Industry News

Making Digital Radio Part of the New Multimedia Landscape

Radio World - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 10:43

The author of this commentary is chair of the Digital Radio Mondiale consortium.

Though not out of the COVID-19 woods yet, there is an increasing feeling of great separation between the sad times of the 2020 and the possibly more positive, life-affirming “after the pandemic” feeling of 2021.

Things have changed in our radio, or audio, media universe. There has been a clear increase in use of technology and gadgets. Streaming and podcasting have ballooned. Even the older generation has caught up technologically with the savvier youngsters. Boomers and Millennials Zoom weekly together (at least a third over 65 years old in the U.S. do so, according to OnePoll) and use “hearables” (earbuds, headphones etc.).

Radio usage has remained high all this time, as radio has proven a great utility staple, valued for its immediacy, simplicity, companionship and, lately, mood enhancement and escape.

Crossing Digital Currents

This has not remained unnoticed by the tech giants appropriating and using radio formats or even setting up what could only be described as “radio stations.” Thus Amazon  is reported to be building out a live audio platform meant to disrupt traditional radio and rival the likes of Clubhouse or Spotify’s new live audio platform, in Axios at the end of August (“Scoop: Amazon Quietly Building Live Audio Business”). The idea is for Amazon to be paying podcast suppliers, celebrities, musicians to stimulate live conversations and events (old-style chat and live radio shows), all to be accessed through Amazon and possibly on gadgets like Alexa. In other words, a sort of curated radio content but on subscription. Attractive radio on payment, a sort of Netflix for the ears. Is this then the way to integrate radio into the new media reality?

Not oblivious to these developments, radio stations themselves have invested in streaming and developing a stable of attractive podcasts. Different research studies show that listeners are engaging more actively with broadcasters if they also enjoy streaming or podcasting. They seem to be (at least in the U.S.) younger, more mobile, the kind of listeners which advertisers are interested in.

[Read: EBU Puts Radio Finger in the Air?]

So, radio stations linking to the social media or OTT space are doing it for various reasons: it is the trend (they can become “digital,” though not truly digital in the broadcast sense), there is a need to attract or keep audiences for public stations and maximise advertising profits for the private stations. In the specific case of commercial stations, this blend of broadcast and podcast, or IP type of presence, is a very useful way of increasing revenue in an industry enjoying increased popularity but lower ad dollars during the pandemic.

Even in a place like India, where radio has only a fraction of the advertising pie (2–3%) and where ad revenue has been greatly affected by the pandemic, this blend is important. Getting advertising on radio “extensions,” like podcasts, has become a necessity as radio still commands a key place for Indian advertisers. “Radio is a preferred partner for brands owing to its mass, local reach and high engagement,” says Megha Ahuja, VP – digital media planning, Carat India.(“Changing the Frequency”)

We seem to be witnessing crossing currents with social media and big tech veering towards radio, but increasingly on subscription, and radio trying to maximise use by using platforms while trying to maintain its universality. Are these currents then intersecting or merging?

Where Is Digital Radio in This?

Digital radio is definitely of the new digital age, as the audio quality of broadcasts and the extra features make it an almost new digital platform accessible primarily in the car (where analog AM and FM suffer interference) and then on mobiles and in the homes. In DRM, available on all broadcast bands, the FM sound quality in AM is evidently superior to any old-style analog sounds your grandparents might have enjoyed. Internet content, images, multilanguage content, not to mention disaster warnings, education bites or fully illustrated lessons with sound and pictures and traffic info are all possible and available. Particularly the potential to deliver education through audio and visual material, even from the internet, but without requiring internet, has come to the fore in pandemic times, especially in places still learning about podcasting.

And if only digital radio is available, you can create your own podcast by recording favorite programming and playing it later, while the program schedule is available at a touch of a button. All this can be done using terrestrial waves and not glass fibers and valuable bandwidth, another commodity in short supply. Regulators feel the bandwidth pinch already with all the podcasts and other frilly bits in demand. And so do policy makers who hope that flying the unfinished 5G banner for broadcasting or waiting for another miraculous technology will get them off the hook. They seem to be hoping that the big investment and change needed to roll out digital radio will be thus unnecessary. This probably also drives the big buzz around social media among broadcasters. But in absolute terms, this is still minute compared with radio listening. If radio could offer more using digital standards, while keeping its core values and heart, the media landscape would be richer.

Son of Broadcasting

The miraculous blend technology is already here. It is called digital radio and needs to be supported and deployed seriously, so that informative, local, exciting and engaging or educational radio, and not music by subscription, remains available to all. The switchover to digital radio has been slow, with varying degrees of success in the U.K., U.S., Europe, where the switch-off dates are being kicked into the long grass (see recent decision in Switzerland). Other countries, like India, have had a great head start. The hope is that complicated evaluations and analysis will not detract now from sticking with the complete open, not company-owned DRM standard (in FM, too). This decision would give confidence to the receiver industry (who will not engage in producing them unless there is a clear official commitment and announcement), to the listeners.

Digital radio (e.g., DRM and other recognized open standards) is a neat solution, more robust, doing away with the blight of interference experienced in analog. DRM offers more channels, more choice and many digital extra benefits. There needs to be a communication step change so that decisionmakers take the right decision, while there is increased acceptance of a mixed media landscape in which broadcast and podcast can co-exist and enhance each other.

So, you might want to accept an “invitation” to Clubhouse (its clever trick) or subscribe to many podcasts (and probably listen to just a few) but you are still very likely to still switch on your (digital) car radio and enjoy so much more, while stuck in traffic.

The technology has to work but  the digital content, well linked to social media, must be attractive to start with. Podcasting remains the son of broadcasting, but sons often want to emulate and surpass their fathers.

 

The post Making Digital Radio Part of the New Multimedia Landscape appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Where Will Your Competitor Be on September 22?

Radio+Television Business Report - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 10:38

The leadership for the guys across the street would prefer you don’t show up. They don’t want you to soak up the information and engage in the conversations about the future of Hispanic Radio.

Your colleagues will be sorry they missed you. They were looking forward to sharing the experience and the entertainment at the 12th Hispanic Radio Conference with you!

Your wallet will be thinner. If you don’t register before 5 pm on Tuesday, September 14, you’ll pay $300 more when the price increases!

This is the agenda, and these are the speakers, you can’t afford to miss!

We all have regrets – don’t let this be one of them.

The clock is ticking – don’t procrastinate.
Register NOW while you can still save $300.

And don’t forget to book your hotel room before they SELL OUT!

Categories: Industry News

Deborah Parenti Rises To Streamline Publishing Division President

Radio+Television Business Report - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 09:10

BOCA RATON, FLA. — Streamline Publishing, founded in 1986 with the creation of radio industry sales and management trade publication Radio Ink and today a diversified publisher of print and digital titles focused on the art and media industries, has
elevated Deborah Parenti to the role of President of the Radio, TV & Podcasting Division.

In this role, Parenti will extend her leadership responsibilities across the three brands that have helped make Streamline Publishing a trusted source for news, information, and insight in the radio, television, and on-demand audio industries: Radio Ink, Radio + Television Business Report, and Podcast Business Journal. The Radio, TV & Podcasting Division also presents the annual Hispanic Radio Conference and Radio and Television’s Financial Summit: Forecast in New York.

Parenti 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.

“Deborah has been a tremendous asset to Radio Ink for nearly 15 years and, more recently, has shown exemplary leadership in growing both RBR+TVBR and Podcast Business Journal into premier destinations for their readers,” Rhoads said. “With solid experience as a leader of radio stations in her home of Dayton, Ohio, and in Philadelphia, Deborah has proven that her expertise as a top-notch marketer and broadcast media sales and management professional can drive the growth of three distinct publications for the audio and visual media industries. We congratulate Deborah on this well-deserved promotion.”

Parenti’s career in the radio broadcasting industry started at “high-flyin'” WING-AM in Dayton, where she rose to VP and Assistant General Manager following roles in promotion, marketing, and research. 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 WWSN, as the first woman to manage a radio station in that market. 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.

She said, “I am extremely honored and grateful to have the good fortune of working with Eric and our incredible team of professionals. The opportunity to engage with and learn from people across so many levels of a business I love, as well as the chance to make what I hope is a positive impact on it, is something I never take for granted.”

Parenti is 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.

Ed Ryan retains the role of Editor-in-Chief for Radio Ink and Podcast Business Journal. Adam R Jacobson retains the role of Editor-in-Chief for Radio + Television Business Report.

Streamline Publishing and its products play a substantial role within two industries:
radio/television/on-demand audio and the world of art and art collecting. It prides itself on
seeking innovative solutions that break traditional molds. In addition to its radio, TV, and
podcasting titles, it is the publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and PleinAir. The art division is also the organizer of various events closely aligned with its art brands.

Categories: Industry News

Workbench: This Adapter Simplifies AES Connections

Radio World - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 08:00
A lighting connector can be used to make a connection between StudioHub and AES3 digital audio.

Mike Johnson is the principal engineer for Mike Johnson Broadcast Technology in Portland, Ore. He read our column about the CATV F-to-RJ45 adapter and realized he had something to contribute to the discussion.

While Mike was helping build out the new facility for All Classical Portland in 2014, a coworker showed him an adapter he had discovered to make the connection between StudioHub and AES3 digital audio simple.

The solution is to use the three-pin XLR DMX lighting standard, which was later adapted to work over RJ45 cables. Like the CATV adapter we described, it uses the first pair in the Category cable. The adapters are available as short, three-pin XLR male or female plugs on one end to RJ45 jacks. The photo shown here is typical; you can find that connector at markertek.com, type DMX-5XF-CAT5 into the Search field.

The DMX standard started out with a five-pin XLR, but it didn’t need all five pins. Sweetwater has a discussion on understanding DMX.

These DMX adapters eliminate the need to use a dual XLR-to-RJ45 adapter dongle for AES3 digital, which results in an unnecessary, awkward right channel XLR connector (since the AES3 signal only travels on the left analog connector). The DMX adapters are short and can be plugged directly into the equipment, making for a neat, uncluttered conversion.

A little strip tease

San Diego’s Marc Mann says Frank Hertel’s choice of silicone-jacketed wire in his LED fixture dimmer project reminded him of an interesting experience.

First, Marc notes that to his knowledge, silicone-covered wire was reserved for premium test leads, as the flexibility of the jacket allows the probe clips to remain in position. The silicone formulation is also heat-resistant.

Raise your hand if you don’t have at least one pair of test leads with a soldering iron burn on the jacket! Marc chose the silicone-covered wire when he needed to make some six-foot leads for his power supply. He purchased some 16 and 18 AWG (American Wire Gauge) wire from Ali Express and eBay. Each length of cable was manufactured off-shore.

This 18-gauge wire actually measured 20-gauge; note the red arrow.

When he stripped the lead off the 18 Gauge wire, the wire pulled straight out of the jacket. Not just one strand, but all of the strands. No matter how cautious Marc was to strip just the jacket, the wire still pulled through — the silicone jacket was not bonded to the wire!

The wire was also mismarked. Although the jacket said 18 Gauge, it was actually closer to 20 AWG.

Marc then discovered that he did not have 100 percent copper wire, rather CCA or copper-clad aluminum.

From another website, Marc learned that the advantage to CCA wire is that it is lighter and more flexible. The cost of CCA versus oxygen-free copper wire is also much lower.

So Marc warns buyers to confirm the composition and specifications of the wire you are buying, especially from online sources. If your application is critical, such as in a high-power transmitter, the variations could make a difference.

Little light, big impact

Glynn Walden, too, dropped us a note about Frank Hertel’s LED dimmer circuit, and commented how far LEDs have come since his first experience.

Glynn was in his fourth year of engineering studies at Florida International University, when someone brought in a new diode that emitted a visible red glow when it was placed on a curve tracer! Glynn says this was around the time that the 555 Integrated Circuit (IC) was replacing all of the old mechanical timers.

He writes that he could never have dreamed that this little light-emitting chip would one day replace the incandescent bulbs in a console, let alone the headlights in your car or the light bulbs in your home. Or, for that matter, the beacons on a tower.

Agreed. We are fortunate to be living in such a time where the innovations and improvements just keep on coming.

Glynn is retired from CBS Radio as a senior VP of engineering, but he is probably best known as the father of the in-band, on-channel digital broadcast system now known as HD Radio.

Filter reminder The Filtrete Smart app will remind you about scheduled filter changes and provides other tips and alerts.

Speaking of improvements, 3M’s Filtrete pleated air filters division offers an app that lets you set reminders for changing filters or ordering replacements. The app can also take into account air quality in your region so you’re changing filters based not only on time but on air quality.

In online reviews, users say the app saves them money because they don’t change filters too soon. Filtrete also has a filter model with a built-in sensor linked by Bluetooth to your phone, though according to some of the reviewers, the reliability of this new feature seems questionable.

In any case, if you’re looking for a quick reminder for filter replacement, this app may be for you. It’s available on at Apple Store or Google Play, or search “Filtrete Smart App.”

On a related note, I had my home air conditioning system serviced recently and I noticed the technician jotting something on his hand. I asked what it was and he told me it was to remember the thermostat set point when he was resetting the thermostat after his testing.

He told me that he was using the “original palm pilot.”

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

The post Workbench: This Adapter Simplifies AES Connections appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

John Davis Joins Wheatstone

Radio World - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 06:31

From our People News page: John Davis will join Wheatstone’s support team. He will be based in Houston.

He currently is sales and support manager for Logitek Electronic Systems, where he has worked for almost 20 years and been a familiar voice on the phone or face in the company’s convention booths.

John has a background in AoIP support of almost 20 years and has previous experience in broadcast automation as the marketing manager for OMT Technologies,” Wheatstone said in the announcement.

[Visit Radio World’s People News Page]

“In addition to his automation and IP audio networking background, he brings to Wheatstone 18 years of on-air experience with Cox Radio Inc. He continues to fill in on weekends at Cox Radio’s Houston stations.”

Davis also worked earlier for Nationwide Communications and Sundance Broadcasting, and he is a partner in LFD Communications, a Texas PR and marketing agency, according to his LinkedIn bio. He studied journalism at Arizona State University.

“I’ll be leaving Logitek with nothing but respect for Tag Borland and company,” Davis wrote in a social media post, “but I’m excited for the future.”

Send announcements involving radio technology and executive management hires to radioworld@futurenet.com.

 

The post John Davis Joins Wheatstone appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

A Toothy Entry Into TV’s Top Spot Chart

Radio+Television Business Report - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 05:23

There’s strong stability across the latest Media Monitors Spot Ten TV report, with many of the advertisers seen active in the last several weeks staying within the Top 10 for the week ending September 12.

There is one big new entrant, however. And, it involves a dental care brand that’s seeking to take share from the likes of Colgate and Crest.

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Categories: Industry News

With Automation, You’re Buying More Than a Product

Radio World - Sun, 09/12/2021 - 08:04
Getty Images

Automation systems, sometimes referred to as playout systems, are a critical asset at many if not most radio stations. These systems can range from small and economical to enterprise-scale. 

This article is excerpted from the ebook “Automation: The Next Phase.” Click the cover to read it.

Regardless of the scope and complexity of the system you use, at some point you’ll be tasked with expanding, upgrading or outright replacing it. 

More often than not, station management opts to stay with the same automation supplier versus making a complete change.

Transitioning to a different system typically means extra work and more disruption to everyday station operations, including retraining everyone. It has been said that the best automation system is the one you know. 

But does that system give you room to adapt to current technology and workflows? 

For the past 15 years, automation systems have done a good job at providing hard drive space, memory, speed, networking, metadata, file management, uptime and GUIs. 

The days of having to reboot your hardware every day or compressing audio files to fit on the drive are long gone for most systems. Options we needed to weigh in earlier purchasing are no longer an issue with today’s systems, which are rich in features, reliability and capacity. 

So what key questions should you ask instead?

Are you thinking about moving to the cloud?

If you are considering either a full cloud infrastructure or a hybrid approach, make sure your supplier has a dedicated development team devoted to the cloud. Cloud-based playout is no easy task; you’ll do well to purchase from a company with dedicated resources. 

Cloud technology for broadcast is still in its early stages. You want to ensure that the company you choose to saddle up with is committed to innovation for the long term. 

Be aware that cloud playout will be billed as an ongoing software cost, typically monthly or annually. So your capital expenditure goes down — there is less hardware to purchase — but your operational expenses go up. 

Think about how that might affect your profitability, and consider other op-ex costs to reduce due to advantages such as less hardware and technical support on-site. Those considerations could lead to a reduced real-estate footprint, decreased maintenance costs or other synergies. 

Whether you move to the cloud now or in the future, ensure that your automation provider does not limit your options down the road. 

What is your cybersecurity posture? 

More importantly, does your current or proposed automation system fit within it? 

Cyber attacks, system hijacks and ransomware are real and present threats and should not be ignored. Sure, you may have firewalls and tight network security inside your plant. But if something sneaks through, taking advantage of a zero-day exploit, you could be in big trouble. 

What protection mechanisms does your automation system have? What redundancy in situations like this does it offer? That might be reason enough to buy a system that offers at least some form of hybrid cloud that allows for almost instant service restoral.

Will my system support interoperability?

It is not uncommon lately to find a myriad of technologies in the studio. There are the standard fader consoles, glass (touchscreen) mixers, AoIP networks, video cameras, lighting systems, remote voice tracking, geographically diverse studios, and more. 

If your studio doesn’t have some of these things yet, it will someday. Conduct a detailed review of the interoperability of the proposed system. Ask about how easily it interfaces to AoIP protocols, especially the control layer. 

The system should be able to handle basic camera control for visual radio. How easily does it manage remote connections to other locations, especially work-from-home situations that are common in the pandemic? We all made it work, but how simple was the workflow? 

The bottom line is that you should ensure your next automation purchase can easily integrate into and improve your workflows. You should not have to “work around” the system to make things play nice.

Are they a vendor or a partner? 

I think most of us would agree that purchasing an automation system is about as significant as it gets. You can have the best console, transmitter and talent, but everyone suffers without a functional playout system. That includes the audience. 

So when choosing, ask yourself if the manufacturer is someone you’d consider as a business partner who is there for you before, during and after the sale and installation. 

Like airplanes and consoles, a playout system, once installed, is in operation for many years. This is not something you’ll be swapping out every year. 

Take a close look at your proposed partner’s bench strength. How many employees do they have? We all know how important technical support is. How experienced is their support team? What is their track record for development and focus on the product line? 

Are they financially sound? You want them to be around for a long time, and you want them to have funding to pursue research and development well into the future. Some companies make a friendly playout system but do not have the funding to develop future technologies or adapt to changing workflows. 

Does the company listen to feedback and incorporate suggestions into future releases? How often do they update their software (ask about minor releases and major version updates)? Do they have a presence in the country where you operate?

What’s my game plan? 

As in any significant station project, make sure you have a plan from the start. 

This means you should have a strong understanding of why you are changing or upgrading your automation system. You may need to revisit this question as you dig into the costs and resources needed to execute the plan. It is not uncommon for a stakeholder to ask, “Tell me again why we are going through all this effort and expense.” If you can’t justify the necessities, you may run into obstacles receiving the final sign-off. 

Identify your upgrade and conversion team ahead of time and designate a leader and key decision-makers. Typically, these working groups will include representatives from engineering, programming, operations, finance/management and sales. Each of these departments is affected by the choice of system and feature set, so it is best to include them early in the process. 

In summary, don’t approach the purchase as though it is a simple piece of gear.

The author is a veteran engineering executive and owner of Kline Consulting Group LLC

The post With Automation, You’re Buying More Than a Product appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Luis Buñuel High School Launches Digital Studio

Radio World - Sat, 09/11/2021 - 08:00

The author is project manager with AEQ.

Luis Buñuel High School is in Móstoles, a city of just over 200,000, west of Madrid. It is a public training center that develops intermediate-and higher-level professional education, including specializations in media, TV and radio.

The school recently inaugurated a digital radio studio with AEQ technology including Capitol-IP digital audio mixer and attendant AEQ studio accessories.

The studio has five talent positions, professional radio automation software, a technical control position and the necessary equipment to produce radio programs in a professional way with professional material.

Several AEQ accessories were installed in the radio studio to make work easier.

These include the AEQ Studiobox, a signaling box that facilitates the interaction of the talent with the controller. Among other buttons, it has a mute or cough button.

The AEQ Studiobox is shown in use at Luis Buñuel High School.

There is also a button in the Buñuel radio Studioboxes, labeled “Tech,” a talkback control. With it, even in the middle of an on-air announcement, the user interrupts the on-air microphone to give instruction to the controller who listens through his monitors or headphones. In addition, the Studiobox’s unique ring will be green when the studio is ready to open microphones and red when the microphones are live on-air.

Also in the studio are AEQ HB 02 microphone panels. These provide connection of the microphone and the headphones of each user, and allow an individual control of the listening level in their headphones.

For AoIP interfacing, AEQ’s Netbox 4 MH allows connection to the audio network via IP, up to four input channels for microphone or analog lines and four output channels, for stereo headset and analog lines. Netbox 4 has GPIOs for signalling terminals such as Studiobox. It can be powered by PoE.

This device is responsible for connecting the studio microphones to the IP network, making it available not only in the control but also in any of the audio editing workstations for students to prepare their individual audio files to practice assembling news and interview summaries.

In the U.S., contact Peter Howarth at AEQ Broadcast International at 1-800-728-0536 or www.aeqbroadcast.com. Elsewhere, contact Gustavo Robles at AEQ in Spain at +34-91-686-1300 or www.aeq.eu.

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Categories: Industry News

“IPAWS Loves Broadcast Resilience”

Radio World - Sat, 09/11/2021 - 04:00

The NAB Show is set for October in Las Vegas.

Wade Witmer is deputy director of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, or IPAWS, Program Management Office in FEMA National Continuity Programs. This is one in a series of interviews with exhibitors ahead of the show.

Radio World: What is your news or message for NAB Show attendees?

Wade Witmer: Our message is “IPAWS Loves Broadcast Resilience.”

With the modernization of the National Public Warning System — NPWS Primary Entry Point or “PEP” stations — the opening of our new 24/7 Technical Support Services Facility and our advocacy to the Federal Communications Commission for the recent changes to EAS, FEMA wishes to show the continued viability of EAS and our support for broadcasters.

We invite NAB Show attendees to the FEMA exhibit, where they can talk with our experts on EAS usage and all things alerting.

The 2021 IPAWS National Test, conducted Aug. 11, delivered the EAS portion of the test via the broadcast “daisy chain.” We want to hear attendees’ experiences receiving and forwarding the test to their audiences.

RW: What are the most important trends or changes in alerting?

Witmer: First, we’re watching the development of advanced alerting capabilities in ATSC 3.0.

Also, IPAWS-OPEN, FEMA’s central alert message aggregator, has been moved from brick-and-mortar servers to a cloud provider. This gives us the flexibility and resilience to survive connectivity issues and localized data-center issues.

The IPAWS PMO has updated the training materials and documentation it offers Alerting Authorities, which are agencies of state, local, tribal and territorial governments authorized to send public alerts through IPAWS.

Further, the FCC has affirmed the important role of State Emergency Communications Committees in planning for public alerting. The IPAWS PMO looks forward to coordinating with SECCs to fine-tune and improve their plans.

Finally, FEMA is coordinating with the FCC about Persistent EAS Alerts as called for in the National Defense Authorization Act. FEMA notes that these types of emergency alerts “should persist on EAS until the alert time has expired or is cancelled by the alert originator.”

RW: How has the pandemic affected the organization’s work?

Witmer: Our staff has maintained contact with Alerting Authorities, Alert Origination Software Providers and regulatory agencies by email, teleconferencing and telephone. If anything, because of the critical demands of emergency events at this time, our communications have improved.

FEMA teams continue to travel to NPWS stations to supervise facilities construction, testing and maintenance.

RW: Anything else we should know?

Witmer: The National Weather Service is not posting their weather alerts and warnings to the IPAWS EAS Feed. Broadcasters need to know that the only source for NWS alerts for EAS participants is via NOAA Weather Radio or another custom source.

For more information on IPAWS, check out our website at www.fema.gov/ipaws or email IPAWS@fema.dhs.gov.

The post “IPAWS Loves Broadcast Resilience” appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Several TV Exhibitors Withdraw From NAB Show

Radio World - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 16:31

Several big-name TV exhibitors announced in the past several days that they won’t exhibit at the NAB Show in October. The pandemic continues to play havoc with major industry trade shows 18 months after it swept across the United States.

Canon issued a statement Friday afternoon: “Due to the ongoing health and safety concerns presented by the COVID-19 Delta variant, Canon has made a carefully considered decision to withdraw from this year’s NAB and InfoComm Shows. The communities that NAB and InfoComm represent are something that we will greatly miss this year, but the health and safety of our team members, customers, and potential show guests is our number one priority.”

Ross Video on Friday morning issued an announcement, “As time has passed since the revised dates for 2021 were announced, it has become increasingly apparent that the challenges posed by the fluctuating public health situation in Nevada (and elsewhere around the world), travel restrictions into the USA, logistics and general uncertainty among exhibitors and potential attendees are, regrettably, too great to enable Ross to participate.” Ross is based in Canada.

Also on Friday, the website of Sports Video Group reported that Panasonic had withdrawn from the NAB Show.

And earlier in the week, Sony Electronics said it would not exhibit at either the NAB Show or InfoComm, though it planned a press conference at the NAB Show prior to its opening. Sony quoted Theresa Alesso, president of the Pro Division of Sony Electronics, saying, “While these events are an important forum to reach our customers and introduce new products, this is a choice we made to ensure we’re putting our employees’ and our partners’ health and well-being first.”

Responding to the Sony news, NAB Senior VP of Communications Ann Marie Cumming told AV Network on Tuesday that Sony is a valued partner and NAB respected its decision. “Recognizing that NAB Show is an economic engine for our industry, we are committed to delivering a productive in-person experience and have taken important steps to prioritize the safety of our community, including requiring proof of vaccination,” Cumming said Tuesday, estimating that there were some 600 exhibiting companies planning to show.

There was no immediate comment from NAB on the subsequent departures.

The post Several TV Exhibitors Withdraw From NAB Show appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

A Morning News Content Director for a Connecticut Pair

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 15:59

TEGNA’s two television stations serving the Constitution State have a new morning news content director, as of Monday.

He’ll be responsible for overseeing The FOX61 Morning News, which airs weekdays from 4am to 11am on one of those two UHF properties serving most of Connecticut.

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Categories: Industry News

S&P On Retrans Wars: ‘Carriage Blackouts Cost Cable Nets Millions’

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 15:45

The prevalence of cord cutting and the decline in cable network viewership complicate carriage agreements between cable network companies and traditional multichannel operators.

According to Kagan estimates, top cable networks lost about $179.5 million in affiliate fees since 2013 from cable carriage disputes that resulted in blackouts that were eventually resolved.

Cable network owners risk affiliate revenue loss in hopes of producing a more favorable deal with traditional multichannel operators.

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Categories: Industry News

Pittman, Bressler To Appear at BofA Affair

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 15:31

The Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference will be held on Monday (9/13).

Among those participating at the event: the CEO and the COO/CFO of the nation’s largest audio content creation and distribution company.

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Categories: Industry News

A Good Idea For Ideastream? A Kent State Takeover

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 14:59

By Rob Dumke

AKRON, OHIO — Travel 20 minutes to the northeast of this Ohio city, and you’ll reach Kent State University.

It’s the home of a Class B FM that offers “Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio,” primarily to Akron and Canton and also to the Cleveland market due north of campus.

That programming isn’t likely to change anytime soon. But, the ownership could be, following the initiation of a “public service operating agreement” at the end of the month.

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Categories: Industry News

Memories of 9/11 Haunt Me Still

Radio World - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 13:54
An American flag is shown unfurled at the Pentagon in 2018 to mark the anniversary of 9/11. Nearly 3,000 people died in the terror attacks. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It’s remarkable and unsettling to think that 20 years have passed since that day.

Like most of us over the age of 35 or so, I know exactly where I was on 9/11. Shortly before 9 a.m., I was settling in for a day’s work in my Radio World office overlooking Columbia Pike in northern Virginia.

My colleague Terry Scutt called in from her desk near my office door, telling me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

I immediately pictured a small single-engine aircraft, though my mind also turned to the B-25 bomber that had struck the Empire State Building in 1945. In that tragedy, which took 14 lives, the ESB itself, though seriously damaged, withstood the crash. I knew that story because I was born in Manhattan and have always held a special feeling for the city.

Vaguely uneasy, I tried to envision what the World Trade Center would look like after a plane had struck it.

Of course I went online to see if I could learn more about what had happened, but the internet was locked up.

Now people were talking in the hallway, saying unbelievable things. That this maybe wasn’t an accident but an attack. Though my memory is fuzzy about the sequence, at some point someone turned on a television, and I no longer had to try to imagine what a skyscraper looked like after being hit by an aircraft.

Unbelievably, within 17 minutes, a second plane struck, and then we knew for sure that these were no accidents. Like the rest of the country, I and my co-workers felt a rising sense of fear along with our horror.

[Related: A Timeline of 9/11]

What we didn’t know in the office was that, even as we tried to absorb these two stomach-wrenching developments, Flight 77, coming from the west, was making a looping maneuver almost directly above our own heads — not once but twice. More murderers were pointing another plane at another target.

Radio World’s office sat 4.7 miles from the home of the American military. The road outside my window pointed directly at the Pentagon, and the jet was now flying directly parallel to that road.

Shortly after it passed over our heads a second time, it struck.

What follows in my memory is even more blurred. Sirens began to scream on Columbia Pike as emergency vehicles rushed to the northeast. Some of us went to the roof and could see smoke rising from the crash site. Office mates were crying and trying to call their spouses and children. Rumors flew in our hallways of yet more planes taken, more terrorists in the air, a threat to the White House. Someone said a bomb had gone off at the State Department.

All this while, images on the TV showed the two towers burning, with people visible in the upper floors, waving, pleading for help. We knew there had to be hundreds if not thousands of people in there. The news anchors were talking in hushed, frightened voices.

Without mercy, the hammer blows continued.

A tower, astonishingly, collapsed in front of our eyes.

A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

A second tower crumbled.

And all under that bright-blue, cloudless sky. Forever, the blue sky of late summer in Virginia will remind me of that day.

The attacks involved the broadcasting industry not just because it was news but because WTC was home to significant television and radio infrastructure.

That infrastructure was lost and stations were knocked off the air. But human beings tended those transmission plants. Bob Pattison, Don DiFranco, Steve Jacobson, Bill Steckman, Rod Coppola and Isaias Rivera were among the almost 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Shock. Fury. Numbness.

How does one speak about the unspeakable? I feel nausea coming back even as I dig up these memories.

What lesson is to be learned?

To never forget? Certainly. To honor those who died, and to revere those who rush toward such disasters, rather than away from them, to help? Yes. To cherish our lives every day, to try to remember in these divisive times that some values bind Americans together, and that we should be kinder to one another? To work against hate and fanaticism and those who would attack our home and our values?

Of course.

But the feeling is so empty. The loss was so pointless. Americans seem angrier with one another than ever.

And the years move on.

Wherever you find yourself tomorrow morning, please join me and Radio World in remembering those who died; those who lived and saw their lives shattered; and those who answered the call for help.

Paul McLane is editor in chief of Radio World.

 

The post Memories of 9/11 Haunt Me Still appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Marketplace Names Neal Scarbrough VP/GM

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 12:03

Neal Scarbrough is joining American Public Media business news franchise, Marketplace. He comes over from FOX Sports where he was VP and Executive Editor.

“We are excited for Neal to come on board as Marketplace’s new Vice President and General Manager. He has an extensive background in media, broadcast journalism and a strong track record when it comes to innovation, program development and building audiences,” said Dave Kansas, President of American Public Media. “In addition, Neal is a proven culture leader, with a deep devotion to diversity and inclusion. We are excited to have him joining the APM leadership team and look forward to adding his gifts and talents to all that we do at Marketplace and APM.”

“What we thought we knew about our economy changes every day, and Marketplace has established a gold standard using interviews and storytelling to make real sense of it to real people,” said Scarbrough. “It’s a big win for me to be able to work with such a dynamic collection of talent, producers and editors.”

Scarbrough will oversee a team of broadcast and digital journalists, editors and producers across radio and on demand in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, London and Shanghai.

Categories: Industry News

Two New EVP’s At Hearst

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 11:59

Hearst Television has promoted Eric Meyrowitz (left), SVP Sales, and Ashley Gold (right), VP Sales, to Executive Vice Presidents and group heads of the company. In their new roles, Gold and Meyrowitz will share oversight of Hearst Television’s 33 television stations and two radio stations along with Michael J. Hayes, EVP.

“For the last five years, Ashley and Eric have been a fantastic team leading our sales organization to new heights,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “I am truly excited that both will join Mike Hayes in providing outstanding leadership and assistance to our local operators. Our ability to have such accomplished executives, who have successfully served in both station sales management and general management, seamlessly step into these important roles speaks to the outstanding depth of talent in our company.”

The promotions come on the heels of Frank Biancuzzo, a longtime Hearst Televison EVP, being

Categories: Industry News

Sean Hannity Marks 20th Anniversary

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 11:53

This week marks the 20th Anniversary of ‘The Sean Hannity Show’ in syndication. The Premiere Networks syndicated talker is heard on more than 650 stations.

“But for this audience, I would not be where I am today,” shared Hannity. “I am humbled and grateful for the men and women who give me this microphone every day, and to the greatest country in the world, that allowed me the opportunity to pursue this dream. Thank you.”

“Sean is one of the most talented personalities in all of talk radio, and we couldn’t be happier to mark this special milestone with him,” said Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks. “His passion for talk radio and dedication to his audience continue to drive growth and success for our station and advertising partners.”

Along with being a member of the Radio Hall of Fame, Hannity has been honored with two Marconi awards.

Categories: Industry News

Power Limits, Channel Protection, Proximate Transmitters and Border Spacing – All Concerns Of NAB.

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 11:47

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is offering comment on the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), on a number of broadcast radio technical rules under consideration for elimination or adjustment.

“NAB appreciates the Commission’s goal of eliminating or updating unnecessary or outmoded regulations and supports many of the changes proposed in the NPRM. However, given the thousands of radio stations currently operating in the U.S. under challenging economic conditions, it is critical that none of the changes cause any unanticipated consequences.”

Several of the proposed changes noted in the NAB comments:

The Commission Should Eliminate the Maximum Rated Power Limit for AM Transmitters-
“The rated power of a transmitter has nothing to do with compliance with the station’s license terms, and elimination of this rule is not likely to result in increased noncompliance. Further, elimination of this rule should broaden the market of transmitters available to stations and enhance the secondary market for AM transmitters by allowing stations of any class to use transmitters of any rated power. Elimination of this rule may also improve the economics of running an AM station and may reduce the number of transmitters scrapped.”

The Commission Should Harmonize the Second-Adjacent Channel Protection Requirement for Class D (FM) Stations-
“NAB submits that the interference potential for Class D stations is no greater than for other classes and there is no reason to have a different second-adjacent channel protection requirement, particularly given the demonstrated success of the less restrictive requirements for other stations. NAB also observes that few, if any, new Class D licenses have been granted in the past decade and therefore the impact of this rule change will be minimal.”

The Commission Should Not Eliminate the Regulatory Requirement to Consider Proximate Transmitting Facilities-
“The Commission proposes to eliminate a section of the rules, which provides that applications proposing the use of FM transmitting antennas in the immediate vicinity of other FM or TV broadcast antennas must include a showing as to the expected effect, if any, of such approximate operation. The Commission concludes that the rule is unnecessary because broadcast radio antennas within this physical proximity are unlikely to create interference problems. NAB respectfully disagrees. We submit that this requirement provides an important legal tool for defining interference protection rights. NAB believes that eliminating the rule is tantamount to instructing applicants not to worry about the potential effects of their operation on existing stations.”

Other proposed changes addressed in the NAB comments included concerns that broadcasters in the Canadian and Mexican border areas should not be adversely harmed by “Spacing” changes in the regulations.

You can view the full comments from the NAB HERE.

Categories: Industry News

An LMA-to-Buy That’s Purely ‘Positiva’

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 07:30

How much value does a 1,000-watt Class C AM serving half of a major metropolitan area have in 2021?

For one Hispanic broadcaster in an area with a fast-growing populace of Spanish speakers, there’s a lot of value — as reflected in the price of a transaction seven years in the making that has just been filed with the Commission.

It’s the best Hispanic Radio Conference ever, and you won’t want to miss a minute of it. Join us later this month in Miami!

 

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Categories: Industry News

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