Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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Sirius Begins SatelliteService
New York - Feb 14, 2002 - Sirius Satellite Radio, the satellite
radio broadcaster, began the first phase of its national service
rollout in four metropolitan markets, Denver, Houston, Phoenix and
Jackson, MS. To commemorate the start of its satellite radio service,
Sirius broadcast inaugural programming and treated Jackson to a special
live concert featuring Randy Travis and a host of country
On the morning of the service kickoff, during the first official Sirius
broadcast for consumers, ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson served as the
first voice heard on Sirius, ushering in a new era of in-vehicle
entertainment. Listeners then heard Al Jarreau, who inspired the new
Sirius musical signature, introduce a special musical overture
performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard
Slatkin. This was followed by a montage of artists and celebrities
including Shaggy, Sting, Nelly Furtado, Pink, Nickelback, Ozzy
Osbourne, Tony Bennett, Travis Tritt, Emmylou Harris, Ray Manzarek
Jason Alexander, Nathan Lane, Bill Cosby, Dan Aykroyd, Grandmaster
Flash, MC Lyte and others.
The broadcast led into special "first songs" that were heard across
Sirius' 60 commercial-free music channels, with many of these being
exclusive live performances recorded at the company's New York City
studios. Special Valentine's Day shows with celebrity guest DJs,
including Darius Rucker, Stereophonics, Sevendust, Brian McKnight,
Freddy Jackson, Ann Hampton Callaway, Michael Feinstein, Richard Marx,
Dave Koz, Al Jarreau, The Oak Ridge Boys, Leslie West, and legendary
rapper, Dana Dane, were also planned throughout the day.
Excerpts from the first day of Sirius programming will be donated to
the Museum of Television and Radio's permanent collection and will be
available as part of the museum's historic archives.
The launch event in Jackson, MS, included a concert by Randy Travis
held at retailer Cowboy Maloney's. The event featured special
appearances by Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and Speaker of the
House Tim Ford, live performances by country music superstar Randy
Travis, Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs with acclaimed songwriter Tom T.
Hall, country artist Tracy Lawrence, and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage,
International Bluegrass Music Association's 2001 "Entertainer of the
Year" and "Female Vocalist of the Year."
D.C. Court of Appeals Hands DownDecisions on Pirate Stations
Washington, DC – Feb 8, 2002 – The DC Circuit Court of
Appeals has handed down decisions in two appellant cases regarding
pirate radio and those who operate unlicensed LPFM stations.
In the first case, Grid Radio vs. FCC, the Court found that "absent a
demonstration that the FCC's ban on low-power FM stations was
indisputably unlawful or unconstitutional, the FCC had no obligation to
reconsider the ban in the context of an enforcement proceeding against
appellant, a single unlicensed operator, and the forfeiture of his
station is reasonable under the circumstances of his case." Jerry
Szoka, operator of unlicensed LPFM station "Grid Radio" in Cleveland
from 1995 to 2000, had filed the appeal in hopes of regaining an
$11,000 forfeiture of equipment which would allow him to continue
broadcasting. The Courts decision, in essence, states that unless and
until the FCC’s ban on LPFM stations was proven unlawful, the
Commission could continue to shut down pirate stations and seize
In the second case, Ruggiero vs. FCC, the Court agreed with appellant,
an unlicensed microbroadcaster, that the FCC’s LPFM "character
qualification" provision, which permanently prohibits anyone who ever
"engaged in any manner in the unlicensed operation of any station in
violation of ... the Communications Act of 1934" from obtaining a
low-power FM radio license, is unconstitutional.
The appellant in this case, Greg Ruggiero had been affiliated with
microbroadcasting stations in New York City and elsewhere and found
that because of that affiliation, the Radio Broadcasting Preservation
Act of 2000's “character qualification” provision
prohibited him from receiving a legitimate LPFM license. The Court
found nothing in the Act, its legislative history, or its record to
justify the character qualification provision's “unique and
draconian” sanction for broadcast piracy, nor to explain why a
more limited restriction would not achieve Congress's objective.
Arbitron Reaches Milestone in PPMRecruitment
Philadelphia - Feb 4, 2002 - Arbitron has reached the halfway point
in the development of a testing pool for the final phase of U.S. market
trial of the Portable People Meter by recruiting its 750th consumer in
the Philadelphia TV marketplace.
The PPM is a pager-sized device that automatically detects inaudible
codes that TV and radio broadcasters, as well as cable networks, embed
in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by
Arbitron. At the end of each day, participants place the meters into
base stations, which recharge the devices and send the collected codes
to Arbitron for tabulation.
Eight TV stations, 38 radio stations and 22 cable networks in the
Philadelphia market have encoded their audio signals for the U.S.
market trial. The PPM has been undergoing U.S. market trials within the
Philadelphia TV market since December of 2000.
Orban/CRL Studio Hosts HomeImprovement Program
San Leandro, CA - Feb 13, 2002 - The Home Improvement USA Network
Radio Program, now in its 7th year and heard on over 40 radio stations
on the America Network, is now produced and broadcast from the studios
of Orban/CRL. The program uses Orban's new Opticodec and the
The show's hosts, Ken Walchek and Dave Rusch are joined regularly by
Jay Brentlinger, Orban/CRL president and CEO. The panel has extensive
engineering and mechanical knowledge. Brentlinger himself is versed in
many areas of home repair and has audio expertise to assist callers who
have questions on a variety of topics.
The program allows Orban to use its equipment in a real setting,
something that is not always easy to duplicate in a lab. The Home
Improvement USA Radio Show also streams live on the Internet at
www.InternetFM.com. This is the start of Orban/CRL's radio and Internet
programming efforts. More shows will be produced and distributed in
XM and Directv Announce JointMarketing Agreement
Washington - Feb 13, 2002 - XM Satellite Radio Directv signed a
joint marketing agreement designed to help drive XM subscriber growth
by giving Directv satellite TV customers value-added offers for XM.
Specific elements of the proposed marketing program were not
Musicmusicmusic Allies with EmergentSystems
New York – Feb 11, 2002 – Musicmusicmusic, a premier
music content provider, has affiliated with Emergent Systems
Corporation, a system integrator servicing the professional Audio,
Video and Control System market. The agreement covers terms in Canada.
This strategic alliance adds to Musicmusicmusic's Industrial Sound
Services (ISS) division, creating a one-stop shop for current and
With Emergent Systems’ expertise in the installation and service
of sound and video systems, ISS clients can now rely on one company to
meet their music programming and hardware needs. Emergent will continue
to base its operations in Vancouver, with a satellite office at
Musicmusicmusic's production offices in Toronto.
Shively Tests VSWR from Ice
Bridgton, ME - Feb 11, 2002 - At the Shively Labs test range in
Bridgton, ME, it was cold enough to freeze a radome. RF technicians,
Norm Hutchins and Sean Edwards (pictured) test an antenna to determine
the effects that heavy icing has on an antenna's VSWR. After several
days of spraying a fine mist of water over the XXL Radomes, icing
conditions as they might exist in the real world were produced. The
result of the test on the Shively XXL Radome was that heavy ice has a
minimal effect on VSWR.
Shiveley performed the test to provide real-world data on its products
as a demonstration of extreme weather conditions. Shively has several
broadcast installations that experience condition such as these on a
regular basis, including Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.
Dielectric Celebrates 60Years
Raymond, ME - Feb 8, 2002 - Dielectric Communications marks 60 years
of service to the broadcast industry. Dielectric was founded in 1942 by
Dr. Charles “Doc” Brown to manufacture products used in
early radar systems during World War II. Since then Dielectric has
grown into a global communications system provider with facilities in
Maine, Indiana, Missouri, and California.
Over the years Dielectric’s growth has been fueled by a number of
1986: RCA’s TV Antenna Division
2000: Harris’ TV Antenna Division
2001: Central Tower, Ryan Construction, and TCI, International
Ownership of the company has also changed over the last 60 years. In
1968 Dielectric became a part of Sola-Basic, in 1977 General Signal
Corporation acquired Dielectric and in 1998 the company became a part
of SPX Corporation.
In the last 60 years the number of individuals employed by Dielectric
has grown from a handful to over 600 full time employees. Today,
Dielectric claims to be the largest manufacturer of analog and digital
television systems, and high-power TV and FM antennas. In addition to
its foundation in broadcast and pressurization products,
Dielectric’s offerings include tower manufacturing, tower
mapping, structural analysis, tower reinforcement and maintenance;
signal processing, and sensors.
Dielectric is a unit of SPX Corporation, a provider of technical
products and systems, industrial products and services, flow technology
and service solutions.
Wheatstone Delivers SP-8to Marshal Space Flight Center
New Bern, NC - Jan 29, 2002 - Wheatstone recently delivered an SP-8
Series audio console to Marshall Space Flight Center’s television
support contractor, Computer Sciences Corporation. Marshall Space
Flight Center transmits activities and missions in real time on NASA TV
as well as provides resource video to the news media, and educational
programming to teachers, students and the general public. The SP-8
console will function as the main audio board for center broadcasts on
NASA TV as well as routing audio for internal live and taped
The Wheatstone SP-8, a 24x8 console, will be located in the audio
control room and will be online and operational by January 2002.
Paredes Returns to Orban
San Leandro, CA - Feb 13, 2002 - Gareth Paredes has returned to
Orban/CRL, taking on the role of sales administration manager. Paredes
began his career with Orban in 1988 after graduating from San Francisco
State University, earning a BA in sales/marketing. He held the position
of sales support manager when he left Orban. In his current role as
sales administration manager, Paredes will oversee all internal sales
operations, refocusing the support staff to work more closely with the
company's dealer distribution network, and to seek ways to grow and
improve the company's sales staff and serve the company's
APT Appoints Sales Manager ForAsia
Belfast, Ireland - Feb 11, 2002 - Codec manufacturer APT has handed
over responsibility for sales in Asia to its longest-serving employee.
William Woodside, formerly the company's production manager, joined APT
in 1992. Prior to that he was with Plessey Telecommunications for 19
years. He has now been promoted to the key role of sales manager for
Asia; a position that required experience and in-depth knowledge of the
company and its products.
Woodside has worked with the APT product for many years and very
familiar with the features and flexibility of the company's offerings.
APT also noted that Asia has always been an important region for the
Sweetwater Adds Two in Sales
Fort Wayne, IN - Feb 11, 2002 - Sweetwater has added Rob Bowers and
Mike Picotte to its sales team as sales engineers.
Bowers joins Sweetwater with a wide background in music technology,
including a BA in communications with a minor in audio and acoustics.
He has more than 20 years in electronics, computing and the media as
well as being an owner of a sound company. His last position was a
compliance engineer at Microsoft. Like many of Sweetwater's sales
engineers, Bowers was a Sweetwater customer before coming to work for
Picotte joins Sweetwater with an audio production background as a
ProTools engineer with a BS in media production and new technology.
Extron Promotes Hall
Anaheim, CA - Feb 6, 2002 - Extron Electronics has promoted Casey
Hall to the position of business development manager. Based out of the
Extron headquarters in Anaheim, Casey will be responsible for
developing Extron's sales initiatives and optimizing the pro-active
side of Extron's sales team. Casey will focus on areas where Extron is
growing to ensure customer needs are met and that Extron continues to
provide industry leading service, support, and solutions.
Casey has been a member of the Extron team for over five years, most
recently in the position of regional sales manager for the West team.
Casey joined Extron as a customer support specialist and was later
promoted to sales support specialist and regional sales team leader
positions prior to his role as regional sales manager.
Encoda Systems Appoints Donnelly asCIO
Denver - Feb 8, 2002 - Encoda Systems has appointed Jack Donnelly as
its chief information officer and vice president. Donnelly joins
Encoda's management team with 18 years experience in developing and
delivering information technology projects and programs.
Donnelly previously was vice president of the Corporate Information
Technology Group for Gambro Healthcare Inc. (COBE Laboratories), where
he directed applications development and data-modeling activities for
the healthcare services IT organization.
Hollebone Joins Harrison SalesTeam
Nashville - Feb 11, 2002 - Chris Hollebone joined the Harrison sales
and marketing team on January 1, 2002. Hollebone will be based in the
U.K. and will be responsible for Harrison dealer support as well as
direct sales and user support for the UK, Europe, the Middle East and
Hollebone began his career in professional audio as a recording
engineer in the 1970s. In 1980 he joined Sony Broadcast and
Professional Europe, serving in various capacities including
Sirius Names Pesce To ManagementTeam
New York City - Jan 29, 2002 - Sirius Satellite Radio has hired
Larry Pesce, adding another consumer electronics industry veteran to
the company's management team. Pesce assumes the new title of vice
president, Product Management and Strategic Planning. Pesce will
spearhead next generation product developments and enhancements,
identifying new platforms and applications for Sirius' service and
technology. He will also be involved with various strategic planning
Pesce comes to Sirius from Thomson multimedia, where he was general
manager of Business Development. He spearheaded Thomson's entry into
the video gaming peripherals business; establishing Thomson as the key
consumer electronics partner for the Xbox(tm) video game system from
Microsoft, and securing Thomson's re-entry into the MSN TV set-top
Symetrix/Lucid Names LatimerDirector of Sales
Lynnewood, WA - Feb 7, 2002 - Symetrix has named Jim Latimer its
director of sales for both the Symetrix and Lucid lines. Latimer joined
the company in 2000 as director of sales for pro audio. Bringing both
the Symetrix and Lucid brand names under the sales expertise of Latimer
not only strengthens the identity of the engineering-driven company but
also consolidates sales into a strategically focused entity. He
complements his comprehensive understanding of the professional audio
market with a commensurate understanding of the recording, installed
sound and MI markets. Prior to Symetrix, Latimer was national sales
manager for MI and broadcast with Sonic Foundry.
iBiquity Appoints Parrella VPof IC Design
Columbia, MD, and Warren, NJ, - Jan 31, 2001 - Ibiquity has
appointed Gene Parrella as vice president, Integrated Circuit Design.
Parrella will lead the engineering teams finalizing the design of DSP
and ASIC solutions that will enable consumers to receive IBOC digital
AM and FM broadcasts in car, home and portable radios. Parrella’s
teams also are responsible for the successful transfer of
Ibiquity’s IBOC technology onto its semiconductor partners’
chips and supporting the receiver manufacturers that are using these
DSP-based and dedicated ASIC solutions.
Immediately prior to joining Ibiquity, Parrella served as director of
engineering for the TranSwitch Corporation’s successful CellBus
line of ATM switch chips used in xDSL access multiplexers. He holds
five patents in the areas of telecommunications chip and system
Caton Named Acting Secretary
Washington, DC - Effective January 28, 2002, William F. Caton was
named the Acting Secretary of the Federal Communications Commission.
Caton assumes this post on an interim basis following the departure of
Magalie Roman Salas.
Caton began his career with the Federal Communications Commission in
1983. Since 1984, he has served in the Office of the Secretary, holding
the positions of Assistant Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Acting
Humke Named Ops Director forHarris
Cincinnati - Feb 5, 2002 - Harris Corporation announced the
appointment of Patricia Humke as director of operations for its
Broadcast Communications Division’s studio products and systems
operations. Humke will be based in Cincinnati and will oversee the
production and installation of all radio and TV studio products and
A 26-year veteran of HCD manufacturing, Humke has previously held
positions in manufacturing management in Quincy, IL, Cambridge, England
and most recently at the facility in Carlsbad, CA, as director of
Harris Pacific operations.
The recently consolidated HBD studio products and systems operations
also announced the following promotions and appointments: Robert
Benjamin has been promoted to manufacturing manager from supervisor of
radio systems engineering for Harris Pacific in Carlsbad, and Scott
McCammon has been promoted to supervisor, audio console assembly and
test; Douglas Bevington has been named manager, product support
engineering in Cincinnati from manager, product support engineering in
Carlsbad; and Craig Tabler assumes the responsibility as manager,
factory acceptance and field installation.
Prophet Systems Promotes Two
Ogallala, NE - Feb 5, 2002 - Roy E. Studyvin, manager, entertainment
software development, and John Fulbright, senior entertainment
developer, have been appointed by Prophet Systems Innovations (PSi) to
its NexGen Digital Entertainment division.
Before joining PSi, Studyvin, who has more than two decades of
management experience in software engineering, worked for IBM and
Novell. He graduated from Boise State University and has a MBA degree
from Brigham Young University. Fulbright, with eleven years of
experience in software development, graduated from Coleman College in
San Diego, CA.