BE Radio Currents Online - Feb 18 - Mar 03, 2002

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BE Radio Currents Online - Feb 18 - Mar 03, 2002

Mar 1, 2002 12:00 PM

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Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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DRM Celebrates Four Years

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Geneva - Feb 28, 2002 - The consortium Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) will celebrate the fourth anniversary of its inaugural meeting in Guangzhou, China, on March 5. DRM was formed when a small group of leading-edge media organizations and broadcast equipment manufacturers decided to collaborate to create a universal, digital system for the broadcasting bands below 30MHz - short-wave, medium-wave and long-wave. DRM has expanded into an international consortium of 72 of the world's best-known broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators and researchers. DRM's digital on-air system (also called DRM) will launch in 2003.

Since its inception, DRM has been led by Chairman Peter Senger, who is also the chief Engineere for Deutsche Welle. DRM reached several milestones toward its 2003 launch in the past year. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) approved its recommendation of the DRM system in April 2001. DRM unveiled mobile reception tours at IFA 2001, Germany's largest consumer electronics show, in Berlin last August. DRM introduced new equipment specially built for its system at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC 2001) in Amsterdam last September. Soon after, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) published the DRM system specification.

DRM audio samples can be heard online at

NAB Crystal Radio AwardsFinalists Announced

WASHINGTON D.C. - Mar 1, 2002 - Fifty finalists for the NAB Crystal Radio Awards competition were announced by the National Association of Broadcasters. Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round community service efforts.

The 2002 finalists are:

KABC, Los Angeles, CAWGNS, Murfreesboro, TNKBRK, Brookings, SDWHIZ, Zanesville, OHKDBM, Dillon, MTWHUR, Washington, DCKDTH, Dubuque, IAWIBC, Indianapolis, INKFDI, Wichita, KSWIL, St. Louis, MOKFOR, Lincoln, NEWIVK, Knoxville, TNKGBI, Omaha, NEWIZM, La Crosse, WIKIRO, Seattle, WAWJBC, Bloomington, ILKLOS, Los Angeles, CAWJON, St. Cloud, MNKNCO, Grass Valley, CAWLQT, Dayton, OHKOIT, San Francisco, CAWMAL, Washington, DCKOZT, Fort Bragg, CAWMIL, Milwaukee, WIKPAM, Portland, ORWNND, Chicago, ILKPRS, Kansas City, MOWQCS, Fort Pierce, FLKSL,� Salt Lake City, UTWRBZ, Raleigh, NCKSTP, Minneapolis, MNWRTH, St. Louis, MOKTCZ, Minneapolis, MNWRVR, Memphis, TNKUDL, Kansas City, MOWSSM, St. Louis, MOKWJJ, Portland, ORWTCB, Columbia, SCKXXS, Austin, TXWTMX, Chicago, ILWAJR, Morgantown, WVWTOP, Washington, DCWDSN, DuBois, PAWUPE, Pittsfield, MAWEBN, Cincinnati, OHWVRV, St. Louis, MOWEZN, Milford, CTWWKI, Kokomo, INWGN,� Chicago, ILWWZZ, Washington, DC

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms. Finalists will be honored and 10 Crystal Award winners will be announced during the Radio Luncheon at NAB2002 Tuesday, April 9, in Las Vegas. The luncheon will also feature speaker Keith Reinhard, chairman, DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc., and the induction of Dick Orkin, president, The Radio Ranch, into NAB's Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

FCC Seeks Comments on NCE LicenseAllocations

Washington, DC � Feb 25, 2002 � The Federal Communications Commission has requested comment from broadcasters on the matter of non-commercial educational (NCE) license allocation via a just released Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

In the FM band, channels 88.1MHz to 91.9MHz - effectively 20 channels - are reserved for NCE license. Historically, when a prospective non-commercial NCE license holder has applied for license on a channel outside of the reserved band or in a service where there is not a reserved band (i.e. AM radio), that party has had to compete under the same rules as a commercial entity. However, because of the differing nature of the applicants, The Commission was forced to use different comparative criteria to decide the license award. In the early 1990s, the U.S. Court of Appeals called the process "arbitrary and capricious, and therefore unlawful." Compounding the issue, The Budget Act of 1997 introduced several other issues that the Commission was unable to resolve, including whether it was completely prohibited from using competitive bidding to resolve such applications.

At that point, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider revising the criteria used to select among competing applicants for new NCE broadcast facilities, and in 2000 issued a Report & Order and rules on the issue. The Report stated that NCE stations could seek to reserve a new channel by meeting, but that if the NCE station could not meet the reduced criteria for doing so, they had to compete at auction with commercial stations for the channel. However, the Court of Appeals has rejected the Commission's new construction of section because "nothing in the Act authorizes the Commission to hold auctions for licenses issued to NCEs to operate in the unreserved spectrum."

In light of the Court's decision, the FCC now seeks comment on several points: (1) holding NCE entities ineligible for licenses for non-reserved channels and frequencies; (2) permitting NCE entities opportunities to acquire licenses for non-reserved channels and frequencies when there is no conflict with commercial entities; and (3) providing NCE entities opportunities to reserve additional channels in the Table of Allotments. A combination of the above options working in tandem is also a possibility, as are any others that are consistent with the Court's decision. The Commission also seeks comment upon "comment on the breadth of the statutory language that describes the entities that are exempt from auctions." Such language can be found in the full text of the Second Further Notice.

Interested parties may file comments on or before April 15, 2002, and reply comments on or before May 15, 2002.

Guide to FCC Rules for PublicRadio Now Online

San Francisco - Feb 26, 2002 � The National Federation of Community Broadcasters has gone a long way to ease the legal worries of non-commercial radio in the updated, online version of The Public Radio Legal Handbook: A Guide to FCC Rules and Regulations. The guide, scheduled for online release on April 8, 2002, will be available at at a cost of $45.

The Handbook is designed as both a reference for experienced staff and a guide for newcomers. Staff will not only get all the basics - saving on excessive legal fees - but, will also find out when the first course of action should be to call a lawyer. Handbook authors will update the Handbook within two weeks of the time any changes are implemented.

The Handbook's searchable format offers a wide variety of critical subjects, including:

  • Reporting requirements
  • Programming regulations
  • Operating requirements & Checklist
  • Copyright law and payments
  • Underwriting guidelines
  • IRS regulations
  • Spectrum considerations
  • Political broadcasting an indecency
  • Web issues

    Stations can subscribe on line at (Click on the "Legal Handbook" button.) Cost is $45/year for NFCB members and $70/year for non-members. The Handbook was revised and updated by John Crigler of the law firm Garvey, Schubert & Barer. The Public Radio Legal Handbook was funded through the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

FCC Amends EAS, Includes AmberInfo

Washington - Feb 26, 2002 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a Report and Order amending the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules. The Commission adopted several new EAS event and location codes (FIPS codes), which broadcast stations and cable systems may use to alert the public in the event of state and local emergencies, including a new Child Abduction Emergency event code which may be used to activate Amber Plans. The list of new codes follows.

The Amber Plan is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and the media used to alert the public of serious child abduction cases, where police believe that the child is in danger of bodily harm or death. Under the Amber Plan, radio and television stations interrupt programming to disseminate information concerning serious child abduction using the EAS. Adoption of the new Child Abduction Emergency event code responds to concerns that the current practice of using the Civil Emergency Message event code to activate AMBER alerts has resulted in confusion as to the intent of the alert. The revised EAS rules permit, but do not require, broadcast stations and cable systems to modify their existing EAS equipment so that the equipment is capable of receiving and transmitting the new event and location codes. However, new EAS equipment installed by broadcast stations and cable systems after February 1, 2004 must be able to receive and transmit the new codes.

The Report and Order also increases the time period within which Required Monthly Tests of the EAS must be retransmitted from 15 to 60 minutes. Further, it authorizes cable and wireless cable systems serving fewer than 5,000 subscribers to install an FCC-certified EAS decoder only, rather than both an encoder and decoder, if certified decoders become available by October 1, 2002. The order also exempts low power FM stations from the Commission requirement to install an FCC-certified decoder until one year after any such decoders are certified by the Commission. Meanwhile, broadcast satellite and repeater stations, which rebroadcast 100% of the programming of their hub station, will now be exempt from the requirement to install EAS equipment.

The action was taken by the Commission on February 22, 2002 by Report and Order (FCC 02-64).

Streaming Will Cost You

Washington - Feb 20, 2002 - The U.S. Copyright Office has made a ruling regarding the royalty costs radio stations must pay for streaming music online. The table below outlines the costs for stations, but the fees begin at $0.0007 per performance for songs and works retransmitted online.

Radio stations will also have to pay 9% of those total fees for what is called an Ephemeral License. This is to cover the shadow digital copy made when items are copied from one computer to another.

Radio stations and webcasters had argued for a rate of about $0.00015 per song, while record companies sought a rate of about $0.004. The deliberations to reach this final number came after six weeks of testimony from both sides late last summer.

"We would have preferred a higher rate. But in setting a rate that is about 10 times that proposed by the Webcasters, the panel clearly concluded that the Webcasters' proposal was unreasonably low and not credible," said Hilary Rosen, president of the Recording Industry Association of America. She added, "It is apparent to us, as it was to the Panel, that webcasters and broadcasters of every size will be able to afford these rates and build businesses on the Internet." In reality, the chosen rate is high enough that most radio stations will likely not stream their services at all.

Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Digital Media Association (DiMA), said, "We are extremely disappointed, however, that the panel's proposed rate is not significantly lower, as a lower rate would more accurately reflect the marketplace for music-performance rights and the uncertain business environment of the webcast industry," The DiMA plans to contest the rate through further comments to the Copyright Office. DiMA had offered to pay $0.15 per listener, per hour, to the labels and artists.

Eddie Fritts, president and CEO of the NAB said, "The ruling from the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel may have the effect of unintended consequences, in that many radio broadcasters may reevaluate their streaming strategies. If the powerful record company interests� goal was to strangle a fledgling new service to radio listeners, it may have succeeded beyond its own expectations."

Summary of Royalty Rates For Section 114(F)(2) And 112(E) Statutory Licences

Type of DMCA � Complaint Service Performance
Fee (per performance)
Ephemeral License Fee

1.) Webcaster:

(a) Simultaneous Internet retransmissions of over-the-air AM or FM radio broadcasts.
9% of Performance Fees Due
(b) All other Internet transmissions.
9% of Performance Fees Due

2.) Commercial Broadcaster:

(a) Simultaneous Internet retransmissions of over-the-air AM or FM radio broadcasts.
9% of Performance Fees Due
(b) All other Internet transmissions.
9% of Performance Fees Due

3.) Non-CPB, Non-commercial Broadcaster

(a) Simultaneous Internet retransmissions of over-the-air AM or FM broadcasts.
9% of Performance Fees Due
(b) Other Internet transmissions, including up to two side channels of programming consistent with the public broadcasting mission of the station.
9% of Performance Fees Due
(c) Transmissions on any other side channels.

4.) Business Establishment Service

For digital broadcast transmissions of sound recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. � 114(d)(1)(C)(iv)
Statutorily Exempt
10% of Gross Proceeds

5.) Minimum Fee

$500 per year for each licensee.


Computer Concepts TapsAudioscience

Newcastle, DE - Feb 27, 2002 - AudioScience, a specialist in digital audio peripherals for the broadcast and entertainment markets, and Computer Concepts Corporation (CCC) have reached an agreement for CCC to primarily use AudioScience audio cards in its radio station automation systems. CCC is one of the longest established radio system automation manufacturers in the world.

CCC cited that the selection was made based on Audioscience's reputation as being a company capable of adapting to changing technological conditions without abandoning what has been proven to be useful and reliable. The Audioscience line of sound cards will provide CCC with features and benefits without CCC having to completely rework its product line.

CCC will initially use the Audioscience ASI6114 PCI-bus sound cards in Maestro 3.2 on-air digital systems. The ASI6114 has four streams of MPEG Layer 2 or 3 mixed to four stereo analog and AES/EBU outputs at any sample rate coupled with one stream of MPEG layer 2 or 3 record.

With the introduction of the ASI6000 series, Audioscience was the first sound card supplier to meet CCC's requirements for system functionality.

Stardraw Appoints New PremierPartner in Belgium

London - Feb 25, 2002 - has appointed Prevost S.A. as the exclusive Premier Partner for Belgium and Luxembourg. With more than 50 years experience in the professional sound industry and exclusive distribution of 14 of the top lines in the pro audio and AV market, Prevost is well placed to make the maximum impact with Stardraw.

Stardraw specializes in the design, development and implementation of Internet-enabled software components and sales-design tools for specific vertical markets (including Stardraw Audio, Stardraw AV, Stardraw Lighting 2D and Stardraw Professional) Stardraw's corporate client base for custom software solutions includes Celestion, Clear-Com, Klark Teknik, Midas and Purple Voice.

Patriot Receives Type ApprovalFor Intelsat Antennas

Albion, MI - Feb 26, 2002 - At the Satellite 2002 tradeshow held in Washington, DC, in March, Patriot Antenna Systems, formerly Satellite Export and Engineering, a manufacturer of satellite ground station antennas, announced that it had received Standard Intelsat Type Approval for its new 1.2 and 1.0 meter Ku-band transmit/receive antennas. Patriot is the first company to receive Standard Intelsat Type Approvals for 1.2 meter metal antennas.

The 1.2-meter antenna has achieved Standard G and K-2 Intelsat Type Approval. The K-2 classification is dependent upon an appropriate low-noise block down converter (LNB) noise figure. The Patriot 1.2 meter metal antenna is the first to receive the Standard K-2 Intelsat Type Approval. The 1.0 meter metal antenna has received a Standard G Intelsat Type Approval.

During development of these products, Patriot made it a priority to implement customer requests for features and improvements not offered by existing manufacturers. The new antenna products will feature elevation and azimuth fine tuning capability for reduction of pointing errors during installation and reinforced steel arms that can accommodate up to 14 pounds of equipment mounted on the end of the feed-boom. This is one of the highest weight ratings in the industry for antennas of these sizes. In addition to the weight capacity, an additional 25 pounds can be supported under the boom at the back frame to accommodate radio equipment. Low-cost mounting brackets have been designed to allow customers a wide range of flexibility in choosing electronics to be used with the antennas. Patriot will leverage its 300,000 square foot facility to keep a large quantity of these antennas in stock for response to short lead-time projects, a concern also raised by customers.

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AEQ USA Opens New HQ in Florida

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Feb 22, 2002 - To improve its activities in the USA market, AEQ Broadcast Int'l Ltd has opened a new headquarters in the New Town Commerce Center near Ft. Lauderdale. AEQ has an expansion plan that will increase its USA technical and commercial services more than 100% during 2002. For the past two years, AEQ has been developing audio communications equipment specially developed for American broadcasters.

Some of these equipment offerings include the Eagle ISDN codec, the Swing portable codec, the Impact digital audio matrix and the Caddy AD/DA multiple converter.

Contact the new AEQ office:

4121 SW 47th Avenue - Suite 1303
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314 USA
Phone: 954-581-7999
Fax: 954-581-7733

Gepco NE Office Completes SuccessfulFirst Year

Nazareth, PA - Feb 20, 2002 - Gepco International Inc. has announced that its northeast U.S. office in Nazareth, PA has enjoyed a successful first year. The office is headed by Lewis Frisch.

Gepco established this office to improve the company's customer service to the northeast client base through face-to-face contact. Gepco stated that it has met this goal. The office has allowed Gepco to more quickly disseminate new product info, increase awareness of the special products and services offered by Gepco, improve communications between end users and Gepco so as to facilitate better products and services in the future, and provide more opportunities to make Gepco's specialized experience and expertise available to a wider range of clients.

Frisch began his career working at radio stations in the mid-1960s and was a studio owner and engineer in Atlanta from 1976 through 1987. He has also held several sales and management positions at pro audio dealerships, and he was a manufacturer's rep for Amek, Community, Ramsa, Mogami and Monster Cable. Frisch was also Amek's eastern regional sales manager from 1990 to 1994.

More recently, he was sales manager for Comprehensive Technical Group in Atlanta from 1994 to 2000, where he was involved in hundreds of installations for corporate clients, theme parks, post houses, the 1996 Olympics and personal studios for more than a dozen of the leading names in the music industry including LaFace Records, Jermaine Dupri, Usher, She'kspere, Daryl Simmons and Keith Sweat.

Gepco's main office is in Des Plaines, IL. The company also supports a branch office in Burbank, CA

Digidesign To Offer DUY Plug-ins

Daly City, CA - Feb 5, 2002 - Digidesign and Iris Multimedia S.L. have agreed to make Digidesign the distributor of DUY plug-ins for the Pro Tools and Pro Tools LE platforms. These plug-ins include a new addition to the DUY product line, the SynthSpider TDM plug-in.

DUY plug-ins are developed in Spain by Barcelona-based Iris Multimedia, S.L. The plug-ins to be offered exclusively for Pro Tools TDM systems include DSPider, REDspider and SynthSpider for creative sound generation options. Additional plug-ins that will be available in bundled packages include DUYshape, DaDValve, DaDtape, MaxDUY, DUYwide and the new Z-room reverb for RTAS.

Austria's Krone Hit Radio goes livewith APT

Belfast and Vienna � Feb 18, 2002 - Krone Hit Radio in Vienna has installed 24 APT NXL units throughout its new nationwide radio distribution chain. Krone Hit Radio is the first private radio station in Austria to broadcast nationwide.

The codecs were installed at different points on the network, helping to ensure secure satellite transmission over permanent digital links, program supply over a 2MB circuit and program supply to local transmission locations over permanent digital links including ISDN.


Wiley to Receive NAB DistinguishedService Award

Washington, DC - Mar 1, 2002 - Richard E. Wiley, senior partner at Wiley, Rein and Fielding, has been selected to receive the 2002 Distinguished Service Award presented by the National Association of Broadcasters. The award will be presented at the All-Industry Opening Ceremony, April 8 at NAB2002 in Las Vegas.

Each year, the NAB DSA award recognizes an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to U.S. broadcasting. Recent recipients of the DSA include Radio One founder and chairperson Catherine Hughes, Hearst Corp. President and CEO Frank Bennack and The Cox Family. Other recipients include Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and Bob Hope.

As a former Chairman, Commissioner and General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission (1970-77), Wiley was a leading force in the agency's initial efforts to foster increased competition and reduced regulation in the communications field. The Wiley, Rein & Fielding law firm is one of the largest communications practices in the United States.

Wiley also led the FCC's Advisory Committee and Advanced Television Services, which resulted in the government's adoption of the standard for digital and high definition television in the U.S.

Wiley has been recognized as one of the nation's "100 most influential" lawyers by The National Law Journal. He has been profiled in The New York Times ("Telecommunications' Ubiquitous Man of Influence"), The Los Angeles Times ("The Sixth Commissioner"), and The American Lawyer ("Brand Name of Communications Law"). In recognition of his nine-year service as Chairman of the FCC's Advisory Committee on Digital Television, he has received an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Wiley graduated with distinction from Northwestern (B.S. and J.D. degrees) and holds a Masters Degree in Law (LL.M.) from Georgetown. He has received distinguished alumnus awards from each University as well as Honorary Doctor of Laws from Catholic University.

NAB Announces 2002 EngineringAchievement Awards

Washington - Feb 15, 2002 � The National Association of Broadcasters announced the winners of its Engineering Achievement Awards. The awards, first established in 1959, are given to industry leaders for significant contributions that have advanced broadcast engineering. The award winners will be honored at the Technology Luncheon, Wednesday, April 10 at NAB2002 in Las Vegas.

Radio Engineering Achievement Award Winner
Paul C. Schafer
Schafer is president of Schafer International, Bonita, CA. A pioneer in early development of automation systems for radio stations, he founded Schaefer Electronics in 1953, Schafer International in 1969 and the Schafer Digital Project in 1986.

Involved in broadcasting for over 50 years, Schafer has been called the "father of automation" for radio broadcasting. Schafer designed and installed the first "automation system" at KGEE, Bakersfield, CA, in the mid-1950s. Subsequently, more than 1,000 Schafer Automation systems were installed in AM and FM radio stations all over the world. The Schafer Automation System was included in field tests conducted by NAB in 1955 designed to show the viability of unattended remote control for radio transmitters. As a result of the considerable data from these tests filed by the NAB in 1956, the FCC amended the rules in 1957 to permit the remote control of all radio transmitters. Schafer�s innovations and products have played an important role in keeping radio broadcasting a competitive and viable medium.

Television Engineering Achievement Award Winner
Bernard J. Lechner
Lechner is extensively involved in technical research of advanced television and display systems as a consultant to government and industry. He has been an active participant in the U.S. digital television standards development as a member and leader of working groups in the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service (ACATS), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).

An independent consultant since 1987, Lechner was formerly staff vice president, Advanced Video Systems for RCA Laboratories. His 30-year career at RCA covered all aspects of television and display research from early work on home video tape recorders in the late 1950s, development of flat-panel matrix displays in the 1960s, CCD broadcast cameras in the 1970s and then in the mid-1980s to HDTV. Lechner received the David Sarnoff Gold Medal Award from SMPTE in 1996 and in 2000 was the first winner of the ATSC Outstanding Contributor Award that is named in his honor. He holds ten U.S. patents and is widely published in the areas of displays and television systems.

Lechner is a fellow of the IEEE and SMPTE and in 1996 he was awarded the David Sarnoff Gold Medal by SMPTE for his many contributions to the technologies essential to today�s television systems.

Internet Watch

APW Launches New Website

Monon, IN - Feb 22, 2002 - APW Enclosure Products launched it's new website, The new site is dedicated to providing users with detailed and up-to-date information on APW and all of its products.

The new website has launched with over 300 pages of company, product and user support information. Besides easily found product information pages, the site contains an overview of APW, an easy-to-use contact form for requesting information on APW, a listing of it's national sales support team, up-to-date news on the latest products from APW and a section dedicated to supporting its nationwide network of distributors and sales team.

APW Enclosure Products offers a full line of cabinets, racks, cable race-way, wall products, camera enclosures and mounts to distributors worldwide specializing in the Data Communications, Audio/Video, Broadcast and Security markets. APW Enclosure Products is the proud manufacturers of PFT, Stantron and EMI products.