Radio Currents Online - Aug 4 - Aug 10, 2008

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Radio Currents Online - Aug 4 - Aug 10, 2008

Aug 4, 2008 9:00 AM


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SBE Announces National Award Winners
Indianapolis, IN. - Aug 4, 2008 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers has announced the winners of its 2007 National Awards. The winners will be recognized at the Society's National Awards Dinner on Oct. 15, 2008, in Madison, WI. The event is part of the annual SBE National Meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic, sponsored by Chapter 24 Madison and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, held at the Marriott Madison West Hotel.

"One of the important responsibilities of the Society is recognizing and rewarding excellence in broadcast engineering. These great engineers and Society chapters demonstrate the qualities indicative of our membership. We look forward to celebrating their achievement at our national meeting in Madison," said Society of Broadcast Engineers President Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT.

The winner of the SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year Award is Cris Alexander, CPBE AMD DRB. Alexander has been a member of the SBE since October 1985. Alexander began his broadcasting career in 1976 working for KWAS. He graduated from CIE in December 1978. For the past 24 years, he's worked for Crawford Broadcasting Company, where he is currently the director of engineering. Over the years, Alexander has designed and built studio and transmitter sites from the ground up. Alexander is known for being an effective teacher. As chairman of the SBE Education Committee, he has initiated several new ways of training the next generation of engineers, including online courses.

Recipients of the SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year Award are recognized for making significant contributions to the field of broadcast engineering and for furthering the goals and objectives of the Society. They must be members of the Society and are nominated by their peers.

The 2007 SBE Educator of the Year Award will be presented to William Hayes. Hayes has been the driving force behind the very successful annual Iowa Public Television Symposium. Hayes has been the director of engineering and technology at Iowa Public Television since 1999. He started his broadcasting career in 1973 and received his bachelor's degree in communications from Loyola University in 1977. He is currently responsible for the planning and development of all technology projects at Iowa Public Television including RF transmission facilities and studio origination facilities.

The 2007 SBE Technology Award will be presented to Daniel Slentz and Zanesville, OH, stations WHIZ-TV/DTV/FM/AM. They are being recognized for adapting both consumer and information technology into the broadcast world by using wireless broadband gear along with consumer streaming technology, giving them the ability to create live TV broadcasts for a fraction of the traditional microwave equipment cost.

The award for Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE Member goes to Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD, for his article, Performance Evaluation which appeared in Radio magazine in December 2007.

Local SBE chapters have also earned awards based on their own achievements. Some categories recognize two chapters, based on their size. Class A represents those chapters whose membership is less than the national median while Class B are those chapters that have membership greater than the national median.

Best Chapter Website: Chapter 54 - Hampton Roads, VA; Best Regional Conference: Chapter 22 - Central New York, NY; Best Chapter Newsletter: Chapter 70 - NE Ohio; Best Frequency Coordination: Dennis Orcutt Chapter 85 - Oklahoma City OK; Most Interactive Chapter: Atlanta, Georgia Chapter 5; Most Certified: A) Chapter 126 Saipan; B) Chapter 131 Inland Empire; Most Growth: A) Chapter 132 Ft. Meade, MD; B) Chapter 16, Seattle, WA; Highest Member Attendance: A) Chapter 51 Tri Cities; B) Chapter 24 Madison, WI.

The SBE National Awards Committee was chaired by board member Larry J. Wilkins, CPBE AMD CBNT of Chapter 118, Montgomery, AL. Members of the 2007 committee are Terry Baun, CPBE AMD CBNT; Keith M. Kintner, CPBE CBNT; and Troy Pennington, CSRE CBNT.

FEMA Announces Intention to Adopt CAP
Washington - Jul 30, 2008 - The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced its intention to adopt an alerting protocol in line with the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) 1.1 as the standard for the Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System (IPAWS). The plan is to adopt the protocol during the first quarter of calendar year 2009.

The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is a network of alert systems through which FEMA is upgrading the existing Emergency Alert System (EAS). CAP 1.1 is a format for exchanging emergency alerts allowing a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems. Participants in the EAS, including broadcasters and state and local emergency managers, will be required to be in compliance with CAP 1.1 standard within 180 days of its formal adoption by FEMA.

FEMA's partners in developing CAP profiles include the National Weather Service, Federal Communications Commission, the DHS/Science and Technology Directorate's Command, Control and Interoperability Division; Emergency Interoperability Consortium; Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards; and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

The 180-day window is a known factor to broadcasters, but that window does not open until FEMA adopts a protocol. The announcement has little concrete meaning other than to serve as a warning that the clock will begin ticking in the first quarter of 2009.

Radio magazine talked to Jerry Lebow of Sage Alerting systems about the announcement, and Lebow warns broadcasters not to wait until the last minute to order and install the required updated equipment. Lebow noted that in 1996 when EAS was adopted that broadcasters had a similar 180-day window to comply. Sage and other EAS equipment manufacturers received the bulk of their equipment orders in the final weeks of that window, and many stations had to apply for compliance waivers because units were not yet available.

House Legislation Could Overhaul FCC
Washington - Aug 4, 2008 - Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would overhaul the FCC, making it more transparent and accountable to the public. Barton is the former chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and now its ranking member. The FCC's operations and chairman Kevin Martin's leadership have been under investigation by the committee. It began after Martin pushed through new media ownership rules just before the 2007 Christmas holiday.

The legislation is called the FCC Procedural Reform for Openness and Clarity Encouraging Sensible Solutions Act. Among its provisions would be to offer the public at least 60 days to respond to proposed rule changes, modifications, or deletions. After that, the FCC would have to take at least 30 more days to consider the changes.

The bill would also require that all FCC commissioners have sufficient time to review the specific language or any changes to the language of any proposal. The goal of the legislation is to promote decision-making transparency, encourage public comment, and improve decision-making and general workflow.

AES Posts 125th Convention Events Calendar
San Francisco - Aug 5, 2008 - The 125th AES Convention Committee has posted a calendar of events for the convention. The schedule includes program titles and abstracts, participant names and drop-down boxes of additional information.

The convention will be held Oct. 2-5 in the San Francisco Moscone Center.

FCC to Test White Spaces Devices at Fedex Field
Washington, DC - Aug 6, 2008 - Prototype white spaces devices will be tested by FCC engineers on Aug. 9 at Fedex Field just outside Washington, DC, at a preseason exhibition game between the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills. Starting at 10 a.m. and continuing through 8p.m., the period of observation and analysis will assess the ability of the proposed devices to detect the presence of TV signals, wireless microphones and other existing wireless technologies.

Microphone manufacturer Shure helped develop the FCC's test standards and arranged to use the football game as a test location. Prototype technologies intended for possible use in the white spaces are being submitted by electronics manufacturer Philips and Singapore's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R).

The proposed devices will be subjected to receiving tests only. According to plans envisioned by proponents of the new proposed devices, after the technology is able to sense an occupied frequency it should then be capable of moving away from that channel to an open one without causing any interference. Conversely, if one of the proposed devices is in use on an unoccupied channel and senses that a wireless microphone or other existing device is attempting to use the same frequency, it would automatically move away from that one and on to another open frequency.

One of the issues encountered in laboratory testing was that sometimes the devices detected a channel was in use when it actually was not (a false positive), and not in use when it was (a false negative). For the test, the FCC will begin by testing the devices with all wireless microphones switched off, then move to tests with them switched on.

The next field test will be held on Broadway in New York City at the Majestic Theater during the week of Aug. 11.


Axia hosts IP University at TAB
Austin, TX - Aug 1, 2008 - Axia Audio will present its IP University in Austin, TX, on Aug. 6, 2008 during the Texas Association of Broadcasters conference. IP University, presented by Ken Skok of Axia Audio, discusses the details of IP audio networks in for planning and implementation in a radio station.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Renaissance Austin Hotel; 9721 Arboretum Blvd.; Austin, TX. A light lunch will be served. For more information or to reserve space, contact Ken Skok at or 216-241-7225.

Prism Sound Completes Acquisition of Sadie Offices
Cambridge, UK - Aug 5, 2008 - Following its acquisition of the Sadie brand, Prism Sound has completed its purchase of Sadie's former headquarters, where it is now consolidating its entire operation.

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Prism Sound has moved into this old school house, the facility where Sadie has resided for a number of years.

Based in the Cambridgeshire village of Stretham, the Old School House began life as a Victorian village school, but in recent years it has been transformed into an award-winning building, specifically designed to meet the needs of a modern high-tech organization while retaining much of its original character.

The Old School House has a fully equipped demo facility where customers can test Prism Sound and Sadie products. It also houses offices and R&D facilities for both brands.

When Prism Sound acquired Sadie, the company also began negotiations to buy the Old School House. Prism Sound will close its Cowley Road offices within the next few months. All the staff have moved to Stretham and can be contacted there.

The Sadie phone number now works for Prism Sound as well: +44 1353 648888.

Sales Call Hipcricket has renewed and expanded its partnership with Katz Media Group. The two-year relationship now includes Katz Media''s Clear Channel Radio Sales division. Tieline Technology Commander and I-Mix audio codecs are being used to broadcast live from the Olympic Games in Beijing. The BBC, NBC, Fox News, NPR, Corus Radio and various People's Broadcasting Stations throughout China are among the various users. Hitradio MS One, comprising two FM stations in Ulm and Oldenburg, Germany, is using Barix Instreamer 100 and Exstreamer 100 units to distribute FM programming from its broadcast studios to the transmission facilities for each station. The stations use the audio-over-IP devices to backup their main STLs. The Exstreamer 100 devices at the radio towers are outfitted with USB sticks to provide local programming in case the IP link fails.


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Russ Berger Elected President of National Council of Acoustical Consultants
Dallas, TX - Aug 4, 2008 - Russ Berger, president of Russ Berger Design Group, has recently been elected president of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants (NCAC). He begins a two-year term as president following a long history of board participation and membership. Berger's duties will include supervising all affairs of the council as well as serving as an ambassador for the consulting profession.

The NCAC is an international organization committed to supporting the acoustical profession and promoting the applied science of acoustics that deals with issues in real-world settings. It supports member growth through peer interaction and by positioning itself as a resource to the public to help match the appropriate consultant to each project. Membership requires that the firm principals who practice acoustical consulting must be full members of either the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) or the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE). Other membership criteria include references from professional peers, demonstrated experience, and adherence to a strong Canon of Ethics supporting the highest standards of business practice, technical consulting and client service.

One of Berger's priorities as president is educating those new to the industry. Berger has many established relationships with university communities, holds board positions at higher education institutions, and regularly speaks at schools and professional organizations.

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Mullinack Joins Wheatstone as Director of Marketing
New Bern, NC - Aug 8 2008 - Wheatstone has appointed Howard Mullinack to the newly created position of director of marketing, reporting directly to company president Gary Snow. In this role Mullinack's first tasks will include the marketing and development of the company's E2 audio-over-IP routing and mixing system, and the Vorsis on air and studio audio processing equipment.

Mullinack will share his time between the Wheatstone facility in New Bern NC, and his office in New York.

Prior to joining Wheatstone, he was director of marketing and development for Sierra Automated Systems. Before that he was CEO of Graham-Patten and vice president of sales and product development for Orban. This followed many years as a broadcast engineer and chief engineer in major market radio.

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NAB Radio Show to Feature FCC Commissioner Adelstein
Washington, DC - Aug 7, 2008 - FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein will speak during the NAB Radio Show, held Sept. 17-19 in Austin, TX. A veteran of Washington, Commissioner Adelstein is expected to address a number of regulatory issues facing radio broadcasters, including the FCC's localism proceeding, HD Radio and low-power FM.

Adelstein worked for 15 years as a staff member in the United States Senate before joining the Commission in 2002. Prior to his service in the FCC, Adelstein spent seven years as a senior legislative aide, advising then U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle on telecommunications, financial services and other key issues. He also served as professional staff member to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman David Pryor.

Management Change at Sirius XM
Washington and New York - Aug 4, 2008 - Now that the satellite radio merger has been completed, Joseph Clayton, chairman of Sirius Satellite Radio, has stepped down from that position. Gary Parsons, formerly chairman of XM, takes the spot as chairman of Sirius XM Radio. With Parsons leaving, Warren Lieberfarb and Michael McGuiness have also resigned from the board of directors.

The number of directors on the Sirius XM board has been increased from eight to 12. Former XM board members Joan Amble, Eddy Hartenstein, Chet Huber, John Mendel, Jack Shaw, Jeff Zients and Gary Parsons have been elected to the new board of directors.

Clayton joined Sirius in 2001, replacing founder, chairman and CEO David Margolese who had resigned after 11 years. In November 2004, Clayton's CEO duties were assigned to Mel Karmazin.

Eye on IBOC

Mercedes-Benz to Offer Factory HD Radio on Select 2009 Vehicles
Montvale, NJ - Aug 5, 2008 - Mercedes-Benz will offer HD Radio receivers on several of its 2009 vehicles, including the M-, R-, GL-, G-Class SUVs and E-Class vehicles. The move is part of the car company's effort to offer enhanced entertainment systems in its vehicles.

All 2009 Mercedes-Benz SUV's and E-Class models featuring a new head unit incorporating a 6.5" color display screen with a standard in-dash, six-disc CD/DVD changer and a Bluetooth interface to operate a phone through the car's audio system. The new head unit can be equipped with an optional Ipod/MP3 media interface, Sirius Satellite radio, HD Radio, and a voice control system for audio, navigation and phone systems. The new system can also display maps and directions for the optional GPS navigation system, which can display Sirius real-time traffic information and Zagat restaurant ratings.


NTI Acoustilyzer AL1 Supports International Noise Curves Application
Schaan, Liechtenstein - Aug 5, 2008 - NTI demonstrated its new Noise Curve Application tool at Infocomm. The tool acquires and stores the unweighted octave data from the Acoustilyzer AL1 and plots this data against all International Noise Curve standards. The tool will be available free to all registered AL1 users in fall 2008.

By acquiring and storing the unweighted octave data with the AL1 Acoustilyzer, the user may then plot this data against any of four different international noise curve reference standards using a post-processing tool that is part of the NTI package. Noise control and evaluation is an international regulatory issue, and noise curve reference systems exist in several forms around the world (NC, PNC, NR, RC). Their purpose was to assist in objectively comparing noise with respect to frequency, usually based on octave measurements of the room or environment.