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Senate Committee Votes to ReverseFCC Ownership Decision
Washington - June 19, 2003 - Following the FCC's decision earlier
this month to relax ownership limits, the Senate Commerce Committee
approved legislation on June 19 that could restore the media ownership
restrictions. If adopted into law, the TV and newspaper restrictions
would return to their previous limits. The radio ownership limits,
which only saw changes in market definitions, would lose the
grandfather status that they currently enjoy and would be forced to
sell stations that exceed the limits. Clear Channel, Infinity, Cumulus
and Citadel are at risk of being affected by the decision.
The bill faces some opposition in the Senate and strong opposition in
the House. The NAB opposes the legislation, except for the TV ownership
limit, which it wants restored to 35 percent from the newly allowed 45
An amendment to the bill also seeks to modify the FCC's decision-making
process by requiring the agency to hold five public hearings in diverse
regions before it alters its media ownership rules. The FCC has been
heavily criticized for failing to consider public opinion on the issue.
The amendment also clarifies that the FCC can reregulate as well as
deregulate media ownership.
This is yet another chapter in what has been described as a soap opera
between the FCC and Congress. If the bill is passed, it will further
diminish the FCC's effectiveness by solidifying the action that
Congress will pass a law when it doesn't agree with the agency
decision. If the FCC is not effective in its role, the agency needs to
be reorganized and not micromanaged by Congress.
Arbitron Enhances PPM
New York - June 18, 2003 - Arbitron will enhance its Portable People
Meter (PPM) system to include the ability to distinguish between
in-home and out-of-home media exposure. The enhanced PPM system will
use radio frequency codes transmitted at very low levels by the PPM
household collector to determine if consumers are in their homes or
outside their homes when watching broadcast and cable TV or listening
Arbitron will also add two new features to the PPM, which are important
for the requirements of audience measurement in international markets.
The company will offer a wireless Global System for Mobile (GSM) modem,
in lieu of the existing landline modem, to accommodate the increasing
penetration of homes with only a wireless phone. In addition, Arbitron
will offer a portable recharger, which allows the PPM to store multiple
days of media exposure data.
All three new features will be integrated into the PPM system in early
New GIS Mapping and Error CheckAvailable for FCC ULS
Washington - June 16, 2003 - As part of an ongoing effort to improve
the Universal Licensing System, the ULS Geographic Information System
has been redesigned for ULS License Search queries. New mapping and
database software has improved the speed and reliability of obtaining
map information, and the user interface has been reconfigured to
enhance the user experience. Customers may also create maps from ULS
Application Search using the previous version of GIS; however, this
software is outdated and may produce inconsistent results. The new GIS
will be made available for ULS Application Search in a future phase of
the ULS redesign project.
The new ULS GIS enables users to map all the licenses found in a ULS
License search—up to a top limit of 3,000—by clicking the
Map Licenses link that appears at the top of the ULS License Search
Results screen. To map a single license, click the call sign of the
license on the License Search Results screen, then choose the Map
License link at the top of the next page, the License Detail screen.
For either option, GIS will generate an interactive geographical map
that illustrates the location of the license, displayed with their call
signs or market designators.
ULS users can also check errors before submitting an application. Check
Errors will verify that all required fields have been completed; check
that all dates, email addresses and alpha-numeric information has been
entered correctly; and identify other information that might cause the
application to be returned or dismissed for incomplete or incorrectly
entered responses. Errors will be displayed in a new window. Click the
return button in the error window to return to the application to make
corrections. Use Check Errors as often as necessary. When all errors
have been corrected, Check Errors will display a window that indicates
no errors were found.
Arbitron Releases PPM One-yearStatus Report
New York - June 17, 2003 - The Philadelphia market trials of
Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) have been active for one year.
The large-scale evaluation of the portable people meter (PPM),
consisting of a panel of 1,500 consumers aged six and up were equipped
with portable meters. The test has shown that media outlets can
successfully encode their signals to enable the PPM to automatically
detect audience exposure, and that the encoding and decoding technology
works as planned. Currently, nearly 90 media outlets are encoding their
signals for the Philadelphia market trial.
The panelist compliance results also show that consumers will continue
to wear the PPM over time, without evidence of fatigue. The attention
of media researchers is now turning to the practical matters as they
evaluate the sensibility of the ratings and how the updated ratings
method can help the media outlets business.
Arbitron has released a paper that compares and contrasts the PPM
ratings data to the results from the existing radio diary and TV
meter-diary methodologies in Philadelphia. The findings highlight the
specific advantages the PPM system offers for better understanding
actual audience behaviors.
The paper has been posted to the Radio magazine website and can
be viewed or downloaded by following this link.
NAB Radio Show has New Policyon Guest Passes
Washington - June 13, 2003 - The NAB has changed its policy in
issuing exhibit floor passes for the NAB Radio Show. At previous
conventions, an unlimited number of guest passes were issued through
exhibitors and trade publications. This year, each exhibitor will
receive only 10 passes for Thursday and 10 passes for Friday.
The convention is changing in response to the needs of the exhibitors.
One change is that the show floor is now being called the Radio
Exchange, and it will also host eight sessions on the exhibit floor in
two separate presentation areas. Holders of the day passes, called VIP
Passes, will have access to the exhibits and these exhibit-hall
A separate area will host the additional sessions, and only
full-convention registrants will be able to attend these sessions, as
at previous conventions.
For attendees, this means a little more advance planning is required.
Instead of finding a pass code at the last minute, attendees should
make plans earlier to obtain a VIP Pass if they expect to attend for no
cost. For larger groups that send many individuals, this will mean that
several exhibitors may need to be contacted to secure a sufficient
number of passes.
Some exhibitors have expressed concern over the change, saying that
this will further reduce the number of attendees. NAB disagrees.
According to the NAB, there were 650 guest-pass attendees at the 2002
Radio Show. The new policy provides 10 one-day passes for each day (20
total) to all the exhibitors. An individual is only allowed one pass
for the entire convention. If all the VIP Passes are used there could
be up to 1,400 attendees.
The actual number will likely be less because out-of-town attendees
will probably not fly into Philadelphia for a single day.
Under the old policy, anyone could complete a guest-pass registration.
Many registrants would then not attend the convention. The NAB cites
that at the 2002 Radio Show, one exhibitor was issued 100 guest passes,
of which only two were used by actual attendees. It is likely that
other exhibitors have similar stats.
According to the NAB, exhibitors have asked for ways to improve the
quality of the audience. The NAB has addressed this by holding some
sessions on the exhibit floor and by changing the guest pass policy.
NAB expects that this will result in more serious attendees who have
equipment and services purchase intentions.
The NAB Radio Show has seen a decline in attendance and exhibitors over
the past few years. Last year's attendance was 3,983. The 2001
attendance was 5,227. There were 112 exhibitors last year. There are 70
exhibitors this year. The NAB has not predicted 2003 attendance because
Philadelphia is a new city for the NAB Radio tour.
Rumors have circulated through the radio industry that the NAB would
like to end the Radio Show and completely roll it into the spring
convention. This idea presents a financial plus for the NAB, but
manufacturers and many attendees don't like the idea. The spring
convention is already so spread in focus that radio is almost an
afterthought now. The Radio Show provides a single focus on
This recent action may prove to backfire on the NAB and further reduce
SBE Certification Program AttainsRecognition
Washington - June 10, 2003 - The National Skills Standards Board
(NSSB) was formed in response to the large number of industry
certifications in the marketplace. NSSB Certification Recognition was
designed to help users of certifications navigate through the maze of
certifications by identifying those that meet high professional and
technical standards for quality assurance. To receive recognition, a
certification must undergo a comprehensive review to ensure that it
meets specific quality requirements.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers Program of Certification offers
several levels of certification for the broadcast industry. The program
began in 1975 as an industry response to the reduction in FCC operator
licensing. Since then, the program has grown to include a group of
sequential certifications that cover traditional broadcast engineering
skills and knowledge, as well as certifications for TV operators, radio
operators and broadcast computer networking technologists.
While the broadcast industry has long accepted SBE Certification as a
valid mark of an individual's skill, the SBE National Certification
Committee has sought approvals from outside the broadcast industry to
further the program's existing reputation.
On June 10, 2003, the NSSB granted its recognition of the following SBE
Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT)
Certified Broadcast Engineer (CBRE/CBTE)
Certified Senior Broadcast Engineer (CSRE/CSTE)
Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE)
Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT)
Certified Audio Engineer (CEA)
Certified Video Engineer (CEV)
Certified Television Operator (CTO)
"This achievement marks a significant peak for the Program of
Certification," said Chriss Scherer, CSRE CBNT, chairman of the SBE
National Certification Committee. "The SBE Certification Committee
members-current and past members alike-devote a great deal of time and
effort to the Program of Certification. This honor strengthens our
belief in our own efforts and takes SBE certification to a higher
standard of excellence."
Troy Pennington, CPBE CBNT, president of the SBE added, "I'm pleased
that the SBE Certification Committee has pursued and obtained this
important recognition for the various certification levels within the
Program of Certification. We're proud of the significance that SBE
certification holds in the broadcast industry, and this honor further
proves the value and significance that SBE certification
For more information on SBE certification, contact the Society of
Broadcast Engineers at 317-846-9000 or www.sbe.org.
Less Than One Week to Go forDRM Launch
Geneva - June 11, 2003 - During the International Telecommunications
Union’s (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 2003),
international, national and local broadcasters will simultaneously send
the world’s first live, daily Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
broadcasts toward Geneva and across the globe, on Monday evening, June
16, 2003. The non-proprietary, DRM system has received the broadest ITU
recommendation of any other digital radio system in the world. DRM uses
existing short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave frequencies and
bandwidth to provide near-FM quality sound.
participating broadcasters include the BBC World Service, Christian
Vision, Deutsche Welle, the Ministry of Information of the State of
Kuwait, Radio Canada International, Radio France Internationale, Radio
Netherlands, Radio Vaticana, the RTL Group, Swedish Radio
International, Voice of America, Voice of Russia and Wales Radio
International. Their DRM broadcasts will reach Europe, North America,
the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. Within Europe, national
broadcasters DeutschlandRadio and Radio France, plus local station
Georg-Simon-Ohm-Fachhochschule in Nuremberg, will showcase DRM
broadcasts on medium-wave/AM. Also participating in DRM’s debut
are Fraunhofer IIS, Nozema, TDF, Telenor/Norkring, Thales Broadcast
& Multimedia, T-Systems Media&Broadcast and VT Merlin
Coding Technologies GmbH has announced that production of a
second-generation, DRM-capable, world band receiver is underway for
distribution in late 2003. Further commercial DRM-capable receivers
should become available in stores within two to three years.
The DRM system was developed, tested and standardized by the DRM
Consortium over a period of five years. Founded in Guangzhou, China in
1998 and headquartered in Geneva, the consortium has expanded into a
group of 80 broadcasters, network operators, equipment manufacturers,
broadcasting unions, regulatory bodies and NGOs representing 29
DRM information and audio samples are available at www.drm.org.
Motorola, StratosAudio, HyundaiAutonet Collaborate on Interactive Radio
Austin, TX - Jun 23, 2003 - Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector
is pairing its Symphony digital radio chipset with capabilities from
other technology and manufacturing innovators to deliver an in-vehicle
interactive radio. StratosAudio, Motorola and Hyundai Autonet are
working to develop and demonstrate a competitively priced interactive
receiver and broadcast system with content identification and
one-button purchase capabilities by September 2003.
With the interactive Symphony digital radio, consumers can expect to
experience great digital-quality sound with enhanced home stereo
features in addition to identification, real-time response, purchase
and digital download of on-air events.
StratosAudio, an interactive broadcast radio service provider, gives
listeners a means to respond to on-air content – making purchases
and requesting more information at the press of a button. The
StratosAudio Broadcast Management Software (SABMS) is designed to
provide instant in-vehicle access to advertised discounts and premiums,
music information, listener voting, traffic alerts and more, with
follow-up via mobile phone and the Internet. This one-button capability
meets the demands of listeners, including the 62 percent who, according
to a 2001 Edison study, want to know the artist and title for every
song they hear on the radio.
"We are intrigued by the marriage of Motorola Symphony digital radio's
enhanced audio and StratosAudio's interactive services and look forward
to experimenting with those capabilities," said Jeff Littlejohn, senior
vice president of engineering, Clear Channel Radio.
StratosAudio’s SABMS is designed to extend the reach of digital
content to the vehicle. Listeners can respond while in transit or hours
later by reviewing on-air events cached in the radio’s memory.
They can buy music from major record label catalogs with hundreds of
thousands of digital tracks available. These tracks may be downloaded
to a PC and burned on a CD.
Launched last fall, the Symphony digital radio chipset was engineered
to deliver enhanced sound quality and signal reception for existing
analog broadcasts. Designed for home and automotive stereo systems,
Symphony digital radio is engineered to greatly improve the reception,
quality and reach of traditional AM/FM analog broadcasts.
From an investment perspective, the costs are minimal. An average
broadcaster may spend up to $3,000 (USD) to acquire an RBDS (radio data
system/radio broadcast data system) encoder. SABMS is designed to
deliver a real-time playlist data feed to the RBDS encoder for
identification of on-air content in addition to data population of the
station website, mobile devices and interactive Symphony digital radio
receivers. Broadcasters who participate in the promotion of
StratosAudio’s interactive services will receive a free SABMS
Based on Motorola’s 24-bit digital audio architecture, the
Symphony digital radio uses digital signal processors (DSP) to filter
and improve signal reception. The software architecture allows for
radio tuning, audio processing and data reception simultaneously on a
single processor and software thread. A description of the technology
behind the Symphony radio was detailed in the December 2002 issue of
Radio magazine. Read the article online by following this link.
Hyundai Autonet (HACO), a leading supplier of automotive electronics
and long time Motorola customer, is manufacturing the interactive
Symphony digital radios currently in development. StratosAudio and
Motorola anticipate conducting demonstrations of the in-vehicle
interactive services later this summer; receivers are scheduled to be
available for retailers in time for the 2003 holiday shopping season.
Consumer pricing for the radio is projected to be in line with current
radios on the market and receivers are expected to be available later
Motorola Symhpony radio
New Address for Murray Company
St. Louis - June 19, 2003 - The Murray Company, an integrated design
and construction services firm, will move into its new St. Louis
offices on June 20. The new address will be
1807 Park 270 Drive, Suite 460
St. Louis, MO 63146
The telephone and fax numbers remain the same.
The Overland Park, KS, office can still be reached at the same address
and phone number.
Intelix Announces TrainingSeminar Schedule
Middleton, WI - June 18, 2003 - Intelix has released its summer and
early fall Direct Connect Seminar Series schedule. The Direct Connect
Seminar Series provides free design and installation training for
Intelix audio/video matrix and mic/line mixing products.
Thursday, June 19 - Installing MARC Audio Room Combine Systems
Thursday, June 26 - Wiring Intelix Matrix Mixers
Thursday, July 3 - Psychologist Remote Monitor Mixers Overview
Thursday, July 10 - MARC Audio Room Combine Systems Overview
Thursday, July 17 - Installing MARC Audio Room Combine Systems
Thursday, July 24 - Wiring Intelix Matrix Mixers
Thursday, July 31 - AVM "Audio Leads Video" Matrix Audio Mixer/Video
Thursday, Aug 7 - Intelix Mic/Line Mixers Overview
Thursday, Aug14 - M-Series Audio Matrix Mixers Overview
Thursday, Aug 21 - MZP Multi-zone Paging and Program Distribution
Thursday, Aug 28 - Installing MZP Multi-zone Paging and Program
To participate, attendees need an Internet-ready computer and telephone
for the 45-minute session. A short quiz is also offered online.
To register or receive more information contact Dale Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-4-MATMIX or
Broadcast Electronics Scores Order fromClear Channel
Quincy, IL - June 10, 2003 - Clear Channel Communications has placed
an order for 69 Broadcast Electronics transmitters and exciters for
delivery during 2003. The master purchase order includes almost a dozen
each Broadcast Electronics AM-1A and AM-6A transmitters; 10 solid-state
1kW, 2kW and 5kW FM transmitters; 10 FXi-60 exciters; five IBOC FMi
transmitters; and 16 T-series single-tube FM transmitters ranging in
power level from 10kW to 60kW.
As part of this order, KIIS-FM and KOST-FM in Los Angeles, KYLD-FM and
KKSF-FM in San Francisco, and WDTW-FM in Detroit will convert to IBOC
by year-end using Broadcast Electronics low-powered FMi transmitters
and FXi 60/250 exciters.
The stations will use separate antennas under an STA or high-level
combine the signals in a common antenna. Both configurations take
advantage of lower-powered, lower-cost transmitters for the conversion.
Three of the five stations will use a Broadcast Electronics FMi 73 to
transmit up to a 300W digital signal, another will use a FMi 31 to
transmit up to a 150W signal, and the remaining station will use a FMi
201 to transmit up to a 875W digital signal.
Currently, Broadcast Electronics is the only broadcast manufacturer
producing IBOC-compatible, low-powered FM transmitters for outputs
Clear Channel also ordered FXi 60 250W direct-to-channel digital
exciters for the stations and FSi 10 signal generators to generate the
IBOC signal and provide GPS synchronization and delay matching of the
analog and digital paths for blending the two into one hybrid
Cox Radio Atlanta Chooses Harris forIBOC
Cincinnati - June 10, 2003 - Cox Radio has chosen Harris analog and
digital transmission equipment to take its five Atlanta-area stations
digital. Cox will use Harris Z HD and Z CD transmitters, and Harris
Dexstar digital exciters to provide IBOC capabilities to its WSB Radio
Group and to upgrade its current analog signals.
The new transmitters and Dexstars are being installed at WSB-FM 98.5,
WALR-FM 104.1, WBTS-FM 95.5, WFOX-FM 97.1 and WSB-AM 750.
Cox Radio is the third largest radio broadcasting company in the United
States, based on net revenues, and the largest pure-play radio station
group based on net revenues. Cox Radio operates, acquires and develops
radio stations primarily in markets ranked 10-70 based on revenues. Cox
owns, operates or provides sales and marketing services to 78 stations
(67 FM, 11 AM) in 18 markets and employs more than 2,300 people.
BSI Adds to Tech Team Again
Eugene, OR - June 11, 2003 - Broadcast Software International (BSI)
has added Vince Gamboa to its tech support team. Gamboa is fluent in
Spanish and English. He has strong technical skills as well, with
experience in network operation, system building and customer service.
Gamboa is currently working toward completion of a bachelor's degree in
BSI benefits from Gamboa's Spanish skills with the company's increasing
work with Spanish-speaking customers.
LightningcastProvides Insertion for AOL's Online Radio
Dulles, VA - June 18, 2003 - America Online (AOL) has incorporated
Lightningcast’s Media Thunder ad insertion technology into the
AOL Radio@Network. The Lightningcast system inserts audio and video ads
into online media.
The AOL Radio@Network encompasses Radio@AOL, Radio@AOL for Broadband,
Radio@Netscape and Spinner.com. The network offers more than 175 music,
news, sports, entertainment and seasonal stations, as well as celebrity
stations and terrestrial streams from several broadcasters.
TDM Data Releases EAScriber Update
Parker, CO - Jun 16, 2003 - TDM Data Solutions has released version
2.0 of the EAScriber Pro application, following a three-month beta
cycle intended to test recent improvements and verify new discrepancy
reporting functionality. The 60-day demo of the application is not yet
available for this version, but TDM plans to provide a downloadable
demo in July. Since May of 2001, radio and TV stations in more than 16
states supporting more than 100 stations have selected EAScriber Pro to
automate the EAS logging and reporting process. The software supports
Sage, TFT and Burk hardware.
EAScriber Pro installs on a PC and monitors EAS activity through the
serial ports included with most EAS receivers. Data is captured and
logged in a database. The software will also print hard copy
New functionality in version 2.0 includes more baud rate
configurations, discrepancy reporting for seven-day and 30-day test
delays, MSRP support for Sage ENDEC users, and TCP/IP support for
monitoring EAS activity over an existing LAN or WAN. More information
is available at www.tdmdatasolutions.com.
V-Soft Updates Terrain Database
Cedar Falls, IA - June 11, 2003 - V-Soft Communications has released
a new, more accurate 03 arc-second terrain database in an effort to
improve the existing United States Geological Survey (USGS) 03
arc-second terrain elevation database. The new 03 arc-second database
was derived from the latest release of the USGS National Elevation
Dataset 30 meter data, the most accurate terrain dataset currently
The old USGS 03 arc-second terrain dataset has numerous inaccuracies,
as it was digitized using individual topographical maps at a 1:250,000
scale. The new USGS NED 30 meter dataset was produced in a seamless
raster format with the most accurate terrain elevation information
available. V-Soft Communications’ implementation uses every tenth
point to create the most accurate 03 second terrain elevation database
to date. The improved quality of the 03 arc-second terrain elevation
database will improve the accuracy of FCC, Longley-Rice and path
Contact V-Soft at (319) 266-8402 or email@example.com.
Telos Finds New Supplier for MitelSupersets
Cleveland - June 9, 2003 - The Telos Direct Interface on-air
telephone system has been a popular choice for many stations. This
system routes calls for on-air use and includes a call-screener
capability by attaching a Mitel Supreset IV telephone to the system.
These phone sets, once a popular system on their own, have become
harder to obtain at an affordable cost as demand has decreased.
To address concern over the growing cost of finding replacement sets,
Telos has obtained a new supplier and has reduced the price it charges
for the Mitel Superset IV phones with the correct software. While
factory-new phone sets are no longer available, Telos can provide
professionally refurbished units that are programmed and checked for
proper operation with the Direct Interface.
The new supplier arrangement offers a replacement program where users
can trade old Mitel sets for new ones at a cost that is less than 1/3
of what was previously charged. Contact the support department at Telos
for more information.