Influential media engineer Hank Mahler has died.
Among his contributions to the broadcast industry, he was part of the team at the CBS Technology Center in Connecticut that designed and built the CBS Laboratories Audimax and CBS VoluMax, two audio processors that became widely used in radio and TV.
His passing, on Oct. 5 at the age of 84, has been noted by his colleague Bob Seidel, the former CBS vice president of engineering and advanced technology as well as former president of SMPTE.
Seidel distributed an obituary and appreciation, describing Henry Mahler as an icon.
According to Seidel, Mahler also helped develop the first audio loudness meter for measuring human perception of loudness. And he said many of the audio curves specified by the International Telecommunications Union approximate the original CBS Loudness Meter design from the early 1960s.
“Hank also received a patent for developing an audio meter capable of indicating 60 dB of audio range while the typical VU meter displays approximately a third of that range. Hank also worked on the CBS 360 Record / Player, which was a stereo self-contained solid state audio recorder.”
Mahler went on to be involved in numerous important TV, video and cinema technologies, including developing the famous TV color bars used for calibrating analog color systems. Our sister publication TV Tech has a writeup about his work.
Seidel also provided a personal memory:
“Many a vendor dreaded having their equipment evaluated in the CBS Engineering Lab, because Hank would inevitably uncover issues that required them to ‘go back to the drawing board.’ However, in the end, when the equipment passed Hank’s muster and received the CBS Engineering Lab ‘Good Engineering Seal of Approval,’ it was a world-class product and was recognized by the industry as being top of the line in its category.
“If you wanted to stay on Hank’s good side, you would never interfere with his coffee breaks, which he would announce VERY loudly in his deep baritone voice, ‘COFFEE.’ The lunch time volleyball games at the CBS Laboratories in Stamford, Conn., turned Hank into a jovial, but fierce competitor. There were many CBS Lab colleagues that fell prey to Hank’s practical jokes, and they reciprocated by sending him a fake termination ‘pink slip.’ His office was plastered, not with his technological accomplishment, but with family photos, indicating what was important in his life,” Seidel wrote.
“Hank’s most endearing qualities were his humble nature, engaging smile and willingness to use his vast engineering knowledge to educate his fellow engineers. He will be missed by his immediate family and by his CBS Family who had the privilege of working with him for over 60 years.”
Danbury Memorial and Cremation also has posted an obituary.
The post Hank Mahler Dies, Was Innovator for CBS Technology Center appeared first on Radio World.
Dr. Mark Fratrik, BIA’s SVP and Chief Economist, noted Wednesday with the release of its U.S. Local Advertising forecast for 2022 that a rise in local radio advertising will be seen in 2022. Yet, the biggest headline from the report is that, for the first time, digital will surpass direct mail as the No. 1 dollar-getter from advertisers big and small come next year.
Could deregulation for broadcast media further help Radio, and over-the-air TV too? It’s a topic Fratrik will delve into at a Forecast 2022 session on November 16 in New York.
The appearance by Fratrik at Forecast 2022, presented by Radio Ink and Radio + Television Business Report, could see the longtime ad dollar prognosticator elaborate on data released October 13 that illustrate a local radio ad forecast of $12.7 billion in 2022. But, how much of that is digital? What’s the trend? And, is over-the-air dollars a challenge for over-the-air audio?
Then there is broadcast TV, which has been cushioned by strong political advertising and retransmission consent fees.
“Radio isn’t faring as well as local broadcast TV, and it doesn’t get the same bump as TV in political years,” Fratrik said. “But it is getting close to its pre-pandemic levels as people continue to return to work commutes and traveling by car.”
And, here’s something to note: BIA forecasts local radio and local television in 2022 will each see the same dollar intake for their respective digital platforms.
While that’s intriguing, OTA cash remains the driver for broadcast media. And, many ownership groups believe, further deregulation will help them better compete against that new No. 1 ad dollar magnet in 2022 — digital.
Will the FCC act, even as it awaits President Biden’s nomination for the agency’s Chairman nearly nine months after taking office? Could Congress step in, if the Commission doesn’t?
Fratrik could offer some interesting commentary, alongside Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley and moderator Frank Montero, of Fletcher Heald & Hildreth.REGISTER NOW! EARLY BIRD RATES REMAIN AVAILABLE ON A LIMITED TIME BASIS. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE MOST ANTICIPATED MEDIA INDUSTRY EVENT OF THE YEAR.
This means Intraplex Ascent can ingest and output multiple audio channels directly via IP without the need for conversion equipment, which the company said adds scale and efficiency for radio broadcasters that manage many digital audio channels between studios.
Future support is planned for WheatNet-IP.
Intraplex Ascent started shipping last year. The manufacturer describes it as a next-generation audio over IP platform built to transport broadcast and media content at scale, “leveraging common off-the-shelf hardware to reduce the costs of multichannel contribution and distribution between many locations.”
[Read Radio World’s ebook “What’s Next for Virtualization”]
It quoted VP of Engineering Keyur Parikh saying, “GatesAir has successfully deployed Ascent with a national radio broadcaster that is sending 32 audio channels between two major studio locations. They are directly connecting to the Livewire studios, providing encoding and reliable transport across public IP networks.”
The system’s Dynamic Stream Splicing software supports transport across redundant networks, and GatesAir says it optimizes stream integrity by protecting against jitter, packet losses and network failures. 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.”
“Intraplex Ascent is built to work natively with IP protocol, and IP-based transport is becoming ubiquitous within studio and STL connections,” said Parikh in the announcement. “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.”
The post GatesAir Adds Native Livewire Support to Intraplex Ascent appeared first on Radio World.
Also: Business is booming at Technical Service Group. … Larry Langford is troubleshooting distortion on a client’s FM translator. … Tula has a nifty combo mic/recorder. … And the FCC is listening to the debate over allowing companies to own more stations in one market.
All that plus early Black sportscasters, the power of radio local news and letters from our readers.
Radio and TV broadcasters in the state of Georgia are gathering to celebrate the engineers in their midst.
The Georgia Association of Broadcasters will honor three engineers at this year’s GABCON, the largest gathering of radio and TV broadcasters in the state, set to be held Oct. 22–23 in Atlanta.
This year the association will honor Carl “CJ” Jackson with Salem Media Group; retiree Robert LaFore, formerly with Audacy Atlanta; and will posthumously award iHeartMedia executive and EME Communications owner Clyde Scott with the 2021 Angelo Ditty–Frank McLemore Engineering Award.
The award will be presented at the 2021 convention, an in-person event that will also offer educational sessions, an exhibit hall and will honor broadcasters across the state as part of the 2021 GABBY Awards for broadcasting excellence.
Manufacturer Broadcast Partners named Roland Schaller to a post where he’ll work to expand the company’s international sales.
“After spending the first half of his career in internet and telecommunications in technical and marketing roles, he moved to broadcasting in the field of satellite and terrestrial broadcast hardware and software, in presales and sales roles,” the company stated.
The announcement was made by CEO Robert-Jan van der Hoeven. Broadcast Partners is based in the Netherlands. Schaller will split time between France and Germany.
“Roland is at ease in the business culture of most of Europe, combining a rigorous approach to the sales process in dealing with his customers and business partners,” Broadcast Partners wrote.
The company’s offerings include the SmartRadio “radio as a service” cloud-based system.
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For 34 years, he’s been a television executive serving the Joplin, Mo., and Pittsburg, Kan., television market.
Now, this Kansas Association of Broadcasting Hall of Famer is preparing to transition into retirement. And, his successor has been selected by Morgan Murphy Media.
He represented Georgia’s Ninth Congressional District from 2013 to 2021.
Now, he’s the latest person to launch an audio-on-demand offering. Thank Salem Podcast Network for the opportunity.
The Doug Collins Podcast debuts on October 25.
“I am excited to be hosting a podcast that will give conservatives the tools they need to go out into the marketplace of ideas and stand up for what we believe in,” said Collins. “Our country desperately needs to hear how a little idea that started with our Founding Fathers — the pursuit of happiness. This podcast will explore all topics ranging from politics to life advice and will blend them together for a well-rounded discussion that people can listen to and use to get the most out of life.”
Collins ran for U.S. Senate in 2020, finishing in third place behind Republican Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock, the eventual victor. He has served as a legal counsel for former President Donald Trump following his departure from Congress in January.
“For years, I was so impressed with Doug Collins as a Congressman,” says Phil Boyce, SVP of Spoken Word at Salem. “When we had the opportunity to bring him over to the Salem Podcast Network, we moved fast. He will be a great addition to our lineup, and will help us save the country we all love.”
Orban announced the Optimod XPN-Enterprise ecosystem.
The company describes it as a customizable, Linux-based processing platform with capabilities for centralized contexts, particularly broadcast groups that run multiple stations or clusters and/or streaming services.
“It provides Orban’s proprietary OptiCloud processing for up to eight FM and eight HD/DAB+/Streaming processing channels in a 1 RU package and supports AES-67/SMPTE-2110 protocols using an enterprise-class SoftGear server and the appropriate Optimod XPN-Enterprise Nodes,” the company stated.
The XPN-Enterprise server is shipping, as is the XPN-Enterprise AES3 Input/Output Node. Orban said nodes to extend the available outputs and functionalities are coming including DMPX, Kantar and Nielsen watermarking and Orban uMPX.
“Broadcasters worldwide are realizing the benefits of moving operations to centralized — and ideally, virtualized — environments. Many of these customers have high-density needs, with many signals that need to be managed,” it quoted Orban President David Day in the announcement.
Content to be OptiCloud processed is brought to one location using AES3, AES-67, SMPTE-2110-30, Dante or Livewire+, and creates the necessary outputs (FM composite, DMPX, uMPX and DAB+HD) using the appropriate Orban XPN-Enterprise Nodes for distribution to each transmitter site, the company said.
The server also handles processed channels for streaming, sending those outputs to the appropriate streaming devices.
“Each signal coming into the Optimod XPN-Enterprise server can be individually processed, with Orban’s OptiCloud providing precision tailoring of each station’s broadcast or stream to meet the requirements of the audience and delivery method,” it continued.
Features include factory presets for various formats, and “Less-More” controls to simplify “dialing in” a desired sound by combining multiple processing parameters.
Day also highlighted the company’s “Last Mile” solutions including XPN-Enterprise input and output nodes and low-bandwidth solutions.
“This ‘Last Mile’ service is especially important for stations whose transmitter sites may be in locations with less-than-ideal internet access. We make it possible to manage our processing remotely and feed that signal to a site on lines as slow as 500 kbps, with high-quality results. And many nodes are ‘Power over Ethernet’ (PoE) capable, further simplifying installation.”
SAN FRANCISCO — Data connectivity platform LiveRamp has added streaming inventory forecasting and data collaboration capabilities into its TV platform.
With these additions, LiveRamp TV becomes an end-to-end platform enabling media sellers and advertisers to collaborate, activate, and quantify media campaigns in a coordinated way across all TV inventory: linear, streaming, and digital video.
And, the launch came with the support from two of broadcast television’s biggest players.
Pierre Bouvard once again has combed through fresh data from Nielsen and put together a series of positive bullet points about trends in radio, intended to of help to radio salespeople and managers.
Bouvard is chief insights manager of Cumulus Media and Westwood One, which makes him one of the industry’s prominent pitch persons.
Looking at Google data, he said that through September and into October, COVID search volumes have sharply fallen, an indication that pandemic concerns have eased.
American travel miles also are up, which means people are spending more time in their cars.
Further, Bouvard says that marketers and ad agencies continue to “dramatically underestimate the number of Americans that are commuting to work each day.”
And he cites Nielsen data showing AM/FM radio listening recovery continuing in September with Portable People Meter listening up +4% over the prior year.
Below is the latest chart from his post showing month-to-month changes in Average Quarter Hour audience in PPM markets.
[Read the blog post: “Nielsen AM/FM Radio Audiences Grow as COVID Concerns Drop and Vehicular Traffic Surges”]
Add the Constitution State to the list of locales where local TV viewers who own television sets capable of receiving NEXTGEN TV-powered signals can enjoy watching them.
The next-generation digital television signals, which offer improved sound and picture quality for consumers along with new revenue opportunities for broadcast media, make their debut on Tuesday in Hartford.
Jessica Rosenworcel is talking up 6G.
“If you think I’m too early on this one, think again. Much like in the early days of 5G, the scrum for 6G is already intensifying,” she said.
Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke Tuesday to the wireless industry’s Americas Spectrum Management Conference. She devoted a good part of her online remarks to the topic “Paving the Way for 6G and Beyond.”
She cited plans or developments that look ahead to 6G in South Korea, Finland, Japan and China.
While no one knows exactly what 6G will entail, she said, “Let’s learn from what came before. Let’s acknowledge here and now that it is time to start thinking seriously about how we can better position ourselves for success with 6G.”
She called for a “6G Solarium” modeled on a recent bipartisan government initiative called “Project Solarium” that resulted in 80 recommendations on how to overhaul the nation’s approach to cybersecurity.
“What we need now is new thinking, broader consensus and more early focus than we had for 5G,” Rosenworcel said. “We need a process for prioritizing and executing on spectrum objectives and for developing strategies to align the ends, way and means for 6G.” She wants to see a similar effort that brings together government, business, the non-profit sector “and the rest of civil society and the public to chart a new course.”
Rosenworcel said that to help, the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council could be charged with “looking beyond 5G and conceptualizing 6G — to help set the stage for our leadership. By refocusing the TAC in this way, the FCC will be able to stay on top of new developments and ensure that the nation can turn the latest scientific research into viable communications technologies that will help power our future.”
Not to skip over 5G, in the first half of her remarks Rosenworcel discussed steps that she said would “reinvigorate the momentum toward 5G.”
She highlighted FCC efforts to provide more spectrum — including the granting of 5,600 licenses in the C-band — as well as her goals of expanding the reach of fiber facilities, diversifying technology that goes into 5G networks, building security and resiliency in supply chains, and participating more substantially in global technology standards-setting.
Telos Alliance has introduced a streamlined version of its Axia Quasar AoIP surface.
The Quasar SR replaces the Axia Fusion in the company’s lineup. Telos also announced a major free system update for users of its original Quasar.
The new Quasar SR is part of the Livewire+ AES67 ecosystem. Telos said it uses the frame, power supply and master module of the original Quasar, but the fader modules are not motorized and there are fewer, larger and easier-to-reach buttons on each channel strip.
“All of these refinements make it easy for any operator to use the SR console, while introducing cost efficiencies that allow SR to be an exceptional value,” the company stated in the announcement.
The surface includes a heavy-duty 12.1-inch touchscreen user interface so an external monitor is not required, though one can be used if desired via the external video output.Axia Quasar DSP user interface
The system includes Expert Source Profile controls for power users to set custom logic associated with each source. “The user can program GPIO control, mix-minus routing, talkback and other functions based upon console channel state,” Telos said. “Flexible Record Mode gives complete control of monitors, meters, headphone feeds, program bus assignments, and more.”
Show Profiles allow up to 4,000 console “snapshots” with different settings, layouts and defaults. Automatic mix-minus and automixing are available on all channels. Features include touch-sensitive encoders, faders and user buttons.
The new model also introduces a remote control option called Quasar Soft. “This solution lets broadcasters control the surface from any HTML5 browser. Included as part of the Quasar Soft license, Quasar Cast is a remote monitoring solution that lets users listen to what is happening in the studio and on the air while they operate the console remotely using Quasar Soft.”
In a related development, Telos announced availability of a Quasar V2.0 Major System Update, which converts an original Quasar console to Quasar XR. This is a free system update that adds scalability and modularity to the original console; it also adds Quasar Soft and Quasar Cast, integration with Telos Infinity IP Intercom and support for planned Quasar Accessory Modules. Telos said the update makes Quasar more flexible for applications like working from home.
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It’s a Class A FM covering a rural portion of Arkansas, just south of the Ozarks resort town of Branson, Mo. Until now, it’s been a part of the “Here’s Help Network,” tied to stations offering the religious-themed programming to towns in Missouri.
That’s about to change thanks to the second-largest licensee of FM radio stations in the U.S.
At the start of 2021, it became known that Iliana Communications had agreed to divest its stations in one Illinois town.
Now, Iliana has agreed to sell an AM, along with its FM translator, in another municipality in the Land of Lincoln.
There’s a flurry of activity going on at both the FCC and on Capitol Hill that directly impacts broadcast media leaders. From a new bill that could force a New Jersey TV station to devote specific hours of the day to “local” programming to concerns that President Biden will not nominate a FCC Chair, there’s much to discuss.
Forecast 2022 participants will get to hear all about it during a session moderated by Frank Montero, the notable attorney at Fletcher Heald & Hildreth with a pulse on what’s happening Inside the Beltway.
In this InFOCUS Podcast, presented by dot.FM, Montero shares his thoughts on a notion once thought to be preposterous — a possible Republican FCC majority during a Democratic presidency.
He also tackles a question that perhaps no one wants to answer. Is a Democratic majority at the FCC doom for deregulation? “By and large, Democrats at the FCC have really not focused that much on broadcasting,” Montero says, noting that broadband, wireless, infrastructure and other topics have been their forte.
But, when Democrats do discuss broadcasting, they have perhaps unfairly put their collective lenses on consolidation, and whether or not it has harmed consumers.
At Forecast 2022, Montero will moderate a session that sees Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley take the stage as a panelist. Joining her: BIA Advisory Services Chief Economist Dr. Mark Fratrik.
This podcast offers a great preview of what’s to come on November 16 at Forecast 2022. Listen now, and then be sure to save your seat at Forecast 2022 in New York. It’s easy — just click here!
One month ago, a seemingly final plan of action was put in place for RBR+TVBR as it reviewed the full agenda of 2021 NAB Show sessions, selecting which ones to cover for its readers. Among the topics on tap for today: New Perspectives for Local Radio Audience Measurement, Reception of All-digital AM Radio in Electric Vehicles and The TV Industry’s New Normal.
Alas, there would be no discussion of the “new normal” come October 12 — aside from the decision by several Cumulus Media air personalities to leave their respective jobs rather than be forced to vaccinate against COVID-19, the very reason the NAB scrapped their event with less than a month to go.
Yet, there are several radio industry professionals who have just wrapped up a two-day event full of discussions and insight on the future of radio, and of audio.
With an in-person and virtual option, Radiodays Europe concluded its postponed event five months after its originally scheduled date on Monday in Lisbon, Portugal.Where will the top broadcast media industry leaders be this autumn? The only time this year you’ll get to see them — and perhaps the final time you’ll get to see soon-to-retire NAB head Gordon Smith — is at Forecast 2022 on November 16. Learn more, and register today, by visiting the official event website.
Radio Maria, an international network of 77 Catholic radio stations, is now participating in DTS AutoStage.
Xperi says that given Radio Maria’s reach of roughly a half-billion listeners, this is its largest global radio integration to date.
[Related: “Cumulus Stations Support DTS AutoStage”]
DTS AutoStage is a hybrid radio platform that parent company Xperi Corp. is offering in 60 countries and hopes will be adopted by broadcasters and carmakers globally.
Hybrid radio systems combine over-the-air radio with IP delivered content. Xperi is working to make DTS AutoStage available widely in vehicles; it is available in the market so far in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Radio Maria began as a parish radio station in 1983 in Milan, Italy. It now has 77 stations and is also heard on FM-world, a streaming and aggregation platform for radio stations run by 22HBG, which facilitated the integration of Radio Maria with DTS AutoStage.
[Related: “Xperi Has Big Ambitions for DTS AutoStage”]
The announcement was made by Joe D’Angelo, Xperi senior vice president, business development, broadcast, and Vittorio Viccardi, president of World Family of Radio Maria.
DTS AutoStage is based on a large database of broadcast metadata that Xperi highlights for its “large and stunning” artwork, artist and album information, personalization and other functionality.