NPR Makes Big Push for Tomorrow Radio; Seeks Makers of Multichannel HD Radios, Plans Programs - Radio World

NPR Makes Big Push for Tomorrow Radio; Seeks Makers of Multichannel HD Radios, Plans Programs

NPR Makes Big Push for Tomorrow Radio; Seeks Makers of Multichannel HD Radios, Plans Programs
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NPR is prepared to bring its Tomorrow Radio project to reality with plans for handling both the programming and hardware needs of its member stations.
For a group purchase, the network is seeking receiver manufacturers to make HD Radios that are also able to receive multiple digital signals. It is offering special, free programming to member stations for the new channels.
The network broke the news at CES in Las Vegas.
The target launch date is June for the first of four program streams consisting of classical, jazz, news/talk and another music channel.
NPR has released a Request for Information to licensed HD Radio receiver manufacturers. A future group purchase potentially could include 10,000 to 50,000 radios, NPR's Mike Starling told RW Online at the show.
"It depends on what the manufacturers tell us about the price points, whether we can come to terms and actually execute a group buy. That's why it's an RFI as opposed to an RFP," or Request for Proposal, he said.
NPR hopes to be able to craft a deal by spring NAB so it can place an order and have units shipped in time for station fall fundraisers. The RFI response deadline is Jan. 31. Unlicensed but potential HD Radio vendors are also welcome to respond.
The network has brokered such group equipment buys in the past, he said.
At the show, KCNV(FM), Las Vegas became the 50th NPR member to go HD Radio. It was also a station featured in a supplemental audio demo for Ibiquity's booth.
Approximately 300 NPR member stations are in various stages of digital conversion, with funding for an additional 150 to 200 expected this year.

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