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Licensee Claims FCC Overstepped Its Bounds By Issuing $1,500 Forfeiture

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 16:14

A missed deadline led the Federal Communications Commission to issue a monetary forfeiture for $1,500 to the licensee of an FM translator station — despite the licensee’s protestations that the Media Bureau had overstepped its bounds.

The FCC rules require that station license renewal applications be filed no later than the first day of the fourth month prior to the expiration of the license. For FM translator W275CC in Macon, Ga., the application for renewal should have been filed by Dec. 2, 2019, prior to the expiration date of April 1, 2020. The licensee, LLF Holdings, filed the application on March 17 and provided no explanation for its untimely filing, the Media Bureau said in its forfeiture order.

Violations like these have a base forfeiture of $3,000. But the Media Bureau reduced the proposed forfeiture in this case to $1,500 because the station is one that provides a secondary service. The bureau gave the licensee 30 days to either pay the full amount of the forfeiture or submit a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation.

[Read: Another Translator, Another Fine]

Soon after, LLF Holdings responded to the bureau to admit that while it did not file its renewal application on time, it had had several points of contention with the Media Bureau’s decision. The first, LLF said, was that the bureau erred in not granting its renewal application at the same time it issued the Notice of Apparent Liability.

Secondly, LLF said that the proposed forfeiture should simply be cancelled outright. Specifically, the licensee argued that section 504(c) of the Communications Act of 1934 actually bars the commission from “making the payment of a civil forfeiture a condition precedent to the grant of an application.” LLF went on to say that civil forfeitures are only recoverable in new proceedings brought in federal district court.

LLF had a few other concerns: one, that FCC rules and its forfeiture policy statement do not include a forfeiture provision for late-filed renewal applications. Secondly, LLF said the bureau did not put it on notice about the potential forfeiture, which the licensee claims is in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. And finally, LLF argued that the commission has treated other licensees differently, like when it granted late-filed renewal applications for translator stations in Georgia and Alabama without imposing a fine.

But the Media Bureau rejected all of LLF’s arguments. It said that sending out the Notice of Apparently Liability was part of the renewal process and that withholding the grant of the renewal until a forfeiture is paid is consistent with statute and case law. The Communications Act gives the commission the authority to impose a forfeiture against any licensee that fails to comply with its rules, the bureau said. “The commission expects, and it is each licensee’s obligation, to know and comply with all of the commission’s rules.” Moreover, the bureau said it has a long made it clear that failure to file a timely renewal application is grounds for the issuance for a monetary forfeiture.

As to LLF’s other arguments, the bureau said no case law was provided to show that the bureau is precluded from withholding a renewal application pending payment of a forfeiture issued in the same proceeding involving that application.

When it comes to the FCC not imposing a fee on other late filed application, the bureau reminded LLF that the bureau gives licensees a 30-day grace period in which to file renewal applications following the filing deadline without imposing a monetary forfeiture. The Georgia and Alabama stations cited by LLF filed their applications within 30 days of the filing deadline. LLF did not file its renewal application until March 17, 2020, the bureau said, well over three months past the filing deadline and outside the 30-day grace period.

As a result the Media Bureau found that LLF is still liable for a monetary forfeiture of $1,500.

 

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Categories: Industry News

Even More to All-Digital AM

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 15:26

Michelle Bradley is the founder of REC Networks and a regulatory advocate representing LPFM and other citizen’s access to spectrum initiatives.

Those who know me know that I am a supporter of the new MA3 all-digital AM service and like Larry Langford, I am very much opposed to the MA1 hybrid system. Unfortunately, the bad experiences from MA1 has left a bad taste in people’s mouths regarding IBOC digital radio in the AM broadcast spectrum. The main dilemma with MA3 of course, is the flash cut. If you flash cut to digital, you completely cut off analog listeners. This is why some of us worked on assuring that there were protections to consumers as well as protections to other impacted broadcasters by calling for a 30-day notification period before a AM station can flash cut to digital.

Right now, there are many smaller AM stations in rural and suburban areas that have been successful at getting FM translators with fairly decent coverage within their service areas. At the same time, there are many community groups in suburban, urban and deep urban areas who desire to have a nonprofit independent voice; a voice that does not compete with, but instead complements the selection of other stations on the local dial. With more listeners abandoning radio for streaming services, we shouldn’t be focusing on having the same voice in more than one place, but instead, more choices and more voices.

[Read: Sweeten the Pot to Entice AM Digital]

The idea of allowing another 250-mile move opportunity for AM stations that flash cut will do absolutely nothing to help improve LPFM. If anything, it will further foreclose on opportunities for new community voices, in favor of a duplicate version of an existing voice available elsewhere. Many of these “satellators,” which Larry speaks of are in more rural areas, areas that still have some LPFM availability. Therefore, moving these translators out of those areas and towards more urban and suburban areas will not do anything for LPFM growth, but will create increased interference to existing LPFM stations, especially considering that there is no proof of performance enforcement on FM translators with directional antennas and there have been many cases where the translator was built with a nondirectional or other noncompliant antenna, despite the construction permit calling for a specific directional pattern. Because of how valuable urban translators are (because of the toxic HD over analog culture that has been established), a small AM broadcaster would never be able to afford to move a translator out of an urban area, up to 250 miles for use as an AM HD crutch. Again, this does nothing to help increase opportunities for LPFM broadcasters.

If we are getting to this point of where HD receiver penetration is starting to increase, then we need to address the other major waste of duplicating spectrum that could be better used for local voices, and that is the use of an FM translator to provide “fill-in” service for a primary FM station’s HD multicast stream. If the commission, the National Association of Broadcasters and the rest of the industry is really serious about diversity and more efficient spectrum use, then we need to remove the incentive for FM stations to use their HD capacity as nothing more than an overglorified STL for translators. If we are increasing the HD receiver penetration, not only will it increase for AM, as Larry would like to see, but it will also increase for FM. And, if that is the case, then there would be no need for more or moved translators. Instead, listeners looking for other services (including co-owned AM station streams) could simply tune to the HD2/3/4 of a full-service FM station, which can provide a better digital coverage than a 250 watt translator in most cases.

We, as an industry, both radio and television, need to better look at how the spectrum is used and make appropriate changes. We have been seeing a lot of rulemaking activity where existing VHF television stations are asking to move to UHF. Currently, TV Channel 6 has only 10 full-service stations. Of those 10, two have already asked the FCC to move to UHF due to reception issues and receiver antenna compatibility with other stations in their market. With the opportunities that ATSC3 can provide, including mobile and portable viewing, there is no room for a service that requires a larger antenna to receive (also thinking of the whole cellphone FM receiver debacle with the headphone as the antenna). The industry needs a long term plan to revitalize AM and that plan should be is to migrate stations to FM spectrum. While other countries, like Mexico have been very successful in migrating AM stations to FM, there is simply not enough room at the inn to migrate even the Class C and D AM stations into the existing 100 channels. We need to follow the lead of Japan and Brazil and start phasing in facilities on spectrum outside of the existing FM band. This would mean at the minimum, reallocating the Channel 6 spectrum to provide 30 new FM channels or better yet, Channels 5 and 6 for 60 channels. The radios are readily available as they are marketed in Brazil and Japan. Some existing receivers could be modified with a firmware change. A lot of low-band spectrum is going to waste and could be better used for other purposes. I am pretty sure some hams out there would be very appreciative to have access to Channel 2 (54–60 MHz), especially for amateur television use during sunspot cycle peaks. I know I am one of them.

The automotive and radio receiver industry needs to make HD Radio, standard equipment, not a “luxury option” like with some manufacturers. Our culture needs to embrace the HD subchannels and not use them like a crutch for analog translators, but instead, use them the best we can to provide the most choices and the most voices on the original app made for listening to audio.. radio. This way, everyone has a place on the dial, one place on the dial.

 

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Categories: Industry News

On-Air Radio Revenue Tanked ~24% in 2020

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 05:00

You can’t put lipstick on a pig. And you can’t make business year 2020 look any better for the commercial radio industry in the United States. It simply sucked.

And here’s a new chart that shows the big hurt that COVID-10 put on the industry.

“As anticipated, the radio industry took a very big hit in 2020 due to the pandemic and subsequent cutbacks in overall spending activity,” said BIA Advisory Services in its announcement.

“According to the first quarter edition of BIA Advisory Services’ 2021 Investing In Radio Market Report, over-the-air advertising revenues dropped to $9.7 billion, a 23.6% decline from $12.8 billion in 2019.”

Even hardened radio sales veterans may swallow hard when they hear that the industry’s revenue fell below the $10 billion mark.

BIA said digital ad revenues at stations “demonstrated their continued strength,” declining only slightly to $939 million in 2020 versus $1 billion in 2019.

Still, that’s the first time in memory when the digital portion of our radio industry’s revenue went south in a given year.

SVP and Chief Economist Mark Fratrik said in the announcement, “Local radio stations have been feeling the impact of new competition for the past few years; unfortunately, the pandemic just exacerbated the problem and it will take some time to recover.”

Even though those blue digital columns are still pretty small compared to the green OTA ones, he called online digital advertising radio’s “shining star.”

“Those broadcasting groups that have invested-in and oriented their companies toward digital will benefit faster from that foresight.”

The green lines in that chart start to grow again because Fratrik thinks 2021 total local radio revenue will be $11.7 billion, with about $1 billion from online revenues, a 9.7% increase.

Another measure of the economic lockup: BIA said station sales transactions fell “to levels that hadn’t been seen in years.”

It counted 534 stations sold in 2020 for an estimated value of $139 million, “a stark contrast from the 1,080 sold in 2011 for $1.1 billion.”

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Categories: Industry News

Telos Intros a High-Density Version of iPort

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 15:57

Telos Alliance has introduced a high-density version of its iPort, calling it a multi-codec gateway that lets broadcasters license up to 64 codecs in one rack unit.

“Worldwide networks use iPort for both distribution and contribution, spanning multiple time zones,” the company explained in its announcement.

“Now, the iPort legacy continues with the more powerful iPort High Density, which transports multiple channels of stereo, mono and dual-mono audio across IP networks, including private WANs, IP-radio links and over good quality public internet connections, perfect for large-scale distribution of audio to single or multiple locations.”

The iPort High Density comes with eight bidirectional stereo codecs, configurable to run in MPEG or Linear PCM mode.

“Broadcasters can license additional codecs up to a maximum of 64, as well as add Enhanced aptX encoding.”

The box connects to existing Livewire networks using one ethernet cable (CAT-6 recommended) for all I/O. It can also pair with Telos Alliance xNodes via an adequately configured ethernet switch for use as a standalone multi-stream codec.

The post Telos Intros a High-Density Version of iPort appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Starks Cites Local News as a Pillar

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 15:39

Despite the strain that digital native technology platforms have placed on their traditional business, local broadcast radio and TV will continue to play an important public interest role for years to come, said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

He spoke during a virtual luncheon sponsored by the Media Institute.

“Broadcasting has always been a steady and reliable resource to Americans,” he said, according to remarks provided by the commission. “And now more than ever, Americans still rely heavily on broadcast media to navigate the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

[Related: Sen. Cantwell Touts the Importance of Local Broadcast News]

Starks, one of the two current Democratic commissioners, quoted a recent study that found that broadcast TV was the most pervasive medium accessed during the pandemic, reaching 84% of Americans surveyed.

The study also found that local broadcast TV proved to be the most trusted news source with local TV news shows attracting 25 million nightly viewers.

The emphasis here should be on the word local, Starks said.

“Localism is one of the pillars that guides the FCC’s regulation of broadcasting, and now more than ever local TV stations must rise to the challenge of continuing to serve local audiences while at the same time navigating the evolving media landscape and managing the evolving needs of their diverse populations of consumers,” he said.

Starks quoted a recent study by BIA Advisory Services that found that the most trusted, highly consumed and most valued news source among all models is news produced by local broadcast stations.

The study also reveals the strain that technology platforms have placed on the traditional broadcast business model; TV and radio have steadily lost advertising revenue over the last several years.

When it comes to radio specifically, the pandemic has had a significant impact. For many years, disruptive technologies and applications like satellite radio and streaming services have attracted listeners away from broadcast radio. Starks noted that FCC latest figures show that there were 44 fewer licensed commercial FM stations and 34 fewer AMs a year after the coronavirus pandemic began.

Potential improvements may be in store with the upcoming planned auction this summer of four AM construction permits and 136 FM construction permits as part of Auction 109.

“In my view, the unique ability of radio to target specific audiences where they live and work gives broadcasters a competitive advantage,” he said. “I believe that local broadcast radio and TV will continue to play an important public interest role for years to come.”

The speech can be viewed at the Media Institute Communications Forum page.

At the virtual event, Starks also spoke about the importance of diversity in media, the future of media ownership, accessibility, localism and competition.

The post Starks Cites Local News as a Pillar appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

SummitMedia Promotes Tom Scott

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 00:19

Tom Scott has been promoted to the role of vice president/engineering for mid-size group owner SummitMedia.

“Scott will manage engineering for all SummitMedia Markets throughout the U.S.,” the Alabama-based company announced.

“He is a radio veteran with over 30 years of engineering experience and has served as a chief engineer for SummitMedia, Cox Radio Group and Clear Channel Radio.”

[Visit Radio World’s People News Page]

The announcement was made by SummitMedia CEO Carl Palmer, who highlighted Scott’s “depth of knowledge and strategic vision.”

The company has stations in Birmingham, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; Honolulu; Knoxville, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; Omaha, Neb.; Richmond, Va.; Springfield, Mo.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and Wichita, Kan. (Here’s a list of its stations.)

He succeeds Dennis Sloatman, who retired (read our interview with him).

Send engineering and executive People News announcements to radioworld@futurenet.com.

 

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Categories: Industry News

Sen. Cantwell Touts the Importance of Local Broadcast News

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 23:49
Sen. Maria Cantwell spoke with NAB President Gordon Smith at the State Leadership Conference about the important role that radio and TV broadcasters play in reporting legitimate news.

More must be done to preserve local news in local communities, especially in light of unfair competition and the bulk of misinformation that is often erroneously reported as news — that was the sentiment expressed by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) during a one-on-one chat with NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. Cantwell, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, spoke to Smith after giving a keynote address at the NAB’s 2021 virtual State Leadership Conference.

At the virtual conference, Cantwell spoke about the important role that radio and TV broadcasters play in reporting legitimate news; in her mind they are part of our nation’s critical infrastructure.

[Read: “My Heart Will Always Beat as a Broadcaster”]

Along those lines, she also announced her intention to propose a tax credit and grant program totaling $2.3 billion to support local journalism through the next few years.

“My message today is that local broadcasting continues to play an important role in creating trust in the United States of America,” she said during the interview with Smith. But it’s all too clear that TV stations, radio stations and newspapers face serious hardships caused both by major changes in information age and from the coronavirus, she said.

Although Congress passed the CARES Act in late 2020 to help support broadcasters through tax changes, small business loans and employee retention credits, the fight to protect journalism must continue, she said, as local broadcasters continue to shed jobs and fight stiff competition from digital native sources.

“Broadcast journalism and news journalism are part of [our] critical infrastructure,” Cantwell said, saying that the $2.3 billion in tax credits and grants to ensure that local journalism continues to thrive.

Under Cantwell’s plan, tax credits would help preserve the existing broadcast workforce and a grant program that would help broadcasters who are looking to rehire.

Smith asked Cantwell why she thought that local journalism qualifies as part of our critical infrastructure. “You provide information and challenges to other information that’ s inaccurate,” she said. “It’s an ecosystem that needs to be preserved.”

“What I really appreciate about broadcast journalism and local news in particular is that it is what holds us together,” she said. “It is what puts the eyes on our local legislators and our governments. And without that we’d really have a deterioration of our communities. It’s something we have to fight for.”

The NAB State Leadership Conference, an annual gathering of several hundred station owners and executives, provides updates on current legislative and regulatory issues facing TV and radio broadcasters.

 

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Categories: Industry News

I.T. Is the Platform on Which We Broadcast

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 20:00

The author is with E2 Technical Services & Solutions. This article is excerpted from the ebook “The Real World of AoIP.”

This story is excerpted from the ebook “The Real World of AoIP.” Click the cover to read it for free.

Planning a new studio system based on audio over internet protocol begins with what we have always done. First, the number of rooms is settled on, then the capabilities of each room are defined by their function.

While many new studio builds now include cameras and more large video screens than in the past, for the most part studio rooms are built to perform similar functions. There the similarities end.

Broadcast integrators and equipment installers have always been the last in the project timeline and often crashed in the past because of their requirement for point-to-point, “single channel per wire” topology. Studios had all the audio gear and needed huge cable bundles to a tech core with an under-utilized and massive infrastructure. No longer!

Packet switched networks using IP encapsulation and centralized digital storage controlled remotely mean studios have little equipment in them, and the entire audio system has moved to an IT core where single boxes do multiple things.

This centralization is enabled by audio signals that are controlled and distributed as streams combined on a single cable between two points, where many, even thousands, of signals are carried on just four pairs. The efficiency of data technology developed by the information technology industry for personal computers has been repurposed to make the installation of audio systems less wire-intensive, less expensive and more flexible at the same time.

Welcome to AoIP.

Speak the local language

To best take advantage of the world of IT, you must blend in with its practitioners. The IT team can be of great assistance in building out your state-of-the-art studio complex, or it can be one of your greatest hindrances. You want to keep them on your side as much as possible.

Learn proper use of IT terms, because those with an IT background usually have no idea of ours.

Modern networks run on switches and routers according to the OSI model. Hubs are not used. There are no such things as “network switchers” or “switching hubs.”

Their routers are not the same as what we term an audio router. Nodes are items that create the network. This includes routers to guide packet traffic between networks, and switches that provide a connection point to the network. Endpoints are purpose-specific devices. For example, an audio console/video production switcher is a Human Interface Device (HID) and an endpoint. You should translate broadcast systems into that construct to talk to an IT professional.

IT is no longer a backend function, it is the platform on which we broadcast. Media networks use certain IGMP or Multicast protocols, featuring a “querier” that not all IT will know about.

AoIP is networked audio. AES67 is a protocol for use in AoIP. Neither is the same as AES3, which is point-to-point serial digital audio signal. Both use XLRs and RJ45s. And then there is AES50.

These various wiring and signal standards have been developed by the Audio Engineering Society in conjunction with audio industry manufacturers, but don’t get carried away with these terms in the IT world. The confusion in the use of terms with “AES” as a reference can lead to very expensive mistakes.

PTP for IT means Precision Time Protocol, a network standard aka IEEE-1588. This standard is the key to making media function at low latency on an IP network. Learn about PTP. Nothing else works if the PTP does not. The current standard is PTPv2 and was updated recently. Every network has a PTP Master Clock, which may be associated with more than one piece of hardware.

AoIP requires some different tools for troubleshooting and test that come from the IT industry. Learn about WireShark/pcap, PTP Track Hound, VLC, subnet calculators and other free but very useful tools for network admin. IT Command Line tools such as Ping, Arp -a and Netsh are useful in troubleshooting and testing.

There is much cooperation behind the scenes with some vendors. The network is becoming agnostic and ubiquitous, which will support competing product endpoints among different manufacturers.

Know where you’re going

AoIP moves along networks based on Internet Protocol addressing schemes. A typical AoIP network is often isolated from other networks and uses protected subnetworks (subnets) that allow only the audio streams and broadcast signaling to travel between them.

This is a critical part of network design, which is often done early in the design and then handed off to the audio team. It’s important to understand how these networks are described.

IP addressing is not magic and it is very logically structured.

IP addressing since 1996 uses a technique called CIDR (the /x after IP address). The smaller the x that comes after the slash, the larger number of IP addresses are available. In an IPv4 address there are four groups of binary octets, zeroes or ones, representing a number between 0 and 255. There can be a total of 256 addresses in each octet.

I suggest building AoIP networks on a Class B or CIDR /18 structure, which allows 16,382 total addresses and uses a netmask of 255.255.192.0.

For example, the above netmask would allow a range of addresses from 172.20.192.xxx to 172.20.255.xxx, or 64 x 256 addresses (255–191 = 64). Follow a pattern such as 172.20.X.Y/ where X= studio or rack and Y= device in the rack.

Media networks should use Static addresses on a private network. DHCP should be avoided. Instead of DHCP, AoIP may use automatic private number addressing. In an enterprise network, ask the administrator to use DHCP reserve, which requires you provide the MAC address in exchange for an address reserved in DHCP. This provides static address behavior while preserving the net admin’s control.

When doing network changes, patience is a virtue. Not all network changes are instant. Many timers run to 15, 30 or 60 seconds. Always wait to see the effect of change! And backup, backup, backup.

Keep track of everything

A useful organizational system before installing anything is to copy all Media Access Controller (MAC) addresses and Serial Numbers (S/N) to a spreadsheet with their assigned room location and IP addresses.

While everything has a MAC address and serial number, you can’t always fit that label on the back of a device that’s one rack unit high and only a half rack unit; the sticker ends up on the bottom cover plate, invisible after installation. Assign an asset tag number and place that number on the equipment front panel to allow easy location of a particular device.

In studios, custom software programs are essential to setup and operation of the equipment. They are often delivered by email or download from a company site. Be sure purchasing forwards confirmation emails so that you have the license or directions on how to download! Keep a separate spreadsheet of license keys that are specific to individual devices (e.g Pro Tools editing software).

When doing the system configuration for the first time, keep in mind that every signal is both a source and a destination depending on your perspective. It becomes important to structure the names of signal sources and other ID criteria so that you do not have 12 items called MIC_1 or Console PGM and no idea of Source/From or Destination /To.

Recent AoIP systems now allow both short and long signal names to assist with this organization. The short name is what will appear on the console channel display, for example, and is often limited to eight characters. The associated long name allows more information to be included, such as the signal location, to help locate the correct signal when troubleshooting or doing system configuration.

Plan for growth. A plant will have more, not fewer networked items in the future If your count is 20 devices don’t use a 24-port switch, go to the next size!

Spend a few extra dollars and purchase a dedicated PC for the tech core to hold system management tools and documentation. This computer should be able to access all the secure subnets for the audio systems equipment (consider making this computer available to offsite via a remote control program for remote troubleshooting).

Get a printer/scanner that handles 11×17 and scan to PDF everything that you may need to share with the installation team, such as system diagrams. Create a set of configuration backups or default settings on the PC that are clearly marked with the date in the file name.

Final tips

Build ahead of install to reduce the time of install. Almost the entire system can be put together in an office, programmed and put back in the box until final installation.

As noted earlier, the broadcast installers are at the very end of the project timeline, after everyone else has run into problems and the schedule has slipped perilously close to the move-in date. If you’ve got the space to do this pre-installation work, then do it early and be the hero who gets the job in on time.

Comment on this or any story to radioworld@futurenet.com.

The author is with E2 Technical Services & Solutions, offering media systems consulting and engineering including networked audio, video and A/V over IP.   

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Categories: Industry News

Remembering the Early Days of KWTX

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 16:10
Beauford Jester and seven Waco businessmen started KWTX radio in 1946. (Associated Press Photo, 1946.)

The author worked at KWTX(AM/FM) in 1975–1979 as a board operator, announcer and DJ. He is a personal collector and preservationist of central Texas broadcasting memorabilia.

An application for a new Class 4 radio station (250 watts, unlimited broadcast hours) at 1230 “kilocycles” in Waco, Texas, was filed with the Federal Communications Commission by Beauford Jester in April 1941. Jester (1893–1949) was an attorney with political ambitions. He would be elected Texas governor in 1946 and again in 1948. He died before the end of his second term.

After submitting his FCC application, Jester realized he would need strong local support and financial backing to improve his chances of getting the Waco radio station. He recruited seven prominent Waco businessmen as investors. They formed a corporation and began acquiring the necessary equipment to build and operate the new station.

The FCC stopped approving new broadcast station licenses soon after World War II began. This was in an effort to help conserve raw materials, manufactured goods and skilled labor needed for the war effort. All Jester and his Waco investors could do now was wait until wartime equipment and construction restrictions were lifted.

M.N. “Buddy” Bostick was hired as KWTX(AM) station manager in 1946. He was the youngest radio station manager in Texas at the time. (Photo date and location unknown.)

The end of the second world war brought the news Jester had waited nearly five years to hear. The FCC granted the license for the new Waco radio station in January, 1946. Jester and associates turned their attention to getting the station on the air as quickly as possible. But first they needed someone to oversee construction and management. This task went to M.N. “Buddy” Bostick (1918–2017). Twenty-eight year old Bostick was the youngest radio station manager in Texas at the time.

“I knew radio was going to be my life,” Bostick told this author during several interviews between 2010 and 2012. “I went through Baylor University in Waco studying to be a radio announcer.”

While in college, Bostick began his own radio program, and became Baylor’s publicity man, scheduling broadcasts on Texas radio stations to promote the university’s professors, musical groups and sporting events. “I was ready for radio when I got out of school,” Bostick said.

KWTX radio advertisement in the 1946 Waco City Directory.

After graduating in 1939, Bostick worked at radio stations in Little Rock, Ark., Memphis, Tenn. and Dallas. During World War II, he trained as a fighter pilot, but the war ended before he saw action. Bostick dreamt for years of starting his own radio station in Waco, and after learning that Jester had applied for the license, Bostick contacted him many times in hopes he would be considered for a position once the license was granted.

“[Jester] called me, and said he wanted me to make my presentation [to the investors],” Bostick said. “I told them how good I was, and what a big operation we were going to have, and how it was going to be highly successful. They believed me, and said go to work.”

Bostick may deserve credit for selecting KWTX as the station’s ID. The call letters K Waco TeXas were selected not only for the station’s locale, but also to let Wacoans know they now had a new station at 1230 kHz on the radio dial to listen to besides the one with the city’s namesake — WACO at 1460 kHz.

Two-story building at 108 S. 6th Street in downtown Waco was the original of KWTX radio from 1946 to 1952. The radio studio and offices were on the upper floor. (2012 photo.)

“We had our first office and studio upstairs at 108-1/2 South 6th Street,” Bostick said. The second floor included a control room, 78 rpm record library, offices for sales, copy and bookkeeping, a reception lobby, along with the studio.

“The large, wood-paneled studio had no parallel walls. They were cylindrical,” Bostick said. He recalled that Jester, who had served on the University of Texas Board of Regents, asked University of Texas professor Dr. Paul Boner to design the studio. The professor was an expert in architectural acoustics, and had planned similar studios at several Texas radio stations. Dr. Boner had developed a thin soft plywood panel that could be curved into half-circle shapes. These rounded shapes resembled long pipes of different diameters stacked one on top of the other and attached to the studio walls. The design helped eliminate echo and evenly absorb low- and high-pitch tones. “The acoustics were wonderful,” Bostick said.

KWTX’s inaugural broadcast occurred at 11 a.m., May 1, 1946, at “1-2-3 on the dial.” KWTX broadcast from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Bostick interviewed more than 150 announcers — many of them with network experience — and chose four to represent KWTX on the air and spin records of popular tunes. The station presented numerous shows using local talent. Nationally known orchestras, drama shows and commentators were picked up from the Mutual radio network.

To help promote the new station, Bostick could be spotted driving around Waco in a Willys Jeep station wagon equipped with a public address system and loudspeakers. He announced what program was currently on the air and the schedule of upcoming programs. When he took a break, he placed the PA microphone next to the Jeep’s radio speaker to pick up the live KWTX broadcast and amplify it throughout the neighborhood.

KWTX moved to 4520 Bosque Blvd. in 1952. This new facility was designed specifically for radio operations. After the building was expanded a couple of years later, it was known as Broadcast Center with AM radio sharing space with KWTX(TV), Channel 10, in 1955 and KWTX(FM), 97.5 MHz in 1970.

Station manager Buddy Bostick drove around Waco neighborhoods in 1946 announcing the KWTX program schedule in this Willys Jeep station wagon equipped with a public address system and loudspeakers. (Photo circa 1946. Courtesy of Ellen Deaver.)

The AM station’s transmitter building and 200-foot-tall tower are still at the original location near South 17th Street and Primrose Drive in Waco. The FCC granted a daytime power increase from 250 to 1,000 watts in 1962, while nighttime power remained at 250 watts. Today the station broadcasts 24 hours at 1,000 watts.

KWTX(AM/FM/TV) moved to a new facility at 6700 American Plaza in 1986. Both radio stations were sold to GulfStar Communications in 1996. Today, KWTX (AM) “Newstalk 1230,” KWTX(FM) “97.5 FM #1 Hit Music” and other Waco iHeartMedia stations are located at 314 West State Hwy. 6. KWTX(TV) was sold to Gray Communications in 1999 and remains at American Plaza.

 

The post Remembering the Early Days of KWTX appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

SWR Signs on With DTS AutoStage

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 11:35

Xperi announced a connected car partnership with one of Germany’s biggest media groups.

It reached an agreement with Südwestrundfunk (SWR) to integrate the ARD-Eventhub metadata distribution platform with Xperi’s DTS AutoStage hybrid radio platform.

“The integration means that all broadcaster metadata, such as program information, station logos, album/artist imagery, etc., on the ARD platform for SWR stations will be accurately, consistently and seamlessly represented in the DTS AutoStage ecosystem,” the organizations announced. “This delivers a cutting-edge in-vehicle entertainment experience to German owners of vehicles supporting DTS AutoStage platform, such as the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class.”

Xperi positions DTS AutoStage as a global radio platform that will deliver rich in-car experiences in a way that also protects the role of broadcasters in the dashboard, where it says big tech companies are encroaching on radio’s familiar terrain.

[“Xperi Has Big Ambitions for DTS AutoStage”]

The company says the platform was “purpose built to support radio broadcasters around the world … open and available to all broadcasters at no cost.”It encourages broadcasters to participate to ensure that their metadata is protected and compliant with local privacy and copyright laws.

SWR’s radio station partners will be represented in the DTS AutoStage ecosystem with artwork, artist and album information and imagery, songs, playlists and personalization. Listeners can also continue to listen to a station after they drive out of a given broadcast coverage area via the service following feature.

The announcement was made by Joe D’Angelo, Xperi senior VP, business development, broadcast, and Christian Hufnagel, co-founder of SWR Audio Lab.

In the announcement Hufnagel described DTS AutoStage as delivering a “stunning infotainment experience.” D’Angelo complimented SWR — which is part of ARD, the association of public broadcasting companies in Germany — for its reputation for innovation.

Xperi hopes to expand the platform into mass market vehicles globally, and it has content partnerships with broadcast groups and aggregators including names like BBC, Bauer, Audacy, Beasley and Commercial Radio Australia.

Read more of Radio World’s coverage of radio’s role in connected cars.

 

The post SWR Signs on With DTS AutoStage appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Inside the May 12, 2021 Issue of Radio World

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 10:38

Ed Bukont provides some frank advice about working with AoIP in an IT world. Wheatstone, Jutel and Orban announce new offerings.

Buyer’s Guide lists visual radio resources from Comrex, MultiCam Systems, StudioCast, Broadcast Bionics and Broadcast Pix.

We check in on the realms of college and high school radio, and hear from the new head of radio at the European Broadcasting Commission.

And lots more! Read the issue.

The post Inside the May 12, 2021 Issue of Radio World appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

User Report: K-Wave Broadens Audience With Video

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 08:00
Live from North Carolina! Shown is co-host Billy Conway, on screen from the Tar Heel state, joining host Brian Perez via Comrex’s LiveShot.

The author is chief engineer of KWVE(FM).

KWVE(FM)/K-Wave in San Clemente, Calif., is a religious talk and teachings station. We produce original programming, and also feature syndicated talk shows about biblical teachings for our audience in Southern California. We also stream our programming online on our website as well as on our app.

As chief engineer, I manage all the technical elements for our studio, plus anything else that might come up.

“Pastor’s Perspective” is a live call-in show that we produce every weekday in the afternoon and syndicate to other stations. For the last 10 years, we’ve also been streaming live video of the show on YouTube.

Having a visual element has given us another outlet for the program to reach an audience that isn’t necessarily listening to the radio.

We’ve found that a large portion of our audience is enthusiastic about viewing our programming on YouTube. There’s a dedicated group of people who will consistently converse with members of our team in the live chat, which gives the show a semi-interactive element we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Video has helped us find a different audience that isn’t in our local coverage area. People who used to live here and moved away, as well as nonlocal people who heard about it from a friend can enjoy the program from afar.

One of our hosts recently moved from California to North Carolina. We wanted to keep him on the show and maintain the video aspect, even though he now lives across the country.

We purchased a Comrex LiveShot system, set up the rackmount unit in our studio and sent him the portable unit, and he’s been using it to connect with us nearly every day for the last several months.

We chose LiveShot because we’ve been using Comrex for years on the audio end of things. Our Comrex Access codecs have been solid compared to other solutions we’ve tried, and the company has a great reputation in the industry.

[Read about more resources for visual radio applications.]

We had demoed LiveShot a while ago for a different project and felt like it was a solid product, so we thought it would be the right solution for us.

Installing LiveShot was more complicated than the installations of Comrex audio-only products I’ve done, but the Comrex tech support team was helpful in assisting me with the entire configuration process. The support team was willing to collaborate with me directly and log into our box on both ends. They helped me adjust the settings so that we could get the lowest delay with the highest video quality.

Our host is using LiveShot over regular home internet. He initially tried to use a Wi-Fi extender to a cable; we found that caused delay (and frustration) to build up. But since he ran a cable straight between his LiveShot unit and his router, the connection has been solid. The feed is great — it looks as good as it would if he were here in the studio.

I would recommend LiveShot. Occasionally, we’ve had to fall back to Skype or Zoom, and both the audio and video quality were significantly worse. With LiveShot and the same exact camera, same lighting, and same set design, no one would know that our host wasn’t in the studio. The quality is amazing, and we’re pretty happy with it.

Radio World User Reports are testimonial articles intended to help readers understand why a colleague chose a particular product to solve a technical situation. 

For information on the above product, contact Chris Crump at Comrex in Massachusetts at 1-978-784-1776 or visit www.comrex.com.

The post User Report: K-Wave Broadens Audience With Video appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Looking for Info About Radio Liberación

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 20:07

Dear Editor:

I’m an American freelance journalist in Florida writing a book, partly about the CIA’s use of radio as a propaganda tool.

Lionel Martin, far right, is seen in a 1975 photo of Fidel Castro. Barbara Walters is at left.

In 1954, the CIA broadcast propaganda messages on Radio Liberación over Guatemala. Then in 1968, Radio Liberación, the “Cuban underground radio station,” announced that their 150 kW transmitter (three times the size of any single radio station in the U.S.) was being readied for a propaganda offensive against the United States, allegedly to be headed by an American, identified by Radio Liberación as Lionel Martin.

Testimony given before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) on March 7, 1967 indicated that Cuba’s new radio potency could blank out the 47 U.S. radio stations in proximity to the East and Gulf coasts.

In 2012, writing on Radio World’s website, Philip Galasso wrote “Cuba Has Long Been a Radio Presence.” In it, Galasso recalls listening to 640, Radio Liberación, the former CMQ. But his memories only go back to the mid-1960s.

I would like to know if the CIA repeated their successful 1954 campaign to broadcasts over Cuba in April 1961 during the Bay of Pigs invasion, or perhaps even as recently as 1968. Does anyone out there have any information about this? If so, please contact Bill Streifer at bill.streifer@gmail.com. Thanks!

The post Looking for Info About Radio Liberación appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

“My Heart Will Always Beat as a Broadcaster”

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 15:51

Gordon Smith addressed broadcast executives around the country Tuesday during NAB’s State Leadership Conference. The text of his remarks is below.

The president/CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters highlighted its lobbying efforts on issues such as allowing stations to “fairly negotiate” for their local news content with big tech companies; opposing proposals to alter the tax treatment of advertising expenses; and supporting legislation to reinstate the diversity tax certificate.

He recalled how difficult the early months of the pandemic were, when “our own world seemed like it was collapsing around us,” and his pride in how broadcasters responded. Smith also talked about his plan to retire from a full-time role, and praised his soon-to-be- successor, Curtis LeGeyt.

He spoke online during the virtual event (watch the video here). Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel also addressed attendees and thanked broadcasters for their work in educating the public during the pandemic (watch here).

Here is the text of Smith’s remarks as provided by NAB:

 

As I was preparing for my remarks to you today, I thought back to the last time we were all together in person — February of 2020, for this very event. We were feeling victorious from several notable policy wins in 2019. We had ensured legislation permanently ending the perpetual cycle of STELAR, and we were well on our way to securing a majority of Congress as cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act.

At that time, we were starting to hear stories about COVID-19, but we were still a few weeks away from seeing our world, as we knew it, come to a grinding halt.

And that’s why last year’s SLC has a special place in my heart. It was the last time we were together in person.

But then, as we all know too well, the pandemic creeped into our lives…like a dark fog that pervaded everything, pushing our businesses and industry to the brink of catastrophe, of survivability.

And, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the narrative of broadcasters’ journey over the past year to a movie, a 1946 holiday classic, my family and I often watch over the holidays, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I’m sure many of you have seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart in the role of struggling businessman George Bailey. If you haven’t, it’s well worth your time watching, but here’s a quick summary.

George Bailey is a good man who sacrifices the dreams of his youth to take over his father’s struggling savings and loan business in the small town of Bedford Falls. But one Christmas Eve he becomes despondent over misplacing an $8,000 loan and the possible impact of that on his family and business. Things began to spiral out of his control and he faces arrest…and a taint on his reputation as an upstanding citizen.

He regrets some of the choices he has made in his life, but then his guardian angel shows him what his town would have looked like if had he never been born. Because of the choices he made throughout his life, he was rewarded with a loving family, great friends and strong ties to his community. And in the end, his community rallied around him and came up with the money to save his business. His community made everything right again.

I see the parallels of this movie to the beginning of 2020. Our legislative victories made us known as a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill.

But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, smashing our economics and livelihood…and just like George Bailey’s world, our own world seemed like it was collapsing around us.

And all of us at NAB felt the impact…all of our plans…our new building…if and when to hold our NAB Show…how to keep our staff safe… so much seemed to be out of our control.

We saw our members struggle to stay financially afloat. We felt their pain and empathized with the very difficult decisions they had to make.

But then, like the citizens of Bedford Falls, our members and our state broadcast associations rallied to work with us in support of our industry. While serving as a lifeline to our communities, we confronted the pandemic with strength and unity.

NAB focused its energy on fighting for much needed COVID-19 stimulus relief to help stations as they surmounted many challenges to continue their operations.

And local broadcasters across the country took on the mission of serving their communities with renewed energy to be there for their listeners and viewers during their greatest time of need.

Our industry overcame great financial obstacles to help our communities endure many difficult days, providing a source of comfort, hope and connection as we were required to distance ourselves from friends, family and colleagues.

Local stations have provided around-the-clock coverage on important COVID-19 updates, conducting in-depth reports and fighting misinformation to keep our communities safe.

As if a global pandemic was not enough, the summer brought increased turmoil for our nation, civil unrest and protests over social injustice and inequality, a fractious election, attacks on our democracy and on our First Amendment rights. Through it all, broadcasters were there to be the reassuring voice and to report the facts — they brought the stories taking place in cities across the country into our living rooms, despite the danger, they personally may have faced on the scene. Their resolve to bring truth to light could not be broken.

We ended last year with a major victory on Capitol Hill, ensuring COVID-19 stimulus relief for all broadcasters, including expansion of Paycheck Protection loans. And we secured regulatory relief, resulting in several extensions of deadlines, clarifications and exceptions to existing rules and policies that were beneficial to many stations.

And now, with the widespread deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine, local stations are sharing important information with America’s diverse and rural communities. Brighter days are certainly ahead of us and I can’t help but feel optimistic about what lies ahead for our industry and communities.

With local stations doing all that they can to encourage their communities to get vaccinated…the “life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands” as Winston Churchill once put it.

And if we can take a page out of George Bailey’s story…we can take comfort in the choices we have made to fulfill our mission as broadcasters and continue our work towards a winning path.

All of you are part of this brighter, better future for our industry. That is why we are immensely grateful for your participation in SLC. I know you’ve heard me say this before, but it bears repeating — each and every one of you can truly make a difference in our advocacy efforts.

As a former senator, I know how important it is for you to take your messages to members of Congress. And though you can’t meet with your legislators in person, what you say to your members, even virtually, still carries great weight.

You have all been in the trenches during this very difficult year…witnessing the challenges within your communities, while enduring financial difficulties and health concerns yourself. So, you are the ones who can really educate your representatives about the issues critical to your businesses.

Like George Bailey, all of you have at your core an overarching focus to serve the public good. I am grateful for the courage, conviction and commitment to making our world a better place every day.

And know this…your advocacy team at NAB is always hard at work to take on your fight so that you can always be there to support your communities.

We are sending a strong message to policymakers that we are focused on the issues that impact our industry.

That message includes garnering bipartisan support of the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes a performance tax on local stations and recognizes the critical role local radio plays in every community.

It includes urging legislators to cosponsor the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act to allow stations to fairly negotiate for their local news content as the overwhelming power of big tech threatens Americans’ access to quality journalism. We greatly appreciate Sen. Cantwell’s leadership on support for local journalism and look forward to working with her and others in Congress on this issue.

Our message also includes stopping proposals to alter the tax treatment of advertising expenses, including for specific types of products. This would ultimately make advertising more expensive for small businesses, threaten local jobs and have a devastating impact on local stations that rely on advertising revenue to survive — all during a post-pandemic economic recovery.

Finally, we are urging Congress to support legislation to reinstate the diversity tax certificate to ensure station owners are as diverse as the communities they serve. I enjoyed my conversation about this issue yesterday with Congressman G.K. Butterfield, who introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives.

You will hear more about our policy priorities during the Government Relations and Legal briefings later today, but I appreciate this opportunity to thank you for joining us today and for your willingness to help advocate our issues. Delivering a unified message to Capitol Hill is what makes us successful.

We can’t wait to reunite with you in person at NAB Show this October — as well as the Sales and Management Television Exchange and Radio Show all taking place in Las Vegas the same week.

There, we can continue to talk about the exciting future that lies before our industry and the opportunities we are prepared to seize.

Now, as you know, at the end of this year I plan to transition to an advisory role with NAB. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as president and CEO of this organization. But it’s time for me to spend more time with my grandchildren, return to my pea-picking roots in Oregon and continue to serve my church as a lay-minister. But this is not goodbye as we will still continue our work together for years to come.

I know that our industry will continue to achieve great success under the strong leadership of Curtis LeGeyt as the next NAB president and CEO. He is the right man for the job, and this is the right time for him to take the reins.

Working in the trenches with all of you these past 12 years, we have traversed the darkest valleys and reached the pinnacles of many victories.

All of you have made a profound effect on me, in my heart and soul. Just like you, my heart will always beat as a broadcaster. I will cherish the time we have spent together fighting battles for the sake of this great industry we all care so much about.

Indeed, it has been a wonderful life with all of you by my side.

The post “My Heart Will Always Beat as a Broadcaster” appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Are Podcast Listeners Open to More Ads?

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 14:42
A graphic from the report. Weekly listeners are using more platforms now but Apple, Spotify and YouTube still “have a strong hold.” (Click here to enlarge.)

Podcast listeners feel that podcasts are “under-commercialized.”

That’s one of the findings of a report from Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights, which since 2017 have periodically issued “podcast download reports” and have just done so for spring 2021.

This one was released to coincide with the IAB Podcast Upfront event, where its finding that listeners would tolerate more ads is likely to be well received. The report also said that “high CPMs” are justified based on the high “ad attentiveness” of podcast listeners.

[Read: Survey Says Podcast Demographics Continue to Diversify]

Results were announced by Suzanne Grimes, EVP marketing for Cumulus Media and president of Westwood One, and Jeff Vidler, president and founder of Signal Hill Insights.

They listed these highlights in a report summary:

  • Among weekly podcast listeners, COVID-19 was a catalyst for yet more listening.
  • Regular listenership is “growing across most podcast genres, suggesting that weekly podcast listeners are venturing out and listening to new genres.”
  • Weekly listeners are enthusiastic about their favorites. Almost half reported listening to their favorite podcast within a day of a new release.
  • “Pitching ad-free podcast subscriptions won’t win over listeners,” the study found. “Content is the main attraction for weekly podcast listeners. When choosing podcast subscription features, weekly listeners will pick exclusive content over an ad-free experience.”
  • They called Clubhouse “a natural brand extension for podcast shows and hosts.” Awareness and use of Clubhouse was greater among weekly podcast listeners compared to the U.S. general population.
  • Weekly listeners are using more platforms now, but Apple, Spotify and YouTube still “have a strong hold on being the most used podcast platforms and continue to grow at the expense of other competitors.”
  • Podcasts are “unique, being one of the few mediums where listeners come for entertainment and learning, cultivating an engaged audience.”
  • They found that listeners feel that podcasts are “under-commercialized.” Weekly listeners “are comfortable hearing ads and the more time they spend with podcasts, the more ads they will accept.”
  • And they said high CPMs are justified based high ad attentiveness in podcasting.

The report is available for download at CumulusPodcastNetwork.com.

The post Are Podcast Listeners Open to More Ads? appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Programming From Grace Broadcast Honor Veterans for Memorial Day

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 13:21

Grace Broadcast Sales is releasing a series of audio vignettes designed to honor our nation’s Medal of Honor veterans as part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebration.

“Above & Beyond” is a collection of 20 one-minute vignettes created originally in 1991 to profile and honor Medal of Honor recipients. The features are formatted :50/:10, providing time at the end of each vignette for sponsor identification or taglines.

According to owner/creative director Rod Schwartz, “It’s the first series we created in 1991 and it remains a personal favorite and a favorite of many of our station clients also,” he said, suggesting that the inspiring stories of ordinary Americans thriving in extraordinary circumstances is a notable way for stations to celebrate this coming Memorial Day on May 31.

“‘Above and Beyond’ honors brave Americans whose gallantry and sacrifice earned our nation’s highest honor,” Schwartz said. The vignettes will be available on a first come, first served, market-exclusive basis.

Information, including a free demo and short promotional video, can be found here.

The post Programming From Grace Broadcast Honor Veterans for Memorial Day appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Veritone Adds to Digital Media Hub

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 11:18

Veritone says that its “AI-enabled media management platform,” Veritone Digital Media Hub, is getting “significant enhancements.”

According to a release, “these new features will assist current and future customers to rapidly curate and activate assets to increase content discoverability, operational efficiency and revenue opportunities in content creation.”

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

New tools include Annotation Tool for curating, searching, visualizing and validating media files in new ways; Data Export Tool for isolating desired segments and exporting them as JSON or XML; and Content Notifications for informing selected users when certain files have been uploaded to the system.

Veritone President Ryan Steelberg said the enhancements “will give current and future media and entertainment customers a new way to visualize, edit, and engage with their content and its associated data.”

He elaborated, “This will provide them with greater control over their content by increasing the accuracy of how their content is tagged, giving them more ways to export it, and helping them stay on top of what is currently available in their library, which will culminate into more licensing and revenue opportunities.”

Info: www.veritone.com

 

The post Veritone Adds to Digital Media Hub appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Megan Clappe Is Named an SBE Fellow

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 10:16

Congratulations to Megan Clappe, who has just been raised to the cherished membership rank of Fellow by the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

As many of the society’s members know well, Clappe is director of SBE certification, which is such a key part of what SBE does for our industry.

“Megan’s daily duties include working with the SBE Certification Committee to operate and grow the SBE Certification Program, which includes implementing and maintaining certifications to match those needs,” the society said in its announcement.

“She coordinates testing with proctors, and all follows up after exams are administered. In all, she is tasked with keeping track of more than 5,000 certifications and recertifications.”

She also provides SBE member and chapter certification support, manages the SBE Awards Program; manages the SBE convention and expo presence; and oversees the SBE Store.

“During her employment as certification director, the SBE Certification Committee has introduced several levels of certification, including CBNE, DRB and ATSC3,” it continued. “The SBE Certification Handbook for Radio Operators has been updated at least twice, and The SBE Television Operator’s Certification Handbook has been updated once. The CertPreview practice test software has been redeveloped once and is slated for a second later this year during her time as director.”

Megan Clappe began her tenure at SBE as certification assistant and receptionist in 2003, working with Linda Baun, who was the certification director at the time. When Baun left in 2006 to work at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Clapp took the certification reins.

Sample comments about Clappe’s work, released by the society, include “quick to offer alternative ideas and processes … When the pandemic hit in early 2020 Megan was first to offer an alternative to face-to-face testing.” … “The flue that holds the program together.” “Dedication and determination” in helping launch ATSC3 certification. … “Her contribution to the SBE’s Certification program [is] conspicuous.”

Clappe will be recognized during the SBE Membership Meeting and National Awards Program in October in Las Vegas during the society’s national meeting.

We at Radio World salute Clappe too, and we thank the society for its constant efforts to celebrate engineers and advance their education. We are proud that the list includes several engineers whom I consider close friends of Radio World through their writing or other contributions to the RW community.

To date, 82 SBE members have been raised to the level of Fellow; they are listed at the bottom of this story. The honor is given to members who have made significant contributions to broadcast engineering or the society. Candidates are nominated by their peers.

From the SBE website, here is the list of SBE Fellows, living or deceased:

  • Jay Adrick
  • Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD, DRB
  • Ronald L. Arendall, CPBE
  • John H. Battison, P. E., CPBE
  • Frederick M. Baumgartner, CPBE, CBNT
  • Linda Baun
  • Terrence M. Baun, CPBE, CBNE, AMD
  • Ralph Beaver, CBT
  • Lawrence V. Behr, CSBE
  • Edward B. Bench
  • Raymond C. Benedict, CPBE
  • James T. Bernier Jr., CPBE, CBNE
  • Glenn G. Boundy
  • Richard W. Burden, CPBE
  • James A. Butler, CPBE
  • David Carr, CPBE, 8-VSB
  • Leonard J. Charles, CPBE
  • Al Chismark
  • Megan Clappe
  • John Collinson, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, CBNE
  • Gerry Dalton, CBRE, CBNT
  • Sterling E. Davis
  • Bradley L. Dick, CPBE
  • Dane E. Ericksen, P.E., CSRTE, CBNT, 8-VSB
  • Richard A. Farquhar, CPBE
  • Ellis Feinstein
  • Howard M. Fine
  • Robert W. Flanders
  • Clay Freinwald, CPBE
  • Douglas W. Garlinger, CPBE, CBNT, 8-VSB
  • Frank Giardina, CPBE
  • Robert I. Goza, CPBE
  • Charles Hallinan
  • Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB
  • Gary S. Hartman, CPBE
  • John J. Heimerl, CPBE
  • Albin R. Hillstrom
  • Robert Hoffman, CPBE
  • Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE
  • James E. Hurley, CSBE
  • Christopher D. Imlay, CBT
  • Roger E. Johnson, CPBE
  • Wallace E. Johnson
  • Robert A. Jones, CSBE
  • Edwin T. Karl, CPBE
  • Harold Kassens
  • William D. Kelly
  • Charles W. Kelly Jr.
  • Glenn H. Lahman
  • Arthur Lebermann, CPBE
  • James Leifer, CPBE
  • Paul E. Lentz, CPBE
  • Robert W. Locke, CPBE, CBNT
  • Vincent A. Lopez, CEV, CBNT
  • John M. Lyons, CPBE
  • Joseph J. Manning
  • Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT
  • Jack E. McKain, CPBE
  • James C. McKinney
  • Edward J. Miller, CPBE
  • Charles T. Morgan, CPBE
  • Peter K. Onnigian, CSBE
  • William Orr, CSBE
  • Wayne M. Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE
  • Troy D. Pennington, CSRE, CBNT
  • John L. Poray, CAE
  • Leo W. Reetz
  • John W. Reiser, CSRTE
  • Frederick M. Remley, CPBE
  • Gino Ricciardelli, CPBE
  • Joseph A. Risse, PE, CSBE
  • Edward J. Roos, CPBE
  • Richard A. Rudman, CPBE
  • Charles Sakoski, CSBE
  • Martin Sandberg, CPBE
  • Christopher H. Scherer, CPBE, CBNT
  • James B. Schoedler
  • Joseph L. Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB
  • John W. Soergel, CPBE
  • Donald J. Strauss, CPBE
  • Barry D. Thomas, CPBE, DRB, CBNE
  • Doyle D. Thompson Sr., CPBE
  • Robert A. Van Buhler, CPBE
  • Lewis D. Wetzel, CPBE
  • Jerry C. Whitaker, CPBE, 8-VSB
  • Larry J. Wilkins, CPBE, AMD, CBNT
  • Benjamin Wolfe
  • James C. Wulliman, CPBE

The post Megan Clappe Is Named an SBE Fellow appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

WMBS Acquires JVC Video Camera

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 20:51

Uniontown, Pa., station WMBS, has made local content a priority since its founding in 1937. It goes so far as to cover local high school sports.

To polish that offering the station purchased a JVC Professional GY-HC500SPC Connected Cam. The sports content-focused digital video camera can produce 4K video along with offering unusual features supporting sports score services and overlays along with native streaming capability. The camera feed is routed to the station’s website and Facebook page. Some local businesses have also picked up the stream and the station has posted final cuts of games on YouTube.

[See Our Who’s Buying What Page]

WMBS General Manager Brian Mroziak said, “Some people watch on the web or Facebook, while others are listening on the radio, so the announcers have to be as descriptive as possible. However, since there’s now a visual side to the broadcast, we want to appeal to the people who are watching the picture itself.”

He added, “A big part of that is being able to display the game score, like one might find in a professional sports broadcast. The fact that JVC has a partnership with ScoreHub makes it possible for us to connect directly to the live scoreboard and instantly showcase the information in our broadcast.”

“The JVC camera is so much easier than any other type of camera because the team can use the camera itself to go direct to Facebook; you don’t have to worry about bringing laptops or any graphics software.” Camera set-up is easy for a radio staff that isn’t video savvy.

WMBS is owned by Fayette Broadcasting Corp.

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

 

The post WMBS Acquires JVC Video Camera appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Broadcasters Foundation Asks for Your Help

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 15:06

The superb work of the Broadcasters Foundation of America can continue only when money is coming in; however, the process has been badly disrupted by COVID-19. Now the foundation is asking for our help.

It said it is in need of donations “to counter the loss of funds from major fundraising events that were cancelled due to the pandemic.”

The organization provides help to broadcasters and their families to help them cope with serious illness, accident or catastrophe. Over the years it has put $13 million into the hands of broadcasters who really needed that help.

The group hasn’t been able to hold its Celebrity Golf Tournament, Golden Mike Award or the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament.

A request for aid comes from Chairman Scott Herman and President Jim Thompson. “These men and women are our colleagues, and unthinkable tragedy has left them unable to work. We cannot turn our backs on them,” Herman said in an announcement.

Personal and corporate donations can be made at www.broadcastersfoundation.org/donate. Personal donations can be made to the Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

 

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