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IBC Sneak Peek: RCS Brings Streaming to IBC

Radio World - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 00:00

RCS calls Revma an affordable and complete online professional streaming solution. With guaranteed reliability, 24/7 support, professional audio processing and integrated listener reports, it adds.

The customizable streaming package has an Administration portal with user management. Listener reports are designed for radio people, per stream or aggregated for all sources.

The company says that Revma is compatible with the most popular audio ad-providers for alternate ads for a station’s online streams. Multiple audio outputs can provide any quality and format — HLS, MPEG-DASH, HTTPs, F-MP4. In addition it has no cross-platform restrictions, infinite scale for any number of sources and listeners

IBC Stand: 8.C32

Info: www.rcsworks.com

The post IBC Sneak Peek: RCS Brings Streaming to IBC appeared first on Radio World.

Switzerland To End FM Broadcasts in 2024

Radio Survivor - Mon, 09/02/2019 - 16:55

Radio World reports that Switzerland’s FM radio broadcasts are due to end by the end of 2024, according to a release from the country’s Federal Office of Communications. OFCOM says at the end of July only 17% of people in that country listen to FM exclusively.

I am a bit chagrined that this story flew under my radar until now. Back in December 2014 the Digital Migration working group formulated a plan to switch entirely over to digital DAB+ broadcasting, and in 2015 “more than 80 percent of private radio stations agreed to this decision,” according to OFCOM. So this has been in the works for several years.

DAB+ is a digital radio standard used through much of Europe, including the U.K. and Norway, the latter of which turned off national FM broadcasts in 2017 – many local FM stations are still on the air. OFCOM reports that 65% of Swiss listen to the service, while only 35% use analog FM.

In addition to commercial and state-supported public broadcasters, Switzerland has about 15 community radio stations. According to a 2018 article in Swiss Review, OFCOM will subsidize 80% of DAB+ broadcast costs for non-commercial stations, and is offering financial support for the installation of digital studios. Presumably, community stations would qualify for these grants. Searching around some stations’ websites indicates that quite a few already simulcast on DAB+.

Subsidizing a station’s DAB+ transmission is not quite the same as building it a brand new transmitter, as it would be with FM or HD Radio. A single DAB+ transmitter can accommodate multiple stations’ signals as a multiplex. Thus, in most countries with DAB+, like the U.K., Norway and Switzerland, each station actually leases space, rather than owning its own transmitter. In that way DAB+ is more efficient than FM.

One trade-off of DAB+ is that a centralized infrastructure makes the system inherently more vulnerable in times of natural disaster, or just run-of-the-mill calamity, like a power outage. It also leaves stations less independent. In Switzerland the DAB+ infrastructure is owned and operated by the for-profit company Digris.

While Digris is investing to grow its infrastructure – like building transmitters in mountainous roadway tunnels – DAB+ listening is still mostly in motor vehicles, rather than homes. This is not unlike HD Radio in the U.S., where it’s difficult to even find a digital-capable home tuner.

What this means is that most home listening in Switzerland may simply move to internet radio in 2024. No doubt it’s likely much home and office listening already is online, and those who want to hear DAB+ outside the car have plenty of receivers to choose from, though reception might be challenging outside of urban areas.

From what I can see now, the path to an FM turnoff in Switzerland seems even clearer than it was in Norway, where public opinion hasn’t been altogether favorable, and many stations remain analog. In part this is likely due to relative consensus amongst Swiss broadcasters in general, not just major national broadcasters. A significant government subsidy, combined with overall strong support for public broadcasting also help.

Because of these factors, magnified by the country’s small geographic size and high per capita income, Switzerland is an outlier – just like Norway before it. Although the idea of a full digital transition has been floated in other European countries that have DAB+ broadcasting, both large and small, it hasn’t gained traction, often owing to the cost and complexity of sunsetting an established, proven and reliable technology that exhibits few downsides. Moreover, it’s easier to transition a relatively affluent population of 8.4 million to digital radio, than the larger, more economically diverse 66 million of the U.K. or 82 million of Germany.

No, this is not a bellwether of analog radio’s demise, nor an indicator of a digital transition here in the U.S. I suspect as 2024 draws closer we may hear more critical voices in Switzerland, when Swiss citizens realize that millions of their radios will become obsolete – at least for listening to radio from their native land.

Folks in Geneva and other cities and towns along the border will still be able to tune in stations from France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Liechtenstein. That’s something less accessible to Norwegians, who are much more geographically distant from other FM broadcasting countries.

In the meantime, keep an enormous grain of salt on hand for when you see the torrent of clickbaity “Is this the end of FM radio” stories, if and when this news hits the feed of a tech writer on a quota.

The post Switzerland To End FM Broadcasts in 2024 appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Centralized MPX Over IP Transmission

Radio World - Mon, 09/02/2019 - 12:00

 

The author is sales and marketing manager at 2wcom.

Anke Schneider

Time has flown since the introduction of IP, and today, even most rural regions are connected to the internet. In addition, the cost has shifted in terms of satellite and IP bandwidth, even if it varies from country to country.

With this in mind, MPX over IP offers radio stations operating a VHF network the possibility to choose their best transmission approach, depending on coverage and costs. This results in significantly more possibilities for signal distribution, leading to increased flexibility in network management.

Some general points and main advantages:

  • The technology offers potential of savings in terms of bandwidths costs. If satellite is not economical, especially if the required kbps increases due to a high number of individual RDS configurations, plain MPX over IP is the cost-saving alternative. The situation is completely different when distribution via IP is a cost driver. Then encapsulation of the MPX signal in a transport stream for satellite distribution is the economic way to go. System simplification is possible because studio and transmitter locations are directly connected and the multiplex signal is only generated at the studio site. Two scenarios are given for signal generation.
An overview of an MPX over IP transmission system.

Scenario 1: A complete multiplex signal consisting of mono, stereo, pilot and RDS is transmitted to the regional transmitter sites.

Scenario 2: The multiplex signal consists only of mono, stereo and pilot. The RDS signal is generated for regionalization at the local transmitter sites.

  • In the best case (scenario 1), users can dispense with a sound processor, RDS encoder and stereo generator at transmitter sites. This reduces purchase and energy costs and means less effort is required to maintain the system and the minimization of failure points.
  • When digitizing the signal, it is possible to adjust transmission bandwidth configurations, according to audio quality and bandwidth requirements. The signal bandwidth and the resolution of the digitized MPX signal are crucial for the quality. However, most transmitters already achieve very good quality with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) > 70 dB.
  • For synchronization, it is recommended to use the Pulse Per Second (1PPS) signal derived from GPS. In combination with a 10 MHz clock, synchronization of all receivers in a network is possible. Requirements: The total delay must be greater than the longest transmission time between the encoder and a transmitter location, but less than 1 second (≤ 900 milliseconds). This compensates the effects of runtime differences of the various transmission types and simplifies mixed operation (IP/satellite). To allow 1pps synchronisation, especially for VHF single-frequency network (SFN), it is indispensable to choose MPX via IP distribution because audio, ancillary data and pilot tone must be distributed as one signal. If capacity is not an issue, the network operator can also centralize system monitoring. Special receivers equipped with multiplex for monitoring and controlling output can be used to rebroadcast the signal for monitoring. In addition, it can be stored for future reference. Due to stringent regulatory requirements for MPX distribution, more complex monitoring devices offer precise measurement parameters for MPX signal peak deviation and power.

IP Packet Handling

General problems like IP packets in the wrong order (packets were sent over different routes), packet jitter or even duplicate packets should be solved by a larger buffer and intelligent buffer management.

[Read: IBC Exhibitor Viewpoing: Werner Drews, 2wcom]

Mechanisms need to be available to deal with potential packet losses caused by transport failures or incorrectly configured routers/switches. This is important because the UDP [User Datagram Protocol] normally used in these situations only supports sending IP packets, not re-requesting of lost packets. The following mechanisms can be used to tackle this problem:

  • For cable and DVB network using MPEG-TS: A proven mechanism is the Pro-MPEG error protection, which can also be chosen for other data types. The error protection is based on the fact that sent packets are organized in a matrix structure at the encoder in order to calculate correction packets over the rows and columns.
  • An alternative for IP networks: In this case, the RUDP [Reliable User Datagram Protocol] can guarantee reliable IP packet delivery even with very high packet losses. It protects against random packet losses as well as burst packet losses. In addition, RUDP requires less bandwidth and shorter delay times than conventional forward error correction mechanisms, such as Pro-MPEG FEC. (Note: RUDP needs a duplex IP link and unicast/multiple unicast.)

If bandwidth economy does not play a role, MPX over IP codecs that offer dual streaming can be used to increase transmission robustness. If the primary stream is interrupted, the decoder switches to the second stream. Furthermore, a redundant setup including cable and satellite can ensure distribution of the MPX signals.

CONCLUSION

MPX over IP offers broadcasters three major advantages.

First, by directly connecting the studio and transmitter site, the equipment required is reduced, resulting in less time and money spent on system support.

Second, the technology distributes the multiplex signal in excellent quality, while hardware and software redundancy ensures transmission robustness.

Last, operators can utilize respective technology for distribution, which offers the best bandwidth economy as well as optimal regional coverage.

The post Centralized MPX Over IP Transmission appeared first on Radio World.

Adventures in 1970s AM: Visit to the Big Station

Radio World - Mon, 09/02/2019 - 08:30

Most cities in the early 1970s had one: a big, old-line, middle-of-the-road radio station. In Toledo, Ohio, ours was WSPD(AM), and it had been the first station to sign on in our city. It boasted the best signal. I had been told that its ratings dwarfed all the other AM stations in town. Most folks would not make the switch to FM for five or 10 more years so AM had little competition.

I worked about five miles away from this juggernaut over at WOHO(AM), a respectable number two in the ratings, but far behind WSPD. While WSPD played easy-listening stars like Patti Page and Perry Como, we played slammin’ top 40 during the week and oldies on the weekend. Yes, I was one of the WO-HO “good guys,” shouting silly stuff, slinging jingles and taking requests.

One day I was asked by our sales secretary to drop off a commercial tape at WSPD on my way home. I agreed and called a buddy there whom I’ll call “Glen,” and asked him if I could have a tour when I stopped by.

[Read: Adventures in 1970s AM: The Big Kahuna]

Even though I was in the radio business, I didn’t know any more about WSPD than a typical listener on his way to work in the car. WSPD sounded impressive on the air, with disk jockeys who were older than the WO-HO “good guys,” and who all came from the deep-voice school of announcing.

WSPD resided in its own building as was common for AM stations then, this one a faux-colonial with pillars in front and a nicely manicured lawn. I parked my car in the lot and headed up the walk to the entrance where engraved upon the glass door was the legend: “WSPD, the Voice of Toledo.” Stepping through a glass vestibule, I entered the reception area which was quite nice with a black and white tiled floor. A young woman sat at the front desk, putting postage on outgoing letters. I introduced myself and told her that I was there to see Glen, and she summoned him through the intercom.

Glen arrived promptly, accepted my tape and walked me down a hall to the main part of the station which is where I experienced my first moment of culture shock. I felt like I had exited a plush hotel and entered a shabby office of low-rent hustlers. These sales guys were all talking loudly on their phones and teasing the secretaries. The carpet was worn, there were no decorations on the cheaply paneled walls and the stench of cigar smoke hung over everything.

“Wow,” I said to Glen. “This is not what I pictured” He nodded his understanding and said “Wait until you see the studios, Ken.” Taking another turn down the hall we reached the main studio, visible through a large plate glass window. Inside I saw the air talent, whom I was told was the station’s afternoon drive time disk jockey “R.T.”

Surprisingly he was wearing an enormous caftan with a lovely floral print which barely covered his large bulk. His thinning hair was styled in what we now refer to as a “comb-over” as he waved us into the control room. Glen made introductions and Ron stood up and offered his hand and said “Hi, guy! Sit down for a while!” My friend Glen said “I’ll leave you to chat and I’ll be back in 10 minutes.” So R.T. and I talked between records as I watched him stack his commercial carts, check items off the log and occasionally answer the phone. He was quite friendly and larger than life, but looked nothing like the image in my mind of a dignified gentleman in a dark suit and tie.

While R.T. worked I began to take note of the equipment, which looked like it was left over from the early ’50s. The microphone was WWII-vintage and the turntables went back even further. Our equipment at WOHO was state-of-the-art by comparison. On the walls were autographed pictures of some big stars: Rosemary Clooney, Glenn Miller, The Ink Spots and several others that hadn’t had a hit in 20 years.

So much for my mental image of “the big station.” I felt like the curtain had been pulled back and the Wizard of Oz was just an old guy in a mumu.

Ken Deutsch is a writer who lives in sunny Sarasota, Fla., and has a book of these tales available, Up and Down the Dial.

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The post Adventures in 1970s AM: Visit to the Big Station appeared first on Radio World.

Switzerland Confirms FM Switch off Date

Radio World - Mon, 09/02/2019 - 06:42

Bernard Maissen, deputy director for the Federal Office of Communications, has announced that Switzerland’s radio programs “will only be available on the FM Band until the end of 2024 at the latest.”

Credit: Wiki Commons

OFCOM said in a release that Maissen based his decision on the radio industry’s existing agreement and legal provisions. As per studies available to OFCOM, at the end of June only 17% of listeners tuned into radio using FM.

TIMELINE

According to the organization, in December 2014, the Digital Migration Working Group (AG DigiMig) stated that radio broadcasters intended to phase out VHF broadcasting by 2024.

It said that SRG and more than 80 percent of private radio stations agreed to this decision in 2015. And in October 2017, the Federal Council adopted the radio industry’s target and provided the legal framework for VHF switch off.

Maissen then announced the country would extend VHF radio licenses expiring in December 2019 until 2024, with the possibility of shortening the duration if the radio industry wishes.

Simultaneously, OFCOM would examine whether individual VHF transmitters in peripheral areas with insufficient DAB+ coverage could continue to operate for a limited period after 2024.

FIGURES

GfK research institute collects figures every six months on behalf of OFCOM and the AG DigiMig. Its results show the Swiss listening to an average of 65 minutes of digital radio per day out of 100 radio minutes.

This, says OFCOM, demonstrates a digital radio usage increase of 16% in three and a half years: from 49% in autumn 2015 to 65% in spring 2019. At the same time, VHF usage fell 16 percentage points from 51% to 35%.

While DAB+ has mainly replaced FM in the home and at work, the reports also reveal that FM is still more frequently used in car (56%). In spring 2019, listeners tuned into radio in the car via DAB+ for 38 out of 100 radio minutes. OFCOM points out, however, that the share of in-car DAB+ listeners is rising.

Findings also show that in the first half of 2019, the Swiss purchased some 136,400 DAB+ radios (excluding cars). According to GfK’s semi-annual surveys, consumers in Switzerland have bought a total of 4.3 million DAB+ devices since 2000.

Swiss Radio Day took place in Zurich on Aug. 29.

The post Switzerland Confirms FM Switch off Date appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Sneak Peek: Rohde & Schwarz Introduces TMV9evo and THV9evo

Radio World - Mon, 09/02/2019 - 00:00

Rohde & Schwarz is introducing the new TMV9evo and THV9evo DAB+ VHF Band III transmitters, which complete the firm’s range of DAB+ transmitters.

Designed to help network operators reliably run their networks, Rohde & Schwarz says its DAB+ transmitters reduce operating costs, thanks to significant energy savings and build-in performance analysis capabilities.

TMV9evo is an air-cooled transmitter available from 350 W, while the THV9evo is liquid-cooled and available from 1.3 kW.

According to the company, the transmitters offer energy efficiency of up to 49% in all Band III frequencies, and minimize transmitter room cooling costs. In addition, it points out that the efficiency rate reduces system error level and maintenance requirements.

The company emphasizes that the unit is easy to operate, has a long lifespan and boasts a thermal design for continuous operation at 45°C. It adds that it’s possible to carry out complex analyses directly on the transmitter system, which, it says, reduces infrastructure complexity and decreases operating efforts for the system engineer.

IBC Stand: 7.B21

Info: www.rohde-schwarz.com                                                                                                    

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The post IBC Sneak Peek: Rohde & Schwarz Introduces TMV9evo and THV9evo appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Sneak Peek: AEQ Announces Atrium

Radio World - Sun, 09/01/2019 - 00:00

AEQ’s new digital audio mixer Atrium is specifically designed for on-air audio production at radio and television stations.

According to the company, Atrium is able to manage up to 1000 audio channels of local content and is AoIP-controllable through one or several control surfaces, each with up to more than 90 motorized faders with pages for snapshots or memories.

The mixer features a set of pre-configurable touchscreens, encoders, indicators and keys. This, says the firm, allows users to dynamically adapt each function according to specific requirements, maintaining the necessary information visible so operation is simple and safe.

What’s more, Atrium’s AoIP capabilities mean users can manage signal inputs/outputs as well as control elements on different, even distant equipment.

The new mixer incorporates tools that provide redundancy at all levels, as well as snapshots, physical and virtual control, automatic mixing and level adjustments.

IBC Stand: 8.C55

Info:  www.aeq.eu

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The post IBC Sneak Peek: AEQ Announces Atrium appeared first on Radio World.

Explore Fascinating Radio Archives with The Kitchen Sisters’ #KeeperoftheDay

Radio Survivor - Sat, 08/31/2019 - 18:31

Rosa Parks interviewed on KPFA in 1958. A 1986 recording of Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack on WLBS in New York City. A clip of astronaut Jose Hernandez from the “Historias de Si Se Puede” series.

These are a few of the audio and radio archives recently shared by the Kitchen Sisters as part of their week-long #KeeperoftheDay series highlighting partners of the Radio Preservation Task Force. The week kicked off with a short piece from RPTF chair Josh Shepperd. You can hear Shepperd talk more about the task force on podcast #192, guesting with co-chair Neil Verma.

For those not in the know, the Kitchen Sisters have been carrying the torch for exploratory radio documentary since way before podcasting re-popularized the genre. They’ve also been strong advocates for archiving and preservation of sound history. Their podcast, “The Kitchen Sisters Present…,” highlights “[s]tories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission.” This includes artifacts like the ephemeral sounds of Burning Man and “Stubb’s Blues Cookbook Cassette.”

The Sisters also recently received a GRAMMY Preservation Grant to assist them in preserving and protecting their deep archive of interviews, stories and music.

If you wade into their deep pool of sounds you’ll inevitably take a full dive. The Kitchen Sisters must be on the radar of every radio lover.

The post Explore Fascinating Radio Archives with The Kitchen Sisters’ #KeeperoftheDay appeared first on Radio Survivor.

IBC Sneak Peek: Inovonics Adds to DAB+ Range

Radio World - Sat, 08/31/2019 - 12:00

Inovonics is unveiling the INOmini 661 DAB+ monitor-receiver at IBC2019.

Specifically designed for the European market, Inovonics says the new INOmini 661 DAB+ monitor-receiver complements its 662 DAB+ SiteStreamer for remote monitoring.

Replacing the model 660, the INOmini 661 DAB+ monitor-receiver boasts many new enhancements at an attractive price, the company adds.

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Improvements include a larger LCD Display. better resolution, flashing red alarm message. It also features independently adjustable analog L/R and digital-AES audio outputs as well as additional measurement metrics added for more information. Firmware is field upgradeable via USB.

IBC Stand:8.B38

Info: www.inovonicsbroadcast.com

The post IBC Sneak Peek: Inovonics Adds to DAB+ Range appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Exhibitor Profile: Jay Tyler, Wheatstone

Radio World - Sat, 08/31/2019 - 10:00

IBC2019 is almost here. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Jay Tyler is director of sales for Wheatstone.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show? 

Jay Tyler: One word: Up! Business is changing and we are seeing the last of the analog studios leap into the world of IP audio.

Radio World: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?

Tyler: Customers are still saying budgets are tight but that they have to keep progressing technology-wise or they will be left behind. We see people installing modern infrastructures as a way to leverage technology, and they are reducing cost with these systems.

Radio World: Within the last year or so the two large station ownership groups have emerged from bankruptcy. Are you seeing any increase in equipment sales or interest? What is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?

Tyler: If you were an outside investor, you might think that radio is not where you’re going to make a quick buck. But for those of us in the industry, we are seeing an increase in spending due to the fact that many broadcasters held off upgrading their studios for years and kept some equipment longer than they should have.

[Read: IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Werner Drews, 2wcom]

Radio World: You’ve been active in the equipment manufacturing market for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing manufacturers right now? Does the trade row between the United States and China greatly affect you?

Tyler: I think the biggest problem manufacturers are facing is obsolete parts. The manufacturers of the parts we use in audio equipment is changing too, so at Wheatstone we have a full-time person who deals with finding new parts to replace the old ones and making sure they work with our current designs. The whole electronics industry has felt the pain of “trade wars” but we have adjusted and moved on and business is getting back to normal.

Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?

Tyler: We are showing at IBC for the first time our Glass LXE, which is a multitouch virtual console that is a studio-ready standalone UI into the WheatNet-IP audio network. We are showing a new AoIP appliance called SwitchBlade that anyone replacing ISDN lines or looking to expand the studio beyond the usual four walls will be interested in. We are also showing for the first time this IBC the Strata 32, our new TV audio console that packs 64 channels and the latest IP audio innovations into a very compact frame. We’ll have the new X5 FM audio processor, which is really something and all I can say is you’ll just have to hear it for yourself. Finally, we’ll show our VoxPro 7.0 audio recorder/editor, which has a few new moves that we didn’t have last year. Wheatstone is in stand 8.C91.

Radio World: Going by the interest on our website, AoIP technology is on the top of the list for product acquisition and upgrades. Is that something you are seeing and if so, how are you addressing that?

Tyler: We have been full on AoIP for over 10 years and we just see it as a continuing area of interest for all broadcasters. I think broadcasters are getting a sense that if they’re not AoIP, they’ll be left behind because so much of what they will be able to do to keep up with changes going on around them will start with AoIP.

Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 IBC Show?

Tyler: More interoperability and control layers for AES67.

Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?

Tyler: We are seeing many more visitors from Africa, Middle East and North America than years past and people wanting to extend AoIP outside the facility to connect cities and sites around the world.

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The post IBC Exhibitor Profile: Jay Tyler, Wheatstone appeared first on Radio World.

2019 Fall Product Planner

Radio World - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:55

This ebook is nuthin’ but gear. It features editorial coverage of dozens of new products as introduced by the industry’s leading manufacturers in recent months, culled from Radio World coverage of the NAB Show, Radio Show, IBC, CES and other relevant trade expositions. You’ll find consoles, codecs, monitors, antennas, broadcast software, service providers and lots more. Technology ranges from analog to digital, including the latest in IP, with specs and company website information. You could almost build a whole radio station with the latest gear from these pages.

Sponsored by 2wcom, AudioScience, Bext, Comrex, Davicom, DJB Radio, Dielectric, ENCO Systems, Henry Engineering, Inovonics, Studio Technology, The Telos Alliance, Tieline  and Titus Labs.

The 2019 Fall Product Planner is free. Read it here.

 

The post 2019 Fall Product Planner appeared first on Radio World.

Pleadings

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:00
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Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:00
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Media Bureau Grants the Petition for DBS Market Modification Filed by WCJB

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:00
WCJB's Petition to add certain communities to its local satellite market is granted in part by the Media Bureau

Applications

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:00
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Broadcast Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:00
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Community Broadcaster: In It Together

Radio World - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 19:56

The author is membership program director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. NFCB commentaries are featured regularly at www.radioworld.com.

This fall, the good folks at marketing consultancy Hearken will host their first Engagement Innovation Summit. It is one of those rare moments to bring together public-interest media of all kinds to talk about audience engagement and, more importantly, how to involve the communities we serve in bold ways.

Hearken is, in so many respects, the conscience of journalism. Jennifer Brandel and team have prodded everyone from commercial to nonprofit media groups to think differently about our work and the communities we cover. Whether it is working with journalism organizations abroad or showing up at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Regional Summit in Grand Rapids, Hearken is ever present. The firm’s message is important: journalism must listen more, and newsrooms can help to cultivate a more engaged community in the process.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Turning It Up]

Given the media landscape, such conversations could not come at a better time.

Countless case studies share the woes facing media organizations. Growing numbers of content providers, polarized coverage and income inequality all are contributing to less revenue. Layoffs and further audience attrition are the outcomes ultimately. On top of that, the public is saying more and more that the news cycle has them beleaguered and tuning out coverage.

For community media, often on the periphery of the journalistic ecosystem, these trends create calamity as well as opportunity. Shrinking donations for community radio mean we have to be more responsive in how we create content and develop our storytelling. Finding ways to reengage people in media and discovering what is important to their neighborhoods must be a priority for all of community media.

The times also demand that community radio stations be very frank when evaluating how their engagement work aligns with their strategic goals. Are we realizing our full potential? I ask because, in my professional life, I hear of many stations that say they simultaneously involve wide swaths of their communities, are diverse, and provide space to everyone, and yet are also struggling financially for even the most basic needs. In all but a few cases, I encourage stations to take a long look at these two matters — the large community supporting the station and the fact keeping the lights on is a real question — and find avenues to be most relevant. Sometimes, improving fundraising is as simple as asking. More often, it’s talking with the people we serve and exploring how we could more inspire their confidence, trust and investment.

Fortunately, journalism outfits everywhere are trying to solve the puzzle of audience and money, As Hearken shares, listening is proven to pay dividends. Groups like the Membership Puzzle Project offer plenty of examples of media organizations stimulate new conversations with a goal of making journalism sustainable. All of this research, and the October gathering, should give community radio a lot of hope. While big, for-profit newspapers and public radio may feel miles away, many of them are working on the subjects of engagement and membership. Their studies benefit everyone.

Community radio stations are finding our groove in a media saturated and increasingly difficult world. Fortunately, our media fellow travelers are lending the support we all need.

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Inside WTOP: A Special Radio World Facility Tour Webinar

Radio World - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 19:17

WTOP and its sister stations Federal News Network and The Gamut recently moved to its new, spectacular studio plant on the D.C./Maryland border. Knowledgeable radio industry visitors are walking away marveling about it.

Now Radio World readers can visit too thanks to this special one-hour, multimedia webinar tour hosted by Radio World Editor in Chief Paul McLane.

We take our video cameras inside — to the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center, the WTOP editor’s desk, the specialized production and support studios, and the technical operations center of this big AoIP-based specialty media facility.

We learn from WTOP Technical Operations Manager Brian Oliger about the design philosophy behind the project, and from RadioDNA President Rob Goldberg about the installation and integration challenges.

WTOP is a special success story. It was again the nation’s top-billing radio station in 2018, according to BIA Advisory Services; it was the only station in the top 10 that is not located in New York, L.A. and Chicago, and the only one not owned by iHeart or Cumulus; and it is consistently the No. 1 station in Nielsen’s 12+ ratings in Washington, a market of almost 5 million people.

Originally airing Aug. 28, this 1.5-hour webinar is now available on-demand. See it here.

The post Inside WTOP: A Special Radio World Facility Tour Webinar appeared first on Radio World.

Inside the September 1st Issue of Radio World

Radio World - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 16:44

The new edition explores how to do emergency streaming on the cheap, as well as what’s new in broadcast studio furniture and accessories. It remembers the Mosquito Network, previews the fall AES Show and reports on the efforts by U.S.-based shortwave broadcasters to develop affordable DRM receivers.

REGULATION
Why I Believe the FCC Failed on Translator Interference

Engineering consultant Charles M. Anderson lays out his views on an FCC action that touches many users of the FM spectrum in the United States.

TECH EVENTS
AES to Shine in Big Apple

Conference No. 147 for the big audio organization is taking shape, and it again will be collocated with NAB Show New York.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

 

The post Inside the September 1st Issue of Radio World appeared first on Radio World.

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