Industry News

Resurrected FM Goes From ‘R.I.P.’ To TPR

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 11:00

In August, a coed, Catholic Benedictine boarding and day school for students grades 9-12 along Narragansett Bay surrendered its license for its 360-watt Class A FM, ending student-run programming that could be heard in nearby Bristol and in Fall River, Mass.

A change of heart came earlier this month, however, and the private school rescinded its request. Its license was restored. But, it has nothing to do with Portsmouth Abbey School wanting to keep operating the FM.

It’s just been sold to the regional NPR Member operation.

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Categories: Industry News

He Joined Salem in 1987. Now, This Company Vet is Retiring

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:59

On October 22, a 34-year relationship with Salem Media Group will conclude for the individual heading up national news and public affairs.

In more recent years, he has directed Salem’s Office of Government Relations.

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Categories: Industry News

Radio Ink, RBR+TVBR Leader Honored for Lifeftime Achievement

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:59

DAYTON, OHIO — Her career in the radio broadcasting industry started at “high-flyin’” WING-AM, at the time the Top 40 leader in the Gem City of Ohio. There, she rose to VP and Assistant General Manager following roles in promotion, marketing, and research.

In 1990, she became the first woman to manage a radio station in the Miami Valley, bringing WMMX-FM to life as “MIX 107.7.”

Now, Deborah Parenti, recently named President of the Radio, TV & Podcasting Division for Radio Ink, Podcast Business Journal and RBR+TVBR parent Streamline Publishing, is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for her positive contributions to Dayton radio.

The founding members of the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame notified Parenti on Monday (9/27) of their intent to honor her with the award.

“Your achievements in the field of broadcasting have not gone unnoticed,” the group’s Jim Johnson, Sharon Howard and Retha Phillips said in their letter to Parenti. “The many recognitions that you continue to receive from the broadcast industry nationwide make it that much more deserved.”

The plan is for Parenti to be recognized at the next Hall of Fame event, which is yet to be scheduled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parenti said, “I am so proud to have been a part of the Dayton broadcast community and to continue to watch and listen to the dedicated professionals who carry on the tradition of excellence that is part of Dayton’s media heritage. This is an incredible honor and I am truly grateful to so many here with whom I have had the privilege to work with over the years.”

Parenti’s career includes several years at Great Trails Broadcasting, which transitioned the Top 40 format from WING to WGTZ, creating “Z93,” a Top 40 leader across the 1980s. She later joined Stoner Broadcasting, serving as General Sales Manager at Stoner’s WDJX-FM 99.7 in Louisville before returning to Dayton in 1990 as VP/General Manager of the former WWSN. Under her leadership, the station would become WMMX “Mix 107.7,” a station that today remains one of Dayton’s most listened to FM radio choices.

Later, Parenti would become VP/GM of American Radio Systems’ Dayton group, earning a
major profile in the February 1997 issue of Working Woman magazine for her role in
developing one of the first consolidated radio sales platforms, “Radio First!” In September
1997, Parenti would leave her hometown of Dayton for a position as VP/GM of Beasley
Broadcast Group’s country-formatted WXTU-FM in Philadelphia. From 1999-2010, Parenti was a board member of Vox Radio.

Today, Parenti is again based in the Dayton area and has served as EVP/Publisher of what was formerly known as Streamline Publishing’s audio division since joining the company founded by Chairman/CEO B. Eric Rhoads in January 2007. She assumed leadership of Radio + Television Business Report with its acquisition by Streamline Publishing in February 2013. The company launched Podcast Business Journal in the late 2010s.

Parenti is also a Board Member of the Alliance for Women in Media. She completed NABEF’s
Broadcast Leadership Training Program in 2001. She also sits on the College Broadcasters Inc. advisory committee.

Categories: Industry News

Sinclair Completes Its Seattle Radio Sale

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:59

On June 3, RBR+TVBR first shared the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group had opted to sell its lone radio broadcasting stations — a pair of AM spoken-word stations, a heritage Hot Adult Contemporary FM, and an FM that simulcasts one of those big AM properties.

The transaction closed on Sept. 28, shifting ownership to a family-run broadcasting company with both Spanish- and English-language stations primarily across the Western U.S.

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Categories: Industry News

Neutrik USA Is Now Neutrik Americas

Radio World - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:46

Neutrik USA said Charlotte, N.C., will now be its centralized hub for the Americas.

It also is changing its name to reflect what it called a dramatic expansion. It will be called Neutrik Americas.

“The goal of this organizational shift is to provide centralized operation for the Americas, with the benefit of consolidated sales and support for the entire region,” it stated in the announcement, adding that it expects to be able to offer greater responsiveness for customers.

“As part of this expansion, Neutrik Americas now offers multilingual sales and support services.” It will offer

English, Spanish, Portuguese and French language support from its Charlotte headquarters.

The announcement was made by Peter Milbery, president of Neutrik Americas, who noted that the company moved to Charlotte in at a location near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport “to accommodate the logistics of this expanded territory.”

Neutrik Americas remains a  subsidiary of Neutrik AG and member of the Neutrik Group.

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Categories: Industry News

‘Market Disruptors’ Podcast Host Gets a Weekend Radio Show

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:44

He’s an investor, entrepreneur, cryptocurrency expert and host of the “Market Disruptors” podcast/YouTube series.

As of October 2, he’ll be adding Premiere Networks syndicated talk show host to his curriculum vitae.

Introducing “The Mark Moss Show,” hosted by Mark Moss.

It’s designed to be a three-hour weekend program, for a Saturday or Sunday slot at any time between 6am and Midnight.

“The Mark Moss Show” will also be available as a podcast on iHeartRadio, Premiere says.

Moss’s content is designed to assist listeners in comprehending Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.

“We’re witnessing the most important technological revolution right now – it’s the greatest ‘asymmetric opportunity’ of our lifetime,” Moss said. “But to take advantage of this
opportunity, you need to have asymmetric information and you need to know what most others do not. That’s what I’m excited to share with listeners each and every week.”

Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks’ President, notes, “Mark is uniquely qualified to inform and educate audiences on how to make smart investments, grow their money, understand the financial markets and prepare for the future. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk.

“The Mark Moss Show” replay podcast is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and will be available on demand following the broadcast as three one-hour shows on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Categories: Industry News

Inside the Sept. 29, 2021 Issue of Radio World

Radio World - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:35

Learn how to find wahoo and kingfish using SiriusXM.

Meet SBE’s next president Andrea Cummis, the society’s first female president.

Find out why Xperi is interested in the Internet of Things.

And read about recent automation and traffic products from companies like Arrakis, ENCO, Smarts, BE, AEQ, Music1, NewsBoss, NextKast, WideOrbit and others.

Read the issue.

The post Inside the Sept. 29, 2021 Issue of Radio World appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Texas Broadcasters Speak Up Against Drone Restriction

Radio World - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:28

The Texas Association of Broadcasters is supporting a lawsuit that challenges a prohibition against using drones in newsgathering in that state.

The lawsuit, filed last November, is by a Texas news photographer. It challenges the constitutionality of Chapter 423 of the Texas Government Code, which “broadly prohibits the use of drones by journalists in public airspace, yet arbitrarily exempts other members of the public from those proscriptions,” the brief argues.

TAB said the law is a “speaker-based regulation” that discriminates against the press and violates the U.S. Constitution by harming the free flow of newsworthy information to the public.

TAB said it was joined in filing the amicus brief by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 44 additional entities, including multiple station groups, the National Association of Broadcasters and other industry advocates.

“The brief outlines the public benefit of the technology when used for newsgathering, its similarity to other technologies such as news helicopters, and how the restrictions in state law constrain the devices’ use in newsgathering while permitting other, non-journalist speakers to deploy the devices at will.”

TAB said action in the case is expected this fall or winter.

Read the brief

 

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Categories: Industry News

EEO Supporters Lay Out Their Wish List

Radio World - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 10:11

A number of organizations that support EEO in broadcasting would like the FCC to consider nine proposals to help improve compliance and enforcement.

Their proposals are in a filing that was coordinated by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council.

The FCC has open a further notice of proposed rulemaking in which it is taking comments about the collection of data to understand broadcast EEO trends by race and gender.

It wants fresh comments about the required collection of data on FCC Form 395-B, the broadcast station Annual Employment Report.

That form is intended to gather workforce composition data from broadcasters every year; but it has not been collected for two decades. The process was suspended in 2001 because of a legal ruling, and resumption was delayed in 2004 over issues involving confidentiality of the employment data. Those issues remain unresolved.

The EEO supporters told the FCC that resumption of data collection “would serve invaluable public purposes” but that this is not the only element that needs to be considered.

They asked the FCC to consider:

  1. Requiring certifications that job postings preceded hiring decisions;
  2. Auditing reform, “which includes increasing audit frequency and randomly selecting some audited units for more thorough review encompassing applicant interviewing and employee selection”;
  3. Auditing of employment units that received EEOC probable cause determinations;
  4. Opening “a fact-finding, non-content-based investigation … into the abysmal levels of minority employment in radio news”;
  5. Providing whistleblower protections, including a confidential phone number and protections against retaliation;
  6. Developing and disseminating compliance tools, such as an EEO Primer, Best Practices, FAQs and Model EEO Programs;
  7. Extending EEO scrutiny to cover promotion, retention, training and mentoring;
  8. Extending proactive EEO enforcement to high-tech companies, in cooperation with the EEOC; and
  9. Consolidating all anti-discrimination compliance and regulatory enforcement (to include advertising, transactional, procurement and employment discrimination) in a new Civil Rights Section of the Employment Bureau.

The 38 organizations participating in the filing include the NAACP, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the National Action Network, the Hispanic Federation and the National Bar Association.

The groups made particular note of a proposal to have the Enforcement Bureau examine whether a licensee, having been found to have violated the broad outreach elements of the EEO rule, may also have violated its core nondiscrimination obligation.

“It is hornbook law that EEO statistics should be considered as part of a tribunal’s consideration of whether a respondent company engaged in discrimination,” they wrote.

“As the commission has long held, excessive use of word-of-mouth recruitment by members of a station’s homogeneous staff is inherently discriminatory and could be disqualifying. If such a case arises, one piece of evidence that should be available to the Enforcement Bureau staff is data on the racial and gender composition of those whose ‘mouths’ are doing the ‘word of mouth’ recruitment.

“Broadcasting must not become the only industry in the country that is immune from the obligation to produce data that is useful to a finder of fact in determining whether an employer may have engaged in a discriminatory scheme.”

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Categories: Industry News

Workbench: Amp Up Your Bathroom Visits

Radio World - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 08:00
This 40-watt amp from Monoprice has microSD and USB ports hidden under its lower lip.

Broadcast engineer Dan Slentz writes that when he was a teen working at WJER(AM/FM), the chief engineer had a speaker in each room wired with multiple 70-volt audio lines to a rotating switch and volume control. “You could listen to the AM station, FM station or any of the three production rooms,” he said.

Being 70 V, the audio quality wasn’t especially great, but when you were working after hours and you went into a room, you could monitor Air or what was going on. Dan says every station he has ever worked at had audio monitoring in the bathrooms. Even at CBS station WLVQ, “QFM” in Columbus, where the bathroom was in a public area down the hall, all occupants of the ninth floor of Nationwide Tower 2 could listen to QFM or Z-rock FM.

Dan recently visited the Monoprice website, www.monoprice.com. He loves it for its really good cables with lifetime warranty, and he says you can find other cool items on the site, like the old MCM Electronics used to have.

One such item was this 40-watt, wall-mount amplifier with a touchscreen, Bluetooth, auxiliary inputs and USB and microSD slots. The amp even has an infrared remote control. And it provides an FM receiver and stereo output.

Touchscreen controls

Dan notes that of course, this is made offshore. But all this comes in a compact footprint and costs only $120.

The top image shows the USB and microSD slots on the underside of the module, and the wiring connections are shown below.

Connectors on the Monoprice unit.

If it’s time to retire your old 70-volt speaker wiring or you’re thinking of adding a speaker monitor system, this module might be the solution. Consider mounting it in the breakroom, reception area or in your bathrooms. Use Monoprice product #36375. (As of mid-September the unit was listed as out of stock at the Monoprice website, with a November ETA.)

Sound Screw

If you’re planning new studio construction next year, you may want to discuss with your architect or acoustic consultant the newly released acoustic Sound Screw, developed in Sweden.

Imagine a screw, the “head” of which is separated from the threaded body with a coiled spring. It’s an inexpensive method of reducing vibration from joists into the drywall, as the spring dampens the vibration transfer.

Although it is only available in Sweden at the moment, Akoustos AB is approaching companies outside Sweden to license its technology.The company says that in lab tests, a 9 dB reduction of sound transfer was measured. This calculates to about half the perceived sound transferred using traditional drywall screws to hold sheet rock panels.

Check out www.akoustos.se.

Keep fans quiet

In an age when nearly everything seems to be in short supply, you may be tempted to substitute a fan in a piece of equipment. All fine and good, but contract engineer Stephanie Donnell has a caution if you’re installing a DC “brushless” fan in this situation. It could result in an EMC noise issue due to the current pulses generated by the driver circuit that operates the field coils of the fan motor.

EMC, electromagnetic compatibility, refers to the interaction of equipment with its electromagnetic environment and other devices. These electromagnetic fields could result in something that sounds like spark plug noise. You can correct this by adding a simple R/C filter on the fan’s “+” voltage lead.

Another tip involving muffin fans is to use models rated for 220 VAC but run them at 110. This is helpful in a situation where you need to improve ambient cooling around any equipment but where you don’t want a fan that produces a miniature hurricane or the noise associated with high-speed operation. Stephanie has used 220 V fans over the years to help cool everything from a very old computer to a Larcan-TTC TV translator.

Stephanie also saw Steve Tuzeneu’s recent tip about discouraging bees from nesting in satellite feed-horns. She adds that WD-40 brand spray lubricant works great for dealing with bees. We may not always have a can of flying insect spray, but who doesn’t have a can of WD-40 handy?

John Bisset, CPBE, has spent over 50 years in the broadcasting industry, and is in his 31st year writing Workbench. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award. Workbench submissions are encouraged and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Email johnpbisset@gmail.com

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Categories: Industry News

How to Get the Most Out of SGrewind

Radio World - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 07:00

This is one in a series of occasional articles about how to get the most out of popular radio broadcast products.

David Bialik consults to StreamGuys.

How the content might look on a mobile device.

When I was working for radio.com, producers for the news and sport stations all wanted a rewind feature on the mobile app.

These producers were hearing from listeners who enjoy the rewind functionality of live video platforms like TiVo and video on-demand platforms like Netflix, and they wanted similar functionality for their radio stations.

With rewind controls, a user can play the content they missed or replay content for clarity. Dr. Who would be perplexed with this timey-whimey issue.

StreamGuys kept this user experience in mind when they developed SGrewind. This service allows the listeners to use a “scrubbing feature” within the audio app.

The scrubbing can be configured to go back to the previous segment or to go back in timed increments.

If you are streaming a sport, you are giving the audience their own “instant replay.” Listeners of a talk show may want to re-listen to the last person who spoke. How many times have you listened to the news and want to hear a story again for clarification?

My favorite use is to “rewind” and hear the weather or traffic again.

Not to worry, you do not have to get Mr. Peabody and the Wayback machine. SGrewind is relatively easy to set up.

You do not need to be using StreamGuys as your live streaming CDN (though I am sure they would not mind if you already a customer). You can send them the same encoded source as your live stream.

StreamGuys will provide you a graphical user interface to configure how SGrewind will work and what your audience will be able to do.

They will then do their SGrewind magic, encoding the stream and sending it out.

The SGRewind Management Module is web-based.

They will work with your development team (if you have one) to enable the rewind feature on your player or they can provide a turnkey, rewind-capable player for your website.

Yes, I have simplified the process here, but SGrewind can add a nice feature for your streaming audience to use and make your streams look unique to potential advertisers. And isn’t that what it is all about?

Suggest a product to be featured in our “How to Get the Most Out of” series. Email radioworld@futurenet.com.

Related:

Five Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Zetta

How to Get the Most Out of Your Remote Control”

 

 

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Categories: Industry News

Saga Board Declares a Quarterly Cash Dividend

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 05:32

Radio station owner Saga Communications has declared a quarterly cash dividend payable on October 22 to shareholders of record on October 8.

The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly dividend will be approximately $960,000, as the quarterly cash dividend’s value has been pegged at $0.16 per share.

The quarterly cash dividend will be funded by cash on Saga’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, Saga will have paid over $73 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012.

Saga currently intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends in the future as declared by the Board of Directors. “Consistent with returning value to our shareholders, the Board of Directors may also consider declaring special cash dividends, stock dividends, and stock buybacks in the future,” Saga says.

Saga owns or operates 79 FM and 35 AM radio stations.

Categories: Industry News

An Unscripted Appointment at ABC/Disney

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 09/29/2021 - 05:15

Since joining ABC in 2015, she has managed such projects as “The Little Mermaid Live!,” “The Disney Family Singalong” franchises, “JEOPARDY! The Greatest of All Time,” “Shark Tank,” and the revival of game show “The $100,000 Pyramid.”

That track record has led Walt Disney Television to name this individual to the role of SVP/Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment at ABC Entertainment and Walt Disney Television Unscripted.

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Categories: Industry News

CrystalClear in Kenya

Radio World - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 21:05
Classic105 morning host Mike Mondo at the helm of the crystalClear console.

Kenya’s Radio Africa Group has taken a liking to Lawo equipment, recently choosing it for Kiss100 FM broadcast station and its Classic105 streaming station.

The Nairobi-based radio and TV broadcaster installed a Rɘlay PC-based virtual mixer at Kiss100 FM. After that proved successful, the company says, it turned back to Lawo to upgrade Classic105.

[See Our Who’s Buying What Page]

That led to the selection of a Lawo’s crystalClear “glass” touchscreen mixer. Included in that package are the VisTool virtual radio studio builder software and a Compact Engine, a 1RU mixing engine with AoIP audio interfaces and DSP audio processing. According to a release it was the first installation in East Africa of such equipment.

Lawo distributor and systems integrator BYCE Broadcast provided the equipment and services.

Radio Africa Group Technical Manager Philip Keter said, “We are happy with Lawo virtual consoles … We have had Kiss100 FM using Lawo Rɘlay mixing for more than one year now, and we have not experienced any downtime.”

Send news for Who’s Buying What to radioworld@futurenet.com.

He added, “We are even more excited about crystalClear; the presenters love its robustness, flexibility, and agility. It is not only easy to operate but actually helps enhance creativity!”

 

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Categories: Industry News

Two Texas Translators Face an FCC Penalty

Radio World - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 15:35

A broadcaster in Texas is facing a fine for not filing license renewal applications for two FM translators on time.

Carlos Lopez is licensee of the translators in Conroe and South Padre Island. License renewal forms were due by April 1 but were not received at the FCC until late May.

[Read: Expired Licenses Lead to $7,000 Forfeiture for FM Translator]

The commission says Lopez didn’t provide an explanation, so it has issued a notice of apparent liability for $3,000, which he has 30 days to pay or challenge.

Because he did file before the licenses actually expired, and because the FCC isn’t aware of any other problems, it said it plans to grant the renewal applications once the forfeiture proceeding is completed.

 

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Categories: Industry News

Nexstar Faces Fines For Public File Flubs

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 15:20

Al Shuldiner isn’t the only Media Bureau leader seeking to bolster the Commission’s coffers by handing out more Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture letters to broadcast stations for a failure to follow the agency’s rules.

Barbara Kriesman, the Video Division Chief who works alongside Audio Division Chief Shuldiner, has been plenty busy with her own NALs to over-the-air TV operators.

In fact, two were released today to none other than the biggest licensee of TV stations in the U.S.

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Categories: Industry News

Seacrest Re-ups With iHeart, Calls It a “No Brainer”

Radio World - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 15:08

Ryan Seacrest, one of the brightest stars in iHeartMedia’s talent constellation, has signed on for a new contract.

Describing him as an “unmatched creative talent,” the company said: “The three-year contract extends through Dec.31, 2025, during which time Seacrest will celebrate 30 years as one of the most recognized and respected names not just within iHeartMedia, but throughout the entire media and entertainment industry.”

In the announcement, Seacrest called the decision a “no-brainer.”

The agreement was negotiated by Jeff Refold, COO/CFO of Ryan Seacrest Enterprises, and Jonathan West of Latham & Watkins. Its value was not announced.

iHeart noted that Seacrest started in radio as a teenager at WSTR(FM) in Atlanta before he went to Los Angeles. “Since then, Seacrest has built a reputation as one of media’s most trusted voices, cultivating a genuine connection — and powerful relationships — with consumers, advertisers, and America’s biggest stars, and is a true brand ambassador for iHeartMedia.”

He will continue to host and produce his morning drive show for iHeartMedia’s 102.7 KIIS-FM, the syndicated “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest.”

iHeart says Seacrest is an important voice to its top management in planning major initiatives and tentpole events, and he will continue that advisory capacity.

In radio circles Seacrest also is known as a benefactor for children’s hospitals. His foundation builds broadcast media centers named Seacrest Studios in pediatric hospitals for patients to explore radio, TV and new media.

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Categories: Industry News

Digging Deeper Into Electret Microphone Circuitry

Radio World - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 13:40
Fig. 1: The Neewer NW-700 provides excellent performance and costs less than $15.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 8, 2017, edition of Radio World Engineering Extra and was posted on this website Feb. 9, 2017.  If you like this content you should subscribe to Radio World Engineering Extra.

In two articles thus far (RW Engineering Extra, Aug. 10 and Oct. 19, 2016), we’ve traced the origins of electret condenser microphones to their externally-polarized ancestor, patented in 1916.

One hundred years later, modern materials and manufacturing have made electret condenser mikes cheap and plentiful — and with careful design electret audio performance can rival the best of their powered cousins. In this chapter, we’ll examine the anatomy of the circuitry following electrets and how they affect the sound output.

For our study, I picked a Neewer model NW-700 “Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Condenser Microphone,” which at the time of writing is listed at only $14.70 by the manufacturer, including a web shock mount and cable, shown in Fig. 1. Neewer was kind to let us share some of the NW-700 schematic, which we examine below.

Fig. 2: Inside the Neewer NW-700.

As discussed previously, all condenser microphones generate a small voltage as their diaphragm changes capacitance in an electric field, when moved by sound pressure waves.

Externally-polarized mikes charge the diaphragm/backplate condenser through a resistor from a source of 40 to 200 volts, as shown on the left in Fig. 3.

Because the capacitance is very low (around 50 picofarad, ±30 pF), the resistor forms an R/C network that rolls off the low frequencies. The resistor must have a value of hundreds of megaohms to avoid a cutoff in the bass range.

One advantage an electret has is its intrinsic charge, which eliminates the charging resistor, as shown on in Fig. 3. Either way, a fixed charge is maintained across the capacitor.

For a charge Q, the expression is: = 0 x 0

0 is the capsule capacitance, and 0 is the capsule capacitance.

The output voltage change of a condenser microphone is expressed as the fixed voltage times the relative change in capacity:

where Ct is the variation in capacity due to sound pressure.

It is not unusual for electret microphones to have a rated output of –40 dB relative to 1 volt measured at sound pressure of 1 Pascal (Pa), which is 94 dB SPL. The signal level produced by an electret element under these conditions is calculated to be:

An orchestra may produce an SPL of more than 105 dB, but loud musical instruments such as horns and drums could easily produce a local SPL of 115 dB when closely miked. That is 21 dB above the reference 1 Pascal, which multiplies the output to:

This voltage is an average of the signal envelope — but the peaks of the waveform are greater. Assuming the ratio between the signal peaks and the average is 10 dB, the peak signal level could reach:

That is arguably a big signal for the transimpedance amplifier!

Fig. 3: The basic parts of a condenser microphone. Left, using an external power supply, and right, a self-charged electret with the impedance converter. (Click here to enlarge.)

Let’s look at what may happen, beginning at the electret microphone as shown in the right diagram of Fig. 3. Nearly all electret microphone capsules have a junction-type field effect transistor (JFET) inside the case, to convert the extremely high impedance of the electret element to a useful value for the following circuitry.

Electric charges in JFETs flow through a semiconducting channel between source and drain terminals that is exclusively voltage-controlled. Unlike bipolar transistors, JFETs do not require a biasing current (although, as we will see they benefit from optimum terminal voltages). The JFET also has a potentially higher gain (transconductance) than the MOSFET, as well as lower flicker noise, making them well-suited to the microphone element’s weak signal.

CIRCUIT SIMULATION
To evaluate the microphone’s transimpedance amplifier and the following stages, I used circuit simulator software. It may be a little unconventional to do this study in software rather than with test instrumentation, but this came about because I was hand-drawing the internal circuits of several microphones and the simulator allowed me to check configuration of some unlabeled parts. (In one case, it helped me determine that a transistor’s emitter and collector had to be reversed and changed from NPN to PNP.)

The simulator I chose is Qucs, the “Quite Universal Circuit Simulator,” an open-source electronics circuit simulator software available on the Internet at http://qucs.sourceforge.net under GPL. Qucs supports a large list of analog and digital components with parameter values that can be applied to circuits to study DC voltages, AC performance, including noise and transient analysis, and more.

Fig. 4: Qucs circuit simulation of the impedance converter. (Click here to enlarge.)

Starting with the transimpedance converter, Qucs demonstrates some powerful analysis. Fig. 4 shows the circuit with an AC voltage source in substitution for the electret condenser. Note that a 100 picofarad capacitor is placed in series to represent the element’s real capacitance. The AC has been set to a 1 kHz sine wave at 0.25 volts peak. The meter icon shows a series current of 1.6 milliamps through the 2.2 kohm resistor tied to the 2N3685 JFET drain when supplied with 5 volts.

Two test points: “in” and “D_out” are shown in the Qucs chart to the right. (This is a transient measurement with DC voltages, so the AC simulation is deactivated.) The input signal is shown in red, producing a 0.25 volt sinusoid. The output at the JFET drain is shown in blue, with some gain but also with a large distortion to the waveform. The waveform is inverted, and the negative half is distorted because the signal input voltage drove the JFET’s gate positive, and an N-channel JFET is linear only for a range signal voltages that are negative, relative to the source terminal.

Fig. 5: Added components to operate the JFET gate at a more suitable voltage; the calculated waveform shows reduced distortion. (Click here to enlarge.)

One of the simplest ways to correct the signal voltage issue is by self-biasing, that is, raising the source voltage through as series resistor to ground, as shown in Fig. 5. R5 raises the voltage at the source terminal to 0.86V in this example, while a very large 1 gigohm resistor holds the gate voltage to 8.4mV. A bypass capacitor, C3, holds the voltage on R5 steady across the audio range. (These component values are for illustration and are not optimized.)

Self-biasing lowers the JFET’s distortion, and approximately doubles the gain in this example — but at the cost of a larger component count. Considering that electret microphone capsules often must be as small as possible, as well as low in cost, designers often forego these components. This illustrates a compromise for designers, but fortunately, high acoustic levels are probably not an issue in consumer applications, such as telephones, and they may be avoided to some extent in studio recordings by microphone placement.

Fig. 6: The audio path section of the NW-700 with a simulated electret microphone signal applied to the impedance converter and a phantom power supply. (Click here to enlarge.)

Fig. 6 shows part of the Neewer NW-700 microphone (as I traced it, less the voltage regulator section). Similar circuit designs are used in the many low-priced “studio” microphones on the market. In this case, the electret capsule’s JFET, J1, is pulled up to a regulated DC line (approximately 8.5 volts) and connected through an R/C high-pass network to a transistor stage T1, with a biphase output. This furnishes a balanced differential output for external studio preamps.

On the right, the NW-700 provides the balanced output through an XLR connector at the base of the mike. To “power” our example, a 48 volt DC battery is assumed, which is connected through resistors to Pins 2 and 3 of the XLR connector. A resistor value of 6.8k ohms is a standard value for 48 volt “phantom” systems, although many preamps supply lower voltages and may use lower resistor values.

The phantom power is connected through an R/C bypass network to a pair of emitter-follower transistors, T3 and T4, which provide approximately unity gain and have a low source impedance to the lines. The common point of the two transistors is tied to the voltage regulator, which provides the regulated and filtered DC for the input stages.

Fig. 7: Output at XLR Pins 2 and 3 as determined by Qucs with a 100mV input at 1 kHz. (Click here to enlarge.)

Qucs can provide a variety of AC systems analysis. In Fig. 7, a 0.1V (100mV) signal is applied through a 50 pF capacitor (simulating the assumed capacitance of a small-diaphragm electret element) to the JFET impedance converter. The output from Pins 2 and 3 of the XLR are charted as red and blue waveforms. The vertical scale is in volts, and the voltage offset, because of phantom power, runs at approximately 24.6V. In this simulation, there is slightly less output from Pin 2 than from Pin 3. However, this is unlikely to affect the noise rejection as that depends primarily on the common-mode rejection of the external preamplifier and not the normal-mode difference in signal between the lines.

IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE

Fig. 8: End-to-end frequency response from Pins 2 and 3; x-axis from 10 Hz to 20 kHz and y-axis in volts AC. (Click here to enlarge.)

Qucs supports predicted frequency response of the system, as shown in Fig. 8. As shown by the “ac simulation” data on Fig. 6, the simulator was configured for a logarithmic sweep from 1 Hz to 20 kHz in 2001 steps. Fig. 8 shows the sweep displayed from 10 Hz to 20 kHz. The frequency response is shown on linear vertical scale in volts, so a difference between 0.25V to 0.5V is ±3 dB.

It is apparent that the response is effectively flat from 100 Hz to the top of the range, and is down approximately 3 dB at 30 Hz. Of course, this excludes the frequency response of the electret microphone, and we know from the previous part of this series [Oct. 18, 2017, issue] that directional small diaphragm capsules have an intrinsic frequency tilt that is generally uncorrectable below 100 Hz due to limitations in acoustic filter techniques. However, this rolloff is offset by proximity effect at closer distances, so pickup of voices and instruments at a foot or so is reasonably well-balanced, tonally.

Recordings made with the NW-700 are generally quite good. On symphonic recordings made on high stands, there is noticeable low-frequency rolloff, but this was easily compensated with equalization during post-recording edit. The noise level of the NW-700 is not as good as expensive microphones (those costing 10 to 100X more) but it is acceptable, even for orchestral recording.

If you are interested in a sample recording with this microphone, visit this link on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/john-kean-314785812/20160213-rachmaninov-3m26s

This 3.5-minute recording was made with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra at the George Washington Masonic Temple auditorium in February 2016. It was recorded with a crossed-cardioid configuration in 24-bit/48 kHz sampling and transcoded to 16-bit/44.1 kHz in Audacity, with only LF equalization. The acoustics are not ideal, as the mics had to be placed on a low stand at the front of the seating area, but the recording gives you an idea of what the NW-700 can deliver.

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John Kean joined National Public Radio in 1980 after being chief engineer for a San Diego commercial FM station. In 1986 he joined Jules Cohen and Associates, and then Moffet, Larson and Johnson. He returned to NPR in 2004 to help establish NPR Labs and retired in 2015. Today he works with Cavell Mertz and Associates and performs audio consulting in private practice as Kean Consultants LLC.

The post Digging Deeper Into Electret Microphone Circuitry appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Seacrest Signs A Three-Year Contract Extension

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 11:30

One of the busiest broadcast media personalities in the world has committed to three more years of service to the nation’s No. 1 creator and distributor of audio content.

The new deal keeps Ryan Seacrest with iHeartMedia and in mornings at its KIIS-FM in Los Angeles through the end of 2025.

Under the agreement, for which financial terms were not disclosed, Seacrest will continue in his role as “one of the core personalities across all iHeartRadio platforms.”

Seacrest’s deal was negotiated by Jeff Refold, COO and CFO of Ryan Seacrest Enterprises, and Jonathan West at Latham & Watkins LLP.

This includes hosting the internationally syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest program, along with the current incarnation of American Top 40. He will also continue to work closely with Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman and President/COO and CFO Rich Bressler, “providing input into the company’s major initiatives and hosting several tentpole events.” This includes the two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival; New York City’s annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball holiday concert; and, quite possibly, future trips to Cannes, such as his 2017 excursion.

In addition to those duties and his role as a co-host of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, a Disney ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution production, Seacrest will continue as only the second morning host KIIS-FM has had in 40 years.

Seacrest has hosted the morning shift at KIIS since March 2004, taking over for Rick Dees. Dees exited the station a month earlier, and had been with KIIS since July 1981, moving from former Top 40 KHJ.

Now, Seacrest’s tenure will be extended to beyond 30 years, making it longer than that of Dees, who became a globally known air personality at KIIS some eight years after his novelty song “Disco Duck” put him on the Top 40 as a recording artist in fall 1976.

“Continuing my relationship with iHeartMedia was a no-brainer,” Seacrest said. “Thirty years speed by when you love what you do. I get to live out my dream every day by interacting with our listeners and hearing their stories. Thank you to Bob and Rich and the entire iHeartMedia team for continuing to support us and grow with us.  And a special thank you to my on-air crew, the best team in radio, for making the show work seamlessly every day.”

Seacrest first arrived in Los Angeles by joining Lisa Foxx as the hugely successful afternoon co-host of KYSR-FM, then a Pop/Alternative known as “Star 98.7.” Before that, he was a popular air personality for Jefferson-Pilot’s WSTR “Star 94” in Atlanta, discovered by then-station head Tony Novia; Seacrest was a regular caller who, through perseverance, found his way into the studio and on the air.

Bressler added, “We are honored to continue working with Ryan, who has consistently delighted audiences both digitally and in-person with his knowledge, energy and trustworthiness. Ryan is truly unique in the world of entertainment, with a keen eye for business and the talent to match. His impact is unparalleled, and we congratulate him on nearly three decades as part of the iHeartMedia family.”

RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION: Congratulations to Ryan Seacrest for extending his iHeartMedia deal. He’s certainly integral to the iHeart machine, given his role as the host of AT40 and his syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest, which can be heard practically everywhere these days. That said, we wish iHeart would reconsider his role at KIIS-FM. Like the last years of Dees, his predecessor, the ad revenue may be decent. Like Dees, his predecessor, some of the ratings in particular demos may be good. But, Seacrest no longer fits what the biggest Top 40 station in the nation needs to be, unless KIIS wants to become a broad mass-appeal Hot AC and model itself after 104.6 RTL in Berlin, perhaps the most successful contemporary music station in the world. Seacrest would be best served, in our view, as the morning host of Hot Adult Contemporary KBIG “My104.3,” which could use a nice bump. It would complement Adult Contemporary KOST, with former Dees sidekick Ellen K, kicking butt in wake-ups. And, it would allow KIIS to send “97.1 NOW” off by playing Taps as the Audacy FM is rumored to be prepping a flip to Sports Talk. KIIS’s NEXTGEN morning host could be someone of the Olivia Rodrigo generation, one who knows the leads of “Cruel Summer” (not the Bananarama song but the Freeform limited series) and likely follows them on Instagram alongside Kaitlyn Dever. Seacrest’s star power notwithstanding, it’s time for KIIS-FM to bring in someone a 22-year old Latina can relate to — not their moms.

Categories: Industry News

KIKU’s New Owner? Look To KITV

Radio+Television Business Report - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 11:00

In late 2019, Richard French’s RNN and Ted Bartley‘s NRJ struck a deal that saw French’s broadcast TV company acquire 8 stations in a $81.2 million deal in which Moelis & Company served as the seller’s broker/financial adviser.

Now, RNN is selling one of those properties — a UHF station serving the Hawaiian Islands.

The buyer? Look no further than the ABC affiliate in the 50th state. It’s a deal that creates a duopoly for a man intent on creating the nation’s largest TV station ownership group.

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Categories: Industry News

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