Radio Currents Online - Apr 28 - May 4, 2008
Apr 28, 2008 9:22 AM
FCC Updates Public and Broadcasting Manual
Washington, D.C. - Apr 24, 2008 - In its recent Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission concluded that the record in the localism proceeding (MB Docket No. 04-233) revealed a substantial need for greater public understanding of broadcaster obligations, and of the procedures by which the Commission enforces those obligations. The Commission expressed its desire to better educate members of the public about the tools available to them, should they believe that their local broadcast stations are not fulfilling their service obligations. To that end, the FCC directed the Media Bureau to update The Public and Broadcasting, a publication that all broadcasters must maintain in their public inspection files. The Commission also stated that it would establish a contact point within the agency for public inquiries about broadcast matters.
The updated manual is now available. It includes links to places on the FCC's website that offer additional relevant information as to the matters discussed, and it provides an overview of the FCC's regulation of broadcast radio and television licensees, describes how broadcast stations are authorized, and explains the various rules and policies relating to broadcast programming and operations with which stations must comply, including the obligation to serve their local communities. It also explains how members of the public can become involved in assessing whether local broadcast stations are complying with these requirements. The publication is also intended to make the public aware of FCC procedures and the tools at their disposal, in the event that they conclude that any of their local stations do not meet these responsibilities.
FCC Rules require all broadcast stations to keep a copy of the most recent version of the document in their public inspection files. Stations must also provide a copy of the document to any member of the public that requests one. Download the latest version at www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/decdoc/public_and_broadcasting.html.
In addition, two Broadcast Information Specialists, one in the Media Bureau's Audio Division and one in its Video Division, will serve as contact points for the public, accessible via toll-free telephone numbers, by fax or by e-mail. These individuals will be available to provide information to members of the public who may wish to become involved in the Commission's processes. They will answer questions about how to do so, including inquiries about our complaint or petitioning procedures or the filing and status of the license renewal, modification or assignment or transfer application for a particular station. The Broadcast Information Specialists can be contacted as noted below:
866-267-7202 (voice) or 877-479-1433 (TTY)
866-918-5777 (voice) or 866-787-6222 (TTY)
FCC Releases FM Allotment Finder Tool
Washington, D.C. - Apr 24, 2008 - The Federal Communications Commission directed its Media Bureau to develop a computer program to assist potential radio applicants in identifying suitable available commercial FM spectrum. This tool is now available at the FCC's Audio Division website, www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/allotmentfinder.html
The Allotment Channel Finder is designed to determine whether a Class A FM channel is available at a proposed transmitter site and whether a Class A station operating from this site would place a minimum field strength of 70dB� over the entire principal community to be served. As explained in more detail on the site, a successful search does not guarantee the availability of a channel at a specific location.
For additional information, contact Dale Bickel of the FCC Audio Division at 202-418-2700.
FCC to Give More Public Notice on Open Meeting Agenda Topics
Washington, D.C. - Apr 24, 2008 - Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin announced that topics selected for open meeting agendas will now formally be made public and posted on the Commission's website three weeks prior to the upcoming monthly meeting. This step is intended to enhance the openness and transparency of the Commission's processes and deliberations.
The Commission's practice has been to issue a public notice of the "Commission Meeting Agenda" one week before each meeting to announce the items that are scheduled for the agenda. The Commission will continue to issue the Commission Meeting Agenda at least one week before each meeting as a standard practice.
Senate Rejects FCC Media Ownership Rules
Washington - Apr 28, 2008 - The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce voted last week to invalidate a recently approved FCC rule that allows media companies to own a newspaper and a radio or TV station in the same market. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), the legislation's sponsor, said the measure is meant to combat "galloping concentration" in the media. Though the legislation has a good chance of passing Congress, President Bush has vowed to veto it.
The rule, which was passed in December by the FCC on a 3-2 party-line vote, allows a company to own a broadcast station and a newspaper in the same market as long as there are at least eight media outlets in the market. In addition, if the transaction involves a television station, it can't be one of the four largest stations in that market. Outside the top 20 markets, companies can apply for a rule waiver, but the applicant must prove that allowing the cross ownership will be in the public interest.
The Senate measure has 25 co-sponsors including both Democrat candidates for president, Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. "We must ensure that we have an open media market that represents diverse voices throughout the country," Obama said after the vote. "The rules promoting the public interest and diversity in media ownership are too important for the FCC to accept an agenda supported by the Washington special interests that I have fought against for more than a year."
Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) said it was clear the FCC rushed its process in making he rule before the Christmas holiday. "The agency rolled back its rules preventing media concentration, despite getting a cautionary light from the Congress that more public comment and more attention to localism and minority ownership was needed before barreling ahead," he said.
FCC chairman Martin told reporters after the vote that he was sensitive to the input of Congress, but said he thought it was "important to update our rules to reflect a changing media marketplace, and particularly the fact that the newspaper rule had not been changed since it was put in place in 1978 and the newspaper industry was in significant financial distress."
In addition to the Congressional action, the FCC's rule has been taken to court by both broadcasters and activists. The broadcasters argue the rules violate its constitutional rights, while the activists side with the views of the senators.
Lawo Acquires Majority Shareholding in Innovason
Rastatt, Germany, and Plougoumelen, France - Apr 28, 2008 - Lawo of Germany has acquired a majority shareholding in Innovason of France. The transaction terminates the receivership period for Innovason.
Innovason manufactures digital audio snakes and all-digital, live mixing consoles. Lawo develops, designs and manufactures mixing consoles and matrix systems for radio, TV and live use.
NPR's weekly series Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewaterbroadcasted the award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra in concert from the February 2008 Portland (Oregon) Jazz Festival. The program was produced in Neural-THX Surround Sound. Greater Media has chosen Axia Audio to provide a large-scale IP-Audio routing system for their Philadelphia cluster, home of legendary rocker WMMR and sister stations WMGK, WBEN, WJJZ and WPEN. Greater Media will use Axia gear to interface 63 remotely-located audio servers with over 400 concurrent audio streams to the on-air studios at their One Bala Plaza location. APT recently supplied the Polish Broadcast Service Provider, TP Emitel, with Worldnet Oslo and Worldnet Rio units for studio to transmitter links over E1. The units were supplied by APT's Polish distributor, ProfiAudio. Comrex Corporation's UK distributor, Vortext Communications, has signed a major equipment-supply deal with UK traffic and travel news provider Global Traffic Network to supply Comrex IP Audio Codecs and accessories. Each of GTN's affiliates within the UKRD group will be using a Comrex Access Voice over IP codec to receive its travel reports. India's SUN TV has standardized on Broadcast Electronic's Audio Vault digital media system for all 45 of its FM radio stations licensed to India. The studio automation systems are part of a larger acquisition of end-to-end BE studio and transmitter products supplied to SUN TV in the past year due to the expansion of FM privatization in India. Logitek reported Mosaic console system sales to WFAX-AM in Falls Church, VA; and Remora console systems to the University of Montana's KUFM as well as City Talk and Capital Radio London in the U.K. APT's Worldcast Eclipse units were recently used for a live link-up over ISDN to report from the Academy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles by Australia's Austereo Network. South Central Communications' top-ranked WJXA-FM and sister station WCJK-FM have ordered two 28-position Element consoles plus a complement of Microphone Nodes, Analog Line Nodes, AES/EBU Line Nodes, a Router Selector Node and Axia Pathfinder PC Router Control Software to be used in their main on-air studios. Several Mic Control + Headphone Selector panels were also ordered for studio guest positions. The order was placed through Broadcasters General Store. Pulse 87 FM in New York used the services of Future Media Design to design and build two news studios in preparation for a major format switch to a dance music station servicing the New York metropolitan area. The new studios and facility renovation were designed to accommodate live talent during critical day parts. To meet the stringent timelines, the new studios were assembled, wired and tested off site at the same time that existing facility renovations were being done.
Scheduall Expands Operations in LA, Canada and the UK
Hollywood, FL - To better service and respond to the increased demand for its enterprise resources management solutions, Scheduall today announced several key expansions in its global operations.
Scheduall has opened a West Coast office located in Los Angeles, which adds to its existing offices in Hollywood, FL, and London. This new Los Angeles facility will provide a local presence for sales, service and customer support to the broadcast, production and post-production communities.
The company has also increased headcounts in all areas of the operation including recent senior sales and professional service additions in Canada and the U.K. with a parallel focus on growth in the European and Middle Eastern markets.
APT Announces SIP Support on all Worldcast Codecs
Belfast - Apr 2008 - All APT IP audio codecs now fully support SIP and SDP protocols for maximum compatibility. SIP is a key element in ensuring interoperability between audio codecs from different manufacturers and enabling the negotiation of traffic across firewalls and external networks. With SIP and SDP on all Worldcast IP audio codecs and the Worldnet Oslo audio multiplexer, APT's product range is now fully compliant to the N/ACIP standard set out by the European Broadcast Union.
Cox Enterprises to Acquire Adify
Atlanta - Apr 29, 2008 - Cox TMI, a subsididary of Cox Enterprises, will acquire Adify Corporation. Adify will operate as a stand-alone company and will continue to be led by Russ Fradin, president and co-founder of Adify. Adify focuses on vertical online advertising. The company's technology and services allow media companies to build and operate targeted ad networks. More than 100 ad networks currently operate on Adify's technology platform.
Both companies expect to complete the transaction in May 2008.
Katz Radio Group Forms Digital Unit
New York - Apr 29, 2008 - The Katz Radio Group (KRG) formed a new division that will focus on expanding the company's digital efforts by offering national advertisers the ability to reach their target audiences through several different channels, including on-air, online, HD Radio and mobile. Called Katz 360 Sales, it will capitalize on Katz Radio's 2007 acquisition of Net Radio Sales by consolidating all of KRG's digital assets into a single unit. Brian Benedik, formerly the president of KRG's Christal Radio, was named president of Katz 360 Sales, which will be based in New York.
Along with Katz Net Radio Sales, which under the direction of Jennifer Lane sells streaming audio with all forms of interactive advertising, Katz has formed a number of relationships with online and mobile providers. Katz Mobile established a partnership with Hipcricket two years ago to work with traditional and interactive departments at agencies to customize mobile solutions for national advertisers. In coordination with multiple partners, Katz Database works with the advertising community on database and viral campaigns. KRG also has an exclusive national relationship with Ando Media to use its leading-edge Internet radio audience measurement tools.
Benedik has been President of Christal Radio since 2005. Before taking that role, he was the general sales manager of radio station Z-100 in New York. He also served as the midwest divisional vice president for Clear Channel radio sales and held a number of positions with KRG's Eastman Radio group.
Sirius and XM Extend Merger Agreement
Washington, DC, and New York - Apr 30, 2008 - XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have agreed to continue pursuing a merger. Specifically, based on the existing agreement, the two companies will not exercise their rights to terminate the Merger Agreement prior to May 15, 2008. Sirius and XM also announced that they have agreed to further extend the merger agreement, as necessary, for rolling two-week periods unless either side notifies the other of its intention not to extend.
The closing of the pending merger remains subject to the approval from the Federal Communications Commission and satisfaction of all other applicable conditions. On March 24, 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice informed Sirius and XM that it ended its investigation into the pending merger, that it has concluded that the merger is not anti-competitive, and that it will allow the transaction to proceed. Sirius and XM each obtained stockholder approval for the pending merger in November 2007.
Both companies have postponed their stockholder meetings, which were scheduled to be held in May 2008, until additional information about the pending merger can be obtained.
International Contract Assembly Group Acquires ATI
West Berlin, NJ - Apr 30, 2008 - International Contract Assembly Group, LLC (ICAG) has acquired Audio Technologies Inc. New funding and management provided by ICAG will allow ATI to modernize and expand its product line to better serve its target markets.
ICAG has named industry veteran Art Constantine to the position of vice president, sales and marketing. Constantine was formerly director of sales for both ATI and Day Sequerra. ATI introduced six new products at the NAB Show, and the company notes that it has more planned.
ICAG, a precision manufacturing facility, has long been a supplier of PC board assemblies and manufactured components for ATI. ICAG customers include Dell, General Dynamics, ITW and Kaiser Systems.
The company will continue to operate with sales based in New Jersey and manufacturing based in Arizona.
Local.com Provides Local Search Tech for Mediaspan Sites
Irvine, CA - May 1, 2008 - Local search engine provider Local.com has entered into a partnership with Mediaspan, a provider of digital content management and online marketing, to provide Local.com's Local Connect local search platform to more than 1,500 of Mediaspan's newspaper, TV and radio clients.
Local Connect enables regional media publishers to incorporate Local.com's local search technology into their websites via a customized, private-label local business directory platform. Local Connect also provides added revenue opportunities for websites by allowing them to integrate and enhance their own advertiser listings, as well as local and national sponsored listings from Local.com's network of advertisers.
Mediaspan will license Local.com's local search technology. Implementation on the sites will begin in 2Q2008.
Digidesign Pro Tools HD Now at BSW
Tacoma, WA - May 1, 2008 - Broadcast Supply Worldwide (BSW) has entered into a strategic alliance with Digidesign for the equipment seller to be the exclusive dealer for Pro Tools HD for the U.S. radio broadcast industry. BSW has several staff members who have extensive experience as Pro Tools HD users.
Brown Named Director of IT for Beasley Broadcast
Naples, FL - Apr 29, 2008 - Beasley Broadcast Group has appointed John Brown as director of information technology. Brown's responsibilities include overseeing the security of BBGI's network and interfacing with station personnel. He is located at the corporate office in Naples, FL, and reports to vice president of engineering and chief technology officer, Mike Cooney.
A Microsoft Certified Systems engineer, Brown came to BBGI from BBGI Las Vegas where he was IT manager. Previous to joining Beasley Broadcast, Brown was director of information technology for Mice North America, a tradeshow, marketing and events company. He began his career as part of the professional services team for FB&B Consulting in Phoenix after graduating from the University of Arizona with a BS in Industrial Engineering.
Allen & Heath Ships Zed 4-Bus Series
Agoura Hills, CA - Apr 28, 2008 - Allen & Heath is now shipping the Zed 4-Bus range of small format, USB-equipped mixers. The Zed 4 follows in the footsteps of the launch of the Zed-14 and Zed-24. The Zed 4-Bus series includes the Zed-420 (16 mono and two dual stereo channels), Zed-428 (24 mono and two stereo) and Zed-436 (32 channel and two stereo) mixers.
Similar to the smaller Zed-14, the 4-Bus series features the same Duo Pre pad-less preamp, which separately handles mic signals from line signals. The 4-Bus series includes a four-band (two swept-mids) EQ, six aux sends (two pre, two post, two pre/post), four sub groups, direct outputs on each mono channel, separate L, R and M main buses, 100mm faders, two matrix outputs, and a talkback facility to auxes or LRM.
The USB output can be configured to allow different signals to be sent to USB, from the LR master, the matrix or the aux busses, with the USB return signal available as a stereo return.
Audemat to Release Software v.1.5 for Goldeneagle HD
Bordeaux-Merignac, France - May 2, 2008 - Audemat announced before the 2008 NAB Show that its was releasing software v.1.5 for the Goldeneagle HD. Goldeneagle HD now includes modulation monitoring for AM frequencies in both real time and recorded measurements. Negative and positive AM modulation are measured. This information is available using the PC software or touch screen. Goldeneagle HD can also make a scan and detect all stations on teh AM band (analog or digital). The user can add frequencies to the list of stations to be monitored by clicking on the chart generated by the market scan. To perform these new functions, the existing units must have the spectrum analyzer option installed.
Version 1.5 also improves the effective resolution bandwidth of th espectrum analyzer to 1kHz. This is a major step in compliance with NRSC 5A measurement standard. Fixed and mobile markers are now available on the spectrum analyzer display.
Harris Introduces Host Audio Extraction Feature
Cincinnati - May 2, 2008 - At the 2008 NAB Show, Harris introduced a new feature to its Flexstar HDX-FM exciter. This Host Audio Extraction feature is an embedded audio extractor that allows broadcasteres to extract analog program audio out of the STL transport stream at the exciter and send it directly to the analog FM transmitter. The process eliminates the need for a separate analog-only audio path from the studio to transmitter, preserving bandwidth and reducing the costs and complexity of audio transport by encoding both the analog and HD Radio program streams within the same bitstream, and transporting each stream over a single STL connection to the transmission site.
DK-Technologies Debuts New 5.1 Audio Meter Software
Copenhagen, Denmark - May 2, 2008 - New 5.1 software upgrades for DK-Technologies' flagship MSD Series of high-end audio meters were showcased at the 2008 NAB Show. The new software includes Starfish display that literally allows users to see waht thye are hearing when listening in surround sound. Based on the company's Jellyfish display, Starfish displays an image of the acoustic audio levels as they are experienced by the listener. This information is given alongside those provided by Jellyfish, which shows audio levels supplied to the center, left/right and left/right rear speakers.
The new software also includes loudness measuring methods that provide new additions to the LEQ adn flat filtering methods already available in earlier versions. With this upgrade, engineers can now measure loudness according to the recently proposed ITU recommendations, as well as the widely used LEQ(a) used with Dialnorm for measuring dialog.
The software also allows for SMPTE timecode to be displayed directly on the main display and allows an integral matrix in the audio meter to determine the downmix of the surround sound signal to a stereo and a mono signal.
Logitek Adds Enhancements to TV and Radio Consoles
Houston, TX - May 2, 2008 - Logitek Electronic Systems has introduced a number of software enhancements to the company''s Audio Engine Router and its associated Artisan and Mosaic consoles.
For TV users, the company has announced Vtans, a flexible protocol translator that allows third-party devices to communicate with Logitek''s Audio Engine and Artisan control surface. Vtrans can be adapted to various protocols as needed. It is currently available for two specific protocols: Vtrans - Jupiter (for the Thomson-Grass Valley router control protocol) and Vtrans - D/ESAM (Graham-Patten Systems); a protocol for the Utah router is under development.
For radio and TV users, other software enhancements include support for 5.1 metering in the Vscreen software suite and the Vchange fader display pop-up utility, greatly enhanced trigger table sizes for automatic functions, and updated fader detail in Logitek''s Supervisor software to reflect enhanced Artisan control surface capabilities.
EYE ON IBOC
Iluv Enters HD Radio Marketplace
Port Washington, NY - Apr 30, 2008 - Iluv has introduced two new HD Radio units, the I168 and I169. The Iluv I169 HD Radio (shown here) unit with Ipod dock and dual alarm clock will be available early May 2008 with an MSRP of $169.99 and the I168 HD Radio with dual alarm clock will be available in mid April 2008 with an MSRP of $89.99. Both will be available through the company's website as well as JC Penny, Electronics Expo and J&R Music.
Both radios feature 30 programmable presets for radio stations (10 AM/20 FM). The HD Radio dock also plays and charges an Ipod.