Radio Currents Online - Feb 23 - Feb 29, 2004

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Radio Currents Online - Feb 23 - Feb 29, 2004

Feb 1, 2004 12:00 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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Clear Channel Imposes DecencyStandards

San Antonio, TX - Feb 25, 2004 - Clear Channel has announced that isundertaking a new Responsible Broadcasting Initiative to ensurethat the material aired by its radio stations conforms to the standardsand sensibilities of the local communities they serve.

Mark Mays, president and COO of Clear Channel Communications, said thecompany will institute a zero-tolerance policy for indecent contentthat will include company-wide training and automatic suspensions foranyone that the FCC alleges has violated indecency rules on the air. Inaddition, the company announced that all of its contracts with on-airperformers are being modified to ensure that DJs share financialresponsibility if they utter indecent material on the air.

FCC Reports LPFM InterferenceFindings to Congress

Washington - Feb 19, 2004 - Following significant actions of FCCrulemakings, a Presidential Act and Senate inquiry, the FCC has issueda report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science andTransportation and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S.House of Representatives.

When the FCC authorized LPFM licenses on Jan. 20, 2000 it imposedminimum distance separation requirements consistent with current FMprotection standards. The requirements specified spacings between theLPFM stations and first- and second- -adjacent stations. The FCC foundthat LPFM stations would not cause significant interference tothird-adjacent channel stations. On Sept. 20, 2000, the Commission, onreconsideration, adopted complaint and license modification proceduresto ensure that significant third-adjacent channel interference problemswould be resolved expeditiously. On December 21, 2000, PresidentClinton signed the Act into law, requiring the Commission to imposethird-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements on LPFMstations and to conduct independent field tests and an experimentalprogram to determine whether the elimination of third-adjacent channelprotection requirements would result in LPFM stations causing harmfulinterference to existing FM stations operating on third-adjacentchannels.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission adopted an order imposingthird-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements on LPFMstations consistent with the third-adjacent channel minimum distanceseparation requirements currently in effect for full-power commercialand NCE FM stations. In July 2001, the Commission selected the MitreCorporation to conduct the required LPFM field tests and experimentalprogram, and to prepare a report containing the analyses required bythe Act.

Because of budgetary constraints that became apparent at the conclusionof Mitre's market research, the required LPFM field tests andexperimental program were divided into two phases. In Phase I, Mitrewas required to take LPFM field strength measurements and makehigh-quality digital recordings, and to analyze the effect ofthird-adjacent channel LPFM stations on the transition from analog todigital terrestrial radio.

Phase II of the LPFM field tests and experimental program would consistof audience listener tests based on the Phase I digital recordings andan economic analysis of the effect of third-adjacent channel LPFMstations on existing broadcasters.

Mitre completed Phase I of the LPFM field tests and experimentalprogram and delivered its final report to the Commission on June 2,2003. The Commission accepted the Mitre Report and issued a PublicNotice on July 11, 2003, requesting public comment on the Mitrereport.

The Mitre Report contains the following conclusions/recommendationsconcerning LPFM stations and existing third-adjacent channel FMstations:
1. Reduction or elimination of existing third-adjacent channel LPFMminimum distance separation requirements is possible without increasingthe potential for third-adjacent channel LPFM interference to existingstations.
2. Adoption of a more stringent third-adjacent channel LPFM emissionsmask would mitigate LPFM interference potential because most LPFMtransmitters achieve spurious emission suppression in excess of thecurrent mask value.
3. Third-adjacent channel LPFM stations will have little or no effecton the transition to terrestrial digital radio since third-adjacentchannel LPFM interference to digital receivers is unlikely to occurbeyond 130 meters from the LPFM transmitter.
4. Due to the lack of measurable interference produced bythird-adjacent channel LPFM stations during testing, the listener testsand economic analysis scheduled for Phase II of the LPFM field testsand experimental program should not be done.

During the reply comment window, 24 parties filed with the FCC.Eighteen filers support elimination or modification of the existingthird-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements forLPFM stations. Only three filers supported retention of thethird-adjacent channel rules as they currently stand. Most of theothers support eliminating or substantially relaxing the third-adjacentchannel rules.

Following the Mitre findings and reviewing the filed comments, the FCChas proposed to Congress that several steps should be takenm.

  • The existing third-adjacent minimum distance separation requirementsbetween LPFM stations and existing full-service FM stations and FMtranslator and booster stations should be eliminated.

    The Mitre Report states that, even in the worst case, no third-adjacentchannel interference between an LPFM station and an existingfull-service FM station will exist beyond a radius of 1.1km around theLPFM transmitter site. According to the Commission, its technicalstudies similarly showed that LPFM stations do not pose a significantrisk of causing interference to existing full-service FM stations or FMtranslator and booster stations operating on third-adjacentchannels.

  • Congress should re-evaluate the necessity of completing Phase IItesting.

    The results of Phase I testing call into question the necessity ofcompleting Phase II. In Phase I, the Mitre field tests found that no100W LPFM station significantly degraded the reception of afull-service station at any distance greater than 126m from the LPFMtransmitter. Also, with the exception of a single anomalous result, nosignificant LPFM-related degradation to the reception of a full-servicestation was identified at a distance greater than 333m from the LPFMtransmitter, a test result based on more than 1,400 measurements.

    The FCC report was submitted on a Friday, so Congressional action hasnot yet occurred.

CBI Announces Convention Agenda

New York - Feb 24, 2004 - The future generation of radioprofessionals will converge at the National Student Media Convention,March 18 to 20 in New York City. Sponsored by College Media Advisers(CMA) and the broadcast sessions developed by Collegiate BroadcastersInc. (CBI), the convention will offer 200 sessions to 1200 students andtheir advisers. A variety of student media will be represented. Apreliminary agenda has been set.

  • Two sessions will be presented by independent radio producer AlanPeterson: Radio Production for the Digital Age and CreativeJob Strategies for Radio
  • The future of webstreaming will be covered in a panel discussionfeaturing Raghav Gupta of Live365, Will Robedee of Rice University andDan Rayburn of Streaming Media
  • How to Get a Job with a Record Companywill include representatives from Octone Records, Arista, BMG, andLava Records Radio News Reporting is the subject of Martin Di Caro'ssession. He is a street reporter for WCBS-AM
  • Associated Press broadcast editor Rich Mendelson will explain howthe wire service supplies content to more than 5,000 broadcastersworldwide
  • College radio managers will discuss organizational issues facingcollege radio everywhere in a session entitled Radio Station Modelsfor Success
  • Student leadership development will be addressed by WUMS-FM managerMelanie Stone in two sessions to assist students who are new to mediamanagement positions

    The Spring National College Media Convention will be held March 18 to20, 2004, at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Mmore information:www.collegebroadcasters.org.

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Business

Dreyer Media Licenses Apt-x

Belfast � Feb 25, 2004 - Germany's Dreyer Media has signed alicensing agreement with Audio Processing Technology, the creator ofthe Apt-x algorithm, to allow Dreyer to incorporate Apt-x into itsrange of record/playback radio automation systems.

Dreyer Media is a specialist software developer for radio automationapplications and offers technical consultancy to radio stationsthroughout Europe. As well as developing custom programming for radiostations, the company also acts as European representative anddevelopment and technical support partner for On Air Digital USA, adivision of Smarts Broadcast Systems.

RF Software Donates Prize at NRBConvention

Charlotte, NC � Feb 18, 2004 � At the National ReligiousBroadcasters convention in Charlotte, NC, Jennifer Hickman, presidentof RF Software, was invited to attend the Sunday morning PrayerBreakfast with the Moody Broadcasting group. Joseph DiPietro of RFSoftware gave demonstrations of the company's newest software, andfollowing the demonstration RF Software provided a copy of RFInvestigator V2.0 as a drawing prize. The winner was Harry Griffeth ofBible Broadcasting Network, who was delighted to hear that his grouphad won the software.

SalesCall

  • The Wichita, KS, division of Aeroflex hasreceived an order for 83 IFR2975 P25 radio test systems from theFederal Bureau of Investigation to test the Bureau's new digital radiotechnology. Designed for bench and field operations, the IFR2975incorporates advanced test features for secure and classifiedcommunication systems. Delivery of these test systems will occur in thenext 60 to 90 days.

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People

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Internet Watch

Broadjam and Live365 AnnouncePartnership

Madison, WI, and Foster City, CA - Feb 25, 2004 � Broadjam, aprovider of Internet and desktop tools for musicians, record labels andpublishers has formed a cooperative marketing partnership with Internetradio network Live365. Independent artists associated with Broadjamwill have direct access to Live365 for easy-to-use tools and servicesthat will enable them to set up their own radio stations and gainexposure through Live365's audience of more than 3 million listeners amonth.

Broadjam has created an independent music website at www.broadjam.com.This music community was designed to enable independent artists toupload their music online, get their songs reviewed through Broadjam'ssong review mechanism, create personal Web pages, and qualify for itspopular Top 10 Charts. The Broadjam website currently features overmore than 100 Top 10 lists that are automatically generated from songreviews.

Broadjam is also a provider of Internet and desktop tools formusicians, record labels, and publishers, with a client list thatincludes Billboard, Warner/Chappell, the Academy of CountryMusic, and Taxi. The company's software package, Metajam, preparessongs for digital searches then uploads song data and audio files foreasy perusing by fans and industry pros looking for just the rightmusic.

Live365 (www.live365.com) is an independent digital broadcastingnetwork, aggregating and broadcasting a wide array of passion-drivenmusic and talk broadcasts programmed by an enthusiastic, dedicated anddiverse global community. Live365 programming is created by music fans;anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can create his ownInternet radio station for a small monthly fee.

RIAA Sued for Racketeering

Feb 20, 2004 - From Mac Central - A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuitagainst the RIAA under anti-racketeering statutes, charging the groupwith using scare tactics to extort money from the individuals it suesfor copyright infringement from downloading music files.

Michele Scimeca is one of more than 1,000 alleged online file-swapperssued by the RIAA since the middle of 2003. The RIAA filed another batchof 531 lawsuits on Feb. 18. The RIAA has settled a number of thoselawsuits, which is what Scimeca filed a complaint about in the U.S.District Court for New Jersey.

"Instead of merely providing service of the complaint upon the variousdefendants, including Ms. Scimeca, the Plaintiffs have opted to includea letter discussing and prompting settlement of the copyrightinfringement action," the complaint states. "This scare tactic hascaused a vast amount of settlements from individuals who fearedfighting such a large institution and feel victim to these actions andfelt forced to provide funds to settle these actions instead offighting the institution."

The complaint argues that the main intent of the RIAA's lawsuitcampaign is to extract financial settlements from those sued, andcharges the group with violating Racketeer Influenced and CorruptOrganizations (RICO) laws.

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