BE Radio Currents Online - Feb 04 - Feb 17, 2002

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BE Radio Currents Online - Feb 04 - Feb 17, 2002

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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| Business | People | Internet Watch


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 artists.

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 equipment.

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 Opitmod-DAB 6200.

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 This is the start of Orban/CRL's radio and Internet programming efforts. More shows will be produced and distributed in upcoming months.

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 disclosed.

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 future clients.

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

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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 key acquisitions.

  • 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 productions.

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

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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 customers.

APT Appoints Sales Manager ForAsia

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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 company.

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 the company.

Picotte joins Sweetwater with an audio production background as a ProTools engineer with a BS in media production and new technology.

Extron Promotes Hall

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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

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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 Africa.

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 General Manager.

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 initiatives.

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 business.

Symetrix/Lucid Names LatimerDirector of Sales

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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

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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 design.

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 Secretary.

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 systems.

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.

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