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Walter Benjamin radio diary entry #1: selective snouting

Radio Survivor - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 19:04

“Today I’d like to speak with you about the Berlin Schnauze,” declared Walter Benjamin on Radio Berlin in 1929. “This so-called big snout is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Berliners.”

With this essay, I begin my Walter Benjamin radio diary, a commentary on the radio shows for children that he broadcast from 1929 to 1932 on Radio Berlin and Southwest German Radio, Frankfurt. I have written a brief backgrounder on Benjamin, just to get my little project started. A much better introduction can be heard at the BBC Archive on 4, produced by Michael Rosen. It includes conversations with scholars about Benjamin’s radio scripts and the very first English reading of them by Henry Goodman. I am quoting here from Lecia Rosenthal’s edition of the talks. And, full disclosure, I am really just going riff on these programs, think about them out loud, meditate on what they remind me of, while avoiding any grand conclusions.

Having said all that, Benjamin’s first radio essay is really interested in a certain portion of the Berlin snout: the Berlin mouth, with all its smarty pants jokes, comments, snarky observations, and cracks. It is a mouth designed to defend oneself from being pushed around in a pushy world. Here are some examples Benjamin offered, such as the tongue of this beleaguered horse-drawn cab operator.

“My God, driver,” complains his latest passenger. “Can’t you move a little faster?
“Sure thing,” responds the Berlin cabbie. “But I can’t just leave the horse all alone.”

Or this bartender, perhaps a bit exasperated with some of his drunken clientele.

“What ales you got?” demands one inebriant.
“I got gout and a bad back,” replies the barkeep.

“Berlinish,” Benjamin explained, “is a language that comes from work.” It is a way of speaking for “people who have no time, who must communicate by using only the slightest hint, glance, or half-word.”

I am very familiar with this language, because I grew up in the Berlin of the United States, otherwise known as New York City. I was raised on apocryphal tales of the smart assed waiters who presided over Manhattan’s Jewish restaurants and delicatessens. I offer these vignettes from memory. For example:

A waiter walks up to a table of four men in a Lowest East Side kosher restaurant. “What will you have, gentlemen?” he asks.
“We will start with water,” one says.
Then another adds with a slightly irritated tone: “And, waiter, in a clean glass, please.”
The attendant bows, then returns in five minutes with the water.
“Ok,” he says, “which one of you guys wanted the clean glass?”

Another example: a waiter humbly approaches four elderly women eating at a Jewish deli.
“Ladies,” he gingerly asks, “is anything all right?”

But what I find most interesting about Benjamin’s first commentary is that it offers a very selective and limited definition of the Schnauz. Wikipedia defines the snout as “the protruding portion of an animal’s face, consisting of its nose, mouth, and jaw.” Yet our radio storyteller seems decidedly uninterested in two out of three of those attributes.

The Kaiser and his celebrated snout.

Why? I can only guess, but hovering over this discussion was one of the great noses of German history, that of Kaiser Wilhelm the Second. Remembered by one historian as a “bad tempered distractible doofus” in charge of the German empire, Wilhelm appears to have been primarily concerned with two things: first, his wardrobe, which consisted of 120 colorful military uniforms, and second, the endlessly waxed and fussed over mustache which adorned his nose. It even had its own name: “Er ist Erreicht!” or “It is accomplished,” which, as you may know, also happens to be the last thing that Jesus supposedly said on the cross at Golgotha. When not preoccupied with the decoration of his own beak, Wilhelm obsessed over those of his colleagues. “Fernando naso,” he dubbed the ruler of Bulgaria, whose proboscis he found unacceptably pronounced.

Therefore, I am not surprised that the young Walter Benjamin, already so focused on language, class, and democracy, stuck to the mouth and left the nose, with all its autocratic overtones, to others.

The post Walter Benjamin radio diary entry #1: selective snouting appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Agenda Set for Multilingual Emergency Alert Workshop

Radio World - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 18:09

In an effort to inform state and local emergency management authorities on how they can implement multilingual alerts for the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is hosting a public workshop on June 28 at the FCC headquarters in Washington.

The agenda for the workshop has officially been announced, including the panelists that will participate in the sessions.

The day will begin with a welcome from Zenji Nakazawa, public safety and consumer protection advisor to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, before heading into its first panel. The initial panel, which will begin at 9:15 a.m., is titled “Regulatory Framework for Multilingual Alert Distributions Over the EAS and WEA Systems.” David Munson, attorney advisor with PSHSB, will moderate a panel made up of Orlando Bermudez from the Multimedia Assistance in Spanish Program, Austin/San Antonio Weather Office, NOAA; Justin Cain, deputy chief, Operations and Emergency Management division at PSHSB; Gregory Cooke, the chief for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at CGB; Matthew Grest, vice president, regulatory affairs, CTIA; Al Kenyon, IPAWS Customer Support Branch chief, IPAWS Program Office, Continuity Communications Division DHS–FEMA; NCTA Vice President of Engineering Andy Scott; and Larry Walke, associate general counsel for the NAB.

At 10:15 a.m., the second panel, “Examples of How Various State and Local Journalists Provide Multilingual Alerting,” is scheduled. Cooke and Munson will co-moderate this panel, which is set to feature John Dooley, Minnesota Department of Public Safety; Fred Engel, chief technology officer at UNC-TV; Andy Huckaba, councilmember for Lenexa, Kan.; Jesus Salas, executive vice president of programming for Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. in Miami; Francisco Sanchez, deputy emergency management coordinator for Harris County, Texas; Aaron Wilborn, the marketing manager for Dick Broadcasting Co. in Savannah, Beaufort, Ga., Bluffton and Hilton Head, S.C.; and Adam Woodlief, chief technology officer for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The final session of the day, slated to start at 1 p.m., is “Current Capabilities in EAS and WEA Equipment, and Complementary Technologies for Sending Multilingual Alerts.” Munson and Cooke again will moderate. Panelists for the final session include Dr. Edward Czarnecki, senior director–Strategy and Government Affairs for Digital Alert Systems Inc.; Brian J. Toolan, the director of government strategy with Everbridge; Xperi Corp.’s Vice President of Radio Technology Solutions Ashruf El-Dinary; Pat Feldhausen, offering manager with the Weather Company; and Harold Prince, president of Sage Alerting Systems.

The workshop, which runs from 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m., is open to the public, but admittance is limited to available seating. The workshop will take place in the Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305). It will also be broadcast live, with captioning in both English and Spanish, through fcc.gov/live.

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The post Agenda Set for Multilingual Emergency Alert Workshop appeared first on Radio World.

Aguilar Tapped for Maynard 200 Fellowship

Radio World - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 14:06
Ernesto Aguilar

National Federation of Community Broadcasters Program Director and Radio World contributor Ernesto Aguilar will participate in the 2019 edition of the Maynard 200 media diversity program.

According to a release from the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the Maynard 200 program aims to make U.S. “newsrooms look more like America” by training 200 journalists of color over the course of five years.

[Read Ernesto Aguilar’s Community Broadcaster Columns]

This year’s cohort consists of 23 fellows, who Maynard 200 Director Odette Alcazaren-Keeley said “represent the inclusive voices and expertise of media professionals from ethnic, community-based and mainstream media organizations.”

The curriculum is divided into three tracks: Storytelling, Advanced Leadership and Media Entrepreneurship, taught during sessions in June and October at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles.

Aguilar will take part in its Advanced Leadership track, during which he and other fellows will learn from a curriculum centered on strategy, financial capital and human capital, according to Robert C. Maynard Institute Co-executive Director Evelyn Hsu. The track’s executive-in-residence is Smith Edwards Group Principal Consultant Virgil Smith.

The 2019 program is funded by the News Integrity Initiative, Google News Initiative, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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The post Aguilar Tapped for Maynard 200 Fellowship appeared first on Radio World.

Best of Show Up Close: Wheatstone AirAura X5

Radio World - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 13:43

“Best of Show Up Close” is a series about participants in Radio World’s annual Best of Show at NAB Awards program.

Wheatstone nominated the AirAura X5 processor. It is a processor aimed at stations with FM analog and HD Radio signals. Optimized for handling the unique mission of making sure that analog and HD Radio “blend,” it also offers the usual complement of processor tools such as EQs and limiters.

We asked Mike Erickson for more info.

Radio World: Wheatstone has said that the AirAura X5 takes into consideration the FM and the HD as “one experience.” What do you mean and how does it do that?

Mike Erickson: The HD section of the processor includes the tools needed to maintain alignment and the FM section gives you tools to maximize the experience when blend occurs. These include the built in FM/HD tuner to measure and maintain alignment in the processor without third-party boxes. It also includes our LimitLess technology that manages pre-emphasis in a way processing has never before dealt with it. Broadcasters are realizing HD is no longer in the sidecar. HD radio as standard equipment in cars is now above 50% market saturation. This means that for a large audience segment the listening experience now has to consider both modes. If the HD is out of step with the analog because of sonic or alignment issues, it can and will lead to tune-out. The X5 prevents this like no other processor on the market.

RW: This is a competitive market segment. What sets the X5 apart from other FM/HD processors?

Erickson: Our LimitLess technology, FM/HD tuner and alignment, how we designed our insert point technology (PPMport), and the LiveLogger function. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, these exclusive functions come together to form a processor that deals with audio as well as engineering needs. When shopping for a processor, broadcasters need to look for designs that meet sonic as well as practical needs of their stations. X5 offers automatic time alignment, a built in full-featured RDS, our specialized insert point, and a logger to track preset takes and other activities. You won’t find another processor on the market that comes even close to fulfilling all those functions.

[Read: Best of Show Up Close: The LookingGlass FM Monitoring Appliance]

RW: You put a lot of emphasis on its LimitLess clipper technology. Why?

Erickson: Jeff Keith, Steve Dove and I were all talking about how we could achieve the kind of transient audio you’d get from the HD side of our audio processors into the FM side. This, of course, plays into our goal of making the FM/HD radio listening experience on compatible receivers the best it can be. The X3 was cutting edge because of its 31-band limiter and how that interacted as a separate entity to the clipper. Now these two functions are combined …plus our addition of a new and exciting pre-emphasis embedding algorithm in the clipper, one that makes the highs jump out at you with astonishing detail; something we have not been able to replicate with any other processor in our lab.

RW: Is the processor shipping? What does it cost?

Erickson: It ships July 2019. We already have some beta units on the air and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. List price is $14,500, but our Wheatstone dealers can offer our customers the best pricing as well as set up demos for X5.

RW: What else should we know about the box?

Erickson: I touched on it before, but the PPMport is very cool. It’s not just an insert point; it’s the end result of over a decade working with PPM technology, both in the field at CBS Radio when PPM was rolled out and Dom Theodore and I did a lot of testing of the gear. Add that to my work with customers since joining Wheatstone in 2010. Needless to say, the data and good practices I’ve cultivated in the field have gone into PPMport, at what point the watermark is inserted, and how it interacts with LimitLess to put the mark “closer” to the meter than ever before.

The Future Best of Show Awards program honors and helps promote outstanding new products exhibited at industry conventions like the spring NAB Show. Exhibitors pay a fee to enter; not all entries win. Watch for more coverage of participating products soon. To learn about all of the nominees and winners, read the 2019 Best of Show Program Guide.


The post Best of Show Up Close: Wheatstone AirAura X5 appeared first on Radio World.

AFCCE Announces New Leadership Team

Radio World - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 11:49

The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers is under new leadership, as John George was recently elected as president of the organization during the AFCCE Annual Meeting. The vote was conducted by the newly constituted board of directors, which also rounded out the rest of AFCCE’s leadership team.

From left to right: AFCCE President John George; Treasurer John Lyons; Secretary Stephen Pumple; and Vice President John Edwards

George replaces John Lyons as president following his two terms in the position, though Lyons will remain as part of the leadership team having been elected as treasurer; Lyons replaces Bob Weller, who is leaving the board. John Edwards was voted vice president and Stephen Pumple is the new secretary. All of their terms will begin as of July 1.

[AFCCE Honors Hashemzadah With Luddy Award]

In addition, new and returning board members were determined. Lyons was re-elected for a new four-year term and will be joined by B. Ben Evans on his own four-year term as a member and Jim Leifer on a three-year term as an associate member. Mark Fehlig is leaving the board following the end of his term.

The post AFCCE Announces New Leadership Team appeared first on Radio World.

Røde’s PodMic Puts Emphasis on Sound Quality

Radio World - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 09:09

Heavy. That’s the first word that comes to mind when unboxing the new Røde PodMic, a broadcast-grade dynamic microphone designed for podcast applications. The first time you hold it, you’ll realize you’re holding something that’s built to last, especially when compared to similarly priced microphones. It’s an all-metal construction with a solid, stainless steel mesh grille. While its appearance evokes the EV RE20 style broadcast mic, its shorter profile, built-in mounting system and $99 price tag set it apart.

As a podcast producer and engineer, I’m often asked by people looking to try their hand at it what equipment to buy — particularly microphones. The answer always boils down to budget. The podcast industry seems to be covered by the ubiquitous Shure SM7B, but as reasonably priced as it is, it’s often still out of range for beginners, especially those who will need more than one. With that in mind, Røde’s price point allows newcomers to purchase four PodMics for the price of one SM7B.

But how does it sound?

As a starting point, I brought the PodMic along to a podcast session for a show I produce. The co-host has a smooth, rich, “radio-friendly” voice, so I chose to put it side-by-side with the Shure SM7B in front of him. Both mics were recorded flat. On playback, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that it truly held its own against a mic that costs four times as much. The PodMic had a pleasing high end and tight mids, but lacked a bit of bottom, though in fairness, I think this mic is made to benefit from proximity effect, and the co-host doesn’t stay that close. An EQ boost in the low end put it right up against the SM7B, but with a natural brightness that gets lost in the Shure, probably because of its foam windscreen.

Where the PodMic disappointed, somewhat expectedly, was with its built-in windscreen. The marketing of the PodMic mentions it as a selling point, but unless you’re a seasoned voice actor with really excellent mic control, this mic most definitely needs a windscreen to block plosives. I worry that a foam cover might take away from some of its pleasing top end, and would personally opt for pop filter on this mic. But that’s certainly not a deal-breaker when you’re talking about a mic in this price range.

I was impressed enough with the PodMic to do a more ambitious test. The next day, I brought it to Digital Arts in New York, the recording studio I work at for ad agency, film, animation and television clients. I took the bold step of putting it side by side with a Neumann U 87 during the recording of a TV commercial, with both mics’ diaphragms behind a single windscreen. No, I didn’t expect the $99 mic to sound as good as the $3,200 mic, but I’ve been using U 87s for over 30 years, so it gives me a good point of reference.

While it didn’t sound like the Neumann out of the gate, some quick EQ work brought it into the neighborhood, which really surprised fellow engineers that came into the studio to check it out. I don’t think you’d fool anyone by trying to pass PodMic off as a U 87, but the fact that it can deliver that large-diaphragm sound with some EQ know-how is impressive.

[RØDE Microphones Acquires Aphex]

Given its affordability and quality, I started to wonder how the PodMic might handle non-voice recording chores. For fun, I put it on my acoustic guitar. Sadly, it didn’t do much. For comparison, I recorded the same instrument with my Røde NT1A, which gave a clean and rich sound with very little effort. I placed the PodMic in several positions, and I just couldn’t get a great sound. Keep in mind that this mic is designed for a specific task, so this was really just a test to see if there was any bonus usage, because honestly, I could see having a number of these on hand at this price point.

So who is this mic for? It’s a definite for podcasting beginners looking to hit the ground running with solid sound on a budget, but for $99, it’s a solid backup mic to have on hand for professional studios. The PodMic has an entry-level price point for a mic that will
last a lifetime.

Frank Verderosa is a 30-year veteran of the audio industry, fighting the good fight for film studios, ad agencies and production companies, but secretly loves mixing music most of all. These days, he plies his trade at Digital Arts in New York City, but you can also hear his podcast engineering work weekly on Gilbert Gottfried’s “Amazing Colossal Podcast,” which he’s handled since 2014. 

Product Capsule

Røde PodMic

Thumbs Up

+ Excellent sound quality for voice

+ Great value

Thumbs Down

– Needs windscreen or pop filter

– Poor nonvocal sound quality

Price: $99.99

Contact: Røde Microphones in California at 1-562-364-7400 or visit www.rodemic.com.

The post Røde’s PodMic Puts Emphasis on Sound Quality appeared first on Radio World.

Internet Radio on the Mac, After iTunes

Radio Survivor - Sun, 06/23/2019 - 19:17

After assessing the state and likely demise of the iTunes internet radio tuner, I started to consider what this means for listening to internet radio with a computer, rather than mobile device, smart speaker or appliance. Then we received an email from a reader who reported they still use iTunes for internet radio, in part because it allows them to curate a playlist of their favorite stations for easy access. The reader noted that using station websites doesn’t quite work the same way, and that those sites vary widely in design and how simple they make it to start a stream.

I’ll admit that iTunes does excel at that kind of radio preset-style tuning. It’s something I’d forgotten since I do most of my internet radio listening using my Sonos, where I keep my favorite stations bookmarked in the system’s favorites.

I started to poke around to see what kind of desktop radio apps are left out there. I started with macOS because that’s what I primarily use. I found that there are damn few.

Go searching in the macOS App Store and you’ll encounter about a dozen or so true internet radio apps. But the majority of them seem not to have been updated in the last three to five years. In fact, I found only one that is worth trying.

myTuner Radio

myTuner Radio is free in the App Store and very simple. It has a reasonably comprehensive directory of a purported 50,000 stations organized by country. Besides that, they aren’t otherwise categorized. The search is decent, provided you know the call letters or name. If you’re searching by genre or format, you’d better hope that it’s in the name.

Stations owned by iHeart are pretty much entirely absent, though I could find plenty of Entercom and CBS stations, along with those owned by smaller groups. myTuner Radio has banner ads, but mercifully no audio ads. A paid version gets rid of all ads.

You can favorite stations for quicker recall, but there’s no provision to organize them, nor is there a provision to add a station’s stream URL like in iTunes. While using myTuner Radio is easier than bookmarking station webpages, you may not find all the stations you want, you can’t categorize the ones you bookmark and you can’t add additional ones not in the directory.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio has a desktop Mac OS app that replicates the web or mobile app, more or less. To that end, it’s about as good as those. The directory is enormous, and organized by format, genre, location and language. But as I observed earlier, iHeart and Entercom stations have been removed by their owners.

There’s more flexibility in organizing your favorite stations, by putting them into folders. Yet, TuneIn still has no provision to add a station that’s not in the directory. If you like TuneIn on other platforms, you’ll like the desktop app, but it’s not quite a full iTunes replacement.


Odio (not Odeo) is a free open source app that visually resembles iTunes more than the other apps. It’s directory is more idiosyncratic than either TuneIn or myTuner. I could find some iHeart stations, like New York City’s Z100, but not others, like Portland’s The Brew. I had similar hit-and-miss results with Entercom stations.

Stations are organized by country, language and tag. It took me a bit to figure out how the tags get added, since I saw no feature for doing so in the app. It turns out that Odio uses a directory called Community Radio Browser, where anyone can submit a station. That probably accounts for the idiosyncrasies, since you don’t need to affiliated with a station to submit it. Right now Community Radio Browser lists 24,582 stations, and the project’s webpage has an intriguing list of apps and platforms that use its directory, along with code libraries for folks who might build their own app.

You can maintain a “library” of favorite stations, but there’s no way to organize them.


VLC is a cross-platform multimedia player app. In that way it’s the closest we have to a free, open source iTunes alternative – one that’s also continuously updated.

The app uses the Icecast Radio Directory. Icecast is an open source streaming audio platform, and stations using it can opt in to be listed. As a result the selection is very eclectic, though you may be hard pressed to find a lot of US broadcast stations. What you may find are live police scanners or Chicago Public Radio WBEZ’s all Christmas music stream. There is no organization – search is your only friend here.

Because it’s a perennially well-supported project, there are ways to add other directories, like TuneIn’s. However, plug-and-play they’re not. You’ll need to know your way around your Mac’s file system. It’s not crazy difficult, but it’s not as simple as installing most apps.

I would call VLC’s interface utilitarian. It’s built more for a power user than a novice, though there’s plenty of help to be found with a quick web search. Its two most iTunes-like features are the ability to add any station’s stream and to organize stations in playlists.

Other Options, Caveat Emptor

Researching this topic I encountered at least a half-dozen other free and open source iTunes alternatives offering at least some kind of internet radio feature. However, they all seem to have little to no development for at least three years. They may still work fine for your, but an OS upgrade could easily foul up the works.

Is there a currently supported Mac OS internet radio app I’m missing? Please let us know.

The post Internet Radio on the Mac, After iTunes appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Equal Employment Opportunity Enforcement Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 22:00
The Commission seeks comment on how to make improvements to equal employment opportunity compliance and enforcement


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 22:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 22:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 22:00

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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 22:00

Community Broadcaster: It’s An Emergency

Radio World - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 21:04

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

In case you missed it, FEMA has announced the date of the next national test of the Emergency Alert System. It is coming up far sooner than many stations realize. In fact, now is a good time for community and all stations to get prepared.

The next test happens Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. The backup date in the event the announced date cannot be met is August 21.

This year’s test is expected to be different than previous iterations, in that it will be disseminated only via the EAS broadcast-based channels rather than the internet-based IPAWS system. It is expected that using this form of contact will help authorities to assess whether and how the national EAS would function if activated. Considering a national emergency could involve the internet and connectivity being compromised, such a test of the EAS seems warranted.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Protect Our Own]

In some circles, there are misconceptions about the national EAS test. In truth, all radio stations are required to comply with FCC EAS rules and must participate in this year’s test. Full- as well as low-power stations are required to carry emergency tests.

In April, the FCC issued an assessment of last year’s test. Of the 13,435 radio stations participating in the nationwide EAS test last year, just over 96% successfully received the test with around the same percentage successfully retransmitted it. It determined poor audio quality, out-of-date equipment and/or software and source issues were among the biggest problems documented by stations.

A big part of the lead up to the national test is the filing of Form One, which documents a station’s equipment status. Form One is due by July 3. A station should file a separate copy of Form One for each of its EAS decoders, encoders or combined decoder/encoder units.

On the day of the test, there is Form Two to complete by a station. It should indicate compliance and issues related to the national test. On September 23, Form Three offers further insights. However, Form One is a community radio station’s most pressing priority.

How should your station prepare for the test? First and foremost, your station should review last year’s Form One filings to identify and update information previously reported. Next, it is essential that your station ensure its EAS equipment can receive and process the National Periodic Test code and otherwise comply with FCC regulations. For the uninitiated, the National Periodic Test code is the national location code shown via six zeroes on your screen.

As you prepare your gear, it is smart to update your EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent versions. In addition, you should manually synchronize your EAS equipment clocks to the official time recognized by testing entities, in the event your equipment doesn’t otherwise synchronize the time.

While you’re at your equipment, make a point to review your State EAS Plan for source monitoring assignments. This is a fancy way of helping your EAS equipment know which sources to monitor for signals and emergencies.

However, there are plenty of nontechnical things your station should be doing now. Put a copy of the EAS Operating Handbook at your EAS equipment positions, or in a place where it is otherwise available immediately to operators.  Lost your copy somewhere? The EAS Operating Handbook is available for download here.

The EAS Operating Handbook is a grand resource. Your station should look over it and determine the actions to be taken by operators on duty. Training and communication of what operators should do is important. You may tailor actions specific to your facilities as necessary;

Emergency services like EAS are core to how radio serves its cities and towns. And community radio can connect to first responders and wider audiences through serving as a conduit for critical messages like these. The Form One deadline coming up is our first step in fulfilling that promise successfully.

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The post Community Broadcaster: It’s An Emergency appeared first on Radio World.

Change Your Filters to Avoid Cooling Problems

Radio World - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 09:20
Fig. 1: Don’t forget air handler filters — and make a notation when the filter was changed.

How does that saying go — “Out of sight, out of mind!” Don’t let summer go by without changing out your air conditioning filters. Not only do clogged filters cause your cooling system to work harder, but the dirty filters can actually cause your system to fail prematurely.

As we have less time to visit sites (and to crawl up on the roof or into the studio ceiling), filter change-outs are easy to forget. If it’s been awhile, take a peek.

If you’re not using the more expensive high-density filters, consider switching to those. They will keep systems cleaner, and if you order them in bulk from companies like Grainger or others online, prices can be very reasonable.

If you’re fortunate enough to have snagged a summer engineering/remote intern, task them with logging the number and size of all the filters you use. Then, as the filters are changed, make sure they are dated, as seen in Fig. 1.

It’s also important that the filters are inserted properly — the arrow on the side of the filter points to the direction of air flow — make sure filters aren’t installed backwards!

[Maintaining Liquid-cooled Transmitters]

With the humidity being sucked out of the air during the summer, now is a good time to check the condensate drains. Big box stores and HVAC suppliers sell condensate drain brushes that can be used to keep the drain lines clear, as well as tablets that can be placed in the drain pan to prevent algae formation.

If you’ve ever cleared an algae plug, you know how strong the fibers forming the plug can be. A little preventive maintenance will avoid flooding problems later. Preventing a flood is crucial if your air handler is mounted directly above a studio or transmitter.

Fig. 2: Filtrete has these air fresheners that clip on the filters — freshen up your studios!

And while we’re on the subject of studio air, let’s face it — studio air can get especially rancid, so you might want to try Filtrete’s new filter air fresheners. Seen in Fig. 2, these fresheners clip onto the air filter to provide a more pleasant scent for these rooms.

Got other air conditioning system tips or suggestions? Send ideas for inclusion in a future column to johnpbisset@gmail.com.


Wayne Eckert is with the Florida Rural Communications Cooperative and is no stranger to Workbench.

Over the years, Wayne has read a number of questions and laments by broadcast engineers trying to locate a source for FM band receive-only Yagis, commonly used to feed off-air transmitter monitor receivers. Once upon a time, this product was marketed by most TV antenna manufacturers, but with the growing popularity of satellite, cable and streaming TV services, many of these companies have gone out of business.

Wayne discovered that the few broadband Yagis on the market are either aimed at audiophiles, which equates to over-the-top pricing, or CATV Yagis, which also have a price tag that will likely make your GM hit the roof.

But all is not lost! Wayne found a product made by Stellar Labs and sold by Newark.

Wayne lives in the middle of nowhere in southwest Florida; he needed an FM Yagi, since the transmitter site he wanted to monitor was about 55 miles away. The Stellar Labs product did a very good job for a very fair price (single quantities available for $32.54), according to Wayne.

The antenna is a four-element Yagi, consisting of one driven element, one reflecting and two directing elements. The result is tremendous directivity and forward gain.

Wayne adds that another really nice feature that engineers will like about this antenna is that a mast mount is included, and the mount can be tilted either up or down to match the elevation between the transmitter and the studio. On www.newark.com, enter part number 30-2460 to obtain more information.


Frank Hertel, consultant with Newman-Kees RF Measurements, has discovered yet another inexpensive method of labeling cables.

Manufactured by Mr-Label, and available from Amazon, these letter-sized sheets of self-adhesive cable labels are waterproof and tear-resistant and come in five assorted colors. Laser-printable or hand-printed with a Sharpie, a packet of 10 sheets (300 labels) is under $10.

On the Amazon, search for “Mr-Label US letter sheet self-adhesive cable label.”

Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send Workbench tips and high-resolution photos to johnpbisset@gmail.com.

Author John Bisset handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is SBE certified and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.

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Petition for Declaratory Ruling Filed by Leading Media Group Corp.

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 21:00
Leading Media Group Corp. Seeks Foreign Ownership Ruling Pursuant to Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended