Radio Currents Online - Feb 18 - Feb 24, 2008

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Radio Currents Online - Feb 18 - Feb 24, 2008

Feb 20, 2008 9:38 AM


FCC Ordered to Study Bird-Tower Collisions
Washington - Feb 19, 2008 - An old topic has resurfaced thanks to recent U.S. Court of Appeals action that revisits the migratory birds and towers issue. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with conservation groups that claimed the Federal Communications Commission violated government rules by approving communications towers that threaten migratory birds. The Court has ordered the FCC to study the environmental effect of towers built in the Gulf Coast region, as the conservation groups requested.

At issue are 6,000 towers that must be assessed. The groups want the FCC to take action regarding the towers that pose the biggest threat to birds. These actions could include height regulations, location restrictions and design specifications that would endanger birds.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that between 4 million to 50 million birds die every year colliding with communications towers as they cross the Gulf of Mexico during the fall and spring seasons. In addition, it is often cited that tower lighting actually attracts birds. The birds then collide with the tower, guy wires or other birds.

The conservation groups have been battling this case for a decade. The FCC denied an April 2006 petition for a tower construction moratorium in the Gulf region, saying that the groups made general allegations and not specific complaints about specific towers.

Broadcasters and tower owners often call for more scientific research into the matter. Many people question the validity of an estimation of bird deaths that spans 46 million birds.

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Inaugural Crystal Heritage Award to be Presented at NAB Show
Washington, DC - WUSL-FM Philadelphia will be the first station to receive the NAB Crystal Heritage Award, recognizing a radio station's long-term commitment to community service. The award will be presented during the NAB Show Radio Luncheon, sponsored by ASCAP, on April 15 in Las Vegas.

The Crystal Heritage Award is given to a station that has won five Crystal Radio Awards, an annual award that recognizes a radio station's year-round commitment to community service. In 2007, WUSL-FM was the first station in history to achieve such a milestone. The station has also been a finalist on three other occasions.

"Radio stations across the country take their public service responsibilities seriously, which makes the competition for a Crystal Radio Award very steep," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "For any station to win five times shows a level of commitment to their community that bears recognition. We are proud to highlight WUSL's long history of serving their community and look forward to honoring other deserving stations in the future."

The NAB Show Radio Luncheon will include the induction of legendary radio personality Larry Lujack into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, as well as announce the 10 NAB Crystal Radio Award winners. Robert Pittman, MTV co-founder and former Co-COO of AOL Time Warner, will present this year's keynote.


Broadcast Electronics, KA You Partner on Satellite Networked Automation
Quincy, IL - Feb 22, 2008 - Broadcast Electronics and Ka You Communications are collaborating on a system that teams IP addressable satellite delivery with Tivo-like automation. The system is designed to lower the cost of satellite-delivered content and addresses audio delay issues associated with voicetracking over satellite.

The system consists of Ka You Communications 24/7 distribution services and IP Ready system, a satellite router with high speed data delivery, and BE's Audiovault digital media system with centralized storage at the main studio and self-automated Audiovault units at each remote location. An implementation of satellite networked Audiovaults was made at Family Life Network in Bath, NY, in January 2008. That system is used to automate programming and voicetracking news, traffic and other local content from a main studio to multiple transmitter sites throughout New England. Family Life Network has 11 sites with the locally based computer systems.

Voicetracking is a recurring problem for satellite-delivered programming. Live, voicetracked content often breaks into regular programming from the master studio at the remote location one second too late; the time it takes the signal to travel from the main studio, up to the satellite and down to the remote tower. An Audiovault system at each remote location captures the shared program feed and the voicetracked audio and adjusts for satellite delays similar to Tivo before sending a continuous stream to be broadcast over the air.

BSW Picks up Broadcast Bionics
Tacoma, WA - Feb 21, 2008 - Broadcast Bionics has appointed Broadcast Supply Worldwide (BSW) as a dealer for the Phonebox Solo broadcast telephone system.

Solo is a PC-based phone system that replaces the hybrid, call director control panel, call screener with database, and the phone editor often used in other systems. The software works with POTS, ISDN, T1 and VOIP phone lines.

APT North America Moves to New Offices
Boston - Feb 22, 2008 - The Boston office for APT has moved to a new location. The new office also has new phone numbers.

APT North America
48 Summer St., Ste 1
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone 617-923-2260, 800-955-APTX
Fax 617-923-2261

Enco Systems Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Southfield, MI - Feb 19, 2008 - Enco Systems is making plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary during the NAB Show in April. Enco Systems was founded by two MIT engineers, Eugene Novacek and Judy Kane Novacek in 1983 in St. Louis, and is now headquartered in the greater Detroit area. Though originally involved in custom, high-level fault tolerant networked industrial process control applications, business activities are now centered on the global broadcast industry. The principals of Enco are a joining of professional broadcast engineers and software developers.

Novacek, president of Enco Systems said, "A lot of people don't realize that Enco has been around for 25 years. We started providing industrial process control and automation to manufacturers like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Monsanto, Anheuser Busch, General Tire and Waste Management in 1983. Then, in 1991 we entered the broadcast industry and the rest is history."

Novacek adds that two-thirds of the stations that bought Enco DAD systems that first year are still using the company's software 16 years later. To recognize the loyalty shown by DAD users over the years, Enco is planning a party for its users and the company itself.

DAD users who have not been contacted and would like to attend the Enco Systems 25th Anniversary Event in Las Vegas should e-mail

Los Angeles' KPCC-FM has chosen Axia Audio to supply mixing and audio routing equipment for an upcoming rebuild of its main on-air studio. The equipment, sold through Broadcasters General Store, includes a 24-position Axia Element console, four Analog Line Nodes, four AES/EBU Line Nodes, an Axia Microphone Node, PathfinderPC Router Control Software and a variety of studio accessory panels for mic and headphone source control.

Telos Zephyr Xstream codecs are now doing remotes at WKLS, Atlanta; Sirius Satellite Radio, NYC; and Salem Radio Network News, Arlington, VA.


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Kneller Moves to Ibiquity
Columbia, MD - Feb 20, 2008 - Hal Kneller has been hired by Ibiquity Digital to be the company's international business development director. He will retain his home base in Punta Gorda, FL. His first day with the company will be Feb. 29.

Kneller re-joined Harris in 2002 as radio district sales manager for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the Virginia Islands. In March 2004 he was promoted to manger of public radio initiatives, dealing with National Public Radio, NPR member stations and other public radio providers including state networks, plus acting as Harris' liaison between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Telecommunications Facilities program. Also in this position he interfaced with NPR's ongoing effort to promote digital broadcast migration and the furthering of this technology by fostering the partnership of Tomorrow Radio between Harris and NPR. In September 2005 he also assumed the role of strategic marketing and marketing communications for the Harris radio business unit and in July 2006 was promoted to senior manager in the same position. In July 2007 he was promoted to senior manager - business development, digital radio.

Kneller has owned and operated radio stations in Florida and Arkansas since the mid-1980s and has also served as a consultant to stations that are moving or rebuilding their facilities. Before rejoining Harris, he was director of radio engineering for NPR affiliates WGCU-FM/WMKO and Radio Reading Service in Fort Myers/Naples/Marco, FL.

He has served on the NAB DAB Task Force and its predecessor, the NAB AM Improvement Committee, and currently serves on the Ibiquity Advisory Board. He was elected as an IAAIS Public Director in 2001 and chairs its technology committee.

He holds several SBE certifications: CPBE, CBNT, AMD and DRB. He is a graduate of Emerson College, Boston, MA, with a degree in mass communications.

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Harris Awards Company Fellow Award to Mendenhall
Cincinnati - Feb 21, 2008 - Harris has named Geoffrey N. Mendenhall the 2008 recipient of the Harris Fellow Award, the company's highest recognition for achievement. Mendenhall, vice president of research and technology with the Transmission Systems business unit at Harris Broadcast Communications, received the award as part of the company's celebration of National Engineers Week.

Mendenhall has contributed to improvements in the technical quality of FM transmitters for more than 35 years. Best known for his work with FM exciters, many of Mendenhall's designs have become industry standards. Today, more than 10,000 FM exciters currently on the air worldwide incorporate Mendenhall's innovations.

Harris Fellows are selected based upon significant contributions to the state-of-the-art in the industry; recognition among industry peers; demonstrated technical depth, breadth and leadership; mentoring of others in the industry; and continuous contributions of importance to Harris' business.

Mendenhall joined the former Gates Radio Division of Harris as an electrical engineer designing directional antenna phasing equipment in 1973 after receiving his B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. While at Georgia Tech, Mendenhall designed, hand-built and FCC type-accepted the student station's 425W FM broadcast transmitter. Highlights of his career include the development of the Harris Digit digital FM exciter, the first 2MW solid-state AM transmitter and the Harris CD-Link uncompressed digital studio transmitter link. Recent product developments under his leadership include the Flexstar FM/HD Radio exciter, the Z-FM family of transmitters and the Apex ATSC exciter.

Other honors in Mendenhall's career include writing the FM transmitter chapter of the past three editions of the NAB Engineering Handbook, receiving the the National Association of Broadcasters' Radio Engineering Achievement Award in 1999, and holding five U.S. Patents for innovations to broadcast equipment. He is a registered professional engineer in Illinois and Ohio, is a senior member of IEEE, and is a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE).

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Entercom Austin Names Smith as DOE/CE
Austin, TX - Feb 22, 2008 - Lamar Smith has been named director of engineering and chief engineer for Entercom Communication's three radio stations in Austin, TX: KJCE-AM, KAMX-FM and KKMJ-FM. Smith joined Entercom in 2000 as director of engineering in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, a market where he had served in various engineering positions since 1993. At Entercom Austin he will serve in a similar role, directing engineering operations for the cluster's three radio stations.

Smith is a 1993 graduate of Electronic Institutes in Middeltown, PA. He holds degrees in electrical theory and computer sciences.

Linear Acoustic Promotes Booth to DOE
Lancaster, PA - Feb 20, 2008 - Linear Acoustic has promoted Erik Booth to the position of director of engineering. Previously a senior hardware engineer, Booth will now oversee all engineering and new product design, ensuring that system designs meet the company's development goals and delivery timelines.

Booth joined Linear Acoustic in February 2005 and has since played a role in the company's development of products for the audio industry. He began his engineering career in the area of control systems and subsequently spent a decade working as a senior hardware engineer for Sigma Electronics, a manufacturer of products for analog and digital television systems.

Ibiquity Adds Director of Retail Marketing
Columbia, MD - Feb 19, 2008 - Ibiquity Digital has hired James Stocks as director of retail marketing. His responsibilities will include retail product launches, promotions and point-of-purchase materials.

Previously, Stocks was vice president of sales for Myer Emco, a retail chain in the mid-Atlantic states that specializes in high-end audio/video equipment sales and installation. Previously, he was general manager of Dominion Radio Supply in Richmond, AV.


Lawo Releases Version 2.8 Upgrade for Zirkon Radio Console
Toronto, ON - Feb 19, 2008 - Lawo has released a version 2.8 upgrade for the company's Zirkon on-air radio console. The upgrade features a number of enhancements to the system control and configuration software as well as the company's Vistool touch screen surface visualization software. The most notable update is the new DSP card mode for the Zirkon. With The new Sig 80 DSP mode, the system supports an additional 40 DSP channels (mono/stereo) with EQ, dynamics and limiting provided by the use of a second masterboard.

Lawo's new v2.8 firmware also includes a change in the transmission method used for Vistool metering data. Performance and communication has been improved by changing to UDP as compared to earlier versions that use TCP. UDP avoids the system overhead of checking every last data packet, so metering response is faster and provides greater compatibility in networked environments.

With the change to UDP data transmission for metering information, the new software also provides a new Logic Element UDP Matrix, which can be used, for example, to simultaneously route RBDS information and/or audio with equipment from a variety of manufacturers using UECP (Universal Encoder Communication Protocol).

Zirkon users can obtain the new v2.8 software by contacting Lawo North America's technical support services at 888-810-4468. Users outside North America should contact their local Lawo representative.

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