Radio Currents Online - Oct 1- Oct 7, 2007
Oct 1, 2007 10:00 AM
FCC Profanity Rule Headed to Supreme Court
Washington - Oct 1, 2007 - The U.S. Solicitor General has signaled his intent to ask the Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court decision invalidating the FCC's rule against the use of fleeting expletives on the air. In requesting a routine deadline extension until Nov. 1 for filing a petition at the Supreme Court, U.S. Solicitor Paul D. Clement said he has "decided to authorize the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari in this case. The additional time sought in this application is necessary to permit the preparation and printing of the petition." Approval of such an extension is usually granted automatically.
In a ruling in June, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found the FCC was unjustified in creating a policy that fined broadcasters for the use of fleeting expletives on live broadcasts. The case involved two airings of the "Billboard Music Awards" in which expletives were broadcast by Fox.
Appealing the decision to the Supreme Court is a major risk for the FCC, because it could result in the commission losing its authority to regulate broadcast content. A 1978 Supreme Court decision that shaped FCC indecency policy exempted one-time profanities, acknowledging that broadcasters can't always catch everything, particularly when they don't know an expletive will be said.
In June, the appeals court found that an FCC shift on indecency issues beginning in 2006 under the Bush administration was not adequately explained or justified. As a result, the court invalidated the policy. Under legal procedures, the appellate court was required to address the case on the most basic grounds first. For that reason, the June decision was based on procedural, rather than constitutional grounds.
Broadcasters challenging the FCC's policy have raised constitutional issues in their briefs. However, the appeals court decision included a section expressing doubt that even if the FCC could come up with a procedural explanation for the new policy, it would not withstand challenge on constitutional issues.
In another case, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is currently deciding the CBS appeal of the FCC's $550,000 fine against its stations for Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during a Super Bowl halftime show.
The outcomes of the two cases are expected to decide the fate of the FCC's recent indecency campaign.
Arbitron Responds to New York City Council's Thoughts on Monitoring
New York City - Sep 29, 2007 - According to an article from the New York Post, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and a group of her colleagues urged Arbitron to ditch a proposed new way of monitoring New Yorkers' radio habits, saying the method will skew results against minority-audience stations.
"We want to make sure that in the five boroughs minority radio continues to flourish and thrive," Quinn said at a press conference, denouncing the Portable People Meters -- a device that will replace handwritten diaries people keep of the stations they listen to.
Arbitron responded by stating that it appreciated the interest of the New York City Council. "We are more than willing to present to the Council a complete review of our panel recruitment methods, the composition of the sample and how we apply the two statistical disciplines of random sampling and of weighting to ensure the validity of the Portable People Meter ratings as well as to ensure that all segments of the population are properly represented in the Portable People Meter surveys.
"We are well aware of the crucial economic and political role that the media industry, including minority-owned radio stations, has played in New York City. In many ways, the success of these stations is based on confidence that advertisers, who are the financial foundation of the broadcast radio industry, have in Arbitron''s continuing ability to provide the valid, reliable and effective audience measures.
"Our goal is to give stations and their advertisers better information about the radio audiences. The insights that the Portable People Meter will deliver can help minority broadcasters enhance diversity in the news that is reported and offer viewpoints that Urban and Hispanic radio are uniquely able to provide and deliver an audience attractive to the advertisers and marketers of the city.
"We are proud of our reputation as a good corporate citizen and our New York City roots. We have already been working jointly with NABOB and other concerned parties to enhance the stability and utility of the audience estimates that the Portable People Meter would provide. We will review with the Council the joint progress that we have made to date."
Rehr Requests Hearing on Artist and Label Relations
Washington, DC - NAB President and CEO David Rehr sent a letter yesterday to House Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) requesting that additional hearings be held to explore the relationship between recording artists and their record labels.
Rehr thanked Rep. Berman for including NAB Radio Board Second Vice Chair Charles Warfield as a witness during a recent subcommittee hearing examining the role of local radio in promoting music, but said additional hearings would convey the full picture of the issue.
"A hearing that includes the Recording Industry Association of America and the four major record labels would allow members of the Subcommittee to explore more thoroughly the typical business practices of the recording industry and the dynamics of the relationships between the performers and the record labels," wrote Rehr. "If the goal is to improve the circumstances of performers and build the cadre of music into the future, the relationship between performers and record labels also bears examination."
SBE Prepares for National Meeting
Indianapolis - Sep 28, 2007 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers annual National Meeting will be held in the Pittsburgh area on Oct. 10-11. The SBE National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the SBE Chapter 20 Broadcast Equipment Expo. The events will take place at the Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Expomart in the eastern suburb of Monroeville.
The highlight of the SBE National Meeting will be the presentation of the SBE National Awards at the Society's annual awards dinner on Oct. 11. John Lyons, CPBE, assistant vice president and director of broadcast communications for the Durst Organization of New York City, will receive the SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year award. John Bisset of Manchester, NH, northeast regional sales manager - RF for Broadcast Electronics, will receive the SBE Educator of the Year award. The dinner will also feature keynote remarks from Art Botterell, architect of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and a professional emergency manager with four decades of experience in emergency communications, information systems and media.
The Annual Membership Meeting will also take place during the SBE National Meeting. Newly elected national SBE President Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT, and the other new officers and directors will be installed.
The Chapter 20 Broadcast Equipment Expo includes more than 45 exhibitors and 11 speakers. Exhibits will be open on Oct. 10 from 5-8 p.m. and on Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nationally touring John Lennon Bus will be at the trade show on Oct. 10. A special panel discussion featuring a number of national past presidents of the SBE, including founder John Battison, P.E., CBPE, will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 11.
As a lead-in to the National Meeting, the SBE will conduct a live national webcast-meeting from 8-9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The program will emanate from the Azcar training studios in Pittsburgh, where that company produces broadcast engineer training programs for the Sprint/Nextel 2GHz conversion. SBE President Chriss Scherer, CPBE CBNT and President-elect Barry Thomas will conduct the program, The SBE and You, and will take questions from the Internet-connected national audience via telephone, e-mail and text message. Viewers will be able to access the program by clicking on the special webcast link found at the SBE website, www.sbe.org.
Surround Live 5 Workshop Planned for AES Convention
New York - Oct 1, 2007 - Neural Audio, Harris, Sennheiser, Digico, Dolby, Timax and Beyerdynamic will sponsor the highly popular surround workshop Surround Live 5: Delivering the Experience on Oct. 4, at the 123rd Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in New York City. The daylong event will be presented at the Broad Street Ballroom, 41 Broad Street, in downtown Manhattan. Created and produced by Frederick Ampel of Technology Visions with support from the Sports Video Group, this marks the event's fifth consecutive workshop exclusively provided to attendees at the AES convention. The program will include presentations from Geir Skaaden, Neural Audio; Randy Conrod, Harris; Kurt Graffy, ARUP Acoustics; Fred Aldous, Fox Sports; Tom Sahara, Turner Networks; Michael Nunan, CTV Television; Michael Pappas, KUVO Radio; and Jim Hilson, Dolby Laboratories.
M&K Sound Returns
Sherman Oaks, CA - Sep 29, 2007 - Loudspeaker brand M&K Sound has been taken over by a new team headed up by longtime M&K distributors Per Becher and Asger Bak. Put under creditor jurisdiction in February, Becher and Bak acquired M&K's intellectual brand name, trademarks, websites and other intellectual property in in July.
Effective Oct. 1, M&K's U.S. operation will begin with Chris Minto stepping in as vice president and managing director. Minto had been with the old M&K for seven years as the company's professional division director.
Other M&K alumni joining the new company include chief design engineer, Chris Hagen and electrical engineer Jordan Arnos. In addition to new product development, Hagen will also oversee M&K's new service department.
Contact the new M&K Sound at:
M&K Sound USA
13351-D Riverside Drive Suite 383
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Neural Audio Touts Processing at NAB Radio Show
Kirkland, WA - Sep 24, 2007 - Neural Audio demonstrated several technologies at the NAB Radio Show last week. At the center of the Neural display was the Neustar 4.0 codec pre-conditioner. Neural provides a hardware and software version of this processor. Neural also demonstrated it Neural-THX Surround Downmix and Upmix system.
Debuted at NAB2007, the Neural-AMR-WB+ provides streaming at very low bit rates of 6- to 48kb/s, which substantially lowers the bandwidth needed for streaming and file storage. The Voiceage speech and audio compression technologies are currently used in more than two billion wireless devices. The Neural-AMR-WB+ technology is explained that while some data-reduced codecs are working from higher bit-rates to reduce the payload needed, AMR-WB+ starts with a low bit-rate and builds up to improve fidelity.
Alert FM Transmits NOAA and FEMA Alerts via Commercial Signal
Jackson, MS - Sep 26, 2007 - Alert FM, an FM radio-based alert and messaging system from Global Security Systems (GSS), has seen acceptance from several commercial radio broadcast groups, and the Alert FM system is tied directly to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for weather and presidential alerts.
Targeted alerts and messages are delivered by satellite to FM facilities and can be received on Alert FM receivers and other mobile devices.
Recycling Center To Help Music Industry Go Green
Vancouver, BC - Oct 2, 2007 - The radio and recording industry's standard for digital music distribution, Play MPE announces in conjunction with Eco-Friendly CD recyclers, GreenDisk and The CD Recycling Center of America, a joint effort to help the music industry "go green." Both GreenDisk and The CD Recycling Center have officially endorsed Play MPE as a progressive technology to vastly cut the amount of CD production and subsequent waste.
In 1983, when CDs were introduced in the United States, 800,000 discs were sold. By 1990, this number had grown close to 1 billion. More than 5.5 million boxes of software go to landfills and incinerators, with millions of music CDs throw away each year. Every month approximately 100,000 pounds of CDs become obsolete (outdated, useless or unwanted). Source: The CD Recycling Center of America.
In a Box and RadioTraffic.com Announce Interface
Lake Havasu City, AZ - Introduced at the NAB Radio Show in Charlotte, the In a Box and RadioTraffic.com interface links customer management, production, traffic and billing in a single process.
Lawo North America has placed several Nova73 HD router systems with CBC/Radio-Canada operations in St. John's, Yellowknife and Toronto. Currently, the Nova73 HD at St. John's is being used as a presentation switcher (and possesses a high level of redundancy) while those in Yellowknife and Toronto are used primarily as production routers.
Harris has been awarded a $15 million contract to deploy two turnkey, medium-wave radio transmission stations for the Algerian Government's Telediffusion D'Algerie, the Algerian public broadcasting corporation. The stations, at F'kirina and Sidi Bel Abbes, are part of the government's program to modernize the country's television and radio infrastructure. The project, to be completed in 2009, includes the design and construction of the two radio transmission stations, the procurement and installation of the towers and the antenna systems, as well as the delivery and installation of 600kW medium-wave AM transmitters. TDA will utilize its Harris DX series of high-power radio transmitters.Moody Broadcasting Network ordered a combined Broadcast Electronics' FMi Tube transmission system for its flagship station WMBI 90.1 FM Chicago. It's the FMDi 42T, 42kW low level combined transmitter with a switchless combiner. According to Moody Operations Manager John Hayden, the station will go on-air with HD Radio by year's end.
Meridian Design Promotes Two
New York - Sep 20, 2007 - Meridian Design Associates, Architects has promoted William Hallisky and Luis Roges to vice presidents. Hallisky and Roges both report to the firm's principals, Antonio Argibay and Bice C. Wilson. Hallisky was previously a senior associate, while Roges was an associate.
Hallisky will be the design and production leader for various clients, including Clear Channel and Sirius. He will also act as the primary client contact on these assignments. A native of Tampa Bay, Hallisky received a master of architecture degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Jack Stefany hired and mentored Hallisky at his first professional position as an intern architect at Architectural Consultants Corporation in Tampa.
Luis Roges divides his time between Meridian's New York City and Miami offices. As vice president, Roges will be in charge of the firm's South Florida and Latin American residential and commercial accounts. His client assignments include CNN Miami, ESPN, Spanish Broadcasting Systems, Telemundo, ABC Radio, and Risk Metrics Group. He will also head management information systems and information technology administration for Meridian. Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, Roges is a native of Havana, Cuba. He earned an electrical engineering master's degree in industrial power systems from the University of Havana. Roges also earned credits in business administration from Park University in Missouri.
Joseph Roark New Broadcast Electronics CEO
Quincy, IL - The board of directors of Broadcast Electronics (BE) appointed Joseph Roark as chief executive officer.
Roark joins BE after having served as president over four Weir Group companies and two Danaher companies. The announcement is accompanied by word that John Pedlow is retiring after eight years as company CEO.
JVC Releases Portable HD Radio Receiver
Cypress, CA - Sep 28, 2007 - JVC has released the KT-HDP1, an HD Radio tuner that the company is touting as "the world's smallest HD Radio tuner." Designed to interface with a vehicle's existing radio, the unit features 18 FM presets, six AM presets, a 3.5mm audio output and three types of vehicle mounting interfaces.
Specific details of the unit are vague from JVC and various online tech sites. While JVC does not tout the unit as being portable, many consumer technology websites say it is. The unit is currently shipping to Best Buy stores.
RCS Launches New Version of Gselector
White Plains, NY - Sep 24, 2007 - RCS has released Gselector version 3.5, the latest version of its scheduling program. This new release is credited as being the brainchild of early Gselector users and programmers and their wish list for added features and functions.
Gselector 3.5 allows notes and scripts to be associated with any song, with any link or any song or link attribute. In addition to song notes, link notes and artist notes, users can access producer notes, theme notes, category notes, composer notes and more. Gselector notes can also be scheduled
Other version enhancements include:
- Dynamic Statistics in the Browse and Editor: Calculations update immediately as items are filtered or a schedule is edited.
- Backup/Restore Enhancements: There are new options to backup the entire database or one or more individual stations.
- Filter by Research Scores and Dates: Filter any song browse according to dates and results of music testing using new research scores and research dates nodes of the filter.
- Research Attribute Cut-Off: When a research score date exceeds the designated number of days, the associated Research Score will no longer affect any related Research Attributes.
- Research Becomes Global: Research columns and attributes are global; create browse formats containing fields that can be immediately shared across stations.
- Merge Browse Lists: New option to merge the current list with an existing saved browse list.
- Spread Goal Dampening for Overdue Song or Link: Optional adjustment mechanism that gradually increases an attribute's spread score when an element is overdue to play.
- Interface with Selector XV: Selector 15.1.6 has been added as an option in the Interface/Import window.
Eye on IBOC
Broadcast Groups Implement Itunes Tagging
Columbia, MD - Oct 2, 2007 - CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Cox, Entercom and Greater Media are in the process of installing Itunes Tagging technology. As a result, consumers who hear a song on their local HD Radio stations -- and want to preview, buy and download it later on Itunes - will soon be able to do that with just the touch of a button on an enabled HD Radio receiver.
JBL and Polk Audio will have the first available products that enable Itunes Tagging. The new Polk I-Sonic Entertainment System 2 and the JBL IHD will both include the tag button. These products will go on sale during the holiday shopping season. Additional products that include the Tag button for both the home and car will follow in early 2008.