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PREC: FCC Could Process ‘Singleton’ Translator Apps Later This Year

In-car use accounts for 50% public radio listeners

Some 100 broadcast engineers are attending the Public Radio Engineering Conference being held by the Association of Public Radio Engineers in the Caesar’s Palace Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Here are highlights from day one of the 12th annual PREC.

NPR Labs John Kean updated attendees on the FM+HD booster project at KUOW(FM), Seattle. He says the booster developed by Harris is cost-effective and has built-in digital signal processing. The project is in the construction phase, according to Kean.

The FCC could process so-called “singleton” FM translator applications pending from 2003, those applications with no competitors for the same allocation, by the third or fourth quarter of this year. That’s according to Margaret Miller-Dow Lohnes, who gave attendees the skinny on the FCC’s recent decisions regarding how it will treat FM translators and low-power stations in regard to creating enough spectrum for both services.

In-car radio use accounts for nearly 50% of public radio listeners; NPR listeners in particular are early tech adopters. That’s why this January NPR and Ford launched a partnership to bring NPR to Ford Sync. “In cars, you only have a handful of apps,” said Rick Ennis, NPR Digital Services, who added the broadcaster is working on deals with other automakers as well.

A transmitter maintenance tip courtesy of Roger Karwoski, KBIA(FM), Columbia, Mo.: change the battery in the Nautel NV series transmitters every year.

NPR Public Radio Satellite System folks discussed NPR’s upcoming move to the North Capitol St. location. They’re building the new operations center now, which will be moved to the new location; the move is slated for April of 2013. Planning has been in the works for five years.

APRE members are talking about holding a mini-event this fall in advance of the RAB-NAB Radio Show in Dallas.