The first issue of Radio magazine (originally titled BE Radio) was published in January 1994, but its roots go back much farther. In 1959, Broadcast Engineering magazine was launched to cover the technology of radio and television. By 1994, it was realized that while the two services are related broadcast efforts, the needs of their specific audiences warranted splitting the content into two publications.
Radio magazine, now part of the NewBay Media group of publications, continues to cover the technology of radio broadcasting. Now in our 20th year, we'll look back at the first year of publication, which had six issues.
Features of the May 1994 issue:
■ The 1994 NAB Convention wrap-up was written by Kevin McNamara, who at the time was the chief engineer of WGAY-FM/WRC-AM in Washington. His review noted that digital storage prices were falling: disk storage was less than $1/megabyte and RAM cost less than $20/megabyte. Yes, we were talking megabytes at the time.
■ The talk of the convention was digital everything. A completely digital on-air chain was the buzz. Cascading encoding algorithms was a significant topic. Various uses of RBDS were proposed. And something called ISDN was still a new idea in many areas.
■ The Pick Hit Awards recognized the top 10 new products of the convention as selected by our panel of engineers (which included a young chief engineer in Cleveland named Chriss Scherer). A few of the winners: Gentner TS612, Moseley Starlink 9000, QEI Quick-Link, Henry Engineering StereoSwitch, Innovative Quality Software SAW Digital, and the Wheatstone A-6000.
■ In June 1994, all AM stations were required to comply with the NRSC-2 regulations. We outlined what the rules required and how a station could conform to them.
■ Digital cart machines -- those using floppy disks or Mini-discs as the media -- were starting to appear.
■ New products in the issue: Pacific Recorders and Engineering ADX DAW, AEV Exclusive FM on-air processor, Cutting Edge Unity AM on-air processor and Nautel NE50 digital FM exciter.