without power as the weather forecast predicted another 100-degree day. The storm that hit the Midwest damaged roofs and windows throughout the area. Power company officials have said that it may take up to five days to restore power to the entire area.
Roofs and windows were not the only casualties of the storm. Two radio stations lost towers during the storm. WIL-AM 1430 lost one tower of a four-tower array, and KTRS-AM 550 lost two large self-supporting towers in its four-tower array.
WIL, a Bonneville station, is a DA-2, normally uses two towers during the day and four towers at night. WIL is currently operating in an emergency nondirectional mode at reduced power through a matching network that was built to feed one of the remaining towers.
KTRS is normally nondirectional day and uses four towers at night. The station is operating nondirectional at night through a matching network that was previously installed for maintenance.
Photos courtesy of Marshall Rice.
SBE Begins Work Following Strategic Planning Meeting
Indianapolis - Jul 20, 2006 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) convened to establish strategic plans for the society on July 8 in conjunction with a scheduled gathering of its executive committee. The meeting was attended by representatives of many chapters and a large percentage of the sitting SBE Board of Directors. The result of the meeting was strong consensus and action items to improve industry involvement and service, and grow membership.
SBE President Chriss Scherer said, "We now have a very clear understanding of the path the society should take to support broadcast engineering, and to grow the ranks of the industry and the society."
Although the written report from facilitator Kristine Rahavy is still to come, many items from the session were self-evident and could be immediately put into action at the Executive Committee meeting on the following day.
Strategic Planning Committee Chairman and SBE Treasurer Barry Thomas reported, "The Executive Committee was able to identify at least seven action items that will immediately result in improved service and activity."
The Strategic Planning Committee will meet after receiving the official report and recommend further actions to the full SBE Board of Directors at the SBE National Meeting, Sept. 26 in Verona, NY.
Study Reveals that Cell Phones Better than Pager Devices for Radio Ratings
Houston - Jul 19, 2006 - According to a study from the Media Audit/Ipsos, the general population is more likely to agree to participate in a research study using a cell phone than a pager-like device. The telephone survey queried 1,000 randomly selected adults from July 11 to July 17 as part of The Media Audit/Ipsos's bid for the U.S. radio ratings contract.
The research shows adults are 3.5 times more likely to agree to participate in a panel study using a cell phone (66 percent) vs. 18 percent who would agree to carry a pager. The Media Audit credits this response to the existing acceptance of cell phones in daily life.
Bob Jordan, president of the Media Audit, said, "The less disruptive the monitoring device, the more inclined people are to cooperate. Greater cooperation leads to more reliable and accurate research. Of the monitoring devices that are being used today, cell phones are the least intrusive to our life styles."
The Media Audit/Ipsos will be providing this study to the Media Rating Council (MRC) as part of the Phase l proof of concept phase of the accreditation process.
The survey basically asked: If you were to participate in a study radio listening study, which monitor would you select, the pager or the cell phone?
|Demo||Cell Phone||Pager||Either Device||Neither|
Other statistical analyses show similar results by region, education and marital status.
The Arbitron Portable People Meter uses a pager-like device to track listening habits.
Ibiquity Files for Modification to FM IBOC Mask
Columbia, MD - Jul 5, 2006 - In a letter to the FCC, Ibiquity has submitted a modification of the FM spectrum mask for IBOC operation. According to the letter, which is available at this link, the "minor changes" will "allow the introduction of a more efficient digital emission mask facilitating the successful introduction of HD Radio."
The letter also states that the change was prompted by additional analysis and real-world experience.
The spectrum plot above shows the change in the range from 200kHz to 250kHz. The outer limit of the original mask ranged from 200kHz to 215kHz.
It is believed that this filing caused the FCC to remove the digital radio agenda item from its July 13 meeting.
FCC Releases Regulatory Fees for 2006
Washington - Jul 12, 2006 - In a Report and Order, the FCC plans to collect nearly $229 million in regulatory fees plus an additional $10 million as required by the Deficit Reduction Act.
FM construction permit fees increase from $550 to $575, AM construction permit fees rise from $310 to $395, and translator/booster construction permit fees rise from $395 to $420.
Station regulatory fees increase for all stations except Class A AM stations. Broadcast Auxilliary regulatory fees remain unchanged at $10.
|FY 2006 Radio Station Regulatory Fees|
|Population Served||AM Class A||AM Class B||AM Class C||AM Class D||FM Classes A, B1 and C3||FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 and C2|
|25,001 to 75,000||1,225||950||600||725||1,150||1,325|
|75,001 to 150,000||1,850||1,200||800||1,200||1,575||2,450|
|150,001 to 500,000||2,775||2,025||1,200||1,425||2,450||3,200|
|500,001 to 1,200,000||4,000||3,100||2,000||2,375||3,875||4,700|
|1,200,001 to 3,000,00||6,150||4,750||3,000||3,800||6,325||7,500|
MD Docket No. 06-68
Indecency Rules Even Apply to the President
Washington - Jul 18, 2006 - During a supposedly private discussion between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, an open microphone captured an utterance by Bush that could cost a broadcaster $325,000 if it were to reach the airwaves. As Bush spoke to Blair during the closing lunch at the Group of Eight conference in Russia, he slipped the s-word.
While the expletive was a fleeting reference, the new indecency rules--signed into effect by Bush himself--do not distinguish between intentional and unintentional usage. Over-the-air broadcasters have to censor the word or risk a fine.
NAB Announces 2006 Marconi Radio Awards Finalists
Washington - Jul 17, 2006 - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced the finalists for the NAB Marconi Radio Awards honoring outstanding radio stations and on-air personalities. The winners in each category will be announced on Sept. 21 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show held during The NAB Radio Show in Dallas.
This year's Marconi Radio Awards will feature two new categories, Spanish Format Personality of the Year and Sports Station of the Year.
KLOS-FM Los Angeles, CA
KQRS-FM Minneapolis, MN
KSL-AM Salt Lake City, UT
KSTP-FM Minneapolis, MN
WBEB-FM Philadelphia, PA
Network Syndicated Personality of the Year
Major Market Station of the Year
Large Market Station of the Year
Medium Market Station of the Year
Small Market Station of the Year
Major Market Personality of the Year
Large Market Personality of the Year
Medium Market Personality of the Year
Small Market Personality of the Year
Spanish Format Personality of the Year
AC Station of the Year
KESZ-FM Phoenix, AZ
KOIT-FM San Francisco, CA
KOST-FM Los Angeles, CA
WLHT-FM Grand Rapids, MI
WSNY-FM Columbus, OH
CHR Station of the Year
Country Station of the Year
News/Talk Station of the Year
Oldies Station of the Year
Religious Station of the Year
Rock Station of the Year
Spanish Station of the Year
Sports Station of the Year
Urban Station of the Year
Established in 1989, and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. An independent task force selected finalists in 22 categories.
The Formats to Perform at Marconi Radio Awards Dinner
Washington, DC - Jul 14, 2006 - The NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show will feature a performance by The Formats, a broadcaster band led by blues guitarist Steve Cropper and featuring FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on harmonica. Other band members include:
Vocals - NAB Joint Board Chairman and Bonneville International President Bruce Reese, Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan, Sandusky Radio President Norman Rau and Regent Communications Senior Vice President, Operations Fred Murr.
Guitar - Air America's Gary Krantz and ABC Radio Group President Mitch Dolan.
Keyboard - Greater Media President Peter Smyth.
Bass - Norm Phillips, most recently with Susquehanna Radio.
Drums - South Central Communications President-Radio Craig Jacobus and Urban Radio Broadcasting President Kevin Wagner.
Former Jefferson Pilot President-Radio Clarke Brown is the band's producer and is encouraging other musically inclined broadcasters to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cropper, a founding member of Booker T. and the MG's and The Mar-Keys, has composed hits for Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Aretha Franklin and numerous others. Cropper was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.
Established in 1989, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Winners will be announced at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas during the NAB Radio Show.
Enco Opens Branch in New Delhi, India
Southfield, MI, and New Delhi, India - Jul 17, 2006 - Enco Systems has opened a branch office in New Delhi, India. The move was prompted by the increasing presence of commercial radio broadcasting in that country. The new branch will provide local customer support, training and implementation assistance.
The Enco India branch office is managed by Arjun Srivastav and is co-located in New Delhi with Broadcast Technologies, a BT Group Company that continues as a dealer for Enco products. Enco plans to establish additional branch offices across the country as India's roll-out of newly licensed FM broadcasters continues.
BE Appoints Whelan as Customer Service Manager
Quincy, IL - Jul 19, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) has promoted Brent Whelan to the position of senior customer service manager. Whelan joined BE in 2001 as the manager of RF systems and tests with responsibility for all system and sub-assembly level testing. He has been involved in radio and telecommunications since 1987, starting his career as a repair technician and field service engineer and growing into a management role overseeing company-wide repair centers and test departments.
In his new role, he will direct BE's studio automation and RF customer service departments with the responsibility of developing new strategies for servicing BE's global customer base.
Continental Electronics' Mina Named Chairman of USA DRM
Dallas - Jul 17, 2006 - Adil Mina, vice president of business development for Continental Electronics, has been named chairman of the USA Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Group. Founded in May 2004, the USA DRM Group is an organization of broadcasters and manufacturers who joined forces to promote the introduction of DRM in the United States.
The previous chairman of DRM USA was Jeff White, who stepped down to become president of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB).
Mina began his career with Continental Electronics in 1966. His experience includes design engineer, installation supervisor, project engineer and program manager on transmitter products up to 2MW. He was responsible for the design and development of the Continental Electronics 500kW high-frequency transmitter and the high-efficiency solid-state modulator, which is found in installations around the world.
Eversoll Named Regional Engineer for Cumulus
Kansas City - Jul 20, 2006 - Dennis Eversoll has been named the regional engineer for the Cumulus stations in Kansas City; Topeka, Columbia, MO; Jefferson City, MO; Stockton, MO; Faribault/Owatonna, MN; Rochester, MN; and Sioux Falls, SD. Eversoll has more than 30 years of broadcast engineering experience, which includes working for Cumulus in a regional position in 1999.
Based in the Kansas City market, Eversoll attended Georgia Tech. He worked as the chief engineer of WEAS-AM/FM/WZAT/WSGA in Savannah, GA, from 1977 to 1999. These stations and three others were acquired by Cumulus in 1997, and he became chief engineer for the seven-station cluster from January 1997 until July 1999.
During that time he served as a Cumulus regional engineer for a section of the Southeast assisting at 42 Cumulus stations. From July 1999 until October 2000 he was a customer service manager at Computer Concepts in Kansas City.
He became the director of engineering for Susquehanna Radio's cluster in Kansas City in October 2000, which became part of Cumulus earlier this year.
Eversoll is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and holds the CPBE and CBNT certifications.
Wilkins Named SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year
Indianapolis - Jul 17, 2006 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has named Larry J. Wilkins, CPBE AMD CBNT, the recipient of the broadcast engineer of the year award. Recipients are recognized for making significant contributions to the field of broadcast engineering and for furthering the goals and objectives of the society. They must be members of the society and are nominated by their peers.
Wilkins is assistant director of engineering for Cumulus Broadcasting and resides in Prattville, AL. Besides his duties with Cumulus, Wilkins is the Alabama state chairman of the Emergency Alert System and conducts that state’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program through the Alabama Broadcasters Association. He is well known throughout the state as an authority on EAS and regularly sought out by broadcasters for information and his expertise.
Wilkins is a member of the national Board of Directors of the SBE and is a member of the SBE’s National Certification Committee. He has been an active member of SBE Chapter 118 in Montgomery and currently serves as its chairman. Wilkins holds the Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer, AM Directional Specialist and Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist certifications from the SBE.
SBE President Chriss Scherer, CPBE CBNT, commented on the selection of Wilkins for the ward by saying, “The Broadcast Engineer of the year award recognizes the many skills that a broadcast engineer must possess. Larry's understanding of our industry and knowledge of radio broadcast systems make him an ideal choice for this SBE honor.”
Wilkins began his broadcasting career in 1963 with WSFA-TV in Montgomery. For 11 years, beginning in 1967, he worked for several radio stations in central and southern Alabama before joining WLWI Radio in Montgomery in 1978. Besides his role as assistant corporate engineering director for Cumulus, he serves as chief engineer for the Cumulus-Montgomery properties.
Wilkins will be recognized as the SBE’s Broadcast Engineer of the Year at the society’s National Awards Dinner on Sept. 27 in Verona, NY. The event is held as a part of the annual SBE National Meeting.
TC Electronic Ships C300
Westlake Village, CA Jul 14, 2006 - TC Electronic is now shipping the C300 compressor/limiter/gate/expander. The 1RU, dual-engine processor features analog and digital I/O, with both engines able to run in compression/limiter or gate/expander mode.
Jampro Designs System for Utah State Park
Bountiful, UT - Jul 17, 2006 - Millcreek Broadcasting needed to develop a new antenna site in Utah's Bountiful State Park, so the broadcaster called Jampro Antenna/RF Systems to handle the site design and the installation. For aesthetic reasons, the tower had to be low profile, yet had to be able to deliver eight strong FM frequencies and allow for future expansion. Downward RF levels also had to be at absolute minimum levels at the tower's base.
Jampro engineers designed a custom-cut Jampro monopole tower for minimum height and footprint, a specially configured JCPD panel antenna array to reduce RF radiation at ground level, and a customized, space-saving, RCCC-291-0.8 FM constant-impedance, eight-frequency combiner. Jampro then tested the configuration at its full-field test range in California to ensure it met all criteria and delivered the components to the Utah site ready for installation with minimum impact on the environment while minimizing RF levels on the ground.
Millcreek Broadcasting, headquartered in Salt Lake City, owns and operates KHTB-FM (94.9), KUDD-FM (107.9) and KUUU-FM (92.5). The stations cover the Salt Lake area.
Sales of Broadcast Electronics Messagecasting Products on the Rise
Quincy, IL - Jul 17, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) reports that orders for its Messagecasting products from The Radio Experience have tripled in the first six months of 2006 compared to the same time period in 2005. The Messagecasting studio product, released in 2004, is a turnkey suite of applications to manage, schedule and format messages for read-out on HD Radio and RBDS tuners and the Web.
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