Broadcast Industry News

Broadcasting & Cable

Perform Group’s DAZN subscription streaming sports service is expanding into the U.S., offering a line up of boxing and mixed-martial-arts matches for $9.99 a month. The service goes live in the U.S. on Sept. 10. “DAZN is Perform Group’s most ambitious undertaking to date and we have big plans as ...

Subscriptions cost $9.99 a month

Perform Group’s DAZN subscription streaming sports service is expanding into the U.S., offering a line up of boxing and mixed-martial-arts matches for $9.99 a month.

The service goes live in the U.S. on Sept. 10.

“DAZN is Perform Group’s most ambitious undertaking to date and we have big plans as a global streaming leader,” said John Skipper, Perform Group Executive Chairman and former president of ESPN. “In the last two years we’ve expanded into seven countries across three continents attracting millions of subscribers and creating long-term global partnerships with the best in the industry to bring our fans what they want at an affordable price.”

Skipper was at the helm of ESPN as it prepared its streaming subscription service ESPN+

DAZN has deals with Matchroom Boxing and Viacom’s Bellator.

“We launched DAZN to disrupt the status quo and change the way the world sees sports,” said James Rushton, DAZN CEO. “When you get DAZN, you’ll get all the fights; we won’t stash our best matchups for PPV, linear TV or a higher-tier package. And you’re going to get the entire card live, no matter the time zone and without constraints for one affordable price.”

Dazn will be offering a one-month free trial for new subscribers. Fight fans who take advantage of the offer will be able to see:

Sept. 22 – Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin

Sept. 29 – Bellator: Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald

Oct. 6 – Card featuring Jessie Vargas, Demetrius Andrade

Oct. 12 – Bellator: Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader***

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 17, 2018, 4:42 pm
ABC got the top score in Monday’s ratings, The Bachelorette leading the network to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 6 share. That beat the 1.0/4 posted by NBC. The Bachelorette grew 14% to 1.6 and The Proposal scored a level 0.8. On NBC, American Ninja Warrior ticked up ...

‘Dateline’ sees big gain for NBC

ABC got the top score in Monday’s ratings, The Bachelorette leading the network to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 6 share. That beat the 1.0/4 posted by NBC.

The Bachelorette grew 14% to 1.6 and The Proposal scored a level 0.8.

On NBC, American Ninja Warrior ticked up 10% to 1.1 and Dateline grew 29% to 0.9.

Telemundo was good for a 0.6/2 on the strength of El Senor de los Cielos.

Fox did a 0.5/2. So You Think You Can Dance lost 14% for a 0.6 and was followed by a 9-1-1 repeat.

CBS was at 0.4/2, with TKO: Total Knock Out at 0.5, down from its 0.9 debut July 11. Salvation rated a 0.3 and Elementary a 0.4, both shows flat.

Univision did a 0.3/1, as did The CW. For the latter, Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway both did a 0.3. Both shows were flat.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 17, 2018, 4:39 pm
Season eight of The Vanilla Ice Project starts on DIY Aug. 11. Rapper Vanilla Ice, a.k.a. Rob Van Winkle, hosts the house-flipping show. There are ten episodes in the new season. Ice and his team of “construction ninjas” transform a derelict 1970s house in Palm Beach into an ultra-modern home with ...

Season eight showcases ‘blinged out’ house in Palm Beach

Season eight of The Vanilla Ice Project starts on DIY Aug. 11. Rapper Vanilla Ice, a.k.a. Rob Van Winkle, hosts the house-flipping show. There are ten episodes in the new season.

Ice and his team of “construction ninjas” transform a derelict 1970s house in Palm Beach into an ultra-modern home with over-the-top amenities. The property boasts a 30-person hot tub, infinity edge pool with a waterfall, airport hangar and five-car garage.

“Wait until you see what we’ve got in store this season,” Vanilla Ice said. “It’s going to be rockstar-style to the fullest, with our biggest, baddest and most blinged-out season of VIP yet.”

The new season “is all about big risks and big rewards,” said DIY.

DIY is part of Discovery, Inc. It is in 54 million homes.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 17, 2018, 3:52 pm
The FCC's conclusion in 2016 and again in 2018 that mobile broadband is not a "functional substitute" for fixed broadband is outdated and needs to change. That is the conclusion of a June study of 10,000 consumers commissioned by the Internet Innovation Alliance. IIA honorary chairman Rick Boucher ...

Says FCC needs to recognize that in next annual report to Congress

The FCC's conclusion in 2016 and again in 2018 that mobile broadband is not a "functional substitute" for fixed broadband is outdated and needs to change.

That is the conclusion of a June study of 10,000 consumers commissioned by the Internet Innovation Alliance.

IIA honorary chairman Rick Boucher said the FCC relied on the 2016 analysis in making the determination they are not substitutes, and that those findings are now obsolete. He said it was time for a fresh look at fixed and mobile broadband, and the IIA was sharing the findings and an accompanying white paper with the FCC Tuesday (July 17).

Rick Boucher

Boucher said 43% of respondents either preferred mobile or had no preference, with 47% saying they preferred fixed, which Boucher said was functional equivalency.

He also said consumers use wired and wireless in the same ways across various functions, including streaming video or watching news and reports.

Boucher said the FCC should tell Congress in its next annual report on availability of advanced communications that the two are functional equivalents.

Related: CWA Says Wireless Is No Substitute for Wired Broadband

The FCC is under a congressional directive to periodically assess deployment of advanced communications and is empowered to regulate in the event it finds it is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely manner, as was the finding of the report under FCC chair Ajit Pai's Democratic predecessors.

Boucher said the goal is for the FCC to use the most current data when it reports to Congress, which has made it clear that deployment of advanced communications is a key policy goal.

Consumers are seeing fixed and mobile services as exchangeable on price, affordability and speed, not simply that they would like mobile as well as fixed, all those things being equal, Boucher said, adding that when 5G arrives, the numbers will shift dramatically toward the mobile side.

But even with the numbers moving toward functional equivalency, fixed broadband remains the preferred access point, with 26% saying that was their preference, versus 23% for mobile, 20% no preference, 14% fiber and 7% DSL.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 17, 2018, 3:44 pm
Craft platform Craftsy Unlimited, part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, is rebranding as Bluprint, which NBCU describes as “a new, expanded subscription service and premier digital destination for lifestyle learning.” Bluprint will offer online classes focusing on crafts and other categories ...

Al Roker to host new series ‘Ready. Set. Grill!’

Craft platform Craftsy Unlimited, part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, is rebranding as Bluprint, which NBCU describes as “a new, expanded subscription service and premier digital destination for lifestyle learning.”

Bluprint will offer online classes focusing on crafts and other categories that “promote and facilitate self-expression,” said NBCU, in areas such as music, writing, dance, yoga, fitness, home décor, entertaining, and kids and family. Bluprint will also produce original entertainment series featuring creative experts. Its content library with more than 3,000 hours of original classes will be available on-demand via subscription at http://www.mybluprint.com, via the Bluprint app and on Roku.

NBCUniversal acquired a majority stake in Craftsy last year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The new Bluprint brand lays the foundation for us to dramatically expand and enhance its unique content and commerce capabilities and fully exploit the power of NBCUniversal to help accelerate its growth,” said Dave Howe, president, strategy and commercial growth, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We see tremendous potential to build Bluprint into a must-have streaming service that offers something for everyone.”

Bluprint is available for $14.99 a month or $120 per year. For a limited time, users can get their first three months at $9.99 per or $100 for the year.

There have been Craftsy cross promotions and integrations with several NBCU networks, including NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo and E!. NBCU promised branded integrations with NBC’s upcoming competition series Making It, hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

Upcoming Bluprint series include Ready. Set. Grill! with Al Roker and Matt Abdoo, and Spark, which profiles artists and innovators who are “redefining the creative landscape,” said NBCU. Padma Lakshmi hosts.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 17, 2018, 3:38 pm
On Booth 2.C28 at IBC 2018 Crystal Vision will be showing its flexible IP platform, the MARBLE-V1 media processor hardware and the initial six software apps which run on it. These apps are IP gateways between SDI and SMPTE 2022 or 2110, and IP to IP translators for making adjustments to IP flows – ...

On Booth 2.C28 at IBC 2018 Crystal Vision will be showing its flexible IP platform, the MARBLE-V1 media processor hardware and the initial six software apps which run on it. These apps are IP gateways between SDI and SMPTE 2022 or 2110, and IP to IP translators for making adjustments to IP flows – including protocol conversion between ST 2022 and ST 2110. Amongst the full range of modular SDI interface and keying products on show will be the Safire 3 real-time chroma keyer, which now combines its high quality keying, easy workflow and five year warranty benefits with a significant price drop.

The MARBLE-V1 media processor is the industry's most flexible solution to video over IP. Crystal Vision's IP products are software apps which run on MARBLE-V1 hardware, with apps that are bought with the hardware able to be replaced with different apps as needs change – helping broadcast engineers to make the most of their budgets. Featuring a powerful CPU/GPU processor that runs Linux and a Crystal Vision developed operating system layer which is the connecting fabric to the software-defined apps, MARBLE-V1 is a card housed in the Vision frame. It has six bi-directional SDI connections, four 10GbE SFP+ network interface ports, eight bi-directional discrete AES stereo channels and multiple referencing capabilities.

The initial software apps – SDI6-IP-2022, IP-SDI6-2022, SDI6-IP-2110 and IP-SDI6-2110 – are IP gateways for the transport of uncompressed video over 10GbE IP networks, converting to and from SMPTE 2022 or SMPTE 2110. The unique IP to IP translator apps – IP-IP-2022 and IP-IP-2110 – can be used for network address translation, multicast to unicast address conversion, the creation of media firewalls and ST 2022 to ST 2110 protocol conversion – and so help broadcasters solve any IP problems. The gateway and translator apps include support for 31 SDI video standards, redundant streaming, clean switching between flows, sophisticated synchronizing, PTP reference, video delay, unicast and multicast transmission, signal and flow monitoring, traffic shaping and features to ensure network security. Additional features on the 2110 apps include support for AES67 (including the input or output of external digital audio via the DIOP8 piggyback), SDP reading and writing and AMWA NMOS IS-04 and IS-05.

IBC is always a good place to have demonstrations of the Safire 3 real-time chroma keyer, which is now the lowest cost of the industry's best real-time chroma keyers following a significant price drop. With its advantages including Crystal Vision's responsive technical support and five year warranty, Safire 3 is ideal for applications from weather to immersive virtual studios, with a simple intuitive workflow for setting up a key, support for resolutions from SD to 1080p and features such as lighting compensation, color correction and video delay to help solve common real world issues. Enhancements over the last year include new color spill processing, as well as improved live operation following changes made to the VisionPanel control panel. The new price makes it easier for large broadcasters to justify a chroma keyer on each camera which gives the most flexible system when using a virtual set that works from different camera angles, improving the workflow and reducing the stress levels of the operators during live applications. For smaller broadcasters who previously had to rely on the lower quality chroma keyers in their switchers, the new pricing allows them to have better quality keying.

With some broadcasters expressing general concerns about being hacked, Crystal Vision will be showing the increased security it has recently added to its Indigo and Vision frames – including the ability to prevent access to the frames via FTP, SSH, HTTP, SNMP and ASCII control protocols.

Also available on Booth 2.C28 will be highlights from Crystal Vision's popular range of SDI interface, including up and down converters, logo keyers, video delays, fail-safe routing switches, synchronizers, color correctors, audio embedders and fiber transmitters and receivers.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides a full range of interface and keyers and helps people transition through a range of technologies – from SD to HD and from HD to IP.

www.crystalvision.tv

Author: Crystal Vision Ltd.
Posted: July 17, 2018, 3:28 pm
9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI Up/Down/Cross-Converter At IBC2018, Cobalt will demonstrate the 9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI up/down/cross-converter, which is now shipping. The 9904-UDX-4K is Cobalt’s latest generation of advanced image and audio processors for the openGear platform. ...

9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI Up/Down/Cross-Converter

At IBC2018, Cobalt will demonstrate the 9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI up/down/cross-converter, which is now shipping. The 9904-UDX-4K is Cobalt’s latest generation of advanced image and audio processors for the openGear platform. The base card provides quad 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI I/O with SDI muxing and demuxing and up/down/cross-conversion. Options include RGB color correction and SDR-to-HDR up-mapping via Technicolor’s HDR Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) processing.

View the 3 images of this gallery on the original article

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Cobalt/CobaltDigital-9904-UDX-4K.png

Photo Caption: Cobalt Digital 9904-UDX-4K Up/Down/Cross-Converter

9971-MV18-4K Multiviewer

Also on display at IBC2018 will be Cobalt’s new 9971-MV18-4K series of openGear multiviewers. These multiviewers support the latest signal types with a high-density modular design that can be expanded as required. The MV18 is equipped with 18 4K 12G-SDI auto-detect inputs, which can be scaled as needed across a full 3840x2160 UHD raster output.

Photo Link:

Photo Caption: Cobalt Digital 9971-MV18-4K Multiviewer

9992-ENC-4K-HEVC H.265 UHD Streaming Encoder

IBC2018 will be the stage for Cobalt’s new 9992-ENC-4K-HEVC H.265 Streaming Encoder for openGear. The platform supports Quad 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI inputs and is also configurable as a multichannel encoder (up to four channels) for 1080p60 signals and below using MPEG-2, H.264, or HEVC with all channels using the same compression standard.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Cobalt/CobaltDigital-9992-ENC-4K-HEVC.png

Photo Caption: Cobalt Digital 9992-ENC-4K-HEVC Multichannel Streaming Encoder

OG-PC Computer Card

The new Cobalt Digital OG-PC is an x86 computer on an openGear card. Representing a unique approach to terminal gear system design, the OG-PC takes full advantage of the redundant power and cooling features of the openGear frame. Meanwhile, its modular form factor saves on rack space by replacing bulky 1-RU PCs. This innovative new product will be on display at IBC2018.

9914DA-4Q-12G

Cobalt will introduce the new 9914DA-4Q-12G distribution amplifier designed for SMPTE ST-2082 single wire UHD signal replication and transmission. Similar in design to the popular 9910DA-4Q-3G products, the unit is highly configurable and supports quad 1x4, dual 1x8, or full 1x16 modes of operation.

Company Overview

Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 12G/3G/HD/SD and IP-based conversion, terminal, throwdown, and multiviewer technology for the broadcast television environment. As a founding partner in the openGear initiative, Cobalt offers a full range of openGear video and audio processing card solutions for applications such as closed-caption compliance monitoring, OB production, master control, HD news production, signal transport, audio loudness, and color correction. Cobalt's Blue Box Group™ line of interface converter boxes streamlines and simplifies a wide range of 12G/3G/HD/SD and IP-based conversion and signal transport tasks. The company's multi-image display processors enable multiviewer capabilities in the most demanding studio and remote broadcasting environments. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partners, Cobalt Digital products are backed with a five-year warranty. More information is available at www.cobaltdigital.com.

Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Cobalt/180717Cobalt.docx

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 17, 2018, 3:12 pm
OTT video revenue topped $11.9 billion in 2017, a 41 percent increase over the prior year, according to a Convergence Research Group study. It is expected to continue to climb,reaching $16.6 billion in 2018 and $25.6 billion in 2020. To take advantage of these opportunities, content providers and ...

OTT video revenue topped $11.9 billion in 2017, a 41 percent increase over the prior year, according to a Convergence Research Group study. It is expected to continue to climb,reaching $16.6 billion in 2018 and $25.6 billion in 2020. To take advantage of these opportunities, content providers and pay-TV operators need scalable and secure content delivery solutions that ensure a flawless quality of experience across all screens.

At IBC2018, Broadpeak will demonstrate its solutions for not only cable, telecom, and satellite operators but also for content providers, including a CDN for managed networks and OTT distribution, origin packager, ad insertion, and comprehensive video delivery analytics.

View the 6 images of this gallery on the original article

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-IBC2018StandPreview.jpg

Photo Caption: Conceptual Image of Broadpeak Stand 5.B78 at IBC2018

Solutions for Cable and Telecom Operators

nanoCDN™ Multicast ABR Solution Boosts QoE, Minimizes Bandwidth, and Dramatically Decreases Latency

As the first provider of ABR multicast technology, Broadpeak is revolutionizing live multiscreen video delivery. At IBC2018, the company will demonstrate its nanoCDN™ multicast ABR solution, which makes live HTTP video delivery to any device truly scalable by turning millions of broadband gateways, cable modems, Wi-Fi routers, and STBs into active components of an operator’s content delivery infrastructure. Leveraging home networks, operators can cost-effectively manage the consumption peaks of live multiscreen services for millions of simultaneous viewers using only a few megabits per second from their network. nanoCDN has been successfully deployed by leading operators worldwide for live television delivery to any screen with ultra-low latency. Broadpeak will demonstrate innovative new features for nanoCDN, such as Common Media File Format (CMAF) and chunked transfer encoding support to further decrease latency for OTT live streaming.

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-CDNandTVEverywhere.jpg

Photo Caption: Broadpeak is Revolutionizing Live Multiscreen Video Delivery With nanoCDN™ Multicast ABR Technology

Cloud PVR — Deliver Petabytes of TV Recordings and Playback on Every Screen

Following a record year of deployments worldwide, including several tier-1 operators, the Cloud PVR from Broadpeak will be a key highlight at IBC2018. Providing operators with a simple, scalable, and flexible solution for delivering time-shifted TV services, Broadpeak’s solution enables subscribers to launch multiple recordings on various channels simultaneously without any constraint on the available bandwidth or the number of tuners on the reception device. With Cloud PVR, service providers can deliver start-over and catch-up TV, as well as impulsive recording, using a shared or private copy model. The recorded content can be processed on the fly to be viewed on any device type.

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-CloudPVR.jpg

Photo Caption: Broadpeak Cloud PVR Solution

Solutions for Satellite Operators

At IBC2018, Broadpeak will introduce new features of its nanoCDN solution for satellite, which allows operators to deliver a true OTT experience while preserving the quality of traditional satellite distribution. Broadpeak’s nanoCDN for satellite allows operators to provide live TV, VOD, and catch-up TV content. By leveraging storage available on the receiver, operators can further expand their offering to include advanced non-linear services such as time-shifting or start-over TV for increased monetization. The solution can be combined with a hybrid broadband network or used without internet access.

Solutions for Content Providers and Broadcasters

Broadpeak is dedicated to optimizing quality, reducing costs, and strengthening security for content providers. During IBC2018, Broadpeak will demonstrate its origin packager complemented with video delivery analytics, which enables content providers to deliver secure live, time-shift TV, and VOD services to any device. In addition, the company will highlight its watermarking solution in partnership with NAGRA NexGuard. Integration between NexGuard watermarking and Broadpeak’s BroadCache Box allows content providers to protect live and VOD content on every screen.

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-VideoDeliveryAnalytics.jpg

Photo Caption: Broadpeak Video Delivery Analytics

Additional Highlights for Content Providers Include:

umbrellaCDN™ With CDN Diversity for Enhanced Content Quality

Broadpeak’s umbrellaCDN™ CDN selector lets content providers choose the best content delivery networks for delivering video content. In Amsterdam, Broadpeak will highlight CDN Diversity, a groundbreaking function of umbrellaCDN that allows content providers to dynamically take into account the instantaneous quality of several CDNs as a service, combine their contributions, and deliver the content at a quality level exceeding what would be achievable with the best CDN alone. A new priority feature will be shown that enables content providers to use a main CDN for streaming and backup CDNs in case the main one fails. This gives content providers even more control over CDN costs and guarantees exceptional QoE for subscribers.

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-umbrellaCDN_CDNselector.jpg

Photo Caption: Broadpeak to Highlight CDN Diversity at IBC2018, a Groundbreaking Function of umbrellaCDN™

Reduce CDN Costs With Local Video Caching Technology

At IBC2018, Broadpeak will demonstrate BroadCache Box, a local video caching solution for broadcasters and content providers. Using BroadCache Box, broadcasters can dramatically reduce CDN costs while boosting subscribers’ QoE. With BroadCache Box, local caches are deployed into telecom or cable operators’ networks, and the most popular content from a specific content provider is stored. Since the content is streamed from a location closer to end-users, latency and network congestion are reduced, resulting in higher video bitrates, faster start times, and uninterrupted viewing sessions. As the most popular content can represent more than 80 percent of the video traffic, caching at the ISP level significantly lowers CDN service costs. Additionally, BroadCache Boxes do not generate any transit costs. The solution can be used for both live and on-demand content and supports secured HTTPS connections.

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-BroadCacheBoxLocalCache.jpg

Photo Caption: Broadpeak BroadCache Box Helping Broadcasters Dramatically Reduce CDN Costs While Boosting Subscriber QoE

Company Overview:

Broadpeak designs and manufactures video delivery components for content providers and network service providers deploying IPTV, cable, OTT, and mobile services. Its portfolio of solutions and technologies powers the delivery of movies, television programming, and other video content over managed networks and the Internet for viewing on any type of device. The company’s systems and services help operators increase market share and improve subscriber loyalty with superior quality of experience.

Broadpeak supports all of its customers worldwide, from simple installations to large delivery systems reaching capacities of several million of simultaneous streams. The company is headquartered in Cesson-Sevigne, France.

Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/180717Broadpeak.docx

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 17, 2018, 2:54 pm
Interra Systems’ BATON Quality Control Platform Features a Scalable Architecture to Facilitate Seamless Business Growth CUPERTINO, Calif. — July 17, 2018 — Interra Systems, a leading global provider of software products and solutions to the digital media industry, today announced that DMC, an ...

Interra Systems’ BATON Quality Control Platform Features a Scalable Architecture to Facilitate Seamless Business Growth

CUPERTINO, Calif.July 17, 2018 — Interra Systems, a leading global provider of software products and solutions to the digital media industry, today announced that DMC, an Egyptian media company with entertainment and sports television channels, is using Interra Systems’ BATON file-based QC solution to bring increased scalability, flexibility, and consistency to its QC operations. BATON provides ultra-precise, automated video, audio, and closed caption checks to improve DMC’s content quality.

“When content quality problems exist, viewers are left dissatisfied, which in turn can hurt our revenue opportunities,” said Ahmed Mostafa, channel technical director at DMC. “We like how flexible the BATON platform is, in terms of communicating seamlessly with our media asset management system and allowing us to switch between automated and manual QC modes. Ultimately, BATON streamlines the delivery of superior quality content, keeping viewers watching longer.”

With manual QC, television channels can perform only a limited number of checks.

BATON allows DMC to conduct detailed checks, including standards compliance, regulatory, MXF level, SDI playout, and baseband. DMC is using the BATON Media Player, an optional media player with SDI playout capability, for fast, frame-accurate manual review of content.

BATON's scalable architecture will enable DMC to expand QC operations as its needs grow and provide high availability at all times, even if a hardware component breaks down. The BATON platform has been seamlessly integrated with DMC’s media asset management (MAM) system for increased operational efficiency.

“Over the years, DMC has been focused on creating a world-class infrastructure in order to maintain its position as a regional leader in media and television,” said Kanishka Tongya, sales director for APAC and MEA at Interra Systems. “All of DMC’s file-based assets pass through the BATON system before being delivered to viewers. By installing BATON, the industry’s most reliable and flexible file-based QC solution, DMC dramatically improves quality of experience for viewers.”

Interra Systems will demonstrate its industry-leading solutions for comprehensive video insights at the 2018 ABE SHOW, Aug. 7-9, Stand 1, with partner Digistor.

More information about Interra Systems solutions can be found at www.interrasystems.com.

Visit Interra Systems at the 2018 ABE SHOW, Aug. 7-9

# # #

About Interra Systems (www.interrasystems.com)

Interra Systems is a global provider of enterprise-class solutions that streamline the classification, quality control (QC) process, and monitoring of media content across the entire creation and distribution chain. Relying on Interra Systems' comprehensive video insights, media businesses can deliver video with high quality of experience (QoE), address new market trends, and improve monetization.

Widely adopted by broadcast, cable, telco, satellite, IPTV, OTT, and post-production markets around the world, Interra Systems’ products enable better quality video, reduced exposure to regulatory issues, and higher customer satisfaction. Featuring AI- and machine learning-enabled algorithms, along with a flexible, software-defined architecture, Interra Systems’ solutions support a variety of deployment scenarios, including the cloud, for higher performance, scalability, and efficiency.

The company’s industry-leading solutions include BATON, a next-generation hybrid QC solution that delivers comprehensive capabilities way beyond standard automated QC; ORION™ and ORION™-OTT real-time content monitors assuring high QoE; and VEGA™ media analyzers for compliance and debug of encoded streams.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/InterraSystems/180717InterraSystems.docx

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/InterraSystems/InterraSystems-BATONHybridQC.jpg

Photo Caption: Interra SystemsBATON — Automated, File-Based Quality Control (QC)

Follow Interra Systems:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/interrasystems

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/interra-systems

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 17, 2018, 2:05 pm
SINGAPORE — July 17, 2018 — The Vitec Group has announced the appointment of Tom Pavicic to its Production Solutions division as regional sales manager, Australia and New Zealand. Based in Sydney, Pavicic will apply the experience and skills developed over his 30-year career to build and manage ...

SINGAPORE July 17, 2018 — The Vitec Group has announced the appointment of Tom Pavicic to its Production Solutions division as regional sales manager, Australia and New Zealand. Based in Sydney, Pavicic will apply the experience and skills developed over his 30-year career to build and manage strategic channel partnerships and further develop the sales organization in the region.

“The ANZ region has tremendous growth potential for The Vitec Group, and it’s essential that we position our company to effectively capitalize on market opportunities. With his vast experience and knowledge, Tom is the ideal person to take on this critical task,” said Audrey Chang, channel and customer marketing director, Asia Pacific, Vitec Production Solutions. “For two decades, Tom has held leadership roles at Quinto Communications, one of our key ANZ channel partners. That background gives him valuable perspective as he works to reinforce our position in ANZ and ensure we have a strong, committed network of resellers targeting all market sectors.”

Pavicic joined Quinto Communications in 1997 as general manager, moving to the chief operating officer role in 2010 and taking the helm as CEO in 2012. At Quinto he managed company operations in ANZ across three offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland. He also took the technical, operations, and commercial lead on all of Quinto’s external systems integration projects, managing stakeholders at all levels and overseeing the supply and integration of multimillion-dollar contracts. Prior to joining Quinto, Pavicic served as general manager of FP Focusing Pty Ltd., a division of Fuji-Photo Optical in Japan. He also was previously a technical sales executive for Inteltech Pty Ltd.

More information on The Vitec Group and its brands is available at www.vitecgroup.com.

# # #

A Snapshot of The Vitec Group plc

Vitec is a leading global provider of premium branded products and solutions to the fast changing and growing “image capture and sharing” market.

Vitec’s customers include broadcasters, independent content creators, photographers and enterprises, and our activities comprise: design, manufacture and distribution of high performance products and solutions including camera supports, camera mounted electronic accessories, robotic camera systems, prompters, LED lights, mobile power, monitors and bags. We employ around 1,700 people across the world in 11 different countries and are organised in three Divisions: Imaging Solutions, Production Solutions and Creative Solutions. The Vitec Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange with 2017 adjusted revenue* of £378.1 million.

More information can be found at: www.vitecgroup.com

* Revenue from continuing and discontinued operations

Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/TheVitecGroup/180717VitecGroup.docx

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/TheVitecGroup/VitecGroup_Tom-Pavicic-Headshot.jpg

Photo Caption: Tom Pavicic, Regional Sales Manager, Australia and New Zealand, Vitec Production Solutions

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 17, 2018, 1:48 pm
While Netflix stock plunged after the company announced that its second-quarter subscriber growth was below expectations, analysts didn’t think it was The End of the F**king World for the high-flying streaming video service. “Everybody knew the day would someday come when Netflix would fall short ...

Company says fundamentals remain strong

While Netflix stock plunged after the company announced that its second-quarter subscriber growth was below expectations, analysts didn’t think it was The End of the F**king World for the high-flying streaming video service.

“Everybody knew the day would someday come when Netflix would fall short of quarterly subscriber expectations. It's been 5 quarters (actually, more like 8). Here is that day,” said Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein in a research note Tuesday.

Juenger and other analysts have seen Stranger Things in the stock market.

“For the high-conviction bulls, it only matters if 130 million subs versus 131 million subs shakes their long-term confidence. If their confidence remains intact, and they are not maxed out, here is a chance to accumulate a bigger position,” he said. "For those who wanted an entry point, here it is… unless the sub miss has shaken that confidence, which so often happens.”

“Frustrated bears may be enjoying some long-awaited schadenfreude, but unless one was short before the print, there's probably nothing to do now. Pressing a short (or underweight), betting against the winning service in a huge global market opportunity, is a brave move.”

To Juenger, the results didn’t dim the Glow for Netflix stock.” Despite the sub disappointment, we take our target price up (from $372 to $434),” he said.

Nor did Doug Mitchelson of Credit Suisse think that the earnings meant that Netflix’s business was a House of Cards.

“While this miss is disappointing, Netflix’s pace of growth could not accelerate at this scale much longer, and shifting to stable or slightly moderating net additions going forward had a relatively modest impact on our target price. We would suggest any pullback is an opportunity, given Netflix’s clear leadership in the fast growing global streaming market,” Mitchelson said.

Management offered fewer than 13 Reasons Why the sub numbers were such a disappointment.

“Acquisition which is up year-on-year, but wasn’t up as much as we thought it was going to be. So and it was pretty broad across multiple markets, it wasn’t even one area of the world,” said Netflix CFO David Wells during the company’s earnings video for analysts. “I think we're still on track for a strong growth year this year and maybe it's going to come in a little bit differently than we expected and others expected.”

Netflix's Reed Hastings

“The fundamentals have never been stronger. Our viewing is setting year-over-year records that shows that we have come in, so we are feeling very strong about the business,” said CEO Reed Hastings.

“We've seen this movie of Q2 shortfall before about two years ago in 2016 and we never did find the explanation of that other than there is some lumpiness in the business and continued to perform after that,” Wells added.

Wall Street can be Insatiable, but even some analysts who are neutral on Netflix, thought the stock’s short-term decline would prove to be Atypical.

“Despite the first big miss on subscribers in a long time (2Q 2016 comes to mind), we can’t imagine that any views are changed by one anomalistic quarter when the path to global SVOD dominance is still so wide open,” said Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research.

I could be a while, however before everyone is convinced this isn’t the start of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

“Netflix is a terrific, customer-friendly service that over-delivers on value for money. Yet, we maintain our view that Netflix’s cash flow does not support today’s valuation because we assume that it will be more expensive for them to produce and market content than the Bulls think and the economics of the next 75 million international subscribers will be less efficient than the first 75 million international subscribers,” Nathanson said.

“We reiterate our Neutral rating but lower our target price by $3 to $223. We expect Netflix to be in the penalty box until at least the next earnings to determine if this was just a one-off miss or a start of something more. Even with the weak 2Q results and 3Q guidance, we remain on the sidelines due to valuation concerns.”

During the earnings call, Netflix execs had a bit of news to offer.

Ted Sarandos

Ted Sarandos chief content officer, said that uber producer Shonda Rhimes was settling in a Netflix.

“We just physically moved Shonda into her new home here at Netflix and we're thrilled. She has a couple of shows particularly now that we can't announce yet, but we're really thrilled with the direction she's going,” Sarandos said.

Greg Peters, chief product officer, said Netflix was also introducing improvement to its TV user interface.

“We’ve been working really hard over the last several months and quarters even testing and researching, how do we make that TV experience faster, more fun, easier to find, the stories that our members will love and we’re actually going to roll some improvements out to that experience and make that better starting tomorrow,” Peters said. “So starting this week you’ll see those and that’s what we expect to be a long line of incremental improvements that make that experience even greater for finding the stories that you love.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 17, 2018, 1:34 pm
TVision Insights, a measurement firm focusing on the attention paid to programming and advertising on television, said it has raised $11.5 million in new funding. The latest round of funding was led by Accomplice and Jump Capital. Accomplice and Jump earlier were part of a $6.8 million round of ...

Luke McGuinness joins firm as president and COO

TVision Insights, a measurement firm focusing on the attention paid to programming and advertising on television, said it has raised $11.5 million in new funding.

The latest round of funding was led by Accomplice and Jump Capital. Accomplice and Jump earlier were part of a $6.8 million round of funding in 2016.

TVision Insights also said that Luke McGuinness has joined the company as president and chief operating officer, a new position. McGuinness previously had been a member of the executive team at LiveRamp. In a 20-year career, he has also held positions at Collective and Experian.

Related: Data Drives TV Measurement’s Next Generation

In his new role, McGuinness will oversee product, go-to-market, partnerships, business development and operational functions.

TVision Insights is one of a number of relatively new research companies providing networks, media buyers and advertisers with fresh data about TV viewing.

“This additional investment from our existing investors speaks volumes about both the momentum that we have achieved so far and the opportunity in front of us,” said Yan Liu, CEO of TVision Insights. “These funds will support the expansion of our opt-in, privacy-safe, in-home panel, and the growth of our team in order to meet the incredible demand for our TV attention data.”

Clients including Mars, Hulu and ABC use TVision’s attention data. The data is used in a number of areas including:

  • Advertising and Creative Effectiveness: Brands measure the effectiveness of creative and easily identify ad wear out.
  • Media Planning: Brands buy media based on a program’s ability to capture eyeballs. 
  • Ad Sales and Program Research: Networks appropriately value premium content and niche audiences based on viewer attention.

“TVision is the de facto provider of viewer attention data at the exact time that networks and brands are looking for new ways to value television,” said Ryan Moore of Accomplice “With this investment, TVision has the capital needed to accelerate growth in order to stay ahead of demand.”

Related: NBC Got Most Attention In Q1 Study, TVision Insights Finds

Yelena Shkolnik of Jump Capital said: “The way people consume media is changing quickly, which brings challenge and opportunity for both buyers and sellers of media. TVision’s unique person-level attention data opens the door to optimized campaign strategy across TV and digital, offering a powerful new approach for targeting and attribution."

TVision recently released information about shorter commercials at the ARF’s AudienceXScience conference.

“The ARF congratulates TVision on its latest round of financing,” said Paul Donato, CRO of the Advertising Research Foundation. “As attention and emotion emerge as critical metrics for television audience measurement, TVision has been a true innovator in development of a methodology unique in its analysis. The ability to passively capture viewer attention to TV in the living room has opened up new avenues for audience understanding and we look forward to continuing our work with TVision in developing essential insights for both advertisers and media sellers.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 17, 2018, 1:15 pm
The FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order, which was essentially repealed by the current FCC last December, prevented blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization and classified interconnections under FCC Title II authority. The Coffman bill would avoid the Title II fight by creating a new Title in the ...

Would restore regs, general conduct standard, and interconnection oversight

The FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order, which was essentially repealed by the current FCC last December, prevented blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization and classified interconnections under FCC Title II authority.

The Coffman bill would avoid the Title II fight by creating a new Title in the Communications Act--Title VIII -Broadband Internet Access Service--and putting FCC network neutrality oversight authority there.

Related: Net Reg Rollback Fans Say Sky Isn't Falling

Under the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom order rolling back the old regs, the Federal Trade Commission has authority over net neutrality.

Most stakeholders say Congress should ultimately decide on the a broadband regulatory authority faramework, but finding a bipartisan solution remains an elusive goal, particularly given the partisan divide in Washington.

According to a summary of the bill obtained by B&C the bill would allow for content delivery networks (CDNs) and specialized services that were not used to evade net neutrality protections. It would also allow for reasonable network management.

The FCC would have jurisdiction over broadband internet access services and the general conduct standard in the 2015 Open Internet Order would be reinstated. The FCC would also be allowed to collect Universal Service Fund fees contributions from ISPs. The bill would prevent FCC rate regulation, something ISPs also want to prohibit.

“The fight to keep the internet open belongs in Congress, not at the Federal Communications Commission,” said Coffman. “The American people deserve to know that their elected officials, not unelected bureaucrats, are fighting for their interest. That fight begins with my bill, which will create an ‘internet constitution’ with the foundational elements of net neutrality.”

Coffman also announced Tuesday that he will sign on to the House Congressional Review Act resolution that would restore the old FCC rules, making him the first Republican to do so--it remains most of four dozen votes shy of the needed 218.Still, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) who sponsored the successful CRA on the Senate side, was hopeful, calling it "bipartisan momentum."“I hope more Republicans will join this effort and stand on the side of American families who rely on and overwhelmingly support a free and open internet. I reiterate my call on Speaker Ryan to immediately schedule a vote on the CRA resolution so we can put net neutrality rules back on the books as soon as possible.”

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Sinclair Broadcasting released a lengthy statement Monday (July 16) after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled he was designating the Tribune deal for hearing before the FCC's administrative law judge. Pai said: "The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been ...

Broadcaster says it was shocked, has not misled anyone, is willing to adjust deal again

Sinclair Broadcasting released a lengthy statement Monday (July 16) after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled he was designating the Tribune deal for hearing before the FCC's administrative law judge. Pai said: "The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law."

Related: FCC Designating Sinclair Deal Issues for Hearing

In addition, according to someone who has seen the draft order, it raises the allegation that Sinclair may have been less than candid with the FCC or was guilty of misrepresentation.


Sinclair was having none of it. It said it had misled noone, had complied with FCC rules, been transparent about what it was trying to do, and was willing to adjust the merger yet again--it has submitted five versions so far-- to avoid the hearing and close the deal.

“Sinclair was shocked and disappointed today by the news that FCC Chairman Pai was circulating an order proposing to designate our acquisition of Tribune for an administrative hearing. Although the actual Hearing Designation Order (HDO) has not yet been released, press reports indicate that a leaked version of the HDO [haering designation order] suggests that Sinclair may have engaged in misrepresentation or lack of candor. To the extent that the HDO does in fact include any such allegations, we deny such allegations in the strongest possible manner,” Sinclair said.

Related: FCC's Sinclair-Tribune Shocker Draws Crowd

Sinclair has maintained throughout that it was complying with all the FCC rules, while also making clear it wanted to use those rules to achieve the kind of scale it said it needed to compete with MVPDs and over-the-top players without any limitations on its audience reach.

“Throughout the FCC review process of this transaction, we have had numerous meetings and discussions with the FCC’s Media Bureau to make sure that they were fully aware of the transaction’s structure and basis for complying with FCC rules and meeting public interest obligations," Sinclair said. "These structures are consistent with structures that Sinclair and many other broadcasters have utilized for many years with the full approval of the FCC. During these discussions and in our filings with the FCC, we have been completely transparent about every aspect of the proposed transaction. We have fully identified who the buyers are and the terms under which stations would be sold to such buyer, including any ongoing relationship we would have with any such stations after the sales. We have filed all relevant agreements documenting such terms as required by FCC rules."

Sinclair signaled it would be willing to address the issues with buyers the FCC doesn't like, but says it has always been above board about what it was trying to do.

“While we understand that certain parties which oppose the transaction object to certain of the buyers based on such buyers’ relationships with Sinclair, a situation we are prepared to address if the FCC agrees with such views, at no time have we misled the FCC in any manner whatsoever with respect to the relationships or the structure of those relationships proposed as part of the Tribune acquisition. Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded and without factual basis.

“We are prepared to resolve any perceived issues and look forward to finalizing our acquisition of Tribune Media,” it said. “The proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media will create numerous public interest benefits and help move the broadcast industry forward at a time when it is facing unprecedented challenges. We look forward to working with regulators to make the merger a reality.”

Tribune said it would check out the order when it is made public and work with th eFCC as well.

“Tribune Media was disappointed to learn that the Chairman had circulated an order designating certain issues for consideration by an Administrative Law Judge," Tribune said in a statement. "It will review the FCC’s hearing designation order when released and expects to work with the FCC to explore ways to address the concerns identified. Until we have reviewed the order it is difficult to explain the potential issues it might create for the transaction. Fortunately, Tribune's operations have been strong in 2018 and our team has done a terrific job of maximizing the value of the business through this extended regulatory approval process.”

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 17, 2018, 1:21 am
Showtime has issued a statement taking issue with “widespread misinformation” related to new series Who is America? Sacha Baron Cohen stars in the controversial comedy series, which premiered July 15, and which some have charged with making fun of disabled people and war veterans. According to ...

Sacha Baron Cohen does not present his character as a disabled veteran, says the network

Showtime has issued a statement taking issue with “widespread misinformation” related to new series Who is America? Sacha Baron Cohen stars in the controversial comedy series, which premiered July 15, and which some have charged with making fun of disabled people and war veterans.

According to Showtime, when playing the character Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., Ph.D., Baron Cohen “did not present himself as a disabled veteran, and viewers nationwide who watched the premiere on Sunday can now attest to that.”

In the July 15 episode, while interviewing Sen. Bernie Sanders as Dr. Ruddick, Sanders asked Ruddick if he is disabled. “He stated that he is not and uses a mobility scooter to conserve his energy,” said Showtime.

Related: Showtime to Adapt Roger Ailes Story ‘The Loudest Voice in the Room’

Showtime added that Baron Cohen “never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.”

Palin has claimed Baron Cohen tricked her into appearing on the show.

Who is America? “explores the diverse individuals who populate our unique nation and features Baron Cohen experimenting in the playground of 2018 America,” according to Showtime.

Baron Cohen wrote and directed the seven episodes.

His previous work includes HBO’s Da Ali G Show and the film Borat.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 16, 2018, 10:05 pm
ESPN and Major League Baseball are trying to keep viewers in the game as eight top sluggers try to hit the ball out of the stadium. During Monday night’s Home Run Derby, part of baseball’s All-Star festivities, ESPN will use the two-box format—a commercial in one box, what’s happening on the field ...

Format aimed at keeping viewers tune in

ESPN and Major League Baseball are trying to keep viewers in the game as eight top sluggers try to hit the ball out of the stadium.

During Monday night’s Home Run Derby, part of baseball’s All-Star festivities, ESPN will use the two-box format—a commercial in one box, what’s happening on the field in the other—15 times during the contest. That’s up from 8 double-box executions a year ago.

The two-box ad units are on top of six full traditional commercial breaks during the broadcast. ESPN said the amount of ad inventory is unchanged from last year, just reconfigured. ESPN has sold out its Home Run Derby inventory.

Related: Nexcare, SoFi New Official Sponsors for ESPN’s X Games

With more viewers tuning into non-commercial platforms like Netflix, TV networks are looking at ways to improve the viewer experience of the telecasts and reduce commercial interruptions.

ESPN's 2-Box ad format.

The advertisers involved in the two-box executions are returning Home Run Derby sponsors, including T-Mobile, Dave & Busters, Mars Inc., MasterCard, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Quicken Loans, Sonic, Taco Bell, Toyota and Warner Bros.

A new advertiser at this year’s derby is Hotels.com, whose Captain Obvious spokesman will be integrated into the telecast.

Related: ESPN, Disney XD to Televise eSport Overwatch League

ESPN said the two-box executions are part of its effort to innovate its advertising to improve the experience for viewers and help sponsors.

This year’s format will mean fewer full interruptions in the action, which translates into more attention and less channel flipping.

According to ESPN, the two-box is equally effective for advertisers as a full-screen standard ad. The networks’ research found that the advertiser is perceived as more relevant in the two-box treatment, as the brand is seen more in context with the surrounding content.

Related: ESPN Signs Conference USA Deal

Spots in the two-box were seen as cutting edge because of the way they were presented, ESPN research found.

Strong creative in particular performs as well as in the two-box format’s more distracting environment and some advertisers were able to generate greater visualization for the two-box than standard ads.

ESPN is presenting its cross-platform coverage of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby starting at 8 p.m. ET from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

This year’s T-Mobile Home Run Derby telecast on ESPN features several new innovative production elements, including:

  • 4D replay technology that will provide viewers with 360-degree replays of the participants and their swings;
  • New 3D spray charts that will show paths and arcs of home runs;
  • The on-screen scoreboard will feature a new “pace tracker”, which features a sliding scale of projected home run totals for each hitter in the bracket, and whether the hitter’s total is ahead or behind his opponent.

The 2018 MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game will air on ESPN immediately following the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 9:39 pm
Zone·tv™ is introducing a revolutionary, feature-rich suite of powerful video services under the zone·tv Studio brand, that enable completely new ways to engage and empower viewers through next-gen TV experiences. With zone·tv Studio content owners and video distributors (e.g. MVPDs, vMVPDs, ...

Content owners and video distributors can create self-branded, linear TV channels that can be personalized and customized by and for each viewer in the household

Zone tv Studio screen

Zone·tv™ is introducing a revolutionary, feature-rich suite of powerful video services under the zone·tv Studio brand, that enable completely new ways to engage and empower viewers through next-gen TV experiences. With zone·tv Studio content owners and video distributors (e.g. MVPDs, vMVPDs, traditional networks and new over-the-top networks) can now create self-branded, linear TV channels that can be personalized and customized by and for each viewer in the household for the first time, shattering the limitations and norms of the traditional model of linear pay-TV.

Zone·tv Studio is an artificial intelligence-powered service for content discovery, channel curation and video delivery. Using proprietary intelligent software built by zone·tv, video distributors and content owners can now deliver a “Spotify-like” experience, which for the first time is not based on what a programmer wants to show the viewer, but instead based on what the individual viewer wants to see. The robust tools seamlessly create intelligent, personally curated, automated and highly engaging thematic linear channels that help subscribers discover content that appeals to their own sensibilities.

“Traditional video distribution is in a state of disruption as hundreds of direct-to-consumer streaming services are emerging, making it difficult to maintain customer loyalty,” said Jeff Weber, CEO, zone·tv. “Our technology means that any video distributor or content owner can build new, precisely targeted, compelling channels which enable a more relevant content consumption experience for their customers. Zone·tv studio enables the simplicity of traditional linear channel programming combined with the intelligence power of A.I. to bring new user experiences to TV services.”

Zone·tv Studio features a comprehensive technology stack that can enhance video distributors’ existing entertainment services or create new ones. Key components of the cloud-based zone·tv Studio include:

· Zone·tv Programming Studio is designed for authoring a channel, which can be done by humans, automated by the zone·tv A.I. Studio or both.

· Zone·tv A.I. Studio assesses the channel content, enhances the asset metadata via video indexing, classifies it and incorporates additional, relevant, trending information using zone·tv’s own signal networks. All channel content is stored in the cloud and seamlessly interconnected with similarly themed channel content built upon a sophisticated Machine Learning curation algorithm. By leveraging the close integration of zone·tv’s Programming Studio and A.I. Studio, content curators and the Machine Learning algorithm can best predict viewers’ preferred programming and easily curate services accordingly.

· Zone·tv Ad Studio allows for the management of advertising in channels and is designed to integrate with ad tech partner services for ad decisioning and ad insertion, all fed by rich metadata and content parameters that only Studio can provide. Zone·tv Ad Studio provides the most relevant advertising that becomes a part of the programming story for each channel.

· Zone·tv Configuration Studio enables rapid delivery of the partner’s content service to any end-point device or system.

Examples of how the zone·tv Studio works can be seen in zone·tv’s proprietary Dynamic Channels and On Demand channels, available on a wide array of pay-tv set-top boxes, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) services and smart TVs. These Dynamic and On Demand channels leverage every component of Studio to deliver beautifully curated content that is personalized and predictive for the ultimate viewing experience.

The zone·tv Studio learns what viewers love to watch and presents similar content, automatically and in real time. This unique capability empowers viewers to create their own channels with the click of the TV remote control and “zone·ify” their own channel.

The result? Each viewer’s channel is personalized just for them. The zone·tv Foodies channel you are watching could be focused more on grilling while your neighbor’s Foodie channel could deliver more about desserts, and all the viewers had to do was watch the shows they love.

Because the service is entirely cloud-based, video distributors and content owners can quickly onboard their existing libraries of exclusive or licensed content, enhance the metadata, curate, program and deliver an A.I.-enhanced video service without the need for any special equipment.

“We are giving our partners an edge not only through superior tools and algorithms, but also by breaking through the psychology of doing things the way they have been done in the past – which makes the traditional video distribution industry vulnerable. It’s a very exciting time and we believe it’s our time, too,” added Weber.

Author: Bob Gold & Associates
Posted: July 16, 2018, 8:44 pm
Netflix said it continued its growth with its subscriber total rising by 5.2 million to 130 million in the second quarter. Earnings grew to $384 million, or 85 cents a share, from $66 million, or 15 cents a share a year ago. Revenues rose to $3.9 billion from $2.8 billion. The subscriber numbers ...

Earnings per share rises to 85 cents

Netflix said it continued its growth with its subscriber total rising by 5.2 million to 130 million in the second quarter.

Earnings grew to $384 million, or 85 cents a share, from $66 million, or 15 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues rose to $3.9 billion from $2.8 billion.

The subscriber numbers topped Wall Street forecasts, but not Netflix’s own original estimate. The shortfall sent Netflix's high-flying stock lower in after-hours trading.

Related: Netflix Adds 7.41 Million Streaming Subs in Q1

U.S. subscribers rose to 57.48 million from 51.92 million a year ago and 56.7 million in the first quarter.

Earnings topped forecasts, though revenue was short of expectations.

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix noted that it received the highest number of Emmy nominations.

“In addition to succeeding commercially, we are starting to lead artistically in some categories, with our creators earning enough Emmy nominations this year to collectively break HBO’s amazing 17-year run,” the company said.

Related: This Week in Netflix

For the third quarter, Netflix is forecasting that its subscribers will grow to 135 million. Domestic subs are expected to hit 58 million

Netflix expected third quarter net income of $307 million, or 68 cents a share.

Netflix said it continues to increase the amount of content it provides both in English and in non-English language markets around the world.

“We believe that consumer appetite for great content is broad and that there is room for multiple parties to have attractive offerings. We anticipate more competition from the combined AT&T/Warner Media, from the combined Fox/Disney or Fox/Comcast as well as from international players like Germany’s ProSieben and Salto in France. Our strategy is to simply keep improving, as we’ve been doing every year in the past,” the company said.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 8:25 pm
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's surprise announcement that he was proposing designating the Sinclair-Tribune merger for a hearing before an administrative law judge, citing possible violations of law, drew strong reaction from deal critics suddenly facing a victory they thought was a long shot. A source ...

Say it should be end of deal

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's surprise announcement that he was proposing designating the Sinclair-Tribune merger for a hearing before an administrative law judge, citing possible violations of law, drew strong reaction from deal critics suddenly facing a victory they thought was a long shot.

A source said Pai already has the votes to approve the designation, with only commissioner Michael O'Rielly yet to vote, but signaling he could support it. Such a hearing could take more than a year and in the past such designations have been deal-killers. It also virtually ensures that a legal challenge to the UHF discount, a challenge whose decision could also undo the merger, will be decided before the FCC ultimately weighs in.

Related: FCC Designating Sinclair Issues for Hearing

"NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is grateful to Chairman Ajit Pai for taking measures to promote a more thorough and thoughtful review of the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger and related transactions," said the group. "NTCA has consistently maintained that the proponents of these deals have provided little, if any, justification for how they would serve the public interest. We agree with the Chairman’s observation that Sinclair’s continuing control over divested stations gives rise to significant concern—just one concern among many raised by these deals. NTCA therefore welcomes today’s decision to designate certain issues for hearing, and we hope that this is the start of a harder look at all of the ways in which these transactions are likely to harm consumers and undermine the public interest.”

The Coalition to Save Local Media, which could have been named The Coalition to Block the Sinclair-Tribune Deal, was celebrating. 

Related: Adonis Hoffman Stresses Plusses of Deregulation

“We applaud the FCC for recognizing today that no matter how many times Sinclair revised this deal, they were never serious about proposing a merger that follows the rules," said the Coalition to Save Local Media. "For over a year, Sinclair tried to play games and try to retain control of stations rather than truly divesting. Furthermore, Sinclair continued to completely rely on the antiquated UHF discount currently under court review...[T]oday’s move by the FCC proves this fight was never about right versus left but protecting the key principles of our public airwaves—localism and competition."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called the draft order designating the deal for hearing "an important victory for the millions of viewers who value real localism in broadcasting."

Related: FCC Changes Formal Complaint Process

Blumenthal has been a vocal opponent of both Sinclair and the merger. "Sinclair’s policy of censoring viewpoints and mandating national cookie-cutter content runs contrary to the need to promote and protect diverse and local voices," he said.

“We appreciate the FCC has recognized the serious legal concerns being voiced by the bipartisan opposition coming from all sides since the takeover was announced," said Computer & Communications Industry Association President Ed Black. "This merger clearly was not in the public interest and clearly violates longstanding rules to protect consumers. There really was no divestiture or remedy that would work given Sinclair’s history. We hope this review will be the beginning of the end of a proposal that was such a threat to diverse voices, local news and democracy.”

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 16, 2018, 8:00 pm
Twentieth Television has licensed the cable rerun rights to the ABC family comedy Fresh Off the Boat to Up TV and the Walt Disney Co.’s Freeform. The series will go on those channels later this year. The networks have licensed the four seasons that have already aired on ABC and a fifth that has ...

Twentieth Television licenses 5 seasons of ABC comedy

Twentieth Television has licensed the cable rerun rights to the ABC family comedy Fresh Off the Boat to Up TV and the Walt Disney Co.’s Freeform.

The series will go on those channels later this year. The networks have licensed the four seasons that have already aired on ABC and a fifth that has been ordered and will air on ABC this fall.

Related: Up TV Grabs 'Home Improvement'

Fresh Off the Boat continues to grow its audience on broadcast, and with the recent pickup of a fifth season, we are thrilled that the series is coming to Up,” said Amy Winter, executive VP and general manager, Up TV. “Up celebrates family life and with all the heart and humor included in Fresh Off the Boat, this contemporary, family story is a perfect fit.”

The series, inspired the Eddie Huang memoir, revolves around an Asian family in the mid-90s in suburban Orlando. It was created for television by Nahnatchka Khan, who also serves as executive producer and showrunner.

Related: Freeform's 'Fosters' Spinoff is Called 'Good Trouble'

Fresh Off the Boat has a unique comedic voice that will resonate with young adult audiences and fit well alongside Freeform’s original content,” said Sarah Tomassi Lindman, senior VP of content planning and strategy, Freeform. “The Huang family’s authentic, humorous and meaningful way of navigating a new environment reflects our viewer’s experiences and are exactly the kind of stories we are proud to have on our network.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 7:15 pm
David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc., will be honored at the Center for Communication’s annual luncheon at the Pierre Hotel in New York on Sept. 27. Each year, CFC gives its Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication to a leading innovator in the media. The award is ...

Nevins to get Frank Stanton Award at the Pierre in September

David Nevins

David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc., will be honored at the Center for Communication’s annual luncheon at the Pierre Hotel in New York on Sept. 27.

Each year, CFC gives its Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication to a leading innovator in the media. The award is named after the Center’s founder, former CBS president Frank Stanton. Nevins gets it this year.

“Under David’s leadership, Showtime has become a premier destination for first-rate programming that resonates with audiences everywhere,” said Center for Communication chair David J. Barrett. “We are so thrilled to honor such a talented executive who embodies the Center’s commitment to diversity and quality in all genres. From drama to comedy to documentary, under David’s guidance, Showtime has it all.”

Showtime series include Homeland, Billions, The Affair, Shameless and Ray Donovan. In addition to programming, Nevins also manages the company’s distribution, business development, finance, marketing, creative, digital media, scheduling, research, acquisitions, network operations, home entertainment, business affairs and corporate communications.

Prior to joining Showtime, Nevins was president of Imagine Television from 2002-2010. Imagine shows at the time included Arrested Development and 24.

Before Imagine, Nevins held senior programming positions at Fox Broadcasting and NBC. He serves on various industry boards including the HRTS board of directors, the George Foster Peabody Awards board of advisers and the Paley Center Los Angeles board of governors.

Founded in 1980, the Center for Communication is dedicated to inspiring and educating students seeking careers in media.

Past CFC honorees include Shane Smith, Debra Lee, Cesar Conde, Michael R. Bloomberg, Katharine Graham and Ted Turner.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 16, 2018, 6:50 pm
Starz will debut the documentary series Warriors of Liberty City Sept. 16. The series is created by Evan Rosenfeld and is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and Shed Media, a division of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television. There are ...

Series looks at crime-ridden, NFL player-producing neighborhood in Miami

Starz will debut the documentary series Warriors of Liberty City Sept. 16. The series is created by Evan Rosenfeld and is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and Shed Media, a division of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television.

There are six episodes.

Warriors of Liberty City explores Liberty City, a crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami that produces an extraordinary number of NFL players, including Devonta Freeman, Antonio Brown, Duke Johnson and Teddy Bridgewater. The series follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by hip-hop pioneer Luther Campbell, better known as Uncle Luke.

Beyond football, the Liberty City Warriors Optimist Club is a youth organization that sponsors sports teams, dance, cheerleading and academic support.

Rosenfeld created, co-directed and executive produced the series. James, Carter and Jamal Henderson executive produce for SpringHill Entertainment; Pam Healey, Dan Peirson and Ted Skillman exec produce for Shed Media. Luther Campbell also executive produces.

Andrew Cohn co-directed alongside Rosenfeld.

The first episode showed at the 2018 SXSW Festival.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 16, 2018, 5:43 pm
FOLLOW B&C ON TWITTER Schmooze View photos from PromaxBDA, SeriesFest, the Split Screens Festival, and more Click here to view more photos. BC.com 'Divorce Court' Relocating to Atlanta MyNetworkTV Adds 'Chicago PD,' 'Good Wife,' 'CSI: Miami' Disney Introduces Live Game Show 'Disney Quizney’ ...
Author: B&C Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 4:48 pm
ABC won the Sunday ratings race, as its game shows led to a 0.8, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 4 share. That beat the 0.7/3 that CBS rated. On ABC, America’s Funniest Home Videos was a rerun. Celebrity Family Feud slipped 9% to 1.0, $100,000 Pyramid was a flat 0.9 and To Tell the Truth a level ...

‘Big Brother’ climbs 8% on CBS

ABC won the Sunday ratings race, as its game shows led to a 0.8, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 4 share. That beat the 0.7/3 that CBS rated.

The Dunham Family on ABC's 'Celebrity Family Feud'

On ABC, America’s Funniest Home Videos was a rerun. Celebrity Family Feud slipped 9% to 1.0, $100,000 Pyramid was a flat 0.9 and To Tell the Truth a level 0.8/4.

On CBS, a 60 Minutes repeat led into Big Brother, which grew 8% for a 1.4. A pair of NCIS: Los Angeles repeats followed.

NBC did a 0.5/3. Running Wild With Bear Grylls did a flat 0.3 and was followed by an America’s Got Talent repeat. Shades of Blue wrapped up prime by going up 25% to 0.5.

Fox scored a 0.5/2. A One Strange Rock repeat led off prime, before repeated comedies led into a new Ghosted up 25% at 0.5.

Telemundo did a 0.3/1 and Univision a 0.2/1.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 16, 2018, 4:43 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced the finalists for the 2018 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The winners will be announced September 27 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & ...

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced the finalists for the 2018 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced the finalists for the 2018 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The winners will be announced September 27 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show, sponsored by Xperi and held during the 2018 Radio Show in Orlando.

LEGENDARY STATION OF THE YEAR
KKBQ-FM, Houston, TX
KOA-AM, Denver, CO
WBAP-AM, Dallas, TX
WHIO-AM, Dayton, OH
WOKV FM, Jacksonville, FL

NETWORK/SYNDICATED PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Dan Patrick, Premiere Networks
Delilah, Premiere Networks
Raul Molina, Carla Medrano & Andres Maldonado, Univision Radio
Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Networks
Sean Hannity, Premiere Networks

MAJOR MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Angie Martinez, WWPR-FM, New York, NY
Bob Stroud, WDRV-FM, Chicago, IL
Ebro Darden, WQHT-FM, New York, NY
Felger & Massarotti, WBZ-FM, Boston, MA
Kimmie Tee, Tony Sculfield and Antoine Davis, KBLX-FM, San Francisco, CA

LARGE MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Brooke & Jubal , KQMV-FM, Seattle, WA
Dori Monson, KIRO-FM, Seattle, WA
Jack Harris, WFLA-AM, Tampa, FL
Joe Kelly, WDBO-FM, Orlando, FL
Rich Jones, WOKV FM, Jacksonville, FL

MEDIUM MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry, KKNU-FM, Eugene, OR
Brent Johnson, WTCB-FM, Columbia, SC
Harlen The Sports Guy and Pigskin Bob, KYKX-FM, Tyler, TX
Pat Kerrigan, KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa, CA
Scoot, WWL-FM, New Orleans, LA

SMALL MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Brian Byers, WSOY-AM, Decatur, IL
Chris and Rosie, WUSQ-FM, Winchester, VA
Frito and Katy, KNDE - FM, College Station, TX
Scotty and Catryna, KCLR-FM, Columbia, MO
Todd Haugen, KBHP-FM, Bemidji, MN

MAJOR MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KNX-AM, Los Angeles, CA
KTCK-FM, Dallas, TX
WBEB-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WQHT-FM, New York, NY
WSB-AM, Atlanta, GA

LARGE MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KXL-FM, Portland, OR
WDBO-FM, Orlando, FL
WDUV-FM, St. Petersburg, FL
WKTI-FM, Milwaukee, WI
WSOC-FM, Charlotte, NC

MEDIUM MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa, CA
WEZN-FM, Milford, CT
WHKO-FM, Dayton, OH
WMGQ-FM, Somerset, NJ
WRVA-AM, Richmond, VA

SMALL MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KFGO-AM, Fargo, ND
KVOX-FM, Fargo, ND
KWYO-AM, Sheridan, WY
WFRE-FM, Fredrick, MD
WWUS-FM, Sugarloaf Key, FL

AC STATION OF THE YEAR
KRWM-FM, Seattle, WA
KSTP-FM, St. Paul, MN
WMEE-FM, Fort Wayne, IN
WRCH-FM, Farmington, CT
WSHE-FM, Chicago, IL

CHR STATION OF THE YEAR
KNDE-FM, College Station, TX
KTXY-FM, Columbia, MO
WKZL-FM, Greensboro, NC
WPST-FM, Princeton, NJ
WRTS-FM, Erie, PA

CLASSIC HITS STATION OF THE YEAR
KRTH-FM, Los Angeles, CA
WMMO-FM, Orlando, FL
WOGL-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WPBG-FM, Peoria, IL
WXGL-FM, St. Petersburg, FL

COUNTRY STATION OF THE YEAR
KCLR-FM, Columbia, MO
WBBS-FM, Syracuse, NY
WUBE-FM, Cincinnati, OH
WWKA-FM, Orlando, FL
WYCT-FM, Pensacola, FL

NEWS/TALK STATION OF THE YEAR
KRMG-FM, Tulsa, Oklahoma
KYW-AM, Philadelphia, PA
WGN-AM, Chicago, IL
WKXW-FM, Trenton, NJ
WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.

NON-COMMERCIAL STATION OF THE YEAR
KHJK-FM, Rocklin, CA
WEEM-FM, Pendleton, IN
WPSC-FM, Wayne, NJ
WUFT-FM, Gainesville, FL
WWOZ-FM, New Orleans, LA

RELIGIOUS STATION OF THE YEAR
KKLA-FM, Los Angeles, CA
KLTY-FM, Dallas, TX
KNWI-FM, West Des Moines, IA
KPWJ-FM, College Station, TX
WFMV-FM, Columbia, SC

ROCK STATION OF THE YEAR
WBAB-FM, Long Island, NY
WMMR-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WPLR-FM, Connecticut, CT
WRIF-FM, Detroit, MI
WRLT-FM, Nashville, TN

SPANISH STATION OF THE YEAR
KLOL-FM, Houston, TX
KLVE-FM, Los Angeles, CA
KLZT-FM, Austin, TX
WKAQ-AM, Houston, TX
WYUU-FM, Tampa, FL

SPORTS STATION OF THE YEAR
WBZ-FM, Boston, MA
WEEI-FM, Boston, MA
WIP-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WMFS-FM, Memphis, TN
WXOS-FM, St. Louis, MO

URBAN STATION OF THE YEAR
WFXC-FM, Raleigh, NC
WKYS-FM, Washington, D.C.
WVKL-FM, Virginia Beach, VA
WWPR-FM, New York, NY
WZFX-FM, Fayetteville, NC

About the Radio Show

The 2018 Radio Show, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), will be held September 25-28 in Orlando. This year's show brings radio broadcasters and industry colleagues together to share knowledge, discover the latest innovations, network with industry leaders and explore creative business strategies for the digital age. To learn more about the 2018 Radio Show, visit www.radioshowweb.com.

About RAB
The Radio Advertising Bureau serves more than 6,000 member Radio stations in the U.S. and over 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations. RAB leads and participates in educational, research, sales, and advocacy programs that promote and advance Radio as a primary advertising medium. Learn more at www.rab.com.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.

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Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: July 16, 2018, 4:29 pm
Syfy said that on-air personality comedian and writer Jackie Jennings was named a full time on-air correspondent producer and writer for Syfy Wire. Jennings has done news rundowns and live coverage from a number of fan conventions on Syfy Wire. In her new role, she will be featured on Syfy Wire’s ...

Will be correspondent, producer and writer

Syfy said that on-air personality comedian and writer Jackie Jennings was named a full time on-air correspondent producer and writer for Syfy Wire.

Jackie Jennings

Jennings has done news rundowns and live coverage from a number of fan conventions on Syfy Wire.

In her new role, she will be featured on Syfy Wire’s mobile app and social media channels in addition to Syfy Channel.

Jennings has previously appeared on The Chris Gethard Show on TruTV and Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC. 

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 3:48 pm
FCC chair Ajit Pai said he has issues with the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger, raising a big cloud over the deal. “Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair-Tribune transaction. The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that ...

Ajit Pai signals some elements of deal appear illegal

FCC chair Ajit Pai said he has issues with the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger, raising a big cloud over the deal.

“Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair-Tribune transaction. The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law," he said in a statement. "When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction. Instead, the law requires the FCC to designate the transaction for a hearing in order to get to the bottom of those disputed issues. For these reasons, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.”

A source says Pai already has the votes to approve the move, with only commissioner Michael O'Rielly yet to vote, but signaling he could support it.

Designating a deal for a hearing has been a death knell in the past, but one former FCC official sees a way for Sinclair to address the FCC issues and perhaps head off the hearing.

Sinclair has been criticized for sidecar deals with spin-off stations that would allow it to keep its hand in, and for the relationship to some of the potential new station owners with existing Sinclair officials.

Another veteran communications attorney agreed Sinclair could conceivably decide to sell stations to new third parties whose connections to the company did not draw accusations of too cozy a relationship.

If so, Sinclair would have to submit a sixth version of the deal, which the FCC will have to put out for further comment, further delaying any deal decision.

According to an FCC official who asked not to be identified, the hearing designation order circulated to the other commissioners for a vote is targeted at the spin-offs with those "cozy" connections, and that the language includes possible "lack of candor" and "misrepresentation" in
Sinclair's structuring of the deal, tough talk that would be red meat for critics of Sinclair's politics as well as its powerful broadcast group.

If the hearing were not avoided, it could take a year or more to conduct.

Pai has been accused by Democrats of favoring the deal, but that was clearly not his message Monday in a highly unusual move for a Republican deregulatory chairman. 

Pai already has the vote of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel for the hearing designation order (HDO), while Commissioner Michael O'Rielly signaled he can also support it. The FCC needs three votes to designate it for hearing, but also to approve it, so the move is obviously a big blow to Sinclair's chances.

“Today’s announcement is welcome," Rosenworcel said in a statement. "As I have noted before, too many of this agency’s media policies have been custom built to support the business plans of Sinclair Broadcasting. With this hearing designation order, the agency will finally take a hard look at its proposed merger with Tribune. This is overdue and favoritism like this needs to end."

"In general, I have long stated that parties to merger applications are entitled to an answer from the Commission and have expressed deep objections to blindly sending decisions to the Commission’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)," said O'Rielly. "Accordingly, I believe that to the extent there are HDOs, to garner my support they must include sufficient and defined timelines for the ALJ to conduct and process a hearing. If included in the Sinclair/Tribune HDO, I am inclined to support it. The ALJ process is in need of significant reforms, including putting an end to the interminable hearing.”

"The proposed divestitures, which are necessary to bring the Sinclair-Tribune transaction into compliance with the commission’s rules, are sham transactions that enable Sinclair to retain control over the divested assets, albeit under the guise of control by a third party," deal critic Newsmax said last week in pushing back on the deal. "This is most evident regarding the divestiture to Cunningham Broadcasting Group (“Cunningham”) and WGN-TV LLC, both of which have close connections to the controlling shareholders of Sinclair and both of which are receiving very favorable prices for the assets they hope to acquire."

The move means that almost certainly the current appeals court decision on the FCC's restoration of the UHF discount, an FCC decision that paved the way for the Sinclair deal, will be issued before that hearing or before the FCC could rule on a sixth version of the deal. If the decision reverses the FCC's restoration of the discount, the deal is hobbled no matter what the FCC Administrative Law Judge decision is. 

Former FCC official and deal supporter Adonis Hoffman thinks there is still hope.

"This is an invitation to the parties to restructure the divestitures," he said. "If the overall deal is in keeping with the company's long-term interests, which I think it its, they could do that in advance of the hearing, and salvage the deal."

"I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision today to designate the Sinclair-Tribune transaction for further review and hearings," said Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy of the chairman's announcement. "Clearly this decision is based on the facts and law--specifically that Sinclair has not complied with requirements set forth by the FCC to promote diversity, localism and competition."

"When Sinclair has been forced to sell stations during previous mergers, it has routinely sold them to family and friends and then signed agreements to control the programming on those stations," said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, which opposes thd deal. "The FCC is right to call out this scheme."

“We are pleased that Chairman Pai has circulated an order designating the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger for a hearing," said Jeff Blum, SVP of public policy and government affairs for Dish. "It is a prudent step to closely scrutinize whether the proposed merger serves the public interest and consumers.”

“The American Cable Association applauds FCC Chairman Pai for seeking the support of the other Commissioners to refer the Sinclair-Tribune transaction and the associated station sales to Fox and others to an Administration Law Judge, an action that’s understood to signal the Commission’s disapproval of the deal," said American Cable Association President Matt Polka. ACA is part of a coalition opposing the deal. "From the beginning, ACA has insisted that the transaction is unlawful and certain to create numerous consumer harms, such as higher retransmission consent fees.  It’s well past time for Sinclair to realize that its effort to engage in massive media consolidation has failed and that it should withdraw the transaction without delay so the FCC no longer needs to devote any of its limited resources to a doomed endeavor.”

“We applaud Chairman Pai’s decision to challenge important elements of this transaction," said Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel at Public Knowledge. "The FCC’s merger analysis requires that transactions affirmatively serve the public interest. It was clear at the outset that Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempt to acquire Tribune Media would harm the public interest and consumers, and decrease diversity and independence in local broadcasting."

"It's positive news that Chairman Pai has expressed concerns about aspects of the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger," said Michael Copps, special advisor to Common Cause and former FCC chair. "We will have to see how the Administrative Law Judge handles the case and how far his inquiry will range. And Sinclair could still restructure the terms of the deal, although maybe it is finally wearing out its welcome at the FCC."

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) joined the chorus of veteran deal critics praising the move. 

“The FCC’s order could effectively block the Sinclair merger, which would be a huge win for consumers,” Pallone said in a statement. “I urge all FCC Commissioners to vote quickly in support of it. Last week, Ranking Member Doyle and I sent a letter to GAO urging a review of Sinclair’s use of sham agreements to bypass federal media consolidation protections, and I was pleased to see Chairman Pai echo our concerns in his announcement today.”    

“This is a welcome and long overdue development,” asid Doyle. "As I have said many times, Sinclair’s proposed merger would hurt consumers, competition, and the vibrancy and independence of the our nation’s local media. This transaction has been opposed by a diverse coalition of interests from all sides of the political spectrum. I’m glad to see the Commission acknowledging these concerns.”

An FCC spokesperson declined comment on the HDO, saying they could not comment on something they haven't seen.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 16, 2018, 3:45 pm
At press time Monday morning, July 16, the FCC had still not restarted its 180-day shot clock on vetting the Sinclair-Tribune merger proposal. The clock has been stopped since Jan. 4 as Sinclair filed new versions of the deal responsive to FCC deregulatory moves that allow it to potentially own ...

Deal has been before FCC for over a year

At press time Monday morning, July 16, the FCC had still not restarted its 180-day shot clock on vetting the Sinclair-Tribune merger proposal. The clock has been stopped since Jan. 4 as Sinclair filed new versions of the deal responsive to FCC deregulatory moves that allow it to potentially own more stations and responsive to Justice Department concerns about control of ad inventory in some markets where it wanted to own two stations.

But the clock was widely expected to restart following the July 12 final comment date on the latest version. The clock has been stuck on day 167 since January, even though the deal has been before the FCC in some form for over a year (it was put out for comment July 6, 2017)--there was a previous stoppage as well.

Related: Sinclair-Tribune Pushback Piles Up

The clock is informal, and the FCC has blown by it in the past for deals that took far longer than 180 days to be decided, including Sinclair's purchase of Allbritton. But, ostensibly, its restart signals the FCC is back on the clock for coming up with a decision, so at press time the FCC was not on its own clock. 

The deal is on another clock of sorts. A federal appeals court is deciding a challenge to the FCC's restoration of the UHF discount, a move that paved the way for the Sinclair-Tribune deal. If that court reverses the FCC--a decision that could come any time--it could blow up the deal.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has not said he would hold off on a decision until the court makes its decision, though he has been pressed to do so by FCC Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and a host of Hill Dems.

The shot clock on the T-Mobile-Sprint merger proposal had not started at press time, either--the FCC opened the comment docket June 15 but has yet to put the application out for comment.

An FCC spokesperson said that the clock won't start on T-Mobile-Sprint until the FCC has determined that the application has been correctly and completely filed. They had no comment on Sinclair-Tribune.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:43 pm
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has declined to weigh in on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s rulings and views on communications issues, which are much in evidence. Others, though, are not as reticent on the conservative judge, who’s well known in communications circles from his prominent role on ...

Nominee Kavanaugh’s friends, foes square off, start building up their war chests

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has declined to weigh in on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s rulings and views on communications issues, which are much in evidence. Others, though, are not as reticent on the conservative judge, who’s well known in communications circles from his prominent role on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which oversees appeals of FCC decisions.

Forces for and against Kavanaugh’s appointment also indicated they’ll soon be spending money on ads backing their beliefs.

Kavanaugh would likely be a vote in favor of the FCC’s 2017 rollback of network neutrality regulations should the current challenge to its deregulatory move go to the high court.

Kavanaugh dissented from the majority in the full D.C. Circuit’s decision not to hear an internet service provider appeal of the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet order. He said the order was unlawful and should have been vacated, citing the Supreme Court “major rules” doctrine that agency decisions of vast “economic and political significance” require clear direction from Congress, direction the FCC did not have on its regulatory authority over net neutrality. The FCC had violated the First Amendment by infringing on the editorial discretion of ISPs, he added.

Liberal View: ‘Disaster’

“Kavanaugh says that net neutrality is unconstitutional” and “he thinks corporations are people, and will put Citizens United on steroids,” according to Demand Progress, which called his nomination a “disaster for everything we care about.”

One of the byproducts of the nomination fight to come will be more money in broadcast and cable coffers as the battle wages in the court of public opinion.

“Brett Kavanaugh is a far-right radical who must be stopped,” Demand Progress said in an email solicitation. “Will you chip in $5 to help launch our emergency campaign to stop him?”

On the other side, Americans for Prosperity committed “seven figures” to paid advertising and grassroots engagement in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

An even higher figure also has gotten involved: President Donald Trump.

The Republican National Committee, with the OK of the president, has sent out an email solicitation for contributions toward a six-figure ad campaign buy backing Kavanaugh’s nomination. The RNC said it was part of a Justice Support Fund that Trump had authorized.

Check out Kavanaugh’s take on the FCC’s Title II reclassification of ISPs.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:30 pm
The Justice Department has thrown a monkey wrench into the TV business by saying it would appeal the court decision permitting AT&T to acquire Time Warner. In addition to creating questions about what will happen to Time Warner, the move made last Thursday (July 12) affects the tug of war over ...

The Justice Department has thrown a monkey wrench into the TV business

The Justice Department has thrown a monkey wrench into the TV business by saying it would appeal the court decision permitting AT&T to acquire Time Warner.

In addition to creating questions about what will happen to Time Warner, the move made last Thursday (July 12) affects the tug of war over 21st Century Fox and other possible media industry transactions.

“While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances,” AT&T said. “We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

The appeal will make it more difficult for AT&T to integrate the Time Warner businesses — now part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit — as the appeal drags on for what could be another year, especially if the case gets appealed again to the Supreme Court.

There were many questions about why the DOJ felt it could win an appeal. “Although this creates some uncertainty, we believe that the DOJ faces an uphill battle,” Jeffries analyst John Janedis said.

On the other hand, “we’re not as sure as everyone else that Judge [Richard] Leon’s ruling will be upheld on appeal,” said Craig Moffett, MoffettNathanson principal and senior analyst. He said “Fox’s board has been looking for a justifiable reason to choose Disney over Comcast” and predicted “tonight’s appeal from the DOJ would seem the final nail in the coffin for Comcast’s Fox chase.”

The bidding war already had some analysts concerned about the debt the winner will have to take on.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:26 pm
Streaming video services continued to put their stamp on the television industry with a record number of Emmy Award nominations. Traditional cable and video streaming powerhouses Netflix, HBO and FX dominated the nominations announced last Thursday (July 12), but Netflix stole the show, garnering ...

Netflix dethrones HBO as most-nominated as streaming services rack up nods

Streaming video services continued to put their stamp on the television industry with a record number of Emmy Award nominations.

Traditional cable and video streaming powerhouses Netflix, HBO and FX dominated the nominations announced last Thursday (July 12), but Netflix stole the show, garnering an industry-high 112 nominations — ending HBO’s 17-year streak at the top of the Emmy heap.

“We are particularly enthused to see the breadth of our programming celebrated with nominations spread across 40 new and returning titles which showcase our varied and expansive slate – comedies, dramas, movies, limited series, documentary, variety, animation and reality,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

Streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime Video each drew a record number of Emmy nominations, more than broadcaster Fox or premium cable service Showtime.

HBO’s Game of Thrones reigned again as the most-nominated show, with 22 nods after a year of ineligibility. The fantasy series will once again look to slay a familiar list of previously nominated competitors in the drama series category to regain the Emmy it won in 2016.

HBO in a statement said it is “grateful” for its eighth straight year with more than 100 nominations.

Netflix's "GLOW"

Unlike last year, freshman shows did not receive much love from Emmy voters. There were a few exceptions, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon), Barry (HBO) and GLOW (Netflix), all of which will look to secure the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy to be vacated by current three-time winner Veep, which is ineligible for this year’s coveted statuette.

Also, Sandra Oh, star of BBC America’s freshman series Killing Eve, was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the first performer of Asian descent to be recognized in the category.

Diversity again was top of mind, with more people of color being recognized for their work on screen and behind the scenes than at any time in Emmy history.

Among the notable acknowledgements were singer/songwriter John Legend, nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor In a Limited Series or Movie for his portrayal of Jesus Christ in Fox’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert; and 93-year-old Cicely Tyson, who notched her third Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nod for her recurring role in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 17 on NBC.

Author: R. Thomas Umstead
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:24 pm
ESPN said that Nexcare and SoFi have signed up as official sponsors for the 2018 X Games Minneapolis. Go RVing and Hotel.com will be event sponsors when the games begin July 19. The new official sponsors join Fruit of the Loom, Harley-Davidson, LifeProof, Monster Energy, Pacifico, the Real Cost ...

Go RVing, Hotels.com sign as event sponsors

ESPN said that Nexcare and SoFi have signed up as official sponsors for the 2018 X Games Minneapolis.

Go RVing and Hotel.com will be event sponsors when the games begin July 19.

The new official sponsors join Fruit of the Loom, Harley-Davidson, LifeProof, Monster Energy, Pacifico, the Real Cost and Toyota.

GEICO returns as official music sponsor and Explore Minnesota is back as event sponsor.

Elements featured as part of sponsor packages include on-site activations, content creation and rights to the official marks and logos. Sponsors will also have a media presence during the X Games telecasts as well as prominent positions across X Games social platforms and VIP experiences on-site, ESPN said..

ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 19 hours of live X Games coverage, which will also be accessible via the ESPN App to viewers who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Eight and a half additional hours of event coverage will be streamed live on the X Games Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages to fans in the United States.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:23 pm
Serial Killer with Piers Morgan kicks off on Oxygen July 16. Morgan, former host of Piers Morgan Live on CNN, sits down with psychopaths and sees what they’re thinking now and when they killed years ago. The first couple of episodes feature Mark Riebe, who confessed to the killing of a dozen women, ...

Deputy editor Michael Malone's weekly look at the programming scene

Serial Killer with Piers Morgan kicks off on Oxygen July 16. Morgan, former host of Piers Morgan Live on CNN, sits down with psychopaths and sees what they’re thinking now and when they killed years ago. The first couple of episodes feature Mark Riebe, who confessed to the killing of a dozen women, and Lorenzo Gilyard, known as the Kansas City Strangler.

“They all have very different personalities and very different stories,” Morgan said.

In terms of their common ground, Morgan mentions a hunger for control. “They didn’t like it when they lost control of the interview,” he said.

Morgan likens his role to that of an FBI agent or a criminal lawyer, looking to probe deep into the convicts’ minds — as he puts it, “dissect and unlock stories.”

The main reason Morgan took on the project, he said, was to bring satisfaction to the families of the victims. The killers, for the most part, did not testify in court, so Morgan said the relatives find a little relief when they witness someone calling the murderers out for their crimes. “A lot of the families are grateful that I do it on their behalf,” he said.

While Oxygen hasn’t yet committed to a full season, Morgan said he’s up for taking on more killer sit-downs. “If the first two go well, I could see myself doing a lot more of these,” he said.

On a lighter note, season two of The Hollywood Puppet Show starts on Fuse July 17. Wilmer Valderrama is creator, host and executive producer. The show features celebs coming on and telling outrageous, and true, stories, which are reenacted by marionettes.

Guest stars include Marlon Wayans, YouTube star Lilly Singh and rapper Nick Cannon. Valderrama cited Wayans for spinning a particularly fun yarn. “He just really gets how to tell a story,” Valderrama said.

The appeal of the show, Valderrama said, is that celebs don’t usually get to tell their fun, and perhaps lengthy, stories to the press. Hollywood Puppet Show lets them go long. “We thought it would be a really fun ride to take their fans on,” said Valderrama, promising a chance to “see these artists like you’ve never seen them before.”

The puppeteer re-enactments, he added, are a “funny, cool way to complement someone’s story.”

Valderrama, of course, starred in That ’70s Show. In this era of reboots, he said there have not been conversations about bringing that comedy back.

“I love the show and I love the characters,” he said. “But it’s premature to think of a reboot.”

Valderrama does not rule out the possibility. “I’m sure at some point that conversation happens,” he said.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:20 pm
Why This Matters: In its battle with digital competitors, TV networks are turning to analytics startups who turn big data into a clearer picture of who’s watching and what viewers are buying. A wave of data has launched a flotilla of new research and analytics companies that aim to provide new ...

New firms’ analytic, attribution schemes offer fresh insights to clients

Why This Matters: In its battle with digital competitors, TV networks are turning to analytics startups who turn big data into a clearer picture of who’s watching and what viewers are buying.

A wave of data has launched a flotilla of new research and analytics companies that aim to provide new information and insights about television viewing.

Challenged by digital competitors and concerned that shrinking ratings, stagnant ad revenue and cord-cutting will reduce pay TV subscriptions, programming networks appear eager to learn about changing consumer behavior.

Networks are also thirsting for data that proves what most marketers already believe: TV advertising is effective both in building brands and generating sales.

While some of the digital giants have been providing ad clients with their own research on how many people they reach — marketers are increasingly skeptical about this data — TV networks are accustomed to getting numbers from third parties in order to avoid the charge that they’re grading their own homework.

Radha Subramanyam, CBS executive VP, chief research and analytics officer

One top network researcher, CBS executive VP, chief research and analytics officer Radha Subramanyam, said she has a spreadsheet on her desk that lists 27 companies the network is in discussions with about providing attribution metrics.

“It’s a great, wonderful, fruitful time to be a researcher because we really literally have never had so much data,” Subramanyam said.

When Disney/ABC Television Group announced its Luminate suite of advanced advertising products, it said that data companies including Data Plus Math and Samba TV were involved. NBCUniversal is working with analytics firms, including iSpot.TV and Canvs, on various initiatives.

Some of these new firms see themselves as partners with Nielsen. Others see themselves as competitors.

Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser pegged the U.S. TV research market at $3 billion, almost all of that Nielsen. The new firms “believe that TV measurement as a sector is waiting to be disrupted,” Weiser said. “With all the complaints that industry participate have, it’s understandable that there would be venture capital available to fund entrepreneurs with ideas intended to disrupt the market.”

But at this point, age and gender are the dominant metrics for buying and selling advertising and “Nielsen persists because it is the least bad alternative,” in measuring that, Wieser said. Should a new targeting metric emerge, “Nielsen could still be an important supplier of data but it’s the age/gender which it utterly dominates.”

What does Nielsen say?

Kelly Abcarian, senior VP of product leadership at Nielsen

“We applaud any work being done to progress measurement and help drive advertising efficiency for the industry,” Kelly Abcarian, senior VP of product leadership at Nielsen, told B&C. “But there is a reason Nielsen data remains the linchpin of TV media advertising, whether it is traditional demographic or advanced audience segmentation targets: We can measure what marketers are buying advertisements for — to reach the actual consumers they are targeting, rather than households.”

There is a pressing need for these new measurement companies, which are bringing innovation and speed to the market, former Turner chief research officer Howard Shimmel said.

Longer-term, though, he said it was hard to see them surviving as small, spunky research companies. “Whether they get acquired or partner with some other small companies, you do need some scale to be real,” Shimmel said.

Some of this torrent of new data is coming from set-top boxes from multichannel video programming distributors. A newer source is from smart TVs.

Inscape, a division of Vizio, generates and licenses viewing data from 8.8 million smart TV sets whose owners have opted in to ad tech companies, media buyers and networks including NBCUniversal. NBCU’s Audience Studio uses the data to target ad campaigns.

Stepping on the Gas

“We are high-grade gasoline and that high-grade gasoline is used to power a bunch of different platforms,” Inscape senior vice president Jodie McAfee said. Those platforms generally provide measurement, analytics and targeting for TV.

“Our intent is to be as ubiquitous as possible. We don’t choose winners and losers. There are going to be winners and losers,” McAfee said. “This whole landscape is going to be incredibly chaotic and fluid over the next three to five years.”

Inscape has doubled the number of partners it works with in the first quarter to a total of about 20, according to McAfee. “We’ve got literally dozens and dozens and dozens of companies in the queue right now,” he said.

Here is a look at some of these upstart measurement firms.

No Shortcuts

One of the companies relying on Inscape data is iSpot.TV. Its CEO, Sean Muller, said it’s a great time to be a data and analytics company.

“There are a lot of companies who aren’t data and analytics companies that are creating the perception that they’re data and analytics companies, when it’s not their core business,” Muller said.

Six years ago, iSpot.TV started building a platform that catalogues ads and tracks when they air on TV. “Today, we have a proprietary data set that allows us now to connect TV ad impressions to business outcomes,” Muller said.

NBC is using iSpot.TV’s data to validate that ad campaigns produce results.

“There are no shortcuts,” Muller said. “We had to invest five, six years and $50 million into building this system. You can’t just go and get this data off the shelf. This data doesn’t exist off the shelf.”

Attribution Revolution

Analytics company Data Plus Math has built a high profile in the crowded field of measuring the impact of TV ads, also known as attribution.

A+E's Peter Olsen

“The space is heating up and getting momentum,” Data Plus Math CEO John Hoctor said. “Television’s really embracing these new and different data sets, new ways of looking at the inventory and it’s a period of really rapid innovation.”

Doing attribution isn’t easy, Hoctor said. In order to figure out how one network is driving results for an advertiser, compared another network, “you need to spend a lot of time, and you have to look at a lot of data and you’ve got to develop models.”

With Google and Facebook providing ad clients with data, even if that data is questionable, TV networks are ponying up more money to provide similar information. “Media sellers have been working with us because they know that’s table stakes,” Hoctor said.

A+E Networks is offering some advertisers guarantees based on Data Plus Math calculations of how much campaigns increase website visits or foot traffic to stores.

“Television has begun to lose the ROI narrative in recent years as the big digital players have convinced marketers that they deserve an undue amount of credit when it comes to consumer behavior,” A+E executive vice president for ad sales Peter Olsen said. “Working with companies like Data Plus Math is helping TV level the playing field and getting the credit we believe it deserves.”

Cable Connection

605, a data and analytics company formed last year, jumped into the attribution pool in May when it launched its Impact Index, designed to measure both the branding and sales impact of TV advertising.

Ben Tatta, 605’s co-founder and president

“In the last 18 months, there’s been a real shift among the programmers who are now starting to embrace audience-based selling,” Ben Tatta, 605’s co-founder and president, said. At the same time, the availability of data enables many ways to measure the impact of campaigns.

“Now, all of a sudden, there are a number of different solutions and it can be confusing,” Tatta said.

The set-top box data 605 works with gives it an advantage in measuring how campaigns work for clients like Walmart and Uber, he said. “Because it’s behind a paywall, it comes with authenticated credentials,” Tatta said. “It’s not inferred based on a cookie. The fact that it’s fully credentialed and the impressions are authenticated and the data is authenticated, I really think it does put us in a unique spot to battle things like fraud and a lot of the issues on the web in terms of overstatement of impressions.”

Making Connections

For Samba TV, “data is the most valuable thing that we bring to the media community right now,” co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin said. In addition to data from 14 million households in the U.S., Samba has access to data from 5 million TV households outside the U.S.

Samba’s data help identify audiences for programmers deciding which shows to bring back and which ones to cancel. It is also used to inform their marketing aimed at reconnecting with viewers who had been watching a program as well as effort to convert new viewers.

“We can connect the dots between the promotion and the consumption in a closed-loop attribution model. For entertainment marketing it was an unprecedented thing,” Navin said.

Computers Are Watching

Picture a data center in Red Bank, N.J., filled with computers watching TV. That’s how Alphonso indexes TV, from live linear networks to over-the-top content. “If there was an exposure to a program or an ad, we can provide various types of analysis in relation to that exposure,” senior VP of research T.S. Kelly said.

“Right now we’re working with a quick service restaurant,” he said. “We can tie the exposure to their campaign to direct visitation to their restaurant. So we give them visitation or location attribution, as we call it.”

Alphonso is also able to break down which networks, dayparts and programs were most effective at delivering visitors to the store, he said.

The new data coming from these new attribution companies appears to be proving that TV is an effective ad medium.

Nielsen also provides metrics for TV ad effectiveness that it thinks paints a true picture of ROI.

“We believe buyers understand the value of representative persons-based measurement and will continue to opt for Nielsen as their measurement provider both for buying on age/gender demographics as well as audience segments based on persons measurement,” Nielsen’s Abcarian said.

Said CBS’s Subramanyam: “Everyone knows TV works. Everyone knows premium video works. And now we just have more and more ways of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it works better than any medium.”

Paying Attention

With ratings down, TV networks are looking for different ways of measuring engagement with viewers. Some, like Fox, have embraced attention as a key attribute they bring to advertisers.

“We are talking to different vendors who have different definitions of how you measure attention,” Fox executive VP of sales research insight and strategy Audrey Steele said. “I think that movement has definitely caught fire in the industry, to focus on attention and focus on what you get when you try to improve the viewing experience for your audience.”

TV watching has changed, noted Dan Schiffman, chief research officer at TVision. The explosion of digital devices and platforms on which content can be consumed has not only fragmented audiences, but viewer attention as well.

Historically, TV measured impressions, which have become eyeballs with the opportunity to see a program or an ad.

“Then there’s the second layer, which is a little bit deeper and that’s actual attention, actual eyeballs on screen,” Schiffman said. TVision uses a panel that’s active 24 hours a day in the top 10 markets. Technologies including facial recognition and skeleton tracking help TVision figure out who is in the room and when they’re paying attention on a second-by-second basis. The data is used to create an index applied to total viewing statistics.

“We work with the networks to help evangelize attention as it can benefit them,” Schiffman said. “We’ve also provide the data to them so they can provide it back to advertisers to demonstrate how that advertiser’s performing in term of getting attention in the context of their environment.”

Video Goes Social

TV networks are also putting video on social-media platforms.

“We’re tracking every video on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, about 4 billion videos uploads by 12 million publishers,” Tubular chief marketing officer Allison Stern said. Those publishers could be traditional broadcast and cable networks or digital first publishers, influencers or brands.

It also analyzes branded content it finds online.

“Tubular aims to be the future of measurement in terms of the content we’re measuring and also in terms of what we define as measurement, which is not just stats and data but true insight into who is your audience and what is trending and what can you be doing to create content that truly resonates with the younger audiences that are shifting their attention away from traditional TV,” Stern said.

CBS’s Subramanyam sees more insights coming down the pike, thanks partly to these new data firms.

“I’ve done this close to 20 years at this point,” she said. “And I’m shocked by how much new I’m learning every single day.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:10 pm
Click here to view a pdf of this week's Data Mine.

The week's big spenders and most-seen TV ads

Click here to view a pdf of this week's Data Mine.

Author: B&C Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:00 pm
Click here to view a pdf of this week's Buzz Meter.

The week's stickiest shows, including 'El Rico y Lázaro', 'America's Got Talent', and more

Click here to view a pdf of this week's Buzz Meter.

Author: B&C Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 2:00 pm
Why This Matters: A successful programming stunt often attracts other networks aiming to entice those same viewers. As the summer progresses, both of cable’s major shark stunts are set to embark, and both are expanding. Discovery’s “Shark Week,” in its 30th year, is inching beyond a week. The ...

With ‘Shark Week,’ ‘SharkFest,’ both nets look to increase their fin-tastic content

Why This Matters: A successful programming stunt often attracts other networks aiming to entice those same viewers.

As the summer progresses, both of cable’s major shark stunts are set to embark, and both are expanding.

Discovery’s “Shark Week,” in its 30th year, is inching beyond a week. The iconic 1975 film Jaws airs for the first time on Discovery on July 21, the night before Shark Week officially starts. On July 29, Discovery’s shark theme continues with Naked and Afraid of Sharks, featuring five all-stars from survivalist show Naked and Afraid on an island surrounded by shark-infested waters.

Nat Geo Wild, for its part, is set to showcase an even more dramatic increase in shark programming. For the first time, the week-long event — now in its sixth year — extends to two weeks. “SharkFest” starts July 15.

“We know there’s so much passion and fascination with these incredible animals,” Geoff Daniels, VP and general manager of Nat Geo Wild, said. “We’re super-sizing SharkFest and super-serving our audience in a way we’ve never done before.”

‘Shark Week’ Turns 30

Shark Week has a number of notable celebrities involved in the eight-day event, including Shaquille O’Neal, star of Shaq Does Shark Week, about the former basketball standout overcoming his fear of sharks; Ronda Rousey Uncaged, which sees the former UFC scrapper face down the fearsome Mako shark; and Guy Fieri’s Feeding Frenzy, where the TV chef and his son sample cuisine in the Bahamas, and study the sharks there.

“It’s quite a jam-packed lineup,” said Scott Lewers, executive VP of multiplatform programming and digital media at Discovery.

July 25 is the debut of Shark Tank Meets Shark Week, where stars from ABC’s Shark Tank, a competition show where entrepreneurs aim to get the well-heeled “Sharks,” and their bucks, on board with their business pitches, appear on Discovery. Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John compete for a $50,000 donation to the shark-focused nonprofit they’ve chosen. “I think that’s going to be super fun,” Lewers said.

Discovery will also offer a shark-themed episode of Cash Cab July 27, where contestants are grilled on their knowledge about the famed fish. This year’s Shark Week will also look back on what Lewers calls the “best moments” in its history.

The 2018 Shark Week represents the most hours of shark programming ever. The event offers 30 total hours, including Shark Week’s 50 Best Bites that aired July 15, well ahead of last year’s 20½ hours. Lewers, who said Shark Week garnered 35 million viewers last year, said Discovery isn’t thinking much about extending Shark Week beyond its typical week, or this year’s eight-plus days. “There’s something special about a week,” he said. “There’s something to keeping it tight.”

Wild About Sharks

Nat Geo Wild, meanwhile, is keen to grow SharkFest. Specials include 700 Sharks, which sees a team of scientists dive in among, yes, 700 sharks in Polynesia to study the beasts’ hunting strategies and social behaviors; Big Sharks Rule, about giant great whites, tiger sharks and bull sharks in South Africa; and The Whale That Ate Jaws: New Evidence, about a 1997 incident near San Francisco that saw two whales kill a great white. “People see the great white as an apex predator,” Daniels said. “That time, the hunter has become the hunted.”

National Geographic is also hosting “Encounter: Ocean Odyssey” in New York’s Times Square, an exhibit featuring an underwater tour that has the participants feel like they’re smack in the middle of the ocean. “You can dive with sharks, without needing a bigger boat or a wetsuit,” said Daniels. “It’s a little slice of ocean you can explore in the middle of one of the busiest intersections.”

As for other networks’ shark-related content, Syfy premieres The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time August 19.

Snark Week

Both Discovery and Nat Geo Wild mostly shrug when asked about their rival’s shark show stunt. Daniels doesn’t say much about Shark Week, but does stress that “the real celebs are the sharks” on Nat Geo Wild, and that his network does not provoke a fear of sharks. “Nat Geo is all about our love of animals,” he said. (To be fair, Nat Geo Wild does have a number of When Sharks Attack episodes lined up.)

For his part, Lewers noted that “imitation is the best form of flattery” when asked about SharkFest.

He suggests that any network showing shark programming enhances the three-decades-old Shark Week brand. “It highlights us even more,” Lewers said.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:59 pm
Why This Matters: Media companies are buying assets to compete with Netflix, which is expected to report adding more subscribers when it discloses its Q2 results. Netflix’s High-flying stock remains a favorite of Wall Street as the streaming leader gets set to release its second-quarter financial ...

As the OTT service’s stock soars, Wall Street strains to find risks

Why This Matters: Media companies are buying assets to compete with Netflix, which is expected to report adding more subscribers when it discloses its Q2 results.

Netflix’s High-flying stock remains a favorite of Wall Street as the streaming leader gets set to release its second-quarter financial results on July 16.

Credit Suisse, for one, expects Netflix to report adding 1.2 million subscribers in the U.S. and 6.2 million worldwide and to disclose a big jump in earnings per share, to 79 cents from 15 cents a year ago.

But even analysts who strongly recommend the stock and see it heading still higher acknowledge potential pitfalls for Netflix, some of which are quite novel and thought-provoking.

In a report last week, Barclays media analyst Kannan Venkateshwar put forward the notion that Netflix might actually be churning out too much content — and not because of the billions of dollars it is borrowing to invest in programming. Venkateshwar makes the case that more content is not always more valuable.

Netflix's "Lost in Space"

So far, as Netflix has increased the volume of original programming, its shows are among the most searched for on Google, he said. It’s a sign that, despite some bad reviews for Lost in Space and some other recent releases, Netflix has managed to keep its quality perception intact, Venkateshwar added.

Recommending Well

That’s in part because Netflix’s viewers have different demographics than traditional TV viewers and Netflix has been successful at feeding its viewers’ demand for content through its recommendation engine.

But as it adds more mainstream viewers as subscribers, Netflix is getting to the point where its original content is competing with itself.

Netflix is adding original programming at a furious clip, with 1,000 releases by the end of the year, including 470 after mid-May. Time spent watching all those shows hasn’t kept pace, though, Venkateshwar said. “This in effect implies declining marginal value of content even as the average cost of content keeps creeping up.”

On top of that, the added volume of content on Netflix is eating into another of the streaming service’s key benefits — ease of navigation. There are so many shows, the analyst said, it is difficult for subscribers to figure out what they want to watch.

Because it is non-linear, Netflix’s ability to cross-market shows isn’t as powerful as the lead-in effect on traditional TV networks.

“Netflix keeps flooding its service with new shows all the time,” Venkateshwar said.

“The shift in mix away from some familiar shows towards completely new shows could shift consumer perception on service quality over time,” he added. “Quality perception is not an absolute and is not defined by the amount of money spent or a show’s production quality. Therefore, we believe Netflix needs to find a balance between new and familiar to keep its value proposition intact.”

Despite his concerns, Venkateshwar has a $450 per share price target for Netflix stock.

Credit Suisse media analyst Doug Mitchelson initiated his coverage of Netflix with an outperform rating and a target prices of $500 a share.

Among the risks to the stock climbing that high, Mitchelson cited missing quarterly subscriber guidance, DTC competition, access to content, successfully scaling in-house production, cost of content, regulations and recession.

Comparing to HBO, and Vice Versa

The bulk of Mitchelson’s report is more upbeat, comparing Netflix to HBO in its early days.

“The first U.S. premium pay service, HBO, has never seen its clear leadership challenged, and its lead in profitability has been only widening over time,” Mitchelson said. “We believe the global streaming SVOD marketplace will share a similar path, with Netflix enjoying unchallenged leadership and disproportionate scale benefits.”

To compete with Netflix and other streaming rivals, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, the AT&T executive in charge of the unit, has told HBO staffers that they’ll have to pump out a lot more content. According to a recording of a town meeting first obtained by The New York Times, Stankey said “it’s going to be a lot of work,” but it is important for HBO to increase its subscriber base and the number of hours subscribers spend watching its shows.

More watching equals more data about customers, he said.

He didn’t name Netflix as competitor with a lot of information about its subscribers. He didn’t have to.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:54 pm
Why This Matters: Broadcasters seeking more scale should band together on strategy related to ownership regulation. Adonis Hoffman currently heads up his own strategic communications policy research firm, Business in the Public Interest, but his resume includes a span as chief of staff to former ...

Policy expert believes the right national ownership cap can aid competition and diversity

Why This Matters: Broadcasters seeking more scale should band together on strategy related to ownership regulation.

Adonis Hoffman

Adonis Hoffman currently heads up his own strategic communications policy research firm, Business in the Public Interest, but his resume includes a span as chief of staff to former Democratic FCC chair Mignon Clyburn, as well as stints as a top Capitol Hill legal adviser and counsel to the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Hoffman talked with B&C about why media deregulation is good for both competition and diversity, his belief that broadcasters need to heavy up to keep up, and why Sinclair Broadcast Group’s stubbornly hardball approach to its merger with Tribune Media is about principle, not politics. An edited transcript follows.

Remind us what Business in the Public Interest does?

I provide research and analysis on policy issues important to businesses in the communications, finance and technology sectors.

Clearly, one of those important policies is broadcast deregulation.

Yes.

You have said a ‘dangerous factionalism’ has developed in the push for media ownership deregulation, specifically related to the 39% national cap on a broadcast group’s national audience reach.

We had two different solutions being put forth on the national cap. One is the position of Sinclair, Nexstar and some others that calls for elimination of the cap. They make a compelling case based on changed market conditions, rampant competition from FAANG [Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google] and the fact that if the limits remain, broadcasters cannot grow, but need scale to survive in this media environment.

The other position is that a 50% cap on national ownership is sufficient. That allows for growth and is better than 39%. My sense is also that the FCC commissioners are grappling with how to balance these competing interests.

Now, maybe the cap isn’t raised all at once. Maybe the 50% is a first step or interim step, but my view is that based on those FAANG developments, the cap should be eliminated now.

But why is it dangerous?

What I mean is, a unified broadcast industry arguing for deregulation of a specific rule would be much more powerful and much more effective if they were behind one position.

So the danger is that they are working against their own best interests.

Exactly.

You were chief of staff to FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who was definitely opposed to broadcast deregulation, but you are very definitely for it. You are also concerned about ownership diversity, as was she. What do you think the impact of more deregulation would be on diversity?

On the one hand, I favor deregulation because I believe in a free and independent market, so that whether you are an entrepreneur or you are a big business you have an opportunity to innovate and strike deals without government intervention.

On the other hand, government has been very effective pushing for progress on diversity, particularly on ownership. But with all that [pushing] there are only four African-American owners of full power television stations in the country after many years.

Ownership of broadcast properties is a capital-intensive business. Unless the government is prepared to provide the kind of incentives we saw in the 1970s and 1980s, then let’s not have the pretense; let’s just leave it to companies, and encourage companies to strike deals with entrepreneurs.

For example?

There is no shortage of minorities, whether it is African-American, Latino or Asian, who want to get into the business of media and broadcasting, but they often lack access to capital. If there is no regulation in terms of how much companies can support those kinds for efforts, you can have a scenario where a company could provide some full-scale guarantees, or could incubate a minority firm.

The conventional wisdom is governmental oversight in the mechanics of ownership is a good thing and will ultimately lead to more minority ownership and more diversity. I’m not so sure that’s the case if you look at the track record. I think that if we provide enough marketplace incentives, those should be sufficient without requirements or limitations on the majority firms. If you open up the opportunities for minority entrepreneurs there is no shortage of innovation, of desire, and certainly of capability to get in there and strike their own deals.

Is there any role for government?

Government can remind them. That is what the Democrats did when [former FCC chairman] Tom Wheeler was around and Clyburn, who kind of reminded them to do these deals. But they didn’t have a hammer to make them do these deals. So, government can remind and encourage, but I don’t think they should compel them.

But why not incorporate some groups serving lower income individuals into transformative deals like Sinclair-Tribune or Raycom-Gray? That is what we try to do at Business in the Public Interest, to make sure these companies understand they have great opportunities to do great things.

So, should the government not even use a ‘velvet hammer,’ as it were?

No, I think they should. The only fine line I am drawing is that government should not have specific regulations mandating specific percentages [of minority participation]. Mandates don’t work, but if you encourage companies, then leave them to their own devices, they may just end up doing more than the government expected or could have compelled.

Why is Sinclair playing such hardball with the Tribune deal? Most folks suggest it could have gone through without some of the sidecar deals or efforts to keep stations in some markets.

At least from the conversations I have had with Sinclair, their point of view is that the market has changed and that the government, particularly the Justice Department, should recognize that, in the incontrovertible evidence that was put forth even before the AT&T-Time Warner decision, the market had changed.

When you put the FAANGs of the world and the broadcasters of the world in two columns and you look at all the numbers — and this is an argument that I have heard time and again from Sinclair — they cannot accept the fact that DOJ does not acknowledge that market reality. And I think they keep putting that reality in front of the DOJ to say, ‘When are you going to take the blinders off? When are you going to recognize that things have changed but there is no regulation on the competitors but there is on the folks who are trying to grow?’ It is a fairness argument, I think.

I’m not going to question the wisdom of a company that has been bold and innovative, that has come up with a new standard for broadcasting with ATSC 3.0. They do what they do and they’ve been very successful at it.

But they are stubborn. They want regulators to see the world from their point of view. Now whether that is prudent in this context, that is for somebody else to determine.

You see this as a matter of principle for Sinclair?

Yes, I think so. They have a worldview, and that view is that competition is good, but it should be fair [regarding] how regulators lay out a fair path to competition when broadcasters can only go up to a 39% [national audience].

We have to look at the media marketplace differently than we did in the 1990s and the 2000s, where we were looking at broadcasters in a silo. There are no longer silos in the industry.

[Multichannel video programming distributors] and broadcasters and over-the-top players are all in the business of television. Anytime a company like Netflix has a budget of something like $30-$40 billion just to develop original content, how can [broadcasters] compete with that?

At the end of the day, you’re talking about eyeballs of the American viewer and lots of competition in this space. Elimination of the rules will allow for more competition. If the FCC decides not to go in that direction, a 50% cap would be a decent fallback position with the proviso that it gets reviewed in a year or two.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:50 pm
Why This Matters: Nimble TMZ is an example of how to grow a content empire in the age of social media and multiplatform viewing. On Sunday, July 1, Harvey Levin, founder and executive producer of TMZ, gathered his team aboard a specially chartered boat in Marina del Rey, Calif., to watch the ...

Aggregated video views should surpass 2 billion sometime this year

Why This Matters: Nimble TMZ is an example of how to grow a content empire in the age of social media and multiplatform viewing.

On Sunday, July 1, Harvey Levin, founder and executive producer of TMZ, gathered his team aboard a specially chartered boat in Marina del Rey, Calif., to watch the season two premiere of their celebrity interview show OBJECTified, airing on Fox News Channel. The premiere, which started at 8 p.m. ET, featured Levin visiting Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers legend and now the team’s president of basketball operations, in his Los Angeles home.

But at 8:14 p.m. ET, something enormous happened: the Lakers announced that current NBA legend LeBron James would be joining the team next year.

The timing was distracting but also fortuitous. Levin and his team immediately took to social media to jump on the news and encourage those interested to tune into the episode’s replay at 11 p.m. ET.

The reach of that social media is not trivial due to the foundational power of TMZ, which Levin considers a studio in and of itself. Levin currently oversees four TV shows — the syndicated TMZ on TV and TMZ Live, FS1’s TMZ Sports and OBJECTified. More are coming, with a new series slated for cable in October and four in development, according to Levin.

Beyond that, the TMZ brand has expanded into podcasts, with shows such as The Red Pill With Van Nathan scoring more than 700,000 listens on iTunes and SoundCloud since its launch in February, and Spilling Royal Tea, a limited-run podcast that covered the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, receiving more than 2 million listens.

Combine all of that, and the promotional power is huge. Video views across TMZ’s platforms — TMZ.com, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and over-the-top — now measure in the billions. From January through May 2018, team TMZ racked up 1.033 billion views, up 56% from the same period in the prior year. In all of 2017, video views climbed to 1.7 billion, up from 1.16 billion views in 2016.

TMZ’s Facebook page alone averages close to 600 million monthly impressions, and this year through June it has amassed more than 3.5 billion content impressions. Twitter currently averages more than 300 million impressions monthly for all of TMZ’s properties and more than 2 billion impressions through June.

“Social media has been a sea change for us in so many ways,” Levin said. “We use it to push our various properties and push individual stories.”

Making Their Own Waves

While other content producers spend millions planning marketing campaigns, most of TMZ’s promotion comes from social and earned media, and from Levin himself.

“We don’t have scripts for anything here,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a script in this building ever. With Objectified, for me, it’s pure passion. I just love the process of how we book it, and how we prepare, shoot and market it. I’m a good salesman for it because I believe in it and I feel so passionately about the show that it’s easy for me to talk about. I don’t need a script or talking points or anything like that. I just feel like if I feel true enthusiasm for the show and I can convey that, it’s a good way of selling it.”

In advance of OBJECTified’s premiere — and before Levin knew he was going to be given the gift of LeBron — TMZ wrapped its sites with promos for OBJECTified and Levin took to the mic as often as he could on radio with the likes of Big Boy and Jim Rome to talk about the series’ return.

In advance of OBJECTified’s next episode on July 8, which featured Dr. Phil McGraw, Levin appeared in an episode of the syndicated Dr. Phil that aired July 6.

That paid off as well, with OBJECTified easily winning Sunday night among the cable news networks with 1.47 million viewers tuning in. It also won its 8 p.m. hour in the key news demographic of adults 25-54 with 240,000 watching. Of course, it helped that the Fox News audience is almost double that of competitors CNN, MSNBC and HLN during Sunday night primetime, with CNN averaging 717,000 viewers, MSNBC averaging 456,000 and HLN at 397,000.

All of this speaks to Levin’s vision of where television is headed: “I think eventually, TV and digital are going to merge and there’s not going to be TV as we know it,” he said. “And there’s not going to be an internet as we know it. I think it’s all going to be programming where you combine the assets of both to make compelling programming.”

Author: Paige Albiniak
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:46 pm
TV ratings are declining as viewers keep cutting the cord on cable and turning to their phones, tablets and laptops for entertainment. One Midwestern TV station faces additional hurdles familiar to about 3,000 other local broadcasters struggling to find reasons for viewers to stay with their local ...

Although some local broadcasters are evaluating popular OTT internet television services like Sling TV or Google’s YouTube TV, the revenue split was not attractive to Heartland Broadcasting

TV ratings are declining as viewers keep cutting the cord on cable and turning to their phones, tablets and laptops for entertainment. One Midwestern TV station faces additional hurdles familiar to about 3,000 other local broadcasters struggling to find reasons for viewers to stay with their local programming, instead of drifting to online viewing.

KCKS-LD, a station in Kansas City, Kan., owned by Heartland Broadcasting and branded as TV25, has three transmitters providing a high-power footprint, but it isn’t on cable and many over-the-air households can’t receive its content bouquet of subchannels. With technical limitations on the number of viewers the station can reach, KCKS still needs ways to cost-effectively widen its audience base and attract new viewers with millennial TV everywhere viewing expectations.

Like many others, Heartland believes it can reach a whole new segment of viewers by offering over-the-top programming. Although some local broadcasters are evaluating popular OTT internet television services like Sling TV or Google’s YouTube TV, the revenue split was not attractive to Heartland. There are daunting technical implementation challenges as well.

As Heartland discovered, there are important considerations.

What are the distribution rights?
While a station may have over-the-air distribution rights, it may or may not have digital redistribution rights for OTT. Are the OTT rights within the same metropolitan area, or are they national? The answer is usually program-dependent.

What’s the business model?
Content could be offered based on a traditional monthly subscription. Since targeted advertising may provide better revenue, an interactive ad running at the bottom of the screen could be sold on the OTT channel. Interstitial ads are perhaps more valuable, but require extra equipment and negotiated rights. A third option is a hybrid model.

What about ATSC 3.0?
Broadcasters must keep up with the changing landscape and regulations for digital and broadcast as they transition to ATSC 3.0 and make some hard decisions. Also, as broadcasters prepare to eventually use the more efficient ATSC 3.0 system, they need to build up their content base.

While the transition to ATSC 3.0 will take several years, one of the things broadcasters can do now is add more content and deliver additional channels via OTT. As ATSC 3.0 matures, they can then go OTA. This approach may appear backwards at first, but it’s a way to introduce viewers to the new programming and hopefully start building loyalty.

Even though TV ratings aren’t what they were when the only option was three channels, viewers still want their local channels for local news and happenings. For Heartland and others, OTT and OTA service provides a viable path to the future.

Kumar Ramaswamy is president of Igolgi, a provider of next-generation workflow solutions enabling multiformat, multiplatform content processing and distribution across broadcast, broadband and mobile networks.

Author: Kumar Ramaswamy, Igolgi
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:41 pm
Bonus Five Shows on your DVR? I have everything from The Parent Trap (1998) that I watch with my daughter, to Green Lantern from DC Comics, and a new series on NBC called Reverie. All-time top TV show? Seinfeld, Friends Favorite podcast? “None. I listen to CNBC on my iPhone as I walk to work. I’m a ...

Co-founder and CEO, fuboTV

Bonus Five

Shows on your DVR? I have everything from The Parent Trap (1998) that I watch with my daughter, to Green Lantern from DC Comics, and a new series on NBC called Reverie.

All-time top TV show? Seinfeld, Friends

Favorite podcast? “None. I listen to CNBC on my iPhone as I walk to work. I’m a video guy.“

Best recent meal, and where? I’m a big sushi fan, so Nobu on 57th Street [in New York].

Bucket-List vacation: “I canceled two vacations this year … but French Polynesia would be amazing — over-water bungalows, no phones, no technology for a week.”

David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV

Quick to enter the over-the-top TV fray in early 2015 with a sports-first service, fuboTV continues to battle it out with a growing array of streaming rivals.

Despite the heat being applied by larger competitors, David Gandler believes fuboTV’s content mix and multiscreen streaming experience positions the service to grab as much as 20% of the virtual MVPD market. Its average viewership is roughly 40 hours per household on connected TV devices, he said, a three-fold jump since January.

fuboTV today offers service in the U.S. and a more limited package in Canada, but it’s thinking more broadly, eyeing a launch in Western Europe “very soon,” according to Gandler.

B&C contributor Jeff Baumgartner recently caught up with Gandler to discuss consumer reaction to the service during the FIFA World Cup and what’s on the horizon.

As we talk, the World Cup is in the early group stage. What are some of the early takeaways with respect to new subscriber signups and viewing patterns?
We have always been known, at least in the early days, as a soccer service. If you look at free services like App Annie, you’ll see that we have significantly increased the number of app downloads over the course of the World Cup. If you look at a broader virtual MVPD landscape, you’ll see that we’re coming in the top three in terms of downloads. Although that’s a vanity metric, it does certainly provide you direction in where we’re going. The platform is working quite well. We haven’t seen any outages [during the tournament].

Did you do any special work with respect to scaling up streaming capacity?
I would say that we don’t do anything special for these major events, only because we want to make sure that our platform can handle millions of concurrencies. Given the fact that we are a sports-first platform, our goal is to ensure that this happens every single week, every month for every major event that we carry.

What’s your top priority for the rest of 2018 and what is the biggest challenge you’ll face?
We’ve been pretty quiet on the marketing front. You’ll see us begin to accelerate as we get into the soccer season and the NFL and college football seasons. The greatest challenge is … time. There’s a lot of great things we’re working on right now that we’re going to release in the coming months. We continue to develop our front-facing platforms. We’re working on significant improvements in the back end. We hope to be rolling out a recommendations engine, 1.0, some time, call it mid-September.

What is fuboTV doing — beyond pricing and packaging — to differentiate itself?
We’ve been working on features that we will be rolling out in the coming quarters. As long as we stay ahead of the pack in terms of releasing a lot of these core capabilities, we’re going to get an opportunity to really test which features have traction and where to double down. Our assumption is that we’re going to control or have market share that’s roughly in the 15 to 20% of the virtual MVPD space. That’s … what our goal is domestically.

How will 4K and HDR factor into fuboTV’s future?
We plan to roll out a 4K beta this summer. … For us, [4K] is a big part of our future. What we’re seeing is that there is a noticeable difference to the naked eye in terms of quality, so we’re very excited about that. [Update: fuboTV launched 4K service on July 2.]

Author: B&C Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:31 pm
“We keep building new things on old infrastructure that never seems to get fixed.” Chris Wysopal is a hacker who was quoted in a column in The Washington Post about the state of internet security (or perhaps we should call it “insecurity”). In May, Wysopal — also known by his hacker name, Weld Pond ...

Techniques diversify as corporate adversaries get smarter

Need to Know — Cybersecurity (; 1:47)

“We keep building new things on old infrastructure that never seems to get fixed.”

Chris Wysopal is a hacker who was quoted in a column in The Washington Post about the state of internet security (or perhaps we should call it “insecurity”). In May, Wysopal — also known by his hacker name, Weld Pond — joined several others in a return visit to Capitol Hill, where 20 years prior they had testified in a congressional hearing about the insecurities of software and networks.

Their 1998 appearance helped put the issue of cybersecurity on the national stage. A central part of their 2018 message is that digital security isn’t much better today.

Need to Know: Cybersecurity and Cable

Costly and Dangerous

Malicious cyberactivity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Cyber threats are ever-evolving, and the sophistication of adversaries keeps growing. But the private sector may, for any number of reasons, be tempted to underinvest in cybersecurity, according to the White House report.

National security officials echo the concern.

“Our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a stable, safe and resilient cyberspace,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in explaining why it devotes a large web resource to the topic.

The department this spring released a strategy hoping to help reduce vulnerabilities, build resilience, counter malicious actors, and make the ecosystem more secure. It identifies 16 “critical infrastructure” sectors where a loss of networks would have a debilitating effect on the country. But even trying to define those sectors demonstrates how broadly the subject touches every corner of American life; they range from commercial facilities and manufacturing to the communications sector and health care.

DHS took particular note of a growing concern about the threat of “wide-scale or high-consequence events” that could cause harm or disrupt services on which the economy and millions of people depend. “Sophisticated cyber-actors and nation-states exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy or threaten the delivery of essential services,” the report said.

How might your own business be whacked? A threat can come via denial-of-service attacks; destruction of data and property; disruption of business, perhaps for ransom; and the theft of your proprietary and financial and strategic information. Reports of data breaches and cyberattacks are everyday news. Lewis Morgan of the IT Governance Blog curated more than 60 such stories in the month of May and counted the total of breached records that month at more than 17 million — “actually quite low when compared with previous months.”

In 2018, virtually every major and minor business or organization relies on the global, interdependent IT ecosystem. The degree to which leaders take the subject seriously could, in the long term, determine the survival of those enterprises.

To learn which trends businesses should be watching, we turned to several sources approaching the topic from various angles.

Threats in Bursts

In its 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, Cisco said malware is definitely becoming more vicious and harder to combat. “We now face everything from network-based ransomware worms to devastating wiper malware,” the report said. “At the same time, adversaries are getting more adept at creating malware that can evade traditional sandboxing.”

While encryption can enhance security and is used by roughly half of global web traffic, Cisco continued, encryption provides bad actors with a powerful tool to hide command-and-control activity. “Those actors then have more time to inflict damage.”

Artificial intelligence may help. “Encryption also reduces visibility. More enterprises are therefore turning to machine learning and artificial intelligence. With these capabilities, they can spot unusual patterns in large volumes of encrypted web traffic. Security teams can then investigate further.”

Cisco noted several other trends and findings:

  • Short, pernicious “burst attacks” are growing in complexity, frequency and duration. “In one study, 42% of the organizations experienced this type of DDoS [distributed denial of service] attack in 2017. In most cases, the recurring bursts lasted only a few minutes.”
  • Many new domains are tied to spam campaigns. “Most of the malicious domains we analyzed, about 60%, were associated with spam campaigns,” Cisco reported.
  • Security is seen as a key benefit of hosting networks in the cloud. “The use of on-premises and public cloud infrastructure is growing. Security is the most common benefit of hosting networks in the cloud, the security personnel respondents say.”
  • One bad insider can be a big threat, and a few rogue users can have a huge impact. “Just 0.5% of users were flagged for suspicious downloads. On average, those suspicious users were each responsible for 5200 document downloads.”
  • It’s not just your IT assets that are at risk. Expect more attacks on operational technology (OT) as well as the Internet of Things (IoT). “Thirty-one percent of security professionals said their organizations have already experienced cyber attacks on OT infrastructure.”
  • The multivendor environment affects risk. “Nearly half of the security risk that organizations face stems from having multiple security vendors and products.”

IoT Ransomware

Another observer taking stock is Aidan Simister, global senior vice president at Lepide Software, an IT auditing, security and compliance vendor.

Writing in a post on the CSO website, Simister predicted artificial intelligence will take a bigger role. Though AI may help the good guys, he noted, hackers can use it to launch more sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Further, new strains of malware can work around “sandbox” defensive techniques, waiting until they are outside the sandbox before executing their malicious code. Meanwhile, Simister agreed that the Internet of Things could become more of a target for ransomware, with hackers targeting power grids, factory lines, smart cars or home appliances to demand payment.

Many businesses, Simister predicted, will not comply with the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation on data protection and privacy (the thing you’ve been getting all those emails about). He predicted some companies would choose to ignore it, accepting the risk.

We’re also likely to see a growing number of companies adopt multifactor authentication in response to data breaches involving weak, stolen or default passwords.

Simister said he expects that more sophisticated security strategies may find wider adoption. These may include the use of “remote browsers;” deception technologies that imitate a company’s critical assets; systems to spot and identify suspicious behavior; better network traffic analysis; and “real-time change auditing solutions” that do things like detect abuses of user privileges or suspicious activity in files and folders.

Simister, though, also sees the risk of more attacks backed by hostile governments; in response, he predicts more efforts to train staff and to develop international sharing of information.

Privacy Paradox

One change in mindset visible in the market is a de-emphasis on the idea of “perimeter security.”

“You are not safe behind the perimeter, because the perimeter itself no longer exists,” Akamai argued on its website. “Today’s world is cloud- and mobile-driven, and the traditional moat-and-castle approach to enterprise security is no longer applicable for modern business practices.”

With applications hosted in various places and a workforce on the move, the company said, there is no longer a delineation between inside and outside the network. “As a result, seemingly every week there are new reports about high-profile data breaches and cyberattacks.”

Akamai chief technology officer Charlie Gero has argued in favor of what he calls zero trust security architecture. “Companies must evolve to a ‘never trust, always verify’ zero-trust model to secure against the wide variety of threats that exist and are constantly evolving,” Akamai stated.

Looking at the consumer economy more broadly, cybersecurity is only likely to become more crucial thanks to ongoing developments in areas as diverse as cryptocurrency, interactive smart speakers and mobile payments.

For example, a major trend toward platform personalization — whether it be on Facebook, Spotify, Wave or NextDoor — raises the privacy stakes. Venture capitalist Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers noted the massive amount of personalized data that people have put into such platforms.

That data, improves engagement and leads to better experiences for consumers, but it also helps creates what she calls a privacy paradox, she said in remarks at the Code 2018 conference: “Internet companies are making low-price services better in part from user data. Internet users are increasing their time on internet services based on perceived value. Regulators want to ensure data is not used improperly, and not all regulators think about this in the same way.”

Regulatory considerations are thus a big, uncertain element in this picture.

The Weak Human Link

Security should be an ongoing process, said Wayne Pecena, assistant director, information technology of educational broadcast services at Texas A&M University and director of engineering for KAMU Public Radio and Television, but it often tends to be treated as a one-time, set-it-up-and-forget-it event. Rather, cybersecurity is a never-ending concern.

“It is a continuous process of monitoring, evaluation, analysis, and prevention as the threat landscape is always in a state of change and evolution,” Pecena said.

“I would also not lose sight of the past, as ransomware, phishing [and] distributed denial of service will likely continue at an accelerated pace,” he added. “As cloud services and applications continue to expand, I would also keep the cloud cybercrime landscape or Cybersecurity-as-a-Service (CaaS) on my radar.”

In Pecena’s experience, most organizations do spend plenty of time and money in protecting their IT environment, but often the simplest areas can be overlooked while the focus is on higher-tech matters.

“Social engineering remains one of the largest threats to an organization, and the human factor remains a weak link,” he said. “The Internet of Things movement brings challenges, as most of these types of devices lack any real internal security capability and instead rely on external protection means.”

He also finds “crypto-mining” a fascinating area of concern as computing resources are hijacked for someone’s bitcoin mining applications. “Not necessarily destructive — like DDoS or ransomware — to an organization, [but] host computing resources can be [affected] such that legitimate application use is impacted. Malicious mining scripts can easily be picked up from a casual website visit, and this opens a new area for antivirus protection software.”

For Pecena, this recalls the days of desktop computers being unknowingly hijacked to serve music or distribute porn.

Those well-meaning hackers who returned to Washington recently hoped to draw attention once again to the issue of digital security. At least one pushed for government to play a larger role. But another said companies also need to take advantage of the tools and knowledge that are already available.

It was Robert Mueller — yes, that one — who is credited with saying back in 2012 that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be hacked.

Today that wisdom is often updated to read: “There are two types of companies: Those that know they’ve been hacked, and those that don’t know that they’ve been hacked.”

Manage accordingly.

Paul McLane is managing director, content, of Radio World and the Future TV/Radio/Video group.

Need to Know: Cybersecurity and Cable

Need to Know More?

Have a burning question about cybersecurity — or maybe request for a different topic you’d like to see us tackle? Email us at needtoknow@nbmedia.com and we’ll put our top minds on it!

More from Future on cybersecurity:

Author: Paul McLane
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:00 pm
As cybercrimes and incidents of institutional hacking increase, cybersecurity is a critical concern for big TV distributors that give consumers access to the internet. It’s also a strange topic for cable operators, though, because it’s rarely discussed in public, beyond the chorus of concern from ...

Cybersecurity is a critical concern for big TV distributors that give consumers access to the internet

Need to Know — Cybersecurity (; 1:47)

As cybercrimes and incidents of institutional hacking increase, cybersecurity is a critical concern for big TV distributors that give consumers access to the internet.

It’s also a strange topic for cable operators, though, because it’s rarely discussed in public, beyond the chorus of concern from consumer data watchdogs.

The Federal Communications Commission, whose leaders have made lofty speeches about the importance of cybersecurity, offers a perfunctory summary of its cybersecurity objectives, with few details about its cable or telco initiatives, in describing the FCC Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability (CCR) Division.

Need to Know: Cybersecurity

NCTA–The Internet & Television Association and the American Cable Association emphasize that “the entire cable industry takes cybersecurity very seriously” and back security and risk management practices. But details about those efforts — or the failures in the system — are scant.

Still, the scale of cyber-threats to the cable industry is significant and growing. In Akamai’s Summer 2018 State of the Internet/Security: Web Attack report, the firm measured a 16% increase in the number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks recorded since last year globally, with new and more devious attack methods noted.

There are also constant reminders of new threats. This past May, researchers found that U.S. customers’ WiFi connections could be harvested from a cable operator's bill or email. Comcast said it quickly disabled the vulnerability in its activation portal, established an additional layer of authentication and that no personal user info was ever accessed.

Steve Goeringer, principal security architect at CableLabs

Steve Goeringer, principal security architect at CableLabs, said cable has been “at the forefront of cybersecurity of broadband” thanks to the DOCSIS cable-modem specification, which has employed strong encryption and authentication since its version 1.1. Subsequent updates have created further barriers to DoS and DDoS, he added.

“Delivering services the way they were intended, including protecting customer privacy, is always critical,” Goeringer said. He cited pirated over-the-top content, which aside from being illegal, also exposes consumers to malicious software and theft of personal information, and the growing presence of Internet of Things devices, which are often insufficiently protected and can bring malicious software into the system.

Kyrio, a CableLabs subsidiary that provides technology services, has been focusing on Internet of Things security. “Companies that can provide strong security at scale will be able to use that as a key differentiator for their products, protect their brand and future-proof their products,” Ron Ih, the company’s director of business development, said in a June 4 blog post. Putting an emphasis on cable’s growing involvement with wireless services, he observed that, “expanded wired and wireless connectivity accelerates the need for a more scalable security solution for these networked devices” in the IoT value chain.

CableLabs vice president of technology policy Rob Alderfer recently acknowledged the need for government/industry cooperation, especially in the fast-emerging IoT category.

“With the constant barrage of new cyber incidents, often driven by IoT devices vulnerable to exploitation, governments at all levels are taking notice and grappling with the rapidly evolving threat,” according to a CableLabs summary of his remarks at a IoT workshop. “Cybersecurity is no longer the domain of the IT department, but rather a key area of governance for all enterprises.”

Need to Know: Cybersecurity

Need to Know More?

Have a burning question about cybersecurity — or maybe request for a different topic you’d like to see us tackle? Email us at needtoknow@nbmedia.com and we’ll put our top minds on it!

More from Future on cybersecurity:

Author: Gary Arlen
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:00 pm
Click here to view a pdf of Lead-In.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the DOJ's AT&T appeal, Emmys, and more

Click here to view a pdf of Lead-In.

Author: B&C Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:00 pm

Photos from PromaxBDA, SeriesFest, the Split Screens Festival, and more

At the PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas (l. to r.): Steve Kazanjian, CEO, PromaxBDA; Harry Friedman, executive producer, "Jeopardy!"; Dana Feldman, VP, marketing and promotions, Sinclair Media; and Alex Trebek, host, "Jeopardy!"

View the 15 images of this gallery on the original article

Photos from PromaxBDA, SeriesFest, the Split Screens Festival, and more

At the PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas (l. to r.): Steve Kazanjian, CEO, PromaxBDA; Harry Friedman, executive producer, "Jeopardy!"; Dana Feldman, VP, marketing and promotions, Sinclair Media; and Alex Trebek, host, "Jeopardy!"

View the 15 images of this gallery on the original article
Author: B&C Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:00 pm
Hulu and A+E Studios officially said the fourth season of UnREAL, which is appearing on Hulu instead of Lifetime as previously reported, will be the show’s finale. Hulu has also picked up the complete library of UnREAL, which means that subscribers can watch the series, set backstage with the ...

All episodes of series available on streaming service

Hulu and A+E Studios officially said the fourth season of UnREAL, which is appearing on Hulu instead of Lifetime as previously reported, will be the show’s finale.

Hulu has also picked up the complete library of UnREAL, which means that subscribers can watch the series, set backstage with the unscrupulous producers of a reality dating series, from the beginning.

Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer star in 'UnReal."

Financial terms were not disclosed.

RELATED: Hulu Forges On Amidst Little Fires Everywhere (Cover Story)

UnREAL has captivated audiences on Hulu since season one, so when this opportunity came to us, we knew we couldn’t miss out,” said Craig Erwich, senior VP of content at Hulu. “This is a unique way to both satisfy fans of the show, while also continuing to introduce it to new audiences.”

On average, viewers of the series on Hulu are bingeing 3-4 episodes in one session, and complete full seasons in a matter days, the steaming service said.

In Season 4 the main characters Rachel, played by Shiri Appleby, and Quinn (Constance Zimmer) return to the set of their dating competition series Everlasting for an All Stars-themed season, featuring contestants from previous seasons.

“We love season four of UnREAL and its visionary creativity in bringing back many favorite characters for an all-star competition. When the opportunity to partner with Hulu arose, we immediately saw the huge benefit to UnREAL’s loyal fans, as well as a unique way of recruiting first-time viewers to this ground-breaking series,” said A+E Studios’ Barry Jossen. “UnREAL has been an incredible ride filled with awards, critical recognition, committed fans and, best of all, insightful cultural dialogue throughout its run. We expect season four to deliver another great round of cultural influence with its timely themes.”

Craig Bierko with Constance Zimmer.

RELATED: Netflix Leads in Emmy Noms

When it launched in 2015, UnREAL was seen as an upgrade to the women-in-distress movies that defined programming on Lifetime. On the whole though, Lifetime’s ratings declined.

The series got positive reviews and won a Peabody Award. Zimmer won a Critics Choice award for best supporting actress in a drama series.

Co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and showrunner Stacy Rukeyser both return for season four.

Zimmer returns as director for one episode, and Appleby directs two episodes, including the series finale.

Produced by A+E Studios, UnREAL’s fourth season is executive produced Rukeyser and Shapiro. Sally DeSipio, Peter O’Fallon, Jessika Borsiczky, Jordan Hawley and S. Lily Hui also executive produce, with co-creator Marti Noxon and Robert M. Sertner serving as consulting producers. Jessika Borsiczky also serves as a director for season four.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:00 pm
President Donald Trump's fund-raising committee has put out another of its periodic Media Accountability Surveys in the President's ongoing effort to marginalize the mainstream media. That follows heavy media criticism of his policies on separating immigrant children from parents at the border, the ...

Campaign issues latest Media Accountability Survey

President Donald Trump's fund-raising committee has put out another of its periodic Media Accountability Surveys in the President's ongoing effort to marginalize the mainstream media.

That follows heavy media criticism of his policies on separating immigrant children from parents at the border, the President's Supreme Court nominee, the latest indictments in the Russia election meddling probe, the President's planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other stories about the Administration the President dislikes.

In an email from the committee attributed to the President, the media are called "liberal propaganda machines" "Fake News Machines" and "coastal elites" who want his America First agenda to fail and in that pursuit have "used every possible tactic to slander, undermine, and insult our movement."

The 'survey's" stated goal is to "fight back against the media's attacks and deceptions."

Among the questions this time around:

"On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing President Trump? (Select as many that apply.)"

"Do you believe the media disdains conservatives?"

"Do you believe the media fails to report on Democrats’ scandals?"

Do you believe the media sensationalizes and exaggerates stories in order to paint President Trump and conservatives in a bad light?

and

"Do you approve of [press secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders?"

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 16, 2018, 12:22 pm
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup behind it, the Fox owned stations will premiere its first test of this summer with The Hustle, a half-hour viral video series from Warner Bros.’ first-run studio, Telepictures. The show — which showcases hilarious, outrageous and shocking user-generated clips and ...

Half-hour viral video series to premiere Monday, July 16

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup behind it, the Fox owned stations will premiere its first test of this summer with The Hustle, a half-hour viral video series from Warner Bros.’ first-run studio, Telepictures.

The show — which showcases hilarious, outrageous and shocking user-generated clips and videos — will air on eight Fox-owned stations from July 16 to Aug. 10. Those are WNYW New York at 2 p.m., KTTV Los Angeles at 6 p.m., WTXF Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m., WTTG Washington, D.C., at 12:30 a.m., KRIV Houston at 11:30 p.m.; WFTC Minneapolis at 8 p.m.; WOFL Orlando at 11:30 p.m. and WJZY Charlotte, N.C., at 11:30 p.m.

The Hustle is executive produced by Mike Leonardo (The Tyra Banks Show, TMZ Celebrity Tour) and is produced by Telepictures Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

Author: Paige Albiniak
Posted: July 13, 2018, 9:42 pm
Nevada City, California, July 13, 2018 –Telestream, a leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, today announced it has developed a new version of its Wirecast live streaming and production software exclusively designed to enable studio-grade production for live events in ...

Nevada City, California, July 13, 2018 –Telestream, a leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, today announced it has developed a new version of its Wirecast live streaming and production software exclusively designed to enable studio-grade production for live events in Microsoft Stream, an enterprise video service that allows users to securely upload, stream live, and share video. Called Wirecast S, the new software will be available as a free 30-day trial download when Microsoft enables live event streaming and scheduling for its Stream customers, and as a monthly subscription thereafter.

“Our customers rely on video to create engaging communications that reach across their organization,” said Microsoft Partner Group Program Manager, Vishal Sood. “The integration with Wirecast S will enable our customers to produce highly customizable, live streaming content by using software that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Stream.”

Wirecast S makes creating a live video feed for corporate environments easy, simple and fast. Combined with Microsoft Stream and Office 365, users can be up and streaming to their company or group quickly by using a number of quick-start templates for town halls, presentations and announcements. Broadcasting a company meeting to all satellite offices and remote employees has never been easier, cheaper and more professional looking. Users can launch Wirecast S directly within Microsoft Stream and begin streaming quickly with user friendly features that support beginners with little or no training required. To create high-production value webcasts, Wirecast S makes it extremely easy to switch between multiple cameras and add Skype feeds, images, titles, and sound tracks within the application.

“Wirecast S makes corporate live video broadcasting accessible to any company or employee using the Microsoft Stream platform within Office 365. Our goal was to make a tool that was lightweight, flexible, and easy to use and run while still enabling a professional look and feel for any broadcast,” said Scott Murray, VP Product Management at Telestream. “Working closely with the Microsoft Stream product team, we have developed a solution that integrates tightly with their platform, streamlining live video creation and encoding into a unified, secure process that extends and facilitates communication within an organization’s existing Office 365 infrastructure.”

Telestream offers a full complement of award-winning support and on-boarding resources for all Wirecast S users. More information can be found at www.telestream.net/WirecastS.

Author: kristi@highrezpr.com
Posted: July 13, 2018, 9:05 pm
9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI Up/Down/Cross-Converter At IBC2018, Cobalt will demonstrate the 9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI up/down/cross-converter, which is now shipping. The 9904-UDX-4K is Cobalt’s latest generation of advanced image and audio processors for the openGear platform. ...

9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI Up/Down/Cross-Converter

At IBC2018, Cobalt will demonstrate the 9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/HD/SD-SDI up/down/cross-converter, which is now shipping. The 9904-UDX-4K is Cobalt’s latest generation of advanced image and audio processors for the openGear platform. The base card provides quad 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI I/O with SDI muxing and demuxing and up/down/cross-conversion. Options include RGB color correction and SDR-to-HDR up-mapping via Technicolor’s HDR Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) processing.

View the 3 images of this gallery on the original article

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Cobalt/CobaltDigital-9904-UDX-4K.png

Photo Caption: Cobalt Digital 9904-UDX-4K Up/Down/Cross-Converter

9971-MV18-4K Multiviewer

Also on display at IBC2018 will be Cobalt’s new 9971-MV18-4K series of openGear multiviewers. These multiviewers support the latest signal types with a high-density modular design that can be expanded as required. The MV18 is equipped with 18 4K 12G-SDI auto-detect inputs, which can be scaled as needed across a full 3840x2160 UHD raster output.

Photo Link:

Photo Caption: Cobalt Digital 9971-MV18-4K Multiviewer

9992-ENC-4K-HEVC H.265 UHD Streaming Encoder

IBC2018 will be the stage for Cobalt’s new 9992-ENC-4K-HEVC H.265 Streaming Encoder for openGear. The platform supports Quad 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI inputs and is also configurable as a multichannel encoder (up to four channels) for 1080p60 signals and below using MPEG-2, H.264, or HEVC with all channels using the same compression standard.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Cobalt/CobaltDigital-9992-ENC-4K-HEVC.png

Photo Caption: Cobalt Digital 9992-ENC-4K-HEVC Multichannel Streaming Encoder

OG-PC Computer Card

The new Cobalt Digital OG-PC is an x86 computer on an openGear card. Representing a unique approach to terminal gear system design, the OG-PC takes full advantage of the redundant power and cooling features of the openGear frame. Meanwhile, its modular form factor saves on rack space by replacing bulky 1-RU PCs. This innovative new product will be on display at IBC2018.

9914DA-4Q-12G

Cobalt will introduce the new 9914DA-4Q-12G distribution amplifier designed for SMPTE ST-2082 single wire UHD signal replication and transmission. Similar in design to the popular 9910DA-4Q-3G products, the unit is highly configurable and supports quad 1x4, dual 1x8, or full 1x16 modes of operation.

Company Overview

Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 12G/3G/HD/SD and IP-based conversion, terminal, throwdown, and multiviewer technology for the broadcast television environment. As a founding partner in the openGear initiative, Cobalt offers a full range of openGear video and audio processing card solutions for applications such as closed-caption compliance monitoring, OB production, master control, HD news production, signal transport, audio loudness, and color correction. Cobalt's Blue Box Group™ line of interface converter boxes streamlines and simplifies a wide range of 12G/3G/HD/SD and IP-based conversion and signal transport tasks. The company's multi-image display processors enable multiviewer capabilities in the most demanding studio and remote broadcasting environments. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partners, Cobalt Digital products are backed with a five-year warranty. More information is available at www.cobaltdigital.com.

Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Cobalt/180717Cobalt.docx

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 17, 2018, 3:13 pm
Who can deny the impact of cloud computing over the past five years? Just during 2017 Amazon’s AWS revenue grew 45%, a very healthy rate for a 12-year-old business. AWS is not alone; Microsoft Azure revenue grew 98% year-over-year in 2017. Why should broadcasters and professional media types care? ...

There is no stopping media apps and processes migrating to the public cloud

Who can deny the impact of cloud computing over the past five years? Just during 2017 Amazon’s AWS revenue grew 45%, a very healthy rate for a 12-year-old business. AWS is not alone; Microsoft Azure revenue grew 98% year-over-year in 2017. Why should broadcasters and professional media types care?

The media industry has been digging in, leveraging the cloud’s growth, access, cost, agility and reliability across a wide range of workflows. At one end of the use spectrum is OTT streaming (think Netflix) that is 100% cloud dependent, and at the other end live HD event productions (e.g. sports, studio) that minimally use the cloud, public or private.

As access points and related bandwidth to the cloud increase, all media operations will have a cloud component; the advantages are too good to bypass. Is there a crystal ball handy to provide some insights into cloud evolution over the next few years?

The “Cisco Global Cloud Index 2016–2021” (published 1/2018) can help. The Index looks ahead to forecast the state of both the public and private cloud up to 2021.

CLOUD FUTURES — FOUR ASPECTS

Let’s consider four areas that have special bearing on media systems. First, is public cloud-projected utilization. According to the “Index,” “By 2021, 73% of cloud workloads and compute instances will be in public cloud data centers, up from 58% in 2016 (CAGR of 27.5% from 2016 to 2021).”

The remaining 27% is divided as 21% private and only 6% (and fading) traditional data center. Note, a private cloud is built using the design principles of public, although not to the same scale and usually operated by the enterprise that owns it.

Public has gained respect from media operators over the past several years. In my column ‘“Deadliest Catch’ Lands in the Cloud,” I reviewed the move to Amazon’s cloud by Discovery Networks for program ingest and playout of all their U.S. domestic channels.

This is proof positive that the cloud has been accepted by large, respected media enterprises for prime-time broadcasting. According to John Honeycutt, chief technology officer at Discovery, “Discovery’s business is more dynamic than ever. To distribute content on every screen and launch new and innovative products, the ability to scale our technical operation [in the cloud] is critical.”

A second area of interest is the ongoing move to software as a service (SaaS). When possible, don’t install and maintain software applications (e.g. scheduling, media asset management, creative tools, etc.). Rather, let the SaaS provider do the hard work of providing servers/apps, worldwide availability, scale and performance.

All SaaS apps can be accessed via browsers and allow for pay-as-you-go accounting and painless updates/upgrades. When shopping for new media applications, consider the SaaS model and eschew the installed model if possible. Apps that consume huge amounts of media data (e.g. some creative editing tools) are not SaaS-friendly in 2018. However, it’s easy to imagine nearly all media apps being cloud-centric in the future.

Figure 1

Fig. 1 indicates the SaaS public cloud delivery model will be 73% of all “cloud-installed workloads and compute instances” in 2021. Typically, each SaaS app delivery replaces, in some manner, an end-user-installed application (e.g. an EXE installed program on a PC or server). SaaS is making a big dent in how users install and access applications. For media-specific applications, many vendors offer browser-based apps either on-premise and/or cloud-based.

The third area of focus is security. From the “Index,” “Cloud workloads and compute instances are expected to nearly triple (grow 2.7-fold) from 2016 to 2021, whereas traditional data center workloads and compute instances are expected to see a global decline, at a negative 5 percent CAGR from 2016 to 2021.” Also, private cloud growth will be about 2.5x slower than public from 2016 to 2021.

A major reason for the growth of public over private/traditional is the increased confidence of users. Security was a huge obstacle to public cloud adoption just a few years ago. Today, savvy users appreciate the comment from research organization Gartner (2018), “Through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

Human error occurs whether using an in-house server or one from the cloud. Bottom line, security is a shared responsibility; part user, part cloud vendor.

The fourth area is cloud services adoption. Increasingly, enterprise systems have communications between an on-premise app/process and cloud processes using APIs. For example, say daily you need to modify an existing promo video (talk show) and update a section with new “appearing guest names.” Of course, a human editor can fire up an Avid or Adobe editor and get it done. With repetitive, templated tasks such as this, a software process could make the edit sans a human editor. How can this be done using the cloud?

There are two aspects to this. One is the client-side program (e.g. Python script) to orchestrate the edit, and the second part is the cloud-side process to do the edit. The cloud-side offers a service API that a simple Python program invokes to do the heavy lifting.

Imagine the sequence. A client-side program receives the “guest names.” It calls the cloud service API to insert the names into the promo video and out pops the new, edited file ready for broadcast.

As an example, consider the editing-services API from OpenShot. OpenShot provides a cloud service API enabling a variety of A/V edits (e.g. resizing, trimming, compositing, audio processing and much more). They offer a one-click launch of an Amazon AWS editing-services instance to kick things off. Try it and learn this facet of cloud services.

For another example see cloud.google.com/video-intelligence, with an API for indexing/searching video content. Media processing API’s are very cool.

FINAL WORD

There is no stopping media apps and processes migrating to the public cloud. Look for ways to leverage the benefits. 

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Author: Al Kovalick
Posted: July 16, 2018, 11:42 pm
Shell Rock, IA – July 2018… Chandler Limited, the only company in the world authorized to develop, manufacture and market the ‘Official Equipment’ of EMI/Abbey Road Studios, and Abbey Road Studios are excited for the nomination of the TG Opto for the 34th annual NAMM TEC Awards. The ...

Shell Rock, IA – July 2018… Chandler Limited, the only company in the world authorized to develop, manufacture and market the ‘Official Equipment’ of EMI/Abbey Road Studios, and Abbey Road Studios are excited for the nomination of the TG Opto for the 34th annual NAMM TEC Awards.

The TG Opto compressor is an API's 500 Series® format processor and is a recent addition to the veteran pro-audio manufacturer's EMI and Abbey Road Studios historic series; aside from the TG1 Opto counterpart found in the earlier released TG Microphone Cassette rack-mount channel, EMI had never introduced an opto based compressor.

The TG Opto was released together with the TG12345 MKIV EQ — a TG12345 Curve Bender for 500 series — during 2017. The tandem release of the 500 series modules was an eagerly awaited follow-up to the widely adopted TG2-500 preamplifier, and completes the circle for the first ever TG based channel strip for the API standard. 

The TG Opto compressor's origins start with the TG1 Limiter and TG12413 Zener Limiter, receiving the familiar drum crushing capacity of its predecessors and retaining the now signature EMI TG12345 sound. Use of opto based detection in the historic circuit and the addition selectable 'sharp' and ‘rounded’ knees, allows the TG Opto to operate with ease upon a multitude of source material including, vocals and other sensitive or melodic content.

The TG12345 console was deployed at EMI Studios' (Abbey Road Studios) Studio Two in the Fall of 1968. This new breed of solid-state recording and mixing console, featured compression and EQ on every input channel, a first for the time. In 1969 the TG12345 desk left its mark on the Beatles' ‘Abbey Road’ album. TG12345 recording consoles were never available to the public and relied on throughout Abbey Road until 1983. Among the many records and film scores to grace the legendary desks were, John Lennon’s ‘Plastic Ono Band’, George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’, Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ and the soundtrack for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The TG sound is remarkably warm and smooth, and can be heard on records created in the modern era, great examples are the vocals of recording artists including— Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and Katy Perry.

Visit chandlerlimited.com to learn more about the TG Opto compressor for the API 500 Series® format.

Author: Chandler Limited
Posted: July 16, 2018, 7:41 pm
U.S. district judges in two separate decisions ruled against three California radio stations that “failed to pay ASCAP license fees over several years,” according to a press release from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Royce International Broadcasting Corp. stations ...

Also ordered to pay attorney’s fees and cost for ASCAP

U.S. district judges in two separate decisions ruled against three California radio stations that “failed to pay ASCAP license fees over several years,” according to a press release from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Royce International Broadcasting Corp. stations KFRH(FM), KREV(FM) and KRCK(FM) broadcast songs written by ASCAP members without paying licensing fees — but principal owner Edward Stolz II then sought to apply for licenses under the ASCAP Consent Decree.

[Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves Music Licensing Bill]

According to ASCAP, “California U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal awarded more than $900,000 in attorney’s fees and costs in an infringement action filed by ASCAP.” That amount was determined after “an earlier jury verdict in the case that found Royce International and Stolz to be willful infringers and required them to pay $330,000 in statutory damages.” The judge also warned the stations not to play ASCAP members’ songs without a license.

Across the country, ASCAP said, New York U.S. District Judge Denise Cote — an ASCAP “rate court” judge — determined that the stations had applied for ASCAP licenses in an attempt to mitigate off the consequences of Judge Bernal’s injunction against playing ASCAP music. Additionally, Cote noted that the Royce stations are not entitled to ASCAP licenses until they pay the organization more than $319,000 in license fees and said that the amount is due no later than July 20, if the broadcaster wants to obtain ASCAP licenses for the three radio stations. 

Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 16, 2018, 6:40 pm
The Federal Communications Commission took swift action against a new filing submitted by the three groups that had objected to the granting of nearly 1,000 new translators. The result: The FCC dismissed all objections except for one. In June, the Prometheus Radio Project, the Center for ...

Only one party has standing among hundreds of objections submitted by Prometheus, Common Frequency and Center for International Media Action

The Federal Communications Commission took swift action against a new filing submitted by the three groups that had objected to the granting of nearly 1,000 new translators.

The result: The FCC dismissed all objections except for one.

In June, the Prometheus Radio Project, the Center for International Media Action and Common Frequency objected to the Audio Division’s decision to deny the group’s informal objection. The three filed a reconsideration decision saying the FCC violated its own administration rules in issuing the original denial.

[Read: FCC Outright Dismisses All 998 Informal Objections by LPFM Advocacy Groups]

Among its complaints: the FCC incorrectly interpreted the group’s original filing, made decisions that are in conflict with its own Report and Order, ignored certain precedents, and said the arguments that the FCC presented are based on inadequate study.

The groups say that the FCC has not given LPFM and translator applications equal treatment. As a result, they ask that the commission reconsider the previously denied objections, that an updated LCRA interpretation be established and that all future translator applications comply with updated LCRA language.

After the groups voluntarily withdrew objections to several hundred of the original objections to AM Class C and D stations in early June, the group sought FCC reconsideration to the remaining 328 FM translator applications to which they originally objected.

The FCC moved to dismiss that new request — in all except one case.

According to Albert Shuldiner, chief of the Audio Division of the Media Bureau, the three petitioners are bound by the fact that they initiated the proceeding through one large information objection, rather than by filing individual petitions to deny each application.

As a result, a petition for reconsideration can only be filled by a party whose interests are adversely affected by the action taken by the commission. The three petitioners do not fall into that category.

Except in one case, that is. There is one party that has a claim, and that is Paul Bame, engineering director at Prometheus, who personally signed the objections on behalf of Prometheus and is also a listener of LPFM station WPPM in Philadelphia.

In the original complaint, Bame said that the station is short-spaced to the application for a new FM translator in Camden, N.J., and as a result, this short spacing could potentially inhibit WPPM’s ability to relocate and thereby impinge on Bame’s ability to receive the station.

Despite the 18 pages of technical rebuttal submitted by Prometheus in this case, the three-page response by the Audio Division focused only on the fact that the groups have not established proper standing to file a petition for reconsideration on any other applications.

The bureau said it will address the merits surrounding that application at a later date.

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 16, 2018, 6:28 pm
The National Association of Broadcasters has announced the finalists for the 2018 NAB Marconi Radio Awards.  LEGENDARY STATION OF THE YEAR KKBQ(FM), Houston KOA(AM), Denver WBAP(AM), Dallas WHIO(AM), Dayton, Ohio WOKV FM, Jacksonville, Fla. NETWORK/SYNDICATED PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Dan ...

The winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show

The National Association of Broadcasters has announced the finalists for the 2018 NAB Marconi Radio Awards

LEGENDARY STATION OF THE YEAR
KKBQ(FM), Houston
KOA(AM), Denver
WBAP(AM), Dallas
WHIO(AM), Dayton, Ohio
WOKV FM, Jacksonville, Fla.

NETWORK/SYNDICATED PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Dan Patrick, Premiere Networks
Delilah, Premiere Networks
Raul Molina, Carla Medrano & Andres Maldonado, Univision Radio
Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Networks
Sean Hannity, Premiere Networks

MAJOR MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Angie Martinez, WWPR(FM), New York
Bob Stroud, WDRV(FM), Chicago
Ebro Darden, WQHT(FM), New York
Felger & Massarotti, WBZ(FM), Boston
Kimmie Tee, Tony Sculfield and Antoine Davis, KBLX(FM), San Francisco

LARGE MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Brooke & Jubal , KQMV(FM), Seattle
Dori Monson, KIRO(FM), Seattle
Jack Harris, WFLA(AM), Tampa, Fla.
Joe Kelly, WDBO(FM), Orlando, Fla.
Rich Jones, WOKV FM, Jacksonville, Fla.

MEDIUM MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry, KKNU(FM), Eugene, Ore.
Brent Johnson, WTCB(FM), Columbia, S.C.
Harlen The Sports Guy and Pigskin Bob, KYKX(FM), Tyler, Texas
Pat Kerrigan, KSRO(AM), Santa Rosa, Calif.
Scoot, WWL(FM), New Orleans

SMALL MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Brian Byers, WSOY(AM), Decatur, Ill.
Chris and Rosie, WUSQ(FM), Winchester, VA.
Frito and Katy, KNDE - FM, College Station, Texas
Scotty and Catryna, KCLR(FM), Columbia, Mo.
Todd Haugen, KBHP(FM), Bemidji, Minn.

MAJOR MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KNX(AM), Los Angeles
KTCK(FM), Dallas
WBEB(FM), Philadelphia
WQHT(FM), New York
WSB(AM), Atlanta

LARGE MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KXL(FM), Portland, Ore.
WDBO(FM), Orlando, Fla.
WDUV(FM), St. Petersburg, Fla.
WKTI(FM), Milwaukee
WSOC(FM), Charlotte, N.C.

MEDIUM MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KSRO(AM), Santa Rosa, Calif.
WEZN(FM), Milford, Conn.
WHKO(FM), Dayton, Ohio
WMGQ(FM), Somerset, N.J.
WRVA(AM), Richmond

SMALL MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KFGO(AM), Fargo, N.D.
KVOX(FM), Fargo, N.D.
KWYO(AM), Sheridan, Wy.
WFRE(FM), Fredrick, Md.
WWUS(FM), Sugarloaf Key, Fla.

AC STATION OF THE YEAR
KRWM(FM), Seattle
KSTP(FM), St. Paul
WMEE(FM), Fort Wayne, Ind.
WRCH(FM), Farmington, Conn.
WSHE(FM), Chicago

CHR STATION OF THE YEAR
KNDE(FM), College Station, Texas
KTXY(FM), Columbia, Mo.
WKZL(FM), Greensboro, N.C.
WPST(FM), Princeton, N.J.
WRTS(FM), Erie, Pa.

CLASSIC HITS STATION OF THE YEAR
KRTH(FM), Los Angeles
WMMO(FM), Orlando, Fla.
WOGL(FM), Philadelphia
WPBG(FM), Peoria, Ill.
WXGL(FM), St. Petersburg, Fla.

COUNTRY STATION OF THE YEAR
KCLR(FM), Columbia, Mo.
WBBS(FM), Syracuse, N.Y.
WUBE(FM), Cincinnati, Ohio
WWKA(FM), Orlando, Fla.
WYCT(FM), Pensacola, Fla.

NEWS/TALK STATION OF THE YEAR
KRMG(FM), Tulsa, Okla.
KYW(AM), Philadelphia,
WGN(AM), Chicago
WKXW(FM), Trenton, N.J.
WTOP(FM), Washington

NON-COMMERCIAL STATION OF THE YEAR
KHJK(FM), Rocklin, Calif.
WEEM(FM), Pendleton, Ind.
WPSC(FM), Wayne, N.J.
WUFT(FM), Gainesville, Fla.
WWOZ(FM), New Orleans

RELIGIOUS STATION OF THE YEAR
KKLA(FM), Los Angeles
KLTY(FM), Dallas,
KNWI(FM), West Des Moines, Iowa
KPWJ(FM), College Station, Texas
WFMV(FM), Columbia, S.C.

ROCK STATION OF THE YEAR
WBAB(FM), Long Island, N.Y.
WMMR(FM), Philadelphia
WPLR(FM), Connecticut
WRIF(FM), Detroit
WRLT(FM), Nashville, Tenn.

SPANISH STATION OF THE YEAR
KLOL(FM), Houston
KLVE(FM), Los Angeles
KLZT(FM), Austin, Texas
WKAQ(AM), Houston,
WYUU(FM), Tampa, Fla.

SPORTS STATION OF THE YEAR
WBZ(FM), Boston
WEEI(FM), Boston
WIP(FM), Philadelphia
WMFS(FM), Memphis, Tenn.
WXOS(FM), St. Louis

URBAN STATION OF THE YEAR
WFXC(FM), Raleigh, N.C.
WKYS(FM), Washington
WVKL(FM), Virginia Beach, Va.
WWPR(FM), New York
WZFX(FM), Fayetteville, N.C.

The winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show, sponsored by Xperi and held during the 2018 Radio Show in Orlando. The 2018 Radio Show will be held Sept. 25-28 in Orlando, Fla. 

Author: RW Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 6:20 pm
What got you into this crazy, fun business? While driving the other day I was reminded of a personal early motivator. With the move by utilities to underground service distributions, you don’t see many aerial cable splicing tents anymore; but as a young boy, I watched a phone tech strap on his ...

Also: Learn from this transmitter site inspection routine shared by David Wigfield

What got you into this crazy, fun business? While driving the other day I was reminded of a personal early motivator.

With the move by utilities to underground service distributions, you don’t see many aerial cable splicing tents anymore; but as a young boy, I watched a phone tech strap on his climbing spikes and belt and ascend the pole outside my house. He assembled a platform and tent and crawled inside.

As a little boy, I found this fascinating. I ran inside and ran a piece of string between the radiator and end table, and built a similar structure with my TinkerToys. A couple of tissues and tape completed my tent — and then I dispatched my plastic army men inside the tent to get to work.

What motivated you? Share your early experiences to me at johnpbisset@gmail.com.

***

 

David Wigfield is the technical supervisor for Entercom’s San Francisco cluster. He responded to our recent site inspection list discussion with a checklist of what his colleagues look for every week at the KCBS(AM) transmitter site in San Francisco.

On the way into the site, they check to make sure that the PG&E locks on all gates remain in place. Sometimes other tenants who use the road get frustrated and cut the locks out of the chain or bypass them. If they are bypassed, David or his staff makes sure they are added back in the chain.

David then looks at all four towers. This may seem obvious but don’t forget to look. Do they appear straight? The transmitter site is in a pasture; harvesters have clipped guy wires before.

Are all lights on? The site is 2 miles from an airport so they burn 24/7/365. If your site doesn’t have such a requirement, try an inspection at twilight so you can verify all tower lighting.

Are there new tunnels visible, burrowed by animals?

Next, check the generator building. Is the gen OK? Block heater? Any fluid drips? David checks the battery charger and battery connections. Also check the day tank for proper fuel level and any leaks. He opens and looks at the transfer switch. David has had MOVs across all phases and to ground. Are they OK? It’s usually obvious when they blow.

Outside, David checks all fuel lines coming into the gen building from the tank. Again, looking for damage or leaks.

David cautions us not to overlook the roof. They check the STL tower, the STL dish and its cable and connections. Review all other antennas to see if they look OK (no bent elements or bad connections or feed lines). Finally, don’t overlook the air conditioners and drain lines.

David walks around all four towers, noting any problems with the catwalks. As he walks, David checks the feedlines going into the tuning houses, looking for damage from expansion and contraction. He also inspects the protective tape, where the transmission is touching metal supports, to ensure it is still in place and has not fallen off or been eaten by critters, in addition to inspecting the feedline and conduit that runs along the catwalks. Are there missing supports and is anything sagging? Also make sure that the weeds are under control around the catwalks and the tower bases.

David also makes a visual inspection of the connections from the output of the tuning house to the tower, making sure lightning loops look ok and are not deformed from a strike.

A cable splicing “tent”

While at the tower base, David checks the Austin Ring transformers for insulation problems. These transformers need to have new tape and silicon applied from time to time. Better to see it before it becomes a problem. Also inspect the tower base insulator for cracks or bullet damage. David then sights up two sides of the tower to see if it looks straight. After you have done it for as many years as David has, you can detect if the tower is out of plumb a bit. Finally, are the counterpoise screen wires OK?

David checks all tuning houses and ATUs, using a flashlight and looking at all the RF switches, coils, capacitors and arc gaps for signs of burning.

Also check all component standoffs for cracks, which could lead to arcing. Speaking of arcing, check any interface relay contacts visually for signs of arcing.

This next one, David says, he learned the hard way. He now looks at the solenoids on his RF switches to make sure one is up and one is down. Several years ago, they had a switch where the connection to the linkage that swings the contactor arm broke and both plungers were down. Come pattern change, the station was off the air. Speaking of the RF contactors, also look for any loose hardware around the switches that might have fallen off. Keep in mind that these switches vibrate at least twice a day, so hardware can loosen.

David writes that even though the inspection sounds long, once you get a routine established, the whole outdoor assessment takes about a half hour for a four-tower, 5 kW, two-pattern array. It would be a lot less if you only have one stick, but doing this has saved David and his crew many times. Plus, you get the advantage of what things look and sound like under normal conditions, which can be helpful if a lighting transformer is making more noise or some RF component decides to start talking a little louder than it should.

On behalf of Workbench readers, thank you, David, for the inspection suggestions!

Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send Workbench tips and high-resolution photos to johnpbisset@gmail.com. Fax to (603) 472-4944.

Author John Bisset has spent 48 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is SBE certified.

Author: John Bisset
Posted: July 16, 2018, 5:02 pm
Dave Garner is vice president/director of engineering for Hubbard Radio. We reached out to learn more about the broadcaster’s plans to experiment with all-digital AM radio in Maryland. Accordin to Hubbard, WWFD(AM) “The Gamut” has broadcast music in the Washington, northern Virginia and Frederick ...

The FCC granted an engineering experimental authorization for one year

Dave Garner is vice president/director of engineering for Hubbard Radio. We reached out to learn more about the broadcaster’s plans to experiment with all-digital AM radio in Maryland.

Accordin to Hubbard, WWFD(AM) “The Gamut” has broadcast music in the Washington, northern Virginia and Frederick region since December 2011. As of mid-day Monday, “The Gamut” can be heard on 103.5 HD3 in the metro area; 107.7 HD3 in Manassas, Va.; and 103.9 HD3 in Frederick, Md.; as well as on 820 AM and 94.3 FM.

Radio: What brand of transmitter and exciter/exporter is being used?

Dave Garner: Our main is a BE AM6A and Nautel exciter/exporter. The aux transmitter is a Gates 5 with a BE ASi-10.

Radio: How good is the antenna bandwidth? Did you have to add any special networks or do any broadbanding to run optimized all-digital?

Garner: Kintronics Laboratories redesigned the phasor and tuning networks so that broader bandwidth was achieved while maintaining our licensed parameters. Dave Kolesar (Hubbard) and Mike Raide (Xperi) implemented the redesign. The retuned array can pass the MA1 hybrid HD mode (which is harder, as it requires more bandwidth than the MA3 all-digital mode).

Radio: Is this station a directional array?

Garner: 4.3 kW non directional day, and 0.430 kW night two-tower array.

Radio: Are the tests going to be done for both day and night modes; what hours?

Garner: Yes, 24/7.

Radio: Describe the routes being used to measure the signal coverage and performance.

Garner: We will start with the major interstate highways going out of Frederick, Md., (i.e. I-70 and I-270) to measure distance coverage. We will concentrate on the smaller roads and urban cores in the area, to see how well all-digital performs around buildings and electrical interference.

Radio: Are you using stock HD Radio receivers for the mobile measurements? And is the test set up and equipment similar to that used for the KRKO/KXA tests in Everett, Wash., run about five years ago?

Garner: Yes, stock car and home HD Radios will be used for testing. We will work with NAB Pilot and Xperi to test the quality of our transmissions, and so we may utilize more sophisticated equipment as well.

Radio: What results, if indeed there are any, could convince this group it would be a good idea to try all-digital operation?

Garner: I think the best test would be for someone to hear the signal, and let it speak for itself. It’s tough to convince an average listener to try a music station on analog AM, but this changes everything.

Radio: Does Hubbard have any long term plans to convert any of their stations to digital operation? Does the company see a working business model that is all-digital, and if yes, what time frame do they estimate would be required before they considered all-digital operation?

Garner: As a group, Hubbard Radio has 10 AM radio stations ranging from class A to Class D. The future business plan and timing of conversion to all digital is hard to predict, but will in many ways depend on the success of these initial on air tests from WWFD(AM).

Radio: Do you have any numbers related to the estimated cost of conversion for one station to convert to all-digital? Is the test station already running HD or is it currently analog-only?

Garner: The cost of conversion to all digital depends on many factors (transmitter age/antenna system bandwidth/infrastructure of transmission components/etc). Other than transmission hardware costs, there is usually a lot of antenna engineering consulting work needed to bring the antenna system into wideband compliance for all-digital service, and this is where a lot of the expense would be consumed.

Radio: What kind of format would be of interest for an all-digital station on AM (rather strongly occupied by talk formats, most delivered by satellite)?

Garner: With all-digital operation music along with talk would be viable formats for AM. You’re not fighting noise from interference in the final audio product — either the radio will receive it or it won’t. You could even do a classical format. WWFD is programing AAA music with breakaways for sports and will be throughout the tests.

Radio: Are you testing any kind of metadata transmission in all-digital, which presumably would have enough data bandwidth to pass along minimal program identification (comparable to RDS)? All other radio/satellite formats support this and AM is uniquely weak in this area.

Garner: Yes, metadata along with Artist Experience will be part of the all-digital tests. Other data services are possible as well, which could lead to additional revenue opportunities for AM stations.

Radio: Have there been any conversations with the FCC Audio Division about applying for an STA beyond the testing period?

Garner: We just received our Engineering Experimental Authorization for one year, so we have not had those conversations as of yet. We would like to stay digital, and so we will likely pursue either a renewal or explore a rulemaking process to have MA3 (all-digital) become a licensed mode of operation for AM broadcasters. 

Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 16, 2018, 4:33 pm
iHeartMedia has named Jeanne Smith as market president for the Quad Cities and tapped Maxwell Schaeffer to serve as director of promotions and marketing for iHeartMedia Des Moines, effective Aug. 10. Smith will report to iHeartMedia Des Moines Area President Joel McCrea. She joins the Quad Cities ...

Names new market president for the Quad Cities and director of promotions/marketing for Des Moines

iHeartMedia has named Jeanne Smith as market president for the Quad Cities and tapped Maxwell Schaeffer to serve as director of promotions and marketing for iHeartMedia Des Moines, effective Aug. 10.

Smith will report to iHeartMedia Des Moines Area President Joel McCrea. She joins the Quad Cities market from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cluster, where she most recently served as senior vice president of sales. Prior to that, she worked in radio sales in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., for Cumulus Media.

iHeartMedia Quad Cities owns and operates WLLR(FM), KUUL(FM), KCQQ(FM), KMXG(FM), K283BV, WOC(AM) and WFXN(AM).

Schaeffer joins iHeartMedia Des Moines from Des Moines Radio Group where he was a morning show host on KIOA(FM) for 23 years. He began his career at KVIC(FM) in Victoria, Texas. He is also a member of the Iowa Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

iHeartMedia Des Moines owns and operates WHO(AM), KDRB(FM), KDRB(FM/HD2), KDXA(FM), KKDM(FM), KXNO(AM), KCYZ(FM), KASI(AM).

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Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 16, 2018, 4:22 pm
Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris will lead off the latest talent institute, this one a Hubbard Radio Talent Institute, to take place at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. Joining Morris will be Hubbard Radio Pres. Drew Horowitz and VP Market Manager Hubbard Seattle Marc ...

Hubbard Radio at Central Washington University event

Ginny Morris

Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris will lead off the latest talent institute, this one a Hubbard Radio Talent Institute, to take place at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.

Joining Morris will be Hubbard Radio Pres. Drew Horowitz and VP Market Manager Hubbard Seattle Marc Kaye.

In addition, according to a release, there will be 35 other radio pros from Hubbard, Entercom, Bonneville, Townsquare, Alpha Media and the Seattle Seahawks.

The 10-day event features “sessions including on-air, production, promotions, digital/social media, engineering, news, sports and sales.” It will include institute alum leading sessions.

Morris said of the institute, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services. Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.

The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is part of the operations of the National Radio Talent Institute.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: July 16, 2018, 1:22 pm
The author is APT product manager for WorldCast Systems. A paradigm shift has been taking place for several years, as we move gradually toward fully networked IP broadcasting facilities in which there will be almost no discrete audio signals. The focus of networking has shifted to the ...

Examining the impact of modern IP infrastructures on codec design and features

The author is APT product manager for WorldCast Systems.

A paradigm shift has been taking place for several years, as we move gradually toward fully networked IP broadcasting facilities in which there will be almost no discrete audio signals.

The focus of networking has shifted to the broadcasting facility where in-house structures increasingly feature IP protocols such as AES67, Ravenna, Livewire, Wheatstone and Dante. This change may be driven by the manufacturers of production equipment, but it will undoubtedly also have an impact on audio codecs, as they will be required to fit seamlessly within this new infrastructure.

The move toward an “all-IP” facility necessitates a redefinition of both the role played by the audio codec, specifically when deployed in STL/SSL applications and also the key features that a prospective purchaser should seek out.

THE CLASSIC AUDIO CODEC

In the past, the definition of a good audio codec generally was one that was equipped with a plethora of audio formats, able to connect with many third-party brands, and conformed to many standards.

MPXoIP: Impact of packet losses on the carrier shown in a. with protection and in b. without protection.

This “classic” audio codec was designed to cover as many application areas as possible and hence support a multitude of algorithms and modes. However, for STL/SSL applications, audio formats should be limited to those that offer high signal fidelity with moderate or zero compression. Highly efficient low-bit-rate formats are not required or desirable in today's high-bandwidth distribution networks.

Another aim of the classic codec was to be interoperable with many brands. The EBU has spent 10 years working to harmonize compatibilities to achieve this, and many codecs highlight N/ACIP compliance amongst the current feature set. However, the ability to connect with many other manufacturers increasingly is irrelevant within many of the new emerging STL applications.

Interoperability still plays a crucial role within codecs designed for mobile use in remotes and OB applications, so the efforts made in this regard are still useful. As a result, we are likely to see a greater diversification in codec design depending on the application. Whereas the classic codec was designed to cover all scenarios, we will see a very different feature set emerging for the modern remote codec than for the modern STL codec.

THE MODERN GATEWAY CODEC

With formats and interoperability no longer a priority, the desirable feature set of the modern STL codec begins to look very different.

Networking capabilities

The role of the modern gateway codec is to connect the LAN domain of a studio and the WAN domain. In many ways it acts similarly to a network router; the codec should appear in the infrastructure as a network unit with addressable inputs and outputs and can be integrated into the management systems of the studio.

The modern gateway codec within the broadcast chain. 

An important asset of a modern gateway codec is its ability to integrate into the existing in-house network. While this varies from facility to facility, it should support AES67 as a minimum.

Hardware considerations

Converting an in-house audio stream into a WAN-compatible format with the lowest possible latency requires computation power so separate DSP based hardware is advisable for a gateway codec.

The codec should be adapted to the size of the broadcasting organization and support a sufficient number of audio channels to meet both current and future requirements.

As separate hardware, care must be taken to ensure that the device is designed to be redundant and that the redundant components are hot swappable.

Timing

Support for the distribution of complete FM Multiplexes (MPXoIP) will be important for some broadcasters.

For those working in the distribution of MPXoIP where the same program is transported to multiple transmitter sites, engineers should be aware of the issues that can be caused by latencies along the transmission link. It is advisable to seek out a codec that provides time alignment in the network and minimizes artifacts and RDS jumps at the transition point from one transmitter to another. To accomplish this, the encoder and decoders must be connected to a common network time base.

Stream Protection

In professional broadcast audio, packet loss invariably leads to audio dropouts and is to be avoided at all costs. The much-discussed FEC (Forward Error Correction) is not a perfect solution for relative low-rate audio streams and should be viewed critically. On the other hand, redundant streaming has emerged as a very successful solution that is easy to implement.

Redundant streaming is not implemented identically in all codecs and care should be taken to ensure that the technology chosen provides flexibility of stream routing, flexible use of physical and logical network ports and no limitations on the number of streams. It is also highly recommended to ensure that you can access monitoring statistics to review the effectiveness of the redundancy.

While undesirable in many broadcast scenarios, packet loss in MPXoIP or EDI broadcasts (EDI is for the DAB Digital Radio standard) simply cannot be tolerated. A packet loss in the EDI stream always leads to an audible dropout. Errors in the FM MPX signal caused by packet loss lead to overmodulation of the FM carrier.

[Read: Regardless of Locale, Remotes are the Star Thanks to New IP Codec Technology]

For this reason, two-layer protection is recommended for such signals. In the case of MPXoIP, this would mean redundant streaming plus additional protection such as over-modulation cancellation.

THE CODEC FOR AN “ALL-IP” WORLD

As broadcasting infrastructure increasingly is governed by RJ-45 network cables, switches and routers and much less by discrete audio connections, it is inevitable that the audio codec for STL applications must adapt to fit seamlessly in this new environment.

The modern gateway codec that is emerging must provide a redundant, scalable, DSP-based gateway to the WAN that offers a high level of protection to its mission-critical broadcast streams. 

Author: Hartmut Förster
Posted: July 16, 2018, 8:19 am
  Next week, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters heads to Charlottesville, Va., to discuss community media’s biggest needs in 2018 in an NFCB Regional Summit, July 19–21. With conversations about equity and content with Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, small-team digital efforts for ...

How events benefit community radio in hidden ways

  Next week, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters heads to Charlottesville, Va., to discuss community media’s biggest needs in 2018 in an NFCB Regional Summit, July 19–21. With conversations about equity and content with Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, small-team digital efforts for radio with Samantha Ragland and more, it is one of the rare opportunities for community broadcasters to get these kinds of insights. However, a regional summit is not the only place to learn and grow.

NFCB’s event is concurrent with the time that many organizations are gathering and talking about the important issues of the moment for stations. In Chicago this week, Greater Public convened its annual Public Media Development and Marketing Conference, the country’s largest gathering of public radio and television. During this same week, the Alliance for Community Media hosted its annual meeting in Baltimore.

At both the Greater Public and ACM events, there has been a sharp focus on diversity and inclusion. The most noteworthy news was the Corporation for Public Broadcasting unveiling nearly $2 million in grants for podcasting diversity efforts. Yet all of these events offer smart perspectives on many other trends as well as fundamentals important to all stations.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Coast to Coast]

The astute Ken Mills points out the cost of attending conferences can be prohibitive for community radio stations. However, I would suggest, there are benefits to these sorts of educational opportunities that make the investment worth it.

As a former program director and news director, I can sympathize with the reasons a station might pass on attending a conference, a summit or other community media gathering. The day-to-day issues that come up when running a community radio station are, at moments, overwhelming. There are equipment problems that need to be attended to on a regular basis. There are volunteers who need training and supervision. Oh, and then there’s the programming that has a 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week churn that just does not stop. With all the tasks facing a station with small-to-no staff and plenty of demands, it can hard just to look beyond the weekly to-do list.

Then there’s the pesky matter of money. Seldom does a grantmaking organization provide funding for building capacity. Where will you find the funds you need to get to a conference or summit? If the many nagging needs of your station don’t thwart you from even considering such events, funding surely can.

For some, attending this stuff feels like a waste of time and energy. Here’s why that thinking is faulty, and stations are missing out.

Community media attracts a particular kind of person who is driven by the medium and the mission. These individuals can, and often do, make sacrifices in pay, hours and a host of other areas because they believe so passionately about community radio. Community media stalwarts are also naturally curious. When you have such energized and committed people, it makes the most sense to help them to do the best work they can for the station. Supporting training and education, such as in extra schooling or conferences, is one way to help them help your station.

Spending more money on community radio people swims against common thinking in the space. But what if our thinking is wrong? While it is certainly an honor and a privilege to be involved in community radio, is it not better to attract and retain the best people we can? And shouldn’t we help them work more effectively with more training? Ultimately, more aware volunteers, board members and staff make the station and its culture even more welcoming, innovative and stronger.

The best part of all is that sending community radio volunteers, board members and staff to events is low risk and high reward. They come back happy, excited and with lots to share. And the station gets back lots of tools, contacts and lessons to apply to its daily efforts.

Again, as someone who has been there, I know a conference can take time and money from other station priorities. Yet the difficulty with this kind of thinking can be that stations then just learn as they go. They can make the same mistakes as their predecessors. Finding out the trends, policies and best practices becomes an exercise in scouring YouTube and Facebook or, even worse, never finding out at all because you just don’t know where to look. Community media, in turn, suffers and it ends up costing more — in time spent figuring out things, lost productivity and opportunity — in the end.

Those general observations about community media volunteers, board members and staff? One other one that bears out is that many of these individuals enjoy being the lifelong learners in their communities. It is a win-win for stations to fuel that spirit as much as possible.

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Author: Ernesto Aguilar
Posted: July 13, 2018, 9:08 pm
MINNEAPOLIS — Smaller-market radio stations tend to go into new studio buildouts with limited budgets and high expectations. In Gabriel Media’s case, we were working with a set budget that needed to cover a lot of ground — from wiring, furniture and sound reinforcement to studio routing and ...

New studios get IP-12 control surfaces, TS-4 Talent Stations and WheatNet-IP

MINNEAPOLIS — Smaller-market radio stations tend to go into new studio buildouts with limited budgets and high expectations. In Gabriel Media’s case, we were working with a set budget that needed to cover a lot of ground — from wiring, furniture and sound reinforcement to studio routing and consoles for a new space in downtown St. Cloud, Minn. RadioDNA came in as the integrator to provide a turnkey facility that took into account two working studios with more than your average number of satellite feeds being tossed back and forth.

Gabriel Media is a nonprofit that airs AM talk station KYES 1180 as well as Christian music KKJM(FM)/Spirit 92.9, both of which are active in the community. They needed to be able to switch between automation and live without issue, along with being able to send talent out on a remote without having to send along a technician.

With this move into a facility that once was a real estate office, they also wanted to move from 25+-year-old consoles and punchblock routing into the latest in control surfaces with IP audio networking that would let them automate more of what was critical to their operation.

I recall Deb Huschle, the GM for Gabriel Media, stating, “The most important thing is we have to trust that it will keep us on the air. Second to that is that we have to be able to get back on the air if something does fail, and that’s a big issue because we don’t have an engineer on-site.”

We started with Wheatstone’s WheatNet-IP audio network framework. We built a rack room with two racks of WheatNet-IP I/O Blades and other gear that everything would interface with. We ran 12 Cat-6 cables to two almost identical on-air studios, both of which double as production studios, giving them plenty of patch points in and out of the studios to carry everything from telco and sources to logic. We ran cabling through a wire basket in the ceiling, bypassing the need to run cable trunks, which shaved some cost off the budget. For each studio, we went with Wheatstone’s IP-12 control surfaces. This 12-fader console is adaptable as either an on-air or production board, which made it ideal for Gabriel Media’s new studio; that and its affordability.

We then added several TS-4 talent stations for guest positions. Each TS-4 connects into the network and has headphone jacks, cough button, plus USB jacks so guests can plug in their laptops or other devices during interviews; the studios can get very busy on the air and off during the stations’ two pledge drives every year.

There was enough budget left over to bring in curved-screen monitors in one of the main studios, which gave it a cockpit feel that the talent likes.

Because both studios are almost identical, talent can move easily from one to the other — along with their specific console presets. Networking makes it possible to run the studios live or to send automated programming directly to air with the simple push of a button regardless of which studio they’re in.

We also integrated the stations’ AudioVault automation and codecs into the WheatNet-IP (through Wheatstone’s ACI protocol). This means that remote talent is able to control everything — laptop, iPhone, whatever device they use in the field — through the network without an additional board op or technician at the other end. A fully integrated system also means my team of engineers can dial into the network to make routine maintenance changes from a secure laptop, or to troubleshoot a problem if necessary.

As with all our projects, we color-coded and mapped out signal paths so that changes can be made easily at any time. Recently, we were just informed that Gabriel Media will be adding an FM translator, which we expect to be able to integrate into their operation easily.

For information, contact Jay Tyler at Wheatstone in North Carolina at 1-252-638-7000 or visit www.wheatstone.com.

Author: Rob Goldberg, Founder and CEO, RadioDNA
Posted: July 13, 2018, 5:01 pm
Gone are the days of cart decks and turntables. And with it, the complications and uncertainties of setting up for a live broadcast. At least, that was the hope for engineer Mark Wittkoski, whose various roles as a maintenance engineer and owner of a contracting business meant it was vital to find ...

Gone are the days of cart decks and turntables. And with it, the complications and uncertainties of setting up for a live broadcast.

At least, that was the hope for engineer Mark Wittkoski, whose various roles as a maintenance engineer and owner of a contracting business meant it was vital to find a way to better handle the cornerstone of every good local radio station: a station remote.

Whether it is covering a major sporting event or putting together a play-by-play baseball game for a local student station, the needs were the same: pulling off a live on-the-road remote with technology that is flexible and reliable. And all the better if it can offer superior data capabilities, reduced operating costs, streamlined workflows and remote-control functionality.

A Modern Solution

For broadcasters like Wittkoski, who has worked as an engineer for Cumulus Broadcasting and as a consultant for the internet station at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, the answer is found in the form of IP remote codec technology. As radio broadcasters move away from relying on legacy ISDN and POTS networks (which can suffer from issues such as intermittent quality and a high cost of deployment), radio stations are finding that remote IP codecs are relatively simple to operate and configure, offer a wide range of IP connection options and effectively enable remote broadcasts.

The technology also fit the bill for a niche broadcaster. The host of the ‘Ask Noah Show’ was working with a local low-power FM station to create a call-in talk show focused on open source technology. The trouble was that the host was often on the road — often at the last minute, said Noah J. Chelliah, president of the IT consulting company Altispeed Technologies.

“I needed a broadcast system that would fit in a carry-on case, with low latency to facilitate call-ins, and (most importantly) reliable high-quality audio,” he said. “It needed to be something I could have up and running in 10 minutes. So I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know if it existed.”

The answer was an IP remote codec with studio-in-a-box functionality. That solution allowed Chelliah to not only facilitate a remote broadcast but also to offer streaming, recording and playback functionality as well.

Now the ‘Ask Noah Show’ is being broadcast live from a custom studio at Altispeed headquarters. And half of the show’s broadcasting takes places using a remote IP codec on location while he is traveling.

“The show continues to grow, but it would have likely never gotten off the ground if it weren't for my mobile broadcast kit,” he said. “My audience is a technically savvy crowd. You just can’t have the guy telling you what technology is best using second class gear to do the show.”

Now, a new iteration delivers more than simply enabling station remotes. A key function in some of today’s newer systems is the ability to control codecs remotely via the cloud. As a result, users can receive online/offline status, connection status, link quality, remote monitoring and adjustment of input levels. They also can remotely dial and hang-up connections from the studio.

“Remote control is a powerful tool for broadcasters,” said Charlie Gawley, VP of sales for the codec manufacturer Tieline. “And by also integrating record and playback capability into a remote codec, engineers can easily perform an entire remote away from the studio. This is giving some stations a competitive advantage by allowing them to offer streaming, recording and playback functionality. No other external equipment is required, just a portable remote codec.

Options for Engineers

According to Gawley, radio station engineers should be able to configure, connect and monitor all remote codecs in the studio via a cloud codec controller. This gives a station the ability to monitor connection status, link quality and audio levels, make remote adjustment of those audio levels, remotely dial and hang-up codec connections from the studio, monitor and control the entire network of IP codecs and view and manage alarms.

Because of this, a growing number of radio broadcasters are relying on IP codec technology for remote broadcasts. Take for example the international broadcaster Crocmedia, an Australian-American radio and TV distribution company. The station’s ‘Off The Bench’ radio show is tasked with covering one of the biggest games in sports, and for the last six years has travelled to radio row to cover the Super Bowl. In 2018, that included getting ready for the big game by using IP codec technology to broadcast the event from the U.S. back to Australia.

Audio-over-IP looks to be part of the broadcast network infrastructure of the future.

Now, broadcasters are looking at how remote-control functionalities within today’s new remote IP codecs could help them get there.

Additional Resources

Crocmedia Broadcasts the Big Game with Tieline ViA

The Australian radio show ‘Off The Bench’ makes a 9,000-mile trek to cover the Super Bowl with one specific technology packed in its carry-on bag.

Managing the Transition from ISDN to IP

This white paper offers a look at how radio broadcasters can seamlessly transition from an ISDN network infrastructure to an IP network environment.

Australia’s Nova Breakfast Show Walks to Work — Live

It’s a memorable day when a morning show moves out of the studio and on to the street. 

In the Field with Just the ViA

Tieline – The Remote Revolution

Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 13, 2018, 4:42 pm
An FCC Notice of Inquiry has been published in the Federal Register concerning the Class 4 station proposal that recently surfaced, therefore a commentary period has been opened. Matthew Wesolowski of SSR Communications has been the chief proponent of the new class. [Read: Class C4 Coming Closer to ...

Initial comments due Aug. 13 with replies due Sept. 10

An FCC Notice of Inquiry has been published in the Federal Register concerning the Class 4 station proposal that recently surfaced, therefore a commentary period has been opened.

Matthew Wesolowski of SSR Communications has been the chief proponent of the new class.

[Read: Class C4 Coming Closer to Reality?]

Comments are due by Aug. 13 with reply comments due on Sept. 10. Many comments have already been received.

More information can be found at the Federal Registry entry.

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Author: Brett Moss
Posted: July 13, 2018, 1:27 pm
The House Energy & Commerce Committee unanimously voted to pass the PIRATE Act (H.R. 5709) Thursday, and the move was lauded by several broadcast advocacy organizations, joining the numerous affirmations previously voiced about the bill. In a statement, NAB Executive Vice President of ...

The anti-radio piracy bill was approved by House E&C committee Thursday

The House Energy & Commerce Committee unanimously voted to pass the PIRATE Act (H.R. 5709) Thursday, and the move was lauded by several broadcast advocacy organizations, joining the numerous affirmations previously voiced about the bill.

In a statement, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said, “NAB thanks the House Energy & Commerce Committee for advancing legislation that strengthens FCC resources in combatting illegal pirate radio operations. Reps. Lance, Tonko, Collins and their cosponsors are to be commended for addressing the unfortunate increase in pirate radio.”

Wharton also called the legislators to move forward. He said, “These stations not only interfere with licensed and legal broadcasts, but on multiple occasions have disrupted airline pilot and air traffic controller transmissions. NAB urges Congress to swiftly pass the PIRATE ACT.”

[PIRATE Act Legislation Unanimously Approved by House Subcommittee]

New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan thanked the congressmembers who were involved in the legislation in his own statement and added, “We urge members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to move forward with this essential legislation. Time is of the essence. The FCC must regain control of the nation’s airwaves.”

To emphasize his point, Donovan said, “The number of illegal AM and FM stations operating in the New York City metro area exceeds the number of stations licensed by the FCC. The FCC’s ability to police the airwaves has been severely compromised in a number of markets. The result is interference to the Emergency Alert System, interference to FAA airport communications systems, transmission of RF radiation at levels above government standards, and a complete disregard for all FCC and consumer protection laws. New enforcement tools are necessary to restore credibility to the FCC’s licensing system.”

Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 12, 2018, 8:00 pm
Author: Radio World Staff
Posted: July 12, 2018, 7:41 pm
New Technology and Engineering Sales Roles to Provide Increased Expertise BEAVERTON, Oregon — July 10, 2018 — Biamp, a leading provider of innovative, networked media systems, announced the appointment of Brian Davies to the role of European technology architect. In addition, the company has ...

New Technology and Engineering Sales Roles to Provide Increased Expertise

BEAVERTON, Oregon — July 10, 2018 — Biamp, a leading provider of innovative, networked media systems, announced the appointment of Brian Davies to the role of European technology architect. In addition, the company has promoted Dane Miller to field sales engineer. These new positions will strengthen Biamp’s global market leadership and provide additional resources for customers as the European AV market grows, with revenues expected to reach $43 billion by 2022, according to AVIXA’s AV Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) report.

View the 2 images of this gallery on the original article

“As a global company, Biamp continually seeks ways we can deepen our commitment to the market and set the bar ever higher for customer satisfaction,” said Stephen Patterson, sales development director for Europe at Biamp. “As European customers seek out exceptional collaborative AV experiences and increase their appetite for AVoIP systems, Biamp will be there to provide expertise, guidance, and solutions. Establishing these new positions will ensure we continue to deliver the resources needed for distributor and integrator success throughout this growing region.”

As part of Biamp’s commitment to European customers, Davies will assist end-user customers and consultants in providing the right solutions to solve their business communication needs. A recognized industry expert, Davies has more than 24 years of advanced technical and sales experience with AV solutions. He previously held roles as development and technical director for several global companies and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Kingston University as well as several industry programming and system design certifications.

In his new position, Miller will play a pivotal role in pre-sales projects and field sales engineering in Europe leveraging his vast AV experience that spans 10 years with Biamp. Previously, he was the international paging vertical market and business development manager and an applications engineer for Biamp. His technical knowledge has proved critical for in-depth system design help, onsite visits, and interpreting tender documents.

More information on Biamp’s full product portfolio is available at www.biamp.com.

# # #

About Biamp
Biamp Systems, LLC is a leading provider of innovative, networked media systems that power the world’s most sophisticated audio/video installations. The company is recognized worldwide for delivering high-quality products and backing each one with a commitment to exceptional customer service.

Biamp is dedicated to creating products that drive the evolution of communication through sight and sound. The award-winning Biamp product suite includes: Tesira media system for digital audio and video networking, Devio collaboration tool for modern workplaces, Audia digital audio platform, Nexia digital signal processors, and Vocia networked public address and voice evacuation system. Each has its own specific feature set that can be customized and integrated in a wide range of applications, including corporate boardrooms, conference centers, huddle rooms, performing arts venues, courtrooms, hospitals, transportation hubs, campuses and multi-building facilities.

Founded in 1976, Biamp is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, USA, with additional engineering operations in Brisbane, Australia and Rochester, New York. For more information on Biamp, please visit www.biamp.com.

PR Link: www.ingearpr.com/Biamp/180710Biamp.docx

Photo Links:
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Follow Biamp
Blog: blog.biamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BiampSystems
LinkedIn: linkd.in/1aO2hjy
Twitter: twitter.com/Biamp
YouTube: bit.ly/BiampYouTube

All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 12, 2018, 7:15 pm
Program Offers Sales, Marketing, and Technical Support to Drive New Opportunities and Growth for Yamaha UC Partners SUDBURY, Mass. — July 10, 2018 — Yamaha Unified Communications has announced a new partner program. Now open for registration, the channel partner program is available to authorized ...

Program Offers Sales, Marketing, and Technical Support to Drive New Opportunities and Growth for Yamaha UC Partners

SUDBURY, Mass. — July 10, 2018 — Yamaha Unified Communications has announced a new partner program. Now open for registration, the channel partner program is available to authorized Yamaha Unified Communication partners in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Program members that work directly with Yamaha UC will have access to critical tools, resources, and expertise designed to increase business recognition and growth.

“Yamaha is one of the most trusted leaders in audio, bringing decades of experience to solving customer’s communication and collaboration needs, which is vital as the UC market continues to flourish,” said Ashley Nguyen, global channel marketing manager, Yamaha Unified Communications. “With this new program available to our UC partners, they will be able to leverage the Yamaha name to differentiate their business from the competition while tapping into the best tools and resources that will help build their knowledge, grow their business quickly, and fast-track their ROI in the growing UC field.”

The Yamaha UC Global Partner Program recognizes three partnerships: Basic, Emerging, and Prime, providing partners with additional benefits and incentives at each level. Basic level provides dealer registration, demo program, special discounts, welcome kit, product training, and post-sales technical support. Partners achieving Emerging and Prime levels are recognized as “Club Partners,” and given volume incentive rebates and additional marketing support to increase customer base and sales opportunities including market development funds. With these funds, partners can grow their sales presence and use funds for online and print advertising; social opportunities such as tradeshows, lunch and learns, roundtables, and other events; whitepapers or other content assets; webinars; or microsite developments.

To join Yamaha UC Global Partner Program and gain access to an assortment of sales and marketing resources designed to successfully represent and recommend Yamaha Unified Communications, register at the partner portal.

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About Yamaha Unified Communications
Audio and video conferencing solutions from Yamaha Unified Communications, Inc. streamline collaboration and boost productivity wherever people work. Yamaha’s renowned and rigorous approach to development and manufacturing of enterprise-grade microphone systems, conference phones, and video sound bars ensures superior audio quality, reliability, and flexibility. With both wired and wireless options, Yamaha’s unified communications (UC) products enable users to have natural, clear conversations in every meeting space.

More information can be found at uc.yamaha.com.

All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

PR Link: www.ingearpr.com/YamahaUC/180710YamahaUC.docx

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 12, 2018, 6:48 pm
As a fan of movies and after having studied through my corollary sequence under Ohio University’s School of Film, I have a great interest in movies and movie making. I’m always seeing a movie and certainly appreciate the work involved in creative story telling. Adding to my love for story telling ...

Dan has stars in his eyes

As a fan of movies and after having studied through my corollary sequence under Ohio University’s School of Film, I have a great interest in movies and movie making. I’m always seeing a movie and certainly appreciate the work involved in creative story telling. Adding to my love for story telling is the idea that technology has now “evolved” (that word might not be the same word used by die-hard “film” people) into 4K video and even 8K video. Besides my radio engineering career, I’m also a video engineer currently converting a full facility from HD to 4K (technically, UHD in this instance, but many people use them interchangeably). This Off the Beaten Path is about the movies and the HD and 4K/UHD technology behind them.

First, a quick explanation of 4K/UHD video to get you up to speed. The easiest way to put it is that UHD a combination of four HD images. The difference between 4K and UHD? 4K is what the movie people use for big displays in theaters. The aspect ratio is just a little wider than the standard TV widescreen ratio of 16:9, while UHD follows the 16:9 aspect ratio. Unlike common HDTV, 4K/UHD now has something thrown in called HDR or High Dynamic Range. The interesting thing about HDR is that it’s like pre-emphasis in FM. To use an FM analogy what it really means is that if you use HDR with UHD/4K, you really need to have a monitor capable of decoding that HDR — something like encoding audio with dbx then listening to the audio without running it back through a decoding circuit. It sounds odd.

To take it a little further, an HDTV image streams over coax/BNC at 3 Mbps. To send 4K/UHD video over a coax (or four of them if being done as “quad-link”), you need to push 12 Mbps. Oh, and the next generation of video, called 8K, requires 48 Mbps of bandwidth!

So that’s the Cliff’s Notes version of 4K/UHD, which is the current main display spec for movies. 8K is on the horizon, but for a typical consumer TV in a home, you won’t see big differences on images unless your screen size is excessively large — such as viewing on an 8-foot TV screen! Remember when the days when a 25-inch RCA or Zenith console TV was considered a “big screen”?

The First Film Makers

Just like radio & TV’s history, film history becomes a little checkered and cloudy when you go back in time. Who is taking credit for what become a common issue with technology. Though Edison has a large influence in the U.S., Luis and Auguste Lumière (“The Lumière Brothers”) are generally credited as the first true film makers. By 1881, the young teenaged brothers had created a developing process which took Edison’s “peephole film viewing” technique and gave it the ability to become something that could be “projected;” which is the reason they’re more frequently credited with inventing “film” (or something more closely resembling film today). 

Early Movies

It’s simply amazing to see where we’ve come from and where we are going with movie-making technology — from the earliest days of Edison and the Lumière brothers, to Charlie Chaplin, to Walt Disney and his multiplane camera, George Lucas, and into today. We began with studios where the roofs were open because they needed more light than was technically possible using the then current lighting technology. Then came “rocking” sets. “Talkies” followed. Visual effects like forced perspective created size illusions while matte paintings created incredible backgrounds. Now computer graphics and digital animations make “virtual everything” — from people to places to create pretty much anything we want in film (from the truly believable to the unbelievable!). When you look at movie technology and consider all the invention behind it, a lot has happened in just over 100 years!

Technicolor

Here’s an awesome video about the technology behind Technicolor. Technicolor was not the first movie film available, but it really became the first great color film technology. The Technicolor process really held its own over the years and through the life of 35mm film.

Movie Mistakes

For fun, I’ve had this link about the worst on-set mistakes from Hollywood. Just like staying until the end of a Jackie Chan movie where you get to see the outtakes, it’s interesting to see things when they don’t go right!

Movie Technology “Past Predictions”

This link is now six years old, but I included it because it was a look at the future of movie technology. Now we can look at it and see what came true and what hasn’t. For instance, they talk about IMAX “with lasers,” and the fact is that now high-lumen projectors are incorporating laser technology! Long gone are the days of carbon-arc projecting … and now even xenon bulbs are seemingly old technology. Instead of a massive 6,000 watt bulb, projectors have transitioned to multiple stacks of bulbs (no more single point of failure with a “bulb blow-out”) and laser technology. Just three years ago, I had the opportunity to see a 90,000 (!) lumen projector in Christie’s digital labs in Kitchener, Ontario. Until then, 35,000 lumens was about the brightest output for a projector. To give you an idea how bright 90,000 lumens is, if you stand close in the path of the light, dark clothing can start to smolder and ignite! Though this technology hasn’t advanced, likely due to the danger involved and the very unique need for something that bright, laser technology has continued to advance.

More on Movie Technology

Since the days computers found their way into movie making, things have changed a lot. Here’s another look at the technology today and where it’s going.

Time to Think About 8K?

And here’s a sneak look into 8K video and the development. By the way, the next Olympics from Japan will be shot in 8K.

And finally ...

If you stumble across a good or unusual website that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is

Author: Dan Slentz
Posted: July 12, 2018, 5:49 pm
NEWBURY PARK, Calif., July 12, 2018 - Platinum Tools(R) (www.platinumtools.com), the leader in solutions for the preparation, installation, hand termination and testing of wire and cable, is proud to announce the new Xpress Jack Termination Kit (p/n 90175) is now available. Platinum Tools will ...

NEWBURY PARK, Calif., July 12, 2018 - Platinum Tools(R) (www.platinumtools.com), the leader in solutions for the preparation, installation, hand termination and testing of wire and cable, is proud to announce the new Xpress Jack Termination Kit (p/n 90175) is now available.

Platinum Tools will feature the new Xpress Jack Termination Kit during CEDIA Expo 2018, held in San Diego from Sept. 6-8 at the San Diego Convention Center, booth # 4352, and during ISE Expo 2018, held in Denver from August 14-16 at the Colorado Convention Center, booth # 122.

“The Xpress Jack Termination Kit makes keystone jack terminations easier than ever,” explained Jason Chesla, Platinum Tools marketing manager. “With the Cat5/6 Cable Jacket Stripper and the Scissor-Run Electrician’s Scissors to prep your cable, and the Xpress Jack Punchdown tool, this kit makes terminating your Keystone Jacks an efficient and expedient process.”

With an MSRP of $189.00, the kit also includes a hanging tool pouch, and ten blue Keystone Cat6 110 Jacks and ten white Keystone Cat6 110 Jacks.

For additional pricing and more information on Platinum Tools and its complete product line, please visit www.platinumtools.com, call (800) 749-5783, or email info@platinumtools.com.

Platinum Tools, founded in 1997, was created based upon two very simple objectives. First, develop the absolute best possible solutions for the preparation, installation, and hand termination of wire and cable. Second, implement an operational infrastructure that can deliver these products in an efficient, timely, and high quality manner.

All of our products must absolutely satisfy three critical benchmark criteria…utility of function; quality of function; and economic value. Our people are our company. They, too, must be focused on and work to satisfy three critical benchmark criteria…customer satisfaction; product knowledge and expertise; and willingness to learn and adapt.

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Author: CRL Public Relations
Posted: July 12, 2018, 5:32 pm
It’s new equipment season again! Radio World’s “Summer of Products” feature is all about new gear that has come onto the market in recent months, especially during spring convention season. Here and in the next several issues we feature equipment that caught our eye.

RW kicks off the 2018 edition of Summer of Products coverage

It’s new equipment season again! Radio World’s “Summer of Products” feature is all about new gear that has come onto the market in recent months, especially during spring convention season. Here and in the next several issues we feature equipment that caught our eye.

No more having to check eBay and vintage audio equipment dealers for possibly creaky old stock. Legacy microphone maker Neumann is taking a spin in the Wayback Machine with a reissue of one of its famed microphones, the U 67.

The U 67 was introduced in 1960 and quickly found a home as on option in recording studios throughout Europe and the United States. The adventurous broadcast engineer might try to talk his GM into springing for one.

The tube-based mic features the K 67 capsule for that buttery Neumann sound. The new issue, according to Neumann, is loyal to its past. President Wolfgang Fraissinet said, “The reissue has been meticulously reproduced to original specifications.”

Keeping with the original are selectable omni/figure 8/cardioid pattern, low-cut filter, BV 12 output transformer along with matching tube circuitry for the EF86 tubes.

Info: www.neumann.com

View the 11 images of this gallery on the original article
Author: RW Staff
Posted: July 12, 2018, 5:02 pm
The process of bringing a station to life is a complicated venture. Take the case of a construction permit for an FM station in Aguila, Ariz., which bounced through a bankruptcy case, a handful of objections, challenges over tower height and a fence, and whether the spot is really just a makeshift ...

One licensee questions whether owner of winning CP permit in Arizona has permanent authority to operate a broadcast facility

The process of bringing a station to life is a complicated venture. Take the case of a construction permit for an FM station in Aguila, Ariz., which bounced through a bankruptcy case, a handful of objections, challenges over tower height and a fence, and whether the spot is really just a makeshift location.

That’s what’s happening with KAZV(FM). Matinee Media acquired the KAZV construction permit from Able Radio Corp., which was the 2011 winning bidder for a new commercial FM station in Aguila, Ariz. It filed for bankruptcy in 2015. After acquisition, Matinee submitted a license to cover for the station in December 2017.

At the same time that the permit was awarded to Able in 2011, the Media Bureau simultaneously dismissed two competing modification applications by Entravision Holdings for stations KVVA(FM) and KDVA(FM). Entravision had repeatedly challenged the grant of the KAZV CP through informal objection, petition for reconsideration and application for review by arguing that Able had failed to obtain reasonable assurance of site availability at its original site.

[Read: Texas Licensee Denied Chance to See License Reinstated]

In April 2014, the bureau had its final say on the matter when it denied Entravision’s final application for review.

Now as the new assignee, Matinee specified it would build a 150-foot tower (instead of the proposed 365-foot tower) under a temporary use permit handed out by Maricopa County so that the tower could be built before the construction permit expired; a special use permit was on its way, the licensee said. On Dec. 26, 2017, the day the construction permit expired, Matinee filed its license application with the FCC.

A day later, Entravision responded by filing new modification applications and contending that the KAZV facilities are impermissibly temporary, saying that the KAZV license application was filed at the last minute and that the temporary use permit it is using does not provide permanent authority to operate the broadcast facility.

Entravision also argued that Matinee failed to file a post-license application ownership report, failed to construct a main studio, and failed to conduct RF field strength measurements and protective fencing. Because of these defects, Entravision argues that the KAZV application should be dismissed as a “mere placeholder.”

Matinee responded by saying it did take appropriate RF field strength measurements, that a fence was not needed, and that requesting a main studio was unnecessary because the commission had already adopted an order eliminating the main studio rule. The licensee also urged the commission to distinguish between reasonable assurance of site availability issues and local zoning and permitting issues — an area “best left to the appropriate local governmental authorities with the expertise and jurisdiction over same,” Matinee said.

The Media Bureau responded to Entravision’s objections with a reminder that the Communications Act of 1934 imposes a stringent standard on challenges to license applications.

“So long as all the terms, conditions, and obligations set forth in the application and permit have been fully met, Matinee is entitled, as an applicant for a license to cover a construction permit, to a high degree of protection …” the bureau said.

Traditionally, the commission is reluctant to designate license applications for hearing, the bureau said. So too in this case — the FCC found that Entravision failed to demonstrate that Matinee failed to meet the terms of its permit or that grant of the KAZV license application would be inconsistent with the public interest.

However Entravision raised an important point: that some licensees have abused the system by erecting makeshift facilities when faced with the imminent expiration of a construction permit. As a result, FCC Rules do clarify that an applicant may not rely on temporarily constructed facilities to satisfy construction requirements.

That’s not what is happening here, however, the bureau said.

After delays due to leasing, environmental review, tower registration and FAA compliance issues, Matinee encountered a local zoning issue regarding tower height that could not be resolved in time. Matinee amended its application and received the green light to construct alternative facilities (the smaller 150-foot tower versus an originally proposed 365-foot guyed tower). Matinee plans to increase its tower height through a future modification application if circumstances permit it to do so, the licensee said.

As a result, the bureau concluded that the Entravision has not demonstrated that the KAZV facilities are or were impermissibly temporary.

The bureau also clarified that it would leave enforcement actions concerning any alleged violations of local ordinances to the appropriate local authorities, that Matinee’s delay in filing an ownership report does not rise to the level of enforcement action and said Matinee was in the right regarding the soon-to-be-obsolete main studio rule.

As a result, the commission denied the informal objection field by Entravision and granted Matinee its license.

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 12, 2018, 4:15 pm
The Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead on its efforts to make more C Band spectrum available to additional users. At its July Open Meeting, the commission adopted an Order and a separate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will begin the process of collecting information about earth ...

Commission adopts items that begin the process of collecting information about giving mobile operators access to midband spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead on its efforts to make more C Band spectrum available to additional users.

At its July Open Meeting, the commission adopted an Order and a separate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will begin the process of collecting information about earth stations and space stations operating in the band as well as potentially add a mobile allocation to the 3.7–4.2 GHz band.

The reason: the United States is behind when it comes to making midband spectrum available for next-generation 5G networks, said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

[Read: FCC Gives C Band Earth Station Filers Another 90 Days]

“Now the good news,” she said. “With today’s rulemaking and order we are doing something about it. We explore a variety of mechanisms for clearing the 3.7–4.2 GHz band for 5G use. And if we make headway here, we can start to reclaim lost leadership in spectrum that is critical for success in 5G networks.”

Rosenworcel acknowledged that these frequencies are currently being used by television and radio broadcasters and cable operators to deliver programming to more than 100 million American households. She said future discussions must take this into account.

Specifically, the order will require fixed satellite service earth stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to certify the accuracy of registration and will collect additional information from space station licensees on their operations in the band. The commission will use this information to evaluate the most efficient way to drive the deployment of midband spectrum for mobile services and more intensive fixed services.

The notice proposes to add a mobile allocation to all 500 megahertz in the band and seeks comment on various proposals for transitioning part or all of the band for flexible use, working up from 3.7 GHz. The notice also seeks comment on allowing more intensive point-to-multipoint fixed use in some portion of the band on a shared basis. It also seeks comment on service and technical rules that would enable efficient and intensive use by any new services in the band.

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 12, 2018, 3:58 pm
Doha-based Salam Media Cast has purchased four GatesAir Flexiva FAX 5-kW FM transmitters with redundant dual-exciter configurations. GatesAir says Salam Media Cast selected its Flexiva transmitters due their air-cooled technology, compact footprint and competitive pricing. The company adds that it ...

Will deliver four Flexiva FAX 5-kW FM transmitters to Salam Media Cast

Doha-based Salam Media Cast has purchased four GatesAir Flexiva FAX 5-kW FM transmitters with redundant dual-exciter configurations.

A GatesAir Flexiva FAX FM transmitter.

GatesAir says Salam Media Cast selected its Flexiva transmitters due their air-cooled technology, compact footprint and competitive pricing. The company adds that it was also able to offer an accelerated delivery cycle, thus allowing the broadcast-service company to meet its set deadline.

[Read: Cumulus Orders 35 More GatesAir Flexivas]

Systems integrator, Media Group International, will assist with installation, commissioning and post-sales support among other services.

Author: Marguerite Clark
Posted: July 12, 2018, 12:30 pm
QUITO, Ecuador — Twenty-two years ago, Cuban singer and actor Ovidio González arrived in the Ecuadorian capital. As he was adapting to his new surroundings, he noticed that Ecuadorians weren’t very familiar with Cuban culture, music and musicians, but they were eager to learn. González thus ...

The radio show offers rare insight into Cuban culture and music

QUITO, Ecuador — Twenty-two years ago, Cuban singer and actor Ovidio González arrived in the Ecuadorian capital. As he was adapting to his new surroundings, he noticed that Ecuadorians weren’t very familiar with Cuban culture, music and musicians, but they were eager to learn.

Ovidio González interviews legendary Cuban singer Omara Portuondo.

González thus launched the radio program “La propuesta de Ovidio” (“Ovidio’s Proposal”) in May 1996 to help educate Ecuadorians about his native island.

“I launched the show before the film ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ was released, and my program was already featuring music from Omara Portuondo, Compay Segundo, the Cuarteto Patria with Eliades Ochoa, Ibrahim Ferrer with Los Bocucos and so many Cuban music legends,” he said.

Cuban singer and actor Ovidio González (Credit: Ovidio González website).

Initially, González thought La propuesta de Ovidio would be aired for about a six months. Today however, 22 years later, the program continues to attract a loyal following, with its listeners still enjoying their weekend meetings. Public broadcaster Radio de la Asamblea Nacional airs the show every Saturday and Sunday from 2–4 p.m.

“My show discusses Cuban roots and offers the audience a vision into the essence of being Cuban,” explained González, who considers himself “never far or outside of Cuba” artistically.

[Read: Radiando Empowers Vulnerable Groups]

The program, in fact, provides insight into Cuban music produced and released on the island and often ignored — or unknown — by the mainstream music industry elsewhere.

Over the years, González has interviewed many Cuban musicians and singers for his show. His work is praised by many fellow countrymen in Ecuador.

“Ovidio is a Caribbean breeze on Ecuadorian radio, I always listen to him to listen to Cuba,” said Cuban painter Luis Alberto Saavedra, who is also a Quito resident.

“I think he is one of the main Cuban cultural figures abroad, and I hope he gets the institutional acknowledgement he deserves,” Saavedra added.

Author: Jorge Basilago
Posted: July 12, 2018, 7:59 am
MAROLLES EN BRIE, France — Software developer NeoGroupe has released two new mobile apps — NeoScreenerSmart and NBSSmart. The NeoScreenerSmart app is designed to operate with the NeoScreener talkshow call management solution and allows remote radio hosts to visualize and broadcast calls that are ...

Has released two new mobile apps

MAROLLES EN BRIE, France — Software developer NeoGroupe has released two new mobile apps — NeoScreenerSmart and NBSSmart.

The NeoScreenerSmart app is designed to operate with the NeoScreener talkshow call management solution and allows remote radio hosts to visualize and broadcast calls that are presented on the NeoScreener call screening system in the studio.

NeoGroupe says NeoScreenerSmart offers comprehensive user control, rights and action logging, allowing users to know who has access to their phones at all times.

The company has also introduced the NBSSmart application, which works with NeoGroupe’s asset tracking system, NBS. NBSSmart allows a technician at a transmitter site to, for example, easily carry out an inventory check or scan an item and immediately access its historical information, including details about the vendor as well as scanned documents such as an invoice, manual or a configuration file.

[Read: Prepare Your Station for the New EU Data Protection Regulation]

The applications run on smartphones and tablets and are available for IOS and Android.

For information, contact NeoGroupe in France at +33-9-72-23-62-00 or visit www.neogroupe.com

Author: Marguerite Clark
Posted: July 12, 2018, 7:39 am
It’s a call that any prospective licensee would be happy to get — confirmation from the Federal Communications Commission that a pending call sign has been assigned. In the month of June, more than 30 licensees had either a new call sign assigned to them or had their call sign reassigned. While ...

Commission noted more than 30 call sign changes, including four new assignments

It’s a call that any prospective licensee would be happy to get — confirmation from the Federal Communications Commission that a pending call sign has been assigned.

In the month of June, more than 30 licensees had either a new call sign assigned to them or had their call sign reassigned. While the majority of assignments involved changing a licensee’s call sign from one sign to another, there were four new call signs handed out by the FCC — three to FM stations and one to a LPFMer.

That low-power call sign went to La Meaestra Family Clinic in El Cajon, Calif., a health center focused on low-income and immigrant residents. A new call sign was also assigned to Bay Broadcasting Co. in Dillingham, Alaska. The new KAKD(FM) joins sister noncommercial station KAKN — also owned by Bay Broadcasting Co. — which is across Bristol Bay in Naknek, Alaska.

Far away in Texas, the nonprofit radio network Radio Bilingue was assigned call sign KHEM(FM) in Zapata, Texas. This network provides stations with news, information and cultural programming in Spanish and musical programs showcasing a variety of Latino formats.

The last new call sign in June was assigned to Canton Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Greenup, Ill., (WLSQ). This Christian-radio station joins WLSE, an affiliate of the LifeTalk Radio network.

When it comes to reassigned call signs, new assignments were issued to religious organizations, media companies, individual licensees as well as nonprofit organizations like OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, a grassroots environmental advocacy group in Portland that has been assigned KICN(LP), or Radio Free Fort Myers, a youth outreach service who has been reassigned the low-power call sign WOKE(LP).

The complete list of Media Bureau call sign actions can be found here.

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 11, 2018, 9:14 pm
EAGAN, MINNESOTA: From the straightforward idea that audio professionals should have truly professional microphone stands that work without fail year-after-year and decade-after-decade, Latch Lake now builds a family of microphone stands worthy of exacting engineers and world-class studios. Given ...

EAGAN, MINNESOTA: From the straightforward idea that audio professionals should have truly professional microphone stands that work without fail year-after-year and decade-after-decade, Latch Lake now builds a family of microphone stands worthy of exacting engineers and world-class studios. Given their tremendous USA-build quality (backed by a lifetime warranty!) and attention to detail, Latch Lake was recently twice-recognized at the 2018 Summer NAMM show in two separate categories.

The NAMM “Best in Show” breakfast panel announces the top, peer-reviewed products shopped throughout the entire trade show floor. This year they picked the entire Latch Lake MicKing® Series of microphone stands in the “Add-ons and Accessory” category for their strength and durability and in the “Gotta Stock It” category, they cited the Latch Lake Xtra® Boom arm for it’s incredible flexibility of use. That’s quite a feat for a family of products that has been on the market a number of years already, as well as a testament to their uncompromising excellence.

“We’ve spent almost nothing on advertising and have really grown through grassroots word-of-mouth alone,” reflected Dave Roberts, Latch Lake COO. Dave runs the company with his father Jeff Roberts, who reset the course of the company from guitar slides to stands over fifteen years ago after struggling to record a piano session with supposedly “high-end” mic stands that couldn’t hold a microphone over the piano harp. “When my dad fabricated the first Latch Lake mic stand, the rest of the industry was in a race to the bottom. Everyone else was single-mindedly focused on building mic stands as cheaply as possible. My dad recognized that professional engineers needed a real tool that would work with them in the studio and not against them.”

“Our mic stands and booms are clearly differentiated – they’re built to last a lifetime, literally,” said the elder Roberts. “They’re overbuilt workhorses and will never fail. A lot of folks think the Latch Lake difference matters for expensive microphones, and that’s certainly true, but they’re also designed to be fast and accurate. Who wants to waste time or kill a vibe with a weak mic stand when expensive musicians are waiting around? And every engineer knows that mic placement is one of the most important aspects of recording; certainly at least as important as downstream processing for which people drop thousands and thousands of dollars for rack gear! With a Latch Lake stand, a professional engineer can easily move a microphone to the perfect position and know that it will stay there without fail. A Latch Lake MicKing or Xtra Boom is a small price to pay to avoid the heart-sinking realization half-way through a session that a cheap mic stand has dropped a mic out of position.”

ABOUT LATCH LAKE MUSIC All Latch Lake products are made in-house in their Minnesota factory that also specializes in metal fabrication. With over sixty years of design and manufacturing experience in the industrial safety marketplace, Latch Lake stands are built to be “FOREVER STANDS”. Latch Lake Music is sold in the U.S. by TransAudio Group, home to the very best equipment in high-end audio recording.

To review the entire Latch Lake Music product line, visit their website. www.latchlakemusic.com or call: (651) 688-2540 to ask about custom projects.

Author: davis@aadvert.com
Posted: July 11, 2018, 9:04 pm
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting demonstrated financial support for increasing podcast diversity at this week’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Chicago. The CPB awarded a $200,000 grant to New York Public Radio for its Women’s Voices Initiative and Werk It: A Women’s ...

New York Public Radio and PRX both received new funding for podcast development programs

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting demonstrated financial support for increasing podcast diversity at this week’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Chicago.

The CPB awarded a $200,000 grant to New York Public Radio for its Women’s Voices Initiative and Werk It: A Women’s Podcasting Festival; and the organization also granted PRX $1.5 million to fund a second round of podcasting development project Project Catapult.

The Werk It festival launched in 2015 in New York and was billed as the podcasting industry’s first event for women. The 2017 event was held in Los Angeles and attended by more than 600 women from 14 countries (including the US). The 2018 edition of the festival will be held in New York, and in 2019 it will return to LA.

This year’s Werk It will offer attendees the chance to build podcasting skills, network with other podcasters, sit in on live tapings of women-hosted podcasts and pitch ideas to a jury of producers as part of a Podcast Accelerator. The winner of the accelerator will be invited to develop a pilot in conjunction with WNYC Studios.

With CPB support, NYPR launched the Women’s Voices initiative in 2014 to increase the number of women hosting audio programs in public media. The organization developed and distributed new podcasts hosted by women — “Death, Sex + Money,” “Note to Self” and “The Longest Shortest Time.”

Quoted in the announcement, New York Public Radio President/CEO Laura Walker saluted CPB for partnering in its efforts “to make sure women reach parity in all aspects of podcasting.”

According to the announcement, New York Public Radio includes WNYC, WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space and New Jersey Public Radio.

“PRX through Project Catapult, with CPB funding, is helping stations take their storytelling talent, utilize technology and engage new audiences. This new CPB grant will build on public media’s podcasting successes and increase the numbers of participating stations,” said CPB President/CEO Pat Harrison.

[PRX Puts Podcasting in its Catapult]

Seven public media stations participated in the inaugural Project Catapult, which consisted of a five-month podcast-centric curriculum that began with a boot camp at the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston. It culminated in the launch of podcasts such as WYPR(FM) Baltimore’s “Out of the Blocks,” which won a 2018 Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Now with the CPB funding supporting travel, training and production costs, Project Catapult’s second round will focus on helping rural, southern and western public radio stations learn to podcast effectively.

Applications for the two cohorts of five stations are expected to open in August 2018 and March 2019. Interested stations should submit podcast ideas and demonstrate management support for the program. With input from CPB and a panel, PRX will select the winning stations. Selected participants will cultivate networking across the participating stations and offer three years of distribution and support for the podcasts developed as a result of the program.

Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 11, 2018, 7:02 pm
Once when I was in eighth grade, which was about two months before rocks were formed, I sat in geography class and as usual was paying no attention to where Egypt or Mesopotamia were located. Instead, I was drawing out a schematic of the Class B modulator with a pair of 6L6s that I wanted to build ...

He urges commission to remember how much broadcasters are doing with limited resources

Once when I was in eighth grade, which was about two months before rocks were formed, I sat in geography class and as usual was paying no attention to where Egypt or Mesopotamia were located.

Instead, I was drawing out a schematic of the Class B modulator with a pair of 6L6s that I wanted to build for my 40-meter CW rig. Out of a clear blue sky, I heard my name and looked up. The teacher was looking at me with a quizzical expression. It was obvious he had asked me a question. Of course, it had nothing to do with 807s or 6L6s, so I had no idea what would be a good answer.

After a long, sweaty pause, he finally broke the silence with this little gem: “Mr. Schacht, it’s about time you wake up and smell the coffee.”

That line is again applicable today, concerning the FCC and the C-band debacle.

It seems to me that the agency that licenses and controls all of the radio spectrum would vaguely know what everyone else in the communications industry knows: C-band satellite transmission is the lifeblood of television, radio, CATV and a great deal of data transmissions.

Rather than the commission ask every broadcast station and CATV system to register their antenna (of course, for commercial purposes at an unnecessarily high fee!), the commission should require CATV, radio and television that don’t use C-band downlinks to register! There probably are very few, with the exception of LPFMs (I take care of a big 100-watter that does have a C-band downlink).

The C-band downlink is the lifeblood of every CATV system, so I am sure the commission knows where every one of them is. Why can’t the commission just accept the fact that nearly every broadcast station — TV, radio, commercial and non-com — is using C-band downlinks?

Now, on to the frequency allocation. Take a look at the RF spectrum as is currently allocated by the FCC. (If you’re unfamiliar, you can find it in most radio books and all over the internet.) How much spectrum does “radiolocation” need? Yes, this is radar and the like, but I really think what is listed as “radiolocation” is either unoccupied or being saved for government use. Why not share some of that underused spectrum? There’s a whole bunch of it around 3GHz among other places.

Why do we, the broadcasters, have to keeping making concessions for the cellular and broadband people? Other than because money talks, and they have lots of it.

Do you know why the cellular people and broadband people have so much money to bully the FCC around, and the broadcasters and CATV people have so little? That’s because while we certainly are in the business of making money, we are also community servants.

PRIORITIZING SERVICE OVER PROFIT

Right now, as I write this, we are under a tornado warning and severe storm warning in Iowa. The local radio stations are tracking the storms and I am listening to live coverage. All they are doing is using their licensed facilities to keep people safe and save lives.

The cellular people do none of that; they just rake in money to provide a telephone and an internet service that works “some of the time.”

Sure, they send out alerts. I have two cellular phones from different carriers. I hear severe weather alerts on local radio or television as NOAA trips the EAS system. Anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes later, it might trip one or both of my cell phones. By then, the storm has passed, or I was sucked up in the tornado I didn’t know about, or the Amber Alert missing child is now three states away.

No, neither the cell phones nor the internet even comes close to what the broadcasters provide in their communities. Unlike the cell companies or the broadband providers, the broadcasters will do whatever is necessary to keep the public informed in an emergency: stations operating from their transmitter sites when the studio was leveled by a tornado, AMers stringing up long wires when their tower is toppled. Local radio and television will be there when the public needs them.

QUESTIONABLE RELIABILITY

Have you ever tried to use the internet or cell service for a program link? Yes, both radio and television do, but it ain’t no match for the reliability or quality you get from a satellite. A few of the stations that I deal with have given up carrying some college football teams because the provider went off the bird and onto the internet, and it just isn’t reliable.

Yes, the internet and cell phones are nice, but as toys. If I need to make an important call, I’ll always go to a landline; it sounds good, and I won’t lose the call. Maybe, rather than give the cell and broadband more spectrum, the commission should require that they make what they have work and not keep reducing the sample rate of the calls to make more money by squeezing more calls onto each RF carrier.

So, to the FCC: Maybe you should look at less used spectrum for the broadband people, or take it away from somewhere else.

You have taken our TV ENG channels, our over-the-air TV channels, you have had your eyes set on our UHF RPU frequencies and now on our major source of programming outside the studio, the C-band.

We are doing our damned best to serve the people of our communities, over the air, commercial or non-commercial, in spite of the big money trying to make us stop watching free TV or listen to free radio and services that keep us safe.

I think it’s time for the FCC to wake up and smell the coffee!

The author is a consulting engineer in Kensett, Iowa.

Author: Ron Schacht
Posted: July 11, 2018, 5:03 pm
Dynaudio Music Family of Intelligent Wireless Music Systems Automatically Adapts to Users’ Music Preferences and Listening Environment GLENVIEW, Ill. — July 10, 2018 — Dynaudio today announced the North American release of Dynaudio Music, an intelligent wireless all-in-one music system with ...

Dynaudio Music Family of Intelligent Wireless Music Systems Automatically Adapts to Users’ Music Preferences and Listening Environment

GLENVIEW, Ill. July 10, 2018 Dynaudio today announced the North American release of Dynaudio Music, an intelligent wireless all-in-one music system with multiroom capability that seamlessly adapts both sound and music selection to the user’s tastes, home and lifestyle. With its sophisticated Music Now algorithm, the Dynaudio Music system automatically generates personalized playlists and makes them available at the touch of a button. Using intelligent digital signal processing (DSP), the Dynaudio Music systems sense speaker placement and noise within a room and optimizes performance to deliver the best sound possible.

“Our new Dynaudio Music family makes it easy to enjoy the music you love anywhere in your home with uncompromising fidelity,” said Dynaudio CEO Andrew Werdean. “Tuned by the same team that develops our money-is-no-object hi-fi speakers and pro studio systems, Dynaudio Music systems boast the quality, innovation and modern Danish design that characterize our renowned hi-fi speaker portfolio.”

Dynaudio Music intelligent wireless speakers are available in four models, each of which offers five presets that can be tied to any media accessible via the Dynaudio app: smart Music Now playlists (from multiple user profiles), internet radio stations, albums, artists and more. The app can also access content from a user’s network or directly from Tidal.

Through the free Dynaudio app — available for iOS and Android devices — the sophisticated Music Now algorithm learns the musical tastes of up to five users. By simply pressing a button on the speaker, a user can launch a custom playlist and enjoy the convenience of a personal deejay without the distracting chatter.

Dynaudio’s expertise in DSP, gained from researching and developing high-end active speakers, professional studio setups and cutting-edge, in-car hi-fi systems, is to thank for consistently high speaker performance. Built-in RoomAdapt technology senses speaker placement — in a corner, up against a rear wall or in an open space — and optimizes performance, most notably with clean, accurate bass and midrange. Essential musical details are always clear too. Integrated NoiseAdapt technology allows the speaker to deliver music at the right volume and tone, even as the volume of conversation or other noise in the room changes.

All four speakers in the Dynaudio Music family are active, meaning each driver has a dedicated

high-performance class-D amplifier specifically tuned to match it. In addition, all four models use Dynaudio’s proprietary MSP cone material — incorporated in every product including the range-topping Evidence series — in their woofers and midrange drivers. Their soft-dome tweeters likewise are based on Dynaudio’s high-end speakers.

Different models are equipped with slightly different features to help them fit various lifestyles and situations:

  • Music 1 is battery- and mains-powered. Its total power is 80W (each driver has its own 40W amplifier), and its battery lasts up to eight hours. It has one 4-inch woofer and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. MSRP is $549.
  • Music 3 is battery- and mains-powered. Its total power is 120W (each driver has its own 40W amplifier), and its battery lasts up to eight hours. It has one 5-inch woofer and two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters, and it comes with a remote control. MSRP is $699.
  • Music 5 is mains-powered. It delivers a total of 250W (each driver has its own 50W amplifier), and it has one 5-inch woofer, two 3-inch midrange drivers and two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters. The unit comes with a remote control. MSRP is $849.
  • Music 7 is mains-powered, and its total power is 300W (each driver has its own 50W amplifier). It has two 5-inch woofers, two 3-inch midrange drivers and two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters, and it comes with a remote control. MSRP is $1,099.

Released in Europe earlier this year, the Dynaudio Music family has earned wide praise from reviewers and industry professionals. In fact, Music 1 already has earned the European Product Design Award, which recognizes the efforts of talented designers and design teams who aim to improve users’ daily lives with practical and beautiful creations designed to solve a problem, make life easier or simply spread joy.

“With the Music 5, Dynaudio shows how technical gadgets can improve the user experience and enhance the sound performance, instead of being a burden,” stated a reviewer for FIDELITY magazine. “That’s how a modern music system should be: hassle-free, no cables and full of sound performance.”

A reviewer for Soundstage! Simplifi declared the Music 7 to be “among the best, if not the best, all-in-one Wi-Fi speakers I’ve tested, with a detailed, effortless natural sound that goes far beyond the boundaries of its single cabinet to create a convincing stereo soundstage with music.”

All the speakers in the Dynaudio Music family can stream via Wi-Fi, aptX Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay (they’re also AirPlay 2-ready) and can access DLNA devices on users’ home networks. They all have USB inputs for iOS audio and charging iOS devices and can accept 3.5mm analog inputs. The Music 5 and Music 7 units add digital optical inputs to the mix (both support signals up to 24-bit/96kHz), with the Music 7 including an HDMI connector for Audio Return Channel, enabling the models to be employed as a soundbar. Up to six Dynaudio Music speakers can be connected at a time and either arranged into stereo pairs, multiroom groups or controlled individually from the Dynaudio app.

The inspired design of Dynaudio Music speakers comes not only from Danish tradition, but also from origami, traditional Chinese boat sails and even stealth fighter jets. Each model is available in light grey, dark grey, red and blue cloth finishes, custom-made by the acclaimed Danish textile house Gabriel, and each is constructed from high-quality materials — including a one-piece brushed aluminum surround on the Music 5 and Music 7. The front grill cloths on the Music 5 and Music 7 are interchangeable, so users can change the look of the speaker system as their tastes evolve. Both the Music 5 and Music 7 can be wall-mounted using an optionally available, dedicated steel wall-bracket.

The entire Dynaudio Music range is available now through authorized Dynaudio dealers in the USA and Canada. Further information, including high-resolution product and lifestyle images and product information, is available at http://mediakit.dynaudio.com.

Visit Dynaudio at CEDIA 2018, Booth 1927

# # #

Editors’ Note: If you’re interested in reviewing any of Dynaudio Music systems, please contact Veronica at veronica@ingearpr.com.

About Dynaudio
Dynaudio was founded in 1977 in Skanderborg, Denmark. Today, it is recognized as one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality loudspeakers and one of the world’s most distinguished high-end audio companies. Dynaudio is particularly recognized for its advanced driver technology, designed, engineered and continuously developed in-house; its pioneering R&D technology; and its unparalleled craftsmanship. More information is available at www.dynaudio.com.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

PR Link: www.ingearpr.com/Dynaudio/180710Dynaudio.docx
Image Link: www.ingearpr.com/Dynaudio/Dynaudio_family-music-red.png

Follow Dynaudio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DynaudioGroup
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dynaudio/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dynaudio
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DynaudioOfficial

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 11, 2018, 4:44 pm
It’s ETRS renew time. The Federal Communications Commission announced it has opened the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) for 2018 filings. Each year, EAS participants are required to renew identifying information within the ETRS Form One. For 2018, the deadline to complete the 2018 ETRS Form One ...

EAS participants have until Aug. 27 to file their 2018 Form One in the EAS Test Reporting System

It’s ETRS renew time.

The Federal Communications Commission announced it has opened the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) for 2018 filings.

Each year, EAS participants are required to renew identifying information within the ETRS Form One. For 2018, the deadline to complete the 2018 ETRS Form One is before Aug. 27.

Keep in mind that each EAS participant should file a separate copy of Form One for each of its EAS decoders, EAS encoders, or units that combine decoder and encoder functions. (For example, if an individual is filing for a broadcaster that uses two units combining encoder and decoder functions, that individual should file two copies of Form One.)

There are some exceptions on who does not need to file. Those exempt from filing include FM broadcast booster stations and FM translator stations that only rebroadcast the programming of other local FM broadcast stations, analog and digital broadcast stations that operate as satellites or repeaters of a hub station, or analog and digital low power television stations that operate as translator stations.

All other EAS participants — including low-power FM stations, Class D noncommercial educational FM stations, and EAS participants that are silent pursuant to a grant of Special Temporary Authority — are required to register and file Form One in ETRS.

Filers can access ETRS at the commission’s website here. Each user must have a registered FCC username associated with the correct FCC Registration Numbers — or FRNs — for which they will file.

Those with questions who want to talk to a real live person can reach out to Austin Randazzo at (202) 418-1462 or austin.randazzo@fcc.gov; or Gregory Cooke at (202) 418-2351 or gregory.cooke@fcc.gov. Filers may also contact the CORES Help Desk at CORESHelpDesk@fcc.gov or bureau staff at ETRS@fcc.gov.

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 11, 2018, 4:31 pm
REC Networks jumped into radio in mid-’90s when founder Michelle “Michi” Bradley started tracking radio just as the Telecommunications Act and pirate radio were coming on the scene. In the years since then, the advocacy group has become a leading voice for low-power FM. Radio World spoke ...

REC Founder Michelle Bradley says “LPFM has always been given a raw deal”

REC Networks jumped into radio in mid-’90s when founder Michelle “Michi” Bradley started tracking radio just as the Telecommunications Act and pirate radio were coming on the scene. In the years since then, the advocacy group has become a leading voice for low-power FM. Radio World spoke with Bradley about the ongoing legacy of necessity of Auction 83, the relationship between LPFM and FM translators where it comes to spectrum access, and how the group is still trying to help new community radio stations overcome longstanding roadblocks.

Radio World: What led you to see there was a need for an advocacy group like this?

Michelle Bradley: In the late ’90s, just before and after the FCC originally proposed LPFM, I had noticed a lot of gamesmanship going on, especially where it came to abuse of the FM Table of Allotments. The first filings with the FCC to bear the REC Networks name were related to FM Table of Allotments proceedings [within the areas of Southern California, Arizona and Nevada] where various interests were trying to drop in allotments into areas that did not exist or were otherwise not qualified for allotment purposes.

I was fairly successful in getting some of these allotments denied and to this day, I am still looking out for these.

Then came roadblock after roadblock that was impacting new community radio stations. In the middle of the original LPFM filing windows, we had NAB distributing to Congress these recordings on CD of what a new LPFM station on a third-adjacent channel supposedly would do to existing commercial FM stations. This lobbying effort would eventually turn into the Radio Broadcast Protection Act which would require LPFM stations to protect third-adjacent channel stations and caused a mass dismissal of hundreds of applications on what I called “The St. Patty’s Day Massacre” as it happened on March 17, 2003.

Not much longer after that, the FCC would open a window for new FM translator filings. After 15,000 applications were filed, I coined it “The Great Translator Invasion;” the FCC called it “Auction 83.” This is when I started to track these translator applications. I watched as these translators, most of them belonging to two organizations headed by the same person, were being granted without filing fees (because they were applied for as noncommercial educational), and the resulting construction permits eventually being sold off. A small number of people were making millions on this government giveaway.

[Read: Bradley Digs Deep Into FCC Records]

LPFM has always been given a raw deal. This is because it doesn’t have the money, but policy needs to be about fairness, not who can buy the most spectrum and influence. We also had an FCC that was trying to respond to the many community groups that wanted stations and as a result, they tried to make the LPFM application process as easy as possible. The problem is that they made it too easy, to the service’s detriment.

It is important to understand that under the REC name, I don’t deal solely with LPFM, but I deal with generally with the ability for the individual or small entity to have access to spectrum. I have also advocated on other spectrum issues including amateur radio as well as on telecommunications issues.

REC was never meant to be an “advocacy.” Circumstances caused it to become one.

RW: What are some of the key issues that LPFM and translators are facing today?

Bradley: I feel the main issue right now is the relationship between LPFM and FM translators where it comes to spectrum access.

Because of the attitudes of the 1999-era FCC, LPFM was stuck with distance separation. [Today] you have a disparity between the way that FM translators protect LPFM and vice versa — LPFM stations must use distance separation, translators use contours.

This means that a translator could come in as close as 12 kilometers (app. 7.5 miles) of an LPFM station and specify a directional antenna away from the LPFM station and still protect the LPFM. Looking the other way, that minimum spacing is 39 kilometers (app. 24 miles). Let’s say that translator was 37 kilometers away and still had a directional antenna looking away from the LPFM and the LPFM was losing their site and the new site was 36 kilometers away and because of the translator’s directional antenna, the LPFM station would still not create any contour overlap, the LPFM station can’t move anyway because of minimum distance separation.

This is the translator “short-spacing” issue that was brought up by Prometheus and was a part of the basis of their 998 informal objections they filed to grind the translator application process to a halt.

When Congress passed the Radio Broadcast Protection Act, it stated that FCC must prescribe minimum distance separation for third adjacent channels as well as co-channel, first and second-adjacent channel. When the Local Community Radio Act was signed by President Obama in 2011, the wording was completely changed. In the LCRA wording, Section 2 only required the commission to “provide protections” to co-, first- and second-adjacent channels. In Section 3(b)(1), Congress ordered that the FCC not amend the rules to reduce the minimum distance separations in effect on the date of the enactment of this act between LPFM and full-service FM stations.

Even though this can be interpreted to suggest that the FCC can reduce or eliminate distance separation between LPFM and translators while still prescribing some form of protection (e.g. contours), the FCC kept the status quo and in past letter decisions, misinterpreted the LCRA language in applications attempting to use contours to “short-space” FM translators.

The issue of translator interference, which is currently under-way with MB Docket 18-119 has struck a chord with LPFM stations because of the wording of §74.1204(f) and §74.1203(a), which gives the impression that LPFM stations are not protected from new translators.

REC has filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the FCC to address the translator short-spacing issue in a way that is not disruptive to the processing of pending FM translator applications. (That Petition for Rulemaking has been assigned RM-11810 and is currently in a comment period until July 19.)

RW: Your website is a mix of quick news briefs and late-breaking data right from the FCC. Can you tell me about your priorities when it comes to keeping the industry appraised of what’s going on?

Bradley: The REC website consists of many resources, both interactive and static that have resulted from nearly 20 years of collected data. My personal love of radio and radio history can also be found in some aspects of the REC websites such as the REC Radio History Project portion of FCCdata.org. REC has been about entertainment since day one and we still are. These days, it’s in the form of internet radio stations such as REC-FM, which includes programming available to community radio stations.

The REC website also tracks various rulemaking issues that are of concern to REC and its various advocacy constituents in the LPFM and small broadcaster arenas. I also use the website to start conversations about new concepts such as “alternative spectrum” where I am looking into the potential of using the 26 MHz international shortwave band for domestic use to support community radio in the inner-city. Of course, the website also provides official position statements from REC based on my common-sense analysis of the issues at hand and how those issues would impact the REC constituency.

RW: Can you tell us about the tracking of translators and LPFM applications specifically. Is this something you’ve been doing from the beginning? What is the benefit of this kind of information?

Bradley: The only real tracking of FM translator applications REC has ever performed was related to the applications filed during the 2003 Great Translator Invasion (Auction 83) filing window and that tracking was centered mainly around the millions that various organizations in Twin Falls, Idaho, made during that window.

REC did track LPFM applications during both the 2000–2001 window series and the 2013 filing windows. This tracking was done to show the success of the window and to assist applicants who may have been mutually exclusive. This tracking was also used to determine why applications were dismissed in order to determine shortcomings in the rules that could either be changed or something that applicants in a future window will need to watch out for.

I love data and I love working with data. Currently, the REC database has 250 tables including data from the FCC, Canada, Australia, the U.K. and Ireland as well as many manually maintained tables including comprehensive broadcast data for Japan. Much of this data can be viewed through FCCdata.org.

RW: What would you like our readership to know about the work that your organization does?

Bradley: There are two sides of REC, an advocacy and a business. I am not a nonprofit organization, nor do I wish to be. Much of the advocacy I do over the years has been from out of pocket and I get occasional donations in the tip jar but I also do help LPFM, small FM stations and stations with translators with professional FCC filing services. During the Auction 99 and 100 windows, I had the pleasure of working with several small family-owned and small group-owned AM stations, many in rural areas. To me, these rural AM stations are just as much community radio as an LPFM in Portland, Oregon.

RW: Is there anything else to know about LPFM, translators or other radio groups — anything that’s low-flying on the radar or of key interest?

Bradley: I think it is very important for the readership to know that the actions of other groups during the month of May 2018 do not represent all who support LPFM. In fact, it was a small minority.

Because LPFM is segmented, there is no national organization like NAB, NFCB, NRB, ARRL, etc. to represent the full LPFM service. I was at the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters conference when those objections were filed and I found myself spending the first day of the conference distracted by the issue and having to do damage control to immediately separate REC from these objections. I ran into LPFM station representatives at both the NASB and then at the Dayton Hamvention that took place that weekend who had some opinions about the objections.

I do not subscribe to the rhetoric that “full service FM is out to destroy LPFM” and I surely hope that others do not subscribe to any rhetoric of “LPFM is out to destroy translators” because of the recent events.

I am hoping that the aftermath of the objection filing will pass and we can move forward. Many LPFM stations exist because the people who run them just love radio and they want to keep a local voice in their community. If you have supported your local LPFM stations in the past with advice, old gear, etc., please continue to show your support.

Right now, we have two big issues on the front-burners for radio, the translator interference rules and the Notice of Inquiry related to the C4 class of service and the proposed changes to §73.215. All of these issues will also have impacts to LPFM stations.

Let’s all work together to make better radio for all.

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 11, 2018, 3:49 pm
The RTDNA has announced the winners of the 2018 Student Edward R. Murrow Awards. The awards, presented in five categories, recognize outstanding work by student journalists. These national award winners were selected from among entries submitted by student journalists across the country and ...

Winners to be honored at Oct. 22 Murrow Awards Gala

The RTDNA has announced the winners of the 2018 Student Edward R. Murrow Awards. The awards, presented in five categories, recognize outstanding work by student journalists. These national award winners were selected from among entries submitted by student journalists across the country and represent the best examples of student reporting in their respective categories.

“These outstanding student journalists represent not only the future of journalism, but also the professional level of reporting that student journalists are already bringing news audiences across the country,” said RTDNA Chair Scott Libin.

The winners are:

Excellence in Audio Newscast: Carolina Connection — April 8, 2017, University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism

Excellence in Audio Reporting: Bob Hurley’s Biggest Game, James Corrigan, WFUV, Fordham University

Excellence in Digital Reporting: Troubled Water, Carnegie-Knight News 21

Excellence in Video Newscast: Annenberg TV News – October 2, 2017, USC Annenberg Media

Excellence in Video Reporting: In My Backyard, Zach Putnam, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication

The winners will be recognized at the RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on Oct. 22 along with the winners of the 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Author: TV Technology Staff
Posted: July 11, 2018, 3:19 pm
Digital Radio Mondiale announced that Westbury Community Development Centre (WECODEC) has presented the results of its DRM+ trial that took place in Johannesburg from March to October 2017 to Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). The publication of the document coincides ...

Says the DRM broadcast did not interfere with neighboring analog FM transmissions

Digital Radio Mondiale announced that Westbury Community Development Centre (WECODEC) has presented the results of its DRM+ trial that took place in Johannesburg from March to October 2017 to Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

The publication of the document coincides with ICASA’s open hearings on digital sound broadcasting, taking place July 11-13, and details the DRM test, which WECODEC, an organization serving disadvantaged communities near Johannesburg, carried out with its community radio station Kofifi FM 97.2. During the DRM+ trial, Kofifi FM broadcast BBC and local content.

The document concludes that the DRM broadcast did not interfere with the analog FM transmission of neighboring stations. “The audio decoding was possible at almost all predicted areas showing a similar or better behavior than the FM audio reception of the analog signal transmitted from the same site. The power consumption was also much lower than in FM,” the report stated. 

It also demonstrated that despite Johannesburg’s full FM Band, DRM was able to fit between two FM stations where a gap existed, thus requiring no extra space on the spectrum to provide additional content.

[Related: DRM Emergency Warning Functionality Saves Lives]

For the trial, which was supported by the BBC and other DRM members, ICASA granted WECODEC an eight-month license. The station used a complete transmission system, which included an RFmondial ContentServer, A/D interface and VHF DRM modulator as well as a Nautel exciter/transmitter and a 2.5 W power amplifier.

Read the final repot here.

Author: Marguerite Clark
Posted: July 11, 2018, 1:44 pm
“Diverse audiences are big with radio. Notably, Black and Hispanic consumers make up a third of American radio listeners.” That’s how Nielsen introduces its latest report with breakdowns on how black and Hispanic audiences in the United States listen to radio and other media. According to “Audio ...

Check out the results from “Audio Today 2018: A Focus on Black and Hispanic Audiences”

“Diverse audiences are big with radio. Notably, Black and Hispanic consumers make up a third of American radio listeners.” That’s how Nielsen introduces its latest report with breakdowns on how black and Hispanic audiences in the United States listen to radio and other media.

According to “Audio Today 2018: A Focus on Black and Hispanic Audiences”, radio’s reach among black consumers has increased since 2014, when 31.1 million black persons aged 12 and older listened weekly; as of 2018, it has risen to 32.3 million weekly. A similar trend has happened among Hispanic listeners: In 2014, 40 million aged 12 and older tuned in each week, compared to 42.3 million this year.

Of the approximately 32 million black consumers reached by radio weekly, 47% are male and 53% are female. Out-of-home listening dominates for this demographic, who prefer to tune in during weekday afternoon drive time. This adds up to an average of 13.5 hours of listening per week — the most of any ethnicity, according to Nielsen. The most popular format is urban adult contemporary, favored by about one-third.

And for the 42 million Hispanic listeners, the female to male ratio is flipped; 53% are male and 47% are female. Hispanic listeners favor listening during the workweek at midday, which makes sense in the context that 72% of their listening is down out of the home. Hispanic weekly listening averages 12 hours and 45 minutes. The top format overall is Mexican regional music, but Hispanic teenagers opt for pop contemporary hit radio and rhythmic contemporary before choosing third-ranked Mexican regional stations.

[Read: The Top Music Radio Storylines of 2018: Mid-Year Edition]

To put that into perspective, black consumers comprise 13.6% of the national radio audience aged 12 and older, and 16.8% are Hispanic. (Note that both English- and Spanish-speaking persons were included in the Hispanic consumer audience for this report.) Both groups combined represent one-third of the national audience.

Compared to other devices, radio also was identified as the number one “reach vehicle” for black (92% listened weekly) and Hispanic (96% weekly) consumers aged 18 and older in Q1 2018. Radio was followed closely by television (90% of black and 88% of Hispanic watched weekly), but the drop was more precipitous for smartphones — 81% and 80%, for black and Hispanic audiences respectively. PCs, TV-connected devices and tablets have weekly reaches hovering around 40-55% for both ethnic groups.

Smart speakers and streaming also have made their mark on black and Hispanic consumers. According to MediaTech Trender Report Q1 2018, slightly more self-identified black and Hispanic households have a smart speaker; 19% of black homes, 21% of Hispanic homes and 18% of white homes use them. This is also consistent with general interest in smart speakers: 61% of black and 58% of Hispanic consumers indicated interest in owning these devices, while only 36% of white consumers said they wanted to have these devices.

Black audiences also lead the way in streaming; 52% indicated they use a streaming service, and 36% were interested in doing so in the future. On the other hand 45% of Hispanic consumers are audio streamers, and 35% indicated interest; but only 40% of white respondents streamed audio, and 24% showed a desire to try it.

Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 11, 2018, 1:32 pm
LA SEYNE SUR MER, France — The WinMedia Visual Radio solution is based around a complete radio and TV playout system.  This, the company says, unifies the content chain by managing assets and covering every aspect of the production and delivery chain, including scheduling and advertising. ...

Manages assets and covers all aspects of the production and delivery chain

LA SEYNE SUR MER, France — The WinMedia Visual Radio solution is based around a complete radio and TV playout system. 

This, the company says, unifies the content chain by managing assets and covering every aspect of the production and delivery chain, including scheduling and advertising.

WinMedia Visual Radio incorporates the StudioCast engine to provide an end-to-end solution that can be tailored to requirements.

The WinMedia stand at the 2018 NAB Show.

Providing users with a combination of automated camera switching, radio playlists with graphic overlays in real time, WinMedia declares that the system “pushes the limits of media convergence by enabling RJs to directly control video playlists by using WinMedia intuitive on-air interface.”

[Read: Radio Automation Grows With the Times]

During live-assist or 24/7 automation, the StudioCast system automatically captures images without human intervention required. WinMedia controls Studiocast through a set of commands that are based on predefined scenarios.

For information, contact WinMedia in France at +33-494-102-101 or visit www.winmedia.org.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: July 11, 2018, 8:56 am
The deadline is approaching for nominating media industry financial managers who should be considered “People to Watch” in 2019. Organized by MFM – The Media Financial Management Association, and its BCCA subsidiary, the media industry’s credit association, the program recognizes emerging leaders ...

The deadline is approaching for nominating media industry financial managers who should be considered “People to Watch” in 2019. Organized by MFM – The Media Financial Management Association, and its BCCA subsidiary, the media industry’s credit association, the program recognizes emerging leaders whose contributions are helping to grow their companies and advance the profession’s industry role.

MFM welcomes all nominations for “People to Watch.” It is not necessary for nominators or those they recommend to be members of MFM or BCCA. To ensure the most comprehensive list of industry financial professionals focused on change, the Association will also accept more than one nomination from a nominator.

Nominees should:

· Be a member of the media financial community, with a focus on: radio, broadcast TV, cable networks, multi-channel / telecommunications platforms, newspaper/print or digital media.

· Have a mission or responsibility that suggests they will be instrumental in creating change within the media and financial industries over the next year.

The deadline for “People to Watch” nominations is Friday, July 20. A nomination form is available on MFM’s website.

“MFM-BCCA’s People to Watch program not only helps to recognize the industry’s finance professionals, whose contributions often go uncelebrated, but to also provide a resource for peers looking to forge successful futures for their own organizations,” said Mary M. Collins, President & CEO of MFM and BCCA. “As our past honorees demonstrate, these individuals play critical roles in shaping and implementing strategies for revenue growth within their organizations.”

The 2019 honorees and their stories will be featured in the January-February 2019 issue of MFM’s The Financial Manager (“TFM”) magazine. The official publication of the MFM, TFM is widely regarded as the leading business management resource for the industry. Honorees will be selected by the TFM editorial board.

MFM’s People to Watch in 2018 are Edward O’Connor, ‎ director of Operations and Business Planning, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham; Michael Roback, Division Controller, Activision Blizzard; Lucy Rutishauser, Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Bill Scanlon, Senior Vice President and CFO, ThriveHive; and “Rising Star” Person to Watch Ana Townsend, Controller for Hearst Television’s broadcast group.

About MFM and BCCA:

Media Financial Management Association (MFM) is the premiere resource for financial professionals for media industry education, networking, and information sharing throughout the U.S. and Canada. More information about MFM is available on its Web site: www.mediafinance.org. Its BCCA subsidiary serves as the media industry’s credit association. BCCA’s revenue management services encompass a variety of credit reports on national and local media advertisers and agencies, including Media Whys, a credit report for media businesses which offers a credit score based on industry-specific aging combined with trade data from Experian or D+B. More information about BCCA is available at www.bccacredit.com.

Author: Media Financial Management Association
Posted: July 10, 2018, 6:45 pm
Music discovery platform VuHaus has announced Pittsburgh, Pa., public radio station WYEP(FM) as its newest affiliate. VuHaus Brand Manager Mike Henry described WYEP as a “heritage noncommercial music station.” Among other programming, the station features shows that showcase blues, soul, R&B, ...

The music discovery network also includes 22 other stations across the U.S.

Music discovery platform VuHaus has announced Pittsburgh, Pa., public radio station WYEP(FM) as its newest affiliate.

VuHaus Brand Manager Mike Henry described WYEP as a “heritage noncommercial music station.” Among other programming, the station features shows that showcase blues, soul, R&B, folk, bluegrass, electronica and other genres.

According to the press release, WYEP will now share local music video content on VuHaus’ Pittsburgh page.

“WYEP is making a significant commitment to using digital channels to connect with our audience,” WYEP General Manager Abby Goldstein said in the announcement. “We’re thrilled to work with VuHaus, its content and the partner stations as a critical piece of that work. The intimate Live & Direct sessions we host in our studio offer a unique viewpoint into the creative process for emerging and established artists alike. In addition to national acts like Old 97’s, Valerie June and Gogol Bordello, we’ll be able to showcase some of Pittsburgh’s best talent such as The Commonheart, Punchline and Townsppl.”

[Read a Q&A featuring VuHaus’ Erik Langner]

The VuHaus network also includes WFUV in New York; KCRW in Los Angeles; KXT in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas; WXPN in Philadelphia; KEXP in Seattle; KDHX in St. Louis, opbmusic in Portland; KUTX in Austin Texas; KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City; Mountain Stage in West Virginia; WGBH in Boston; Houston Public Media; WMOT in Nashville, Tenn.; 88Nine Radio Milwaukee in Milwaukee; Colorado’s KSUT, KVNF, KSJD, KRCC, KRFC and The Colorado Sound; Vocalo Radio in Chicago; NV89 in Reno; and WMNF in Tampa, Fla.

VuHaus received initial funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is operated by founding partner and national nonprofit Public Media Company.

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Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 10, 2018, 6:00 pm
iHeartMedia has named a pair of Florida program directors. In Miami, Walo Dávila is now the PD for WZTU(FM); and in Fort Myers, Fla., Eliseo “Short-E” Cierra is leading WBTT(FM) and WZJZ(FM). Dávila will report to iHeartMedia Miami Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Alex Tear. Dávila ...

Dávila and Cierra will lead programming in Miami and Fort Myers

iHeartMedia has named a pair of Florida program directors. In Miami, Walo Dávila is now the PD for WZTU(FM); and in Fort Myers, Fla., Eliseo “Short-E” Cierra is leading WBTT(FM) and WZJZ(FM).

Dávila will report to iHeartMedia Miami Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Alex Tear.

Dávila has worked in programming for radio brands such as SBS PR in Puerto Rico and Univision Radio Miami and New York. In addition, he has served as a director and coach for multiple radio and TV shows during his two-decade career.

iHeartMedia Miami owns and operates WHYI(FM), WIOD(AM), WMIA(FM), WBGG(FM), WZTU(FM), WMIB(FM), WINZ(AM), WMIB(HD) in Miami/Fort Lauderdale along with five HD Radio stations.

Cierra heads to Fort Myers from KSFM in Sacramento, Calif., where he served as music director and on-air talent for four and a half years. He also served as an on-air personality and music director at KBMB/KHHM(FM) for eight years in the Sacramento region.

He will report to iHeartMedia Fort Myers Senior Vice President of Programming Louis Kaplan and will also be on-air weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on WBTT.

iHeartMedia Fort Myers owns and operates WBTT(FM), WZJZ(FM), WCKT(FM) and WOLZ(FM).

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Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 10, 2018, 5:33 pm
The Federal Communications Commission stands by its assessment that a licensee can own as many translators in a market as it can secure — assuming appropriate coverage rules are followed. And the commission ruled that (at least for one owner in North Carolina) a de facto FM station has not been ...

Commission upholds policy stating that there are no limits of number of translators one operator can hold

The Federal Communications Commission stands by its assessment that a licensee can own as many translators in a market as it can secure — assuming appropriate coverage rules are followed.

And the commission ruled that (at least for one owner in North Carolina) a de facto FM station has not been created simply through the rebroadcasting of the same programming via seven translators.

The decisions come from an application for review filed by Triangle Access Broadcasting. In its 2017 objection, Triangle pointed to a section of the FCC Rules that says that when more than one FM translator is licensed to the same applicant and programming is provided to substantially the same area, a “showing of technical need” is required. Specifically, Triangle objected to the bureau’s decision that found that Curtis Media — specifically Eastern Airwaves LLC and FM 102.9 LLC — was not required to submit a technical-need showing for its seven fill-in FM translators. These fill-in translators are all located within the protected 60 dBμ contour of the co-owned primary station WQDR(FM) in Raleigh, N.C.

[Read: FCC Announces Winning Bidders for Auction 83]

When making its initial ruling about the Curtis Media applications, the Media Bureau concluded that each digital subchannel constitutes a separate signal for the purposes of the technical-need rule, meaning that a showing of technical need is not required for two or more co-owned translators that serve substantially the same area but rebroadcast different digital subchannels.

Triangle argued differently after the initial decision. It said that while the first application for an FM translator within the primary station’s service contour does not require a showing of technical need, any subsequent application for an additional FM translator within the contour must include technical proof-of-need.

Triangle also questioned the FCC’s open-ended definition of the phrase “substantially the same area” and argued that a translator modification application should not be accepted unless the primary station signal is on the air at the time of filing.

Upon review, the FCC found that the Media Bureau had decided correctly. It rejected Triangle’s argument that the phrase used in Section 74.1232(b) — specifically the phrase “whether or not such translators serve substantially the same area” — means that applicants need to show technical need every time an additional FM translator is applied for within the primary station’s service contour — even when the translators’ contours do not overlap.

“Rather, a showing of need is required only where the same programming would be provided to substantially the same area or where the question of need is raised by a party in interest who objects to grant of the application and makes a prima facie showing of the lack of need for the proposed new FM translator,” the FCC said.

As the commission clarified in its 1990 Translator Order, “unless a translator serves substantially the same area as another translator, the need for the translator is presumed,” the FCC said.

It also found that the bureau’s interpretation of the phrase “substantially the same area” gives translators some flexibility in translator siting while also limiting duplicative coverage.

The FCC also rejected Triangle’s claim that the translators constitute what Triangle called a “de facto” FM station.

“The mere fact of one party owning multiple translators that rebroadcast the same programming, as here, does not in and of itself raise concerns regarding abuse of the commission’s rules,” the FCC said. Despite expressing concerns with the creation of de facto FM stations in its 2009 Translator Order, the commission declined to impose a numerical limit on the number of FM translators used by a single AM station.

It also rejected the assertion that a translator modification application is not acceptable for filing if the primary station signal is not yet on the air. 

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Author: Susan Ashworth
Posted: July 10, 2018, 5:27 pm
AVALON, CALIF. — KISL(FM) is a unique radio station — located on the beautiful island of Catalina, in the city of Avalon, 23 miles off the southern California coast. This is an island that is completely independent as far as physical connections to the mainland. It has its own power plant, water ...

MARC-15 eases transition to new studio

AVALON, CALIF. — KISL(FM) is a unique radio station — located on the beautiful island of Catalina, in the city of Avalon, 23 miles off the southern California coast. This is an island that is completely independent as far as physical connections to the mainland. It has its own power plant, water supply, sewer system, phone via microwave etc.

KISL was licensed in the early ’90s on 88.7 FM with a power of 200 W.

It is a community radio station staffed and operated by volunteers. The programming is mostly automated but 30 percent of it is live. When DJs come into the studio they push the “big red” button and go live. The format is very loose, as long as the content is not offensive. The station is also used when we have special events such as a blues and jazz festival, the air show and July 4th parade (a big deal). Organizers use the station to simulcast the announcer.

And when we have local elections, the candidates come to the station to pitch their cases. We have also done many live concerts.

The station had an old (very old) PR&E console that came from KMET in Los Angeles. It was showing its age. Plus, the studio was worn down, with dirty carpets and more.

Since we are a community nonprofit station with a limited budget, most of the equipment was donated or found. “If you are going to throw that away, can I have it?”

About a year ago, we received a very generous donation from the owner of ACE Clearwater Enterprises. He also lives on the island part time, and was very excited that we had our own radio station.

We ended up replacing almost everything. The choice for the console was to keep it analog but flexible. The Arrakis MARC-15 was one of the few that could be configured for our needs with the right line, plus USB digital inputs, telco, etc. It had to be durable, able to withstand inexperienced operators and high humidity, because we are located in the harbor.

In addition, it had to be very easy to operate and similar to the old one we had. That is important for the operators since they are not “professional” DJs and this way they would feel comfortable with the new setup.

Of course it was very exciting to get all new equipment. And since we use PCs a lot, having USB input on the console was great. I had to do some modification to make easier for the DJs. Arrakis was very helpful in providing additional documentation to help me. Also, I bought a few matching blank panels for additional controls and functions.

I understand that the RJ-45 connector is the new standard, but not the best to work with for our analog-dominant application. With audio and control on the same connector, the installation was not as “clean” as I hoped at first. However, after I found a Cat-6 patch panel, the installation came together much better — RJ-45 from the console to the patch panel and there was a standard 66 punch block that would accept 22-gauge wire. That way I can run Belden 8451 shielded cable to the different points in the system.

In addition, if I need to troubleshoot or check levels, I have found it is easy to do with an RJ-45 adapter.

So far, everything sounds clean and the operators are happy!

For information, contact Ben Palmer at Arrakis Systems in Colorado at 1-970-461-0730 or visit www.arrakis-systems.com.

Author: Bruce Knopper, Station Engineer, KISL
Posted: July 10, 2018, 5:02 pm
From the TV Technology archives — July 12, 2012. In today’s world where pizza pan-sized satellite antennas delivering hundreds of television channels are as common as starlings on rooftops of homes, businesses, and even RVs, few recall a time when receiving video from space was just a dream. ...

When television went global

From the TV Technology archives — July 12, 2012.

In today’s world where pizza pan-sized satellite antennas delivering hundreds of television channels are as common as starlings on rooftops of homes, businesses, and even RVs, few recall a time when receiving video from space was just a dream.

Fifty years ago — July 10, 1962 — that dream became a reality in a big way with the successful launch and activation of Telstar I and people from all nations of the earth taking notice as the United States, France and England exchanged television programs in real time for the first time. 

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY NEGLECTED?
Half a century tends to dull memories and little is planned in the way of commemorating this once momentous event. The French embassy, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum is planning an afternoon program, the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing [photovoltaics powered this first transatlantic satellite video relay] sent out a commemorative press release, and the governor of South Dakota issued an executive proclamation declaring July 23rd as “Telstar 1 Anniversary Day” [scenes from Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park were transmitted via the new satellite 11 days after it went into service]. Aside from this, there’s not much else planned to commemorate that day in 1962 when the world became a great deal smaller.

Telstar’s launch was a giant news event in its day — it served as the vanguard for all wideband satellite communications that came later. The event even inspired a song that made it to the top of the pop music charts in both England and America. However, on its 50th anniversary, the bird and its launch seem to have been all but forgotten. 

People working in television in the 1960s and ’70s will certainly remember the significance of satellite-delivered television — the long lead-time booking of transponder access, the coordination process and setup time with the commercial carriers and the few uplink/downlink facilities in operation then (in the beginning, these were not co-located with television stations, or even network facilities), and also the great costs associated with satellite video. And when the technology was in its infancy, broadcasters used supers and announcements to make sure that viewers knew when programming was being relayed by spacecraft. 

Huge horn antenna at the AT&T Andover satellite ground station at Andover, Maine, used to communicate with the Telstar. 

“Satellite television is just something taken for granted now,” said Hal Wallace, curator of the electricity collections at the Smithsonian. “I remember watching signs on TV in the 1960s that said ‘live via satellite,’ and that’s just not done now.”

Wallace acknowledged that the Telstar 50th anniversary had even slipped by him and his department.

“We did an objects-out-of-storage exhibit recently — the theme was 1950s and ’60s—and I pulled out some transistors for it,” said Wallace. “There was a display board from Bell Labs showing the variety of transistors used in Telstar I, but I really wasn’t aware of the anniversary coming up.”

SETTING THE SCENE
For those who don’t remember, or weren’t there, Telstar really was the big news item of the day. Even President Kennedy, speaking during a scheduled press conference, lauded the efforts of thousands of scientists, engineers, and factory workers in turning a dream into reality.

Technicians prep Telstar for launch. 

“I understand that part of today’s press conference is being relayed by the Telstar communications satellite to viewers across the Atlantic, and this is another indication of the extraordinary world in which we live,” Pres. Kennedy said. “This satellite must be high enough to carry messages from both sides of the world, which is, of course, a very essential requirement for peace, and I think this understanding, which will inevitably come from the speedier communications, is bound to increase the well-being and security of all people — here and those across the oceans.”

At precisely 6:35 p.m. EST, all three U.S. television networks interrupted scheduled programming for a live cut-in demonstrating this incredible new capability for sending moving images across 3,500 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. France initiated the relay with an eight-minute program transmitted from its Pleumeur-Bodou earth station and featuring a musical performance by Yves Montand and Michele Arnaund, along with remarks from France’s post and telecommunications minister, Jacques Tarette. (Rather ironically, the French satellite salute came via videotape, as the transmission occurred after midnight Paris time.)

MORE: Transatlantic Video Before Telstar

Once television established itself in the late ’40s and early ’50s, carriage of news and other special events programming quickly became a common desire of the networks. [In 1953, CBS went to great efforts to get kinescope recordings of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II back from London and on air in the States the same day it happened, going to the extreme of chartering an airliner and stripping out most of the seats to make room for flatbed film editing stations. The program was assembled as the aircraft crossed the Atlantic.]

Prior to the launch and activation of Telstar I, the only way to get full bandwidth video across the Atlantic had been via airline delivery of videotape. Slowscan television images could be sent via existing submarine telephone circuits (which themselves were only about six years old at the time of Telstar’s launch), but these left a lot to be desired in terms of entertainment value.

In the pre-satellite era, one proposal for exchanging live video back from Europe called for “orbiting” a number of aircraft at fixed stations over the Atlantic for microwave relay purposes. As one aircraft returned to base for refueling and a fresh crew, another was inserted into its position, providing an almost continuous video transmission path. Fortunately, perhaps, this idea was never put into practice. From an historical perspective, John L. Baird had succeeded in sending low-resolution video via shortwave radio from England to America in 1927. And in 1938, BBC “high definition” 405-line low-band VHF broadcasts were received in New York; however, this was due to a propagation “freak” and could not be counted upon for any sort of regular service.

The Telstar venture was the natural culmination of man’s desire to view unfolding events at great distances.

“Relax, you are in Paris, I invite you to spend a few pleasant moments with me,” advised Tarette, who used the event to praise French-American cooperation.

Several hours later—the French program, soon after it began, ended with loss of acquisition of Telstar — England was next to go up with a 12-minute program uplinked from its own Goonhilly Downs satellite facility. 

Unfortunately, a behind-the-scenes squabble mired the beginnings of this new era in communications, with the British accusing the French of breaking an EBU agreement that specified that the first Europe-to-America feed was to be a joint venture.

Regardless of the politics, millions of Americans that evening were astounded to see and hear television programming originating from across the big pond. The satellite had been launched from Cape Canaveral on July 10, with initial activation and testing of its wideband transponder capability taking place some 15 hours later on July 11. Engineers at Goonhilly Downs and Pleumeur-Bodou got their first glimpse of American video with a shot of the Stars and Stripes flying outside the U.S. earth station, accompanied by “The Star Spangled Banner.” 

The U.S. earth station forming the nucleus of this historic relay was located in Andover, Maine, and as in the case of the U.K. and French facilities, was selected primarily for its proximity to the Atlantic in order to shorten the distance between stations and thus maximize the amount of time available for transmissions during the satellite’s availability every 2.6 hours. (Telstar was not a geosynchronous bird; that didn’t happen for another two years and the launch of Syncom II.) 

Telstar’s transponder capacity was extremely limited by today’s standards — about 500 voice telephone circuits, or one TV channel, and its power output was in the neighborhood of 4 W, requiring huge antennas and liquid-cooled amplifiers to pull the received signal out of the noise. Once acquired, its transponder capability was only useful for about 20 minutes at a time, with signals fading into a sea of noise as the 16,000 mph satellite traveled out of range and could no longer be tracked by the earth stations.

Thor-Delta 11 launched Telstar on July 10, 1962. 

THE TELSTAR LEGACY

AT&T put more than $50 million [close to $400 million in today’s currency] into the development of the Telstar communications satellites and paid NASA an additional $4 million to launch it. Telstar was a small satellite by today’s standards—less than three feet in diameter and weighing only about 170 pounds. And the first Telstar placed in orbit had an unexpectedly short life. 

The day before Telstar’s launch—and in an apparently uncoordinated effort—a couple of U.S. government agencies had placed a 1.4 megaton nuclear warhead into low earth orbit and detonated it as part of an experiment known as “Starfish Prime.” In addition to frying street lighting systems and an inter-island telephone microwave relay in Hawaii, the resulting radiation also burned out transistors on Telstar I, taking it temporarily out of service five months after its launch, and permanently disabling it in February 1963. However, Telstar did fulfill the dream of its Bell Labs designers, ushering into existence the era of live television from anywhere on the planet (and later from the moon and other parts of the solar system). 

Author: James E. O'Neal
Posted: July 10, 2018, 4:53 pm
RFmondial GmbH has equipped RTG Radio Technikum GmbH with a complete integrated broadcast, monitoring and logging solution for its first DAB+ ensemble, CityMUX, in Vienna. In April, the organization launched the regular DAB+ service for the Austrian capital and surrounding areas, which its ...

Has delivered an entire DAB+ broadcast solution for the CityMUX ensemble in Vienna

RFmondial GmbH has equipped RTG Radio Technikum GmbH with a complete integrated broadcast, monitoring and logging solution for its first DAB+ ensemble, CityMUX, in Vienna.

In April, the organization launched the regular DAB+ service for the Austrian capital and surrounding areas, which its sees as setting the foundation for ongoing digital radio development in Austria.

“This digital radio network is regarded as critical infrastructure, which should also transfer the Emergency Warning Functionality and TPEG-traffic information,” said Gernot Fischer of RTG Radio Technikum GmbH. “For that reason the implementation of a highly reliable solution and system components were top priority when choosing the network architecture.”

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RFmondial provided RTG Radio with a complete DAB+ broadcast system, which consisted of the DAB ContentServer, DAB monitoring receiver and DAB archiver.

RFmondial says its ContentServer, which is based on Fraunhofer technology, provides data and audio services as well as interfaces for integration into the broadcast chain; the RF-DAB monitoring receiver features parallel decoding of complete multiplexes, including access to audio and data services and SFN synchronization monitoring; and the RFarchiver directly stores multiplex streams and provides access to archived content for multiple web users

Author: Marguerite Clark
Posted: July 10, 2018, 10:52 am
Submission Deadline July 20; Presentations to Focus on IP for Video/Audio Production, Evolving SMPTE ST 2110 Standards Suite, AES67, and AMWA NMOS Technology Stack July 9, 2018 — Industry partners, the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the Advanced Media ...

Submission Deadline July 20; Presentations to Focus on IP for Video/Audio Production, Evolving SMPTE ST 2110 Standards Suite, AES67, and AMWA NMOS Technology Stack

July 9, 2018 — Industry partners, the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Society of Motion Picture and Technology Engineers(SMPTE), and the Video Services Forum (VSF) — all co-sponsors of the IP Showcase — today announced a call for presentations for the event. The IP Showcase is an education and demonstration pavilion at IBC2018 that will highlight the benefits of and momentum behind the move to standards-based IP for real-time professional media applications. The submission deadline for speaking proposals is July 20.

The focal point of the IBC2018 IP Showcase will be the presentation stage at the IP Showcase Theatre, which is visited by hundreds of IBC attendees each day, often with standing-room-only crowds. Presentations provide an unmatched opportunity for companies to offer their unique viewpoint on IP video and audio for production, the evolving SMPTE ST 2110 and AES67 standards, and the AMWA NMOS technology stack. End users, industry associations, solutions providers, and technology developers are all invited to share their knowledge and perspectives on how the fundamental change to IP signal transport will impact the broadcast industry today and in the future — especially related to SMPTE ST 2110-10/20/21/30/31/40 and AMWA IS-04/IS-05.

Speaking times are limited during the five-day exhibition, and companies are encouraged to act quickly and submit proposals early. The selection committee is looking for the following types of presentations:

- Tutorial (basic, intermediate, advanced).
- Case study.
- Panel discussion.
- Market/business case analysis.
- Point-of-view/advocacy.
- Standards progress/update.

Preference will be given to presentations related to the following technology areas on the Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) Roadmap:

- AES67.
- SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks.
- AMWA NMOS specifications such as IS-04 and IS-05.
- Timing and synchronization using SMPTE ST 2059-1/2.

Broadcasters and end-users are particularly encouraged to present their insight and experience related to deployments of the technology areas above. Systems integrators, service providers, and manufacturers are also encouraged to apply. Product marketing presentations are discouraged, as the theatre is an opportunity to discuss advances in working with media using open IP-based technologies.

Other topics and technology areas will be considered. More details and the submission form are available at http://www.ipshowcase.org/call-for-presentations/.

The IP Showcase will take place in rooms E106 and E107 at RAI Amsterdam during IBC2018, Sept. 14-18.

# # #

More information about the sponsoring organizations is available at:
Audio Engineering Society (AES): www.aes.org
Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS): www.aimsalliance.org
Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA): www.amwa.tv
European Broadcasting Union (EBU): www.ebu.ch
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE): www.smpte.org
Video Services Forum (VSF): http://www.videoservicesforum.org

More information about standards and open specifications is available at:
AIMS: https://www.aimsalliance.org/white-papers/
AES67: http://www.aes.org/standards/blog/2018/4/aes67-2018-published
AMWA: https://www.amwa.tv/specifications.shtml
EBU: https://tech.ebu.ch
SMPTE ST 2110: www.smpte.org/st_2110
VSF Technical Recommendations: http://videoservicesforum.org/technical_recommendations.shtml

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/IPShowcase/180709IPShowcase.docx

Author: Dundee Hills Group
Posted: July 9, 2018, 6:33 pm
As the FCC prepares to vote this week on opening up the C Band for wireless broadband, a powerful Republicans is calling for care and handling of noncommercial broadcasting. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee, has written FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to advise caution ...

Tells FCC Chairman Pai no action should be taken that threatens public radio

As the FCC prepares to vote this week on opening up the C Band for wireless broadband, a powerful Republicans is calling for care and handling of noncommercial broadcasting.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee, has written FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to advise caution as the FCC ponders remaking the band to allow wireless use, either by dividing up the band or allowing for sharing. ISPs and broadcasters are concerned about the potential interference to the band.

Driven by an explicit desire to speed 5G and close the digital divide, the FCC has released a draft proposal to free up midband (C Band) spectrum (3.7–4.2 GHz) for wireless broadband — and perhaps eve auction it all to the highest and best user — a draft it plans to vote on at the July 12 public meeting.

[Read: WBU Calls for C Band Protection]

The C Band is used by broadcasters to deliver network programming to stations and cable operators to deliver network programming to systems.

Cole is particularly concerned about the 42 million public radio listeners to the 1,270 stations that rely on those C Band frequencies, including for emergency alerts. In fact, he points out that the 2019 public radio appropriation includes money to upgrade the system.

He said that investment recognizes there is not alternative means of distributing the programming to "all comers," including rural and remote areas, he says.

Cole told Pai that the C Band should not be cleared (for dividing it up between incumbents and new wireless users — or shared unless the FCC first determines that public radio's "indispensable programming services" will be protected.

Broadcast and cable trade associations have also cautioned the FCC to slow down a bit and consider the impact of sharing the band on what is essentially the distribution backbone for their respective video services. Both want the FCC to consider whether the band can be shared at all given the potential for interference, particularly if the FCC wants dynamic sharing.

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications, International, Public Safety and Homeland Security bureaus two weeks ago said they were instituting a temporary freeze on applications for new or modified fixed satellite service earth stations and fixed microwave stations in the 3.7–4.2 GHz spectrum bands (C Band) to "preserve the current landscape" as it looks into possibly allowing mobile broadband and more "intensive" fixed use. 

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Author: John Eggerton
Posted: July 9, 2018, 5:37 pm
Accusonus has released its ERA Bundles of audio enhancement and repair plug-ins, each based around the use of a single virtual knob to aid in clean up of audio. The Standard bundle includes ERA Noise Remover, ERA Reverb Remover, ERA Desser and ERA Plosive Remover; the Pro bundle also includes ERA ...

A pair of new plug-in bundles aim to aid audio clean-up

Accusonus has released its ERA Bundles of audio enhancement and repair plug-ins, each based around the use of a single virtual knob to aid in clean up of audio.

The Standard bundle includes ERA Noise Remover, ERA Reverb Remover, ERA Desser and ERA Plosive Remover; the Pro bundle also includes ERA D.

The flagship of the bundle is ERA-D, which provides denoise and dereverberation options. An intelligent joint mode reportedly takes natural noise and reverb counter-interaction into account for better quality sonic result. Dual channel mode enables users to employ a secondary mic to improve the audio repair quality on a primary mic.

ERA Noise Remover can be used to reduce or remove unwanted fans, air-conditioners, electric hums and hisses and other background noises.

The ERA Reverb Remover takes on excessive reverb, aiming to bring sound into focus, add clarity, clean up dialogue or tighten up a musical performance.

ERA Desser is a single-knob plug-in that can be applied to smooth out audio problems caused by excessive sibilance consonants. Lastly, ERA Plosive Remover reigns in plosive thumps, such as "p", "t" and "b.”

Available in Mac and Windows versions, the plug-ins work in 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz sample rates, and work with Pro Tools, Logic, Audition, StudioOne, Audacity and other DAWs and software.

The Standard and Pro bundles are priced at $99 and $299 respectively.

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Author: ProSoundNetwork Editorial Staff
Posted: July 9, 2018, 5:20 pm
Albert Shuldiner is a legal expert and broadcast technology buff in roughly equal parts, which argues in his favor as a good fit as chief of the FCC Media Bureau’s Audio Division. He’s been on that job for about six months now and says he is acclimating to the role, which plays an important part in ...

New Audio Division chief talks with Radio World about Class C4, interference, CDBS and more

Albert Shuldiner is a legal expert and broadcast technology buff in roughly equal parts, which argues in his favor as a good fit as chief of the FCC Media Bureau’s Audio Division.

He’s been on that job for about six months now and says he is acclimating to the role, which plays an important part in how the U.S. government carries out policies that affect radio broadcasters.

Shuldiner, 56, became familiar to many radio technologists from his years as general counsel at HD Radio developer iBiquity. Today he oversees the FCC division that licenses AM, FM, LPFM and translator radio services and manages instances of interference, a topic that has occupied much of his time since he joined in January 2018.

The University of Pennsylvania Law School grad succeeded Peter Doyle as audio division chief. In late May, he discussed a variety of front-burner issues with Radio World, including the possibility of broadcasters sharing the C-band and the creation of a Class C4 FM service. He also discussed working at the FCC under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai and the outlook for the media modernization initiative.

Radio World: What have the first few months been like and what has surprised you about the job?
Albert Shuldiner: It’s been busy. We have a very high volume of cases that we process in this division. I have really focused on getting up to speed on pending matters. And being new to the commission, it has taken time to get to know people here in the front office and within the Media Bureau. That’s been a big part of my focus. Michelle Carey, chief of the Media Bureau, has been very welcoming.

I have also spent time speaking with people from within the industry and taken meetings with those in radio trying to understand their top concerns. That outreach is important to me.

RW: What are some of those matters taking up a lot of your time?
Shuldiner: It’s those things everyone has been reading about. The C4 FM proceeding. We did a lot of work on the recent NPRM on translator interference. There have been a number of adjudicatory matters that we have taken care. Things like applications for review and for reconsideration that we have resolved. Of course, AM revitalization matters, and certainly, there has been a lot of work in the auction windows for cross-service translators.

RW: How is your management style different from that of your predecessor, Peter Doyle? Can we expect a lot of operational changes in the division?
Shuldiner: I don’t people will see much of a difference now that I’m here. There will be continuity. I was very fortunate to spend time with Peter during the transition earlier this year. I know Peter placed a tremendous emphasis on producing a high-quality product in terms of the rulemaking and the adjudicatory decisions the Audio Division releases. That’s important and will remain so. Peter was passionate about expanding opportunities for new entrants to the radio industry, and that will continue.

A number of initiatives remain incredibly important, such as LPFM and cross-service translators. Those remain very important to the industry, and I don’t see many changes coming to those efforts. And we will continue to focus on compliance. Fortunately, the vast majority of our licensees understand their responsibilities.

RW: NAB’s David Layer described you as a “great lawyer who is more technically inclined than most.” You served on the National Radio Systems Committee for a number of years. How do you think that background will guide your decision making at the FCC?
Shuldiner: First of all, David is way too generous. I’m not an engineer and never had any formal technical training, but I was fortunate to have worked on a number of technical issues for many years.

At iBiquity, I did a lot of the company’s work that came before the NRSC. I helped develop the original test program to validate the HD Radio system. I presented numerous technical papers to the NRSC and other groups. I’ve done technical briefings both domestically and internationally for regulators and groups.

I like to think I have a firm grasp of the technical rules involving radio, also the interference issues facing the AM and FM bands, and the methodologies the commission and the industry use to assess the potential for interference and actual interference.

All of that experience has come in handy already at the commission, since much of our work has to do with licensing and figuring out how to license stations without creating new interference. So having a good understanding of the interference environment and the terminology used by the industry to address it has been important. In addition, there is a brilliant technical team in place here at the FCC led by Jim Bradshaw to help me.

RW: Describe your relationship so far with Chairman Pai.
Shuldiner: We have spoken several times since I started. He is incredibly supportive of the broadcast industry, and that has been very impressive to me. He and his staff closely follow the work this division is working on. They have given us excellent feedback on the issues we are addressing. They have been extremely supportive, which is great for the industry and great for this division.

RW: The Class C4 FM proposal to allow over 100 Class A stations to double their power up to 12,000 watts appeared to be in a “time out” at the commission until it released a notice of inquiry (MB Docket 18-184) in early June. Where is the commission on creating a C4?
Shuldiner: We have had the C4 proposal pending for a while. Although we received support for C4 in comments on the original petition for rulemaking, we also have heard concerns about increasing interference in the FM band. We decided to ask for more industry input before proposing any changes to our rules.

The NOI released recently asks a lot of important and detailed questions about the C4 proposal. We hope the comments we receive will give us greater guidance on the industry’s views on C4 and whether we should propose a formal change to our rules.

There are two main issues in that proceeding. One is the creation of a new broadcast class between Class A and C3.

The other part of it is a consideration of a process to reclassify stations so that they receive protection based upon their actual operating parameters rather than a station’s class maximum. We have held meetings with various parties about C4. There is some concern from the industry and they would prefer we address existing interference concerns within the FM band first before we authorize a new class of service.

RW: The possibility of radio broadcasters sharing the C-band with other users has them on high alert. The item is on the FCC’s July agenda. Do broadcasters have reason for alarm at this point?
Shuldiner: I don’t know a whole lot about that issue, since I’m not directly involved in that proceeding or with the planning involved. It’s being handled by the satellite folks here and not my division. I know that it is very important for broadcasters to get their C-band earth stations registered before the mid-July deadline. I’ve read a lot about it in the trade press. I think there will be additional opportunities for broadcasters to share their concerns. [The registration deadline was later extended to mid-October, though the commission is still expected to consider C-band changes in July. —Ed.]

RW: FM translator interference is getting a lot of attention within the walls of the FCC. Does the commission’s NPRM 18-60 released in May go far enough to hasten the remediation process?
Shuldiner: That’s certainly our goal. We hope to streamline the process to make it easier on all parties involved. There are several things in the NPRM that will help us reach quicker resolutions. For example, the first main proposal is that translator stations will be able to change to any available frequency within their band to resolve interference. They won’t be limited to first, second or third adjacent. We hope that will resolve lot of the complaints without us even being involved.

We think the changes to the listener complaints process will help. I think the requirement to require six listener complaints strikes a good balance. These procedures will provide better guidance to translator and full-service stations to help encourage them to deal with each other honestly and work together to settle complaints. Overall, we think these changes will speed up the remediation process.

RW: What about all of these filings from Prometheus and other LPFM advocates objecting to FM translator applications they say will take away their slots and violate the Local Community Radio Act?
Shuldiner: Unfortunately, I cannot comment on that matter, since those are objections to specific applications, which makes it restricted. But of course, we are aware of the filings and working on those. [The commission subsequently dismissed the approximately 1,000 informal objections recently filed by three LPFM advocacy groups including Prometheus Radio Project. –Ed.]

RW: You’ve recused yourself from future work in digital radio rulemaking proceeding to avoid any conflict of interest, but what do you see as the next step for HD Radio?
Shuldiner: Speaking not as chief of the Audio Division but just from my knowledge of HD Radio technology from my previous role with iBiquity, I’m still enthusiastic about it. We’ve seen a slow and steady rollout of the technology.

I still think it is a great improvement in the quality of terrestrial radio broadcasting because it offers new features for listeners. I wish it had caught on faster, but I still see it as a slow and steady gain.

RW: Do you envision the FCC ever authorizing all-digital services or setting a sunset date for analog service to transition to all-digital radio in this country?
Shuldiner: I don’t think there are any formal proposals before us on that topic. I know there has been discussion within the industry about all-digital broadcasting. I think that is something that if it were presented to the commission in the future would get full consideration.

RW: What is left on the Chairman Pai’s modernization of media to-do list?
Shuldiner: I think the bureau has spent a lot of time looking at our rules and we’re still looking for ways to do away with outdated rules. The Policy Division really has taken a lead in those efforts. But the Audio Division is also looking at ways to streamline. However, no new proposals have been announced publicly yet; I would expect more work on that later this year.

RW: What is the next step in AM revitalization?
Shuldiner: A couple of things. We are still working to continue to process applications from the two cross-service translator auctions from 2017 and 2018. That’s Auctions 99 and 100. We closed things out in Auction 99 in early June, but we still have a lot of work to do in Auction 100. We have granted hundreds of construction permits from 99. We are very pleased that from within a year of the commencement of that proceeding we have granted more than 800 new CPs and finalized all of the mutually exclusive matters there and completed the bidding in that proceeding.

We are now focused on Auction 100, which began in January of this year. We have already granted several hundred new CPs in that auction. The settlement process is now underway. We [feel] that by the end of this year we will have completed most of the FM cross-service translator work.

We continue to look at the overall AM revitalization proceeding. We recognize that some of what we said early in the proceeding was not well received by the industry, particularly involving AM nighttime protection. We are revisiting those issues and we expect to have more to say on that later this year.

RW: Does the Audio Division foresee any other licensing windows coming soon, perhaps for NCE?
Shuldiner: We’ve been just really focused on the FM translator windows. Once we are done with those I think we will go back and see what steps we take in regards to other services, including NCE service, LPFM service and the overall FM band. We will consider them all at some point.

RW: The Audio Division will be transitioning from the Consolidated Database System to the Licensing and Management System for electronic filing this calendar year. Are you aware of the concerns voiced by some in the industry?
Shuldiner: Yes. We are actively working on the transition to LMS. It’s a major effort on our part. Some of the filing forms have already moved from CDBS to LMS. More of that will be happening over the next several months.

Our plan is to do it gradually and give people a chance to learn the system and for us to be able to assess it and make sure everything is going smoothly. I can promise you that it is being done in a very thoughtful and rational way.

We are very interested in feedback from the industry as the migration continues, if problems pop up. It will take some patience on behalf of our licensees, but when complete we will have a more flexible and user-friendly system in place.

RW: Are there any other radio-related issues the industry should be made aware of?
Shuldiner: From the conversations I’ve had with those in radio, the interference issue is tops by far, but our overall goal is to allow for more efficiency by radio stations. We know there are challenges facing the radio industry. We want to work with broadcasters and make sure that the regulatory structure does not create an impediment to their business but at the same time make sure they comply with our rules.

RW: While you still have the floor, is there a final message you have for the radio industry?
Shuldiner: I will say that I am very open to talking to anyone in the industry and getting their input about issues. It’s important to know that they can call me or meet with me.

I am very fortunate that there is a great staff here to help me. Lisa Scanlan, Michael Wagner and Tom Hutton are the lead lawyers in the division, and they also are accessible. I look forward to establishing relationships with more folks in the radio industry.

Author: Randy J. Stine
Posted: July 9, 2018, 5:02 pm
Neutrik USA says the company has named Jeff Lowe as national sales manager for broadcast and professional video. He is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native but will now be based in Charlotte, N.C., at Neutrik’s U.S. headquarters. Lowe is an Apple alum, notably promoting Final Cut Pro’s introduction to the ...

Jeff Lowe joins the company from Apple

Neutrik USA says the company has named Jeff Lowe as national sales manager for broadcast and professional video.

He is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native but will now be based in Charlotte, N.C., at Neutrik’s U.S. headquarters.

Lowe is an Apple alum, notably promoting Final Cut Pro’s introduction to the broadcast television market after working as a QuickTime “evangelist” for several years, according to Neutrik. He also has had stints at Immix and ABC Television earlier in his career.

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Author: Emily M. Reigart
Posted: July 9, 2018, 4:09 pm