Radio Currents Online - Feb 03 - Feb 09, 2003

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Radio Currents Online - Feb 03 - Feb 09, 2003

Feb 1, 2003 12:00 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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| Business | InternetWatch | Products


FCC Announces FM TranslatorFiling Window

Washington - Feb 6, 2003 - The FCC's Media Bureau and the WirelessTelecommunications Bureau have announced an auction filing window forcertain FM translator station construction permit applications. Thefiling window will open on March 10, 2003, and close on March 14, 2003.In connection with this window, the Media Bureau has also announcedthat it will not accept FM translator and FM booster minor changeconstruction permit applications and FM booster new construction permitapplications between Feb. 8, 2003, and March 14, 2003.

The window is available for non-reserved band (channels 221 to 300)proposals for new FM translator stations and major modifications toauthorized FM translator facilities. The Commission will also considerthose FM translator station new and major modification applicationsthat were received on or before Nov. 26, 1997, but for which no "A"cut-off list had been released by that date.

Also on file are several FM translator station new and majormodification applications filed after Nov. 26, 1997, with freeze waiverrequests. These applicants may also participate in the filing window.Freeze Waiver Applications have not been protected from subsequentlyfiled FM translator minor change applications during the CompetitiveBidding NPRM freeze, and this policy will continue until the window isclosed. Accordingly, Freeze Waiver Applications must protect all minorchange applications filed on or before Feb. 7, 2003, to be consideredin the upcoming window. This is the same requirement that will apply tonew FM translator station and major change proposals submitted for thefirst time in the filing window.

The Commission imposed a freeze on the filing of FM translator new andmajor change applications in the Competitive Bidding NPRM. MB hascontinued to process and grant FM translator minor change and FMbooster applications under its processing rules since the inception ofthe freeze. However, the Media Bureau will institute a temporary freezeon the acceptance of minor change FM translator applications on allchannels (channels 201-300) at 12:01 a.m. EST, Feb. 8, 2003. The freezeshall remain in effect until the close of the window. Minor changeapplications filed during this freeze will be dismissed.

From FCC Report No. AUC-03-83-A (Auction No. 83); DA 03-359.

Denver Tower Project gets CountyOK

Mt. Morrison, CO - Feb 5, 2003 - After four years of lobbying, RFRmeasurements, public hearings, public protests, newspaper editorialsand mailing campaigns, the Jefferson County (Colorado) Commissioners bya two-to-one vote approved the application for a new tower andtransmitter building on Mt. Morrison, CO. The applicants on the projectinclude public TV KRMA-TV, Colorado Public Radio KVOD-FM and DenverEducational Broadcasting KUVO-FM.

The debate began in the late 1990s when Bear Creek DevelopmentCorporation (BCDC) applied to Jefferson County for permission toeliminate two towers (one from Lookout Mountain and one from Mt.Morrison) and construct one replacement tower on Mt. Morrison.

If the plans continue, the stations intend to break ground on the newtower this Spring.

Ibiquity Announces LicensingIncentive Program for 2003

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Columbia, MD, and Warren, NJ - Feb 5, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital hasannounced a new licensing incentive program for radio broadcasters toconvert to digital broadcasting using the company's HD Radiotechnology. In 2002, more than 130 stations in 40 markets spanning 26states signed licenses to convert to digital; a point that Ibiquityconsiders a mark of the program's success. Building on this success,Ibiquity has announced a new incentive program for stations thatconvert to digital using HD Radio technology in the comingmonths.

Details of the incentive plan:

  • The first 125 for-profit commercial stations to enter into a stationlicense agreement after Feb. 1, 2003, will have the one-time fee forthe audio license limited to a maximum of $5,000.
  • All non-commercial, non-profit stations that enter into a stationlicense agreement on or before June 30, 2003, will have the one-timefee for the audio license waived completely.
  • All incentives are contingent on the licensed station making itsbest commercial efforts to (1) commence digital broadcasting by June30, 2003, and (2) continue to transmit in digital until at least Dec.31, 2004.

    Stations can request a formal station license agreement by contactingStephen Wallace at 410-872-1554 or or ScottStull at 410-872-1578 or

Supreme Court ReversesFCC on Next Wave Case

Washington - Feb 3, 2003 - The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuked theFCC for canceling the spectrum licenses of Next Wave Telecom becausethe wireless company was unable to pay its fee from a 1996 governmentauction.

Using a $500 million down payment, Next Wave won an auction to licensethe spectrum for broadband communications services. Later it filed forbankruptcy, claiming it could not afford to pay for its $4.74 billionbid. The court, in an 8-to-1 decision, ruled that the governmentcouldn�t revoke a license for nonpayment while a business isunder the protection of bankruptcy laws.

Though Next Wave, still in bankruptcy, won the five-year court case, itis unclear whether the decision will allow it to thrive in a tougheconomy. There is now far less demand for the spectrum from wirelesstelecom carriers, who are suffering their own economic problems.However, the case itself is considered important for allgovernment-licensed spectrum holders�includingbroadcasters�because it determined that an agency such as the FCCmay not revoke a license "solely because" a bankrupt license holder hasnot paid a debt that would ordinarily be covered by the bankruptcylaw.

For more information visit

Americans Think GovernmentShould Avoid Digital Rights Issues

San Francisco - Feb. 3, 2003 - More than half of Americans think thegovernment should stay out of efforts to control online piracy �fearing that Congress meddling could create unintended consequences andstifle technological innovation.

A new survey by SutherlandGold, a San Francisco-based marketingcommunications firm, found that more than 53 percent think governmentintervention in piracy issues would just make things worse.

Despite a variety of measures pending in Congress to address onlinecopyright issues, only 18 percent of those surveyed said it�simportant that Congress make the online piracy issue a priority thisyear.

For more information


Broadcast Electronics toSupply HD Radio to Entercom

Quincy, IL - Feb 6, 2003 - Entercom Communications has made plans toinstall IBOC transmission equipment at seven of its stations in Seattleand Boston. Broadcast Electronics has been chosen as the equipmentsupplier.

Entercom will convert Seattle FMs KISW, KQBZ, KMTT and KNDD to HD Radiousing Broadcast Electronics' FXi digital exciter and FMi-201 broadbandtransmitters to high-level combine analog FM and digital through ashared main ERI master antenna. Using a new ERI approach to high-levelcombining, Entercom will introduce a separate HD Radio path into onepolarity of the circularly polarized antenna so that HD Radio canbroadcast at the same time as the analog FM, which is radiating fromthe opposite polarity of the antenna. The approach will reduce theinjector loss typical of high-level combining (10dB loss in HD Radioand a 0.45dB loss in analog), eliminating the need for Entercom topurchase higher-powered HD Radio transmitters to handle the injectorload.

Entercom will install FMi-201 transmitters with output powers rangingfrom a few watts to 875W for each station's separate HD Radio path. TheBroadcast Electronics FXi 60 and 250W exciters with FSi-10 signalgenerators will generate the digital signal before it isamplified.

Another Entercom FM station in Seattle, KBSG, is on a separate Shivelyantenna system, and will be converted to HD Radio using BroadcastElectronics' FXi exciter and a Broadcast Electronics FMi transmitter,in a separate antenna transmission scheme. In addition, Entercom willconvert two Boston stations WQSX-FM and WAAF-FM to HD Radio usingBroadcast Electronics' FXi digital exciter and FMi transmitters in ahigh-level combining scheme.

Broadcast Electronics previously supplied Entercom Communications withtwo FXi-60 exciters and a 1kW transmitter for HD Radio conversiontesting and demonstrations of two stations on a shared antenna systemat the group's Seattle auxiliary site. The additional equipment willcomplete Entercom's conversion to HD Radio FM in Seattle andBoston.

Conversion is expected to take place within the next 90 days, afterwhich time Hadfield said the station operator will begin making plansto roll out HD Radio to its FM stations in other markets. Entercomjoins Crawford Broadcasting, Spanish Broadcasting Systems, Beasley,Bonneville, Clear Channel, Greater Media, Multi-Cultural Radio andseveral independent stations in planning to convert to HD Radio usingBroadcast Electronics equipment.

West Virginia Radio goesDigital with Harris

Cincinnati - Feb 5, 2003 - The West Virginia Radio has selectedHarris to provide transmission equipment for the radio owner'stransition to digital radio broadcasting. West Virginia Radio haspurchased two Z8HDs HD Radio FM transmitters and two Dexstar AM/FM HDRadio digital exciters for stations WVAF-FM in Charleston, WV, andWVAQ-FM in Morgantown, WV.

The West Virginia owned-and-operated broadcast company also operatesthe Metro News Statewide Network and 14 radio stations throughout thestate.

AKG Names Reps for S.California and Florida

Nashville - Feb 4, 2003 - AKG Acoustics has appointed Dimodica andAssociates and Western Audio Sales as its newest representative firms.Dimodica and Associates will be responsible for AKG's Floridaterritory, and Western Audio Sales will represent AKG in SouthernCalifornia.

Dimodica and Associates is established in Florida and has businessexperience with systems contractors, music retailers, A/V specialistsand others in the territory. Chuck Dimodica, the company's president,has more than 23 years of experience in the pro audio industry. Thecompany's outside sales staff includes Vice President Mark Scola, DonWashburn, JC Gonzalez and Bernie Selditch. The firm's inside salesstaff includes David Cefkin and George Campbell.

Western Audio Sales, led by company president Mike Klickstein, has morethan 25 years experience in the professional audio industry. Outsidesales employees at Western Audio Sales include Steve Linn, David Kuhnerand David Weidenhoffer. Western Audio's inside sales staff includesStacy Peddemors and Cathy Gerrior. The firm is long established inSouthern California and has extensive experience working with systemscontractors, music retailers, A/V specialists and distributors.

To contact either firm:

DiModica & Associates, Inc.

7041 West Commercial Boulevard
Suite 6-C
Tamarac, Florida 33319
Telephone: (954) 724-4409
Fax: (954) 724-4419

Western Audio Sales
3100 Airway Avenue
Suite 110
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Telephone: (714) 444-9200
Fax: (714) 444-9210

Telegartner Taps AntennaSystems and Supplies

Franklin Park, IL - Jan 30, 2003 - Telegartner, the North Americanaffiliate of Telegartner Karl Gartner GMBH of Germany, has appointedAntenna Systems and Supplies as a franchised stocking distributor.Telegartner is a manufacturer of RF connectors, surge suppressors (gastube and quarter wave stubs), connectors for corrugated cables (1/4"through 1 -5/8"), fiber optic connectors and RF cable assemblies.Antenna Systems and Supplies is a distribution company serving manyindustries, including antenna manufacturers and wirelesscommunications. This appointment is effective as of January 2003, andAntenna Systems and Supplies is franchised to sell and service theentire Telegartner product line.

Dielectric Selected to SupplyRomania Project for Harris

Raymond, ME - Feb 3, 2003 - The TCI International business unit ofDielectric Communications has been awarded a subcontract by HarrisBroadcast for the supply of medium-wave radio equipment and services aspart of a three-year program to upgrade and expand the medium- andlong-wave broadcasting facilities of the Societata Nationala deRadiocommunicatii, the state-owned Romanian broadcast organization. TheTCI contract is currently valued at $3.5 million.

Dielectric Communications and TCI will supply antenna matching systems,coaxial feeder lines and accessory items for 31 sites in Romania. As anintegral part of the contract, TCI will also provide systemengineering, installation supervision, commissioning and testingservices.

Internet Watch

Webcasters Move Forwardwith Independent Artists and Labels

Las Vegas - Feb 7, 2003 - Webcaster Alliance is actively working tobuild a coalition of technology and music industry organizations tospread the message of the American Internet Radio Revolution (AIRR)campaign. The goal of the AIRR campaign is to create awareness of thechallenges that continue to face Internet radio, and to bring attentionto the effect that some of the existing regulations have on industries,that would benefit from the growth of the webcasting industry.

Webcaster Alliance attorney David LeGrand believes the timing is rightto press this issue in Washington. He cites the recent Senate hearingson broadcast ownership as an indicator that legislators "understandthat broadcasting on the Internet levels the playing field and fostersa level of innovation, competition and programming diversity not foundin terrestrial radio today."

He continued, "One of the goals of the American Internet RadioRevolution is to bring attention to the fantastic variety ofindependent music that is out there and will never make it to themarket under the monopolistic system that currently exists between theRIAA and its clients today. Would these major labels ever promoteindependent Cajun music like, an Internet-onlystation that spotlights music from local artists? Or take the time tobuild a station like Internet Radio Hawaii whose Hawaiian genreplaylist includes over 6,500 artists?"

Webcaster Alliance is a trade organization dedicated to providinginformation, education, support and services to every aspect of thestreaming media community. Founded on the principles of promoting andencouraging growth for all of its members, Webcaster Alliance iscommitted to promoting the causes, people and technology that drive thestreaming media community. Its website is


Digidesign Ships ProTools6.0 for Mac OS X

Palo Alto, CA - Feb 4, 2003 - Pro Tools 6.0 software for Mac OS Xadds a set of new features and improvements. Among the new featuresimproved, solid interaction between the Pro Tools environment and PowerMac G4s. Other benefits include:

  • Streamlined new look for the Mix, Edit and Transport windows
  • Increased performance with dual-processor Power Mac G4 systems
  • New multi-user login functionality enables individual users to savecustom display, operation, editing, automation, processing,compatibility and MIDI preferences
  • New Digibase file management utility
  • Enhanced MIDI functionality (including high-resolution groovetemplates)
  • Additional Beat Detective features
  • New Import Session options
  • Plug-in functionality enhancements
  • Machine Control additions

    Windows XP support of the new features in Pro Tools 6, and OS Xcompatibility with AVoption|XL, Unity and Media Manager are scheduledfor mid-2003.