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Updated: 45 min 32 sec ago

WorldCast Builds on KYBIO

Sun, 09/05/2021 - 09:00

This is one in a series of interviews with companies planning to exhibit at the 2021 NAB Show in October.

Gregory Mercier is director, product marketing and pre/post sales support for WorldCast Group.

Radio World: What will be your top news or theme?

Gregory Mercier: We are glad to share many exciting developments this year. Our strategy since the pandemic is to support our customers and the industry to adapt to this new environment.

KYBIO, our monitoring and control software, has been improved with the launch the V4. Available on-premises or as a SaaS option, KYBIO is now fully agnostic for all communication protocols used within the media industry. Users also benefit from Dynamic Diagram enhancements, which have moved beyond the previous site level representation to now also include views at the root, site and equipment level.

KYBIO dashboard

On the broadcasting side, SmartFM is our innovative technology for Ecreso FM transmitters; it enables broadcasters to reduce their consumption by up to 40%. SmartFM has seen a huge increase of users worldwide, including big national FM networks. This year, we launch the V2 to increase the potential savings and to better meet broadcaster’s requirements on the field.

Our monitoring range has improved with what is probably the most powerful Audemat FM Probe. Still on the Audemat range, we also provide a new RDS Server that gathers any data source and feeds RDS encoders to improve radio datacasting and revenues. This solution is compatible with the new and fully digital Audemat RDS Encoder.

The migration to IP and less hardware remains on our priority list, with two new APT technologies: APTmpX, a unique algorithm to transport MPX over IP with low quantity of data and huge signal transparency; and SynchroStream, the most accurate technology to transport synchronous Audio or MPX over IP. These two technologies are also compatible with our existing ScriptEasy for advanced monitoring and control, and SureStream for always-on redundancy.

RW: What is your FM-SFN Solution and what is different about it?
Mercier: With our range of advanced broadcast products, technologies and services, we centralize all the expertise needed for synchronous FM: Ecreso FM transmitters with digital modulator and perfect control of the signal, APT IP codecs for transparent and reliable transport over IP, and SynchroStream to synchronize the content over multiple transmitter sites.

The solution can also include Drive Tests during the deployment phase thanks to the Audemat FM MC5, and Kybio to monitor the entire broadcasting network operation 24/7. This level of integration from a single supplier and the highest synchronization accuracy available on the market are key for several broadcasters to increase their audience and revenues.

RW: How has the pandemic affected your business?

Mercier: Since last year, and like most companies, our first concern was to ensure the safety of our teams in Europe, Asia and the U.S. while having to reorganize our business operations to meet multiple, new challenges.

Thanks to the agility and determination of our teams, we managed to keep our workflow as seamless as possible, and remain available for our customers who, like us, are impacted by COVID-19.

Added to the pandemic we are also dealing with a global component crisis. However, with the help of our dealers and partners, we anticipate purchasing and production needs to keep delivering our customers worldwide.

We also saw an increase of WorldCast sales in the first half of 2021, both from new customers and existing ones. It is positive from a market point of view but we are especially grateful for all the renewed confidence.

RW: In what way will your company’s booth plans or customer interactions differ because of the pandemic?

Mercier: It’s quite difficult to anticipate how NAB will be this year, but we remain positive and ready to adapt ourselves to make it. As I speak in mid-August, we don’t know if the borders will be open to foreign nationals during NAB, which would of course affect the number of visitors and limit our team on the booth. In such a scenario, we would keep the opportunity to meet our customers, remotely for those who couldn’t attend, and in Vegas with our U.S. staff from WorldCast Systems and Connect. Of course, teams will be reinforced if conditions allow.

The post WorldCast Builds on KYBIO appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

The Three Rules of Software: API, API, API

Sat, 09/04/2021 - 16:51
RCS Zetta2Go screen

This interview is excerpted from the ebook “Automation: The Next Phase.”

The “pandemic year” put new demands on automation and other software-based media management systems that serve radio. Most of these systems were well equipped to meet the challenge, yet there are lessons to be learned from the experiences of the past year and a half.

RCS is all about broadcast software — from its well-known Selector music scheduling system, introduced in 1979, to its 2GO browser-based extensions for mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. 

Philippe Generali is president/CEO of RCS.

Radio World: How has the pandemic changed things?

Philippe Generali: The first thing engineers had to do was figure out a simple, easy setup that they could ship to the show host. We’ve seen different choices in various countries depending on what’s available locally, but essentially engineers started shipping a little mixing console and a microphone that sounded decent — whatever the talent needed to talk remotely and sound like they were in the studio. 

And clients that work with RCS software knew that Zetta2GO was an option. It’s built to operate remotely on any type of computer — tablets, PC, Mac or even phones, so there was no need to ship a computer for the host, no need to have a special IT setup, just a decent internet connection. 

RW: Will we go back to what it was before? What’s the new workflow going to be?

Generali: It’s funny, the 2GO browser-based extension — of our traffic software Aquira, of our music scheduling software Selector, of our automation system Zetta — was seen as a bit of a gadget before. People said, “Yeah, that’s nice but I don’t really see myself operating the automation system on a tablet from a remote location.” 

But suddenly it became mission-critical. Tech support calls went through the roof here and in Europe and in Asia as people started to work from home. Many were asking about “that 2GO thing.” Our support people were being asked, “Can you help me set it up? How do I operate it remotely?”

This has changed the way engineers perceive working remotely as well as how good it can sound. 

Some of the talent will say, “I’m happy to work from home.” This was done before of course, but only for megastars like Rush Limbaugh, big syndicated personalities who were able to have their own studio at home. This will now be accessible to pretty much anybody who works at a radio station.

But there’s more. If you have a talented program director who is joining your operation but he doesn’t want to move, he can work with Selector2GO from wherever he is.

When I was a program director and on-air guy, somebody told me, “Be ready to be move around a lot.” I asked why. He said, “Because if you’re successful, you’re going to be hired in a bigger market. And, if you’re not successful, you’re going to be fired and have to move to a lower market. So, you’ll move no matter what.” But those days might be over.

RW: How do you keep radio live and local if more people are remote from the community of license? 

Generali: There’s a lot on social media that will allow you to monitor the situation in your home town. And what I call the “utilities,” traffic and weather — now you can have them anywhere you want. Services like Waze and weather services provide local information.

But you may not necessarily have to be far away from the studio. You could just work from home in the same town, if you want to. It doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily on the other side of the planet or are in a different time zone. The beauty of work-from-home means that, the days you want to come in, you can; the days you don’t want to come, you don’t. You can still know the local life and what’s going on locally.

RW: What are potential buyers of systems asking for these days?

Generali: “Can we have a metered service? We don’t want to build capacity for things that we use only once in a while.” So we discuss with them about whether they operate on premises or whether they operate remotely from the cloud.

We’re going to be very active in the cloud, particularly on the international side. 

We also get questions about how to protect stations from cyberattacks, a new plague that engineers have to worry about. When you speak with an engineer who’s had ransomware infect his network, you know this is a terrible thing.

We offer Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery, which allows the operation to run safely from the cloud. For instance, if you need to turn off all the machines hosting your on-premises software, the program will allow you to still run your voice tracks, which were uploaded a few minutes earlier, your commercials, your songs. They make the station sound like it’s still there and working fine. Meanwhile, you can repair your network locally without any problems. 

RW: When someone asks whether they should be in the cloud, what is your dialogue? 

Generali: Some people say, “Oh, you have to be a multi-city operator to be on the cloud.” However, we have companies that are very small, and some that are very big, considering cloud-based operation. 

As an engineer, you have to talk with management, you have to see how it’s going to change the operation of your stations. 

When you go onto the cloud, you’re going to trade cap-ex for op-ex. Instead of buying a big machine or set of machines that you’ll put on the balance sheet and depreciate, which is not going to impact your EBITDA, now you’re going to go with monthly fees, your cloud costs, bandwidth and software licenses. These costs have to be integrated into the way the station works. 

Do you need a different footprint on real estate? Do you have different staffing needs? Do some people go part-time to adapt for a cloud environment? It’s a profound change. 

You can’t go to the cloud just for the sake of going cloud. It’s not as simple as, “Should you buy an Exchange server for email or should you put the staff on Office 365?” 

RW: Do you find resistance to the idea of recurring costs that go with software as a service?

Generali: Yes, though we have found that the international community is more open to it.
Sometimes there are needs for a cloud-based environment, sometimes for a more hybrid system. But the cloud is a means to an end. It’s not a thing in itself.

Prospective customers ask things like, “Can we have a Christmas channel that would start on Dec. 1, run for one month at the end of the year, and only pay for that month?” Or they would like to do a special internet channel in the memory of rapper DMX for a week, so that they can play all his songs but without having to buy a separate machine or set up anything.

The flexibility of metered service is appealing to content creators. Right now you could go on a metered service within minutes, just the time it takes to put a few hours of logs together, and then you’re on the internet.

RW: One engineer told me he wishes there was more joint development between automation and network infrastructure companies. He actually said, “I’d love to see an automation company put the whole console surface right into the automation system and make it one product.”

Generali: I would gladly invite him to one of our booths at shows. We’ve been demonstrating such technology for the past few years in Europe and in Asia.

For example we presented a fully integrated demo on a gigantic 42- or 50-inch touchscreen. With the HTML Zetta2GO interface, you can operate a virtual console from Wheatstone or Axia on a flatscreen monitor. Zetta2GO is browser-based and everything is HTML. It is the ultimate virtual setup. 

You put a DJ on one of those integrated systems, which has the automation and the console and everything on one gigantic flat surface — tilted 20 to 30 degrees so it is easy to work with. It’s easy to start and stop the music, put pots up and down, cut voice tracks and do everything on one integrated system. 

This is made possible because the software is developed using APIs. The end of the big monolithic design of software applications is here. You cannot afford nowadays to have one big EXE and a few DLLs. All of the modules have to be independent and talking to each other by API. 

It allows features that talk to each other. It allows remote control of every module independently with a light software client like a browser. That, of course, allows moving the software to the cloud, which will be a must for any manufacturer. 

And to your point, having APIs everywhere allows easier communication between vendors for better system integration.

RW: What else should we know about where this class of products is headed?

Generali: API, API, API, the three rules of building software for a solid solution. Your products should be able to interact with anybody’s, including your competitors.

I believe in open architecture, whether you are running in the cloud or on-premises. By design, software in the cloud is based on micro-services and pieces of software that are containerized and able to talk to each other. But having that structure with on-prem software allows various vendors to interact with each other.

We at RCS like to be insulated from that; that’s why we offer music, scheduling, automation, traffic all in one. You only have one phone call to place in case of a problem. But we still build our software with APIs.

And I think we have to mention tech support. Tech support is more important than ever in an environment that can be decentralized for operations. Engineers aren’t always on hand to answer questions. So who do you call?

Tech support is really one of our fortés. It has been for the past 30 years. It’s so important to have this personal touch. Every one of our engineers picking up the phone and answering is being graded by the people they talk to. We cover 24 hours, seven days a week. Even on Christmas morning, you can call us.

Having that touch with the user is more important than ever in a remote work environment.

The post The Three Rules of Software: API, API, API appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Two East Coast Operators Penalized for Late Filing

Sat, 09/04/2021 - 11:45

The Federal Communications Commission recently issued two Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeitures to two secondary-class stations for the same violations — though the commission, as it has many times in recent weeks, reduced the penalty significantly because these stations provide a secondary service.

In the case of station WRIA(LP), a low-power FM station in Jacksonville, Fla., the Media Bureau found that the licensee — SCLC Jacksonville Florida — willfully violated FCC Rules by failing to file a license renewal application on time and violated the Communications Act by operating the station without authorization.

The details are similar in the case of Katahdin Communications, a permittee looking for a license for FM translator station W273DJ in Millinocket, Maine. Katahdin, too, was notified that it had apparently failed to file a license application on time and also repeatedly violated the Communications Act by operating the translator after its permit had expired.

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

In both cases, the Media Bureau concluded that the applicant would be liable for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of $3,500 — a figure that’s a good deal smaller than the base amount of $3,000 for failing to file the required form and another $10,000 for operating without authorization.

In the case of SCLC, its license renewal application was expected to be filed by Oct. 1, 2019, which would have been four months prior to the station’s license expiration date. The Media Bureau notified SCLC that the station’s license would expire if no renewal application was filed by Feb. 1, 2020. When the licensee did file the application on Feb. 25, 2020, it gave no explanation as to the untimely filing — though it did send a letter asking the commission to accept the late-filed application without a penalty. But the formal avenues were not followed, namely that SCLC seek a waiver of the renewal filing deadline. The licensee also failed to request special temporary authority to operate the station after the license expired.

The bureau tentatively found that a $7,000 forfeiture would be appropriate: a $3,000 forfeiture for failing to file on time and a reduced forfeiture of $4,000 for operating without authorization. The bureau adjusted that figure again to $3,500 to include a base amount of $1,500 for filing late and $2,000 for unauthorized operation because as an LPFM the station is providing a secondary service.

The language and methodology used to calculate the forfeiture for Katahdin was similar. The permittee failed to file a covering license application and continued to operate the translator when its license expired on Jan. 8, 2021. Katahdin also failed to request special temporary authority and engaged in unauthorized operation for nearly three months before filing the appropriate paperwork.

The base forfeiture amounts are the same for Katahdin as they were for SCLC: $3,000 for failing to file a required form and another $10,000 for operating without authorization. The bureau also dropped Katahdin’s forfeiture to $7,000 and then again to $3,500, citing the translator’s secondary service nature.

Both SCLC and Katahdin have 30 days to pay the full amount or submit a written statement asking for future reduction or cancellation.

 

The post Two East Coast Operators Penalized for Late Filing appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Goodbye ISDN, Hello Streaming

Sat, 09/04/2021 - 08:00

Last month AT&T sent this notice that they are discontinuing ISDN service:

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network (though many engineers say it means It Still Does Not Work). In its day 30 years ago, it was the savior for many radio remotes.

With the use of codecs, stations were able to send clean digital audio for remotes or even as a studio-to-transmitter link. This involved broadcasters forgetting the aggravation of ordering equalized lines from the phone company and once again ordering ISDN service from the regional Bell company.

Many broadcast engineers will tell you that they had to teach the phone techs about this service. It was my common practice to check my ISDN lines at least twice a week to make sure they were still working.

Should we mourn the passing of ISDN? I say no. As long as there is stable internet, the broadcaster has conquered the “battle of here to there.” Audio over IP transport should be easy and readily accessible. Many companies make IP codecs that can be used. Utilizing codecs with a Content Delivery Network adds an extra level of stability and reliability that we only wished for previously.

Consider a couple of solutions provided by a supplier like StreamGuys.

Its Barix Reflector Service involves the inexpensive Barix Instreamer Encoder and the Exstreamer Decoder. The device is small, fitting in a coat pocket. These devices are common in many radio stations.

Once at Streamguys, the content (with closure data) is then sent to as many receiving Barix Exstreamer Decoders as necessary. The only requirement for the originating and receiving location is stable internet connection and a Barix device.

Once configured in its own web Graphical User Interface (GUI), it is almost plug and play. Connect the audio and it is working.

Yes, you can send contact closures through the RS-232 port. This is easy. Just worry about how robust your internet connection is.

The wonderful thing is that you can send to many decoders at once. This is great if you need to create an ad hoc sports network or a backup feed to your translators or repeaters.

StreamGuy’s GatesAir solution involves GatesAir’s Intraplex IP Link and Ascent Server. This can do what the reflector does but with a major improvement: Dynamic Stream Splicing.

DSS allows for two separate encoders to feed your decoder. You can switch between locations or use it as a redundant backup to guarantee that the show will go on. With DSS, I like having a second internet provider to guarantee the redundancy.

Also the IP Link has the ability to translate contact closures to a metadata string. This works in conjunction with GatesAir’s cloud-based Intraplex Ascent server for added reliability. This will transport metadata along with the audio.

StreamGuy’s PassKey solution, which can be added to most of StreamGuys’ services, can be used with a hardware or software encoder. This provides a secure connection by adding a token with a 128-bit encoded password. This prevents hacking or theft of your content. It can be used for audio or video. Again a very robust less hackable solution.

Good riddance, ISDN. With the above solutions you are supported 24-7 by a manned technical operating center that understands your purpose and is in the business to support the broadcaster.

[Also by this author: “Nurture Your Personal Network”]

David Bialik is a consultant who has held technical broadcast and streaming positions for companies like Entercom, CBS Radio, Bloomberg and Bonneville. He is co-chair of the AES Technical Committee for Broadcast and Online Delivery and a Senior Member of the SBE. Reach him at dkbialik@erols.com or 845-634-6595.

Comment on this or any article. Email radioworld@futurenet.com with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject field.

 

The post Goodbye ISDN, Hello Streaming appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Give Us Subcap Relief, Broadcasters Again Tell FCC

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 17:17

U.S. broadcasters are again urging the Federal Communications Commission to raise or eliminate the limits on how many radio stations a company can own in a particular market.

The National Association of Broadcasters filed comments this week in the FCC’s quadrennial review of ownership rules.

Under the NAB proposal, one broadcaster could, for instance, own all the AM stations in a city, no matter the size of that market. Also, in smaller markets, one company could own all of the FM stations.

NAB asked the FCC to allow one entity to own up to eight commercial FM stations in Nielsen Audio’s markets 1 through 75 — meaning cities as big as New York and as small as Baton Rouge — plus up to two more stations if the entity participates in the FCC’s incubator program

It also asked the commission to allow one company to own all AM stations in a market, and to allow one to own all FM stations in Nielsen markets 76 and smaller, as well as unrated markets. (Market 76 is currently El Paso.)

The current subcaps on stations are based on a sliding scale: In a radio market with 45 or more stations, an entity may own up to eight, no more than five of which may be in the same service (AM or FM). In a market with 30 to 44 radio stations, an entity may own up to seven, no more than four in the same service. In a market with between 15 and 29 stations, an entity may own up to six, no more than four in the same service. And in a market with 14 or fewer stations, an entity may own up to five radio stations, no more than three of which may be one service, as long as the entity does not own more than half of the radio stations in that market.

NAB also asked the FCC to do away with restrictions that ban combinations among top-four rated TV stations, regardless of audience or advertising shares and that prevent ownership of more than two stations in all markets, regardless of competitive positions.

[Related: “Further Relaxation on Ownership Seems Unlikely”]

The association had made these same recommendations in 2019. The latest comments are part of the FCC’s 2018 quadrennial review, which has been dragged out for various reasons including the ultimately unsuccessful legal challenge by Prometheus Radio and other critics to earlier rule changes under a Republican administration.

After the Supreme Court settled the Prometheus case, FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel opened up another round of comments to refresh the public record.

“The regulatory framework governing ownership of broadcast radio and television stations harms broadcasters’ ability to compete in the marketplace, impedes localism and fails to promote diversity in ownership,” the NAB wrote in a summary of its filing.

“Local radio and television stations operate under media ownership restrictions that date back decades to the analog era and fail to account for changes in the marketplace … These outdated media ownership rules, which no longer enable broadcasters to viably operate in a competitive market or effectively serve the public interest, are in more urgent need of reform than ever.”

The association says that with the decline of newspapers, broadcasters are among the few entities capable of producing “local news, weather, sports and emergency journalism,” efforts that demand high capital and operating costs, “which could be alleviated by leveraging economies of scale.”

It thinks current rules don’t take into consideration increased competition for advertising from big technology platforms or the impact of the pandemic on local journalism.

“In assessing competition, the FCC can no longer maintain the fiction that broadcast stations compete only against other broadcast stations … Given the record evidence … the FCC must conclude that its local ownership rules are no longer necessary in the public interest as the result of competition.”

It also said current rules restricting the size and scale of a station group discourage minority investment.

The post Give Us Subcap Relief, Broadcasters Again Tell FCC appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

NAB Show Will Use App for Proof of Vaxx

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 16:33

More info is becoming available about how the NAB Show will manage its proof of vaccination process and other health procedures in Las Vegas next month.

Proof of vaccination will be managed through the free Clear mobile app and Health Pass feature, or by a Vaccination Concierge Service on site. More details about both of those options are expected to be released shortly.

A decision about mask requirements will be made closer to the date of the show, but as of right now Clark County, Nev., requires face coverings in public indoor places and crowded outdoor venues regardless of vaccination.

NAB also said that more health and safety measures have been added by the Las Vegas Convention Center itself.

Details

The NAB will require full vaccination of attendees, exhibitors and its own staff at the NAB Show, Radio Show, and the Sales and Management Television Exchange.

A person will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Accepted vaccinations include those authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

The Clear Health Pass Validation App will be active and available to show participants 30 days before the start of the convention.

To validate their status, participants with vaccination records from the United States can utilize Clear Health Pass Validation. Alternatively, participants can visit the show’s Vaccine Concierge Service at the LVCC Oct. 5­ to 13 with their vaccination records and photo ID.

For badge pickup, attendees can bring their Clear Health Pass Validation or vaccination documentation (digital or paper) with a photo ID, to the badge pickup location in the Silver Lot at the LVCC.

More health measures

The NAB reported that  the LVCC is one of the first major convention centers to be awarded the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR facility accreditation by ISSA.

“This recognizes the LVCC as a gold standard facility and operation for outbreak prevention, response and readiness,” it stated.

Other health measures planned for the show include touchless registration; cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices; and HVAC upgrades at the LVCC to allow for greater ventilation as well as the use of air filters with a quality rating of hospital-grade filtration.

Meeting rooms and floor theaters will be capped at 75% capacity; transparent partitions will be placed in areas that require closer contact; and hand sanitizer stations will be placed in public spaces, corridors, show floor areas and food and beverage areas.

There will be increased medical staff onsite with reserved medical rooms, and a new telehealth station has been installed at the LVCC to offer on-demand access to health care.

A free contact tracing mobile app developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services will be available.

Show organizers have also posted recommendations for exhibitors. These include providing space to allow three feet of separation; one-way traffic flow; dividers; touchless forms of engagement; no handshakes; regular cleaning; and use of digital rather than physical promotional materials.

Detailed information about health and safety procedures is posted at the NAB Show website.

The post NAB Show Will Use App for Proof of Vaxx appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

The Broadcasters Foundation Honors Gordon Smith

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 15:02

As he prepares to wrap up his tenure as head of the NAB, Gordon Smith will receive the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

“The award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy and entrepreneurship,” the foundation said.

[Read our interview with incoming President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt.]

Smith is president/CEO of the association and a former U.S. senator. He’ll receive the award at the foundation’s breakfast during the NAB Show on Tuesday Oct. 12.

The first person to receive the Mays Award from the foundation was long-time FCC commissioner Jim Quello. Recipients have included Ajit Pai, Bill Clark, Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Stanley Hubbard, Mel Karmazin, Jeff Smulyan, Dick Wiley and Stu Olds.

The award is named after Lowry Mays, founder of the company that became Clear Channel Communications, later called iHeartMedia. Former NAB head Eddie Fritts once said of Mays that the company he built “changed the face of broadcasting and mass communications.”

The breakfast is free for anyone in broadcasting; preregistration is required.

The Broadcasters Foundation distributes aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy.

 

The post The Broadcasters Foundation Honors Gordon Smith appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

User Report: Studio Technology Furnishes Hubbard in Cincinnati

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 08:00

The author is director of engineering for Hubbard Radio Cincinnati.

Choosing Studio Technology to produce the studio furniture for the new Hubbard Radio Cincinnati cluster was one of the easier decisions that we made in that project.

Vince Fiola, Studio Technology’s owner, made a trip in person, sitting down with the local staff and development team in the earlier planning stages. He came up with several preliminary furniture designs based on the needs and features requested from our staff. After some revisions and tweaks, we had a solid furniture plan for the 12 studios that were to be built.

Studio Technology created 3D renderings of the studio spaces and furniture. Those renderings were helpful for the programming staff to better visualize the furniture design and how it would look spatially.

During the early stages of the building construction, Vince came back on-site and we did a walkthrough of the studios. He took detailed measurements and marked out where cable conduit wall boxes should ideally be located. He worked directly with our architects and their CAD drawings to ensure the furniture would fit perfectly into each space.

Studio Technology also worked with our interior designer and operations manager on the specific materials, finishes, colors, etc. After the furniture was installed, we had realized we needed to make a couple additions in the on-air studios. Studio Technology was extremely helpful and consulted through what the best options would be. They made it happen.

The furniture look was superb, and its design is very functional. Me and my team enjoyed working with it. Having the ample space inside to manage cabling and the overall easy cabinet access was great. The on-air and programming staff enjoy it daily because they now have a workspace that fits their needs.

We have been very pleased with the furniture from Studio Technology on this project.

For information, contact Vince Fiola at Studio Technology at 1-610-925-2785 or vince@studiotechnology.com.

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

 

The post User Report: Studio Technology Furnishes Hubbard in Cincinnati appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Cleanfeed Adds Features for Podcasters and Broadcasters

Thu, 09/02/2021 - 13:00

Cleanfeed introduced an enhanced set of studio tools intended for the use of broadcasters and podcasters.

The tools are housed in the user’s browser, with no requirement for external hardware or software. They include enhancements to Cleanfeed’s Clips feature and a new Player for longer cuts of audio.

[“Cleanfeed Offers Effective Remote Solution,” 2019]

“The tools give podcasters and broadcasters the functionality of a professional radio studio, straight out of their laptop,” the company stated.

“Features now give users the opportunity to give their listeners and guests a finished production experience, including the ability to play intro and background music, host a panel show or quiz with sound effects, review music, have guests comment on interviews or even play voxes from the public.”

Cleanfeed promotes its product as providing high-quality remote audio “as if you were in the same studio as someone else,” with low latencies and multitrack recording, controlled via a link in a browser.

The announcement was made by co-founder Marc Bakos. A blog post provides more details about the new features.

The post Cleanfeed Adds Features for Podcasters and Broadcasters appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Tieline Gateway Line Now Supports Ravenna

Thu, 09/02/2021 - 09:37

Tieline has released new firmware that allows its Gateway and Gateway 4 codecs to support Ravenna.

“Ravenna is used widely by broadcasters around the world for discovery and advertisement when streaming real-time IP audio,” the company said. “Integrating Ravenna support facilitates interfacing easily between Gateway and Gateway 4 codecs and Ravenna devices over AoIP networks.”

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

The announcement was made by Tieline VP Sales APAC/EMEA Charlie Gawley, who said the addition is consistent with Tieline’s support of interoperability among manufacturers. The Gateway platform, he said, now complies with AES67, ST 2110-30, NMOS and Ravenna.

The firmware is free for current users. Info and download are available on the support page.

Tieline highlights its codecs for applications requiring the streaming of low-latency, high-quality audio over wired and wireless IP transport channels and for integrating compressed and uncompressed IP audio streams around the broadcast plant. “The codecs are often gateway devices in IP networks bridging between wide area network (WAN) nodes that may include the broadcast plant, other studios (interstudio links), production facilities and live events,” it says.

Send your new equipment news to radioworld@futurenet.com.

 

The post Tieline Gateway Line Now Supports Ravenna appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Telos, Grass Valley Partner on Cloud Intercom

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 14:45

Telos Alliance and Grass Valley announced a partnership that they say brings integrated intercom to cloud production.

This news is primarily of interest in video production, but it may touch some radio broadcasters whose infrastructure overlaps with video work.

Grass Valley is releasing Telos Infinity VIP (Virtual Intercom Platform — shown) on its GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform), an intercom offering for cloud-based media work.

“Infinity VIP on AMPP supports essential intercom functionality that is already well known to production professionals, including party lines, IFBs, groups and peer-to-peer communication,” the companies wrote in a joint announcement.

“This new cloud-based production functionality is being beta-tested by All Mobile Video (AMV) and will be live with an AMV customer later in the year.”

The announcement was made by Grass Valley CEO/President Tim Shoulders and Telos Alliance COO Scott Stiefel.

Telos said its Infinity VIP on AMPP cloud server and virtual panel apps are available from the AMPP app store and deploy in the same way as other AMPP applications.

Usage monitoring is consolidated with other AMPP applications to provide single billing.

The post Telos, Grass Valley Partner on Cloud Intercom appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Shure Hires Moorut for Spectrum Role

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 14:22

Audio equipment manufacturer Shure has brought a new executive on board to deal with spectrum and regulatory matters.

Prakash Moorut joins as senior director of spectrum and regulatory affairs for the mic manufacturer, whose products include many wireless devices. It is a new position.

“Moorut will be responsible for leading Shure’s efforts to advocate for audio professionals as it pertains to industry regulations,” the company said.

“He will serve as Shure’s point person with regulators, lawmakers and industry associations as well as partner with engineering and product management to create a regulatory roadmap that adheres to current and future policies.”

[Related: “Wireless Mic Industry Debates WMAS Technology”]

Moorut was with Nokia for 10 years, most recently as head of spectrum standardization. Before that he had a long tenure with Motorola. The announcement was made by VP of Quality Ahren Hartman.

Shure noted that wireless mics now play a role not only in broadcasting and film production, but also news reporting, theater, music, sports, worship, civic events, transportation infrastructure and education.

Moorut received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Ecole Superieure D’Electricite (SUPELEC) in France.

The post Shure Hires Moorut for Spectrum Role appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Big Louisiana Radio Tower Comes Down in Ida

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 12:38
Images from the Facebook page of Cumulus station WZRH.

A 2,000-foot tower in Vacherie, La., co-owned by iHeartMedia and Cumulus, was destroyed during Hurricane Ida.

According to Jeff Littlejohn, executive VP, engineering and systems for iHeartMedia, the tower held the antennas of FM stations KVDU “104.1 The Spot,” owned by iHeart and licensed to Houma, La., and WZRH “Alt 92.3,” licensed to Laplace and owned by Cumulus.

Both are 100 kW stations.

“We’ve moved KVDU to operate from an existing aux tower and it is still serving the core New Orleans population,” Littlejohn said. “We are reviewing all long-term options.” He said no one was hurt.

WZRH posted on Facebook late Tuesday, “Unfortunately Hurricane Ida did a number to our broadcast tower. If things go according to plan, we’ll be back up at some capacity on ALT923.com and our ALT923fm app. Our hope is to get out as much information as possible to help our communities in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. We live here too.”

The tower is on Dicks Road in Vacherie in St. James Parish. It was built in 1988, according to FCCInfo.com.

Cumulus Media SVP, Technology & Operations Conrad Trautmann said on Wednesday: “Ida created widespread power outages across all of the New Orleans area, impacting all of our stations. Our engineering teams have worked tirelessly and have three of the stations back on the air serving the community.”

The fourth station, he said, was WZRH(FM). He said the Vacherie tower came down with only about 150 feet still standing.

“Thankfully, nobody was injured and we continue to assess the full extent of the damage. Our backup facility for that station remains without power so we are working for another solution to get that station back on air as soon as possible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire community as the recovery process continues and we are doing our part in that recovery.”

 

The post Big Louisiana Radio Tower Comes Down in Ida appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Inside the Sept. 1, 2021 Issue of Radio World

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 11:11

Engineer Charlie Wooten manages for success in Florida. A U.S. non-governmental organization makes a difference in Africa. Shortwave radio proves to be resilient.

In Workbench, we have an adapter that simplifies AES connections.

And we have product news from Angry Audio, Lawo, Studio Technology, AEQ, ElectroVoice, Wheatstone and Shure — including our Buyers Guide section on studio furnishings and microphones.

Read the issue.

The post Inside the Sept. 1, 2021 Issue of Radio World appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Jack DeWitt: An Engineer’s Engineer

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 11:02

This article originally appeared in the May 23, 2012 issue of Radio World.

John Hibbett DeWitt Jr. was a radio wunderkind.

He put Nashville’s first radio station on the air when he was 16; was hired by Bell Labs even though he was a college dropout; revolutionized AM transmitter technology; built the country’s first commercial FM station; set the stage for satellite communications; put Nashville’s first TV station on the air; created the first solid-state broadcast gear; and headed operations for one of the nation’s biggest entertainment operations.

Yet Jack DeWitt seems to have escaped notice in many industry circles, even though he left the transmitter building for the last time only about 13 years ago.

Beginnings

Jack DeWitt, seated left, is seen in a WSM staff photo from the early 1930s. The microphone is an RCA 4-AA condenser. Photo: Les Leverett (Click here to enlarge.)

DeWitt was born in Tennessee on Feb. 20, 1906, about the time serious experimentation in transmitting speech and music over the air began. He became interested in radio early; he was a radio amateur operator in his early teens and was hired at age 16 to construct a radio station for a Nashville girls’ school. The callsign WDAA was issued in 1922 to what became the city’s first commercially licensed station.

Before completing high school, DeWitt started up two other Nashville stations. After graduation, he briefly explored a career as a shipboard radio operator but decided this was not his calling and enrolled at Vanderbilt University. His career at the school proved equally short-lived, as did DeWitt’s next stop at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

“I became interested in a broadcasting station [in Knoxville] that was owned by a local telephone company and spent my time at it rather than studying,” DeWitt said, as quoted in Craig Havighurst’s 2007 book, “Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City.”

DeWitt’s efforts to obtain a college degree ended here; but as the record shows, he didn’t really need one.

WSM Takes to the Air

When the 19-year-old returned to Nashville, he learned that the National Life and Accident Insurance Co. was interested in launching a radio station. He was hired to help and spent summer and fall working to construct what was to become WSM (“We Shield Millions,” a reference to the insurance company’s slogan). The station took to the air on the evening of Oct. 5, 1925, with DeWitt running the controls.

He remained at WSM for a time and did engineering work for other stations, until an opportunity to become more deeply involved in radio engineering arrived in 1928 with a visit to WSM by a Bell Labs engineer.

DeWitt made a favorable impression, and soon the Nashville radio prodigy was on his way to New York City and a research job at the prestigious laboratory.

However, it was not to last. In the fall of 1930 DeWitt took leave from that job to testify at Federal Radio Commission hearings aimed at determining WSM’s worthiness for one of the new 50 kW assignments opening up. WSM was awarded the coveted slot and DeWitt was offered the job of shepherding the power increase as the station’s chief engineer.

Understandably, this caused him considerable angst. “It was one of the tough decisions of my life,” he said, as recorded in Havighurst’s book.

“Here was the great Bell Telephone Laboratories, where I really got a good education in electronics with all sorts of facilities and everything. And here was WSM, a radio station in my hometown. Should I go back to my hometown where I would be a big frog on a little pond, or would I stay in New York and try to make my career?”

Return to Nashville

The pond won out, and soon DeWitt was back in his old surroundings, where the 50 kW project was in progress.

One element was not quite a done deal: the antenna. RCA, supplier of the 50 kW transmitter, advocated conventional flat-top horizontal antenna technology. DeWitt had been involved at Bell Labs in testing a “new” half-wave vertical radiator, and he appreciated the superiority of that design.

“Bell Laboratories was in the business of designing radio transmitters and studio equipment [and] now, they wanted a good antenna to recommend to purchasers of their equipment,” DeWitt recalled in a 1982 interview.

W47NV became the nation’s first commercial FM operation, airing its first commercial message on March 1, 1941. The event was highlighted in Broadcasting magazine. (Click here to enlarge.)

“There was a man by the name of Dr. Stuart Ballantine … brilliant man … He pointed out that there was no point in putting up separate towers and stringing antennas between them because the towers could only be a problem due to the currents induced in them from the antenna and it would distort the pattern. Why not use [just] the tower?

“The first one of those towers was put in at Wayne Township, N.J., for the Columbia Broadcasting System. Strangely enough, I worked on that installation.”

DeWitt didn’t have a tough job in selling the vertical, which added only about 10% to the $200,000 budgeted for the power increase. Blaw-Knox was awarded the contract for another “diamond” tower. It is still used by WSM.

After the plant went into service, DeWitt started experiments aimed at improving transmitter performance, earning him his first patent, a feedback system for reducing hum and noise.

“It reduced the distortion from maybe 5–8% percent in the transmitter, to about 1%, and it was broadband,” said DeWitt. “I got a patent on it and sold it to RCA for $10,000, which allowed me to build a house.”

Making History

A lifelong love of good music, coupled with curiosity and expertise in RF, undoubtedly were driving factors in DeWitt’s lobbying the insurance giant to apply for an experimental FM license. He designed and constructed a 20 kW transmitter for the purpose, along with a turnstile antenna that was mounted atop the AM radiator, apparently the first time that an AM tower served a dual purpose.

WSM was a pioneer FM broadcaster in another respect. In 1941 it was granted the country’s first commercial FM license, W47NV. The station’s ERP was 65 kW; it provided service as far away as Alabama and Kentucky. (The low-band station survived through the war years, moving to present day high-band operations in the late 1940s. Unfortunately, like many pioneer FM stations, it produced little revenue and went dark in the 1950s.)

With America’s entry into WWII in 1941, DeWitt’s electronics expertise was sought by the military’s radar program. He became director of the Army’s Evans Signal Laboratories in New Jersey and did much pioneering work in radar. But it was a postwar experiment that put him and the lab in the limelight.

DeWitt had a strong interest in space and astronomy, and after the war’s end, found time to recreate an experiment he’d tried unsuccessfully in 1939: bouncing radio signals from the moon.

He made this entry in his personal notebook in May of 1940:

It ha[d] occurred to me that it might be possible to reflect ultra-short waves from the moon. If this could be done it would open up wide possibilities for the study of the upper atmosphere. So far as I know no one has ever sent waves off the earth and measured their return through the entire atmosphere of the earth.

In addition, this may open up a new method of world communication.

The moon is visible several hours out of every 24-hour period in the year. There are many times when communication by this method might be extremely valuable such as during magnetic storms and daytime radio ‘blackouts.’ This may provide a means in the future of bringing television programs over long distances, such as across the oceans.”

In early 1946, his second moon bounce attempt succeeded, opening the door to the age of satellite communications. (While Arthur C. Clarke predicted satellite communications in a 1945 magazine article, it was DeWitt who actually relayed the first radio signal from a satellite, in this case, the moon.)

Peacetime Career

Jack DeWitt moved the WSM operation into the new world of television on Dec. 30, 1950. This picture shows what opening night was like at WSM(TV). DeWitt appears between the transmitter and its operating console. Photo: Allen Nelson (Click here to enlarge.)

After the war, broadcasting was burgeoning, with equipment once again available for upgrading stations and constructing new ones. And while a partnership in a Washington engineering firm — Ring and Clark — looked especially promising, another offer soon surfaced.

The National Life folks had decided to separate WSM operations — along with those of the Grand Ole Opry, and the organization’s artist bureau — from the insurance business. It sought someone to head up these newly formed enterprises as president. DeWitt’s name was at the top of the list. Though tempted by the Washington job, he realized that he belonged back in Nashville.

Television was starting to come into its own, and just as with FM, DeWitt wanted to be first on the air in Nashville.

WSM managed to secure a CP before the FCC’s 1948 “freeze” on new applications; soon DeWitt was laying the groundwork for a new television station.

Television cameras were especially pricey in 1950, the year WSM(TV) took to the air. Few people had seen one. Yet DeWitt was bold enough to roll his own. According to Ray Tichenor, who was hired during WSM(TV)’s first year, DeWitt bought two RCA cameras and immediately cloned them.

“Of course, he had to buy the IO [image orthicon] tubes and yokes from RCA, but everything else was done in-house,” Tichenor recalled. “The copies worked as well as the originals. Mr. DeWitt was a genius at building things.”

The ‘home-brew’ WSM television transmitter. Photo: David Wilson/Doug Smith (Click here to enlarge.)

Television transmitters have always been big-ticket items as well. As DeWitt was an RF man par excellence, he likely would have fabricated his own if time hadn’t been a factor, but DeWitt settled for a commercial rig. Once the dust settled, though, Nashville’s RF grandmaster constructed a backup 5 kW television transmitter, as well as a 20 kW linear amplifier for boosting ERP up to the 100 kW authorized by the FCC in 1952.

This “exciter/afterburner” combo remained in service for a quarter century or so. To the credit of DeWitt and his engineering staff, the workmanship was exacting. The one-of-a-kind rig offered scant evidence of being homebrewed, blending in perfectly with the commercial transmitter.

Solid-State Out of the Gate

DeWitt also should be recognized for beating the “Camden giant” — and apparently everyone else — in bringing solid-state broadcast gear to the marketplace.

This was via the “International Nuclear” equipment line. The company existed for some two decades and produced a range of broadcast gear, with its initial product being a transistorized video distribution amplifier (the TDA-2) designed by DeWitt.

Loyd Wayne Pilkinton, a former technician at International Nuclear, recalled that building broadcast gear was really not part of that company’s plan.

“International Nuclear Corp. was formed by Mr. Ray Weiland of Brentwood, Tenn.,” Pilkinton said. “Ray was working at Vanderbilt Hospital for Dr. George R. Meneely and had been building electronic equipment for the new age of nuclear medicine. I worked for Dr. Meneely and Ray at Vanderbilt Hospital during the day and for International Nuclear Corp. at night and Saturdays. I wired the first 2,000 TDA-2 units.”

DeWitt filed for a patent in 1961. It became one of the first patents for solid-state broadcast products.

WSM (We Shall Manufacture)

This ‘high-band’ turnstile FM antenna was created by DeWitt and WSM staff to replace a 44.7 MHz ‘low-band’ antenna used by WSM’s original FM outlet, W47NV. The turnstile is no longer used but remains on WSM’s 808-foot Blaw-Knox AM tower. When the original turnstile went into service in 1940 it was believed to be the first FM antenna supported by an AM radiator. Photo: John Hettish

Homebrewing was done on a grand scale at WSM. As explained by J. Wayne Caluger, the TV director of engineering in the years after DeWitt’s 1968 retirement, it was easier in the 1950s and ’60s for station personnel to build equipment than to buy it.

WSM had a small capital equipment budget but a large maintenance fund. Thanks to DeWitt’s design engineering ability, technicians with excellent construction skills and a Nashville metal fabricator that could match most anyone’s layout and paint job, the station had incentive to brew its own. Employees joked that the WSM call sign really stood for “We Shall Manufacture.”

This do-it-yourself modality served WSM well and provided technicians the opportunity to learn about inner workings of equipment they used on a daily basis.

On one occasion after DeWitt’s retirement, this mentality caused a glitch. During a visit to the station he noticed a large number of “bootlegged” International Nuclear distribution amps. DeWitt, who received design royalties from International Nuclear, became upset.

“He went in and complained … about how this was costing him money,” said Caluger. “He was quickly reminded of all the reverse engineering that he’d done and was told that the pot couldn’t really call the kettle black.”

Other Accomplishments

Jack DeWitt. Photo: Grand Ole Opry

DeWitt is also remembered by former WSM staffers for innovations such as a homebrewed system for receiving first-generation weather satellite images. By constructing it in-house, DeWitt trumped another Nashville station that had been promoting the arrival of satellite imagery, for a fraction of the cost of a commercial system.

He constructed an atomic frequency standard for maintaining WSM(AM) at 650 kHz. The carrier was so precise that other stations used it as a frequency standard.

After retirement, DeWitt kept experimenting and inventing in several fields, including optics and lasers, which led to a surveying instrument for civil engineers.

Jack DeWitt died on Jan. 25, 1999, some 53 years after his successful moon bounce experiment and just a few weeks shy of his 93rd birthday. A joint Senate/House resolution in the Tennessee legislature mourned his death “while also rejoicing in the life of this exceptional man whose exemplary character, many accomplishments in the realms of science and technology, and voluminous contributions to the growth and prosperity of this state and nation will be remembered and appreciated for generations to come.”

James O’Neal is technology editor of TV Technology magazine. He has written in Radio World about VOA’s Greenville, N.C., facility; the evolution of broadcast transmitter power supplies; radio pioneer Mary Day Lee; and numerous other topics.

He thanks David Hilliard of Wiley Rein LLP for recorded interviews and information about DeWitt’s involvement in the CCBS. Clyde Haehnele, retired WLW engineer, helped with DeWitt’s postwar work in Washington. Former WSM Director of Engineering J. Wayne Caluger provided personal recollections. Loyd Wayne Pilkinton and Larry Bearden offered insights about WSM and International Nuclear Corp. John Hettish maintains the WSM radio tower and provided photos of the FM turnstile radiator still mounted atop the AM tower. Craig Havighurst fielded many questions and helped with photos; his book “Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City” is highly recommended. Thanks also to Scott Baxter, an RF genius put to work tending the homebrew WSM(TV) transmitter in his teenage years; Les Leverett, long-time National Life and Accident Insurance chief photographer; and the late Ray Tichenor, who was hired to work at the fledgling TV operation in 1950, shortly after high school, and remained with the operation for more than four decades. Before his passing, Mr. Tichenor provided useful information especially about the homebrew television cameras and the television transmitter.

The post Jack DeWitt: An Engineer’s Engineer appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Podcast Listeners By the Numbers

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 16:07

Who are podcast listeners? According to studies from Edison Research, Cumulus Media and Nielsen, today’s podcast audience is young, educated, employed and upscale — making this an audience that advertisers may want to reach.

According to data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study, Cumulus Media’s Podcast Download release, and Nielsen’s Scarborough USA+ studies, podcast listeners are on average 14 years younger than the AM/FM radio audience (median age 48) and 20 years younger than broadcast television network audiences (median age 54). The median age of podcast listeners — aged 34 — has stayed relatively consistent quarter over quarter for the last three years, according to the Edison Share of Ear research and Nielsen Scarborough USA+ study.

[Read: Top-Performing Podcasts Are Consistent]

The podcast audience is an attractive one due to their education and upscale lifestyle, said Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer at Cumulus Media-Westwood One, in a recent blog. More than half of podcast listeners over 18 who have listened to an audio podcast in the last 30 days are employed in a white-collar occupation. Of those, 55% have a household income of more than $75,000 and 39% hold a management position.

A Nielsen podcast study released in May 2021broke down several key background factors even further to include employment and graduation status. The percent of persons aged 18 or older who have listened to an audio podcast included full time employees (56%), individuals with a household income of more than $100,000 (39%) and achievers with post-graduate degrees (16%).

All of these factors contribute to making this group an audience that advertisers want to reach, Bouvard said.

 

The post Podcast Listeners By the Numbers appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Building the Public Interface of the Black Information Network

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 11:16

Angela T. Ingram is senior vice president of communications for iHeartMedia’s Multi-Platform Group in Chicago and director of local advocacy and engagement for BIN: Black Information Network.

She was interviewed by Suzanne Gougherty, director of MMTC Media and Telecom Brokers at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council. MMTC commentaries appear regularly in Radio World, which welcomes other points of view on industry issues.

Suzanne Gougherty: How has your experience in radio in general and as senior vice president of communications for iHeartMedia’s Multi-Platform Group in Chicago specifically equipped you with the capabilities to successfully navigate BIN’s Local Advocacy and Engagement?
Angela T. Ingram: My career experience spans over three decades of management and spearheading marketing, community engagement and communication strategy for some of iHeartMedia’s top-rated radio stations in Louisville, Charlotte, New Orleans and Chicago.

iHeartMedia Chicago’s station brands are the foundation of the Chicagoland community. I have an immense responsibility to serve as the market’s link to the community. I fulfill that responsibility by building local and national partnerships through engagement with nonprofits, business and civic leaders and elected officials. The same holds true for BIN. While we are a national network, our core responsibility is to serve our local communities by ensuring BIN programming serves, reflects the realities of, communities in our affiliate markets.

[Read: Getting a Look Inside the BIN]

Gougherty: How do you navigate the two positions you hold — looking out for local stations as a core member of iHeartMedia’s Multi-Platform Group in Chicago while at the same time being the lead conduit for BIN affiliates?
Ingram: Community engagement is the foundation of both positions. The key is to determine the needs of local communities, encourage meaningful input from local business and civic leaders, and local market leadership. The final steps are to develop and execute a plan to address and support those needs. Chicago has an incredible team led by Matt Scarano, president of iHeartMedia Chicago. He truly believes in “superserving” the community and provides tremendous support that allows me to seamlessly navigate between the two positions.

Gougherty: Please share with us your special management traits, there must be many for handling your position at BIN.
Ingram: There is one trait that supersedes all others — integrity. If I lead with integrity, whether its iHeartMedia Chicago or BIN, our mission will be accomplished. The trust factor must be developed early on between the company and local communities. My primary responsibility is to safeguard that trust and ensure that our programming is commensurate with our local markets based on an honest ascertainment of needs and priorities.

Gougherty: Please share with us how your role as director of local advocacy and engagement best positions BIN in local communities.
Ingram: I am the connector between BIN as a network service and the local communities serving BIN affiliate stations, and charged with championing BIN’s mission to nonprofits, civic and business leaders, and elected officials. The mission should be clear in every local community that we serve — a dedicated, high quality, trusted source of 24/7 news coverage with a Black voice and perspective, focused solely on the Black community.

We have developed several benchmark initiatives to amplify BIN’s mission in affiliate markets. We produce a weekly public affairs show, “The Black Perspective,” featuring topical interviews and guests from local communities. We are also launching a monthly “Ask the Mayors” public affairs show to provide the unprecedented number of Black mayors in the United States a forum to spotlight their cities.

In most iHeartMedia markets, we have a Local Advisory Board that brings together business and civic leaders and iHeartMedia executives to engage in open discussion about how we can better serve local communities in the market. As co-chair of iHeartMedia Chicago’s LAB, with a diverse group of nearly 60 business and civic leaders, I have experienced first-hand the benefit of giving local communities a “voice” and staying close to those who monitor and shape public opinion.

In October, we are launching a virtual BIN Local Roundtable (BLR) with business and civic leaders from some of our affiliate markets to further engage and lend a “voice” to our local communities. We are also planning a quarterly BIN affiliate newsletter to share best practices and forge better collaboration between local markets.

Gougherty: With the pandemic especially last year, most of your affiliate communications took place on Zoom, Teams or other platforms. What were the challenges?
Ingram: The opportunity for face-to-face meetings is always the preferred communication.  That said, the virtual option turned a challenge into an opportunity to make important introductions and share BIN’s mission with local affiliates, business and civic leaders, Members of Congress, and even the White House.

Gougherty: The social unrest of last summer had a major effect on local communities. Please share how you were able to position BIN affiliates as a community resource during this critical time.
Ingram: BIN was a trusted resource to local communities during a critical time in our history. Our focus then and now is to provide reliable, responsible and responsive service to the Black community. Whether it was BIN’s coverage of the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, to live coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial and verdict, to the inauguration of America’s first Black female vice president, BIN’s award-winning anchors and reporters provided up close and personal reporting of the news stories that affected our local communities on BIN affiliates and the iHeartRadio app.

Gougherty: The daily life of a director of local advocacy and engagement requires working closely with Tony Coles (BIN president) and Tanita Myers (VP/news operations) and Chris Thompson (BIN VP/network director) – please give an idea how you manage the process.
Ingram: Tony Coles has built and incredible team at BIN. I have known him nearly 14 years. We worked closely together when he was iHeartMedia Chicago’s vice president of programming.  Tony is an exceptional leader and I am honored to work with him again. I have great respect for Tanita Myers and Chris Thompson and their 24/7 commitment to the network. We combine our talent, experience and connections to ensure that our network programming stays true to BIN’s focus on Black culture, social justice, education, HBCUs, faith and religion, Black wealth and Black health.

Gougherty: A long week — how do you unwind and refuel?
Ingram: I am an avid reader and can easily read 4-6 books per month, sometimes more, to clear my mind and escape. I love to spend time with my husband, family and close circle of friends. The ultimate fuel for me is my spiritual relationship with God. More than seven years ago, I co-founded the iServe Women’s Ministry for our church and remain actively involved in that ministry, which includes co-facilitating a virtual weekly Bible Study with women from Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta and Memphis.

 

The post Building the Public Interface of the Black Information Network appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Here’s Your 2021 Fall Product Planner

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 10:23

Product manufacturers have not been idle during this past year and a half of business disruption.

Radio World’s new ebook provides a look at more than 50 new or pending products of interest to radio broadcasting and audio professionals, from leading manufacturers.

Listings include large product photos, feature descriptions and website information to learn more.

Whether you’re shopping for a microphone or looking to outfit a planned new facility with AoIP gear, you won’t want to miss the 2021 Fall Product Planner.

Read it for free.

 

The post Here’s Your 2021 Fall Product Planner appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Riviera Broadcasting Is Now Desert Valley Media

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 10:20

Riviera Broadcasting has changed its name to Desert Valley Media Group. The announcement was made by CEO Jeff Trumper.

“This name change represents a more localized name and now includes the many assets of the company,” it announced. Those assets include three formats on six FM frequencies, DVMG Digital Marketing, esports platform Chosen Rival Gaming and a video production division.

In the announcement, Trumper emphasized that the company serves only the greater Phoenix area.

“We are a local media company in a sea of corporate radio companies … all our efforts are directly tied to serving this community and we believe that local businesses prefer to work with local companies.”

The post Riviera Broadcasting Is Now Desert Valley Media appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Chauvet Joins NAB in Policy Position

Mon, 08/30/2021 - 17:10

From our People News page: The National Association of Broadcasters hired Anna Chauvet as vice president of public policy.

She most recently was associate general counsel for the U.S. Copyright Office, where she worked on various legal and policy matters, NAB said, “including spearheading four rulemakings to implement provisions of the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA).” It said she also helped develop litigation strategy and inform the federal government’s views in copyright litigation before the Supreme Court and district courts.

[Visit Radio World’s People News Page]

Before the Copyright Office she worked in private practice representing entertainment, banking and technology clients on copyright, trademark and patent matters.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith praised her “sterling credentials as an expert in copyright law, including deep knowledge of the music licensing regime.” She will report to Shawn Donilon, executive vice president of government relations.

Send your people news to radioworld@futurenet.com.

 

The post Chauvet Joins NAB in Policy Position appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

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