Industry News

Spotify Megaphone Is Open in Four Euro Countries

Radio World - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 15:13

Spotify said its Megaphone podcasting platform is now up and running in Germany, Spain, Italy and France.

The company said podcast listening in Europe now reaches 20 to 30% of internet users in those markets. It cited a report from eMarketer. Further, it said Euro podcast ad spending is expected to grow more than 50% by 2023, according to IAB Europe.

[Related: “Spotify Expands Audience Network”]

Megaphone launched six years ago and was acquired by Spotify less than a year ago.

Spotify said about 30% of the top 200 shows on Spotify and on Apple are hosted on Megaphone.

The platform provides tools for creating, measuring and monetizing podcasts.

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Categories: Industry News

From Discovery to Purchase: The Role of Community Commerce

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 14:59

What is the role social communities play in influencing purchase decisions?

WARC, in partnership with TikTok and Publicis Groupe, came together for a just-released study that helps answer that question. Their work outlines what they say is “the huge potential for brands to engage with audiences and increase unplanned purchases by narrowing the funnel between product discovery and purchase.”

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Categories: Industry News

Ex-Telemundo Local Leader To Lead Scripps Texas Duo

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 14:45

Starting Monday (10/25), a pair of ABC affiliates in the Lone Star State owned by The E.W. Scripps Company will have a new VP/GM.

It’s an individual whose most recent TV industry role was as President/GM of the NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo affiliate serving Denver.

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Categories: Industry News

FCC Inspector General Launches Social Accounts

Radio World - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 14:45

There are several new social media accounts at the Federal Communications Commission. This is not in itself unusual, but these accounts have been set up by the FCC Office of Inspector General.

Its goal: “to aid in our mission of detecting and preventing fraud, waste and abuse, and promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the FCC.”

It now has a presence on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook. The first tweets on the OIG Twitter account were sent in late July. The current inspector general is David Hunt.

In a statement, the FCC OIG noted that it is a small office with fewer than 50 full-time employees that “nonetheless is responsible for the oversight of FCC operations and billions of dollars in funds administered through various FCC programs.”

It said recent Covid-19 relief legislation provided additional billions of dollars in funding to the FCC.

“With the expectation that some of these emergency appropriations may become permanent, our need for assistance from the public to help us ensure this money is appropriately disbursed, is at an all-time high.”

The office said it hopes to increase its visibility of our office through social media, expecting that people or entities with helpful information “will come forward to assist us in furthering our mission.”

The OIG encourages people to call 888-863-2244 or 202-418-0473 or email hotline@fcc.gov if they suspect FCC-related fraud, waste or abuse.

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Categories: Industry News

After Ed Woloszyn’s Passing, Gray Selects Successor

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 14:45

Ed Woloszyn, the General Manager of dual CBS/Fox affiliate KEYC-12 in Mankato, Minn., recently died following a brief cancer fight.

Now, Gray Television has chosen the individual who will take over the station’s leadership role. It’s a woman who has been News Director for a former Quincy Media, Inc., property in Rochester, Minn.

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Categories: Industry News

Indianapolis Station Readies Pumpkin Drop

Radio World - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 14:21
Shown is a 250-pound pumpkin with the hand-painted face of show host Dave Smiley.

Turkeys famously may not be able to fly. But pumpkins certainly can’t, and that means there will be a big SPLAT on Wednesday morning in Indianapolis.

Actually three big splats. The “Smiley Morning Show” on Cumulus station 99.5 WZPL(FM) will observe its 19th Smiley Pumpkin Drop by dropping three pumpkins of varying weights from hundreds of feet onto concrete.

One of the pumpkins weights 1,459 pounds; the station will also drop a 250-pounder and a 400-pounder.

“The smallest pumpkin will be painted with ‘Smiley Morning Show’ host Dave Smiley’s face on it,” the station announced.

“The largest pumpkin will be painted live onsite by artist Gavin Goode. Listeners will determine what will be painted on the pumpkin. So far, listeners have been suggesting a COVID-19 molecule.”

The event is free, and the station is inviting anyone, particularly families, to attend in or out of costume.

The show airs 6 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday at The Shops at Perry Crossing in Plainfield, Ind., with the three drops taking place between 8 and 8:35 a.m.

The post Indianapolis Station Readies Pumpkin Drop appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Comrex Introduces Gagl

Radio World - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 13:49

Comrex has introduced a service that delivers conferenced audio from multiple contributors to the company’s hardware codecs in high quality.

Called Gagl, the service is cloud-based and allows one to five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones.

“Participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser,” the company announced. “Their audio is conferenced (if there’s more than one user), and delivered to a Comrex hardware codec such as ACCESS or BRIC-Link II. All participants can hear other participants, and the codec can send audio back to them.”

A promotional diagram from Comrex for the new Gagl service.

Comrex says Gagl could be used as the hub for a round-robin reporting program or for a “morning zoo” radio show to support multiple simultaneous connections at once.

“Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone.”

The service will be available by the end of the year.

Comrex said the system is easy for users of any level of technical expertise to use and that the service provides stable connections with limited bandwidth.

“Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide.”

 

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Categories: Industry News

Increased Funding for Public Broadcasting Seen in Draft Bill

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 12:02

America’s Public Television Stations is cheering the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Chair for recommending $565 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for Fiscal Year 2024.

This chairman’s mark, courtesy of Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), will likely serve as the basis for negotiations with the House of Representatives on the final appropriations bills. The U.S. House of Representatives has already approved the same $565 million for CPB in the two-year advance funding for FY 2024.

In addition, the draft Senate bill providing appropriations for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies also includes $30 million for Ready To Learn and $20 million for public broadcasting interconnection.

“This is an important day for public television,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations. “We lost $100 million in purchasing power over 10 years of flat federal funding, and this chairman’s mark would restore much of that loss — and with it our ability to provide the educational services, the public safety communications, the civic literacy and the beloved programming which millions of Americans need and value.”

Butler adds that APTS is also appreciative of the $20 million in FY 2022 for the annual station interconnection account, and for $30 million allocated for Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports the creation and distribution of educational media content to millions of children across America.

Categories: Industry News

Roger Wahl To Face FCC In ‘HDO’

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 11:59

In mid-March, the septuagenarian owner of a Class A radio station serving a rural portion of Western Pennsylvania returned to the airwaves after a short absence. His return was controversial: on November 16, 2020 this individual was placed on a three-year “restricted probation” for a series of criminal sexual acts at a sentencing hearing that most believed would save him from a FCC license revocation hearing.

Seven months later, the Chief of the Commission’s Media Bureau has spoken up. Roger Wahl is on notice that he could loose control of WQZS-FM in Meyersdale, Pa., as a Hearing Designation Order has been sent to his attention.

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Categories: Industry News

Gordon Borrell Has Something To Say. You Can Only Hear It Here

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 10:15

When Gordon Borrell, the respected local ad trend expert who serves as CEO of Borrell Associates, sits down with four top radio and television executives at Forecast 2022, their  perspectives, projections and visions for the broadcast industry will likely be shared. A lively discussion of broadcast media’s opportunities, digital competitors and regulatory challenges is also expected.

What will they say? You won’t be able to read it here, or anywhere else, as it is an exclusive no-press session at Forecast 2022.

To hear what Borrell and his panelists have to share, you have to be in New York.

No press coverage. No recordings. Full freedom to express their thoughts with no cameras or microphones.

Who’s on the panel?

Caroline Beasley
CEO
Beasley Media Group Brian Lawlor
President/Local Media
The E.W. Scripps Company

 

Debra OConnell
President of Networks
Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Bill Wilson
CEO
Townsquare Media

 

Don’t miss out on hearing what these top leaders have to say — along with the chance to see them face-to-face.

We invite you to register NOW to secure your seat at Forecast 2022.

 

Check out the Full Agenda Here.
Forecast 2022 is set for The Harvard Club in New York on Tuesday, November 16.

Register NOW.

Categories: Industry News

Porretti Promoted At Katz

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 10:09

Katz Media Group has elevated a veteran of the media sales organization to the role of Katz Digital Audio president.

Taking the new post: Scott Porretti. He will continue to report to CEO Mark Gray.

Porretti has been within Katz Digital for several years, rising from SVP to EVP of Katz Digital after four years in May 2018. He’s also been a SVP of Katz Radio Group, overseeing a sales team comprised of more than 250 people working across seven sales divisions.

At Katz, Porretti is spearheading the rollout of the Katz Intelligence Manager (KIM), described by the company as “a state-of-the-art proprietary audience technology for the digital audio marketplace.”

Gray said, “Scott’s in-depth knowledge and vast background in developing audio solutions across a variety of platforms has helped Katz grow its diverse digital offerings and proprietary technologies. Scott’s effective team leadership style, and his extraordinary vision in this marketplace, has catapulted Katz Digital to a place where it is now viewed by advertisers as a one-stop-shop to reach diverse audiences with unparalleled scale.”

Categories: Industry News

The InFOCUS Podcast: National Cybersecurity Alliance

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 09:59

On Sunday, it became known to viewers across the U.S. that Sinclair Broadcast Group had suffered a cyberattack, crippling newsrooms across several markets. This ransomware incident follows similar incidents at Cox Media Group, Audacy, Urban One and Max Media.

How could this happen? What should a media company consider to prevent it from happening in their organization — or is a cyberattack inevitable?

In this InFOCUS Podcast, presented by dot.FM, Lisa Plaggemier, the interim Executive Director with the Washington, D.C.,-based National Cybersecurity Alliance, offers important insight and intelligence on the subject in an exclusive interview with Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson.

Listen to “The InFOCUS Podcast: National Cybersecurity Alliance” on Spreaker.

Cyber Threats and How to Protect Your Organization Cyber threats are coming fast and furious nowadays. Every day we hear of another ransomware attack or data breach, and it seems that the cyber adversaries are taking over companies unopposed. Cyber security expert Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and Editor-in-Chief at Cybercrime Magazine, sits down with Juliet Huddy for a provocative interview that will cover, in non-technobabble, how the cyber adversaries are doing it,  why people and companies are in the dark when it comes to cybercrime, and what they can and should do to protect their organization.

 

Attend this session in person ONLY at Forecast 2022!
For more information and to register, please click here.
Categories: Industry News

Audacy/Wichita Vet Takes Imaging Role At Benztown

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 09:41

Radio imaging, voiceover, programming, podcasting and jingles company Benztown has promoted its Custom Imaging Manager to Director of Custom Imaging.

Concurrently, Benztown has filled the Custom Imaging Manager spot with a 13-year veteran of Audacy’s Rhythmic Top 40 known as “Power 93.5” in Wichita.

Royce Stevenson, formerly of KDGS-FM in Wichita, is stepping into the role previously held by Thomas Green.

That’s the individual who in 2019 joined Benztown after serving as Audio Producer for the popular Australian morning radio show “Fifi, Fev & Byron.” Green was also Audio Producer for “Carrie & Tommy” and for multiple Hit Network programs across Australia.

Green is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

During his 13-year tenure with KDGS, Stevenson was the Production Director for the station cluster and did station imaging for KDGS-FM and KEYN-FM, a Classic Hits station. He was most recently Assistant Brand Manager/Music Director for KDGS-FM, and hosted afternoon drive on the station.

Categories: Industry News

Xytech Webinars to Officially Launch MediaPulse 10

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 09:40

Resource management software company Xytech has scheduled a four-day webinar series designed to showcase new features associated with its MediaPulse 10 product.

Each day of the series, scheduled from from Oct. 26–29, will focus on a different feature of the system.

From Oct. 26–27, a MediaPulse Overview is planned. On Oct. 27­­–28, time will be spent showcasing MediaPulse Personnel; on Oct. 28–29 company executives will highlight MediaPulse Transmission.

“Until we can once again meet in person, these webinar series are essential communication tools to the community,” said Xytech COO Greg Dolan. “With the version 10 update, MediaPulse provides every user with exactly the functionality they need, when they need it, on the device of their choosing, creating a reliable solution able to operate anywhere. Something the pandemic has made crucial.”

MediaPulse Overview
On Oct. 26, Xytech will host a webinar at 1pm ET/10am PT.

During this first webinar, attendees will learn how MediaPulse 10 simplifies scheduling, automation, asset management, billing and cost recovery for broadcasters, media services companies and transmission facilities in a scalable platform-independent solution.

MediaPulse Personnel
To be held on Oct. 27 at 1pm ET/10am PT, this webinar will showcase the upgrades to the MediaPulse 10’s Personnel Management features.

MediaPulse Transmission
The final webinar in the series will be held Oct. 28 at 1pm ET/10am PT.

To register for any of the MediaPulse 10 Webinar Series, please visit: https://www.xytechsystems.com/webinar/

Categories: Industry News

A Popular Talk Radio Host Challenges Company Vaccine Mandate

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 09:30

To some, he’s the heir apparent to the late Rush Limbaugh. A New York Police Department officer from 1995-1999 and a Secret Service agent for the following 12 years, Dan Bongino took a career pivot and found success as a conservative Talk Radio host at Cumulus Media‘s WMAL in Washington.

Following Limbaugh’s passing, several radio broadcasting companies scrambled to fill the void. For Cumulus and its Westwood One national radio arm, a full court press to get stations across the country to embrace The Dan Bongino Show was put into motion. On May 24, Bongino officially went national, taking the Noon-3pm Eastern slot and gaining affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Today, Bongino’s future with Cumulus and Westwood One is in question. He has practically given his employer an ultimatum. It’s all about the company’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Bongino isn’t budging … and he’s vaccinated.

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Categories: Industry News

StreamGuys Updates Its Multimedia Player

Radio World - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 09:24

 

StreamGuys  unveiled what it describes as a major upgrade to its SGplayer multimedia player.

“Complementing SGplayer’s existing embeddable configuration, version 3.2 offers a new full-page layout mode that provides additional ways for radio broadcasters and content producers to connect with their audiences and monetize their live streams and podcasts,” the company stated.

SGplayer is based on HTML-5 and is hosted by StreamGuys. The company says content providers can incorporate it into their websites to present live streams and on-demand content.

“SGplayer 3.2’s newly-redesigned, responsive user interface delivers attractive, customizable listening experiences on desktop and mobile devices while making it even easier for consumers to find and access relevant content. Tight integration with StreamGuys’ SGrewind time-shifting technology allows listeners to pause, resume, and rewind live streams or jump back to the beginning of a recently-streamed show through a scrollable and searchable program guide.”

Features include new engagement buttons and podcast subscription signups through RSS feeds or third-party platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts. A Share button lets listeners share player links for  favoritecontent.

The company says the search functionality has been enhanced and that new monetization features enhance its support for dynamic advertising insertion.

The post StreamGuys Updates Its Multimedia Player appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

More Change for Radio Ownership Rules?

Radio World - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 07:00
Jessica Rosenworcel, now acting chairwoman of the FCC, is shown at a Senate committee hearing in 2018. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

As the autumn of 2021 began, the FCC has been drawing closer to concluding its 2018 quadrennial review of media ownership rules.

The commission, now headed by Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, recently collected fresh comments from broadcasters and other interested parties.

Observers are watching to see if the FCC — under a Democratic president, but still lacking a full-time chairperson or a Democratic majority — will relax radio’s local common ownership rules. Those limit how many radio stations a company can own in a given market and how many of those can be in one service (meaning AM or FM, though raising limits on FM is the focus for most companies).

Broadcasters are not speaking with one voice on this question.

The largest radio broadcast group thinks lifting FM subcaps could devastate the AM band. Numerous other ownership groups say the FCC should ditch all ownership caps altogether except perhaps in the biggest markets.

Meanwhile some members of Congress have been pushing the FCC to do more to encourage minority ownership, a consideration that may influence its decision on ownership limits.

Drop the “fiction”

At the center of debate is a proposal from the National Association of Broadcasters to raise the FM limits and base the system on market size.

At present, in a market with 45+ radio stations, an entity may own eight, and no more than five in one service (AM or FM). In a market with 30–44 stations, an entity may own seven, and no more than four per service. In a market with 15–29, an entity may own six, no more than four in a service. And in a market with 14 or fewer, an entity may own five, and no more than three in a service, as long as it does not own more than half of the stations in the market.

But NAB has put forward the following proposal:

In Nielsen markets No. 1 through 75, it suggests that one entity be allowed to own as many as eight commercial FM stations — or 10 if the broadcaster is involved in the FCC’s incubator program to promote new and diverse owner entrants.

In markets 76 and smaller as well as in unrated markets, the NAB continues, there should be no cap on FM ownership at all; so one company could own all the FMs there.

And on the AM band, it says, companies also should face no cap in a given market.

The NAB made these recommendations in 2019 as part of the FCC’s 2018 pending quadrennial review process.

“These outdated media ownership rules, which no longer enable broadcasters to viably operate in a competitive market or effectively serve the public interest, are in more urgent need of reform than ever,” NAB said in its most recent filing.

In assessing competition, the NAB commented, the FCC can no longer maintain the “fiction” that broadcast stations compete only against other broadcast stations.

“The record compiled in 2019 showed that broadcasters compete against myriad traditional and digital platforms for both audiences and ad revenue,” NAB argues.

It cited data that shows consumers are acquiring more smart devices, from phones to watches to speakers, and that record numbers are streaming audio, paying for subscription music services and listening to podcasts. Those trends continue to fragment what once was a mass audience for AM/FM terrestrial radio.

A group of 10 broadcasters filing jointly, including Townsquare Media, Connoisseur Media and Midwest Communications, believe the decades-old rules hamper local radio broadcasters in competing for audience and advertisers against growing competitive threats from global tech companies. They asked the FCC to do away completely with all caps in all but the largest markets.

“As shown in earlier filings in this proceeding by the Joint Commenters and the NAB, particularly outside the top markets, there simply is no reason to retain ownership caps given the inconsequential share of the media market that these stations enjoy,” they wrote.

The joint filers continued: “To think that a radio company owning a sixth or seventh FM station in a big market, or even all the radio stations in a smaller market, will damage competition or harm the public interest is to ignore reality.”

Regulations adopted in a pre-digital world prior to 1996, they said, are outdated and “make no sense in today’s competitive media environment.” Therefore, “there simply is no reason to retain ownership caps given the inconsequential share of the media market that these stations enjoy.”

“Moderate” approach

However, industry biggie iHeartMedia is asking for a “targeted, moderate approach” to changing the rules. Notably, it thinks the NAB proposal could cause “potentially catastrophic harm” to owners of AM stations.

iHeartMedia has said on several occasions that relaxing current limits on FM ownership could lead to further devaluation of AM stations and hurt those owners, including women and minorities, by destroying the financial value of AM assets.

In its most recent comments, iHeartMedia wrote: “The commission should adopt a targeted, moderate approach to reforming the local radio ownership rules by eliminating only the limits on AM stations while retaining the current limits on FM stations. Doing so will avoid the potentially catastrophic harm that could befall AM stations were the commission to adopt the NAB proposal to deregulate substantially the FM band.

“Moreover, by maintaining the current FM subcap limits, the commission will ensure that the financial incentives essential to the success of the Incubator Program remain in place. The commission should be guided by the overarching principle of doing no harm.”

Salem Media Group, which owns and operates approximately 100 stations, has made similar arguments: “If the AM band ceases to be the destination for popular programming, AM traffic will greatly diminish and the value of AM radio will collapse,” it wrote.

The FCC “has spent considerable time and energy to revive AM radio, but doing away with subcaps cannot possibly further that end. Using great care and restraint on subcaps is critical,” Salem told the commission.

Some advocacy groups have been critical of the FCC’s handling of the issue and say arguments for relaxing the limits are not supported by facts.

The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) believes any move by the FCC to relax the limits on local radio ownership would increase consolidation and have a significant negative impact on African Americans and other minority station owners and entrepreneurs.

President Jim Winston said in a statement: “The reasons given for eliminating or radically relaxing the commission’s local radio ownership rule are not adequate to justify increased consolidation of ownership in local radio markets. The AM radio industry would be greatly injured by the proposals that have been put forth.”

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) says the FCC should keep the status quo for now and said relaxing the limits “would disadvantage more minority broadcasters” in the United States.

“Increased consolidation is not a fix for low minority ownership in broadcast,” MMTC wrote. “And adopting the NAB proposal would in essence deregulate the FM band.”

The MMTC points to data from the FCC’s latest ownership report, released in September, which shows only 2% of commercial FM radio stations and 3.3% of AM stations are majority black-owned.

“Minority and women-owned broadcast ownership is embarrassingly low,” MMTC commented. “New voices — not increased consolidation, less new entry and less minority ownership — are the answers to local advertising competition from Facebook and Google.”

Nonpartisan advocacy group Free Press told the FCC the “lack of ownership diversity” is the reason current limits must remain and offered advice to the FCC.

“As it prepares for the next quadrennial review in 2022, the commission should conduct a thorough analysis assessing the policies and market structures that are more likely to foster ownership by women and people of color, and before undertaking any rule changes should first analyze how such decisions will impact broadcast ownership diversity,” Free Press wrote.

In addition, it urges the FCC to close “loopholes” in its rules that allow owners to operate more stations than they’re allowed under dubious operating agreements.

“Consolidation has contributed to an ongoing pattern of big broadcasters transitioning resources away from low-income communities, rural areas and communities of color, and allocating them predominantly to white, wealthy and urban areas,” Free Press stated.

The FCC is facing fresh pressure to investigate how its policies have influenced a shrinking pool of minority media owners. Twenty-five members of Congress signed a letter sent to Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in June requesting that the FCC examine how its decisions and programs have disproportionately harmed African Americans and other minorities.

In September, Rosenworcel, commenting on the ownership report, said: “As has been the case for too long, this data makes clear that women and people of color are underrepresented in license ownership. This requires attention because what we see and hear over the public airwaves says so much about who we are as individuals, as communities, and as a nation.  However, changes in the law, technology and court decisions like FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project make addressing this complex.”

(In 2017 the FCC adopted rules to abolish bans on newspaper/broadcast and radio/TV cross ownership and to relax several local TV ownership regulations; but those changes were held up by a legal challenge from Prometheus Radio and other critics. A Supreme Court decision this year reversed a lower court’s ruling and reinstated the 2017 FCC media ownership rules.)

She concluded: “There is much to consider to encourage more diversity in this market, including reinstatement of the Minority Tax Certificate Program.”

The post More Change for Radio Ownership Rules? appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

A Reduced Target Price for SiriusXM Stock

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 04:15

With automotive chip shortages plaguing the industry, could Sirius XM see a negative impact on Wall Street?

Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak believes so.

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Categories: Industry News

Beckner Promoted at Red House, CP

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 04:00

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Live event production services company CP Communications, the parent of the growing Red House Streaming (RHS) operation based in this Tampa Bay region city, has just given Lowell Beckner a promotion.

Becker is now VP of Red House Streaming and General Manager of CPSP.

“As an organization, we are continually pushing forward the boundaries of broadcast and live event production,” said CP’s Chief Executive Officer Kurt Heitmann. “We successfully launched our subsidiary, Red House Streaming, during the pandemic, and we are now positioned as the go-to for production in the Tampa Bay market. That success is made possible by our hard-working and dedicated staff. These promotions and new hires reflect that effort and the company’s continued growth.”

Beckner joined CP Communications in 2020, focusing on the introduction of the RHS brand and its subsequent growth over the past year. Beckner is credited with the launch of RHS studios in January 2021 and has been instrumental in the expansion of products and services in the RHS ecosystem. In his new position of Vice President of RHS and General Manager of CPSP, Beckner reports to Heitmann and is responsible for the day-to-day operations and business development of the RHS Production Center, including the control room, studios, and network operations center (NOC), as well as the overall management of the CPSP operations.

Beckner’s career began in the U.S. Air Force with tours at the Joint Special Operations Command and the White House Communications Agency. He spent the next 21 years as a Director of Engineering with TV stations in the southeast and with broadcast media network groups, taking on roles of increasing responsibility with Media General, Cox Media Group, and E.W. Scripps. In 2017, he shifted his focus toward wireless IP networking at Vislink, where he served as Product Manager, IP Systems for Integrated Microwave Technologies, and as Regional Sales Manager for Live Production. Beckner’s valuable hands-on experience across the entire broadcast ecosystem includes engineering creative solutions for newsroom, playout, transmission, and IP/bonded cellular systems.

Beckner said, “Media viewers today want to watch what they want to watch when they want to watch it. With the advances we’ve made at Red House Streaming since we launched in January, we are giving Tampa Bay and even the world more opportunities to view quality streaming 24/7!”

In concurrent company appointments, Jason Proskurin has been promoted to Technical Director for RHS and Sales Administrator for CP Communications.

New to the St. Petersburg operation are Beth Weber, hired as Senior Producer for RHS, and Tabitha Coleman, Controller for CP.

Furthermore, working from CP’s New York office, Aaron Segarra is now Vice President of Sales and Marketing, which includes oversight of all marketing and sales activities for CP and the RHS brand.

Categories: Industry News

GatesAir Adds Native Livewire Support to Intraplex Ascent Platform

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 10/19/2021 - 03:58

GatesAir has added native Livewire+ IP audio networking to its Intraplex Ascent cloud transport platform.

As such, Intraplex Ascent can now ingest and output multiple audio channels directly via IP without the need for conversion equipment, which adds a new layer of scale and efficiency for radio broadcasters managing many digital audio channels between studios.

Future support is planned for WheatNet-IP, further expanding Ascent adoption within professional broadcast studios.

GatesAir introduced Intraplex Ascent as a next-generation Audio over IP platform built to transport broadcast and media content at scale. The industry-first cloud transport platform was built with broadcast and IT convergence in mind, leveraging common off-the-shelf hardware to reduce the costs of multichannel contribution and distribution between many locations. GatesAir started shipping Intraplex Ascent in 2020 and has a number of systems in operation with broadcasters today, including one recent deployment with Livewire+ capability.

“GatesAir has successfully deployed Ascent with a national radio broadcaster that is sending 32 audio channels between two major studio locations,” said Keyur Parikh, Vice President of Engineering at GatesAir. “They are directly connecting to the Livewire studios, providing encoding and reliable transport across public IP networks. Our high-density platform ensures seamless integration into Livewire networks without the need for audio converters. Our customers benefit from simplified integration and capital cost reduction.”

As with all Intraplex transport applications, GatesAir’s Dynamic Stream Splicing (DSS) software supports reliable transport across redundant networks, and optimizes stream integrity through protection against jitter, packet losses and network failures. Within Ascent, DSS software also supports duplication of SRT streams with video and audio over separate network paths, leveraging a single stream-splicing buffer for hitless protection against errors and failures.

Parikh says that no matter how Ascent is used, broadcasters can trust its reliable cloud platform to manage high-bandwidth, high-volume and high-value media content for any transport application and over any system architecture. This showcases Ascent’s strengths as a software-defined system that drives the hardware scalability curve.

“Intraplex Ascent is built to work natively with IP protocol, and IP-based transport is becoming ubiquitous within studio and STL connections,” Parikh said. “Whether sending content over cable, DSL, fiber or microwave, everything converges to IP, and Ascent’s software-based solution then provides the engine for moving large volumes of media content for ATSC 1.0/3.0 television and FM radio networks. We are bringing the scalability of the cloud to move content between multiple sites at the same time.”

Categories: Industry News

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