Radio Currents Online - Mar 24 - Mar 30, 2003

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Radio Currents Online - Mar 24 - Mar 30, 2003

Mar 1, 2003 12:00 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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FCC Ownership DecisionSlated for June

Washington - March 27, 2003 - According to Dow Jones BusinessNews, the FCC has tentatively set June 2 as the date to issue adecision in its review of media ownership. In a speech before anonprofit communications policy group, FCC Chairman Michael Powelloffered that date and provided a rationale for relaxing some rulesmeant to prevent concentration of ownership.

TV tower planned for TimesSquare

Rendering of broadcast tower to be builton Conde Nast Building roof at 4 Times Square.

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New York - Mar 28, 2003 - The New York Daily News reportsthat plans to erect a new TV tower in Manhattan have been put in place.Univision is close to signing a deal to transmit from a new, 358-foottower on top of the Conde Nast Building, also known as 4 Times Square.The building is owned by the Durst Organization.

Following Sept. 11, several stations made quick moves to the antenna onthe Empire State Building. The Conde Nast site was originally built asa backup for the Empire State building radio transmission facilities,but the Univision agreement could make this site a primary location forsome TV stations.

The tower will stand 358 feet above the roof, for a total height of1,142 feet above street level. The cost is estimated at $25 millionwith a projected completion date in October. The Durst Organization hasalready obtained the necessary approvals for zoning and FAA.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA), a group thatrepresents WNBC, WNET, WABC and other TV stations, is planning to builda 2,000-foot tower in Bayonne, NJ.

Ibiquity ReleasesField-Upgradeable Software Release

Columbia, MD and Warren, NJ - Mar 27, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital, hasreleased the first field-upgradeable commercial IBOC (HD Radio)software release for broadcasters. HD Radio software version 1.3 offersfield upgradeable capabilities for commercial HD Radio broadcastexciters. This new software release will simplify a broadcasters�ability to add enhancements to the system, including advancements inaudio compression technology and wireless data applications, while notaffecting consumer receivers. HD Radio software version 1.3 includesall of the latest features available to licensed broadcasters andexciter manufacturers and is covered under existing licenses.

Details on the upgrade are available through the excitermanufacturers.

Partnership For PublicWarning Issues Mission Draft

Mclean, VA - Mar 24, 2003 - The Partnership for Public Warning's(PPW) draft national warning strategy document is now available fromthe PPW website at

This document represents the first proposal for an overall warningstrategy for the United States. To access the PPW draft directly, go

FCC Issues New Form 303-S

Washington, DC - Mar 21, 2003 - The FCC's Office of Management andBudget has approved the new Form 303-S, Application for Renewal ofBroadcast Station License. The new version is dated as the March 2003edition.

Effective immediately, this revised form must be used by all broadcaststation licensees. All previous editions of the FCC 303-S are obsoleteand may not be used. The FCC 303-S form may be accessed using the MediaBureau�s Consolidated Database System (CDBS). This system enablesthe public to complete and file these forms via the Internet from theMedia Bureau�s website at

FCC Media Ownership Meeting Setfor April 7

Washington, DC - Mar 23, 2003 - The FCC will again hear publictestimony on media ownership issues April 7 at KAET-TV, anon-commercial station in Phoenix, owned by Arizona State University.So far, only FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who called for more publictestimony on the proposed media ownership changes, is scheduled toattend.

Americans Seek Alternative Outlets forWar Information

Mar 24, 2003 - Americans are using the Internet as a way to getalternative news reports on the war in Iraq. Websites covering waractivity in Britain and Australia report spikes in visitors from theUnited States as war activity increases.

Wired reported that the Guardian Unlimited news site, anumbrella site for Britain's Guardian and Observernewspapers, saw a recent 10 percent increase of visitors from theAmericas. Nielsen/NetRatings reported that during the build-up to warearlier this year a quarter of the visitors to the AustralianBroadcasting Corporation's Web site ( were from the Americas.

SBE Chapter 9 and Arizona BroadcastersAnnounce Convention Plans

Phoenix - Mar 24, 2003 - The 2003 Society of Broadcast EngineersChapter 9 Regional Convention and the 51st annual Arizona BroadcastersConvention will be held jointly on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2003, at thePhoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency Hotel,located directly across from Civic Plaza.

The event begins with the annual SBE regional breakfast at 7:30 a.m. atthe Phoenix Civic Plaza followed by morning and afternoon educationalseminars. The seminars will feature technical and otherbroadcast-related topics including EAS and the national AMBERprogram.

An 80-booth exhibition will also be held in Exhibit Hall A at theConvention Center. Exhibit hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The ArizonaBroadcasters Association will hold a Broadcast Job Fair open to thepublic in the SBE exhibit hall. Free of charge to the general public,the Broadcast Job Fair will provide information to people pursuingcareer opportunities in the broadcast industry. A number of broadcastcompanies will present career information at display tables in theexhibit hall from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Door prizes will be awardedduring the exhibit hours.

The ABA will hold its annual membership luncheon at the Civic Plaza.The group�s 14th annual ABA Hall of Fame reception and dinnerwill be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The annual ABAHall of Fame event honors Pioneers of Broadcasting in the state ofArizona.

Except for meal events, convention attendance is free of charge.Further information on exhibiting or attending is available from BonnieLeigh Crystall, exhibit management, C/S Communications, 480-839-8988;; or Gerry Grunig, convention chairman,602-262-5106.

NAB2003: Digital Radio SessionHighlight

Washington, DC - Mar 24, 2003 - With IBOC transmitters introduced atNAB2002 and receivers introduced this year, IBOC, or as Ibiquity hasbranded it, HD Radio, is still in its infancy. Opening remarks at thesession titled Digital AM & FM Radio: The Future Begins Nowwill be provided by Jeff Jury, senior vice president, Ibiquity Digital.Scott Stull, director of Broadcast Business Development and JoeD'Angelo, director, PAC and Wireless Data Business Development, both ofIbiquity, will speak about rollout and benefits of IBOC. Followingtheir presentations will be a panel from related industries.

Panelists are Bob Law, senior vice president, Kenwood USA; Jury fromIbiquity; Tom Ray, corporate director of engineering, BuckleyBroadcasting/WOR; and Gregg Thomas, merchandise manager for MoblieElectronics and Wireless, Ultimate Electronics.

Exhibitors participating in the reception following the sessions areBroadcast Electronics, Harris, Ibiquity and Orban/CRL.


Clear Channel Selects Harris for 10Stations

Cincinnati - Mar 28, 2003 - The Harris Broadcast CommunicationsDivision will supply 10 Clear Channel Communications radio stationswith Harris FM analog transmitters including the Harris HT-20transmitter and the Harris Z-CD transmitters. Clear Channel haspurchased FM analog transmitters for the following stations:

  • WSIX-FM 97.9, Nashville, TN
  • WMGR-FM 104.9, Roanoke, VA
  • WAMX-FM 106.3, Huntington, WV
  • WKKJ-FM 94.3, Columbus, OH
  • WSCQ-FM 100.1, Columbia, SC
  • WCKT-FM 107.1, Ft. Myers, FL
  • WSMJ-FM 93.9, Lima, OH
  • WCOL-FM 92.3, Columbus, OH
  • WBUB-FM 104.9, Mobile, AL

AKG Donates Headphones to Rock Hall

Cleveland - Mar 24, 2003 - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame andMuseum�s Alan Freed Radio Studio has recently acquired six K 240M headphones from AKG Acoustics. The newly renovated studio enablesvisiting broadcasters from around the world to originate programs livefrom the museum�s fifth floor.

Harris Expands InternationalService Network

Cincinnati - Mar 27, 2003 - Harris has added dedicated, in-countryservice professionals for Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, Thailand,Australia and the Philippines to its Broadcast CommunicationsDivision's service staff. Current service representatives in Mexico andChina have also been upgraded to full-time Harris status. The newHarris service personnel will cover their respective countries as wellas neighboring countries.

In the past, these countries were supported on a project-by-projectbasis, but now will have a designated service professional to contactfor any service need. The Chinese representatives are Li Jianhe and LiJianchao. Marcelo Cacheiro is the Brazilian representative.

IDT Media Forms O&O Group

Newark, NJ - Mar 27, 2003 - IDT Media, owner of the Talk AmericaRadio Network, has formed an owned-and-operated radio station group.Jim Weiskopf has been named president of the newly-formed division. IDTMedia is a division of IDT Corporation a multinational carrier,technology and telephone company.

IDT Media recently acquired WMET 1150AM in Washington, DC. IDT Media'slong-term strategy is to acquire radio stations in major U.S. marketsto establish a significant and influential broadcast organization witha national reach.

IDT feels that the station group will complement Talk America, IDTMedia's syndicated radio network, providing a natural operationalsynergy. The original programming created by stations of the O&Ogroup can be syndicated on the Talk America network while someprogramming from Talk America could be cleared on O&O stations on aprogram-by-program and market-by-market basis.

Jim Weiskopf's career in radio spans 19 years and includes positions insales and management. Most recently, Weiskopf was the general managerof Clear Channel's three Washington AM station; Sports Talk 980/WTEM,talker WTNT AM570 and Money Talk WRC AM 1260. Weiskopf's appointment iseffective as of April 7, 2003.

New Look for BroadcastRichardson

LaFox, IL - Mar 26, 2003 - Richardson Electronics has unveiled a newlogo for its Broadcast Richardson division. The new logo identifies thegroup as a division of Richardson Electronics. The new logo will seeits debut at NAB2003.

Along with the new logo, Broadcast Richardson has a new toll-freenumber dedicated to its business (800-882-3872), which is available forcustomers in the United States and Canada.

Tieline Provides Codecsfor SBE Use

Indianapolis - Mar 24, 2003 - Tieline Technology and Bnet Radio havepartnered to webcast the Society of Broadcast Engineers' EAS meetinglive during the NAB convention. The meeting will take place at 2 p.m.PT. The meeting will be webcast over Bnet Radio using Tielinecodecs.

The webcast will be broadcast live and then archived by Bnet Radio forlater listening. This event was webcast live during NAB2002 andarchived. Last year's archived broadcast has been listened to severalthousand times.


Linux Driver for Digigram SoundCards Available

Amsterdam - Mar 25, 2003 - At the 114th AES Convention in Amsterdam,Digigram showcased a Linux driver under open source licensing for itsVX222, VXpocket v2, and VXpocket 440 sound cards. The driver followsthe most advanced audio standard for Linux called ALSA (Advanced LinuxSound Architecture).

In November 2002, Digigram made available the source code of its Mac OSX drivers and driver interface documentation on the ALSA Projectwebsite ( Since then, the Linux community,managed by the ALSA driver developers of SuSE Linux AG, Germany, hasdeveloped a driver that takes advantage of the newest ALSA version0.9.1.

Entercom Boston Goes Wirelesswith Intraplex

Boston - Mar 26, 2003 - Entercom Boston has upgraded the HarrisIntraplex STL Plus system at WQSX-FM 93.7 to handle the IBOC needs fora all five of the group's Boston stations. The STL Plus upgrade usingthe PT/PR-353 modules, which support a linear audio stream at a 44.kHzsampling rate, has already been completed. This summer, the stationwill install a wireless network that will allow the Boston group tofeed programming created at a single studio site over one Intraplexmicrowave connection to a midpoint. From this midpoint, the signal willbe transmitted to various transmitters located throughout suburbanBoston. The microwave transmission will be used as a backup to thetelephone company-provided T1. WAAF-FM, WEEI-AM, WQSX-FM, WRKO-AM andWVEI-AM will use the wireless STL system.

The STL HD, based on Harris Broadcast Communications Division's STLPlus, provides a link system that can transport audio, LAN/WAN data,telephone, intercom voice and remote control signals over high-speeddigital lines, such as E1 and T1.

Tieline Updates VoiceAlgorithm

Indianapolis - Mar 24, 2003 - Tieline has added a new voicealgorithm to all models in the company's codec range. The new algorithmreduces audio artifacts at bit-rates between 9.6kb/s and 16.8kb/s. Thealgorithm, called the Voice algorithm, provides 5kHz of bandwidth onlines running as low as 9.6kb/s.

The new algorithm is also available for purchase and retrofit byexisting Tieline users. See for more information.

Harris to Unveil Neustar CodecPreconditioner

Cincinnati - Mar 25, 2003 - Harris will introduce Neustar, a codecpreconditioner that offers digital signal processing for use with thebit-rate constraints of most audio encoding schemes. One of the mainchallenges in the new digital broadcast environment is deliveringsuperior sound quality within the economic constraints for digitalbit-rate storage, transmission and broadcast. With today's mostadvanced codecs, transparent digital audio is typically encoded at abit rate of 256kb/s, while transmission of digital audio isbandwidth-limited at 96kb/s for FM IBOC and 36kb/s for AM IBOC.

The Neustar is powered by Neural Audio, a privately owned companyheadquartered in Seattle that develops and licenses advanced neuralalgorithms for digital signal processing applications.