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FCC Forms Approved and Availablefor Use
Washington - Sept 17, 2003 - The FCC's Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) has approved the reactivation of the following forms:
- FCC 301
Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station
(June 2002 Edition)
- FCC 314
Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station
Construction Permit or License (June 2002 Edition)
- FCC 315
Application for Consent to Transfer Control of Entity Holding
Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License (June 2002
The Commission has published a notice of the OMB’s approval of
these forms in the Federal Register. The forms are effective
immediately. They are now available and may be accessed through the
Media Bureau’s Consolidated Database System (CDBS) at www.fcc.gov/mb/elecfile.html. Electronic filing is
mandatory for these three forms.
FCC, State of Michigan ToAssess Effect of Towers on Birds
Washington, DC - Sept 17, 2003 - The FCC's Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau has signed a memorandum of agreement with the
State of Michigan and the FCC Enforcement Bureau. The agreement ensures
that in connection with the construction of the Michigan Public Safety
Communications System (MPSCS), the state will comply with requirements
under the FCC’s rules implementing the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The statewide
MPSCS includes 180 towers, which support communications for state and
local public safety agencies.
The agreement recognizes Michigan’s commitment to participate in
and facilitate an Avian Collision Study at selected towers in the
MPSCS. The Avian Study, which will be conducted over the next 2.5
years, will contribute to the understanding of the effects of
communications towers on birds protected by the ESA and migratory
The Avian Study was developed and designed collaboratively by
ornithologist Paul Kerlinger, of Curry and Kerlinger, and wildlife
biologist Al Manville, of the United States Forest and Wildlife Service
Division of Migratory Bird Management, and reviewed by volunteer
ornithological scientists with the assistance of the Ornithological
Council. The study is intended to systematically research the effect of
lighting, height and guy wires on avian collisions at selected towers
in the 350 to 500 foot height range in the MPSCS. The variety of types
and heights of towers within the system provides conditions that are
conducive to systematically measuring the effects of these variables.
Depending on funding and the ability to negotiate access, the Avian
Study may also be expanded to include some taller towers. The study is
designed to help identify reasonable and cost-effective measures that
might be available to minimize any impacts of the studied towers on
birds protected by the ESA and migratory birds.
This agreement promotes Chairman Powell’s action plan, announced
in May, to improve the Commission’s ability to protect valuable
historic and environmental resources, while at the same time
accelerating the process of developing necessary communications
infrastructure. Specifically, by providing empirical scientific
information on bird collisions with towers, the study will help the
Commission carry out its environmental responsibility in an efficient,
effective and streamlined manner. On Aug. 20, 2003, the Commission also
released a Notice of Inquiry to gather comment and information on the
impact that communications towers may have on migratory birds.
Copies of the Avian Study and agreement are available at the Wireless
Bureau’s website at wireless.fcc.gov/siting.
Senate Repeals Media OwnershipRules
Washington - Sept 16, 2003 - In a 55-40 vote, the Senate has
repealled the FCC's media ownership rules. The Senate voted to undo
changes to FCC regulations that govern ownership of newspapers,
television and radio stations. The FCC adopted new rules in June that
increased the number of local stations networks can own from 35 percent
of the national audience to 45 percent of the national audience.
The measure faces a battle in the U.S. House and the threat of a veto
by President Bush if it reaches his desk.
In response to the Senate's move, FCC Chairman Michael Powell said:
This resolution, if passed by the House and signed by the president,
would only muddy the media regulatory waters. It would bring no clarity
to media regulation, only chaos. It would create perverse results, such
as a return to looser radio rules permitting greater consolidation.
This is a harm the FCC’s new media rules were designed to avoid.
It would also reinstate ownership rules that were overturned by the
courts. Under the terms of the resolution, the FCC would be forbidden
from reissuing any substantially similar rules. In short the agency
would be powerless to cure the infirmities identified by the
What is most important is to have the best policies for the American
people. I hope the House will take a more considered view of the public
No Fee Waiver for BAS Updates in FCCULS
Indianapolis - Sept 10, 2003 - With the FCC rule change that
specifies that prior notification procedures, like those used for part
101 frequencies, will be used for Part 74 broadcast auxiliary services,
the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) issued the following memo to
its frequency coordinators. The memo was written by Chris Imlay,
general counsel for the SBE.
On June 2, 2003, the Society of Broadcast Engineers filed an
emergency request for waiver with the Office of the Managing Director
at FCC. The waiver, which would have been applicable to all Part 74
licensees, would waive the requirement of tendering filing fees for
certain Part 74 modification applications filed on FCC Form 601.
Specifically, the SBE request asked that Part 74 licensees be permitted
to file a form 601 application to modify their existing Part 74
Broadcast Auxiliary (BAS) licenses without tendering a fee, to the
extent that the modification applications provide information missing
from the Commission’s database. A filing fee would, under the
SBE’s proposal, have been necessary for an application filed in
order to correct erroneous information, or to otherwise modify an
existing Broadcast Auxiliary license. This waiver request was denied by
the Commission’s chief financial officer, Mark A. Reger, on
September 3, 2003. As a result, it is necessary for all Part 74
licensees to review and modify their Part 74 licenses to include any
missing information, including especially fixed receive sites,
immediately. To do so, FCC Form 601 must be filed and the normal
application fee of $120.00 must be tendered with each modification
The SBE had requested the waiver in order to encourage licensees to
improve the now substantially defective FCC database for Part 74
facilities, in anticipation of the new coordination procedures for Part
74 fixed facilities that are soon to go into effect. In ET Docket No.
01-75, the Commission released a Report and Order, FCC 02-298, on
November 13, 2002. That docket proceeding revised the Part 74 Broadcast
Auxiliary Service (BAS) rules to update them and to permit more
efficient technologies to be deployed in that Service. Among many other
things, the R and O created a specific, mandatory frequency
coordination system prior to licensing of new or modified BAS
facilities applicable to most fixed point-to-point Aural and TV BAS
facilities. The new prior coordination procedures were modeled after
the existing Part 101 procedures used for fixed microwave paths. The
procedures involve both standard coordination processes and a prior
notification procedure for co-channel and adjacent channel licensees in
nearby geographic areas. This process obviously presumes a valid and
current database that would be used by the Part 74 coordinators.
After the release of the ET Docket 01-75 R&O, the Commission
granted an SBE request for temporary stay of the effective date of the
new prior coordination procedures for fixed BAS facilities. The SBE
asked for additional time to allow BAS licensees to provide and correct
BAS receive site information in the licensing database (ULS) to ensure
that the new procedures effectively avert interference to existing
systems. Though the SBE had asked that a stay be granted for a period
of one year, the Commission granted this stay for a period of only six
months, on April 15, 2003. The stay terminates October 16, 2003, unless
The SBE argued to the FCC that for historic reasons, principally the
fact that the old FCC form 313 did not require information such as
receive site coordinates, for example, the database now does not
include such information for a significant percentage of existing
stations. Furthermore, because there was a disconnect between broadcast
license assignments under Part 73 and the Part 74 database, the Part 74
database was, and remains, substantially corrupted. While the new FCC
Form 601 solves most of the missing information problem for newer
facilities, the database remains corrupted by inaccurate, outdated and
missing information. While the Commission staff has on recent occasion
called for correction of database information by licensees, some
information required to accurately conduct the new prior notification
procedures and updated coordination processes is simply missing. The
SBE argued that it would be unfair to subject BAS licensees to an
inaccurate and incomplete database, because prior coordination efforts
for new facilities would fail and result in interference. Incumbent
licensees have had existing fixed studio-to-transmitter links and other
BAS fixed facilities in place for many years and provided all
information required at all relevant times to keep their license
information up to date, but simply weren’t required to, and did
not, provide certain information now critical. A bad database is also
unfair to new applicants who go through the process of applying for a
new fixed BAS facility, only to find that there are existing receive
sites which will suffer harmful interference because they were not in
the database, precluding the coordinated new facility.
Because there must be an incentive to licensees to correct the
database, and because the missing information and the bad database is
not the fault of the Part 74 licensee, but rather the legacy of FCC
forms and database management, the fee waiver appeared entirely
appropriate to the SBE.
The FCC’s number crunchers, however, taking an unusually
unsympathetic tone, said that waivers should be requested for each
individual station, not on a blanket basis. In any case, they said,
waivers are not granted liberally, but only for extraordinary and
compelling circumstances. Obtaining an accurate database is not such a
circumstance, they said. FCC indicated that the six-month stay on the
effective date of the new, prior coordination procedures, was
sufficient accommodation to allow licensees to correct the database,
and therefore the fee waiver was not shown to be in the public
Where do we go from here? The stay on the effective date of the new
Part 74 prior coordination rules for fixed BAS facilities expires
October 16, 2003. The SBE intends to request an additional period of 6
months before the new Part 74 prior coordination procedures for fixed
BAS facilities goes into effect. In the meantime, licensees should
immediately check their Part 74 licenses and add any missing data, such
as receive locations and information that might not have been provided
in the past using the old FCC Form 313.
Rohn Tower Files for Bankruptcy
Peoria, IL - Sept 16, 2003 - Rohn Industries, a provider of towers
to the telecommunications industry, announced that the company and five
of its direct and indirect subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions
for Chapter 11 relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Indiana. The company also announced that,
concurrent with the Chapter 11 filing, it has entered into a $9.5
million debtor-in-possession line of credit with the lenders that are
party to the company's amended and restated credit agreement, subject
to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court, which will include funds that
will be rolled forward from the company's current credit
Subject to the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, the company remains
in possession of its assets and properties, and continues to operate
its business. Rohn said that the objective of the Chapter 11 proceeding
is to maximize recovery to creditors by facilitating an orderly sale of
assets. Rohn is currently in discussions with an unrelated third party
regarding a proposed sale of the assets of the company.
On the filing of the bankruptcy petition, Stephen Gorman and Jordan
Roderick each have resigned from the company's Board of Directors.
Currently, Horace Ward, the chief executive officer of the company, is
the only remaining director.
Omnirax Focuses on Broadcast
Sausalito, CA - Sept 16, 2003 - Omnirax, a manufacturer of pro audio
studio furniture for more than 15 years, has expanded its line to
include models designed specifically for the broadcast industry.
Omnirax has provided furniture for radio and TV stations across the
United States in the past, but the new commitment to broadcast comes on
the heels of an arrangement to develop and provide the broadcast
furniture for a large group moving to a new radio broadcast center in
Los Angeles. The name of the broadcaster will be announced at a later
Contact Omnirax at 800-332-3393, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.omnirax.com.
Yes Networks to License Data fromMediaguide
Berwyn, PA - Sept 16, 2003 - Yes Networks will integrate data
licensed from Mediaguide for the company's Yes service, which allows
consumers to learn about songs they hear on radio and TV stations, and
buy associated products at Amazon.com and Ebay. No terms of the deal
Mediaguide creates a unique set of identifiers, or a "fingerprint," of
a song or advertisement, and uses this fingerprint template to monitor
content across its network. Mediaguide's data will enable Yes listeners
to view real-time information on a particular song or artist that is
playing on a radio station, before purchasing music. Yes Networks and
Mediaguide will work together to deliver accurate, timely, and
definitive information on music, whether transmitted through analog and
digital terrestrial broadcast radio, Internet or wireless networks, so
that consumers can access information on what they want to buy or what
has been purchased.
Mediaguide currently monitors more than 2,200 radio stations in the
United States in more than 200 markets. The database is comprised of
millions of tracks. Mediaguide automatically compares content to its
database and, for new or unknown content, and can compare against
similar registered works. The company's proprietary technology, which
was originally developed by Connexus, has been tested for several years
within the music industry and has been designed as a plug-and-play
network that can scale flexibly to monitor limitless numbers of
stations, providing cost benefits to customers.
Multichannel DAB Tests in UK
Amsterdam, IBC2003 - Sept 12, 2003 - Microsoft, Capital Radio, NTL
Broadcast and Radioscape have partnered to test 5.1-channel surround
sound with digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in the United Kingdom. The
trial will involve live Internet Protocol (IP) datacasting of Microsoft
Windows Media Audio 9 Professional (WMA Pro) 5.1-channel content over
L-Band in the central London area starting October 2003. The trial is
expected to last for about six months.
Capital Radio will provide the surround-sound content. NTL Broadcast's
special DAB trial multiplex will transmit the material, which is
expected to be able to be received throughout the central London area.
WMA Pro can deliver 5.1-channel surround sound at bit-rates as low as
128kb/s. The audio data will be streamed from a Windows Server 2003 and
then broadcast via the DAB transport stream.
Two Radioscape DAB receiver designs that deliver 5.1-channel audio DAB
data streams are currently in commercial production. These designs
include Modular Technology's L-Band DAB PCI card and the Gyro-1112 DAB
receiver module from Gyro Signal Technology, both of which interface
with a PC for the final stage of the 5.1 audio decoding.
Harris Conducts DRM Tests inChina
IBC 2003, Amsterdam - Sept 12, 2003 - Harris has conducted China's
first over-the-air Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) digital audio
broadcasting demonstration on the medium-wave broadcast band. The
demonstration, conducted in late August at the SARFT transmitter site
outside of Beijing, showed that Harris DX Medium Wave radio transmitter
systems can be converted quickly, easily and cost-effectively.
According to Don Spragg, director of high-power radio and programs for
Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications Division, a Harris DX200,
200kW transmitter was prepared for DRM transmission in less than an
hour for an extended over-the-air DRM broadcast. "The testing purpose
was two fold: to assist SARFT with the first MW DRM demonstration in
China; and to prove that Harris' DX line of 10kW through 2,000kW
transmitters operating in the field are DRM ready."
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Professional Audio Design AppointsWalsh
Rockland, MA - Sept 12, 2003 - Professional Audio Design (PAD) has
appointed Chris Walsh as the company’s new director of West Coast
Walsh graduated from the Institute of Audio Research’s one-year
program and immediately landed engineering jobs at several major record
labels, including Elektra/Asylum Records and 20th Century Records. From
there, he migrated to Warner Brothers Publishing, where he was in
charge of studio operations and engineering.
His sales career began with Studio Maintenance, where he sold and
installed large audio consoles. He was the studio manager and staff
engineer for Yo-Dad Productions, general manager for The Guitar Center
overseeing several retail outlets, and he was the vice president of
sales and marketing for Martinsound. prior to joining PAD, Walsh served
as the sales manager for Studio Products for Tannoy North America and
as a product manager for DPA Microphones.
Lowery Joins RF Specialties
Mukilteo, WA - Sept 16, 2003 - Walt Lowery will be joining the
Seattle-based office of RF Specialties as a transmitter specialist.
Lowery will work with Bill Newbrough and Matt Meaney selling Nautel,
Crown and Continental transmitters in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho
Lowery has sold broadcast equipment in the Pacific Northwest since
1985. He is also known to many broadcasters from his years of service
at Gentner Electronics, Symetrix and Allied Broadcast Equipment. He
most recently was regional sales manager in the Northwest for Harris,
achieving the VIP Quota Club and General Manager’s Pinnacle
Among his career highlights, he was responsible for development of the
Gentner Teleswitch, the Symetrix 610 Broadcast Delay and the Symetrix
628 Digital Voice Processor. He is a contributing author to the
seventh, eighth and ninth issues of the NAB Engineering
Prior to entering the equipment sales field, Lowery was the chief
engineer for WRAR-AM/FM, WMYK-FM and WZAM-AM in his home state of
Lowery can be contacted at 425-210-9196 or email@example.com.
Bisset joins DielectricCommunications
Raymond, ME - Sept 15, 2003 - Dielectric Communications has
appointed John Bisset as the regional sales manager of radio products
for the northeastern states, effective Sept. 29.
Bisset comes to Dielectric from Harris Corporation’s broadcast
division where he served as district sales manager. Previously, he was
with Multiphase and Delta Electronics and has held engineering
positions at several major market radio stations.
Bisset is also a regular presenter at industry conventions.
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Digidesign Offers Free Pro ToolsUpdate
Daly City, CA - Sept 16, 2003 - Digidesign has unveiled Pro Tools LE
6.1.1 software, a free, cross-platform update featuring an overhauled
low-level driver architecture, and an open-hardware platform for users
of third-party software products. The software update and stand-alone
driver installers are available to Pro Tools 6.1 software owners via
download from the Digidesign website at www.digidesign.com.
The update offers improved system stability and performance when using
audio and MIDI I/O on Digi 001 and Digi 002/Digi 002 Rack systems. Pro
Tools LE 6.1.1 also provides other enhancements, such as Core Audio
driver support for Digi 002/Digi 002 Rack, new stand-alone installers
for Core Audio, ASIO and WAV drivers that can be used without having to
install Pro Tools and Windows Media 9 export on Windows XP-based
Tascam Ships FW-1884
Montebello, CA - Sept 12, 2003 - Tascam’s FW-1884 DAW control
surface and audio/MIDI interface is now shipping. Designed by Tascam
and Frontier Design Group, the FW-1884 uses the Firewire high-speed
data transfer protocol and features an 18-channel audio interface,
eight mic preamps, 4x4 MIDI interface and flexible editing and mixing
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