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Media Bureau Grants Google Fiber's Amended Petition for Limited Waiver of Accessible User Interfaces Requirements

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 20:00
Media Bureau Grants Google Fiber's Request for Limited Waiver of Accessible User Interfaces Rules

Broadcast Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 20:00

In the Matter of the Applications of Tribune Media Company (Transferor) and Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Transferee) et al

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 20:00
FCC adopts Order granting consent to the transfer of control of Tribune Media Company licensee subsidiaries to Nexstar Media Group, Inc., and granting divestiture and other related applications

Smart Speakers in the Car: Challenge or Opportunity?

Radio World - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 18:36

Listen up when it comes to smart speakers. Because that’s the way a growing number of U.S. consumers are now getting their music and news.

A new study released by the media marketing company NuVoodoo Media Service found that not only are smart speakers continuing to gain a foothold in the market but are now found in a majority of U.S. households — including future iterations that will make their way to the car.

The study (called NuVoodo Ratings Prospects Study 14) found that as of June 2019, 51% of surveyed consumers aged 14–54 across all PPM markets reported at least one smart speaker in their homes, an 8% increase in smart speaker penetration since January 2019.

[Read: Smart Speakers Grow in Importance]

The survey asked respondents to describe how they listen to their smart speakers and found that 42% of respondents said they use the speakers to listen to FM radio, up 3% over a six-month period from January to June 2019. FM radio was listened as the most-listened-to medium of the bunch.

Following close behind was Spotify — 36% of respondents said they have used their smart speaker to listen to that streaming service — followed by Amazon Music (32%), Pandora (28%), audio books (27%), AM radio (19%) and podcasts (16%). In in all seven of those categories, the survey found an increase in consumption from January 2019 to June 2019.

Source: NuVoodo Ratings Prospects Study 14

While there are lots of things you can use smart speakers to do — from ordering online to checking the weather — “They’re called smart speakers, so lots of people use them to listen to things,” said Leigh Jacobs, executive vice president of research insights for NuVoodoo Media Services, noting that percentages are up for every listening category.

“And now smart speaker technology is coming to the car,” she said, alluding to the introduction of the Echo Auto, an aftermarket solution designed to bring the Alexa smart speaker to automobiles. The solution is only being sold to consumers on an invitation-only basis. But automakers are paying attention. Several auto brands tracked by the research and advisory company Gartner in a 2018 auto report noted that they planned to integrate an Amazon smart speaker system into future cars.

“With Alexa in the car, the barrier to selecting FM/AM vs. Spotify vs. podcasts and/or audiobooks is gone,” said Carolyn Gilbert, president and chief executive officer of NuVoodoo Media Services. “If you think of it, it’s usually an easy matter to get Alexa to play what you want. That dynamic presents radio with a real challenge or an incredible opportunity, depending upon what stations choose to do about it.“

The issue will be up for further discussion as part of a NuVoodoo Fall webinar series based on the company’s most recent  ratings prospect survey. The NuVoodoo Fall 2019 Contesting and Marketing Guide will look at issues surrounding contests, promotions and marketing. The next webinar will be Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. ET. Radio professionals can reserve a spot  at www.nuvoodoo.com/webinars.

The new study was fielded in June and represents the opinions of more than 3,000 respondents ages 14-54 from across all PPM markets.

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The post Smart Speakers in the Car: Challenge or Opportunity? appeared first on Radio World.

Radio Station Visit #160: KCR at San Diego State University

Radio Survivor - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 18:07

During my full day of radio station tours in the San Diego area in June, 2019, I visited college radio station KCR at San Diego State University. On a sprawling campus with a student population of more than 36,000, the station was a bit tricky to find. After a few missed turns, I parked atop an 8-floor garage and made my way the KCR studio in the school’s Communication building.

San Diego State University. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

KCR’s General Manager Ahmad Dixon greeted me, giving me the grand tour of the main KCR studio and also led me on a quick jaunt to see a satellite building that serves as a production studio and social hub for the station.

Sign for college radio station KCR’s live studio. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Dating back to 1969, KCR is in the midst of its 50th anniversary celebrations this year. KCR has never had an FCC-licensed over-the-air terrestrial signal; but it does have a very interesting, interrelated relationship with a long-time public radio station on campus.

Back of KCR T-shirt. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Radio activity began in 1960 at the then-named San Diego State College, when educational radio station KEBS launched as part of the school’s speech department. A 2009 obituary for founder Ken Jones, recounts that,

Jones was the brain behind KEBS-FM (Educational Broadcasting in San Diego) which later became KPBS. It was the first radio station licensed to a California State University campus. In the mid-1950s, as a speech communications professor at San Diego State College (now SDSU), Jones began his work toward starting an educational radio station on campus. KEBS began broadcasting on Sept. 12, 1960 from the Speech Arts Building. The original schedule was only two-and-a-half hours, five days a week.”

Retro KCR College Radio photo on T-shirt. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Although students were involved in educational radio station KEBS, it was not a student envisioned or student-led program, which ultimately prompted the eventual founding of student radio station KCR. On the KCR Alumni website, Jerry Zullo shares the story of how KCR came to be:

The story starts in 1966.  At that time, Radio-TV majors (later called Telecommunications & Film) were required to complete a Senior Project in order to graduate.  A student named Martin Gienke decided to do a feasibility study, complete with recommendations, on setting up a student radio station at San Diego State…

At that time, KEBS-FM (later KPBS-FM) was considered a ‘student station;’ that is, it was operated by students who were forced to work there as part of their Radio-TV curriculum.  KEBS broadcast with 780 watts with an antenna on the roof of the Speech Arts Building. We were on the air Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., playing classical music and boring taped ‘educational’ programs.  Hardly anybody’s real idea of a student station.

Martin roped me into the project.  He’d do the study, and then my Senior Project would be to get the station on the air.  The ideal solution would have been to take over KEBS and turn it into a real student station, but after discussion with faculty we knew that wasn’t going to happen.”

In KCR engineering room. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

I was especially intrigued to read that in the 1960s, Martin Gienke and Jerry Zullo embarked on tours of “every college radio station in California.” Zullo explains:

We did interviews, found out what worked, what didn’t work, how the stations were set up, formats, funding, pitfalls to be careful of, etc.  In the end, we ended up with a report about three inches thick. The final recommendation was to make San Diego State’s student station a carrier current station, using electrical wiring in the buildings to carry the signal.”

Vinyl records at college radio station KCR in 2019. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

A few years later, in 1969, the dreams of a student-run carrier current station were realized, with transmitters in dorms all over campus and the AM broadcasts even leaking into the nearby community. Zullo writes,

We started engineering tests and found that not only did we cover all the dorms, but the signal sort of leaked (kind of on purpose) and we covered the entire campus.  In fact, if you were driving, you could listen to KCR on Interstate 8 between San Diego Stadium and College Avenue.  On Montezuma Road and over to El Cajon Boulevard, you could hear the station from about 54th Street to 63rd Street.”

1981 KCR airplay survey. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Meanwhile, educational radio station KEBS-FM transitioned to a public radio station and was one of the charter members of NPR, even changing its call letters to KPBS in 1970.

Posters and photos on wall at KCR College Radio. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Today, KCR still has an AM signal, broadcasting at 1610 AM for about a mile around campus (the AM location has changed over the years) and can also be heard on Cox Cable. Most listeners tune in to the station’s internet stream, however. Additionally, KCR has a strong video presence, with web cameras in the studio and a thriving YouTube channel.

Vintage ad for KCR’s cable signals. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

I began my tour in KCR’s on-air studio in the Communication building. General Manager Ahmad Dixon pointed out various highlights, including the brand new, bright red fabric soundproofing material lining the walls. The station was DJ-less during the visit and “QC” (aka quality control) was playing in place of a live human. Curated by the music director, QC is the name for the mix of music, including indie and local material, that runs on automation.

KCR College Radio studio. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Student-run live shows at KCR are “totally freeform,” according to Dixon. While DJs have creative license to play what they’d like from the station’s library or from their own collections, they are encouraged to play “odd, esoteric, non-mainstream” material, Dixon explained. The station also airs a mix of talk shows and sports programming (with a “hyperfocus” on San Diego State sports).

KCR College Radio’s live studio. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

A talk show fanatic, Dixon joined KCR as a freshman (he’s a senior in Fall 2019) and relished the opportunities to experiment on the air. He reminisced a bit, telling me that he’d spun Kids Bop records, played vinyl backwards, and improvised a song while on-air.

KCR College Radio General Manager Ahmad Dixon in the studio. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

These days it’s a bit more challenging to play vinyl on KCR, although some DJs bring in their own turntables to do so. The station still has an extensive vinyl collection, housed in lockers along with some older CDs.

CDs at KCR. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Interestingly, KCR has two distinct locations on campus- the main studio in the Communications building and an additional studio across campus. As Dixon led me to the second space, he explained that the station has been wanting to beef up its podcasting efforts and the additional production-focused studio is helping with that.

KCR On Demand podcast request form. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

KCR was able to take over an unused Daily Aztec student newspaper office when the publication reduced its space in the building. Today, it serves as an office, hang-out space and production facility for KCR. The main room is spacious, with seating, desks, computers, filing cabinets, and lots of historical items, including photos, and old KCR publications. Behind a door is a studio stocked with audio equipment.

Old decorated boombox at KCR. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

With about 150 members of KCR, the station is busy both on-air and off-air, with radio shows, an active blog, and video content. In the past it also produced a magazine called “Dead Air,” which I caught glimpses of on the station’s walls.

“Dead Air” magazine at KCR. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

It was gratifying to see that KCR has an active alumni network documenting the station’s 50 year history. Its alumni page is full of goodies, including scans of archival photos, program guides, vintage ephemera, and audio. Alumni still grace the KCR airwaves; with one DJ, Joe Shrin, a 40+ year veteran of the station. At KCR since 1976, he’s said to be the show host who has been there the longest.

KCR College Radio studio in 2019. Photo: J. Waits/Radio Survivor

Thanks so much to Ahmad Dixon for the summer tour of KCR! This is my 160th radio station tour report and my 105th college radio station tour. Read all of my radio station visits in numerical order or by station type in our archives. I also share tidbits about my San Diego-area college radio travels on Radio Survivor Podcast #202.

The post Radio Station Visit #160: KCR at San Diego State University appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Radio Show Features “Tech Tuesday”

Radio World - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:55

A day devoted to technology-oriented sessions is a new feature of the Radio Show coming up in Dallas. That’s one of the efforts by the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau to freshen and reimagine their annual event.

Exhibits will be open Wednesday and Thursday of show week.

Show planners announced during the spring NAB Show that the fall show would get a new look and a more casual feel. The conference also puts a more visible emphasis on voice, podcasting, streaming and other technologies in the modern consumer audio ecosystem. Organizers are aiming for “a convergence of all who thrive in the audio and media space.”

Among highlights, veteran broadcaster Mary Quass will be honored. And the broadcast financial community will discuss implications for radio of the current deregulatory environment in Washington.


Tech Tuesday is free for NAB and RAB members; others pay $199 pre-show, slightly more on site. The day’s content is aimed at engineers, technology professionals and managers involved in radio station operations.

Topics promised include audio-over-IP, RF transmission, visual radio, streaming audio, remote backhaul, audio production and processing, data acquisition and protection, and hybrid radio applications. Tech Tuesday registration includes access to show exhibits, which are open the ensuing two days; there were about 70 registered exhibitors as of late August.

Here are highlights of Tech Tuesday:

Opening and Keynote: 10 a.m. — NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award recipient Gary Cavell will speak about the importance of technology and of continuing education for engineers. He’ll be introduced by NAB EVP/CTO Sam Matheny.

Edison Research has been doing interviews with younger consumers to learn their attitudes toward radio and audio, with an eye toward improving time spent listening for those demos.

Vender Breakouts: 10:35 a.m. — Attendees can hear from RCS President/CEO Phillippe Generali about the company’s Zetta Cloud Disaster Recovery offering, which the firm calls a “cutting edge safety net” for radio operations; and from Comrex veteran Chris Crump about ensuring reliable transmission of IP audio using the internet.

AM Radio’s All-Digital Future?: 11:20 a.m. — Radio World readers know about the tests and early deployment of digital-only signals on the U.S. AM band. This session brings together several experts including NAB VP of Advanced Engineering David Layer; Hubbard Broadcasting Senior Broadcast Engineer Dave Kolesar, who switched off the analog on WFED(AM) in Frederick, Md.; and Xperi Senior Manager of Broadcast Engineering Russ Mundschenk, recipient of the most recent Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award.

Lunch: 12 noon

Vendor Breakouts: 1:30 to 4:10 p.m. — There are several sets of concurrent presentations during the afternoon hours. They include Dielectric Senior RF Engineer Derek Small exploring the “black magic of filter tuning”; Nautel Sales Manager (Central) Jeff Welton discussing ways to optimize an installation with HD Radio; a presentation by ENCO Systems; GatesAir Product Line Manager Kevin Haider providing a “walkthrough” to understand the differences between Generations 3 and 4 of HD Radio technology; and Telos Alliance Senior Solutions Consultant Kirk Harnack highlighting the latest implementations of IP technology for networked audio and control.

Networking Break: 3 p.m.

“What’s Next in Radio Tech?”: 4:15 p.m. — A panel of industry veterans share insights into where our industry is going. Moderated by Radio World Editor in Chief Paul McLane, the group includes iHeartMedia Strategic Partnerships Group President Michele Laven; New York Public Radio CTO Steve Shultis; RadioDNS Project Director Nick Piggott; Xperi SVP of Radio Joe D’Angelo; and Goldman Engineering Management President Bert Goldman.

Closing Remarks, 5 p.m. — Wrapup by NAB VP of Technology Education and Outreach Skip Pizzi.

Reception, 5 to 6 p.m. — Hosted by NAB’s Sam Matheny and Skip Pizzi.


Here’s a sampler of other notable events.

Pillsbury holds its annual Broadcast Finance event on Tuesday. The theme: “Radio Unleashed: Preparing for a New Regulatory World.” Firm partner Scott Flick moderates a discussion of the opportunities for broadcasters presented by deregulation, like the elimination of the main studio requirement and the FCC’s potential relaxation of local ownership rules.

Flick was quoted by organizers saying, “That the FCC is recognizing radio’s challenges where listeners’ audio alternatives — and the competition for ears and advertisers — have grown exponentially may be as big a game-changer as the new competition itself.”

The panel includes Bill Hendrich, EVP of radio for Cox Media Group; Garret Komjathy, SVP of media and communications for U.S. Bank; Beth Neuhoff, president/CEO of Neuhoff Communications; Susan Patrick, managing partner of Patrick Communications and co-owner of Legend Communications; and David Santrella, president of broadcast media for Salem Media Group. …

Plenty has been said and written about the explosive growth in podcasting; but how does podcasting really fit into the business goals of Radio Show attendees? A Wednesday session “The Podcast Revolution” will include Carter Brokaw, president of iHeartMedia’s digital revenue strategy; Neal Carruth, NPR’s general manager of podcasts; and Oren Rosenbaum, emerging platforms and podcasting agent at United Talent Agency. The moderator is Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. …

NRG Media Chairman/CEO Mary Quass will receive the National Radio Award during the Wednesday luncheon “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top.” Quass formed New Radio Group in 2001, later named NRG Media, which has 45 stations in the Midwest. Her career began in the late 1970s when she worked as an account exec. She purchased her first radio station in 1998, forming Quass Broadcasting Co., which became part of Capstar Broadcasting and, in turn, Clear Channel.

Charlotte Jones Anderson knows something about building a brand as an executive with the Dallas Cowboys.

The luncheon program features a conversation with broadcast leaders Mary Berner of Cumulus Media, David Field of Entercom and Bob Pittman of iHeartMedia about strategies for a constantly shifting audio landscape.

Fred and Paul Jacobs will lead a Wednesday session, “You’re Not Just in the Radio Business Anymore,” to learn from people who have made successful career transformations. Fred launched Jacobs Media in 1983 and is credited with creating the classic rock format. Paul is president of jacapps and VP/GM of Jacobs Media. …

Author Gary Vee says, “Attention is the new currency.”

Charlotte Jones Anderson is executive vice president and chief brand officer of the Dallas Cowboys, and the Radio Show convention is happening in her backyard; she’s a logical speaker to share strategies for “building a world-class brand around the customer experience.” She speaks on Thursday. …

Author Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee, will talk Thursday on the topic “Attention Is the New Currency.” He is chairman of communication firm VaynerX and CEO/co-founder of VaynerMedia. …

Thursday also brings a session led by David Fisher on the art of storytelling, for which the media industry has gained fresh appreciation in an era of podcasting, smartphones and smart speakers. Fisher, who began his career writing for Joan Rivers, is the author of more than 80 books and is an accomplished ghostwriter. The session is called “Sound. Voice. Story. Success.” 

Also on Thursday, Edison Research will present research on driving audience engagement and leveraging audio trends. “The Secret to Longer TSL” will be led by Vice President Megan Lazovick and deal with attracting and retaining listeners and best practices to optimize advertising. “Lazovick will also provide exclusive analysis of audio listening trends and content preferences and offer insight on how radio can effectively compete with and embrace other platforms,” organizers said.

They noted that while radio’s reach remains strong across all ages, time spent listening to radio has fallen much faster among younger listeners than older ones, according to Edison. The company has done interviews with young listeners about their attitudes about commercials, audio platforms and radio programs. …

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Marconi Radio Awards. Organizers invited several previous honorees back as emcees and presenters. Delilah, Rickey Smiley and Tom and Kristi of “The Bob and Tom Show” will do the honors.

The show will be held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.


Where: Hilton Anatole, Dallas

When: Sept. 24–26

How: radioshowweb.com

How Much: $499 pre-show rate for NAB/RAB members, up to $949 for non-members onsite. See site for packages for groups, students, young professionals, spouses.


Exhibits are open Wednesday Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Listings are as of late August. Check onsite resources for complete list.

ABC Radio                                                                                         211
Adder Technology                                                                             224
AnalyticOwl                                                                                      231
Aptivada                                                                                           210
Benztown/Vipology                                                                          133
Bob and Tom Radio Network                                                            144
Bonneville Distribution                                                                    216
Broadcast Depot                                                                               232
Broadcast Software International                                                     229
Broadcasters General Store                                                              100
Burbio                                                                                               220
Burli Software, Inc.                                                                            248
Calrec Audio Ltd.                                                                               234
Comrex                                                                                              105
Cool Radio Streaming                                                                       146
Dielectric                                                                                           101
DJB Software Inc dba DJBRadio                                                         213
Elenos Group                                                                                     112
ENCO Systems, Inc.                                                                            133
ERI-Electronics Research, Inc.                                                            200
FirstCom Music                                                                                  247
GatesAir                                                                                             125
Jutel Oy                                                                                              219
Libsyn                                                                                                233
LocalIQ                                                                                              153
Logitek Electronic Systems                                                                225
Marketron                                                                                          107
Matrix Solutions                                                                                246
Miller Kaplan                                                                                     217
Moseley Associates, Inc.                                                                     135
MusicMaster                                                                                      238
NAB Member Services                                                                       155
NAB Public Service                                                                            156
NABEF                                                                                               157
Nautel                                                                                                136
Podcast Studio                                                                                  159
Powergold Music Scheduling                                                            244
Premiere Networks                                                                           150
PromoSuite                                                                                       206
Radio Advertising Bureau                                                                 154
RadioDNS                                                                                          151
RadioMax                                                                                          214
RCS                                                                                                    120
Registration                                                                                       158
RF Specialties Group                                                                         227
Rohde & Schwarz                                                                              226
Second Street                                                                                    145
Shively Labs                                                                                      132
Sierra Automated Systems & Eng. Corp.                                             223
SoCast                                                                                                235
SoundExchange                                                                                 205
SoundID                                                                                             201
Specialty Data Systems Inc. (SDS)                                                      245
Streann Media                                                                                   152
SuiteLife Systems/NFB Consulting                                                    202
Sun & Fun Media                                                                              209
TalkRating                                                                                         215
Tieline Technology                                                                            102
vCreative                                                                                           141
Veritone, Inc.                                                                                       243
WAVSTAR, LLC                                                                                    228
Weather Metrics, Inc.                                                                          222
Wedel Software                                                                                   230
Wheatstone Corp.                                                                                204
WideOrbit                                                                                             127
Win-OMT Software                                                                              249
WorldCast Systems                                                                             203
Worldwide Communications Consultants, Inc.                                    218
XPERI/HD Radio/DTS                                                                         113, 138
YEA Networks                                                                                      147
Zipwhip                                                                                                221

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Radio World Announces “Best of Show” Awards at IBC2019

Radio World - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 09:57

The recipients of the Best of Show Awards at IBC2019 have been announced.

The following products won for Radio World International. Watch for the “Best of Show” Program Guide, including pictures and text about all the nominees, which covers products nominated to Radio World International, TVB Europe and PSN Europe.

Radio World International Best of Show Awards at IBC2019:

  • Broadcast Partners SmartRadio
  • DEVA Broadcast DB4005 FM Modulation Analyzer and Monitoring Receiver
  • GatesAir Intraplex Ascent AoIP Transport Platform
  • Jutel RadioMan 6 Live
  • NeoGroupe NeoWinners Portal
  • The Telos Alliance Axia Quasar AoIP Console
  • Tieline Gateway Multichannel IP Audio Codec
  • Wheatstone StreamBlade
  • WorldCast Systems Audemat DAB Probe
  • Xperi DTS Connected Radio

The post Radio World Announces “Best of Show” Awards at IBC2019 appeared first on Radio World.

At last a US history survey that really gets radio

Radio Survivor - Sun, 09/15/2019 - 14:47

All general surveys of the history of the United States of America mention radio to some extent. Invariably Pittsburgh station KDKA’s pioneering coverage of the presidential election of 1920 receives a context-free mention, followed by a rundown of notable ‘golden age of radio’ shows. With that, the author(s) typically put the medium to bed until several chapters later, when the obligatory discussion about television ensues. I expected more or less the same from Jill Lepore’s noted overview These Truths: A History of the United States. Instead I found a deep discussion about the subject that every media history lover should read.

Chapter eleven of These Truths is titled “A Constitution of the Air,” and begins with a profile of the founder of broadcast regulation: Herbert Hoover. “Nothing so well illustrated [Hoover’s] idea of a government-business partnership as radio,” Lepore writes, “an experimental technology in which Hoover, a consummate engineer, invested the hope of American democracy.” As secretary of commerce Hoover rounded up all the major players in radio for a series of conferences because he understood that broadcasting would make governing “an intimate affair.” Soon politicians would be able to reach into the homes of millions of Americans without bothering to visit them. Broadcasting, Hoover fervently believed, would turn the country into “literally one people.”

Lepore situates broadcast radio at the center of the enormous optimism of the 1920s. “We shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from the earth,” Hoover declared as he ran for president in 1928. He was on hand on October 21, 1928 to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. But as the festivities went on, “news came by radio that shares on the New York Stock Exchange had begun to fall,” Lepore writes. “It was as if a light, too brightly lit, had shattered.”

The rest of the chapter beautifully narrates the Great Depression and New Deal years, constantly identifying radio as a witness to and participant in the era. Hoover’s irony was that while he understood the importance of AM broadcasting, he did not know how to use it. As the economy collapsed, he read scripts over the airwaves in a “dreadful monotone.” Intended to reassure Americans, they conveyed the opposite. It fell to his successor, Franklin Roosevelt, whose bout with polio had taught him the meaning of suffering, to effectively embrace the medium. “His acquaintance with anguish changed his voice:” Lepore explains, “it made it warmer.”

Again and again, Lepore brings us back to broadcast radio and its partnership with globe changing events: Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels launching a massive manufacturing of radio sets to reach every German home. “Mind-bombing,” Goebbels called his campaign. Fire breathing populists like Father Charles Coughlin and Louisiana Senator Huey Long selling their anti-semitism and economic cure-all plans over the airwaves. In response, NBC launched America’s Town Hall Meeting of The Air, which sponsored debates and aimed to “break radio listeners out of their political bubbles,” in Lepore’s words. Across the nation more than 1,000 debating clubs staged their own mini-versions of Town Hall’s discussion of the week. All this faded away as the next world war loomed, its coming foretold over shortwave radio by CBS correspondent H.V. Kaltenborn, he narrating the Munich Crisis of 1938. Meanwhile Czechoslovakia radio broadcasters battled Nazi propaganda. “Once again tonight we must perform the distasteful task of refuting invented reports broadcast by the German wireless station,” one news anchor declared.

I wish that ‘Constitution of the Air’ had not concluded with a conventional account of Orson Welles’ famous broadcast of The War of the Worlds. I am convinced by scholars Jefferson Pooley and Michael J. Socolow that the “panic” over the broadcast is largely mythological, exaggerated by newspapers anxious to convince advertisers that radio could not be trusted. Still, I was moved by Lepore’s final passage, describing Kristallnacht, the Nazi assault on Germany and Austria’s Jewish population:

” . . . ‘This is not a Jewish crisis,’ wrote Dorothy Thompson. ‘It is a human crisis.’ It was as if the sky itself had shattered.

From the White House, [President Franklin] Roosevelt said he ‘could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentieth-century civilization.’ It was indeed difficult to believe. But a war of the worlds had begun.”

The post At last a US history survey that really gets radio appeared first on Radio Survivor.

From IBC: Wheatstone Enters the Stream

Radio World - Sun, 09/15/2019 - 04:00

Wheatstone is expanding its Blade offerings with the StreamBlade, a WheatNet-IP appliance that accepts up to eight input steams of native WheatNet-IP audio directly from a soundcard or AoIP driver as well as RTP sources and can output each in four streams; providing up to 32 total streams per device.

Output choices include Opus, AAC and MP3 encoders. The company says it is cloud-ready and compatible with standard CDN and streaming platforms, including Icecast, Wowza and RTP.

The StreamBlade has onboard processing with a six-band parametric EQ, a five-band AGC, a two-band final limiter and a stereo width control.

Wheatstone says that the AGC is designed for streaming. Jeff Keith, senior product development engineer for Wheatstone’s audio processing line explains, “Fast time constants (compression) can add intermod sidebands around a sustained note or bass note, which the codec has to spend bits on instead of the signals that are actually part of the program. That can be bad for any stream, but it’s especially bad for low bit-rate streams that don’t have a lot of data bits to begin with.”

StreamBlade can be configured and managed from a laptop and web browser using WheatNet-IP Navigator software. The box has two Ethernet ports, one for direct connectivity into the WheatNet-IP audio network on one end and another for connectivity into a WAN for streaming to a CDN or other service provider.

IBC Stand: 8.C91

Info: www.wheatstone.com  


The post From IBC: Wheatstone Enters the Stream appeared first on Radio World.

Fraunhofer IIS Releases ContentServer R7 for DAB+, DRM

Radio World - Sat, 09/14/2019 - 12:00

Fraunhofer IIS’ newest available product is the latest version of its ContentServer head-end technology for DAB+ and DRM digital radio, the ContentServer R7. The recently released R7 is designed to assist with getting audio content and data services on air, while also utilizing the latest standard upgrades and new productivity features.

Some of the new features available via the ContentServer R7 include the automatic Audio Loudness Normalization and Monitoring and additional IP-based Audio Streaming Source Interfaces. This loudness normalization feature is based on Fraunhofer Sonamic technology and is supported by the unit’s internal audio encoders or attenuates the incoming audio to obtain and maintain the target loudness level per Loudness Units relative to Full Scale.

Of the additional IP-based audio sources, the inputs now comprise Livewire/Ravenna/AES67-based raw audio streams and consumer-type Icecast/SHOUTcast streams. The ContentServer can also be used as an end point for RTP-based audio bridges to accept uncompressed or compressed audio streams without external devices. There’s also support for audio level monitoring, audio source remote listening through HTML5 browsers and silence/clipping detection.

Additional functionalities for the ContentServer R7 include an interactive graphical system status overview; EWF with CAP import; JSON/XML RPC management and data interfaces; audio cross-redundancy; EDI Switch for DAB; localized multiplex output; automatic creation of playlists as Journaline pages; DAB V2.1.1 compliance; and stream monitoring.

ContentServer R7 is available as part of Fraunhofer’s OEM partners products.

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From IBC: Tieline Highlights Cloud Codec Controller

Radio World - Sat, 09/14/2019 - 04:00

Tieline is highlighting the Cloud Codec Controller software tool at IBC2019. The solution lets engineers configure, connect and monitor an entire fleet of remote Tieline codecs from the studio.

Able to immediately detect the presence of a Tieline codec or device running the Report-IT Enterprise, Tieline says the Cloud Codec Controller delivers real-time online/offline status of supported codecs and users logged into Report-IT Enterprise. It also monitors connection status, link quality and audio levels, manages remote adjustments of audio levels, and can remotely dial and hang-up remote codec connections from the studio.

The Cloud Codec Controller also permits station staff to monitor and control their entire network of IP codecs, select and load programs and view and manage alarms. In addition, the solution lets operators launch the HTML Toolbox web-GUI to access all codec controls, mixer and router settings, program editing and creation.

The company offers two versions of licensing for the Cloud Codec Controller:

  • A Private Network License for the monitoring and management of an unlimited number of codecs over a private network for a one-time fee.
  • A Public Internet License for the monitoring and management of codecs over the public internet using Codec Client Licenses available as an annual subscription in packs of 10. This license also includes the features of a Private Network License.

Tieline adds that the new Controller also offers users control of Report-IT. In the studio the system can remotely connect and disconnect the Tieline Report-IT Enterprise app, start and stop recordings, monitor and adjust input and record levels, lock and unlock controls, as well as observe link quality.

IBC Stand: 8.E74

Info: www.tieline.com

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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 21:00

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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 21:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 21:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 21:00

National VOA Museum of Broadcasting Plans Anniversary Party

Radio World - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:29
Joe Molter

The author is president of the West Chester Amateur Radio Association (WCARA), a division of the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting dedicated to advancing the amateur radio hobby. He’s also a volunteer-at-large at the museum. His call sign is N81DA.

Her six massive transmitters may be quiet, but she is far from silent.

Amateur radio operators routinely talk to the world from station WC8VOA in West Chester, Ohio, located about 25 miles north of Cincinnati. This former VOA relay station is now the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting with collections from the Gray History of Wireless Museum; Powel Crosley Jr., and Cincinnati radio and TV broadcasting history; and the Voice of America. Next week the museum celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Bethany Station Saturday, Sept. 21, with a fundraiser to make the first floor of the museum accessible for people for all abilities.

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting is open every weekend from 1 to 4 p.m. Tours are given continuously on weekend afternoons by knowledgeable docents. It houses the Bethany station’s last control room and one of the remaining 250 kW Collins shortwave transmitters.

You can sit at the massive audio console that controlled the six shortwave transmitters and literally take a tour inside one of the Collins transmitters. You can view the massive switch gear, built during World War II, which changed Bethany’s 24 rhombic antennas to its six transmitters.

At one time Bethany Station covered a square mile of property that was once farmland. Today the museum sits on 14 acres and the antennas are gone, but with surrounding park acreage, you get a sense of the massive scale the site covered with towers and the miles of transmission lines and antenna wire.

The museum houses a large collection of radios from the early part of the twentieth century, including names such as Hallicrafters, National, Drake and Collins. A large collection of Drake amateur radio products is always a must-see by visiting radio enthusiasts and ham radio operators.

Drake radios were produced nearby in Miamisburg, Ohio. An area dedicated to the Crosley Corp. shows off many of the Crosley brothers’ radio, TV and household products that were manufactured in Cincinnati. Crosley contributed heavily to the war effort during World War II, with the production of tens of thousands of portable radios for the U.S. Army and millions of proximity fuses for antiaircraft ordinance.

Not only did Crosley develop radios, but content as well, with its on-air radio station WLW, which still broadcasts today on 700 AM. WLW transmits from its original site and the large Blaw-Knox tower can be seen from the VOA museum. The museum contains the original 50 W AM transmitter that WLW started with in 1922.

Bethany VOA Towers at Sunset. Photo Andrew Albrecht

WLW was the only U.S. station allowed to operate at 500,000 watts of power during the 1930s. The collection includes a bright red Crosley Hot Shot sports car, too. Crosley Corp. developed a number of vehicles during the late 1930s and resumed production after World War II until shutting down in 1952.

An additional area of the museum houses artifacts and memorabilia from the early era of Cincinnati radio and TV broadcasting. The Cincinnati Media Heritage section includes many of the celebrities who got their start at WLW and other local broadcasting outlets. These WLW radio stars — many of whom transitioned from radio to TV—include Rod Serling of “Twilight Zone” fame; sisters Rosemary and Betty Clooney; Eddie Albert; Doris Day; The Mills Brothers; and Ruth Lyons.

Housed in three of Bethany’s old transmitter vaults, the history of broadcasting section showcases the talent and equipment that made Cincinnati an early nursery for radio and television entertainment. Artifacts include equipment from a 1930s radio station; a 1950s AM station, including disc jockey’s audio console and turntables; and a 1,000 W transmitter. A very early and massive RCA Victor color television camera is on display, along with other television and video equipment.

Our amateur radio station is operated under FCC license WC8VOA and is manned by the West Chester Amateur Radio Association. The station has seven operating positions equipped with modern and vintage amateur radio gear. Antennas cover the radio spectrum from two meters down to 160 meters. The former VOA receiving satellite dish has been converted to 10 GHz transmit and receive capabilities for EME (Earth Moon Earth) bounce. Signals are sent to the moon and the dish used as a passive satellite to communicate with other amateur radio operators.

The club participates in radio contests, portable operations and local STEM events. It averages some 6,000 contacts per year, covering modes of voice and digital and CW. The club also operates two FM repeaters on two meters and 440 MHz.

Operators are in the shack every weekend and hold an open house every Wednesday night for radio enthusiasts and those interested in obtaining a ham radio license. Our WC8VOA call sign is recognized by many of our fellow radio amateurs around the world. We have made contacts from all seven continents and hundreds of countries.

Radio is still an important part of our lives; whether it is listening to AM, FM or satellite services, radio remains a viable source of our news and entertainment.

Voice of America broadcasts were never intended for Americans. They were targeted to people living in oppressed countries where media was censored with the intention to change people’s minds by providing sourced and accurate news. In fact, the VOA Charter (Public Law 94-350), which was passed in 1976, during from the Pres. Gerald Ford administration, states that VOA news will be” accurate, objective, and comprehensive.” It will also “represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.” Lastly, the VOA is mandated to “present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.”

VOA news and feature stories are still broadcast and transmitted today to more than 275 million people weekly in 40+ languages in nearly 100 countries. VOA programs are delivered on multiple platforms, including radio, television, web and mobile via a network of more than 3,000 media outlets worldwide.

Broadcasts have aired continually for more than 75 years, along with sister stations of Radio Free Europe; Radio Liberty; Radio Free Asia; and Radio Marti.

Here is the crux of the matter for all of us at the VOA museum: Once Bethany Station began operation during mid-World War II, an infuriated Adolf Hitler was quoted as saying on one of his radio broadcasts to never listen to those “Cincinnati Liars.” We’re proud to be part of the VOA heritage we are entrusted with and even more proud to be related to those “liars” from Cincinnati.

VOA Bethany in Fog

But while we’re proud of our heritage, I must be honest. The museum is housed in an aging, uninsulated, 75-year-old building that constantly needs repairs. We receive no federal funding and this is our big fundraising push for the year. Our workforce of docents, conservators and maintenance crews are all unpaid volunteers. And many of our volunteers come from our local radio club, the West Chester Amateur Radio Association.

Please help us out with a donation; better yet, plan a long weekend vacation and come on out to West Chester for our Sept. 21 fundraiser! We include a friendly community of shortwave radio aficionados always eager to make more friends. We’ll have on hand auction and silent auction items; dinner-by-the-bite; museum tours; and a table-to-table Trivial Pursuit game, all with the relaxing strains of jazz in the background.

For information on the museum and how you can help with donations, visit our website. Please purchase tickets or donate today. If you’re interested in our amateur radio group, additional information is at West Chester Amateur Radio Association website.

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The post National VOA Museum of Broadcasting Plans Anniversary Party appeared first on Radio World.

Community Broadcaster: Community Radio Needs You

Radio World - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:51

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

You can feel that crispness in the air. However, it is not just autumn. This time of year also brings the start of on-air fundraising season for community and noncommercial radio.

If you are a donor to or listener of your local community radio station, there is a good chance you are already aware of your area outlet’s endeavors. Check social media and you are likely to see an appeal to contribute today. When you tune in, you may hear a brief spot seeking phone volunteers or assistance with the pledge drive. Or maybe you even got a letter in the mail, reminding you of all the wonderful programming you enjoy and why your donation matters so much.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Rain Down Reporting]

If you are not a regular community media consumer, you’ve probably heard of pledge drives at least. From parodies to tote bag references, noncommercial radio and television fundraising is just part of the media fabric. Even while there may be a disconnect as to why it is done, you just won’t find many people who have never heard of pledge drive, even if they have not given during one.

This season, the-Why-You-Should-Give is very important.

With all the conversation around news deserts, community radio nationwide fulfills a valuable role in the civic life of cities and towns everywhere. Music, arts, news, ideas and culture all find a place on community media in service to the greater mission of education. Your local station can only do this with your financial contributions.

Every state in the next 18 months will see major races for local, state and federal office as well as a list of referenda that may reshape communities for years to come. Community radio is there, providing coverage of, and sometimes hosting, candidate debates. Stations team up with city leaders for voter education and registration. These outlets cover the issues that matter to voters. Yet the coverage struggles to happen without listener support.

And lastly, community media creates opportunity in the local economy. Whether it may be through sharing a local music scene, collaborating with local businesses or making a city a better, more interesting place to live, stations create jobs, spur industry and enhance the quality of life everywhere. Think about it. When you think of Seattle, you probably are reminded of its iconic radio stations. When a fledging music scene is taking off, community radio may be the first place local bands and live event dates get heard. And surely no discerning music fan would ever deny that taste-making radio raises a town’s hip factor. Tis word of mouth means visitors, good word-of-mouth, and ultimately dollars locally.

Every community radio station needs financial support. A recent National Federation of Community Broadcasters survey indicates many community radio stations work with thin margins. This includes many having a small staff and few reserves. Given how far these mighty stations stretch dollars, the fact so many stations provide communities such unique programming and bold coverage is a minor miracle, frankly. However, the deep regard many community stations have for audience donations should hint at how much appreciate your help.

On-air fundraising is a time when listeners like you can ensure the voices you value and media you hope for in our vibrant democracy can have greater resonance. There is no better time than this lovely fall to be a first-time or repeat donor to a community radio station.

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