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Radio Currents Online – Apr 21 – Apr 27, 2003

Radio Currents Online – Apr 21 – Apr 27, 2003

Apr 1, 2003 12:00 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

Click here to view the Currents Online archive.


| Business | People | Products


CBI Announces Student ProductionAwards

Apr 25, 2003 – Collegiate Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) has made a call for entries in its annual National Student Production Awards. There are more than 20 categories in which students will be recognized for their work in student electronic media. The contest is open to all campus radio stations (over-the-air, Internet and cable/closed circuit), TV facilities and other student media outlets. There is no entry fee for CBI members. Non-members pay an entry fee of $25. Hundreds of entries were received last year and CBI expects the competition to be even greater this year.

The deadline for entries is June 2, 2003. In each category, there are up to four finalists, with the winner selected from those finalists. Details concerning the contest are available on the CBI website at

The finalists and winners will be recognized at the CBI National Fall convention, which takes place in Dallas. The convention is Nov. 6 to Nov. 9, 2003. Sessions for the convention are now in the planning stages.

For more information, contact CBI vice chairman Will Robedee at 713-348-2935 or [email protected].

NAB’s Fritts Voices Ownership Thoughtsin Speech

Washintgon – Apr 23, 2003 – In a speech delivered on April 23, the NAB President Ed Fritts took the opportunity to voice some thoughts on the current media ownership discussions underway at the FCC. His first remark on the issue was the, “NAB has never sought wholesale deregulation of broadcasting. To the contrary, we recognize the unique role played by local broadcasters all over America.” He went on to tout the importance of licensees to be “invested in the community” and the “most successful stations understand that localism is our franchise.”

Fritts said that the NAB seeks modest changes in FCC rules. He reinforced the NAB’s position that supports the TV ownership cap, which prevents a single broadcaster from owning TV stations that reach more than 35 percent of U.S. homes. He cited that the 35 percent TV cap has been good for localism and diversity, and that it has helped preserve the network/affiliate relationship.

The NAB, however, does not support an ownership cap for radio. In his speech, Fritts stated, “The answer is simple: radio and television are entirely distinct mediums. Moreover, there are 1,300 commercial TV stations, compared to 13,000 radio stations.”

It is obvious that radio and television are different, but does the sheer number of existing stations alone justify a free-for-all in radio ownership?

Fritts went on to support the open radio ownership rules by referencing the Congressional ownership deregulation of 1996. According to Fritts, “The plain fact is that because of deregulation, local radio stations are more competitive with other media. And it is because of deregulation that consumers have a wider array of formats from which to choose.”

He summarized the 1996 action by saying, “Bottom line: Congress got it right with radio deregulation. Listeners are now better served by stronger companies, and program formats are as diverse as the American population.” Fritts feels that it would be inappropriate for the FCC to change the radio ownership definition, but if a change is made, the Commission at the very least must grandfather existing combinations and permit licensees to transfer these combinations in future sales.

ISMA Asks for Peer Review

Mountain View, CA – Mar 31, 2003 – The Internet Streaming Media Alliance is releasing a new content protection specification for peer review. After a two-month period of peer review, the organization expects the content protection specification to be done in June.

This specification will serve as the technical foundation for the secure delivery of streaming and dowload media content. It provides a single, end-to-end encryption scheme for streaming media and file downloading, that can easily integrate with different key and rights management solutions and licensed content protection devices. The specification builds on the ISMA’s v1.0 specification released in 2001, which defined an end-to-end implementation agreement for streaming ISO-compliant MPEG 4 video and audio over Internet protocol (IP) networks.

FCC Considers AlternateApproach to Ownership Rules

Washington – Apr 21, 2003 – As the FCC approaches its decision on the final overhaul of media ownership rules, it is moving away from the idea of considering mergers on a case-by-case basis. Instead, the FCC may create clearly defined limits that more closely resemble the current blanket rules. The final vote on the matter is scheduled for June 2.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell has discussed creating a so-called diversity index, which will use a formula to determine if a proposed merger of two media outlets – a newspaper and broadcaster, for example – leaves too few media voices in a market. The index approach likely appeals to Powell because it mirrors a formula used by antitrust enforcers (Powell himself is an antitrust lawyer) to determine if a proposed merger would hurt competition. Opponents say that the index would be difficult to apply because various media outlets can carry different weight. Assigning a proportionate weight would require a call in judgement.

Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin maintains that it would be better to have simple rules that everyone can understand. Currently, the Commission is split on the matter; Republicans Powell and Kathleen Abernathy favor easing the limits, while Democrats Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein oppose them. Martin is the swing vote.

Stations Urged to Use FCC CoordinationStay to Best Advantage

Indianapolis – Apr 18, 2003 – Following the FCC’s order to extend the deadline for broadcasters to comply with the prior coordination notification rules, Dane Ericksen, P.E. CSRTE, chairman of the Society of Broadcast Engineer’s FCC Liaison Committee, has issued a letter encouraging broadcasters to make the best use of this time extension to ensure that the FCC records are accurate. Doing so may uncover database errors that could be problematic for a broadcaster if left unchecked.

Let us be clear that all that has been granted is a six-month stay of the Prior Coordination Notice (PCN) requirement, not a permanent exemption from that requirement. The new PCN frequency coordination protocol is coming to 950MHz Aural Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) links, and to 2.5GHz, 7GHz and 13GHz TV BAS links. The SBE and broadcasters now have their work cut out for them to 1) review and correct, if necessary, their BAS records in the ULS and 2) develop updated interference criteria for commercial microwave frequency coordinators (CMFCs) to use when it comes time to start applying the PCN protocols six months from now.

Unfortunately, the stay order did not address how broadcasters are supposed to go about correcting any ULS errors or omissions that they may uncover. Presumably the procedure spelled out in the Commission’s May 7, 1999, Public Notice, cited in Footnote 7 of the order, still applies. Those instructions were as follows:

How to submit corrections. Licensees may notify the Bureau of database errors informally. In those instances where there is no record of the license in the database, or where site, frequency or technical data is missing or incorrect, licensees should submit a copy of the station authorization or a copy of the original application for authorization and any subsequent applications for modification of the license. Any documentation should clearly indicate the data that is missing from the licensing database or the corrections that are required. Wherever possible, copies of applications should reflect the FCC stamped receipt date. To ensure that the Bureau has ample time to take timely corrective action prior to conversion of the data to the ULS, corrections must be received in the Bureau by July 1, 1999.

Where to submit corrections. Corrections should be mailed to:
Federal Communications Commission
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Information Technology Division
1270 Fairfield Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245
ATTN: Broadcast Auxiliary Database Corrections
Questions may be directed to Melissa Hower at (717) 338-2544 or [email protected].


magazine applauds the efforts of the SBE in notifying the FCC and creating this opportunity for broadcasters to avoid significant problems.

Broadcaster Added to DRM InauguralBroadcast

Geneva – Apr 22, 2003 – Radio Netherlands will commence its live, daily Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) broadcasts on June 16, 2003. Its transmissions will debut in conjunction with DRM�s inaugural broadcast event in Geneva, during the International Telecommunications Union�s (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 2003). The first DRM broadcasts will be marked at a reception at Geneva�s Ch�teau de Penthes.

Radio Netherlands has been involved in the on-air system�s development from conception to the current test transmissions phase. Radio Netherlands has been a member of the DRM consortium since its inception in 1998.

Radio Netherlands will broadcast 37 program hours per week in English and Dutch to Australia, New Zealand and target regions in Europe. From the July 5, 2003, until July 27, 2003, Radio Netherlands will broadcast Radio Tour de France for four hours per day.

Deutsche Welle has also announced its participation in DRM�s Inaugural Broadcasts event. In the coming weeks, more of the world�s best-known broadcasters and network operators will confirm their participation in DRM�s historic moment.

DRM is the world�s only non-proprietary, digital system for short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave with the ability to use existing frequencies and bandwidth across the globe. With clear, near-FM quality sound that offers a dramatic improvement over analog, DRM will revitalize the broadcasting bands below 30MHz.


Tiernan Opens DAW SupportShop

Dublin, CA – Apr 24, 2003 – Dean Tiernan, formerly the product manager of editing systems at Orban, has left Orban and opened his own shop. Tiernan will provide service and support for digital editors.

Tiernan began at Orban as a customer service engineer in 1997, the year that Orban discontinued the DSE 7000 and introduced the Audicy editor.

Contact him though [email protected], or 925-451-1899.

Fastchannel UnveilsChannel Strategy

Las Vegas – Apr 7, 2003 – Fastchannel Network has unveiled a strategic consolidation of its signature services. This integration simplifies the workflow process under three channels: the creative channel, which is commercial research tools for the creative community; the traffic channel, which is delivery tools for print and broadcast advertising; and the asset channel, which is digital asset management.

BSW Wins Electro-VoiceAward

Minneapolis, MN – Apr 7, 2003 – Broadcast Supply Worldwide (BSW) has been named Electro-Voice’s Broadcast Microphone Dealer of the Year. BSW won the award for its commitment to the Electro-Voice product line and their sales growth.

Based in Tacoma, WA, BSW supplies professional audio equipment for virtually any application and has been an Electro-Voice dealer for 30 years.

Genelec Celebrates 25 Years

Las Vegas – April 7, 2003 – Based on the shore of Lake Porovesi in Iisalmi, Finland, Genelec OY was founded in 1978 by Ilpo Martikainen, president, Topi Partanen, vice president and technical director, and Ritva Leinonen, financial director. Twenty-five years later, the three original principals are still actively running the company.

Genelec was launched when the founders were awarded a contract to design and manufacture monitoring loudspeakers for a new broadcast complex being built by the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation in Helsinki, Finland. As a result, Genelec established an early reputation mainly with broadcasters in Scandinavia and Europe.

In the late 1980s, the company designed a large monitor for the main control rooms of recording studios, which ultimately resulted in the introduction of the Model 1035A at the 1989 AES Convention in Hamburg, Germany. The creation and development of the original 1035A monitor was the foundation for Genelec�s 1030 range of Active DCW-equipped monitors. Today, the company manufactures a wide array of active monitors for the recording studio, broadcast, post-production, project-studio and home theater/surround sound markets.

Dielectric Awarded NAVAIRContract

Raymond, ME – Apr 18, 2003 – Dielectric Communications has been awarded a three-year, $3.6 million contract by NAVAIR China Lake. Under the contract, Dielectric will supply its TCI brand Low Band Direction Finding and Monitoring Systems that will be installed in mobile and fixed sites. Dielectric has supplied nearly 100 similar systems internationally.

Genex and Merging Technologies SignStrategic Alliance

Santa Monica, CA – Apr 21, 2003 – Genex Audio and Merging Technologies recently announced details of a strategic alliance that will streamline a number of audio processes between the companies’ products.

Extensions to the MADI (Multichannel Audio Digital Interface) AES-10 standard protocol will allow a conventional MADI interface to transmit and receive as many as 24 channels of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) data between Pyramix and the GX9000 series multiformat digital recorders, or GX Series high-precision eight-channel A-to-D and D-to-A converters.

DSD is a one-bit acquisition and production format that is said to offer enhanced sonic performance compared to conventional PCM techniques; it is used in the Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) consumer format, jointly developed by Sony and Philips Electronics.

Genex and Merging Technologies already support the industry-standard DSD IFF and AES-31 file formats, but the two companies have now developed extensions to the AES-31 interface to support multichannel DSD recordings where use of the standard interleaved DSD IFF file format is impractical.

Digidesign AddsDistribution of TC Works and TC Tools Plug-ins

Palo Alto, CA – Apr 18, 2003 – Digidesign has been named a worldwide distributor of the TC Works Master X TDM plug-in and the TC Tools bundle of TDM plug-ins. Master X and the TC Tools version 3.6 updates compliment Pro Tools|HD by providing support for Mac OS X and sampling rates up to 96kHz.

Master X is the virtual incarnation of the TC Electronic Finalizer. TC Tools is comprised of the popular Mega Reverb, Chorus/Delay and EQsat plug-ins.


Silsby Named Marketing Directorfor Audio-Technica

Las Vegas – April 7, 2003 – Greg Silsby joins Audio-Technica as the new marketing director, installed sound, broadcast and theater, for Audio-Technica. Silsby previously worked for Mackie Designs, where he spearheaded the company�s sound contracting efforts, first in commercial sound and broadcast and later as market manager, worship markets.

After an early role as Audio-Technica�s market manager, studio products in the late 1980s, Silsby embarked on an influential career in the audio industry, resulting in numerous professional writing and lecturing credits, in addition to his freelance consultation work. In fact, Silsby has lectured on microphones in 14 countries, along with authoring the microphone chapter of the NAB Engineering Handbook (Editions 7 and 8).


BSS Data Now Available WithinStardraw

Nashville – Apr 21, 2003 – The full complement of technical data on all BSS products can now be accessed from within Stardraw design and documentation packages via URL links within symbols. BSS is the first manufacturer to take full advantage of this new functionality announced by Stardraw in March.

BSS Audio has supplied Stardraw with links to pages on BSS’ website that use a script to give users instant and specific access to all available online product data through a single mouse click. For example, a click on the appropriate link within the symbol for BSS’ Soundweb device takes users straight to the online data files for that product, at which point they have access to everything from tech specs to DFX files to images.

BSS Audio, a British manufacturer of signal processing systems serving live sound, theater, broadcast and recording markets, is distributed in the United States by Harman Pro North America, a subsidiary of Harman International.

Telos Announces TwoX12 Upgrade

Cleveland – Apr 5, 2003 – Telos Systems’ TwoX12 Talkshow System, the dual-hybrid 12-line broadcast telephone system that works with analog or digital telephone circuits, is now able to manage phone lines for two separate studios. Version 3.0 provides TwoX12 users with multiple studio capability.

Using this dual mode on-air lines can now be shared between two separate studios, allowing use of a single TwoX12 for simultaneous production of live and pre-recorded talk segments. In dual studio mode, each studio controls one of Twox12’s two hybrids. Users can choose to evenly divide incoming lines between two studios; share all incoming lines between both studios; or custom-assign individual lines to specific studios.

Digidesign Releases Pro Tools6.0.1

Daly City, CA – Apr 3, 2003 – Now available for download is the Digidesign Pro Tools 6.0.1, a free update for owners of Pro Tools 6.0. The new version can be downloaded from the Digidesign website at and through local dealers as an updater CD.

Pro Tools 6.0 software for Mac OS X adds new features and improvements for both TDM and LE systems. The update comes with these additions:

  • Pro Tools 6.0.1 software fixes some key issues with Pro Tools 6.0.
  • The new Digidesign Core Audio driver allows customers to use Digidesign hardware for multichannel audio input and output with third-party applications that support Apple�s Core Audio standard.
  • A new Digidesign MIDI I/O driver is available for users of the Digidesign MIDI I/O.

Mackie Control Now Supported byCool Edit Pro

Woodinville, WA – Apr 18, 2002 – Syntrillium Software now supports the Mackie Control in the latest version of Cool Edit Pro audio editing software. Cool Edit Pro 2.1 joins a growing family of digital audio workstations that support the Mackie Control. Other products include Sonar, Pro Tools, Samplitude, Digital Performer, SAWStudio, Cubase SX, Cubase SL and Nuendo.

As with all other supporting software, Mackie offers a custom Cool Edit Pro-specific overlay for the Mackie Control’s master section, indicating key software control functions for each button. The overlay is designed to reduce the learning curve for Cool Edit Pro users and ease the transition from keyboard and mouse to the Mackie Control. The Cool Edit Pro overlay ships with all Mackie Controls and is also available to current Mackie Control owners via the Mackie website at