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Reader Letters

The latest from the RW mailbag

Local Business Has Competitive Disadvantage Without Tax

Thank you for your excellent article on the Main Street Fairness Bill, in which you correctly noted the impact that collection of sales tax could have on broadcast equipment sellers (“Retail Sales Tax Loophole May Close,” Sept. 25).

Your readers should also consider that local retailers who advertise heavily on radio are at a competitive disadvantage to nationwide Internet retailers that do not collect sales tax.

Advertising-supported local broadcasting requires that local entities are healthy enough to have the revenue to afford advertising.

Gary Shapiro
President and CEO
Consumer Electronics Association
Arlington, Va.

Greetings from the Bam

Here is an update on the Alabama Broadcasters Association “Engineering Academy” that Paul McLane described in an earlier issue of Radio World.

During the first year of the ABA Engineering Academy, we conducted two rounds of both radio and television broadcast engineering classes, once during July and then again in October. Both the radio and television programs were five days in length.

We’ve had a total of 38 students from five states go through the schools. Jokingly, we told them we tried to cover everything from the atom to the antenna. We have had interest in the classes from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Our plans are to repeat these classes twice during 2013, and we are adding classes for television master control operators and IT for broadcasters.

The Alabama Broadcasters Association, which administers the Engineering Academy, is excited over the success of our first year.

We continue to tweak and expand the courses to make them more beneficial in creating additional qualified engineers for the industry. Those interested in attending the classes or needing general information about the courses may contact me at [email protected] or (334) 303-2525.

Larry Wilkins, CPBE
ABA Engineering Academy Director
Alabama Broadcasters Association Hoover, Ala.

A Word About Ron

With all the attention in Radio World to the challenges in AM radio, I’d like just to put in a word for one man who probably doesn’t get enough appreciation.

A few years ago, the company I worked for purchased an AM station that was, shall I say, not taken care of.

It needed one of the three towers replaced; the transmitter was on its last leg; the antenna pattern and the whole sample loop system were in disrepair.

We chipped away, one by one, replacing the tower and transmitter. Then we came to the point where the system needed a partial proof done and the pattern fixed. One thing led to another, and I was referred to Ron Rackley.

I had heard great things about Ron but our paths had not crossed before. Ron came in and looked over the station. He told me he thought he could fix the DA and do the partial in about five to seven days. We hired Ron and, in fact, he did fix the pattern and do the partial proof in just four days.

When it comes to directional AMs and compliance, he really gets the job done. I just wanted to share a word of appreciation for this veteran of 40+ years in our industry.

Bruce Roberts
Director of Engineering
Apex Broadcasting
Charleston, S.C.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Nicely done article by Doug McLeod (“Play-by-Play Could Use a Pep Talk,” Oct. 18). The only thing I can add is a recommendation to use a crowd microphone at games where there is little crowd noise.

A good example is baseball. Hearing the crack of a bat and the crowd cheering will triple the excitement and enjoyment of a game on radio. Remember, the audience can’t see the game. If the play-by-play announcer is in a closed booth with little or no sound getting in, the listener can easily feel left out of the fun.

Mark Persons
M. W. Persons and Associates Inc.
Brainerd, Minn.

The author is a contributor to Radio World.