Radio Currents Online - May 24 - May 31, 2004

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Radio Currents Online - May 24 - May 31, 2004

May 1, 2004 4:05 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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SBE Adds Two Schools to Certified List
Indianapolis - May 26, 2004 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has added two schools to its list of certified higher education institutions that offer quality educational opportunities in the broadcast electronics field.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, offers a Broadcast Electronics Technology Program and a Telecommunications Technology program. Both lead to two-year degrees. Courses include Systems Integration, Troubleshooting to Component Level, Audio and Video Systems Installation and Use and Application of Broadcast Instrumentation. Eugene Blanchard is the program instructor.

On completion of coursework, students will be eligible for certification as an SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) by taking the SBE CBT examination. For more information about Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's broadcast electronics technology programs, contact Blanchard at or visit the Institute's website at

Spokane Community College (SCC) in Spokane, WA, has also been added to SBE's list of certified schools. SCC offers a two-year program. Courses include Linear Devices, Digital Microprocessors and Computers, Basic Computer Systems, Communication Fundamentals, Advanced Computer Systems, Advanced Communications and Systems Troubleshooting, Broadcast Communications, Digital and Data Communications and Wireless Communications.

On completion of coursework, students at SCC are also eligible for certification as a SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist by taking the SBE CBT examination. For more information, contact John Barnett, at or visit their web site at

Chriss Scherer, CSRE CBNT, chairman of the SBE Certification Committee, which reviews a school's course offerings, said, "People often ask the SBE about ways to get involved in the technical side of broadcasting. The certified schools provide a direct means to gain the knowledge needed to begin a career in broadcast engineering." This brings the total number of schools certified by the SBE to 14. For a complete list of SBE certified schools, visit the SBE's website at

Traffic Plane Lands on Highway
San Francisco - May 24, 2004 - At 8:30 a.m. on May 24, a radio traffic plane, a Cessna 172, made an emergency landing on I-580. The plane was covering the local traffic as usual when the propeller stopped. No one was injured in the incident. The plane was on its way to the Hayward municipal airport.

A motorist slowed cars on the freeway by weaving, preventing other cars from passing and allowing a break in traffic for the plane to land. The plane came to a stop on the right shoulder. No cars were hit.

The plane is used by Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcast Services and provides traffic reports for several radio and TV networks, including KCBS.

Newspaper reports state that the pilot looked for a field in which to land, but saw only school playgrounds with children playing on them. The highway was the only alternative.

Recording Rights Back for Round Two in Congress
Washington - May 25, 2004 - A proposal to calm an aggressive anti-copying legislation has made its way back to Congress, setting the stage for round two in one of the most contentious battles of the digital media era. The big electronic content producers are fighting to preserve the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Critics want to water it down with a new follow-up law.

The new law, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act, is backed by librarians, consumer groups and some technology firms. But change is bitterly opposed by the entertainment industry, including the Hollywood studios, major record labels and the Business Software Alliance.

The content owners argue that preserving the earlier law banning technologies that let people copy DVDs and other digital entertainment is necessary to stop rampant piracy, even if it means that consumers cannot make copies for their personal use. The proposed amendments, sponsored by Rick Boucher, D-VA, and John Doolittle, R-CA, would permit circumvention of the DMCA for "fair use" purposes. Selling pirated DVDs, and other forms of copyright infringement, would remain illegal.

At a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection, lobbyists for the content holders said changing the law and allowing such technologies could cripple the multibillion-dollar entertainment industry, chill creative innovation and cost jobs.

Critics of the restrictive law ridiculed such claims. They argued that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act goes too far to protect those who create digital media, and instead punishes people who simply want to enjoy music or movies in different locations by having more than one copy.

To the entertainment industry, which is at war against piracy on file-sharing networks and elsewhere, the only solution is to put technology into their products to prevent copying, and then outlaw anything that seeks to break that technology.

Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA), one of the new bill's co-sponsors, waved his Apple Ipod for committee members to see and said when he voted for the DMCA in 1998 he failed to grasp that it would restrict his rights to make use of music he had legally purchased.

Proponents of changing the law argue that efforts to stop illegal copying should focus on the conduct of pirates, not the underlying technology that provides law-abiding users with rights and benefits. Other witnesses said that the ban on copying is making it harder for libraries and other educational institutions to make selected use of digital works for long-distance learning.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), chairman of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the DMCA was too restrictive. Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-IL) asked movie industry representatives whether the DMCA would prevent a tool that would allow him to edit out scenes containing "smut" that he does not want his children to see. An MPAA lawyer said it would, but that technology could allow him to fast-forward past those scenes.

Former representative Al Swift, a Washington-state Democrat, said he is a former disc jockey and a music lover who enjoys taking individual songs from CDs and making compilations that he gives to friends. Swift said the law treats most U.S. consumers as pirates, which they are not.

FCC'S Localism Task Force to Hold Hearing in South Dakota
Washington - May 24, 2004 - The FCC's Localism Task Force will hold a field hearing this week in Rapid City, SD. FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell and commissioners Michael J. Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein will preside.

The hearing will held be from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 26, at the Surbeck Student Center Ballroom, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at 501 East Saint Joseph Street in Rapid City. The purpose of the hearing is to gather information from consumers, industry, civic organizations and others on broadcasters' service to their local communities. The designated speakers will include representatives from consumer and advocacy groups as well as broadcasters. The hearing format will enable members of the public to participate via an open microphone session.

A live audiocast of the hearing will be available at on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the hearing will be recorded, and the recording will be made available to the public.

Chairman Powell cuts the ribbon to officially unveil the new RF anechoic measurement chamber. FCC Photo.

FCC Opens RF Testing Chamber
Washington, DC - May 18, 2004 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell established the Commission's Excellence in Engineering Program to "enhance the FCC's independent technical and engineering expertise," according to Powell in his remarks during the opening of the FCC's new anechoic RF test facility in Columbia, MD. "The creation of this measurement chamber is one of many efforts we have undertaken to ensure the Commission has the most talented staff and the latest tools to perform sound engineering analysis."

Power stated that one of the Commission's core functions is to measure RF interference. With the new test facility chamber, FCC engineers will be able to perform sophisticated RF measurements on consumer and commercial devices, such as cellphones and wall-penetrating radars and wireless meter readers.

FCC to Launch EEO Audits
Washington, DC - May 21, 2004 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell announced that the FCC will begin conducting EEO audits by the end of May 2004. The FCC plans to send letters to 5 percent of the radio and television licensees to determine stations' compliance with the FCC's EEO rules. This group represents about 550 radio and 70 TV stations. In its assessment, the FCC will also audit several smaller stations that have claimed exemptions from the EEO rules based on their size.

The current EEO rules went into effect in March 2003. By waiting a year, the FCC hopes to get a realistic overview of compliance with the rules.

The NAB has recommended that stations review their annual EEO Public File reports for completion and accuracy and take steps to respond to any FCC requests for information in a timely manner.


Stardraw Appoints Dove Net Technologies as U.S. Reseller
May 24, 2004 - has appointed Dove Net Technologies as a reseller of the entire Stardraw product range throughout the United States and Canada. Stardraw Marketing Director Rob Robinson noted that the appointment is a logical extension of Stardraw's activities in North America because of Dove Net's complementary offerings to Stardraw.

Dove Net's own application, The Project System, is an administration program that creates, handles and tracks quotes, bookings, commissions, margins, invoicing and job costs for systems integrators with the ability to link everything to an accounting system. Stardraw deals with the front end, providing the drawing tools to produce engineering schematics, rack layouts, custom panel designs and sales presentations.

Sales Call

Vermont Public Radio (VPR) has standardized its announce microphones by deploying 12 Neumann BCM 104 broadcast mics throughout the five-station statewide network. VPR Director of Engineering Rich Parker made the selection after a recommendation from Mike Pappas, chief engineer of KUVO public radio in Denver. People Harris Reassigns Broadcast Communications Roles
Cincinnati - May 27, 2004 - Harris has made several new assignments in its Broadcast Communications Division to strategically align the Division's internal business unit structure with established and emerging customer markets. Harris states that the changes were made to better serve its customers, providing a focused leadership team in each of its major business segments. As announced earlier this month, Jeremy Wensinger has been named president of the Broadcast Communications Division. In addition, Harris has announced the leadership team for five new business units: Broadcast Networking and Government Solutions, Europe Broadcast Systems, Television Broadcast Systems, Radio Broadcast Systems, and Broadcast Automation Solutions. Jim Denny has been promoted to vice president of Broadcast Networking and Government Solutions. This new business unit is responsible for product development, product management, manufacturing, sales and strategic marketing for the Intraplex and Netvx product lines. Since joining Harris in 1981, Denny has served in a number of capacities at Harris' Government Communications Systems unit before joining the Broadcast Communications Division as a director at Intraplex Products. Most recently he has been director, transmission programs, high-power radio and service. Denny received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Florida and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Florida. David Stephenson joins the Broadcast Communications Division as vice president, Europe Broadcast Systems. Stephenson will be based at the company's operation in Huntingdon, UK. Europe Broadcast Systems is responsible for development, management, manufacturing, sales and strategic marketing in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region for radio and TV transmitters and related products, systems and services. Stephenson joined Harris in 1997 and served most recently as vice president, strategic business development and marketing at Harris' RF Communications Division in Rochester, NY. Previously, he spent nine years in senior management with Rohde and Schwarz in the United States and Canada. Denny and Stephenson join current Harris senior managers who will head the three remaining business units. Dale Mowry assumes the position of vice president, Television Broadcast Systems. Previously he had been vice president of transmission for Harris Broadcast Communications. Debra Huttenburg assumes the position of vice president, Radio Broadcast Systems. She also will be in charge of radio and TV sales in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions. Huttenburg moves into her new role from her current position of vice president of sales and marketing. Jim Woods will continue to serve as vice president, Broadcast Automation Solutions, located in Sunnyvale, CA. Arbitron Adds to PPM Team
New York - May 26, 2004 - Arbitron has added to its Portable People Meter (PPM) marketing team with two leadership changes for coordination of its U.S. and international marketing efforts. Jay Guyther has been appointed senior vice president of PPM marketing for the U.S. and international. Brad Bedford has been appointed vice president, international PPM marketing. Guyther will focus solely on PPM and work with the radio, television, cable and advertising communities. A key part of his responsibility will be to work with the radio industry to help address the issues and concerns the industry has as it considers a transition to electronic measurement. Previously, Guyther managed Arbitron''s role in the first deployments of PPM for radio and television in Belgium and television in Canada. In this newly created position, Guyther will focus on identifying and prioritizing customer needs with respect to all ratings applications for the PPM worldwide and developing programs and initiatives to address these needs. In addition, he will act as a liaison between radio industry groups, including the Radio Advisory Council and Radio Advertising Bureau. Guyther has been a driving force for the PPM. In 2003 he was responsible for the multi-country license agreement with TNS, a marketing information and television audience measurement company, to deploy the PPM system in select countries throughout Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Previously, he served as the general manager of radio services at Arbitron, where he developed a plan to increase Arbitron''s diary sample sizes by up to 70 percent and introduced two new services: Maximiser and Mapmaker. Bedford has spent the last two decades in sales at Arbitron for radio stations and Internet Broadcasting. In 2003 he became a member of Arbitron''s international PPM team. Previously, Bedford served as the vice president of the Internet Broadcasting Services division. Internet Watch Products Digidesign Ships Digidelivery
Daly City, CA - May 26, 2004 � Digidesign is now shipping Digidelivery, a software utility and server appliance that allows secure exchange of digital files of virtually any size with anyone in the world. Digidelivery comes preinstalled on a choice of two network appliances. See for a more information. Click here to receive the Radio magazine Currents Online Weekly E-mail.