Radio Currents Online - May 12 - May 18, 2008
May 12, 2008 8:54 AM
Radio Performance Fee Opposition Resolution Introed in Senate
Washington, DC - May 12, 2008 - A resolution was introduced in the U.S. Senate that opposes adoption of radio performance fees. The resolution, introduced by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), has gained the support of Senators Wayne Allard (R-CO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and James Webb (D-VA). Similar legislation was introduced last year in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX). The House resolution has support from more than 200 lawmakers.
The resolution was introduced to support the Local Radio Freedom Act, which seeks to block new performance fees on local radio stations. According to the resolution, "Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings."
The NAB has opposed the performance fee being proposed by the RIAA, and has mislabeled the fee a tax in its efforts.
NABEF Launches Online Broadcast Career Center
Washington, DC - May 15, 2008 - The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) launched an upgraded online career center for broadcast employers and job seekers interested in opportunities within broadcasting. The service, dubbed Broadcast Career Link, allows interested applicants to search broadcast-related job listings and post their resume free of charge. Employers can also use the resource to post job openings and identify qualified applicants.
Access the website at BroadcastCareerLink.NABEF.org. Users will create an online account and manage job postings or resumes.
Congressional Subcommittee Hears Update on EAS Overhaul
Washington - May 14, 2008 - The Homeland Security Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response Subcommittee, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security, heard from witnesses to provide an update on the status of the process to update the nation's emergency warning system. Retired Maj. Gen. Martha T. Rainville, assistant administrator of national continuity programs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was one of the witnesses at the hearing.
Rainville noted that the current alerting technology is more than 15 years old. "Through [the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System], FEMA and our partners are transforming the alert system from an audio-only signal sent over radio and television to one that can support audio, video, text and data alert messages sent to residential telephones, to websites, pagers, e-mails and to cell phones," said Rainville in her opening comments. "The mission of the IPAWS program is simply to send one message over more channels to more people at all times and places."
This summer, FEMA plans to rollout the first element of IPAWS, called the Digital Emergency Alert System, in eight states and Puerto Rico. Rainville also noted that FEMA will increase the number of Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations from 36 to 63. The PEP stations provide the backbone structure for FEMA to send a presidential alert to the public. Rainville says that this move will increase the agency's reach to 85 percent of the American people directly, up from the current 70 percent.
Radio magazine has condensed the key portions of Rainville's comments in a podcast.
Earthlink Pulling the Plug on Philadelphia Wi-fi
Philadelphia - May 15, 2008 - According to wirelessphiladelphia.org, Wireless Philadelphia Digital Inclusion has notified its members and subscribers that Earthlink intends to terminate Wi-fi service in that city. Earthlink will provide customers a 30-day transition period through June 12, 2008, and all Digital Inclusion customers will be eligible for one year of free Internet access via dial-up through June 2009.
Philadelphia officials announced their plans for a citywide Wi-fi hot spot, making high-speed Internet access available in poor communities, in 2004. Cities around the world began taking notice. The contract, finalized in early 2006, between the city and Earthlink agreed to charge $21.95/month (and half that to low-income households) for the service. Earthlink paid for building the network and said it would pay rent to the city for the use of light posts where the equipment would hang. However, according to the Associated Press, the technology proved unreliable and difficult to deploy. Atlanta-based Earthlink gave notice to the city after it could not find a buyer for the $17 million network.
Earthlink's lawsuit against the city claims the company has only 5,942 subscribers in Philadelphia out of a projected minimum of 100,000. The company is losing $200,000/month with the subscriber fees covering less than half of the operating costs.
Earthlink has similarly pulled out of Wi-fi ventures in San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and other cities, according to USA Today.
Wireless Philadelphia stresses that it is aggressively working to prevent the deadline from being imposed and at the same time solidify a replacement for Earthlink's Wi-fi service prior to that date.
Senate Votes to Reverse FCC Ownership Rule Change
Washington, DC - May 16, 2008 - A vote taken on May 15 by the Senate reverses an FCC decision from December 2007 that would slightly relax the cross-ownership ban for a radio or TV station to own a newspaper in the same market. The resolution of disapproval was sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and 26 other senators.
The FCC passed the action by a 3 Republican to 2 Democrat vote. The previous rule completely prohibited a broadcast licensee from owning a newspaper in the same market. The FCC amendment allowed one company to own a newspaper and a broadcast station in the 20 largest metropolitan areas, as long as the TV station was not one of the top four in the market and at least eight independent media voices must remain.
Dorgan said the FCC rule created a "gaping loophole for more mergers of newspapers and television stations across the country." The House is also considering to vote to reverse the ownership rule, although even if such an action passes the House as well, President Bush will likely veto it.
Prism Sound Helps Engineer find Silver Lining
San Francisco - May 12, 2008 - Anyone who has ever had a vehicle stolen understands how radio broadcast engineer Jay Rose felt when his truck was taken from a hotel parking lot in Las Vegas. But what made his experience so much worse is that not only did he lose his vehicle, he also lost a collection of tools and audio test equipment that had taken him more than 30 years to accumulate.
But it seems that even the blackest cloud has a silver lining because the loss all his equipment gave Rose the opportunity to re-evaluate what he needed, particularly in terms of audio test equipment. He was effectively starting again, so he used the opportunity to look at what was new on the market. After researching possibilities, Rose decided on a Prism Sound Dscope III.
During his career, Rose has worked for radio stations including KMEL-FM, KIOI-FM, KYLD-FM, KKSF-FM and KGO-TV in San Francisco, and KKBT-FM in Los Angeles. In 1999, Rose founded his present company, Jay Rose Broadcast Engineering.
Rose's projects vary from station to station, but to verify and prove problems, he now relies on the Prism Sound Dscope Series III.
Clear Channel Launches Totalradius.com
San Antonio - May 13, 2008 - To promote the use of radio as an advertising medium and to help match advertisers' campaign needs with the best radio promotion tools, Clear Channel Radio has launched a business-to-business website called www.totalradius.com to showcase the comprehensive offerings of radio.
"Totalradius.com is intended to be a first stop for advertisers exploring the multi-faceted landscape of radio," said John Hogan, president and CEO, Clear Channel Radio.
Totalradius.com is a public website portal designed to demonstrate the ease, creativity and cost benefits of advertising on radio. Visitors will learn how to create a commercial, find out what a blink is and hear radio advertising success stories from prominent media personalities and experts in interviews exclusive to the site.
Linear Acoustic Completes Merger with Telos
Lancaster, PA, and Cleveland - May 12, 2008 - Linear Acoustic has completed the transaction to become the fourth member of the Telos Systems group, a technology partnership whose companies include Omnia and Axia. The proposed merger was announced in April 2007 and reported in the Radio magazine Currents Online.
Linear Acoustic manufactures TV audio processors, which complements the Omnia line of radio processors.
Koch Records, a division of Koch Entertainment, has signed an agreement to use the Play MPE System to digitally deliver music to trusted recipients and pre-release content to radio broadcasters. A Klotz Digital Varizone public address system has been selected for the new business and event centre of the five-star Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz in Switzerland. The historic facility "Kursaal", which is the event area in the hotel complex, has been modified under the imposed conditions of a historically listed building. Additionally a Klotz Digital Decennium mixing console is bound into the system as soundboard to be used during live events.
Targetspot Adds Arbitron Comscore Online Radio Ratings
New York - May 14, 2008 - Streaming media advertising company Targetspot will now receive an Arbitron ranking with a third-party accounting of the size and scope of the growing company's listener base. Targetspot's nationwide network of more than 600 stations will receive a Comscore Arbitron Online Radio Rating, which provides average quarter-hour and cumulative (cume) audience estimates for standard dayparts and demographics. The Arbitron Comscore ratings join special agency-focused services that Targetspot offers, including frequency caps and flighting, custom networks, hierarchical accounts, and compatibility with Double Click's Dart and Aquantive's Atlas tracking.
Targetspot allows businesses to create, buy and place advertising messages on Internet radio. Targetspot currently works with CBS Radio and Entercom Communications
Alert FM Added to Florida Stations
Jackson, MS - May 14, 2008 - Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in south Florida are the first two counties in that state to have access to Alert FM, an FM radio-based emergency alert and messaging system. Alert FM allows authorized emergency management officials to send alerts and messages to specific groups of first responders, business and citizens before, during and after a crisis. Targeted alerts and messages are delivered by satellite to the data subcarrier of FM transmission towers and can be received on Alert FM receivers and other mobile devices.
The initial South Florida FM stations participating in Alert FM are WRTO (98.3), WLRN (91.3) and WAMR (107.5). Alert FM receivers are now available to consumers. Easily programmable, the devices run on AA batteries and have no recurring fees after purchase.
Yangaroo Signs Two Indy Music Distributors
Toronto - May 15, 2008 - Yangaroo has signed agreements with San Francisco-based Iris Distribution and Los Angeles-based A&R Select to provide their member artists and labels with digital distribution of their music to radio and other destinations throughout the U.S. and Canada using Yangaroo's patented Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS). Iris Distribution represents 5,000 independent artists and labels, and A∓R Select has worked with more than 2,000 artists and bands since its founding in 2006.
Stack Joins DSI RF Systems
Somerset, NJ - May 9, 2008 - DSI RF Systems has added William "Joe" Stack as senior engineer. Stack, a former engineer at Modulation Sciences, has extensive experience in the broadcast industry, spanning station level engineering, product design and RF engineering.
He attended Ohio University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He continued his education and attained a P.E. license in 1992. He began his career as engineering supervisor at the Ohio University Telecommunications Center, while simultaneously teaching college students the technical basis of telecommunications. After two years, he moved on to a career at Capital Cities/ABC in New York City where he was assistant director of engineering for four years eventually taking the position of acting director of engineering.
NAB Radio Board Selected
Washington, DC - May 12, 2008 - Three new board members and five incumbents have been appointed to eight designated seats on the NAB Radio Board of Directors. The selections were made by NAB Radio Board Chairman Russ Withers with the approval of the Radio Executive Committee and NAB Joint Board Chairman Jack Sander. The two-year terms become effective at the upcoming NAB Board meeting in June. Reappointed to the NAB Radio Board are:
- Susan Davenport Austin, senior vice president and CFO, Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation
- Ed Christian, president and CEO, Saga Communications
- Jessica Marventano, senior vice president for government affairs, Clear Channel Communications
- Susan Patrick, executive vice president and co-owner, Legend Communications
- Charles Warfield, president and COO, ICBC Broadcast Holdings
Newly appointed to the NAB Radio Board are:
- Ed Atsinger, president and CEO, Salem Communications
- Sally Brown, vice president of radio - Indiana, Schurz Communications
- Gary Stone, president and COO, Univision Radio
Yamaha Updates Digital Mixers
Buena Park, CA - May 13, 2008 - Yamaha has updated its 01V96V2 and 02R96V2 digital mixing consoles. The new 01V96VCM and 02R96VCM models retain the V2 features and add VCM effects pre-installed.
Previously available as an add-on effect package, the Yamaha VCM channel strip processors and REV-X reverb are now standard features on the 01V96VCM. These effects are based on Virtual Circuitry Modeling technology that models the original analog circuitry.
The new 02R96VCM is the 02R96 Version 2 plus an array of processing technologies. Included are recreations of classic compression and EQ units from the 70's, simulations of several analog open-reel tape decks, a suite of REV-X reverb effects, a surround post-production package and a selection of vintage stomp boxes.
The new 01V96VCM and 02R96VCM models are currently available at Yamaha dealers. Customers who purchased an 01V96V2 or 02R96V2 from January 1, 2008 are eligible to receive a free update CD. More information is available at www.yamaha.com.
Minnetonka Audio Updates Audio Tools AWE
Minnetonka, MN - May 14, 2008 - The latest version of Audio Tools AWE v1.4 includes new key audio formats for conversion and many new feature enhancements. Building on the successful release of Audio Tools AWE 1.3 by adding MP3 and SD II support, 1.4 will add the following file formats and feature enhancements:
- AU file support, reading and writing PCM, uLaw, and aLaw AU files that produce 8-bit encoded data.
- W64 file support.
- Intelligent file handling on Folder Drop. Stereo or surround sets of discreet mono files in the same folder that follow AWE channel identification filenames automatically create Channel Groups.
- Optimized parsing of MP3 files for playback. A metadata file is generated for each MP3 file selected for playback.
Audio Tools AWE, the automated audio workflow engine for editing, format conversion, encoding, plug-in processing and processing through external I/O devices, can process thousands of files in a single job. Processing chains can be auditioned and saved as templates. Hot Folders automatically apply a complete processing workflow to any files placed in them. Hot Folders and advanced job management fea�tures include a Job Queue that manages any number of sequential jobs, robust failure recov�ery, and job logs.
EYE ON IBOC
HD Radio Alliance Touts Next Wave of Multicast Stations
Orlando, FL - May 14, 2008 - The HD Digital Radio Alliance is touting the most recent set of HD Radio multicast format launches. As part of its effort in promoting the HD Radio rollout, the alliance is coordinating stations in a market to provide unique formats for the multicast streams. A press release issued by the alliance notes the unique format choices of these stations.
Indie music formats:
- Ichannel (Bonneville Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT)
- Radio You Boston (Greater Media: Boston, MA)
- Local 107 -- Local Artists (Emmis: Austin, TX)
- Indie and Ultra-New Rock (CBS Radio: Boston, MA)
- Local Music (Entercom: Seattle, WA)
- Indie Rock (Clear Channel: Portland, OR; Oklahoma City, OK, Seattle, WA)
- Rock Independent Radio -- 94.7 Too (Entercom: Portland, OR)
- Erockster (Clear Channel: Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC)
- RIFF2 (Greater Media: Detroit, MI)
- Live Rock -- WMMR Archives (Greater Media: Philadelphia, PA)
- WNEW (CBS Radio: New York, NY)
- Smooth Jazz (Clear Channel: Pittsburgh, PA)
- 80s-based Adult Hits (CBS Radio: Las Vegas, NV; McAllen-Brownsville-Harlingen, TX, New York, NY)
- Radio Free Hawaii (Clear Channel: Hawaii)
- Haney's Big House 96.1 HD2 (Beasley: Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco Island, FL)
- Classical Music (Greater Media: Philadelphia, PA)
Niche demographic formats
- Gretchen 99.9 (Beasley: Miami, FL)
- Country/Southern Rock (Citadel: Atlanta, GA)
- Old Skool Hip Hop (Clear Channel: Boston, MA)
- Punk Young Alternative (Emmis: Chicago, IL)
- Oldies (Buckley: Hartford-New Britain-Middletown, CT)
- 80's Channel (WBEB: Philadelphia, PA)
- Chick Rock (CBS Radio: Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX)
- International Hits (Bonneville: Cincinnati, OH)
- Solid Gold 106 (Beasley: Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco Island, FL)
The alliance has also coordinated a common branding for multicast stations. Alliance websites will feature the multicast formats available with a "flashy new logo" the will "stand out in a bold orange box" according to the alliance. However, when Radiowent to find these flashy logos and oranges boxes we found none.
Ibiquity Hosts HD Radio Conference in China
Columbia, MD - May 15, 2008 - More than 300 consumer electronics industry executives attended Ibiquity Digital's HD Radio Business Conference and Technology Training session in Shenzhen, China, on April 11, 2008, two days prior to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. The meeting included three concurrent training sessions and a 20-vendor HD Radio exhibition. IC suppliers, module suppliers, test unit manufacturers, reference platform designers and software design houses were among the companies demonstrating their HD Radio systems and services.
The Business Conference provided an overview of the state of HD Radio technology today as well as looking to future features and products, including an update on the domestic and international roll out, products in the market, retail status, OEM automotive update, advanced features and services under development, and presentations from vendors who are working on next-generation HD Radio chips.
The Technical Session included an overview of HD Radio architectures for the new Samsung Cayman and Siport SP101, SDK 3.1; display standardization; Ipod docking stations; and new features under development such as conditional access, traffic services and store and replay.
The Testing and Certification Session provided an HD Radio system overview, design considerations, development equipment, type approval process and tests, factory testing process and testing partners.
IC and advanced services were featured, including updates from Clear Channel Communications, which gave an update on MSN Direct HD Traffic Service and Elektrobit, a navigation applications provider, which presented an overview of the MSN Direct HD implementation. Conditional access, Itunes tagging, store and replay and display standards were also discussed.
Ibiquity Digital will organize another HD Radio Business Conference and Technology Update on Oct. 10, 2008, in Shenzhen, China.
Ibiquity Digital Extends Licensing Program
Columbia, MD - May 15, 2008 - Ibiquity Digital has signed software development agreements with Samboo Info Tech Limited, Analog & Digital Soft Company Limited, and KRS Electronics Company Limited.
"We are expanding the companies we license to include software partners so that we can offer manufacturers a complete integrated solution for building HD Radio products," said Jeff Jury, COO, Ibiquity Digital.
Ibiquity will provide direct SDK support in the development of software on the host micro and user-interface design as well as advanced feature integration prototyping. With extensive experience in the automotive head unit arena, Analog & Digital Soft Company and KRS Electronics will focus on software development for head units and Personal Navigation Devices. Samboo IT will focus on supporting home products in various form factors including Ipod docks, table top radios, mini shelf systems, and AV receivers.