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Letters to Engineering Extra

From the Aug. 18 issue

We’ve Lost Our Minor Leagues

The Guy Wire story about automation assist (“The Advance That Has Led Us Backwards,” June 9) misses one very important point: Today we have very few young talents coming up.

Radio broadcasting at one time was like professional baseball. Small-market stations were the farm teams where young announcers learned their trade and polished their skills. If they didn’t have enough talent, they never made it to the big-league, major-market stations. Then they got honest jobs like selling shoes.

Today, small-market on-air jobs do not exist. Most of the programming comes from satellite or from automation machines. An account executive does what live announcing may be needed during drive-time shows. Name recognition helps give him entrée to businesses. The farm teams are gone.

At one time, a radio announcer was thought to be a glamorous job, right up there with acting in the movies. Children classified “announcer” with “fireman,” “policeman” and “railroad locomotive engineer.” Today the number of students working on campus radio stations is way down from previous years.

Fred Krock
Walnut Creek, Calif.

Governor’s ‘Must-Carry’

Michael, great article (“CAP Implementation Guide Gives Glimpse Into Future System,” June 9).

My only quibble would be that the Gubernatorial Must-Carry isn’t a feature of the Common Alerting Protocol per se. That was an idea the commission came up with on its own. CAP will be able to accommodate that new provision for states that implement it in their state plans, but the CAP designers can’t take credit for that particular aspect of the EAS rule changes.

Art Botterell
Fairfield, Calif.

The author is a consultant and original designer of the Common Alerting Protocol.