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College Radio Watch: Radio Orientation and More News

Radio Survivor - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 08:17

What if college radio was an integral part of every student’s college orientation activities? Sounds amazing to me. This week I learned about Hamilton College’s mandatory “orientation trips,” which provide students with an immersion into various topics and activities as part of their transition to college life.

One of the 4-day trips, Stay “Tuned”, focuses on music and radio and includes a visit to Hamilton’s college radio station WHCL. The trip description states in part:

“We will explore the behind-the-scenes of recording studios, meet professionals in the recording industry, visit local indie record shops, and, of course, listen to live performances, including an outdoor music fest! Upon returning to campus, we will take a visit to the campus radio station, WHCL, where we will get a close-up look at station management and campus broadcasting. Those interested will have the chance to learn how to create and host their own radio show during their time at Hamilton.”

In a profile of WHCL, its General Manager Peter Kelly speaks of the powerful impact of that orientation. Kelly recounts, “I was a part of the orientation trip ‘Stay Tuned,’ which focused a lot on music and radio. We visited a few radio stations, but on one of the later days, we went to WHCL and were allowed to do a show, and I’ve been in love ever since. I’ve had at least one show every semester, and I don’t see myself stopping!”

This is a serious step up from simply having a college radio station on a campus tour route (which can also be quite an accomplishment on hectic tours). Do you know about other innovative ways that colleges are introducing students to their campus radio stations?

More College Radio News Profiles of Stations and Staff Funding and Infrastructure Popular Culture Events Alumni

The post College Radio Watch: Radio Orientation and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 22:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 22:00

Broadcast Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 22:00

Electronic Delivery of MVPD Communications, Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 22:00
Commission adopts rules modernizing broadcaster carriage election notices and seeks comment on applying them to entities not required to maintain records in COALS or the online public file system


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 22:00

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.


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.


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


Date Received: 7/9/2019

Date Posted: 7/10/2019

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