Radio Currents Online - Dec 6 - Dec 12, 2004

Publish date:

Radio Currents Online - Dec 6 - Dec 12, 2004

Dec 6, 2004 2:17 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

Click here to view the Currents Online archive.
Click here to receive the Currents Online Weekly E-mail.


Arbitron Recruits for PPM Trial in Houston
New York - Dec 8, 2004 - Arbitron's program to recruit consumers for the Houston market trial of the Portable People Meter (PPM) is delivering positive, initial results in terms of sample performance indicators (SPI), response rate metrics and panel representation at the household level. At the end of the first wave of recruitment, Arbitron has achieved at 52.7 household sample performance indicator (SPI). Other response rate measures are in line with the results that Arbitron and Nielsen Media Research achieved during the research and development program for PPM response rates that was fielded in 2003 and 2004. These measures are also substantially higher than those achieved by Arbitron in the first U.S. market trial of the PPM in Philadelphia in 2002.

The preliminary sample proportionality measures for the installed PPM households are also in line in terms of race and ethnicity. Household fault rates to date have been well under 10 percent and are consistent by race and ethnicity.

The first wave of recruitment was completed at end of November 2004, outfitting 554 individuals, age six and older, in the Houston TV marketplace with Arbitron's new passive audience measurement device. The second wave of recruitment, which began on Sept. 1, has recruited an additional 486 consumers. Two more additional recruitment waves will begin after Jan. 1, 2005, to bring the panel to 2,100 consumers by the end of April. Each wave is designed to recruit a stand-alone representative sample of the Houston DMA.

In Houston, Arbitron is using a multi-mode recruitment method that applies a combination of telephone and in-person recruitment to an address-based sample frame. This method is similar to the approach tested collaboratively with Nielsen Media Research in 2003 and 2004. Arbitron, in consultation with Nielsen, has selectively reduced some incentive levels as compared to the test and retained others at the same level used in the test. Also in Houston, Arbitron has hired and trained its own membership reps and is using printed materials without any Nielsen co-branding. The collaborative test used Nielsen recruiters and co-branded printed materials.

In January, Arbitron will start collecting and evaluating the viewing and listening data at the total persons level, based on the first two waves of recruitment. In July, after the panel is fully recruited, Arbitron will begin delivering station level ratings results for the outlets that will be encoding for the trial.


Harris to Outfit Cox with Digital Transmitters
Cincinnati - Dec 8, 2004 - Harris has struck a multi-million dollar business relationship with Cox Radio to provide digital transmitters through 2008. Cox Radio, with 78 stations in 18 markets, is the eighth largest radio broadcasting company by number of stations, and the fourth largest by audience and revenue. Cox has committed to Harris for its HD Radio transmission needs over the next four years as its stations convert to digital and HD Radio.

Eight Cox stations have converted to date, beginning with WEDR-FM in Miami nearly one year ago. FM stations in Houston; Birmingham, AL; San Antonio; Louisville, KY; Orlando, FL; Tampa, FL; Bridgeport, CT; and Stamford/Norwalk, CT, will convert through 2005.

The decision to install low-power or high-power transmitters will depend on the individual station's physical layout and power requirements. In addition, some stations will not need transmitters or may simply add a second transmitter rather than replace a main unit, according to Sterling Davis, VP engineering for Cox.

Citadel Signs Deal With Promo Only
Vancouver, BC, and Las Vegas - Dec 8, 2004 - Citadel Broadcasting has signed a deal to use the proprietary anti-piracy and digital distribution system Promo Only MPE in all of its stations across the country. Citadel is the sixth largest broadcaster in the United States, owning and operating 155 FM and 58 AM radio stations in 46 markets.

Promo Only also announced that the MPE system has more than 1,200 users signed to the service. Free to radio stations, the system launched in October 2004 at the NAB Radio Show in San Diego. The service has distributed more than 100 tracks from more than 30 labels.

Promo Only MPE was developed to help the music industry combat the ongoing issue of piracy and additionally gain the benefits of digital technology: quicker distribution and reduced costs. Universal Music Group (UMG) has used the service since its launch and has distributed more then 70 tracks to radio stations.

Clear Channel Communications was one of the initial radio groups to adopt the MPE system.

MPE has a security system that locks the distributed content and allows labels to track access to the property. Each song is uniquely encrypted so that only those with the MPE program can access it. In addition, an ID code specific to each individual user is applied when a song is requested, meaning that only registered users can access the song and, once installed, the ID cannot be moved to any other computer.

The Promo Only MPE system is manufactured by Destiny Media Technologies, and marketed in North America by partner Promo Only.

Logitek Electronic Systems sold five networked Audio Engines, three Remora-10 digital consoles, one Remora-4 digital console and the Vmix virtual console to Salem Communications in Tampa.

In a separate transactions, Logitek will supply equipment for an upcoming studio move for WMJJ, WDXB, WQEN, WENN and WERC, all Clear Channel stations in Birmingham, AL. The order includes 11 networked Audio Engines, two Remora-22 consoles, five Remora-16 consoles, one Remora-10 console, two Route-XY router controllers and two Button-12 source selectors.


Image placeholder title

Orban/CRL Appoints Rich for Web Duties
Tempe, AZ - Dec 9, 2004 - Orban/CRL has appointed Charlie Rich Jr. as website manager for the Orban and CRL websites. Rich will be responsible for the execution of engineering and marketing directives, bringing Web skills and technical abilities that will help to improve Orban and CRL's websites.

Based in Nashville, Rich will commute regularly to Orban/CRL's Tempe and San Leandro, CA, locations frequently.

Charlie Rich Jr. is the son of the late country singer Charlie Rich. Rich himself is also a touring musician.

Image placeholder title

Berenics Joins Wheatstone on the West Coast
New Bern, NC, and San Diego - Dec 8, 2004 - Sandy Berenics has joined Wheatstone in its West Coast sales division. The California resident enjoys a well-established presence in the broadcast audio industry with a career spanning 25 years. She was first employed in 1979 at Pacific Research and Engineering where she tackled many roles until the mid-80s when she settled in regional sales with special emphasis on markets in the Midwest. After Harris acquired PRandE in 1999, Berenics was appointed to the position of systems sales manager and later served as national accounts manager from 2002 to 2004.

Contact Berenics at

Image placeholder title

Broadcast Electronics Promotes Hinkle to Top Engineering Spot
Quincy, IL - Dec 8, 2004 - Broadcast Electronics has promoted Richard Hinkle to the new position of vice president of engineering. Hinkle has served as director of RF engineering for the company since February 2000. As vice president, Hinkle will broaden his responsibilities as the company's lead engineer for developing and researching new products for the broadcast industry.

Hinkle has 15 years of engineering design and development experience, including several years in the telecommunications and wireless industries where he worked on advanced modulation designs. He holds two patents on DSP technology, which are the basis of the corrective techniques used in BE's FMI HD Radio transmitters.

Hinkle's work in advanced DSP technology also drove the development of BE's FXI exciter, the direct-to-channel exciter that eliminates analog up-conversion and the resultant noise.

Under Hinkle's leadership as director, the company introduced several other firsts to the industry. He led the development of BE''s HD Radio products, including a linear FM transmitter line ranging in power from 60W to 14kW. More recently, his leadership in digital radio technology produced a method for generating HD Radio at the studio. Hinkle also led the team that produced BE's Big Pipe STL and 4MX 50kW AM transmitter.

Hinkle is a member of the IEEE and a frequent panelist at NAB technology sessions. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology in 1990 from Central Missouri State University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Image placeholder title

First Broadcasting Names VP of Engineering, Software Systems
Dallas - Dec 7, 2004 - First Broadcasting Investment Partners has named Alastair B. Westgarth as its first executive vice president of engineering and software systems. Westgarth will direct all of First Broadcasting's engineering and software initiatives, including the development and integration of digital tools and systems to broaden the company's technology platform.

Westgarth was formerly president of Navini Networks, a Dallas-based wireless broadband technology company. Westgarth previously worked for Nortel Networks in various senior technology positions, including vice president of network intelligence. He began his career with Bell Mobility Cellular in Canada.

Dial-Global Promotes Decker, Wachsmith, Margraf; Hires Haroutunian
New York, NY - Dec 6, 2004 - Dial Communications-Global Media (Dial-Global) has promoted Eileen Decker from senior vice president of sales to executive vice president/director of sales. In her new role, Decker is responsible for all aspects of sales strategy and advertising representation, reporting directly to Dial-Global co-presidents and CEOs David Landau and Ken Williams. She began her career at Dial-Global in 1995.

Dial-Global senior vice president of sales Don Wachsmith has been placed in charge of the Western region, in addition to his responsibility for the Midwest. He will report directly to Decker. Wachsmith began his career at Dial-Global in 1995.

In addition, Mary Margraf has been promoted from vice president/director of traffic to vice president/director of sales planning. She reports directly to Decker as well. In her new role, Margraf will be responsible for working with sales to manage commercial inventory. Margraf began her career at Dial-Global in 1997.

The company has also hired Melinda Haroutunian as its new Western region director of sales, reporting to Wachsmith. She will be responsible for covering the Los Angeles market in addition to all other advertising opportunities on the West Coast. Before Dial-Global, Haroutunian was a sales account executive at KFWB-AM Los Angeles.

Internet Watch

AES Launches Educator's Forum
New York - Dec 8, 2004 - The AES Educator's Online Forum was announced at the Educator's Panel held Oct. 29 at the 117th AES Convention in San Francisco. This forum comes out of discussion at the 115th AES Convention in New York in 2003. It was suggested that AES establish an online forum for educators to share information and provide a research tool for audio production education.

The forum will be moderated by David G. Christensen (member of the AES Education Committee and faculty at The Art Institute of Seattle) and supervised by Steve Johnson the AES webmaster.

At this time, the forum will post e-mails without attachments. If there is a strong desire to include attachments, this change can be implemented later.

To access the forum go to and click on Educator's Forum.


Broadcast Electronics Provides Audiovault Upgrade for Content Depot
Quincy, IL - Dec 10, 2004 - Broadcast Electronics announced the details of it upgrade path for all stations using the BE Audiovault with the PRSS Content Depot delivery system. Content Depot will be implemented in 2005 by National Public Radio's Distribution division.

All Audiovault users, regardless of the age of their system, will be able to interconnect their system with Content Depot at no charge.

Content Depot will distribute streaming and audio file content over satellite to interconnected public radio stations. It will also handle program-associated data (PAD) to display song and artist information on compatible radio receivers. Additional metadata in the streams and files can be used to aid stations in programming and for HD Radio data services.

To be compatible, Broadcast Electronics will provide software updates to users of the current Audiovault Vault2 systems in the first quarter of 2005. Users of the earlier-generation Audiovault AV100 will be provided with appropriate hardware for Content Depot integration. All upgrades will be at no charge to the users.

Detailed information on interfacing to Content Depot is available at or by e-mail at BE's Public Radio Help Desk at

Click here to receive the Radio magazine Currents Online Weekly E-mail.

Sales Call