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Best of Show Up Close: Henry Engineering SportsCaster

Radio World - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:07

“Best of Show Up Close” is a series about nominees and winners of the annual Future Best of Show at NAB Award program.

Henry Engineering nominated its SportsCaster unit. We talked to founder Hank Landsberg.

Radio World: We learned during the Best of Show process this spring that Henry Engineering now offers the SportsCaster. You says that it simplifies audio for covering sports on radio or TV. How does it do that?

Hank Landsberg: The SportsCaster (used with Henry’s Sports Pods) integrates the three essential functions of play-by-play audio: (1) program audio mixing, (2) headphone audio mixing and distribution, and (3) intercom. By integrating all three functions into one comprehensive rackmounted system, you eliminate the need for multiple mixers, DAs, headphone amps, intercom systems, power supplies, etc. Instead of “reinventing the wheel” with a carload of gear at each broadcast, the SportsCaster system handles all functions with one device in one place, which can be easily operated by one person!

RW: Tell us about the product — what is it and what sets it apart from similar offerings in its product class?

Landsberg: The SportsCaster is the only product on the market that does all this! When used with Sports Pods, the system mixes the talents’ mics and other audio sources. That is the easy part. The hard parts are (a) creating a different headphone audio mix for each announcer, the producer, the field reporter, and for camera operators, and (b) integrating a duplex intercom system into the headphone audio so that all members of the broadcast team can communicate, off-air, without interrupting the play-by-play audio.

Equalizer sound wave background theme

The producer can give cues to the play-by-play announcers. The spotter can give player stats to the announcers via the intercom. The producer can cue the field reporter, and insert his report into the live coverage. The announcers can cue the field reporter directly, off-air, to coordinate live sideline reports. The producer can call the shots to the camera ops. Everyone hears what they need to hear, without hearing coms meant for someone else. SportsCaster does all of these things, in an easy to use format. It installs quickly, using Henry Engineering’s Cat-5 linking protocol, so wiring is minimal.

RW: What does it cost? Is it shipping?

Landsberg: List price is $1,295. It is in stock and shipping now.

RW: Is this you in this great history photo on your website?

Landsberg: Yes! When I was CE at Drake-Chenault, circa 1974!

RW: What else should we know about the Sportscaster or Henry Engineering’s business these days?

Landsberg: The SportsCaster was designed in response to requests from guys who produce sports broadcasts for high schools and colleges. This is very popular, because schools can webcast their games, in addition to broadcasting them on conventional TV. Many high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools now have very comprehensive video production programs and curricula. The video equipment is mostly PC-based, making it inexpensive and easy to use. But the audio … that’s a different story! SportsCaster fills the void, and makes play-by-play audio as efficient and easy to run as the video is now.

Meanwhile, Henry Engineering continues its tradition of building products that solve problems for radio, and now TV too!

 

The post Best of Show Up Close: Henry Engineering SportsCaster appeared first on Radio World.

PIRATE Act a Good First Step But More Needed, NJBA Says

Radio World - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 14:31

While the PIRATE Act has its share of supporters, there are some that feel the legislation isn’t going far enough.

The New Jersey Broadcasters Association said that while passage of the act in the Senate is a step in the right direction, it fails in one key way. More needs to be done to hold landlords accountable for permitting illegal pirate activities on their property.

“While this is a step in the right direction, the act fails to allow the FCC to hold landlords accountable for allowing these dangerous illegal broadcasters to operate,” said NJBA President Paul Rotella. “[This enables] illegal pirates to continue to plague the airways. We hope this will be rectified in future legislation.”

[Read: PIRATE Act Makes Progress in Senate] 

The act proposes to hike fines for violations up to $100,000 per day (up from the current maximum daily penalty of about $19,200) and would give the government the authority to impose a maximum penalty of $2 million for illegal radio broadcasters.

Other provisions include creation of a yearly report by the FCC summarizing the implementation of the legislation and related enforcement activities; the introduction of annual sweeps for of the top five radio markets with pirate radio activity; and giving the FCC the authority to skip the warning known as a Notice of Unlicensed Operation and go straight to issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability.

The legislation also calls for creating a publicly accessible online database that lists all U.S. stations as well as all entities that have received notice that they are operating a broadcast radio station without authority.

This week the PIRATE Act cleared yet another hurdle when members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation voted unanimously to support S.R. 1228 and refer it to the full Senate for a vote. Illegal pirate radio continues to be a problem in New Jersey and New York, Rotella said.

An identical version of this bill, H.R. 583, passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.

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The post PIRATE Act a Good First Step But More Needed, NJBA Says appeared first on Radio World.

NAB: Time to Look Closely at All-Digital HD Radio

Radio World - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 13:43

It’s time for the Federal Communications Commission to formally look into allowing AM radio stations to voluntarily (and solely) broadcast in all-digital, so says the National Association of Broadcasters.

The NAB supports the comments submitted by Bryan Broadcasting, which asked the commission to initiate a proceeding that would look at allowing AM stations to solely operate in the MA3 all-digital mode of HD Radio service. According to a May 13 filing by the NAB, such a service would “provide substantially improved sound quality that could help AM stations to retain and attract listeners in the increasingly competitive audio marketplace.”

According to NAB, the combination of industry interest, experimental testing and real-world implementation of all-digital AM means the commission should consider revamping rules in a way that could help facilitate broadcasters’ voluntary transition to all-digital AM service.

[Read: FCC Wants Your Input on Digital-Only AM Proposal]

In March, Bryan Broadcasting Corp. asked the commission to initiate a proceeding to authorize an all-digital mode of HD Radio for interested AM radio stations. According to its petition, this kind of modernization would give AM broadcasters a “needed innovative tool with which to compete” without impairing other competitors in either the broadcasting or general spectrum-usage ecosystem.

The NAB filing detailed the technical challenges facing broadcasters, ranging from the proliferation of noise-causing devices like fluorescent light bulbs, computer monitors and other Part 15 devices. This higher noise floor is causing pervasive interference to AM radio stations, the NAB said.

“In turn, AM listenership and station revenue have significantly declined and show few signs of recovery,” the NAB said. “As [Bryan Broadcasting] explains, a voluntary transition to all-digital AM service could help to reverse this trend by enabling broadcasters to provide a pristine signal, free of the interference that plagues analog AM service and deters listeners.”

The NAB submission is part of a record of commentary from the industry on the issue.

Radio World recently published an ebook on the question “What’s Next for All-Digital AM?” Ben Downs of Bryan Broadcasting was among those commenting in that publication; the ebook includes comments from skeptics as well along with reviewing some of the obstacles to possible implementation.

Comments on the issue can be found in the FCC’s ECFS database using Media Bureau docket RN-11836.

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The post NAB: Time to Look Closely at All-Digital HD Radio appeared first on Radio World.

Global Radio Guide Now Available

Radio World - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01

Teak Publishing has released the 12th edition (Summer 2019) of the “Global Radio Guide” electronic book.

Available on Amazon, the book, formerly known as the “International Shortwave Broadcast Guide,” provides readers with this summer’s 24-hour schedule and frequency information for “selected medium wave and all known long- and shortwave” radio stations.

Author Gayle Van Horn (W4GVH) says it also lists hourly schedules that includes all language services, frequencies and world target areas for more than 500 stations, as well as specifying DX radio programs and internet website addresses for many of the stations in the book.

New for the 12th edition is a “Summer 2019 Propagation Forecast,” written by international radio propagation expert, Tomas Hood (NW7US). In this feature, Hood looks at summer radio conditions and the new solar cycle.

Also, Gayle and Larry Van Horn have teamed up to pen a story on monitoring the Venezuelan political crisis, including broadcast and military frequencies.

Other articles in this edition include a feature on summer radio programming by Fred Waterer and an article detailing an “easy home-brew antenna support construction,” written by Richard Fisher.

In addition, Larry Van Horn looks at “Who’s Who in the Shortwave Radio Spectrum,” which is designed to assist the reader in monitoring global radio activity outside the broadcast radio spectrum. According to Van Horn, the article also provides an updated Teak Publishing HF 1000+ non-broadcast frequency list.

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The Global Radio Guide electronic book is available worldwide from Amazon and their various international websites at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R81NJHD/.

The price for this latest edition is US$8.48.

The post Global Radio Guide Now Available appeared first on Radio World.

What Is Radio’s Value in 2019 and Beyond?

Radio World - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 09:28

What should the role of radio in our connected world be? And what should your business do now to be part of that?

Those questions are explored in a 37-page paper released in March by a working group of the North American Broadcasters Association titled “The Value Proposition of Radio in a Connected World” and discussed in a session at the Broadcast Engineering & IT Conference at the NAB Show.

The paper makes for thoughtful reading by anyone interested in the overall direction of the radio industry and how it uses technical platforms. What follows is a summary of its major points based on my reading of the document and attending the session.

According to the authors, the paper, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/NABA2019, is intended to help radio broadcasters protect their market position and capitalize on their strengths — but also to consider “strategic adjustments” in the face of technical and market changes. It is intended to  “address thoughts about the North American radio industry, including major issues facing practitioners in Canada, Mexico and the United States.”

The primary contributors were NPR Vice President of Distribution Michael Beach; TagStation and Broadcaster Traffic Consortium President Paul Brenner of Emmis Communications; Xperi Corp. Executive Director Broadcast Business Development Jeff Detweiler; Emmis Director of Broadcast Engagement Michael Englebrecht; NABA Senior Coordinator, Committees Jenn Hadfield; NAB Vice President, Advanced Engineering David Layer; and NPR Senior Director, Strategic Planning Maryfran Tyler.

Organizations also contributing insights included HERE Technologies, Corus Entertainment, Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Bell Canada and Entercom.

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

First, note that in the context of this paper, “radio” encompasses both over-the-air and online technologies. “If content is king, distribution is queen” was declared early in both the paper and the session.

Radio’s preeminent position in the dashboard of nearly every North American car accounts for much of OTA radio’s success. However, the “allure of new markets and products” delivered via IP (especially mobile broadband) compels broadcasters to accept IP as well.

In doing so, there are two important considerations:

  • Distribution costs and quality of service will have an effect on the continuing rollout of IP-based services
  • And perhaps more important, “If local broadcasters cede the airwaves, they lose the market limitations imposed by the FCC barriers to entry, and the ability to easily differentiate themselves from the masses of ‘internet radio’ broadcasters.”

After all, radio (and TV) licenses are effectively “franchises” limited by government policy. Even if the value of that franchise diminishes over time, there’s no reason to give it up in the foreseeable future.

To maintain the value of radio (in both physical media), the paper presents several ideas and technologies.

ONE-TO-MANY CONTENT

OTA radio excels in the one-to-many distribution model, and the paper suggests that many new mobile technologies being developed can actually be accomplished in the same fashion.

“While many functions require a bidirectional communications path, a significant portion of the data burden could be off-loaded to broadcast radio by doing what the frequency band does best: delivering one-to-many content,” the paper states.

We already realize that information can be transmitted efficiently utilizing a data network over in-band, on-channel digital FM or even the Radio Data System digital subcarrier over analog FM. And, as the paper states, “A significant advantage of digital radio is the ability to simultaneously deliver continuous content of both audio programming and data.”

Many mobile infotainment systems employ multiple receivers that scan and aggregate data from multiple broadcasts. “Broadcasters will have the opportunity to leverage station apps in the connected car to derive and ingest listener profiles for automated presets and infotainment preference.”

BEYOND INFOTAINMENT

We also need to look outside of the world of “infotainment.”

“As digital radio’s presence continues to grow, the technology becomes a logical avenue to extend power grid load management, established initially with analog RDS digital FM subcarrier services,” the paper states.

“As the connected car and autonomous vehicles become reality, road infrastructure updates will become a mainstay of one-to-many data delivery. Updates for digital signage, traffic flow, weather, road conditions and fuel prices are great applications of radio-delivered, geographically limited data,” it continues.

“IBOC digital, when compared to RDS subcarriers, affords significant benefits in throughput, integration capability and signal availability. It could also become an additional revenue source to stations.”

Skeptics wonder why companies would consider “old-fashioned” radio broadcasts when inexpensive unlicensed links abound. According to the paper, “WiFi connectivity is particularly susceptible to localized interference. While not completely immune to interference, digital FM radio has the advantage of higher signal-to-noise ratios, therefore making it more robust. Higher-power signals and digital carrier redundancy afford a higher reliability of service and better building penetration than cellular.”

METADATA AND THE CONNECTED CAR

Metadata includes more than just title and artist information. It is now often the means by which a listener can be presented with graphics associated with programming. Research presented in this paper indicates that enhanced data sharing substantially increases listening hours.

Fig 1: Emmis Broadcasting shared information gathered from the NextRadio app, showing greater listener engagement thanks to the broadcast of dynamic metadata. “Enhanced content means more listening,” the report states.

Emmis Broadcasting shared information gathered from its NextRadio platform, showing greater listener engagement related to the broadcast of dynamic metadata (see Fig. 1).

“Listeners spent more time with stations that supplied at least a static logo, than those that did not. Listeners spent even more time with stations supplying dynamic metadata than those that only supplied static metadata,” according to the paper.

In addition, radio station apps could include “clickable” buttons by which the listener could access additional information about the programming, such as a website, or to sites related to content, providing a new potential revenue source.

[What’s on the Docket for NABA in 2019?]

Hybrid radio refers to the convergence of broadcast and IP technology, and makes even more thorough use of the connected car. According to the paper, the development of hybrid radio provides the following benefits to radio broadcasters:

  • Better integration of OTA radio and metadata received via the internet
  • Support for “service following,” whereby a hybrid radio receiver switches from the OTA signal to a streamed version of the same program as reception conditions permit
  • Keeping broadcast as an important media choice in the minds of not only users but of OEM manufacturers

Automobiles that include network connectivity (whether it is native or brought in by a driver or passenger) are thought of as connected cars. The nature of the broadband connection allows users to interact with and select more sources of content; and likewise, broadband affords a means by which the service source can gain data about the listener.

“User-analytics is a large, competitive and important industry that is beyond the scope of this document, but content providers can profit in many ways from information about numbers and locations of listeners,” according to the paper.

The paper makes recommendations regarding digital audio, non-broadcast audio, “proximity,” hybrid radio, metadata, connected cars and business strategies. See the accompanying box for a summary of NABA’s recommendations. It also offers an interesting “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis” of radio that’s worth reading.

There’s a lot there, so I recommend you take the time to read the entire paper, which you can download at https://tinyurl.com/NABA2019.

NABA RECOMMENDS

Among the recommendations of the NABA working group:

  • Radio station management should take steps to offer content generated by the station(s) or station groups (networks) through as many technological media forms as possible.
  • FM radio stations should at a minimum adopt static RDS tools to enhance listener experience.
  • It is the opinion of the work group that radio stations should adopt at least static metadata, but preferably dynamic metadata.
  • Stations should strongly consider adopting HD Radio hybrid IBOC mode per the NABA position paper on a Voluntary North American Digital Radio Standard.
  • Management of radio stations and networks should support the work of NAB and others in working with automakers to maintain the prominence of radio in the vehicle and to improve radio’s functionality by supporting hybrid radio technologies.
  • The management of radio stations and networks should immediately begin supporting internet-based content for use by hybrid radio receivers. Strong broadcaster support is vital for adoption of hybrid radio technology, especially with automakers.

The post What Is Radio’s Value in 2019 and Beyond? appeared first on Radio World.

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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 20:00
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PIRATE Act Makes Progress in Senate

Radio World - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 14:16

The PIRATE Act has cleared yet another hurdle. Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation voted unanimously Wednesday to support S.R. 1228 and refer it to the full Senate for a vote.

In response to the passage, National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith released a statement saying, “NAB thanks the Senate Commerce Committee for unanimously passing the PIRATE Act. The bill would better equip the FCC to combat pirate radio operations that interfere with legal broadcasts and pose a threat to air traffic control communications. We appreciate the leadership of Sens. [Steve] Daines and [Gary] Peters on this issue and strongly urge Senate passage of the PIRATE Act.”

[Broadcast Associations Urge Senate Leadership to Pass PIRATE Act]

New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan also thanked the committee and said, “With this unanimous vote, we move another step closer to giving the FCC the tools it needs to address the growing illegal pirate radio problem. Illegal pirate radio continues to be a problem in New York. They interfere with airport communications and Emergency Alert Services. Illegal stations disregard all FCC and consumer protection laws. While the FCC has increased its enforcement efforts, additional tools are needed to address this vexing problem.”

[Six Things Broadcasters Should Know About the PIRATE Act]

An identical version of this bill, H.R. 583, passed the House of Representatives unanimously earlier this year. However, the bill was previously introduced to the 115th Congress in July 2018, and it stalled there. Broadcast associations appear to have more hope for progress in the 116th Congress.

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Cornelius Gould Joins Futuri Media

Radio World - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 12:15

Cleveland-based SaaS technology developer Futuri Media has tapped an audio processing guru to serve as senior vice president of R&D and innovation.

Cornelius “Corny” Gould will tackle the newly created role, which Futuri says will involve “leading the development of new Futuri products, performing research and testing on product concepts, and continuously evolving the feature set and design of Futuri’s suite of audience engagement and sales intelligence solutions.”

In the announcement, Gould summed up his mandate: “My mission at Futuri is to launch features and products that will take our partners to new heights of success.”

[Virtual Roundtable: Trends in Processing]

Gould’s most recent claim to fame is co-creating the Telos Alliance’s Omnia.11 audio processor. He served as senior algorithm developer and was a Telos employee for 11 years. Prior to that, Gould founded a streaming company and worked as an engineer for CBS Radio.

“Corny has a deep passion for innovation in the broadcast technology space and beyond,” said Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig. “He consistently thinks beyond the limits of today’s technology into the future. His track record speaks for itself, and we look forward to innovating and developing solutions for the next generation of broadcasters and content creators.”

[Buyer’s Guide to Processors: Omnia.11 — “Hearing It in the Air Tonight”]

For the past 25 years, Gould has also volunteered for educational and noncommercial broadcasters. He also hosts “The Rocketry Show” podcast, which highlights his enthusiasm for amateur rocketry.

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Calrec Taps Andy Birkinshaw

Radio World - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 08:56

To develop its European sales reach, Calrec has appointed Andy Birkinshaw as international sales manager, effective immediately.

Birkinshaw, who is based at the Calrec headquarters in Hebden Bridge, England, is managing the firm’s broadcast sales in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Sweden. According to the company, Birkinshaw’s goal is to help Calrec establish these markets and to grow the overall business.

Andy Birkinshaw

Birkinshaw has 30 years of sales experience across the broadcast, studio and live production industries in the U.K. and other parts of Europe. Before joining Calrec, he held the position of sales and marketing/tour manager at Diane Shaw Partnership for 15 years.

Prior to this, he worked as European sales manager for AMEK/TAC/Rupert Neve covering sales of large format audio consoles and sales director at Concert Systems Ltd.

[Read: NAB Exhibitor Viewpoint: Henry Goodman, Calrec Audio]

“Andy’s wealth of technical experience in live event production and studios, coupled with his rich history and varied skillset in the professional audio industry make him the ideal fit for this job,” said Dave Letson, V.P. of sales at Calrec.

“As the industry evolves, this level of technical knowledge and experience is crucial. Andy’s keen understanding makes him an incredible asset to Calrec and our customers around the world.”

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Podcast #193: Wavefarm, Reveil and Transmission Arts

Radio Survivor - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 02:59

Wave Farm Executive Director Galen Joseph-Hunter joins us to talk about transmission arts at Wave Farm and beyond. We discuss Wave Farm’s recently co-presented Reveil, SoundCamp’s live 24-hour broadcast of the sounds of daybreak, sourced from open microphones from around the world. Additionally, Joseph-Hunter gives us the scoop on the new Radio Artist Fellowship at […]

The post Podcast #193: Wavefarm, Reveil and Transmission Arts appeared first on Radio Survivor.

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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 20:00
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Chicago Translator Concerns

Radio World - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 14:05

The author is owner of WGTO(AM) and W246DV(FM), South Bend. Ind. He has been in radio since 1965. His commentaries on radio issues such as those facing AM owners are a recurring feature. Read his past articles by searching for “Langford.”

W236CF is an FM translator located high atop Chicago’s Willis Tower with a highly directional antenna and 60 watts ERP. Don’t let the 60 watts fool you. With its antenna at 1,417 feet it is no slouch and covers more than half of Chicago and some suburbs with its 50 dBu contour. The translator was purchased along with W236CG at the west edge of Chicago with 250 watts at 146 feet. The two translators operate in sync to provide a very impressive coverage area. Purchase price for the pair $3.5 million.

Using the HD2 signal of WLEY(FM), the pair are on the air as “Club Steppin’” and cater to African-American listeners looking for a particular adult style of music not found on full power Chicago analog stations.

But the future of the translator twins  may be in jeopardy based on the new interference rules passed by the FCC.

The 95.1 MHz frequency is also home to WIIL(FM) a 50,000 watt Class B licensed to Union Grove, Wis. It puts out a good signal from Milwaukee to Chicago.

The 45 dBu interference limit contour of WIIL actually encompasses the Willis Tower site of W236CF in Chicago, as well as the transmitter site of W236CG just outside Chicago in Elmwood Park. WIIL or “Will-Rock” as it’s called, enjoyed a very listenable signal over  most of Chicago until “Club Steppin’” severely impacted Chicago coverage.

Sources tell me that WIIL was already working on a complaint filing under the old interference rules.

Meeting the complaint minimum might not be hard with thousands of households affected by the interference area. W236CF and W236CG already use very tight directional antennas away from WIIL(FM). Since both antennas are inside the 45 dBu contour of WIIL, the only solutions that appear to be available would be moving farther away from WIIL or changing frequency. With 95.1 being used by other stations south of Chicago, moving farther out is not a good option. And with FM congestion so severe in Chicago, a frequency change that would still allow the coverage from Willis Tower might be impossible. And the pairing of the two translators might be impossible to maintain if one can change frequency and the other cannot. Without the super height of a downtown skyscraper,  W236CF’s commercial viability is in serious jeopardy along with the multimillion dollar investment.

Anytime a translator can be shoehorned into a market like Chicago at 1,400 feet downtown , it’s an engineering accomplishment. But it remains to be seen  if “Club Steppin’” can stand the challenge or will the multimillion dollar investment be the first casualty of the FCC’s new interference regs. Stay tuned!

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FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 21:00
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Washington Becomes 11th State with Formal First Informer Status

Radio World - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 15:26

More and more broadcasters are playing a larger role when it comes to responding to emergencies now that Washington state has signed a new first informer broadcast bill.

The decision makes Washington the 11th state in the country to pass such legislation. The bill was a culmination of three years of efforts by broadcasters, the Washington State Association of Broadcasters (WSAB) and the state’s Emergency Management Division to ensure broadcasters can gain access to transmitter and studio facilities during time of a declared emergency.

The bill was unanimously passed through both chambers of the Washington state legislature before being signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in late April.

[Read: Share This Clip if You Love Local Radio]

To participate in the program, broadcast technicians must be registered as a First Informer Broadcaster as part of the Washington Business Re-Entry System. They will then have authorization to access to their studio and transmitter facilities to restore broadcast operations and disseminate safety and recovery information to listeners and viewers.

Broadcasters are still required to follow the direction of incident commanders as it relates to safety issues in declared emergency zones. Key language in the bill prohibits authorities from confiscating resources — fuel, food, water and other essential materials — brought to the site by a first informer broadcaster, WSAB said.

“This legislation is really impactful for broadcasters,” said Janene Drafs, chairwoman of the board of WSAB. “Access to our transmitter sites and studio facilities during time of emergency allows us to broadcast important safety and recovery information to the communities we serve across the state of Washington.”

A mini documentary that aired during the National Association of Broadcasters’ State Leadership Conference in February details the role that local radio and television broadcasters serve as first informers during times of emergency. This film focuses on broadcasters’ response to Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, which hit the southeastern U.S. in the fall of 2018, causing evacuations and billions of dollars in property damage. It showcases footage of the storm as well as “examples of broadcasters’ valiant efforts to provide life-saving emergency information and community assistance,” wrote NAB Senior Vice President of Communications Ann Marie Cumming in a blog post about the video.

Other states with first informer legislation include Missouri, which voted in 2016 to give broadcasters priority in restoring, repairing or resupplying facilities following a disaster in 2016. That bill, known as SB 732, established a program for training and certifying broadcast engineers and technical personnel to allow them to act as first informer broadcasters if the need arises. The Washington legislation is similar to the Oregon State First Informer Bill that was passed in 2015.

Changes to the “Robert T. Stafford Relief and Emergency Assistance Act” in 2018, part of a federal appropriations bill, furthered the issue. The bill included language updating the definition of those essential service providers who have access to disaster areas during federally declared emergencies. Mobile telephone service, internet access service, radio or television broadcasting, cable service or direct broadcast satellite service are now considered essential service providers, according to the document, allowing them to gain access to vital infrastructure, including transmitter sites, when disaster hits.

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SBE Issues Reminder For C Band Dish Users To Register

Radio World - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 14:01

There is less than three weeks until C Band operators are required to submit information on their use of C Band receive-only station as part of a public notice by the FCC. The Society of Broadcast Engineers has issued a friendly reminder for all of those who may still be outstanding on that request.

The public notice calls for operators of fixed-satellite Earth stations in the C Band that are licensed or registered in the IBFS database must certify the accuracy of all information reflected in the IBFS on their licenses or registrations. However, as the SBE points out, new or modified licenses filed in the C Band filing window of April 19, 2018, to Oct. 31, 2018, are not required to submit certification.

For the rest of the FSS earth station operators — including temporary-fixed or transportable earth stations — certifications must be provided in the form mandated by the FCC. Information required includes call signs, file numbers, applicant or registrant name and a signed certification statement. Temporary-fixed or transportable stations must submit additional information: address where equipment is typically stored; the area in which the equipment is typically used; how often equipment is used; duration of typical use; number of transponders typically used in the C Band; extent of use; and a point of contact.

All earth-station operations, even those exempt from the filing requirement, must update their information in IBFS.

The public notice can be found on the FCC website.

Deadline for submitting information is May 28.

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