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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 22:00
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Strategy Analytics Report Finds In-Car Terrestrial Radio at Risk

Radio World - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:02

The In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has issued a new report on car owners’ usage of, and interest in, audio infotainment sources in the car.

Credit: Pexels.com

In a study the research firm carried out across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and China, it discovered that after several years of “explosive interest,” consumer demand for smartphone mirroring systems has leveled off.

“As more mirroring systems come to market in high-volume cars, and more non-early-adopting segments are exposed to them, their limitations are becoming apparent,” the report stated. “But despite this, most embedded systems still do not provide better UX than smartphone mirroring systems.”

[Read: Are Touchscreen Radios Safe?]

According to the study, radio usage is in “fast decline” across the U.S., Europe, and China, even though in the west it remains important for some key consumer segments. It also finds that car owners are sending mixed signals on the next-best “must have” after radio. “Flat user interfaces which allow easy access to all audio/media sources will be more important than ever for the next model turn,” it found. In addition, the report exhibits that in the “search for a next successor to the CD player, streaming media has shown a remarkable surge in usage and interest,” as regards owned media on portable devices.

“The UX of embedded systems still does not exceed smartphone mirroring systems, essentially driving car owners to CarPlay and Android Auto leaving infotainment devoid of any brand differentiation,” commented Derek Viita, senior analyst and report author. “Given these shifting infotainment usage habits and consumers’ shifting interest in what is a ‘must-have’ for the next car purchase, designers and product planners must tread carefully in future product lines.”

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The post Strategy Analytics Report Finds In-Car Terrestrial Radio at Risk appeared first on Radio World.

Arrakis Is at the Beginning for Humana

Radio World - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:30

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On May 6, the Humana Audio Visual Services team launched Humana Radio, an internally streamed radio station, featuring music, podcasts and wellness breaks, in Louisville, Ky. Humana Radio is broadcast to the nationwide employee population of Humana Inc., composed of almost 50,000 employees.

In 2017, AV Services began an overhaul of space and technology within their headquarters, which gave birth to the Video Enterprise Collaboration Suite, a location where any and every employee was invited to bring their talent, passion and creativity to work on video and audio projects with their teams. The suite included a green screen studio, edit bays featuring Adobe products and an audio booth, all available for checkout and training. 

As employees poured in to use the available services, many teams began creating podcasts to share internally with their teams at Humana. AV Services Manager Trey Pennington along with Kellie Stephens, myself and other members of the team began to brainstorm a solution and spark a vision for how these informative podcasts, many containing information which could be beneficial to Humana as a whole, not just specific silos, could be shared company-wide. We wanted to deliver interconnectivity to our company, regardless of location, and we wanted to inform, encourage and empower each member of our Humana family. From there, Humana Radio was born, and the podcasts on a plethora of different topics began to flow in greater numbers than they ever had before. 

[More DARCness From Arrakis]

Along with finding the correct personnel to help man the station, our equipment had to meet the needs of broadcasting 24/7 as well. We began looking for a great solution that would be powerful yet graceful, and are proud to say that we arrived on the DARC console from Arrakis Systems. 

We love this product because it was easy to learn for both novices as well as experienced radio professionals. We didn’t have to be absolute experts on the situation, as we learned the ins and outs of the DARC. We were able to set it up according to our own personal needs, inputs and styles to help us accomplish the task of generating a new form of communication within Humana. 

Everything from having routing control of specific channels, along with having the physical board working in collaboration with a digital setup to how seamlessly it matched up with Arrakis’ Apex automation made our installation a breeze. We were excited to learn and to take our project to the next level, and for the questions we did find ourselves wondering about, the customer support at Arrakis made us feel like family. They were there to make sure we had all the tools we needed to be successful for our launch and into the future. 

As we look to the next phase and coming months and years of Humana Radio, we have no doubt in our minds that we made a smart choice by choosing the DARC system along with Apex, to help us facilitate discussion, real talk, diversity of thought and creativity, from, with, and for all employees.

For information, contact Ben Palmer at Arrakis Systems in Colorado at 1-970-461-0730 or visit www.arrakis-systems.com.

The post Arrakis Is at the Beginning for Humana appeared first on Radio World.

Ofcom Prepares for Small-Scale DAB Rollout

Radio World - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 03:36

LONDON — Ofcom, has launched a consultation regarding the future of localized DAB broadcasting. The broadcasting regulator plans to rollout the new tier of digital radio across the United Kingdom starting next year.

Engineers check the performance of small-scale DAB transmissions.

Experimental small-scale DAB transmissions in the country began as far back as 2012, with formalized public trials beginning in the summer of 2015. These trials, in 10 different locations, were originally intended to last only a matter of months, but have, in fact, continue to the present day.

Over recent months, the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) has been working to get changes in legislation through Parliament. These would allow the licensing of localized DAB multiplexes across the country on a long-term basis.

LEGISLATION

The draft legislation was put before Parliament last month and is currently awaiting final approval, but Ofcom is consulting now to minimize the time delay before it can begin licensing new multiplexes, once it has the legal powers to do so.

[Read: DAB+ Deployment in France Progresses]   

The consultation covers a number of areas, but at its core, it is designed to help shape Ofcom’s approach to spectrum planning and the licensing of new localized DAB services. In addition, the consultation considers the impact its plans might have on the further development of the existing tier of larger “local” DAB multiplexes.

A spectrum analyser shows DAB multiplex spectral occupancy.

Another important outcome of the current trials has been the take up of DAB by community services and specialist commercial stations. These have previously been largely excluded from the platform on grounds of cost and scale of available coverage.

Historically, U.K. “local” multiplexes have typically tended to cover countywide areas rather than individual towns and cities.  The consultation sets out proposals for the introduction of a new form of Community Digital Sound Programming License (C-DSP).

Such new licenses would permit non-profit-maximizing broadcasters to operate on DAB under dedicated conditions and provide them with the option of accessing DAB capacity reserved on the new multiplexes, for use by only by licensed Community Radio operators.

Technically, a major success of the trials has been the launch of a large number of DAB+ services.  Indeed, some of the multiplexes involved now operate using DAB+ only. Recognizing the enhanced spectral efficiency of the more recent transmission standard, Ofcom’s consultation currently suggests that the new tier of localized DAB multiplexes should not be permitted to transmit using the older original ‘plain vanilla’ DAB standard, a sign perhaps of just how quickly the world of DAB broadcasting in the U.K. is now changing.

The Ofcom Consultation closes on Friday Oct. 4.

Dr. Lawrie Hallett writes for Radio World from Norwich in Norfolk, where he is Technical Director of DAB Multiplex operator, Future Digital Norfolk Limited.

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The post Ofcom Prepares for Small-Scale DAB Rollout appeared first on Radio World.

Digital Alert Systems Releases Guide for National EAS Test

Radio World - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 20:08

There is less than a month before the mandatory, nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, and Digital Alert Systems is aiming to help its customers with a free online preparation document.

The brief, as described by Ed Czarnecki, senior director of strategy and government affairs for Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems, provides the steps needed and additional recommendations to ensure a successful test. Noting that failures during the 2018 test were primarily due to audio quality issues, equipment misconfigurations, out-of-date software and device failure, Czarnecki says “our readiness document can help operators avoid those pitfalls.”

[Read: FCC Accepting Late Filings of ETRS Form One]

Things that are covered in the document include the filing procedures through the FCC’s EAS Test Reporting System; Form One was due July 3, but Forms Two and Three will be due on Aug. 7 and Sept. 23, respectively. It also provides information on how to check EAS equipment is properly powered and operated, as well as being up to date.

The National Periodic Test is set for Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

Read DAS’ preparation document here.

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The post Digital Alert Systems Releases Guide for National EAS Test appeared first on Radio World.

Synthax to Distribute Digigram in U.S.

Radio World - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 19:57
Synthax’s Mathias von Heydekampf (Left) and Digigram’s Xavier Allanic

France-based equipment manufacturer Digigram is going to have a new distributor in the U.S. market, Synthax.

Digigram Sales Director Xavier Allanic said, “This new partnership provides us with the perfect boost we needed to deploy Digigram’s commercial strategy throughout North America.”

He added, “Acting as Digigram’s exclusive distributor in the U.S., Synthax USA has the experience to broaden Digigram’s spectrum as our range of solutions are key to making customers’ day-to-day operations simpler.”

Synthax Managing Director Mathias von Heydekampf said, “Digigram is on the cutting edge of audio over IP, offering end-users solutions that not only fill their current audio needs but also keep them ready for the future … Digigram’s solutions provide both radio and TV broadcasters as well as audio installers solutions that help simplify everyday operations while streamlining the delivery of their content.”

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The post Synthax to Distribute Digigram in U.S. appeared first on Radio World.

Don’t Waste Your Money on that Bluetooth Cassette Player Kickstarter

Radio Survivor - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 19:21

Last week – coincident with the original Walkman’s 40th birthday – I saw all these articles reporting on this supposedly “world’s first” Bluetooth enabled portable Walkman-style cassette player/recorder, named IT’S OK (yes, the brand is in all caps). Reactions to this Kickstarter ranged from snarky to excited, but all the coverage struck me as a little too credulous.

Always hoping that someone is going to start making decent quality cassette decks or players again, every so often I search around on Amazon or Ebay to see what’s on offer. In the back of my head I thought I’d seen a cheap Bluetooth tape player before, for far less than the $75 intro price promised to Kickstarter supporters.

Turns out, my memory was correct. This Digitnow branded “cassette to MP3 converter” has been available on Amazon since August of 2018 for a price that fluctuates between $29 and $39. Over on Ebay they’re $39.99.

In addition to playing to your Bluetooth headphones, it’ll digitize your cassettes directly to a microSD card, or to your computer via USB. Two additional features missing from the IT’S OK. Now, I’ve never used the Digitnow player, so I can’t vouch for the quality of playback. But my guess is that it’s about as good as the cheap knock-off Walkman you might have bought at K-Mart in 1989, so caveat emptor. I also have serious doubts that the IT’S OK will be any better, even at nearly twice the price.

Already suspicious of the “feasibility study and first handmade prototypes” on the Kickstarter timeline, today I saw a video from YouTuber VWestlife wherein he identifies an extremely similar cassette player available on Alibaba for as little as $7 in quantity direct from China. VWestlife also points out that the IT’S OK player isn’t even in stereo, specifying “Classic Monaural Sound.”

He does note that since all the parts for the IT’S OK are readily available, the Kickstarter likely isn’t a scam. You’ll just get a flimsy mono cassette recorder/player worth maybe $20 in parts – or available from other sources at about $40 – for your $75. And you’ll have to wait until December to get it. Or you can wait until after the Kickstarter ends and get it for $88 (no kidding).

I’ll admit to being enticed when I first saw headlines about the device, but it didn’t take long for me to see that this Kickstarter is mostly hype, seizing on the Walkman’s nostalgia moment and slow news week to get some free press release journalism coverage.

I have no snark for anyone wanting a new cassette Walkman today, and wish that reputable brands like Sony and Panasonic still made them. If you’re in the market I’d first try to find a decent used one, or take a shot on any of the dozens of $20 ones scattered across online retailers and Ebay. (While you’re at it, you might as well get one with a radio.) Aside from the cognitive dissonance around the apparent anachronism of the IT’S OK player, I don’t really get the appeal of adding Bluetooth… especially in freakin’ mono.

But if you decide to bite and get one, please do let us know how it goes.

The post Don’t Waste Your Money on that Bluetooth Cassette Player Kickstarter appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Broadcasters, You’re Not in Radio Anymore

Radio World - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 12:39
Fred and Paul Jacobs

If you’re headed to Dallas this Sept. 24–26, you may be attending the Radio Show, but the Jacobs brothers want you to know that you’re not really working in radio anymore.

[Read: NRG’s Quass to Be Saluted at Radio Show]

Yes, you read that right: on Sept. 26, Jacobs Media’s Fred and Paul Jacobs will present a session explaining why broadcasters are moving on to new opportunities while maintaining the core values of the medium. During “You’re Not in the Radio Business Anymore: Stories from Innovators Who’ve Made the Transition,” attendees will learn about the challenges and benefits of expanding beyond OTA in 2019 from those who’ve made the leap.

“We are excited to present an all-important session on the strategies that best serve broadcasters as we position our industry to succeed in 2019 and beyond. Fred and Paul Jacobs will offer actionable insights on propelling the radio business forward in today’s changing media landscape,” Radio Advertising Bureau President and CEO Erica Farber said in the announcement.

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The post Broadcasters, You’re Not in Radio Anymore appeared first on Radio World.

IAAIS Presents Annual Awards

Radio World - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 12:20

At its recent annual conference in June the International Association of Audio Information Services presented a series of awards for individuals, organizations and programs.

The programming winners were:

Newspapers — Audio Reading Service, Fort Wayne, Ind., “Journal Gazette Book Reviews”

Consumer Information — Audio Reading Service, Fort Wayne, Ind., “Broadcast Program Schedule”

Magazines — Audio-Reader Network, Lawrence, Kan., “The Adult Hour”

Magazine Digest —  (three winners) — WXXI Reachout Radio, Rochester, N.Y., “Silver Threads: The Opiod Impact on Elders”; VOICEcorps, Columbus, Ohio, “Keystrokes”; Audio Reading Service, Fort Wayne, Ind., “Wired”

Narrative Reading — Audio-Reader Network, Lawrence, Kan., “The Book Club: Beauty Will Save the World”

Drama and Dramatic Reading — Talking Information Center, Marshfield, Mass., “Dracula”

Thematic Production ­— Audio-Reader Network, Lawrence, Kan., “Springfield Regional News Promo”

Interview and/or Call-In — Virginia Voice, Richmond, Va., “The Mighty Pen Episodes”

Non-Reading Entertainment — Audio-Reader Network, Lawrence, Kan., “New Year’s in History”

On Location — Talking Information Center, Marshfield, Mass., “Sunset Boulevard”

The group say that the entries are judged by staff and volunteers of member stations.

Four Public Affairs Awards were presented. They are designed to honor excellence in member organizations. They are intended to raise awareness of excellence at work in all areas of our sector and honor staff and volunteers who excel in the audio information service field. The winners were:

Excellence in Organizational Leadership — Marjorie Moore, former president and CEO of MindsEye, for her 15 years of leadership where she diversified revenue and guided the organization through a state budget crisis.

Excellence in Communications and Marketing — MindsEye, for their ongoing communications initiative, Arts and Culture Accessibility Cooperative (ACAC).

Volunteer Excellence — Carl Graves, a 21-year volunteer with the Audio-Reader Network. In 2018 Graves dedicated over 520 hours to preparing, creating and reading programming, volunteering an average of 10 hours each week. Graves has also won programming awards.

Excellence in Fundraising — Ultimate Beepball Tournament. Ultimate Beepball Tournament participating teams compete in games of beepball, or blindfolded baseball, a sport that brings together blind and sighted athletes and features a beeping ball and buzzing bases. It introduced by MindsEye in 2007.

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The post IAAIS Presents Annual Awards appeared first on Radio World.

Radio Events: Bigger (and More Important) Than Ever

Radio World - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 11:03
Von Freeman, Matt Schultz of Cage the Elephant and Zach Carothers of Portugal. The Man

As radio companies look to develop new ideas, one original source of “non-traditional revenue” faces challenges but is going strong. Concerts and events are often vital to radio’s bottom line, sometimes referred to as a station’s “13th month.” 

Von Freeman has created profitable — and legendary — events for radio throughout his career, including at KIIS(FM) Los Angeles and now as director of marketing, new business and events for Entercom of south Florida. 

“They are all like my children,” he says. “Some grow up and move on to other parents, but still each has a place in my heart.” One of his new events for Entercom, the Riptide Music Festival, has quickly made a name for itself in south Florida. 

In Freeman’s opinion, the bigger the brand, the bigger the party. At KIIS, a monster-sized station known for huge personalities like Rick Dees and then Ryan Seacrest, Freeman brought their existing outdoor festival to even larger venues — more seats, bigger stars and lots of sponsorship integrations. But it needed an exciting new name, too. 

[GMs: Now Is the Time to Buy Stations]

So Freeman thought back to the first concert festival he attended as a kid. Rebellious rock star Ted Nugent shot a double-barreled shotgun guitar on stage and screamed, “All right, you mother f’ers, Wango Tango!” Years later, “KIIS FM’s Wango Tango” was born. 

Danny Wimmer, Michael Lang and Gary Spivack

In the years since, concert festivals — some produced by radio stations, some not — have become big business. Tickets to the most famous of them all, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival near Palm Springs, Calif., start at a whopping $429 each. But even more revenue can be generated by the food and beverage sales, merchandise, sideshow experiences and of course, sponsorships. 

Finding sponsors that do more than just plaster logos everywhere, actually contributing to the event-goer’s experience, is the goal.

FINGER LICKIN’ DJ?

iHeartMedia SVP of Programming Alex Tear happened to be in attendance at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival recently when KFC’s “Colonel Sanders” mascot ascended on stage to perform as a DJ. 

“Almost instantly, the crowd became confused. It was as if their bodies went from being fully energized to unplugged,” says Tear. In their attempt to integrate the brand into the festival in a tongue-in-cheek way, Tear reports that KFC created “anger and resentment” instead.

Tear wonders if the Colonel’s stage appearance would have been better received by answering the age-old question, “What’s in it for me?!” He suggests KFC might have offered attendees free samples, a texting contest and coupons, or VIP seat upgrades. 

Alex Tear

Many also experienced the stunt via social media. One Twitter photo of The Colonel generated 1.59 million views. “KFC is the only sponsor from Ultra that I’ve heard anyone talk about,” points out Freeman. “Getting people to mention fried chicken in the same sentence as one of the coolest festivals on earth isn’t easy.”

Working with sponsors that fit the audience and vibe of the festival is key, according to Gary Spivack, EVP of Danny Wimmer Presents. “We want them to be strategically engaged in every aspect of the event, from the initial announcement until the last attendee leaves — and in the social media afterward. We look for true partners as sponsors.”

Spivack warns radio stations that — with so many competing music festivals — they must treat music acts like partners also. “Radio stations have to pay an artist what they’re worth,” rather than expect to book them cheap in appreciation for adding a single to the playlist. “Artist managers are seeking promoters who can offer true investment for the long haul.” 

[Marketing Your Station in 2019]

Of course, concerts aren’t the only revenue-producing events that radio stations produce. Despite heavy rain, 22,000 recently attended the 34th Annual KISS Country Chili Cookoff in Pembroke Pines, Fla. “If you have an AC, country or CHR format, the kids and family expos can be fun for everybody and highly profitable,” says Freeman. “Also, fantasy football camps give sports radio listeners an opportunity to come meet our personalities and get their advice on which players to ‘draft.’”

Whatever the event, Tear says to “do it with purpose. Devise a plan that is a win for your entire team — generating ratings, revenue and strengthening your brand.” 

In 2019 and beyond, event-goers have plenty of choices for their entertainment dollar. That’s why Spivack predicts a thinning of the herd. “The days of just plopping up a couple of stages and selling stale beer and corn dogs are well behind us. Only the best events will survive.”

As a radio programmer and consultant, Dave Beasing found innovative ways to integrate brands into station content. Now he’s CEO of Sound That Brands, a podcast studio that produces content for national brands.

The post Radio Events: Bigger (and More Important) Than Ever appeared first on Radio World.

NOTICE OF EXPARTE filed in 19-3 : Reexamination of the Comparative Standards and Procedures for Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations,18-184 : Amendment of Part 73 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for a...

MB Docket 19-3 - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 11:00

Proceeding(s): 19-3 : Reexamination of the Comparative Standards and Procedures for Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations,18-184 : Amendment of Part 73 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for a New FM Radio Broadcast Class C4 and to Modify the Requirements for Designating Short-Spaced Assignments, Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making,17-105 : Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative,RM-11810 : Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reference Information Center Petition For Rulemakings Filed,17-264 : Media Bureau Opens MB Docket No. 17-264,05-6 : In the Matter of Revision of the Public Notice Requirements of Section 73.3580.,13-249 : Revitalization of the AM Radio Service,RM-11836 : Petition for Rulemaking to Allow the MA3 AllDigital Mode of HD Radio for AM Stations Revitalization of the AM Radio Service

Filers(s): REC Networks

Comment Type: NOTICE OF EXPARTE

Date Received: 7/9/2019

Date Posted: 7/10/2019

Address: 11541 Riverton Wharf Rd Mardela Springs, MD, 21837

NOTICE OF EXPARTE filed in 19-3 : Reexamination of the Comparative Standards and Procedures for Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations,18-184 : Amendment of Part 73 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for a...

MB Docket 19-3 - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 11:00

Proceeding(s): 19-3 : Reexamination of the Comparative Standards and Procedures for Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations,18-184 : Amendment of Part 73 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for a New FM Radio Broadcast Class C4 and to Modify the Requirements for Designating Short-Spaced Assignments, Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making,17-105 : Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative,RM-11810 : Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reference Information Center Petition For Rulemakings Filed,17-264 : Media Bureau Opens MB Docket No. 17-264,05-6 : In the Matter of Revision of the Public Notice Requirements of Section 73.3580.

Filers(s): REC Networks

Comment Type: NOTICE OF EXPARTE

Date Received: 7/9/2019

Date Posted: 7/10/2019

Address: 11541 Riverton Wharf Rd Mardela Springs, MD, 21837

NOTICE OF EXPARTE filed in 19-3 : Reexamination of the Comparative Standards and Procedures for Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations,18-184 : Amendment of Part 73 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for a...

MB Docket 19-3 - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 11:00

Proceeding(s): 19-3 : Reexamination of the Comparative Standards and Procedures for Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations,18-184 : Amendment of Part 73 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for a New FM Radio Broadcast Class C4 and to Modify the Requirements for Designating Short-Spaced Assignments, Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making,17-105 : Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative,RM-11810 : Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reference Information Center Petition For Rulemakings Filed,17-264 : Media Bureau Opens MB Docket No. 17-264,05-6 : In the Matter of Revision of the Public Notice Requirements of Section 73.3580.,13-249 : Revitalization of the AM Radio Service,RM-11836 : Petition for Rulemaking to Allow the MA3 AllDigital Mode of HD Radio for AM Stations Revitalization of the AM Radio Service

Filers(s): REC Networks

Comment Type: NOTICE OF EXPARTE

Date Received: 7/9/2019

Date Posted: 7/10/2019

Address: 11541 Riverton Wharf Rd Mardela Springs, MD, 21837

Podcast #201 – A Fantasy FCC Serves the Public Interest

Radio Survivor - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 21:34

A different media world is possible. What if the FCC truly regulated in the public interest, creating policies and services that promoted community voices and civic values? It does happen occasionally, but not often enough.

It’s easy to assume our media system turned out this way because it was inevitable, but in truth it was the result of hundreds, even thousands of decisions, at all levels of government, influenced by multitudes of actors, from major corporations to community media activists. That means there have been, and still are, many opportunities for change, and improvement.

But what would that revitalized FCC look like? Matthew Lasar has some ideas, based upon his years of researching the Commission, going back to its pre-cursor, the Federal Radio Commission, created by President Herbert Hoover, a Republican who opposed privatization of the airwaves and believed in a robust public service obligation. Matthew’s suggestions may not be what you think. We invite you fantasize along with us.

Support Radio Survivor, Get Our ‘Zine

We’re publishing a ‘zine and you can get one when you support our work at Radio Survivor via our Patreon campaign. Everyone who supports us at a level of $5 a month or more will get a print copy of Radio Survivor ‘Zine #1.

Your contribution will help us continue to spread the word of great radio and audio, and allow us to embark on celebrating the 20th anniversaries of Indymedia and LPFM by documenting these important histories. We need 100 Patreon supporters by August 1, 2019 to start this work.

Not coincidentally, that’s the deadline to sign up to get your ‘zine. Everything in the ‘zine will be print-exclusive – learn more here.

Support Radio Survivor today.

Show Notes:

The post Podcast #201 – A Fantasy FCC Serves the Public Interest appeared first on Radio Survivor.

AEQ Netboxes Provide Access to IP

Radio World - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 15:48

LISBON, Portugal — Last May, AEQ provided training sessions on Dante AoIP networks in Lisbon,  Portugal. Since 2016 TSF Radio News has been users of many AEQ Dante-based devices, including a BC2000D router, audio mixing consoles, intercom systems, Netbox 32, Netbox 8 and Netbox 4 AoIP interfaces, etc.

I dropped by to say hello and take the chance to refresh my skills in Audinate’s Dante technology. My curiosity was drawn to a new device called Netbox DSP. The representatives from AEQ explained to me what it does, and I committed to evaluate it in a real test environment. I am happy to work with AEQ; they are always open to my contributions and try to adapt their products to our needs whenever possible.

Netbox DSP is a mixing, distributing and processing audio router. Its most innovative feature is the absence of direct audio inputs and outputs. It is able to receive audio from the Dante or AES67 network and then return it, mixed and processed, to be used in other devices or subsystems.

[Tank FM Transitions to AoIP With AEQ]

It has a basic front panel since control is entirely performed from a software application. The only features are two power indicators for the redundant power supplies, activity LEDs for the primary and secondary Dante networks and, lastly, a red error indicator.

At the back there are AC power supply sockets, Dante AoIP primary and secondary connectors, a fan and four GPIO connectors. When I asked about this fan, AEQ answered that it only starts when the unit is at risk of overheating and that its speed depends on the temperature inside the device.

[AEQ Designs Remote Network Controllers]

The utility of GPIO signals in AEQ Dante devices offers the possibility of transporting them across the network. For example, I can close a contact in the mixing console (GPIO) and this triggers a macro in the audio matrix in order to perform the required crosspoints to put the studio on-air, for instance. At the same time, I can turn on an indicator that informs the operator in the central control which studio is on air.

The unit that I tested was able to mix and route 96 audio channels, but AEQ has versions managing between 64 and 160 input/output audio channels.

It is all controlled from Netbox RTC software, which allows the user to open different work window instances in order to customize the viewing of the different router devices and which lines to control.

The NetBox DSP has great processing capabilities, which can apply to up to 64 audio channels. These include high-pass filters, low-pass filters, band-pass filters, four-band parametric equalizers, compressors, expanders, limiters, noise gate,  delay (up to 10 seconds), audio silence alarm or level metering and test signal generation.

The AEQ Netbox DSP is a unique product in the Dante universe, it offers excellent features with a very limited price. We especially like the high processing capabilities that are included with the unit, and how easy it is to integrate GPIO commands in our IP network using Dante or AES67.

For information, contact Peter Howarth at AEQ Broadcast International in Florida at 1-800-728-0536 or visit www.aeqbroadcast.com.

The post AEQ Netboxes Provide Access to IP appeared first on Radio World.

Radio TechCon Readies for 2019 Event

Radio World - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 11:58

Radio TechCon 2019 is set to take place at IET London: Savoy Place on Monday, Nov. 25.

Designed for “broadcast engineers, technologists and anyone with an interest in radio, audio, technology and engineering,” organizers say the event will offer a “deep dive” into the technical challenges and opportunities facing the radio and audio industry. It’ll also celebrate technical achievements, ensuring that it remains as accessible as possible to all.

The one-day conference will feature a mixture of speakers from across audio and technical disciplines as well as mini “how-to” master classes and case studies.

In addition, Radio TechCon organizers have announced that they are launching a Radio Technology Masterclass in collaboration with Broadcast Bionics and IET Multimedia Communications Network. This will be a day of practical training for newcomers to broadcast engineering.

[Read : U.K. Radio Review May Herald End of FM]

The event, taking place Friday July 12 at IET London: Savoy Place, targets newcomers to broadcast engineering and those looking to learn more about career options involving radio technology and engineering.

“We are really excited to be running the Radio Technology Masterclass,” says Aradhna Tayal, from TBC Media Ltd. “The industry has really pulled together and we have sessions being run by experts from the BBC, Bauher, Global, Arqiva and Ofcom to name a few.”

Organizers say the The Radio Technology Masterclass will feature a mix of talks on the theory of broadcasting — covering how to build and kit out a studio, internal signal distribution, transmission and internet broadcasting and coding — combined with practical, hands-on activities.

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NRG’s Quass to Be Saluted at Radio Show

Radio World - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 11:15

NRG Media Chairman and CEO Mary Quass will receive the National Radio Award at the Radio Show, Sept. 25.

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, “We are pleased to honor Mary Quass for her many achievements and impact on radio. … She is a true catalyst in our industry who exemplifies the meaning of the National Radio Award through her leadership, integrity and success.”

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Quass started in radio in 1977 as an account executive. She became a station owner in 1998, forming Quass Broadcasting Co.

Over the decades she has been named Broadcaster of the Year from the Iowa Broadcasters Association in 1994 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2014, she was honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with the Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award for her contributions to the broadcasting industry and community at large.

Quass has also received The Mentoring and Inspiring Women Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award for her leadership and success in the media industry.

The 2019 Radio Show, produced by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau, will be held September 24–26 in Dallas.

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The post NRG’s Quass to Be Saluted at Radio Show appeared first on Radio World.

Love Radio Finds Niche in Shanghai

Radio World - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 03:33

SHANGHAI — Located on China’s Pacific coast, Shanghai is the country’s biggest city with a population exceeding 26 million people; three times that of New York City (8.55 million). It is also a city that loves its music, and no radio station captures that idea more than Love Radio 103.7 FM.

Ming Zhang recording a show at the Love Radio studio. All photos courtesy of SMG Radio.

Launched by the Chinese government’s Shanghai Media Group (SMG) on Aug. 8, 2005, this 24-hour advertiser-supported station plays “local Hong Kong/Taiwan/Mainland music, as well as some international favorites from the ’80s and ’90s and a bit of the 2000s,” explained Love Radio DJ Ming Zhang, who broadcasts on the station under the name ‘David.’ Love Radio’s listeners are males and females 30 to 55 years old, who are “mainly intellectuals” with “above average income,” he said. “Their preference is for more ballads and love songs.”

INSIDE LOVE RADIO

Love Radio is one of 13 Shanghai radio stations operated by SMG Radio; a large media group under the SMG managerial umbrella. SMG Radio “is a large media group concerned with broadcasting radio programs and running all the business including exploiting resources that are related to broadcasting business,” said Zhang.

SMG Radio’s other stations include Shanghai Traffic Radio, East Urban Radio, Pop Music Radio (101.7 FM), KFM (98.1 FM), Classic 947, Traditional Opera Radio and Audible Fiction Radio.

The “Love Radio” brand reflects the positive feelings that the station’s music format aims to inspire in its listeners. “Love is a wonderful thing, it unites people all over,” Zhang said. “Being loved by others gives you strength and power, Love Radio wants to play that role through music.”

The 2018 King of Karaoke Competition with Ming Zhang as host.

Love Radio’s broadcast studios are located at No. 1376 Hongqiao Road in Shanghai. The station has 14 DJs working around the clock, and produces four major weekday programs in addition to its other programming.

These are the 7–10 a.m. morning show (hosted by Zhang under the name “Morning Discovery”); the 11 a.m.–2 p.m. lunchtime show; the 4–7 p.m. drive time show; and the 7–10 p.m. Love Radio chart show.

“Our signal is sent via Shanghai Oriental TV Tower, with its height reaching 468 meters,” Zhang told RWI. “The FM transmitting antenna is 320 meters in height. Love Radio’s transmitting strength is 10 kW.”

As for the station’s Shanghai market share? “Love is the No.1 music format radio [station] among the mobile population,” said Zhang. “For the overall rating, it ranks at No. 2 after FM 101.7. Since the market share of SMG Radio is over 98% of the whole, Love Radio’s market share is approximately over 20% among the target listeners (30- to 55-age bracket).”

A LOOK AT MING ZHANG

In Western broadcasting, education isn’t always a top priority for radio DJs. But the same is apparently not true in China; at least where Zhang is concerned. According to his resume, Zhang graduated from Shanghai’s Fudan University; ranked number 159 by “US News & Global Report” in its list of the Best Global Universities. Due to Zhang’s academic achievements in linguistics and foreign literature, he was quickly recruited to work for the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office after graduation.

Ming Zhang’s listeners join him in studio for a live Love Radio broadcast.

However, it was Zhang’s love of western pop music that saw him become a columnist for “Audio & Video World,” the earliest music magazine published in China after the implementation of the country’s “opening-up” policy in the 1980s. By 1993, Zhang was a guest host on the weekly radio program “Pop Music’s Friend.” This experience spurred him to leave the Foreign Affairs Office for a full-time music DJ position with SMG Radio.

In November 2003, Zhang became host of FM 101.7’s “Tonight At Eight” international pop music program. Three years later, he became Love Radio’s leading morning show host, and presenter of the weekly “Ming Zhang Music Hour” on Saturdays from 9–10 p.m.

Over the years, Zhang has won “Top DJ of The Year” awards three times, along with other honors. He has also been chief commentator for the annual Grammy Awards in Shanghai radio broadcast since 2000; hosting press conferences and meet-and-greet events for the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, Maroon 5, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Linkin Park, Usher and Justin Bieber among others.

From 2015 to 2018, Zhang took part in Europe’s International Radio Festival. As part of this event, he aired the specially-produced “East Meets West” radio series during the morning show for his listeners and those listening in via the IRF.

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“East Meets West … introduces classic pop songs with Shanghainese flavor to the international listeners and also broadcasts the interviews that I made in the hosting countries and plays their music to Chinese listeners,” Zhang explained. “For instance, in my first series, I introduced a traditional Alphorn player I met on Pilatus Mountain in Lucerne, because it is the real Swiss sound that I found in this country.”

RADIO REALITIES IN SHANGHAI

There are certainly many cultural differences between China and the West. But when it comes down to commercial broadcasting, radio is radio — and the issues that SMG Group and Zhang face in attracting listeners mirror those faced by programmers around the globe.

One issue that stands out is the effect of streaming media on radio listenership in Shanghai. “The biggest impact comes from the advertising,” Zhang said. “Many advertisers are starting to use streaming media rather than traditional radio as means to reach people for their product.”

Ming Zhang co-hosting the 2018 Love Radio Music Awards (second from right).

On a larger scale, “the biggest challenge we are facing right now is how to maintain our target listeners; especially the young generation, since smartphones are often used to enjoy broadcasts over the internet and podcasts,” he said. “People find it much easier to download music than listen to radio shows.”

To counter this impact, SMG Radio has developed its own radio app. It has also launched training courses to improve the professionalism of its radio hosts and editors, and started working more closely with sponsors to produce more effective ads and achieve better commercial placement.

As well, like broadcasters in the West, Love Radio and its SMG Radio partner stations are promoting the human side of radio to its target audiences. “Our music is played with many stories behind it, which cannot be easily obtained through other media,” said Zhang.

A CONTINUED LOVE FOR RADIO

Between his Love Radio work and his many hosting duties, Zhang is a very busy man. Yet his love for pop music and radio remains undimmed.

Celebrating at the 2018 Love Radio Party (Ming Zhang second from left).

“To share my music experiences with my listeners is the most exciting thing,” he said. “Also, being a radio personality gives me a lot of chances to talk to musicians and all music-related people. Through music radio festivals, I can make friends with many of my counterparts in other countries. To me, music is the universal language to connect myself with the world.”

Looking ahead, Zhang expects pop music to continue to guide his life. “My future plan is to publish a book which highlights many of my exciting experiences with musicians and stars from other countries,” he said. Zhang also plans to open his own “music café,” “where all music lovers can enjoy my CD collections and photo gallery.”

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