Radio Currents Online - Nov 3 - Nov 9, 2003
Nov 1, 2003 12:00 PM
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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FCC's Adelstein Seeks PayolaProbe
Washington - Nov 5, 2003 - In a speech to the Federal CommunicationsBar Association, FCC Commissioner Jonathon Adelstein called for actionin the recent pay-for-play practices in broadcasting. In his speech, hecited various practices used by radio stations to charge record labelsand artists for radio airplay. The practice, when done carefully, fallslegally within the scope of payola rules. More recently, some TVstations have begun a practice of charging to conduct interviews. Onestation in Tampa has charged $500 for a two-minute segment during thelocal news. A station in Mississippi has charged $2,500 for a four- tosix-minute segment. These interviews have come under scrutiny becausethey are aired during the regular newscast and carry the appearance ofnews content when they are technically considered advertisements. Adisclaimer appears in the closing credits identifying the segment as apaid feature, but Adelstein feels that is insufficient.
In his speech, Adelstein said, "It�s been 40 years sinceenactment of the payola statutes. It�s time for the FCC to probewhether our rules adequately deter potentially new forms ofpayola."
He went on to say that there is a real need for the FCC to review itssponsorship identification rules to make sure it addresses modern daypay-for-play practices in the most effective way possible.
FCC Announces AM Auction and CPFiling Window
Washington - Nov 6, 2003 - The FCC's Media Bureau (MB) and theWireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) have announced an auctionfiling window for certain AM station construction permit applications.The filing window will open on Jan. 26, 2004, and will close on Jan.30, 2004. In connection with this window, the MB also announced that itwill not accept AM minor change construction permit applicationsbetween Jan. 12, 2004, and Jan. 30, 2004.
The window is available for proposals for new AM stations and majormodifications to authorized AM facilities. Proposals submitted in thefiling window must protect all minor change applications filed beforeJan. 12, 2004. The window will not be available for frequencies in theAM expanded band or for major changes in existing AM expanded bandstations.
AM minor modification applications are governed by first come/firstserved processing procedures and generally may be filed at any time.However, to avoid the possibility of mutual exclusivity with new andmajor change applications submitted during this auction filing window,the MB will institute a temporary freeze on the acceptance of AM minorchange applications at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time, Jan. 12, 2004. Thefreeze will remain in effect until the close of the window. AM minorchange applications filed during this freeze will be dismissed.
More information is available on the FCC's website at this link. (DA 03-3532)
NAB Announces Crystal RadioAwards Deadline
Washington, DC - Nov 5, 2003 - The National Association ofBroadcasters' 2004 Crystal Radio Awards competition entry deadline isFeb. 2. The NAB Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for theiroutstanding year-round commitment to community service. Finalists willbe honored and winners announced at the Radio Luncheon, Tuesday, April20, during NAB2004 in Las Vegas. Winners will also be honored at theService to America Gala in Washington, DC, on June 14.
Stations across America will be honored for their outstanding effortsto provide responsive, individual service to cities, counties and townsthey serve. To enter, a station must submit a 12-page document,summarizing its community service efforts for the year. Crystalfinalists and winners will be chosen by judges from the radio andcommunity service fields. For an entry form or more information, seethe NAB Radio website at www.nab.org/radio or call Chris Suever at202-775-3511.
Copyright Office SeeksComments
Washington - Oct 8, 2003 - The Copyright Office is requesting publiccomment on what regulations it should adopt relating to records of usefor past performances of sound recordings by means of digital audiotransmissions (including Webcasting) since Oct. 28, 1998. Initialcomments are due Nov. 24, 2003. Reply comments are due Dec. 22, 2003.The notice may be found at the Copyright Office's website:www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2003/68fr58054.html.
Chyron Sells Pro-BelSubsidiary
Melville, NY - Nov 6, 2003 - Chyron has sold all of the stock in itswholly owned subsidiary Chyron UK Holdings Limited and its operatingsubsidiary Pro-Bel Limited, which constituted all of the company'ssignal distribution and automation business. The purchaser of thebusiness is Oval (1883) Limited, a UK company jointly owned by LDC andcertain members of the Pro-Bel management team.
The sale allows Chyron to reduce its debt and focus on its corecompetency, the development of real-time graphics systems. Among otherproducts, Pro-Bel manufactures audio routing equipment.
New Owner forContinental Electronics
Dallas - Nov 4, 2003 � DRS Technologies has completed itsacquisition of Integrated Defense Technologies (IDT). In thetransaction, a wholly owned subsidiary of DRS was merged with IDT. Thetransaction was completed following approval by a majority ofIDT�s stockholders at a special meeting held earlier today. IDThas owned Continental Electronics since 2000.
Continental has had several owners since it was founded in 1946,including founder James Weldon, LTV, Varian Associates andTech-Sym.
More IBOC Tests in Mexico
Cincinnati - Oct 9, 2003 - Grupo Radio Centro hosted a demonstrationon AM and FM IBOC and DAB broadcasting at Mexico's first broadcastconvention, CIRT. Attendance at the convention was reported to be morethan 1,000.
During the convention, Harris demonstrated AM IBOC and Eureka 147. TheAM IBOC demo was installed at the Grupo Radio Centro located in SantaCatarina, Ixtapalapa, Mexico City. The station was XEN on 690kHz. Thisstation already has three Harris transmitters: one DX-25U, one 3DX-50and one DX-100. The antenna system is an omnidirectional antenna thatis 108 meters tall.
Harris installed two audio processors - one for analog AM and the otherfor IBOC - a Harris Dextar Epal and Harris Dextar AM exciter. Thesystem was first installed the stations DX-25U and later moved to theDX-100. This marks the first installation of IBOC in a DX-100.
KFRG Gets Back on Air After Fire
San Berndardino, CA - Nov 6, 2003 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) issupplying two FM transmitters to KFRG-FM, which lost its transmitterbuilding and just about everything in it to the firestorm that blazedthrough California recently. The Infinity station is the LP-1 for thegreater San Bernadino/Riverside area. It was added to the fire fatalitylist on Oct. 25 along with two other stations, KCAL-FM and KSGN-FM,broadcasting from Cloudland Forest Road. In addition, KECR-AM alsosuffered equipment losses from the fire.
After seeing that the fire had destroyed the transmitter building, KFRGChief Engineer Kevin Scott called BE, which supplied Infinity stationswith transmitters in the past and had an FM-30T 30kW on order for KFRGas part of a large, corporate purchase order from InfinityBroadcasting. BE shipped KFRG a new 30kW transmitter within hours afterthe call, several weeks ahead of schedule.
With the transmitter building in ruin, however, Scott wasn�toptimistic that he would be able to install the 30kW transmitter anytime soon. He planned to bring a storage locker to the Cloudland siteto serve as a temporary transmitter structure. He also needed a lowerpowered 10kW transmitter that could feed the four-bay antenna system toprovide a 26kW ERP signal. KFRG is licensed for 50kW ERP.
A second call to BE started the expedited shipment of a new FM-10T 10kWtransmitter. The transmitter was shipped via a white glove shippingmethod, getting to Los Angeles in 39 hours. Scott plans to use thetransmitter during the next few months while rebuilding the site atCloudland, at which time he'll install the BE 30kW transmitter and usethe 10kW for backup.
The station has been operating from a temporary antenna at Box Springssince the fire, on a backup tower graciously loaned by KGGI-FM, a ClearChannel station. Concluding that a backup location is as important ashaving backup equipment, KFRG corporate officers are currently applyingfor a license to set up an auxiliary transmitter from Box Springs, withplans to purchase yet another BE transmitter for backup there.
Sonifex Receives Order forPortable Recorders
Irthlingborough, UK - Oct 10, 2003 - Sonifex has received an orderfrom All India Radio (AIR) for 300 Courier flashcard portablerecorders. The recorders are to be used throughout India for localbroadcasting. They will be used in conjunction with the Dalet RadioAutomation System.
Harris Inks Distribution Agreementwith Desktop Technologies
Cincinnati - Nov 5, 2003 - Harris has been named a distributor ofNews Boss, an automation product by Desktop Technologies, a Sydney,Australia-based radio technology company.
News Boss, a newsroom automation system, was designed as a MicrosoftWindows-based product. It is a radio-specific automation system thatuses a true database for management of news data. News Boss is fullyscaleable and configurable, with installed systems ranging from asingle workstation to more than 80 users. The system's key featuresinclude dynamic newscast management, automatic capture of multiple wireservices, ingest of satellite feeds, simple-to-use audio recording andediting, high-quality prompter for on-air presentations and WAN andInternet connectivity. News Boss is currently installed in over 280worldwide locations (140 in the United States) in 22 countries.
APT Plug-in for Adobe Audition SeesAcceptance
Hilton Head, SC - Oct 28, 2003 - The Adventure Radio Group isbenefiting from Audio Processing Technology's (APT) plug-in for theAdobe Audition audio editing software, previously known as SyntrilliumCool Edit Pro.
Codec manufacturer APT, initially designed its plug-in for Cool EditPro, which has been a standard in broadcast and post productionfacilities. However, following Adobe�s acquisition ofSyntrillium, the plug-in now works well with Adobe Audition, which hasbeen upgraded to incorporate Cool Edit Pro.
APT�s plug-in provides an easy path for Apt-X file formatencoding, decoding and editing. The plug-in is available as a downloadfrom APT's website. It is simple to install and ready togo once it is registered. The software is compatible with Cool Edit Pro2000, 1.2a, 2.0 and 2.1, and also with Scott Studios, ComputerConcepts, Barrcode, The Management, Smarts and generic Apt-X files(.DSS, .SND, .DAF, .CUT, .AUD).
Adventure Radio, based in Hilton Head Island, downloaded its plug-insoon after APT launched the product at NAB2003. The stations use theAPT plug-in to save time by ripping CDs directly into the facility'sScott Studios system in the .DSS format. The stations no longer need todecode and re-encode audio from other file formats to Apt-X. Theconversion can be done directly.
Andrew Acquires Yantai Fine CableAssets
Orland Park IL - Nov 3, 2003 - Andrew has acquired selected assetsof Yantai Fine Cable Company, a manufacturer of products fortelecommunications and broadband cable TV infrastructure providers. Theassets have become part of a new subsidiary, Andrew BroadbandTelecommunication (Yantai) Company that will occupy the former YantaiFine Cable manufacturing premises in Yantai, in China's Shandongprovince. More than 300 former Yantai Fine Cable Company employees,including specialist cable engineers, became Andrew employees.Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Principal products manufactured by Andrew Broadband telecommunicationswill include a braided 75 ohm subscriber access cable for broadbandnetworks, a braided 50 ohm cable for broadband wireless, Wi-Fi,telematics, and microwave backhaul applications and a braided 50 ohmcable for in-cabinet wireless jumper assemblies.
Rohde and Schwarz Names RegionalSales Manager
Columbia, MD - Nov 4, 2003 � Tom Jordan, a broadcast industryveteran credited with deploying Leitch's first U.S. field-basedprofessional sales force, and known for his service to industryorganizations such as SMPTE, NATAS, the SBE and the AMA has joinedRohde and Schwarz as a regional sales manager.
Jordan will support a growing customer base, as well as generate newbusiness. He will analyze and evaluate customer requirements as well asdevelop strategies to successfully respond to the rapidly evolvingmarketplace. Jordan's territories include the New York networks and thesoutheastern states reaching from Virginia to Florida.
Jordan most recently held the position of senior vice president ofstrategic relations for Leitch following a five-year tenure as Leitch'svice president of U.S. sales. Prior to Leitch, Jordan served asregional sales manager for Tektronix Television Division where hehelped develop an automatic test set application for analyzing color TVcamera performance.
Jordan�s experience also includes leadership roles at RCABroadcast Systems and at Harris Broadcast Division where he led a teamthat developed the company's first studio color camera products, and atGeneral Electric Broadcast where he developed the first automaticcontrast compression system for color TV cameras and received a patentfor a unique shading modulator design.
Jordan holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University ofKentucky.
Beck Appointed Eventide GeneralManager
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Eventide has formed a new Audio Softwaregroup and Jason Beck, who led the development of the Eclipse andClockworks Legacy plug-ins, will lead the development team.
Beck recently announced the introduction of two new plug-ins for ProTools TDM for Mac, Eventide Reverb and the Octavox Harmonizer. Also,version 1.1 of its Clockworks Legacy plug-in bundle is available.
Sadie Appoints Thompson toU.S. Director of Sales
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Ed Thompson will be responsible for theongoing education of the audio community on the benefits of suchadvanced technologies as DSD. Thompson will help develop and implementa new, intensified sales approach, and strengthen relationships withSadie's network of dealers and reps, along with prominent mastering andmixing facilities.
Thompson is an accomplished engineer with a broad range of experience,including time spent working at Ohio State University�s publicradio and TV services, and doing music and sports audio mixing for suchhigh-profile clients as ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN. Thompson has been therecipient of two regional Emmy Awards, with a third nomination.Additionally, Thompson honed his skills as an engineer for renownedclassical pianist Earl Wild, with credits on Wild�sGrammy-winning The Romantic Master: Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions aswell as the 2002 Grammy-nominated Wild album Reynaldo Hahn: LeRossignol �perdu.
BSI Releases New Version of Simian
Eugene, OR - Nov 6, 2003 - Broadcast Software International (BSI)has released Simian 1.6. BSI has incorporated more than 100 usersuggestions in recent releases, including improved deckfade macros toincrease user control, improved index handling and playback on MP3files, added control over the Async deck, increased webcastingfunctions and serial strings, and a Reset Cart command to allow Simianto go back to the first item in a cart, even if all the items have notbeen played.
Other new features include Dynamic Time Compression, which allowsbroadcasters to condense their broadcast without any pitch-shifting,enabling them to easily meet top-of-the-hour deadlines every time.BSI's Smart Carts ensure that out-of-date spots will not be played (andartists can be set to a specific rotation even within randomizedcarts), and Simian can also check a log as of a certain date so thatbroadcasters can check their schedule days in advance. Simian will holdand play back EAS or traffic messages at the end of songs or spots.Mixer fader gang control has been added to the satellite feature setand BSI Simian also has improved voice-tracking with remotecapability.
More info at www.bsiusa.com.
Minilink USB Interface NowAvailable
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Neutrik's Minilink USB interface for theMinstruments series is a field-retrofittable link that enables PC-basedcommunications between NTI's Minilyzer and Digilyzer and allows easierdocumentation and data acquisition of all device functions.
In conjunction with the upgraded firmware for the Minilyzer andDigilyzer, the instruments will be able to handle screen shots andprovide data storage for post processing.
Hitplayer Now Available
New York - Oct 10, 2003 - Digigram has made Hitplayer availablethrough its North American distribution network for systems contractor,installation and pro audio markets. Hitplayer combines two standaloneaudio players with IP network services into a solution for automatedand interactive audio applications.