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HC2 Station Group, Inc. v. DIRECTV, LLC

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 20:00
Granted HC2's Request for Dismissal of Mandatory Carriage Complaint


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 20:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 20:00

Broadcast Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 20:00

Lincs FM Group Updates Studios With AEQ, Dante AoIP Tech

Radio World - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 18:00

With a move to a new location already on tap, Lincs FM in the United Kingdom recently updated six of its studios with audio over IP equipment from AEQ and Dante.

Working with service provider Broadcast Radio, Lincs FM installed a Forum IP Split consoles that uses Dante AoIP Network signals and works with a central Routing Network Matrix Netbox 32 MX.

All signals in the studio, except for “local” microphone inputs, are exclusively in Dante and are concentrated to/from the Netbox 32 MX. The Netbox system provides 64×64 channels program and antennae matrix at the same time as it interconnects all the studios in the network.

As a result of the flexibility of the installation, all signals in the network can be shared with any studio. Routing and summing of all network signals is done through the Netbox 32 MX, which can be executed either manually or automatically from any mixing console or with the stations group also newly acquired Myriad 5 Playout automation system. Additional features like alarms and level monitoring are also possible through the Netbox platform.

Lincs FM is now operating out of a new studio complex facility that also houses Dearne FM, Ridings FM, Rother FM and Trax FM.

The post Lincs FM Group Updates Studios With AEQ, Dante AoIP Tech appeared first on Radio World.

O’Rielly Tells MBA “We Are Playing a Long Game” Against Pirate Operators

Radio World - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 16:40

Illegal broadcasting and media modernization continue to be top of mind at the Federal Communications Commission, as evidenced by recent remarks delivered by FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly when he addressed the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association’s annual Sound Bites event. His speech centered on pirate radio, payola concerns and media modernization efforts, among other policy updates of interest to broadcasters.

O’Rielly noted the spread of illegal radio stations from large to smaller markets, in addition to ever-increasing sophistication on the part of unregulated operators. He said the commission is “playing a long game here, and there is reason to be optimistic,” especially now that “Senate passage of the PIRATE Act is imminent.”

[Read: NYSBA Honors Native Son O’Rielly as New Yorker of the Year]

He explained that the PIRATE Act’s fine increases are meant not only to punish offenders, but to make sure these cases get on the radar of the Department of Justice. Additionally, O’Rielly said the act will speed up and streamline the commission’s timeline to file notices of apparent liability for pirates. He also cited the forthcoming list of licensed radio operators (required by the PIRATE Act) as another enforcement tool, one which citizens and advertisers can use to distinguish between legitimate stations and savvy pirates.

However, O’Rielly conceded that legislation alone won’t eradicate the problem, so the commission is “also deploying state of the art technology to make it very difficult for pirates to escape scrutiny.”

O’Rielly also addressed the issue of payola as it relates to the current broadcast laws and streaming. The practice was outlawed in 1960, and O’Rielly said he plans to explore whether the issue persists or if record companies have instituted policies that prevent the bribery — and if so, what are these safeguards.

Payola is a legacy regulation, and he questioned whether it might not fall under the umbrella of Chairman Pai’s Media Modernization initiative. But until the issue is addressed, O’Rielly pointed out, “there will continue to be two different sets of rules based on whether listeners tune in over-the-air or stream programming online.”

In his speech, O’Rielly also proposed “a guaranteed right at license renewal for a station to supplement its Issues Programming List” in order to make the documents less “over-inclusive” out of fear. O’Rielly acknowledged the Media Bureau’s efforts to help stations come into or stay in compliance, but indicated he believes this formalized system makes more sense.

The post O’Rielly Tells MBA “We Are Playing a Long Game” Against Pirate Operators appeared first on Radio World.

Walter Benjamin diary: on earthquakes and radio time

Radio Survivor - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 14:54

“Have you ever had to wait for a prescription at the pharmacy, and watched it being made? Gram by gram or decigram by decigram, the pharmacist weighs out all the substances and powders needed for the finished medicine on a scale with very delicate weights.”

So began Walter Benjamin’s October 31, 1931 Radio Berlin  broadcast, the subject of which was an earthquake, of all things. How, you might ask, did he get from his rather pedestrian question about powders and pills to the Great Lisbon Earthquake of November 1, 1775?

“I feel like a pharmacist when I tell you my stories in my radio broadcast,” Benjamin continued. “My weights are the minutes, and I have to weigh them with great precision, so many of these, so many of those, to get the balance right.”

You see, he explained, if he just described the earthquake one incident after the next, “I doubt you’ll find it very amusing.”

‘Amusing?’ I exclaimed to myself after reading those words. Who expected me to be amused by one of the worst temblors in history? But Benjamin was  explaining his sense of the nature of radio, a medium that he felt  did not have the time to narrate events like a history book. It had to get to the point. And the Lisbon Earthquake of 1771 had not one point, Benjamin thought, but four.

A representation of the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1775

First, he continued, we remember the quake not just for its size, but that it destroyed what was then one of the greatest cities in history. Portugal in the mid-18th century was one of the colonial powers. Not until the 1960s and 1970s would it finally lose its holdings in India and Africa. “The destruction of Lisbon at the time would be comparable to the destruction of Chicago or London today,” Benjamin noted.

Second, people experienced the catastrophe all over Europe and Africa. It was felt in Finland. It was felt in what is now Indonesia. “The strongest tremors ranged from the coast of Morocco on one side to the coasts of Andalusia and France on the other,” Benjamin disclosed. “The cities of Cadiz, Jerez, and Algeciras were almost completely destroyed.”

Third, eye witnesses from the time insisted that all kinds of strange natural phenomenon preceded the catastrophe: hurricanes, cloudbursts, floods, and “massive of worms emerging from the earth.”

Fourth, we have generations of observers chronicling and remembering the quake in pamphlets that they distributed as long as 150 years after the fact. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant collected accounts of the fateful day. An Englishman wrote a lengthy description of his flight from his Lisbon apartment to a cemetery that he thought might be safer.

“From the hill of the cemetery I was then witness to a horrific spectacle: on the ocean, as far as eye could see, countless ships surged with the waves, crashing into one another as if a massive storm were raging. All of a sudden the huge seaside pier sank, along with all the people who believed they would be safe there. The boats and vehicles so many people used to seek rescue fell into the sea.”

Benjamin served up all this information, I should add, for a children’s radio show. I guess he decided that the kiddies needed a good scare that Saturday morning. But what I find most intriguing is the author’s sense of radio time. “So much for that fate day, November 1, 1775,” Benjamin concluded. “The calamity it brought is one of the few that mankind still faces as helplessly now as one hundred seventy years ago. . . . My twenty minutes have come to an end. I hope that they did not pass too soon.”

For Walter Benjamin, chronological time and radio time were two different phenomena, and the later literally had no time for the former.

This the fourth installation of my Walter Benjamin radio diary.

The post Walter Benjamin diary: on earthquakes and radio time appeared first on Radio Survivor.


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 21:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 21:00

Broadcast Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 21:00


FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 21:00

Media Bureau Announces that After December 17, 2019, Television Broadcasters Will No Longer Be Able to Amend Existing or File New Quarterly Children's Television Programing Reports

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 21:00
After December 17, 2019, television broadcasters will no longer be able to amend existing or file new quarterly children's television programing reports

GIK Acoustics Adds Acoustic Foam Option

Radio World - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 18:51

Acoustic treatment manufacturer GIK Acoustics has introduced an acoustic foam option for its Impression Series and Alpha Series room treatments.

Both the Impression and Alpha Series of acoustic panels utilize front plates with designs cut into them to both absorb low-to-mid frequencies while diffusing high frequencies simultaneously.

[Check Out More Products at Radio World’s Products Section]

Available in squares measuring 23.5 inches x 23.5 inches and 2.25 inches-thick, the newly added acoustic foam option was characterized as “lightweight, versatile, affordable, and effective” by Glenn Kuras, president of GIK Acoustics.

The Impression Series is available in a dozen patterns, while the Alpha Series is available in three mathematical patterns and five different plate finishes.

Info: www.gikacoustics.com


The post GIK Acoustics Adds Acoustic Foam Option appeared first on Radio World.

Community Broadcaster: All-Podcast Radio

Radio World - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 17:54

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

The recent announcement by a London radio station that it will build its full schedule from podcasts certainly garnered some attention. It comes not many months since iHeartMedia’s announcement over the summer that its stations would broadcast some of the company’s podcast properties.

If you’re a media company, these moves make sense. Since podcasts are the hot commodity at the moment — it stands to reason that radio wants to grab some of that attention. What’s stopping community radio from making more of its broadcasts to be podcast-first propositions too?

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Money Moves]

To be clear, there are a few stations that do the preproduction work typically associated with podcasting and use the finished mixdowns in their broadcast schedules. Richmond’s low-power FM station WRIR pops to mind as a station that has done this successfully. A few other stations, like WXPR, create podcasts that are aired at times. Community radio podcasting, in this regard, is not unheard of.

What are the obstacles to a community radio station going all podcast?

A station must overcome the structural issues it would have to deal with. Podcast production is a lot of work, and producing 168 hours a week of quality local podcasts is no small feat. A station could partner with local podcasters, but there are still particular broadcast and federal regulations to follow, should such podcasts become broadcast material. Rules around payola, indecency, plugola, obscenity and lobbying are just a few areas podcasters have far more latitude than a noncommercial educational broadcaster. There’s orientation and training, as well as quality assurance for everything on air. Such a commitment is not impossible. A community radio station going all-podcast could experience a unique set of challenges.

As an extension of local partnerships, and beyond, a station could opt to just air podcasts it finds online. Obtaining permission to air their work, and ensuring all podcasts meet broadcast regulations, are issues to be considered, though.

In a few other instances, whether community radio stations air all or even a few podcasts may be a cultural question. Over time, I have gotten the impression that some stations believe their brand and what people look to them for is live radio. While I think that opinion is a stretch — how much of the public, frankly, can ascertain live radio from the dozens of prerecorded “live” spots commercial radio has exposed them to for years? — the belief in live radio as “a thing” a community radio station is known for is not an isolated opinion. Implicit here may be the idea that podcasts sound polished while live radio sounds rougher, more organic or more like what longtime listeners associate with community radio.

I gently suggest that sounding less than top-flight may not be something to aspire to, however. Public tastes have grown sophisticated, across many generations and demographics. People expect more these days. A raw sound we may think is community radio may not be as appealing to others. Moreover, I can hear that aesthetic on YouTube, Instagram Live and Facebook. We may not be able to hang our hats on the “radio” sound anymore.

Podcasts to broadcasts are done in limited ways in community radio today. The barriers to greater adoption may lie in costs and having the necessary staffing. Yet the moves happening in other media, and the natural fit local podcasts and local community radio could have, should inspire all of us to dream bigger.

The post Community Broadcaster: All-Podcast Radio appeared first on Radio World.

Construction Extension Request Denied Despite Hurricane Impact

Radio World - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 17:19

A Florida FM station’s CP extension request was denied after the station failed to properly prove its construction efforts were impeded by Hurricane Michael.

Back in May 2015, the Federal Communications Commission granted a construction permit to Florida Community Radio, permittee of WRBD(FM) in Horseshoe Beach, Fla., for a three-year-term expiring in May 2018. In April of that year, FCR filed a request to extend the date of its construction permit deadline by arguing that construction was delayed due to Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Also, due to the FCCs recent elimination of the main studio rule, FCR argued that it no longer would be required to build a main studio in Horseshoe Beach. Instead, it requested to apply for a studio-to-transmitter link license to deliver content from its new main studio location to the transmitter site. The Media Bureau agreed and extended the waiver of the construction permit by six months to November 2018.

[Read: FCC to Two AM Licensees: Pay Fees or Nixed Licenses Could Be Next]

Then came hurricane Number 2. In October 2018, FCR requested a second tolling based on construction delays caused by Hurricane Michael, which landed near Horseshoe Beach in October 2018. The bureau granted that request and extended the permit another six months.

FCR then asked for additional construction time to perform a structural analysis through a Request for Extension for Tolling. The station wanted to perform an analysis to determine whether to place its power lines underground instead of on a power pole and to determine the impact of a future storm on the station’s antenna.

But before agreeing, the Media Bureau asked for more specific information regarding construction delays. It wanted to see a direct connection between Hurricane Michael and the permittee’s inability to construct the station. But according to the bureau, no detailed information was forthcoming from FCR.

As a result, the bureau denied additional tolling for FCR to conduct the requested studies.

The reason? The bureau said that FCR failed to demonstrate that delay in construction was directly related to the prior storm. It also said that any electrical service studies should have taken place earlier. Plus, the bureau noted that any type of Act of God encumbrance, like a hurricane, only applies when the permittee can demonstrate that construction progress was impossible.

In a follow up response, the licensee said — for the first time — that Hurricanes Irma and Michael prevented construction of the station because they created long wait times for contractors to construct the facility. But the lateness of that response led to the bureau dismissing the petition because “it relies on new arguments not previously presented to the bureau,” the commission said.

In addition, the bureau only considers petitions for reconsideration when the petitioner shows either an error in the original order or raises new facts not known or existing at the time. “Here, FCR has neither demonstrated that the [bureau] erred in denying tolling to conduct studies on the effect of future storms, nor provided additional facts that were not known at the time of FCR’s [request].”

As a result, the bureau denied FCR’s petition.


The post Construction Extension Request Denied Despite Hurricane Impact appeared first on Radio World.

Jim Natoli’s Lifelong Love Was Radio

Radio World - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:59

When we saw a photo of Jim Natoli’s radio-themed headstone, Radio World asked contributor Dan Slentz to find out more about the man it memorializes.

The late Jim Natoli.

Nestled in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, are the twin communities of Uhrichsville and Dennison. Here stands an AM/FM station built by a broadcast engineer.

The local industry was clay pipe; and the engineer was Ignasio Natoli, whom everyone called Jim. He was a first-generation American; his mom and dad came from Sicily.

Jim served during World War II as an Army staff sergeant in the Signal Corps, then attended Akron University; he also worked in the FCC’s Detroit office administering tests and with regional administration.

In the 1950s, according to family members, Jim took a job as a cameraman at WKYC(TV) in Cleveland; he eventually graduated to engineer over his 30 years there.

Meanwhile, in 1959, Jim and his mother Mary formed Tuscarawas Broadcasting Company with the hopes of putting an AM radio station in their community. After nearly four years, they succeeded in launching 1540 WBTC, which stood for Wonderful Beautiful Tuscarawas County. Jim continued to work for the TV station, commuting that hour drive from home in Uhrichsville and his AM station, and his other job in Cleveland.

WBTC’s building as seen in 1963. It looks much the same today.

In 1970, Jim added 95.9 FM to the AM station, with the call letters WNPQ, which stood for New Philadelphia Quakers. The station was licensed to nearby New Philadelphia; the Quakers was the team name for the high school sports.

Jim retired from WKYC in the early ’80s but continued to manage his AM and FM station with the love and passion of a parent. He never married nor had kids, so these stations were truly his love. He continued to work at them until 2016 when he turned 98; he was a daily part of their operation until an injury put him in assisted living. Jim recruited some relatives and trusted friends to keep the station running.

When he died, Jim Natoli’s niece paid tribute to her uncle through the design of a unique headstone.

He passed away just short of his 99th birthday, which would have been July 4, 2017. His relatives were willed the station and have taken on the responsibility of keeping WBTC and WNPQ on the air and growing with a small staff. The stations carry classic hits and Christian programming, respectively. Jim’s dream continues to this day.

When he died, Jim Natoli’s niece paid tribute to her uncle through the design of a unique headstone appropriate for a man who lived a life dedicated to his radio love, WBTC(AM) and WNPQ(FM).

Got an idea for a story in Radio World? Many of our best articles were prompted by reader ideas. Email Editor in Chief Paul McLane at radioworld@futurenet.com.

The post Jim Natoli’s Lifelong Love Was Radio appeared first on Radio World.

College Radio Watch: Music Discovery, New Station and More News

Radio Survivor - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 08:00

There have been radical changes in music distribution and consumption in the past few decades, which has certainly altered the college radio experience. A piece in the Independent Florida Alligator at University of Florida, “From Mixtapes to Algorithms: How Listening to Music on Campus has Changed,” states:

The way students discover music has evolved and would now be unrecognizable to those who once relied on college radio for new music. Students’ options today are limitless, and this has had an effect on the way students listen to and discover music. College radio stations previously maintained the supreme status of the ‘cool’ place to discover new music recommended by in-the-know students.

It points out that the current student-oriented radio station at University of Florida, GHQ, “…aims to be an all-encompassing music listening experience,” adding that, “Unfortunately, even the most popular radio stations on XM cannot introduce to the masses new music in the way a viral meme can. Just ask Denzel Curry or Lil Nas X.”

While I can’t verify if viral memes are the ultimate music discovery tool; it is true that students are learning about music from myriad sources, both on and offline. The piece also notes that “In a world where you can find everything online, the best way to discover new music may still be recommendations from your friends.” Interestingly, that’s also the reason that college radio continues to be an excellent place for music discovery, particularly at stations with DJs who curate their own playlists. Those radio show hosts are similar to trusted friends and help many people learn about intriguing artists, even in 2019.

More College Radio News New Station, Audio Production Club, and Station Revival College Radio and Music Culture Profiles of Stations Listeners Events Programming Funding and Infrastructure College Radio in Popular Culture History and Anniversaries Alumni Awards and Accolades

The post College Radio Watch: Music Discovery, New Station and More News appeared first on Radio Survivor.