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Said only "countless" was wrong, not that some FBI staffers backed Comey firing
Sarah Sanders reiterated Friday (April 19) that some FBI staffers supported the President's decision to fire FBI director James Comey.
The White House press secretary told Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos that her only "slip of the tongue" related to the FBI staffers who supported firing James Comey was in using the word "countless."
She was responding to various press reports — which included B&C — that she had told the investigators for Robert Mueller that her statements about hearing from "countless members of the FBI" that they had lost confidence in then-FBI director James Comey was "a slip of the tongue" and that a separate statement to the press that rank and file FBI employees had lost confidence was made "in the heat of the moment," rather than the light of accuracy, and "was not founded on anything."
Sanders to Stephanopoulos that there were "a number of former and current FBI" staffers" who agreed with the decision to fire Comey, who she called a "disgraced leaker."
Stephanopoulos pointed out she had told the special counsel, when she faced criminal penalties for not telling the truth, that the comments were not founded on anything. A fiesty Sanders responded that she had been talking about the "countless" characterization and that was not a scripted talking point like the Democrat "robots" who spend years saying there was Russian collusion.
Stephanopoulos pointed out she had repeated the "countless" characterization on separate days and occasions.
Exec takes post overseeing national offices
Former Discovery ad sales president Ben Price has been named executive VP, sales and client partnerships, national offices, at NBCUniversal.
In his newly created post, Price will oversee agency and client relationships in NBCU’s sales offices. Cherie Cohen in Los Angeles, Meghan Valand in San Francisco, Jeff Clennon in Chicago, Barrett McCree and Caroline Wright in Detroit and Keller Withers in Atlanta will report to Price.
Price will report to Mark Marshall, president of ad sales and partnerships.
In 2016, Price was named president for sales at Discovery, succeeding Joe Abruzzese, who retired. When Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive last year, the two ad sales organizations were consolidated and Scripps’ Jon Steinlauf was given the top spot. Price left the company afterwards.
“As NBCUniversal continues to expand both nationally and globally, our scale demands this new role to coordinate client service across our national offices,” said Marshall. “With decades of experience helping brands leverage premium environments to grow, Ben is the perfect person to lead this effort, and connect our clients to the best resources and custom solutions NBCUniversal has to offer.”
Price joined Discovery in 1989. He began his advertising career at Turner Broadcasting in 1986.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – April 17, 2019 – TVU Networks, the global technology and innovation leader in live IP solutions, today announced industry-wide recognition of the new 4K version of its TVU One mobile IP transmitter, the TVU MediaMind Appliance AI-based metadata generation and search engine, and its IS+ proprietary transmission algorithm during last week’s 2019 NAB Show held in Las Vegas. TVU also provided mobile cellular transmitter equipment to producers of “NAB Show LIVE,” the official broadcast of the NAB. The live transmissions went flawlessly, and Broadcast Beat, producers of “NAB Show LIVE”, will continue to use TVU equipment at future events and venues.
“We’re thrilled to have these different organizations recognize different sectors of our work,” said Eric Chang, Vice President of Marketing, TVU Networks. “This really points to the depth of our company and to the IP-based solutions we provide to a range of applications occurring in diverse locations. The products and technologies selected are all next-generation improvements and essential in the creation of a story-centric workflow. We’re focused on pushing the limits of what’s possible to meet our customers’ live content production challenges today and in the future. I believe our run of award wins during the past 10 years as an NAB exhibitor is a direct reflection of our continued commitment to live production innovation.”
In the first NAB Show 2019 Product of the Year Awards, TVU Networks won in the AI/Machine Learning category for its TVU MediaMind Appliance - an AI-based metadata generation and search engine that speeds production performance and content reuse. This is an independently judged awards program that recognizes the most significant and promising new products and technologies exhibited during NAB.
TVU MediaMind, is a metadata generation and search engine that speeds production performance and content reuse within an existing broadcast media supply chain. The system uses a combination of time-code and AI-based facial and speech recognition to generate metadata. And an open API lets users connect directly with MAM and NLE systems. Because the MediaMind appliance utilizes both AI and time code to generate search results, it can convert audio and video into structured data in real-time. It’s capable of searching a raw asset at any stage of production – from assignment through to on-air. With the help of TVU’s AI engine, real-time speech recognition lets users find text results even faster than they would searching for images alone. Users simply type in what they’re looking for and the appropriate section of a time code appears. The real-time content search engine uses time code to identify each asset with a unique ID.
TV Technology magazine presented TVU Networks with a Best of Show Award for the TVU One 4K cellular mobile transmitter during the 2019 NAB Show. The awards are judged by a panel of industry experts on the criteria of innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry. All nominated products are featured in a special Best of Show Awards Program Guide, which will be distributed in digital edition form to more than 100,000 readers of seven Future publications.
Also introduced during the 2019 NAB Show, the 4K version of the TVU One mobile transmitter, a cellular mobile unit with the ability to transmit Ultra-HD/4Kp60 HEVC content. The TVU One TM1000 is TVU’s flag-ship HEVC cellular 4G/LTE mobile transmitter. “UHD/4Kp60 is a much more technically challenging resolution to achieve in a cellular mobile unit,” explained Chang. “However, we are able to overcome these challenges and encode video in full UHD/4K at 60 frames per second.”
The TVU One offers a robust set of functions to meet the needs of any live video broadcaster. It delivers industry-leading video transmission resiliency and HD picture quality from an ultra-compact and rugged hardware chassis. With TVU One, users can fully leverage the versatility of a lightweight IP-based video transmitter in the field as a part of an end-to-end workflow without sacrificing performance, features, or picture quality.
PRODU presented TVU Networks with a NAB 2019 Tech Award for its IS+ technology. TVU’s proprietary transmission algorithm, IS+ enables users to simultaneously transmit over multiple mediums with sub-second latency. Thanks to IS+, TVU transmitters can simultaneously aggregate any combination of bandwidth mediums including cellular 3G/4G LTE, WiFi, Ethernet, Ka-band and Ku-band satellite, microwave, microwave mesh and BGAN to deliver a reliable and dependable broadcast picture with latency as low as 0.5 seconds. IS+ uses advanced Forward Error Correction technology to produce superior transmission performance. When compared to traditional FEC/ARQ methods, IS+ uses minimal data overhead without latency introduced by packet retransmission. The result is a reliable transmission with high-quality images and ultra-low latency even in a moving vehicle.
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About TVU Networks®
TVU Networks® is the global technology and innovation leader in IP-based live video solutions. With over 2,500 customers in more than 85 countries, TVU Networks family of IP transmission and live production solutions gives broadcasters and organizations a powerful and reliable workflow to distribute live video content to broadcast, online and mobile platforms. The TVU Networks suite of solutions has been used to acquire, transmit, produce, manage and distribute professional-quality live IP HD footage as an integral part of news, sports and major global events. For more information about TVU Networks solutions, please visit www.tvunetworks.com.
Says American people need to learn 'truth'
Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn is calling for televising a Hill hearing with special counsel Robert Mueller, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for.
That comes in the wake of the release of Mueller's report on Russian election Meddling.
A hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr is already scheduled for May 2 in the House Judiciary Committee.
"Congress must move quickly to convene televised public hearings so Americans can hear directly from Special Counsel Robert Mueller," said Flynn. "Congress and the American people must learn about the truth about Russia's attacks on the 2016 presidential race."
It is a veritable certainty that C-SPAN, the public affairs network funded by the cable industry, will provide coverage of the Barr hearing and any Mueller hearing on one of its various platforms, as it has for virtually all major Hill hearings for years, including confirmation hearings--Bill Barr's AG nomination hearing and Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination hearing, for example, and ones on key legislation and issues.
The Watergate hearings of the early 1970s, which preceded C-SPAN's creation, were carried live on public TV.
Launches as first e-sports channel on STIRR platform
New York, NY-April 8, 2019. Empress Intelligence, LLC dba ESRevolution announces that its ESR 24/7 eSports channel will be featured as the first eSports channel on STIRR. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI) launched STIRR in January as a free, ad-supported streaming service that includes access to some of the most popular national news, sports, entertainment, and digital first channels, a robust video on demand (VoD) library and a new local channel featuring programming based on a user’s location, ensuring that viewers can still access the local news and lifestyle programming that is relevant to their everyday life.
STIRR is available on iOS and Android devices, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Roku, and on the web at www.STIRR.COM. It will feature STIRR CITY as a local program lineup based on the viewer’s location. Local programming, combined with ESR and other nationwide channels, will help STIRR engage viewers across the entire range of connected devices.
ESR features the entire range of eSports entertainment, including tournaments, live events, match highlights, docuseries, reality shows, and talk shows. ESRevolution works with leading gamers and influencers, tournament organizers, game publishers, and producers to offer quality curated content that spans the entire range of the gaming universe. The eSports market reaches over 380 million viewers worldwide with double-digit growth every year.
ESR covers all top eSports games including Apex Legends, Battlefield, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota2, EA FIFA, For Honor, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Hero of the Storm, League of Legends, NBA 2K, Overwatch, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), Rainbow Six, Rocket League, Smite, StarCraft, Super Smash, World of Tanks, and World of Warcraft (WOW).
ESRevolution CEO Wendy Wang commented, “We are thrilled to launch ESR with Sinclair Broadcasting. Our goal is to share the growing excitement for eSports to a broader audience, reaching across the entire range of gamers, fans, and future fans with the best eSports content and gaming entertainment.”
“The addition of ESR is a wonderful way to enrich STIRR’s unique content and provide more value to our audience,” said Adam Ware, general manager of STIRR. “With 24/7 access to eSports, we’re giving STIRR users a front row seat to major events in the fastest growing professional sports scene.”
About Empress Intelligence, LLC
Empress Intelligence, LLC is a privately held company promoting eSports content across the entire range of games through its ESR 24/7 channel and other programming, carried by affiliates worldwide. It is building a studio of next generation talent around gaming entertainment to appeal to gamers, fans, and future fans worldwide. Other Empress companies include Real Big Hits, a distributor and agency promoting original creative content and Empress Media Asset Management, LLC, providing media asset management and workflow management solutions for leading organizations worldwide. For more information, visit www.esrevolution.com
About Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcast companies in the country. The Company owns, operates, and/or provides services to 191 television stations in 89 markets. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and operates the greatest number of award-winning news rooms in the industry and is dedicated to impactful journalism with a local focus. The Company has multiple national networks, live local sports production, as well as stations affiliated with all the major networks. Sinclair’s content is delivered by multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net
STIRR is a national OTT streaming service that is a free, ad-support App and website, featuring a curated mix of local and national content. To learn more, go to www.STIRR.com.
Includes execs/officials from NAB, WISPA, Facebook, New America, Echostar
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has named new and returning members of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration's Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee.
The committee advises the Administration on spectrum policy issues, with freeing up spectrum for 5G wireless one of the most pressing issues.
The committee members, there are 30, will serve two-year terms. The committee will be headed by Jennifer Warren, VP of technology, policy and regulation for Lockheed Martin and Charla Rath, consultant and former Verizon executive.
They serve in a personal capacity rather than as representatives of any company or association.
“On behalf of Secretary Ross, we welcome new members to CSMAC and thank returning members for their continued service,” said NTIA Administrator David Redl. “This committee’s diverse expertise in spectrum policy will help guide our ongoing work to meet the spectrum needs of commercial and federal users.”
And the members are:
- *Claude Aiken, President and CEO, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
- Audrey Allison, Senior Director, Frequency Management Services, Boeing
- Mary Brown, Senior Director, Spectrum and Technology Policy, Cisco
- Michael Calabrese, Director, The New American Foundation, Wireless Future Program
- *Jeff Cohen, Chief Council and Director of Government Relations, APCO International
- Mark Crosby, President and CEO, Enterprise Wireless Alliance
- Thomas Dombrowsky, Jr., Senior Engineering Advisor, DLA Piper LLP
- H. Mark Gibson, Senior Director, Business Development, Comsearch
- Dale Hatfield, Senior Fellow, Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship
- Carolyn Kahn, Principal Economics and Business Analyst/Group Leader, The MITRE Corporation -- Center for Acquisition and Management
- Paul Kolodzy, Consultant, Kolodzy Consulting, LLC
- Mark Lewellen, Manager of Spectrum Advocacy, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group
- *Jennifer Manner, Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs, Echostar
- Mark McHenry, Founder and President, Shared Spectrum Company
- Donna Murphy, Senior VP, Global Regulatory, INMARSAT
- *Wayne Phoel, Independent Consultant, Previous MIT/LL and DARPA
- Carl Povelites, Assistant Vice President of Public Policy, AT&T
- *Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Vice President Regulatory Affairs, OneWeb
- Mark Racek, Senior Director of Spectrum Policy, Ericsson
- Charla Rath, Independent Consultant (Co-Chair)
- Richard Reaser, Jr., Head, Spectrum Management Department Space and Airborne Systems Raytheon Company
- Dennis Roberson, Research Professor of Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology
- Andrew Roy, Director of Engineering Services, Aviation Spectrum Resources
- Kurt Schaubach, Chief Technology Officer, Federated Wireless
- Steve Sharkey, Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Engineering Policy, T-Mobile US, Inc.
- Mariam Sorond, Vice President Technology Development, Dish Network LLC
- Bryan Tramont, Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
- Jennifer Warren, Vice President, Technology Policy & Regulations, Lockheed Martin Corporation (Co-Chair)
- Christopher Weasler, Global Head of Spectrum Policy and Connectivity Planning, Facebook, Inc.
- Robert Weller, VP for Spectrum, National Association of Broadcasters
* New member.
Aleister Crowley drama has U.S. in WWII and a scientist mastering rocketry and the occult
Drama Strange Angel debuts season two on CBS All Access June 13. The period drama centers on Jack Parsons, who straddled the worlds of science and the occult, pioneering America’s rocketry program while practicing sex magick rituals as a devotee to Aleister Crowley’s religion.
As season one wound down, Jack and his team from Caltech made a scientific breakthrough that secured the military’s interest as the country neared the brink of war. In season two, the U.S. is fully engaged in World War II, transforming Jack’s rocketry work into a lucrative business and further entrenching him in the military-industrial complex. While Jack’s career takes off, he and his wife Susan’s devotion to their new occult religion grows, leading them to invite the sex cult into their Pasadena mansion and Jack to forge a personal relationship with the group’s notorious founder, Crowley.
The cast includes Jack Reynor, Rupert Friend, Bella Heathcote and Peter Mark Kendall. Angus Macfadyen joins the cast as Aleister Crowley.
Mark Heyman created the show, which is based on George Pendle’s book of the same name.
Strange Angel is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions. Heyman, David DiGilio, Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker are executive producers.
VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming solutions, today announced its latest distribution partnership with Digistor, which will provide VITEC's full portfolio of streaming solutions across Australia and New Zealand. Known for delivering product, design, installation, and technical support to companies that include ABC, Disney, Foxtel, Warner Brothers, and Endemol Shine, Digistor is the respected provider of technology solutions to the VFX, post-production, broadcasting, and digital media industries in the region.
PARIS — April 18, 2019 — VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming solutions, today announced its latest distribution partnership with Digistor, which will provide VITEC's full portfolio of streaming solutions across Australia and New Zealand. Known for delivering product, design, installation, and technical support to companies that include ABC, Disney, Foxtel, Warner Brothers, and Endemol Shine, Digistor is the respected provider of technology solutions to the VFX, post-production, broadcasting, and digital media industries in the region.
"In this particular territory, more and more organizations are demanding reliable, high-quality, low-latency, and bandwidth-efficient streaming capabilities that are the hallmark of VITEC's end-to-end video streaming solutions," said Aurélie Albert, marketing and communication manager, VITEC. "This partnership not only brings our broadcast-quality solutions to customers in the region but also provides them with Digistor's extensive knowledge and technical expertise that are an invaluable part of achieving the best workflow to deliver a superior video experience."
As a local verified partner, Digistor will expand VITEC's growing presence in the APAC market. Digistor works with a select group of leading vendors to help bring integrated solutions to its customers, carefully selecting and ensuring that the company has the expertise to specify, deliver, and support the products. In addition, the company ensures technical performance, pricing, policies, resources, and commitment to superior performance of every product.
"VITEC is a trusted video streaming solutions provider known for leading the market with high-performance and innovative products that help customers easily and affordably adapt to the ever-changing video landscape," said Mark Richards, marketing manager for Digistor. "We're delighted to add VITEC to our elite roster of vendor partners and strengthen our commitment of empowering our customers through smarter technology and service solutions."
More information on VITEC's full line of products is available at www.vitec.com.
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Digistor provides solutions for the creation, management, storage, and distribution of digital assets. From post-facilities to broadcast operations, from single studios to collaborative, networked environments operating across a room or across the world, Digistor empowers its customers through smarter technology and service solutions. For more information, visit Digistor's website at www.digistor.com.au.
VITEC is a leading worldwide end-to-end video streaming solutions provider for broadcast, military and government, enterprise, sports and entertainment venues, and houses of worship. Combining broadcasting with live streaming capabilities, VITEC's H.265 (HEVC) and H.264 offering is the most extensive in the market with encoding and decoding appliances, IPTV solutions for desktops and mobile devices, and PCI cards with SDK for integration projects. VITEC's intuitive digital video solutions can be tailored to each customer's unique market needs, delivering easy-to-use technology that ensures high-quality, low-latency HD video, capturing live and recorded events for seamless distribution in a multitude of formats anytime, anywhere, to any device.
Since 1988, VITEC has been a pioneer in the design and manufacture of hardware and software for video encoding, decoding, transcoding, recording, conversion, archiving, and streaming over IP. In keeping with the company's tradition of innovation, VITEC is the first company to bring bandwidth-efficient HEVC compression technology into the field with portable streaming appliances.
All company and product names used herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners. © 2019 VITEC
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Image Caption: VITEC Partners with Digistor in Australia and New Zealand
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Black Box, an industry-leading provider of keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) connectivity and signal distribution systems, earned NAB Product of the Year and TV Technology Best of Show awards at the 2019 NAB Show for the company's Emerald Unified KVM platform (www.blackbox.com/Emerald) and its latest addition, the first-of-its kind Remote App.
PITTSBURGH — April 18, 2019 — Black Box, an industry-leading provider of keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) connectivity and signal distribution systems, earned NAB Product of the Year and TV Technology Best of Show awards at the 2019 NAB Show for the company's Emerald Unified KVM platform (www.blackbox.com/Emerald) and its latest addition, the first-of-its kind Remote App.
The Emerald Unified KVM platform is a state-of-the-art and future-proof KVM extension and switching solution that provides exceptional flexibility and network security for mission-critical, 24/7 control rooms and media production environments. Serving as a point-to-point extension or a KVM switching system — with support for IP-based 4K video, USB and audio distribution, plus access via remote app — the Emerald platform ensures convenient high-speed access to all types of servers, whether physical or virtual, on premises, or in the cloud.
The Emerald platform's Windows 10-based Remote App is a software-only KVM receiver giving authorized users simultaneous, remote access to one or more sources — including PCs, servers, or virtual machines — across an Emerald KVM network, thereby enabling cost savings as well as greater flexibility, ease of access, and efficiency.
The 2019 NAB Show Product of the Year Awards recognize the most significant and promising new products and technologies being showcased by exhibitors at the show. Black Box and other award winners were honored at the NAB Show Product of the Year Awards Reception on Wednesday, April 10, in Las Vegas. TV Technology Best of Show Awards were judged by a panel of industry experts on the criteria of innovation, feature set, cost efficiency, and performance in serving the industry. TV Technology also presented Black Box with a Best of Show Booth Design Award. Black Box and other Best of Show Award winners will be featured in TV Technology magazine.
"We're proud that the unique, forward-looking capabilities of our Emerald Unified KVM platform have been recognized and honored at the NAB Show," said John Hickey, senior director of KVM products for Black Box. "The KVM system we featured at the show is the first to marry hardware- and software-based KVM access, combining high performance and fast connectivity with exceptional flexibility, and we view this version of our Emerald platform as the next logical step for KVM networks."
More information on Black Box and its products is available at www.blackbox.com.
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About Black Box
Black Box delivers award-winning products and services that simplify signal management and distribution in IT and communication systems. We engineer and manufacture KVM and pro AV systems that connect users with PCs and servers, desktops and peripherals, ensuring smart, flexible access to critical IT assets, data and content. For government, education and commercial organizations of all sizes, we design and supply secure infrastructure solutions for control rooms, conference and collaboration facilities, and digital signage. With four decades of experience, as well as a global presence and an extensive team of technical experts, we provide the products, solutions, service and support that allow our clients to connect with their colleagues, their customers and the world.
To learn more, visit the Black Box website at www.blackbox.com and follow us on Twitter @blackbox_ns.
Black Box® and the Double Diamond logo are registered trademarks of BB Technologies Inc.
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Photo Caption: Black Box's new Remote App for the Emerald™ Unified KVM platform
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Photo Caption: NAB Product of the Year Award Logo
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Photo Caption: TV Technology Best of Show Award Logo
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Making high-resolution 360-degree recording in the field easier than ever, Zylia today introduced a Windows tablet-compatible version of ZYLIA software for the company's acclaimed ZYLIA ZM-1 microphone. Convenient tablet-based control over the ZM-1, a compact 3rd order Ambisonics microphone, gives sound engineers and musicians a lightweight and highly portable solution for capturing immersive audio in any environment.
POZNAN, Poland — April 17, 2019 — Making high-resolution 360-degree recording in the field easier than ever, Zylia today introduced a Windows tablet-compatible version of ZYLIA software for the company's acclaimed ZYLIA ZM-1 microphone. Convenient tablet-based control over the ZM-1, a compact 3rd order Ambisonics microphone, gives sound engineers and musicians a lightweight and highly portable solution for capturing immersive audio in any environment.
"Field recordings can yield unique audio samples that bring terrific character and richness to a variety of applications," said Tomasz Żernicki, co-founder and chief technology officer of Zylia. "Sound engineers use the ZM-1 for ambient sound recording in the field and to create spatial soundscapes. Musicians heading to outdoor concerts and jam sessions use the microphone to capture live shows and one-of-a-kind collaborations. Now requiring only the microphone and tripod, a tablet, and headphones, field recording with the ZM-1 is unbelievably simple and convenient.
Designed for bands and musical ensembles, sound engineers, podcasters, and audio creatives working in 3D audio, Ambisonics, and virtual reality, the ZYLIA ZM-1 is an incredibly light, compact, and beautifully designed recording solution capable of delivering 48 kilohertz/24-bit resolution while capturing the full spatial sound scene. Boasting 19 high-quality digital MEMS microphones, the spherical array together with software can auto-detect sound sources from around the microphone and capture that sound as separate tracks for further editing on a digital audio workstation.
Setting up tablet control over the ZM-1 is straightforward. Users need only install the ZYLIA ZM-1 Windows 10 driver (www.zylia.co/zylia-pro.html) and ZYLIA Studio software on a tablet equipped with a 64-bit processor and 64-bit Windows operating system. Once the ZYLIA Studio application is activated, the system is ready to go. The recording workflow is no different than with a laptop or PC. Users just set up the ZM-1 microphone in the desired location, plug the microphone into the tablet using a USB cable (and microUSB adapter if necessary), open ZYLIA Studio, and begin recording.
Recordings can be processed with the ZYLIA Ambisonics Converter plugin. Users can convert audio samples to 3rd-order Ambisonics and perform further processing if needed. Zylia software even enables users to fine-tune the position of a sound scene to reflect a particular camera position.
Further information about Zylia is available at www.zylia.co.
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Zylia is an industry leader in the field of 3D audio recording and production. The technologies developed by Zylia improve the lives of musicians and audio creators, moving their listeners to the virtual world of sounds. With a passionate and dedicated team of experts in music production, audio research, software, business, and product development, the company crafts and delivers products with the potential to redefine and revolutionize the way sound and musical performances are recorded and produced. Leveraging their personal experience as musicians and tech gurus, along with input from music and audio communities around the world, Zylia's experts bring musicians agile recording tools that make it easy to be creative in any environment.
Product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
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Photo Caption: Zylia's ZM-1 microphone is now Windows tablet-compatible.
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Veritone, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI), the creator of the world's first operating system for artificial intelligence, aiWARE™, today announced that its Veritone Attribute application, a near real-time media attribution solution, received a Product of the Year Award in the Best New Radio Technology category at the recent 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The first official awards at the NAB Show, the program recognizes the most significant and promising new products and technologies showcased by exhibitors.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — April 17, 2019 — Veritone, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI), the creator of the world's first operating system for artificial intelligence, aiWARE™, today announced that its Veritone Attribute application, a near real-time media attribution solution, received a Product of the Year Award in the Best New Radio Technology category at the recent 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The first official awards at the NAB Show, the program recognizes the most significant and promising new products and technologies showcased by exhibitors.
"Nominees like Veritone are revolutionizing the way people experience media and entertainment," said NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown. "The 2019 NAB Show Product of the Year Awards highlight the best of what's new at the premier launchpad for breakthroughs at the intersection of media, entertainment, and technology."
Veritone Attribute gives radio and television broadcasters the ability to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in near real-time. Attribute simply and intuitively makes connections between advertising campaigns and activity on the advertiser's website within a user defined timespan. Attribute not only analyzes data related to prerecorded spots, but also to live reads and organic mentions. The information gleaned from Attribute gives broadcasters the ability to better contend with their digital counterparts, while at the same time providing advertisers a means to complement their digital advertising strategy by understanding campaign performance across multiple channels.
"Attribute addresses a need to quantifiably demonstrate how well campaigns are working and provide optimization insights for those that are underperforming. aiWARE's configurable infrastructure allowed us to quickly develop a product that helps to solve a challenge and address a gap in the market for both broadcasters and advertisers," said Michael Kennedy, product manager for Veritone Attribute. "It's very gratifying to have this recognized by the NAB."
More information about Veritone's products and services is available at veritone.com.
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About NAB Show
NAB Show, held April 6-11, 2019, in Las Vegas, NV, USA, is the world's largest and most comprehensive convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment, and technology. With nearly 100,000 attendees from more than 160 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and fuel the digital storytelling economy. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways. Explore more at NABShow.com.
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.
Veritone (Nasdaq: VERI) is a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and solutions. The company's proprietary operating system, aiWARE™, orchestrates an expanding ecosystem of machine learning models to transform audio, video, and other data sources into actionable intelligence. aiWARE can be deployed in a number of environments and configurations to meet customers' needs. Its open architecture enables customers in the media and entertainment, legal and compliance, and government sectors to easily deploy applications that leverage the power of AI to dramatically improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. Veritone is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, with over 300 employees, and has offices in Denver, London, New York, San Diego, and Seattle. To learn more, visit Veritone.com.
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Lil Rel sitcom, Marvel Television drama come to their end
Fox has canceled the first-year comedy Rel and the sophomore drama The Gifted. Rel debuted Sept. 30, a multi-camera comedy from 20th Century Fox Television. It was about comedian Lil Rel’s life on the south side of Chicago. Mike Scully was the showrunner.
The Gifted came from 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television. Season two kicking off Sept. 25, the show centered on a couple whose lives are rocked when they discover their children possess mutant powers. The family goes on the run from a hostile government and hooks up with an underground network of mutants.
The executive producers are Matt Nix, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
The cast includes Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker and Sean Teale.
Calls statements 'heat of moment slips of tongue'
A White House that has often branded mainstream media as fake news, particularly in its reporting on the Mueller investigation into Russia election meddling, was apparently providing some fake, or at least misleading, comments on some real news.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller that her statements about hearing from "countless members of the FBI" that they had lost confidence in then-FBI director James Comey was "a slip of the tongue" and that a separate statement to the press that rank and file FBI employees had lost confidence was made "in the heat of the moment"--rather than the light of accuracy--and "was not founded on anything."
That is according to the just-released Mueller report.
Sanders comments came by way of providing an alternative explanation of the President's firing of Comey, who was then leading the Russia investigation, that being an alternative to it being an attempt to obstruct the investigation.
The comments also came in response to a reporter's observation that the "vast majority" of FIB agents backed Comey.
The President had himself said that he had received "hundreds" of messages from FBI employees supporting his firing of Comey.
Fox has renewed the comedy Last Man Standing for 2019-2020. Tim Allen stars in the show. Next season will be Last Man’s second on Fox, after six on ABC. The show has averaged more than 11 million multiplatform viewers, according to Fox.
Besides Allen, the cast includes Hector Elizondo, Christoph Sanders, Nancy Travis, Amanda Fuller, Jordan Masterson, Jonathan Adams, Jet Jurgensmeyer and Krista Marie Yu.
Last Man Standing is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. The series was created by Jack Burditt. Kevin Abbott, Matt Berry, Kevin Hench, Ed Yeager, Tim Allen, Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy, Becky Clements, Richard Baker and Rick Messina are executive producers. Abbott is the showrunner.
“Last Man Standing roared out of the gate on Fox, and has maintained its ratings dominance ever since,” said Michael Thorn, president, entertainment at Fox. “Much of that credit goes to the incredibly funny and talented Tim Allen, not to mention Nancy, Hector and the rest of the show’s great cast. We’d like to thank Kevin, Matt and the entire crew, along with our partners at 20th Century Fox Television, for overseeing one of television’s most popular comedies. We’d also like to congratulate them all on reaching 150 episodes – a milestone that’s well-deserved.”
April 19 marks the show’s 150th episode. The Last Man pilot will stream on Twitter that day for 12 hours, starting at noon ET.
“Hard to believe Last Man Standing hits 150 episodes this week and it gets better with another upcoming season at Fox!” said Allen. “Great news for all of us who are creating these stories and working our pants off to make you all laugh. It’s another big high-five to the legions of loyal fans who have faithfully kept us front and center and huge on the radar. Thanks to our family at Fox who continue to make us feel so at home. Man, if we keep this up, they might have to call our show Last Man Unable to Stand.”
Saurer promoted; Jackson joins
The FCC's Media Bureau has upped one official and added a second.
Bureau chief Michelle Carey said Thursday (April 18) that associate bureau chief Holly Saurer has been named deputy bureau chief and Paul Jackson has joined the bureau as associate bureau chief.
Suarer is a long-time FCC vet, having served attorney adviser with the Policy Division and senior legal adviser to the bureau chief. Before that she was adviser to former chairman Tom Wheeler and acting adviser to commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel.
Jackson joins the FCC from the House Energy & Commerce Committee where he was a staffer focusing on digital commerce and consumer protection. But he is an FCC vet as well, having served as special assistant to then-FCC chair Michael Powell. His resume also includes a stint at News Corp.
“The Bureau has relied on Holly’s breadth of knowledge for many years, and Paul’s significant private sector and Hill experience will provide a unique perspective," said Carey. "The decades of expertise they each bring to their roles will be invaluable to the work of the Bureau.”
Star is divorcing husband of 22 years, who's also her business manager and an EP on her daytime talker
In light of his divorce from Wendy Williams, Kevin Hunter is exiting as executive producer of her eponymous daytime talker, The Wendy Williams Show. He had been serving as her business manager and had been with the show since it first launched in 2008.
Williams confirmed last week that she was divorcing her husband of 22 years after reports surfaced that his longtime mistress, Sharina Hudson, had given birth to his child.
“Kevin Hunter is no longer an executive producer on The Wendy Williams Show,” confirmed a spokesperson for the show, which is produced and distributed produced by Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury. “Debmar-Mercury wishes him well in his future endeavors.”
Williams has been struggling since December. In January, she took a two-month hiatus, saying that she needed to deal with health issues. A couple of weeks after she returned to her show, however, she confessed to her audience that she had been living in a sober-living house. On Monday, she told the audience that she would soon be moving out of that house.
“It’s so crazy because now my business is your business. I’m moving out of sober house in just a few days, you know. It’ll be Wendy on her own,” Williams said on Monday’s episode. “I have to tell you, you know I’ve been dealing with issues with addiction, alcoholism, and I have a whole new life that I planned for myself and my son.”
Williams and Hunter have a 19-year-old son, Kevin Jr.
Earlier this week, Hunter released a statement: “I have dedicated most of our lives to the business empire that is Wendy Williams Hunter, a person that I truly love and respect unconditionally. I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans.
“I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs. No matter what the outcome is or what the future holds, we are still The Hunter Family and I will continue to work with and fully support my wife in this business and through any and all obstacles she may face living her new life of sobriety, while I also work on mine. I ask that you please give me and my family privacy as we heal.”
But said evidence did not allow it to clear president of obstruction
The Mueller report is out and it is clear that it does not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, instead punting on that "traditional prosecutorial judgment," which was then made by Attorney General Bill Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
That is the report of special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian election meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign was involved.
"[I]f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state," the report's conclusion said. They didn't so state, saying that "based on the facts and the applicable legal standard, we are unable to reach that judgment." But Barr and Rosenstein did, concluding that the President did not obstruct, partly because of their conclusion there was not evidence of corrupt intent.
That conclusion came despite the fact that, the report concluded, the President on June 17, 2017, had directed White House counsel Don McGahn to call the acting attorney general "and say the special counsel [Mueller] had conflicts of interest and must be removed." McGahn did not do so.
It also came despite the fact that when the president was told Mueller had been appointed he told advisors it was the "end of his presidency."
The report detailed various examples of the President's actions and reaction to the investigation that were not necessarily acted on by his subordinates. That may be why the report said it could not conclude there was no criminal conduct.
CNN concluded that the report was saying Trump efforts to obstruct were thwarted because those subordinates refused to carry out his directives.
That conclusion was clearly a relief for the President, since the Mueller team also concluded that there would have been no reason for exempting the President from obstruction laws and that to do so would not "impermissibly burden" his performance, as the President's counsel had suggested.
On the conspiracy charge, the report found that "while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges" of conspiring to interfere in the 2016 election. There was also insufficient evidence that either the meeting with Russians at Trump Tower or the Wikileaks e-mail hack provided sufficient evidence of a campaign-finance violation.
‘Amazing Race’ opens not so hot on CBS
CBS got top spot in Wednesday’s ratings, Survivor leading the net to a 1.1 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 5 share. In second was Fox at 1.0/5.
Fox won the race the Wednesday before.
Survivor did its usual 1.5, the episode featuring two tribal councils and a veteran of a previous season voted out. The Amazing Race season premiere did a 1.2, down from its 1.6 premiere in January 2018. SEAL Team went up 17% to 0.7.
On Fox, Empire did a 1.1 and Star a 0.9, both dramas flat.
ABC did a 0.5/3 with comedy repeats before a new Whiskey Cavalier fell 17% to 0.5.
NBC rated a 0.5/3 with Chicago repeats.
Telemundo did a 0.5/2 with both Exatlon Estados Unidos and Betty En NY at 0.5.
Univision got a 0.3/2.
The CW scored a 0.2/1 with both Riverdale and Jane the Virgin at 0.2, Riverdale down a tenth and Jane flat.
Annual fun run held to advance equity in the media and tech industries sets new record for registrations and funds raised
Portland, Ore. – April 18, 2019 – Elemental Technologies LLC (AWS Elemental), an Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) company, today announced the 4K 4Charity Fun Run held at the 2019 NAB Show raised more than $68,000 for Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like. The run held at NAB this week brought cumulative 4K 4Charity gross proceeds to more than $1 million, and broke previous records with more than 735 individuals registered.
The next 4K 4Charity event will be held on September 14, 2019, during the IBC Show in Amsterdam. More details and contact information for potential sponsors are available here: https://4k4charity.com/ibc
Momentum continues to grow for media industry’s only 4K run held to raise awareness and funding for increased diversity and inclusion. Overall registration was up more than 30% percent over the 4K 4Charity Fun Run held at the 2018 NAB Show, while the number of runners and walkers on the course increased by 33% percent. Now in its fifth year, the 4km (2.49-mile) running and walking event is held worldwide at major industry events including the NAB Show, IBC Show, and the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition. Runs are also held in Portland, Oregon. Enabling supporters to have the most impact possible, the 4K 4Charity Fun donates100 percent of individual contributions directly to designated non-profit beneficiaries.
“Since 2014, more than 10,000 people have helped increase equity in the media industry through their support of the 4K 4Charity Fun Run. Thanks to the commitment and generosity of sponsors and individual registrants alike, more than $1 million in proceeds are being put to work today to help people marginalized by our society and educational systems find opportunities for success,” said Laura Barber, co-founder of the 4K 4Charity Fun Run Series. “With your on-going support, we are enriching our industry by making it better for everyone.”
Sponsors for the 4K 4Charity held at the 2019 NAB Show included Arc Publishing, Bitmovin, Brightcove, Dolby Laboratories, Eluvio, FEED, Irdeto, Leyard and Planar, Raz Public Relations, Sports Video Group, Verimatrix, Vidispine, Wall Street Communications, and Zappos.
About the 4K 4Charity Fun Run
Founded in 2014, the 4K 4Charity Fun Run Series is a 2.49-mile running and walking event held annually in Las Vegas (NAB Show and AWS re:Invent), Amsterdam (IBC Show) and Portland, Oregon to raise awareness and financial support for global and local non-profits that support increased diversity and inclusion initiatives. Whether you’re a competitive runner or prefer a leisurely stroll, the 4K 4Charity Fun Run makes it easy for participants and sponsors to get active and give back. https://4k4charity.com/ibc
NEW YORK – April 18, 2019 – Beachfront today announced its new MVPD-side technology stack to monetize set-top-box VOD inventory, becoming the de facto programmatic video advertising platform for multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). Beachfront streamlines VOD and OTT advertising, creating net new revenues for Publishers and MVPDs.
Today’s news marks a renewed emphasis for Beachfront on TV advertising, plugging MVPDs into the modern demand-side of programmatic OTT ad buyers, and creating a new real-time biddable sales channel to unlock revenue from historically undervalued set-top-box VOD inventory.
“This new VOD product is more than a decade in the making. We’ve invested heavily over the years to develop what is now a turnkey system for MVPDs,” said Beachfront CEO Chris Maccaro. “And with an immense amount of complicated development work behind us, we’re pleased with how smoothly our new product was integrated with one of the top MVPDs in the U.S.”
Today’s news marks the expansion of Beachfront’s OTT programmatic technology into linear TV and VOD via a direct integration with a top 10 MVPD. For the first time, Beachfront is providing the cable industry with the ability to execute dynamic ad insertion (DAI) in the VOD environment, in real-time, that plugs directly into the modern demand-side of digital OTT.
Added Maccaro: “Set-top box VOD inventory is some of the highest value inventory in media. We can now offer the market VOD advertising that is easy to buy, fast to market and optimized for a better home viewing experience. Longer term, we aim to impact addressable linear, unifying inventory and impacting ad sales across the MVPD’s stack.”
Beachfront’s engineering team is fluent in traditional cable and digital advertising tech stacks, with the company’s founder and president, Frank Sinton, responsible for spearheading Beachfront’s technological prowess for more than ten years.
“Crossover technical strategies bridging TV and digital advertising have proven difficult to execute,” said Sinton. “Now, VOD dynamic ad insertion can easily plug into programmatic advertising channels, enabling VOD to live up to its commercial promise.”
Sinton continued: “We’re breathing new life into VOD DAI, enabling it to scale the same way as CTV programmatic. Now that we’ve cracked the engineering code for MVPDs, we can provide cable companies with the opportunity to enable any advertiser to set a TV campaign live, and have it deliver on a TV show in a legacy set-top box VOD environment in real-time.”
Via direct MVPD-side integrations, Beachfront empowers ad buyers to purchase across VOD, linear and OTT, with one buy and one set of metrics.
As Digiday reported in December 2018: For ad buyers, cable video-on-demand remains disappointing. MVPDs know they have bigger revenue opportunities abound in set-top box VOD, but millions of dollars are still left on the table. Beachfront’s new product makes this undervalued inventory more accessible to demand-side programmatic partners.
Beachfront is a programmatic video advertising platform. For over a decade, the New York-based company has helped big media, CTV publishers and MVPDs generate new premium revenue channels that outperform the industry. Beachfront is integrated directly into MVPDs, vMVPDs, and CTV publishers and connects them into the modern demand-side, unlocking new real-time programmatic sales channels for TV content, and empowering ad buyers to purchase across VOD, linear and OTT, with one buy and one set of metrics. For more information, visit www.beachfront.com.
Zach Servideo for Beachfront
Coming off Skin’s Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2019 Oscars, ShortsTV, the world’s only Short Film Channel (www.shorts.tv) and official distributor of the OSCAR® Nominated Short Films, will air the film across the United States. Skin’s strong story strikes a powerful chord as it touches on race relations in today’s America.
ShortsTV will premiere Skin at 8 pm, Saturday, April 20 as part of their “Movie of the Week”.
Skin is a gripping 20-minute short that tells the story of a family of Neo-Nazi skinheads. The heavily tattooed protagonist, played by Jonathan Tucker (Westworld, Snowfall, Parenthood, and the upcoming Charlie’s Angels...) watches a friendly encounter between his 10-year-old son and a black man in their town’s supermarket, becoming infuriated. This moment sparks a war between two gangs that ends with shocking retribution.
Skin is produced by Israeli director Guy Nattiv and his wife, American actress Jaime Ray Newman. Skin won best short at Hollyshorts Film Festival and the San Jose Film Festival before receiving its Academy Award, marking the couple’s first Oscar. Skin is also being adapted to a feature film, debuting in July 2019.
The release of Skin on ShortsTV will include interview footage from the Oscar Nominee Luncheon, the journey to the Oscars, winner footage, and an interview with Jaime Ray Newman.
“This year’s Oscars represented some of 2018’s most diverse filmmaking, and we’re thrilled to share short films such as Skin with our audiences,” said Carter Pilcher, CEO and founder of ShortsTV. “We stand with filmmakers and love bringing our audiences exclusive premieres like Skin, especially given its powerful and relevant message about racism and empathy.”
2019 marked the 14th consecutive year of the Oscar® Nominated Short Films theatrical experience, playing the Oscar® Nominated Shorts in over 650 theaters across the US and Canada. In 2019, the Oscar® Nominated Short Films earned over $3.5 million in worldwide box office gross revenue, surpassing Netflix’s Roma in terms of independent box office release numbers, making it #15 in terms of 2019 Independent Theatrical Releases, but the first in terms of short film theatrical releases.
Alice Braga stars in series about woman facing down drug cartel
Season four of Queen of the South begins on USA Network June 6. Alice Braga stars in the series, about Teresa Mendoza, who is forced to run from a Mexican drug cartel and seek refuge in America.
The show is based on the book La Reina Del Sur, by Arturo Perez-Reverte, and is inspired by the Telemundo series La Reina Del Sur.
Queen of the South is a co-production from Fox 21 Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions (UCP). The series delivered an average of 2.1 million total viewers in season three, according to USA.
Season three wrapped Sept. 13. David T. Friendly and Natalie Chaidez executive produce the show. Dailyn Rodriguez and Ben Loboto are co-showrunners for season four.
The new season sees Mendoza fight to carve out a place as a full-fledged partner in Camila Vargas's cartel. But as enemies close in from both sides of the law, she is forced to choose between her new makeshift family and the man she loves.
USA Network is part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
Said that is "bottom line" of Mueller report; says he concluded no obstruction
The highly anticipated redacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller was released Thursday (April 18) and news outlets scrambled to pore over the almost 400 pages of what was described by Barr as a report with limited redactions.
The report was an investigation into Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign conspired in that interference.
Attorney General Bill Barr, who had previewed what he considered the key conclusions in a four-page document released March 24, held a press conference to talk about the report's release. He said the redacted report would be sent to the heads of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees at 11 a.m., after which it would be posted on the DOJ web site for the public to see.
Fox's Chris Wallace cautioned beforehand that to the degree Barr did more characterizing of the report before others have been able to study it, there could be more problems with how it is perceived by Democrats.
But Barr, while saying he was focused on the process, essentially provided a lengthy characterization, starting off by repeating the no collusion conclusion. He also said the Russian operatives did not have the cooperation of the President or the campaign, then repeated that numerous times in relation to hacking and encouraging leaking documents and other elements of the Russian meddling campaign.
As to obstruction, Barr said the report includes 10 episodes involving the President, but Barr and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein concluded they did not rise to obstruction of justice. Barr said they did not conclude the President had "corrupt" intent.
Asked why they concluded there was no crime of obstruction, Barr said because Mueller did not, he felt they had to.
The President had already prepared his supporters to dismiss any negative findings or critical media reactions, but there was essentially nothing to dismiss in Barr's summary of the findings.
The President had tweeted the tune-in info, so was apparently not anticipating bad news from Barr.
He tweeted the following Game of Thrones inspired picture after the press conference:
Barr said that he would provide an even less redacted version to certain members of Congress.
NBC News was the first among the broadcast networks to start its special coverage of the press conference, previewing the conference with news teams from New York and Washington, while the others waited until the press conference's expected 9:30 start date, it did not start on time, however, to begin their special reports. Fox provided its stations a simulcast of Fox News Channel coverage, which was well underway by 9:30.
Below are Barr's remarks at the press conference in full:
"On March 22, 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation of matters related to Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and submitted his confidential report to me pursuant to Department of Justice regulations.
"As I said during my Senate confirmation hearing and since, I am committed to ensuring the greatest possible degree of transparency concerning the Special Counsel’s investigation, consistent with the law.
"At 11:00 this morning, I will transmit copies of a public version of the Special Counsel’s report to the chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The Department of Justice will also make the report available to the American public by posting it on the Department’s website after it has been delivered to Congress.
"I would like to offer a few comments today on the report.
"But before I do that, I want to thank Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for joining me here today and for his assistance and counsel throughout this process. Rod has served the Department of Justice for many years with dedication and distinction, and it has been a great privilege and pleasure to work with him since my confirmation. He had well-deserved plans to step back from public service that I interrupted by asking him to help in my transition. Rod has been an invaluable partner, and I am grateful that he was willing to help me and has been able to see the Special Counsel’s investigation to its conclusion. Thank you, Rod.
"I would also like to thank Special Counsel Mueller for his service and the thoroughness of his investigation, particularly his work exposing the nature of Russia’s attempts to interfere in our electoral process.
"As you know, one of the primary purposes of the Special Counsel’s investigation was to determine whether members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, or any individuals associated with that campaign, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. Volume I of the Special Counsel’s report describes the results of that investigation. As you will see, the Special Counsel’s report states that his “investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
"I am sure that all Americans share my concerns about the efforts of the Russian government to interfere in our presidential election. As the Special Counsel’s report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election. But thanks to the Special Counsel’s thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign – or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter. That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed.
"The Special Counsel’s report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election:
"First, the report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations. Following a thorough investigation of this disinformation campaign, the Special Counsel brought charges in federal court against several Russian nationals and entities for their respective roles in this scheme. Those charges remain pending, and the individual defendants remain at large.
"But the Special Counsel found no evidence that any Americans – including anyone associated with the Trump campaign – conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in carrying out this illegal scheme. Indeed, as the report states, “[t]he investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.” Put another way, the Special Counsel found no “collusion” by any Americans in the IRA’s illegal activity.
"Second, the report details efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU to hack into computers and steal documents and emails from individuals affiliated with the Democratic Party and the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton for the purpose of eventually publicizing those emails. Obtaining such unauthorized access into computers is a federal crime. Following a thorough investigation of these hacking operations, the Special Counsel brought charges in federal court against several Russian military officers for their respective roles in these illegal hacking activities. Those charges are still pending and the defendants remain at large.
"But again, the Special Counsel’s report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations. In other words, there was no evidence of Trump campaign “collusion” with the Russian government’s hacking.
"The Special Counsel’s investigation also examined Russian efforts to publish stolen emails and documents on the internet. The Special Counsel found that, after the GRU disseminated some of the stolen materials through its own controlled entities, DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, the GRU transferred some of the stolen materials to Wikileaks for publication. Wikileaks then made a series of document dumps. The Special Counsel also investigated whether any member or affiliate of the Trump campaign encouraged or otherwise played a role in these dissemination efforts. Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here too, the Special Counsel’s report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.
"Finally, the Special Counsel investigated a number of “links” or “contacts” between Trump Campaign officials and individuals connected with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. After reviewing those contacts, the Special Counsel did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign.
"So that is the bottom line. After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the Special Counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.
"After finding no underlying collusion with Russia, the Special Counsel’s report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the President could amount to obstruction of the Special Counsel’s investigation. As I addressed in my March 24th letter, the Special Counsel did not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment regarding this allegation. Instead, the report recounts ten episodes involving the President and discusses potential legal theories for connecting these actions to elements of an obstruction offense.
"After carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report, and in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers, the Deputy Attorney General and I concluded that the evidence developed by the Special Counsel is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.
"Although the Deputy Attorney General and I disagreed with some of the Special Counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we did not rely solely on that in making our decision. Instead, we accepted the Special Counsel’s legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence as presented by the Special Counsel in reaching our conclusion.
"In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.
"Now, before I take questions, I want to address a few aspects of the process for producing the public report that I am releasing today. As I said several times, the report contains limited redactions relating to four categories of information. To ensure as much transparency as possible, these redactions have been clearly labelled and color-coded so that readers can tell which redactions correspond to which categories.
"As you will see, most of the redactions were compelled by the need to prevent harm to ongoing matters and to comply with court orders prohibiting the public disclosure of information bearing upon ongoing investigations and criminal cases, such as the IRA case and the Roger Stone case.
"These redactions were applied by Department of Justice attorneys working closely together with attorneys from the Special Counsel’s Office, as well as with the intelligence community, and prosecutors who are handling ongoing cases. The redactions are their work product.
"Consistent with long-standing Executive Branch practice, the decision whether to assert Executive privilege over any portion of the report rested with the President of the United States. Because the White House voluntarily cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, significant portions of the report contain material over which the President could have asserted privilege. And he would have been well within his rights to do so. Following my March 29th letter, the Office of the White House Counsel requested the opportunity to review the redacted version of the report in order to advise the President on the potential invocation of privilege, which is consistent with long-standing practice. Following that review, the President confirmed that, in the interests of transparency and full disclosure to the American people, he would not assert privilege over the Special Counsel’s report. Accordingly, the public report I am releasing today contains redactions only for the four categories that I previously outlined, and no material has been redacted based on executive privilege.
"In addition, earlier this week, the President’s personal counsel requested and were given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released. That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act, which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an Independent Counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication. The President’s personal lawyers were not permitted to make, and did not request, any redactions.
"In addition to making the redacted report public, we are also committed to working with Congress to accommodate their legitimate oversight interests with respect to the Special Counsel’s investigation. We have been consulting with chairman Graham and chairman Nadler throughout this process, and we will continue to do so.
"Given the limited nature of the redactions, I believe that the publicly released report will allow every American to understand the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation. Nevertheless, in an effort to accommodate congressional requests, we will make available to a bipartisan group of leaders from several Congressional committees a version of the report with all redactions removed except those relating to grand-jury information. Thus, these members of Congress will be able to see all of the redacted material for themselves – with the limited exception of that which, by law, cannot be shared.
"I believe that this accommodation, together with my upcoming testimony before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, will satisfy any need Congress has for information regarding the Special Counsel’s investigation. "
Cable networks start, and NBC Universal concludes tour
The Television Critics Association (TCA) has set its summer Press Tour schedule. The tour begins July 23 and ends Aug. 8.
July 23-28 will be CTAM, short for Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, and featuring cable networks.
PBS goes July 29-30. July 31 is Studio Day and set visits, and Aug. 1 is CBS. Showtime, CBS All-Access and Pop take their turns Aug. 2. Aug. 3 is a business meeting and the TCA Awards, and The CW goes Aug. 4. ABC is up Aug. 5 and FX Aug. 6.
Fox goes Aug. 7 and NBCUniversal Aug. 8.
TCA noted that the schedule is tentative, and dates may change.
Press Tour happens twice a year, starting in January and July. TCA is comprised of more than 200 journalists who write about television.
New biddable ad sales channel could generate extra revenue
Ad tech company Beachfront said it has developed a new system that enables programmatic advertising sales for multichannel video programming distributors' set-top-box video on demand inventory.
Beachfront said the new tech stack has been directly integrated with what it described as a top-ten MVPD, allowing the unnamed operator to be able to execute dynamic ad insertion in the VOD environment in real time, and plug directly into the fast-growing demand side for digital over-the-top inventory.
“This new VOD product is more than a decade in the making. We’ve invested heavily over the years to develop what is now a turnkey system for MVPDs,” said Beachfront CEO Chris Maccaro. “And with an immense amount of complicated development work behind us, we’re pleased with how smoothly our new product was integrated with one of the top MVPDs in the U.S.”
Beachfront has been placing an emphasis on TV advertising. The new product creates a biddable sales channel that can increase demand for set-top VOD inventory.
“Set-top box VOD inventory is some of the highest value inventory in media. We can now offer the market VOD advertising that is easy to buy, fast to market and optimized for a better home viewing experience,” said Maccaro. “Longer term, we aim to impact addressable linear, unifying inventory and impacting ad sales across the MVPD’s stack.”
Letting MVPDs tap into programmatic demand wasn’t easy. Frank Sinton, president of Beachfront and a founder of the company, said Beachfront’s engineering team was engaged with the MVPD for nine months.
“We went live a couple of months ago,” Sinton said, adding that Beachfront could now get another MVPD into the lab phase of testing the software in about 30 days.
Speed is one factor that makes Beachfront’s technology unique. “The first time a campaign goes live in a VOD environment, it’s actually about 15 minutes. It’s extremely fast,” he said. “For every other user it’s real time. It’s actually real-time bidding. So it’s extremely efficient.”
Maccaro said that Beachfront is now in active discussions with five of the top MVPDs “Hopefully we’ll have a lot more momentum to share as we round out Q2,” he said.
II think we’ve removed a lot of the barriers for other MVPDs now to enable similar technology. It’s about working through the process.” he said.
Eventually Beachfront would also like to help MVPDs sell their linear inventory as well. “It’s on the roadmap,” Maccaro said. “We’ve started the initial development discussions. It’s a bit more complicated.”
For now, Beachfront is providing its software on a flat CPM model. “I think we’re fairly flexible,” Maccaro said. "I think the business model is going to figure itself out over time.”
Formerly of WXIA Atlanta and WNBC New York, he will co-anchor morning newscasts
DeMarco Morgan, CBS News correspondent, has been named co-anchor of KCBS Los Angeles’ 4:30-7 a.m. and 11 a.m. newscasts. Morgan has been a CBS News correspondent, based in New York, since fall 2015. He will shift to Los Angeles and starts at the CBS-owned station May 6. He will join co-anchor Suzanne Marques, meteorologist Danielle Gersh and traffic reporter Jennifer Kim on the a.m. newscasts.
“We are thrilled to welcome DeMarco to our CBS Los Angeles family,” said Steve Mauldin, president and general manager of KCBS and KCAL. “He is an outstanding broadcast journalist with tremendous breaking news experience who will add his own special brand of integrity and enthusiasm to our morning newscasts. We look forward to having him join Suzanne, Danielle and Jennifer.”
Morgan joined CBS News from WXIA Atlanta, where he was a reporter and co-anchor of the station’s 5, 6 and 11 p.m. weekday newscasts. Morgan also taught broadcast writing and reporting at Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.
Prior to that, Morgan was weekend anchor at WNBC New York and was cut-in anchor for MSNBC. He’s also worked at WTVJ Miami, WISN Milwaukee and WJTV Jackson (MS).
Would fund hundreds of millions in grants
A trio of Senate Democrats have launched the latest legislative effort to close the digital divide, this one aimed at funding state and community group efforts.
That would be in addition to the billions of dollars in federal broadband aid dollars already being given out through the Universal Service Fund's various programs for low-income residents, schools and libraries and telemedicine. But the bills' backers are among those who say that federal effort has not gotten the digital inclusion job done.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar, co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, and Tina Smith (both Minn.); and Patty Murray (Wash.), have introduced the Digital Equity Act of 2019 to spread the wealth on the local level.
The bill, whose goal is to provide broadband access tools and technologies to "traditionally overlooked communities," creates an annual $120 million formula grant program for states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, to create individualized "digital equity plans," plus another annual $120 million competitive grant program for similar projects by groups, coalitions, and communities of interest.
It also charges the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Administration's chief communications policy adviser, with studying the results and "providing policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels with detailed information about which projects are most effective."
Co-sponsors include Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Me.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
“As we rely more on technology in our everyday lives, we have to make sure that every family has access to broadband, regardless of their zip code. This legislation will help close the digital divide and bring high-speed internet to communities across the county,” said Klobuchar.
The bill "thoughtfully addresses digital equity and seeks to expand technology opportunity for all,” said FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
“Local and state leadership drive most efforts to bring people online with affordable Internet access and training. On the one hand, this is fabulous because trusted community relationships are essential to effective digital inclusion work. On the other hand, financial support of local digital inclusion work is sorely lacking," said National Digital Inclusion Alliance executive director Angela Siefer.
The bill's prospects are unclear given that it has not Republican co-sponsors in a Republican-controlled Senate, represents hundreds of millions of dollars of government grants and is backed by groups generally at odds with Republican communications policies, including Free Press, Public Knowledge and Common Cause.
A version is also being introduced in the Democratically controlled House, where its prospects should be brighter.
Provides programmatic access to streaming TV service
SpotX said it is working with the Philo streaming TV service to provide programmatic ad sales for its live and on-demand over-the-top inventory.
"Philo has clearly captured a large portion of the market that is looking to enjoy VOD and live linear content, and their evolution is an amazing growth story,” said Geoff Spence, regional VP of business development, at SpotX. “We love promoting Philo’s CTV inventory to media buyers because they offer such a variety of content to highly engaged viewers, and we look forward to continuing to drive demand their way.”
Philo this week announced that it was working with a number of tech companies to help sell advertising.
SpotX’s Demand Facilitation team has been working with Philo since November to connect advertisers to Philo’s premium video inventory.
“As viewership continues to grow on connected TV, advertisers have a unique opportunity to reach our growing number of subscribers who can watch their favorite shows live from an array of different channels,” said Reed Barker, head of advertising strategy at Philo. “SpotX has proven to be an excellent partner because they not only provide the sophisticated monetization tools we need to generate meaningful revenue, but their Demand Facilitation team is also aggressively communicating to the world of media buyers about our available inventory.”
Sports gambler's total winnings now stand at nearly $700,000
In his 10th straight win, Jeopardy! contestant James Holzhauer broke his own record for single-day cash winnings with a total of $131,127. The previous record was also set by Holzhauer just eight days prior when he won a total of $110,914 on April 9.
Holzhauer’s winnings now stand at $697,787 as he goes on to play his 11th game on Thursday.
Holzhauer, 34, is a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas who entered the game with a theory that players needed to bet big on Daily Doubles and thus far, that strategy has paid off.
Exec reports to Nancy Daniels
Discovery Channel promoted Joseph Boyle to senior VP, production and development.
Since joining Discovery in 2013, he has helped shepherd series including Deadliest Catch, Naked and Afraid and Naked and Afraid XL.
“Joe has a passion for telling stories and an incredible creative vision. He has not only cultivated new programs for the network but has re-invigorated many of our longest-running hit series. I’m excited to have him continue to be a vital part of the senior team,” Daniels said.
Before joining Discovery, Boyle was a showrunner overseeing productions for Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, History and Syfy.
Morning could become electric as news outlets cover highly anticipated release
The Mueller Report is coming! The Mueller Report is coming! Attorney General Bill Barr has scheduled a press conference for Thursday, the 18th of April, at 9:30 a.m. to talk about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian election meddling report, a redacted copy of which he has said he is releasing.
TV news outlets were preparing to cover the press conference live. At press time CNBC had already established a YouTube placeholder for its live streamed coverage complete with countdown graphic.
An ABC source confirmed that the network will cover the press conference live with a special report anchored by chief anchor and Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos.
NBC will cut into regular programming before the start of the press conference, with Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie anchoring from New York and Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell joining from D.C. along with Justice Department Correspondents Pete Williams and Julia Ainsley and NBC News’ White House team of Hallie Jackson, Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander and Kasie Hunt on Capitol Hill.
A CBS News spokesperson said the network will cover the press conference "in its entirety" as a special report, anchored by Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and John Dickerson.
Barr had signaled at his Senate confirmation hearing that he thought the contents of the report should be made public as much as possible within the rules of the special counsel and the four categories of redactions he is required to make. Those are 1) grand jury information, 2) information that the intelligence community thinks could reveal sources and methods, 3) information that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions, and 4) information that implicates the privacy or reputation of peripheral players (people not charged).
He has been working on those redactions he said last week in signaling the report would be out this week.
If it is a repeat of the "made for TV" March Madness of the Sunday (March 24) release of Barr's summary of the report claiming on collusion, the story will dominate the news cycle.
CBS actually didn't go wall-to-wall March 24, choosing to primarily go ball-to-ball with its coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, though providing a special report at halftime. There will be no similar choice Thursday.
Viewers most likes to buy products seen on Food, CNBC
Discovery cable channels dominated the list of networks described by adult viewers as being one of their favorites.
The top four networks named are all owned by Discovery, topped by Investigation Discovery, which cited by 52%. It was followed closely by HGTV, Animal Planet and Food Network, which was tied with National Geographic for fourth place.
The rest of the list also included several Discovery Networks. Those channels were Discovery Channel, MotorTrend Network, Discovery Life Channel, History, Cooking Channel and DIY.
All of those networks were named by at least 43% of the survey’s respondents. By comparison, the average broadcast network was named by 37% of respondents.
The study also found that Food Network and CNBC were tops when viewers 25 to 54 were asked which networks would they be most likely buy products advertised on that networks.
Following Food Network and CNBC, which were named by 73% of respondents, among basic cable channels were OWN, Nickelodeon, National Geographic Channel, ESPN, HGTV, Fox News Channel and Cartoon Network, with 68%
The top ranked digital basic networks were American Heroes Channel, Discovery Life, DIY Network, MotorTrend and Great American Country, with 74%.
Broadcast networks were named by an average of 60% of viewers 25-54.
The Beta Brand Identity Study was conducted online in January among a sample of 3,500 cable subscribers. The study measured 55 basic and digital cable networks and the four major broadcast networks.
For the 14 year, The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) will honor the companies and individuals who draw upon technical and creative ingenuity to develop breakthrough technologies with the HPA Engineering Excellence Award. The call for entries for the Engineering Excellence Award opened today, and submissions will close on May 24, 2019.
Joachim Zell, VP of Technology for EFILM and chair of the HPA Engineering Excellence Award Committee, said, “True success in our field lies in making it possible for filmmakers to realize their artistic visions. It is that goal that drives the development of technical and engineering processes that bring that vision to life. The companies and individuals supporting creative storytellers face constant pressure to evolve to expand the creative palette. Their contribution to the entertainment industry cannot be overstated. The Engineering Excellence Award is a highly competitive honor, judged and awarded by tried and tested leaders in the field, and the past winners have changed the course of entertainment technology. We encourage the submission of your significant technological achievements.”
Entrants for this peer-judged award may include products or processes and must represent a significant step forward for its industry beneficiaries. Last year’s winners were Blackmagic Design, Canon, Cinnafilm, and IBM Aspera & Telestream. Rules and procedures can be found online.
Applicants present to a blue-ribbon industry panel on June 22 at the IMAX facility in Los Angeles. More information about the presentation dates and location will be announced soon. Winners will be announced in advance, and honors presented during the HPA Awards gala on the evening of November 21, 2019 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
At the gala, HPA Awards will again honor important creative categories including Outstanding Color Grading, Editing, Sound and Visual Effects for feature film, television and commercials. The call for entries in these categories will be announced in May.
The HPA Awards take place thanks to the generosity of sponsors, including Diamond Title Sponsor Blackmagic Design. For information about sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 HPA Awards show, contact Joyce Cataldo at [email protected].
For more information about the HPA Awards, including complete rules, guidelines and entry information, please visit www.hpaawards.com.
'Burden of Truth' back June 2, new talent show 'The Big Stage' starts June 7
The CW is premiering 11 series this summer, including six new shows and five returning ones. The network said the 11 are the most it has ever debuted in summertime. The CW debuted five last summer.
Among the new shows, talent-variety showcase The Big Stage starts June 7. The other five rookie series don't have start dates yet. They include British action drama Bulletproof, starring Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters as undercover cops; Mark A. Altman's intergalactic action-adventure series Pandora; comedy game show Hypnotize Me, hosted by Taye Diggs; investigative docu-series Mysteries Decoded; and extreme sports docu-series Red Bull Peaking.
The Big Stage is hosted by Elizabeth Stanton and James Maslow. The CW describes it as "the ultimate non-competitive platform for talented acts from around the world to display their mastery of performance, with disciplines ranging from singing and stand-up routines to impressive acrobatics and aerial dance, along with everything in between."
The returning shows include legal drama Burden of Truth starting June 2; Masters of Illusion debuting June 7; Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Penn & Teller: Fool Us back June 17; and The Outpost, starring Jessica Green and returning July 11.
The CW noted how its midseason scripted shows, Jane the Virgin, iZombie, The 100 and In the Dark, will all run into summer.
Follows failure to agree on new contract
The Writers Guild of America has filed suit in a Los Angeles Superior Court against talent agency packaging fees, saying they are illegal. That is when a studio, rather than a client, pays an agent a fee for bringing it a "package" of talent" under their representation.
The writers want the court to declare the fees unlawful and enjoin the agencies from future deals. They also want damages and disgorgement of "illegal profits."
Filing suit were the Writers Guild of America East and West and various individual writers. The defendants are the Big Four talent agencies William Morris Endeavor (WME), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), United Talent Agency (UTA), and ICM Partners (ICM).
WGA describes TV packaging fees as "when an agency demands to be paid directly by the studio rather than commissioning talent at 10%." In that case, it says, "the agency has no financial incentive to get TV writers more money."
The Association of Talent Agents (ATA) counters "Packaging, by definition, keeps more money in writers’ pockets. Clients come to agencies to get their projects made and to keep them on the air. A failed show makes no money for the agency –it’s a loss. Agencies’ interests are aligned with their clients when they package, just like they are aligned when they commission clients."
Writers said the fees violate the law in two ways. First, they claim that agents, as fiduciaries under state law, are required to provide their individual clients with undivided loyalty, while the fees are a conflict of interest that pits the financial interest of the agency against their own client. Second, the fees violate California's Unfair Competition Law because they violate the "anti-kickback" provisions in federal law that prevents "'any representative' of an employee from receiving any 'money or other things of value' from the employee’s employer."
The suit comes after the guild failed to strike a new Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement (AMBA) with the ATA, in part because the guilds are not happy that their agents also get to be their programming producers, saying that is a conflict of interest given that makes them both the writers employers and employees.
It also comes after the guild told its members to essentially fire their agents unless and until they agreed not to have an ownership interest in the production and distribution of content.
Point Source Audio’s patent pending dual element mic wins over sound supervisor; no one notices
At the recent USITT 2019 Stage Expo, Point Source Audio® (PSA) introduced its new CO2 Confidence Collection microphones to the theatrical community. The CO2 collection of Headset, Lavalier, and Earworn dual element mics also got a thorough testing at the USITT Conference as PSA was back once again as the Official Headworn Mic Sponsor for the keynote speeches and events.
The patent-pending CO2 Confidence Collection, a new class of wireless microphones, all have dual elements, each measuring a tiny 3mm, that offers built-in redundancy. The CO2 mics integrate two of the company’s important first-to-market features in miniature microphones: IP 57 waterproof rating, and the “unbreakable” headset boom bendable to 360° to bolster durability.
As a part of its sponsorship of USITT, the team from PSA worked with Jeff Polunas, Special Events Sound Coordinator for the USITT Sound Commission on incorporating the CO2 Confidence mics into his audio rigs. [Outside of USITT, Polunas is the Sound Supervisor at the University of California, Irvine.] He spoke about the new mics and how they worked for his audio needs at the Conference.
“The PSA CO2 Confidence mics worked great for our needs and were used in all the sessions that were on the main stage and for events — the keynotes, the Distinguished Achievement Awards, the Early Career Honors, and for the New Product Showcase,” explains Polunas. “I have worked with PSA mics for the last two years at USITT.”
Having the backup microphone, the unique feature of the CO2 Confidence mics, was a great feature for Polunas and the audio team. “Having the backup with the dual mic elements was great. We used it with two mic packs on Jackie Taylor, who was the Keynote speaker,” he comments. “Halfway through her speech, I was matching the gain on the DiGiCo console we were using, and I popped over to her backup mic in the middle of the speech. I just did it to prove that it can be switched over; and no one even noticed. There wasn’t an issue on the pack, or anything like that, but we just swapped it over to show that it does exactly what it was supposed to do.”
Very Low Profile
The low profile of the CO2s dual elements is another feature that really stands out for Polunas. “The size is another thing about the mic I really like about these new mics. Knowing that you can put it on the lead, and it doesn’t look like they’re wearing an element the way that PSA has designed it. It’s very hard to tell that they’re actually wearing two elements because of the way they’ve handled it; it’s the same size all the way through to the very end. Another factor for me is the time-savings. Instead of having to take time in making your own rig to make a backup for a production, you can use this out of the box solution.”
“One thing that I really liked was the fact that they’re headworn,” he says. “They were very quick to adjust, and most of the people didn’t even realize that they were still wearing them. They were very comfortable on the back and the way that they looped over both of the ears. They were comfortable for the talent.” For USITT, Polunas paired the CO2 mics with mic packs from Lectrosonics.
Locking X-Connectors Add Confidence
He continues with some other features of the mics that stood out to him. “I like that the mics come in multiple colors; that helps. They’re not just black or beige; they have a brown element, which is also a nice touch. We had all three colors at USITT, so we could match the mic to the speaker or presenter. The fact that they have the X-Connectors, which makes it adjustable. If you have different mic packs, you can swap out a mic pack versus having to swap out the whole entire microphone.”
Polunas sums up his thoughts about the PSA CO2 Confidence mics: “I think they’re a great product. I’m pushing to get some added to our inventory, to augment some of our other mics,” he says. “I think they are top of the line products and anyone that would be using them would be happy to have them in their production.”
About Point Source Audio
Point Source Audio (@PSA_audio) manufactures and distributes worldwide their SERIES8, EMBRACE, and CONFIDENCE collection of miniature microphones — a unique line of headset, earworn and earmounted microphones known for their robust bendable boom and waterproof features. The company also holds two patents for the EMBRACE concealable microphone as well as the patent for the world’s first modular in-ear comms headset that is supporting the hearing health for audio, lighting and camera techs using headsets everywhere from sports to space. Founded in 2004, Point Source Audio is headquartered in Petaluma, California. For more information call (415) 226-1122 or visit www.point-sourceaudio.com. Follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PSA_audio.
Pro Convert family honored for innovation, feature-richness and cost-effectiveness in bridging traditional video signals with live IP workflows
April 17, 2019 — Nanjing, China: The NAB Show debut of Magewell’s Pro Convert family of feature-rich, hardware-based NDI encoders was a resounding success, earning tremendous response from customers and a coveted Best of Show Award from Future plc publication TV Technology.
Magewell’s Pro Convert devices lets users bring traditional, baseband video signals into live, IP-based production and AV workflows using NewTek’s popular NDI technology. Pro Convert encoders transform HDMI or SDI input sources into full-quality NDI streams with extremely low latency and plug-and-play ease of use.
Two 4K and two HD models provide a flexible choice of encoding resolution and input interface. The Pro Convert HDMI 4K Plus transforms sources up to 4K Ultra HD at full 60 frames per second via an HDMI 2.0 interface, while the Pro Convert SDI 4K Plus converts 6G-SDI signals up to 4Kp30. The Pro Convert SDI Plus and Pro Convert HDMI Plus encode sources into NDI streams up to 1080p60 HD; the latter can also accept a 4Kp60 HDMI input, down-converting it automatically to HD for encoding.
Magewell added further value to Pro Convert Plus models at the NAB Show with the announcement of new NDI decoding capabilities as a free firmware upgrade. Users can switch between encoding and decoding modes through a browser-based interface, enabling NDI streams to be converted to high-quality HDMI or SDI outputs for applications such as digital signage, video walls, IMAG and monitoring.
Future’s Best of Show Awards are evaluated by a panel of engineers and industry experts, and are selected based on innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry. The winners will be featured in TV Technology, the digital television authority, serving the broadcast, cable, production, post production, business and new media markets.
“The Future Best of Show Awards at NAB are in their sixth year,” said Paul McLane, Future managing director, content. “The program focuses attention on superb innovations in technology as seen around the million-square-foot exhibit floor of the industry’s top trade show. The list of 2019 winners and nominees shows where media technology businesses are headed.”
“We are very pleased that TV Technology has recognized the Pro Convert family with this award,” said Amy Zhou, Sales Director at Magewell. “By enabling users to maximize their existing investments rather than needing to replace their current HDMI or SDI equipment, Pro Convert helps make the transition to IP-based workflows achievable and affordable for more customers."
For more information about the Pro Convert family, please visit www.magewell.com/pro-convert.
About Magewell – Founded in 2011, Magewell (www.magewell.com) designs and develops hardware and software for video and audio capture, processing, streaming and playout. With guiding principles of continuous innovation and providing outstanding customer service, Magewell has earned a strong reputation for the exceptional quality, performance and reliability of its solutions. Distributed globally, Magewell products are used in professional video applications including live event streaming, broadcast, medical imaging, lecture capture, surveillance, video conferencing, gaming and more.
Copyright 2019 Nanjing Magewell Electronics Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. NDI is a registered trademark of NewTek, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders. #NDIcentral
Comic actor will portray multiple characters
Netflix has ordered a comedy series from Mike Myers. The project does not have a title, and little detail was shared about it. Myers will executive produce and star in the show, playing multiple characters.
The project will have six episodes.
“I love creating characters, and Netflix has given me a fantastic playground to play in,” said Myers.
Myers was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1989 to 1995 and hosts The Gong Show on ABC under the name Tommy Maitland. His film work includes the Austin Powers, Wayne’s World and Shrek franchises.
He is executive producing the Netflix series, along with John Lyons and Jason Weinberg.
Half dozen applicants will get intensive course in being funny after prime time
NBC has announced the Late Night Writers Workshop class of 2019.
NBC created the workshop seven years ago to promote diverse voices in late night and sketch comedy.
The winners are (depicted below, clockwise from upper left) Jill Cepela, Dylan Eshbaugh, Shenovia Large, Alexandria McCale, Mona Mira and Chloe Radcliffe.
Those six were chosen from 1,000 applicants and will get a five-day crash course at NBC's late night headquarters in New York. The course includes hearing from showrunners for Fallon, Colbert, and SNL. It also includes "writing instruction, insightful feedback and collaborative assignments."
NBC also provides some job placement help, putting them up for open staff positions and helping them get an agent.
Alumni from the program are currently writing for Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Nominations Due by Friday, June 14, 2019
Awards to be Presented at the WICT Touchstones Luncheon, September 16 in New York during Diversity Week
Washington, DC - Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today issued the Call for Nominations for the 2019 Woman of the Year and Woman to Watch honorees. The esteemed awards will be presented at the Touchstones Luncheon on Monday, September 16 in New York during the WICT Leadership Conference, held in conjunction with the industry's Diversity Week. The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 14, 2019, at 5:00 pm (Eastern).
The Woman of the Year Award is bestowed on a woman who has made significant contributions throughout her career to her company and the overall cable telecommunications industry. She is a proven leader and asset who shows great resolve to help others along their path. WICT will select one honoree each from a programmer and an operator.
The Woman to Watch Award honors a woman who shows tremendous promise for transforming the industry through her professional accomplishments. She has already demonstrated exemplary leadership skills in her company and a strong dedication to the industry. WICT will select one honoree each from a programmer, an operator and an industry supplier.
"We are proud to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of our industry leaders through WICT's Woman of the Year and Woman to Watch awards," said Maria E. Brennan, CAE,WICT President & CEO. "The honorees are exemplary role models, contributing significant talent and stewardship to advance their companies and better the industry."
A complete list of past honorees is available on the WICT website. For more information on the Woman of the Year and Woman to Watch criteria, or to submit nominations, visit the WICT website.
WICT's mission is to create women leaders who transform our industry. We do this by providing unparalleled professional development programs, commissioning original gender research, and supporting a B2B network that helps advance women. For 40 years, WICT has partnered with cable and technology companies to help build a more robust pipeline of women leaders. Founded in 1979, and now over 10,500 members strong, WICT is the largest and oldest professional association serving women in cable media. Charter Communications and Comcast NBCUniversal are WICT's Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit www.wict.org or follow @WICTHQ on Twitter for more information.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (April 16, 2019) – Sound Mixer Larry Williams, Jr. is currently working on the Lifetime TV show Military Makeover with Montel Williams. With ten years of in-house audio experience at Paradise Video in South Florida coupled with his freelance work, Williams, Jr. has worked on commercials, documentaries, and TV productions with networks including ABC, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, NBC, PBS, Univision, and WE tv. His credits include the Cooking Channel reality show Cake Hunters, American cooking-themed talk show The Chew, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, TV show Renting Miami, one-hour TV special Taste the Florida Keys with Chef Michelle Bernstein, and home renovation TV show Weekends with Luis. For each project, Williams, Jr. is prepared with a full lineup of Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless equipment, including the SMWB Wideband Transmitter, SRc Receiver and the IFB system.
Williams, Jr. started sound mixing in 2007 after earning a degree in Telecommunication with an emphasis in Production from the University of Florida in 2004. “I originally wanted to be a Director of Photography after I finished school,” says Williams, Jr. “But then I was offered a full-time job at Paradise Video. They handed me a 4-channel mixer, a couple Lectrosonics wireless mics, a Lectro UM200B Transmitter, and UCR205D Receiver and said we need you to do sound. I jumped in excited for the opportunity and more than 12 years of sound credits later, here I am, in love with the path my career took.”
For sound mixing, Williams, Jr. created his own sound kit with the help of Eric Toline from Lectrosonics dealer Production Sound Solutions. “The first product I bought for my kit was the Lectrosonics SRc Receiver and a couple of the SMWB Transmitters. What’s great about the new Widebands is they cover three of the older frequency blocks. This means everywhere I go, I have triple the chance of finding a clear frequency. This helps tremendously because I’m usually by myself. When I saw the wideband available, I jumped on it and was one of the first people to place an order.”
Williams, Jr. is happy to bring Lectrosonics on set in Florida. “It’s hot and humid with 100% humidity in the summer. And even in cold weather, Lectro fires up.”
“I sometimes do three or four projects a week, which keeps me on my toes. With Lectrosonics I never have to worry. I know the equipment is always going to work.”
When it comes to reality shows or commercials Williams, Jr. uses the Lectrosonics IFB system. “Producers love when I give them the Lectro IFBR1a. It’s small, they can clip it to their belt, and they know everything’s good to go when they want to hear program audio. I don’t have to worry about it because once I’ve checked my frequencies, it’s all locked in.”
While most people look at someone and acknowledge their clothes from an aesthetic perspective, Williams, Jr. immediately assesses what type of equipment he’ll use in order to get the best sound. “Most people will compliment someone on their clothes, while what comes to mind as my first response is to try and figure out how to conceal wireless gear and mitigate the unnecessary noise some clothes can make. Also, some clothes are form-fitting. That’s why I prefer using the single AA battery transmitters like the SMWB. They’re smaller and easier to fit on talent.”
Besides Lectrosonics equipment, Williams, Jr. is a big fan of the Lectro RM App. “The app is really cool. It allows me to change frequencies without touching the mic and with just a tap of a button. It makes me look professional and people always ask me how I do it.”
As Williams, Jr. gets ready for two more projects, filming for the Oscar Mike Foundation in Illinois and the TV show Monster Jam in Michigan he looks to the future in terms of his equipment arsenal.
“I would love to add another SRc Receiver with a couple of transmitters to my cart along with the DCHT Portable Digital Stereo Transmitter. The DCHT would allow me to send audio to the camera wirelessly and would be a great addition to my kit. I would also love to work on a feature film someday.”
Williams, Jr. wants aspiring sound mixers to know, “you can be really good at what you do and not be on a movie set or long-time television show. Stick with your passion and continue to do good work and word of mouth will build your career.”
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics received an Academy Scientific and Technical Award for its Digital Hybrid Wireless® technology and is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com.
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg producing subversive series based on comic book
Superhero series The Boys will premiere on Amazon Prime July 26. It is based on a comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, and is an irreverent look at what happens when superheroes abuse their superpowers. Amazon is on board for eight episodes.
“It’s the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about The Seven, and Vought – the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that manages these superheroes and covers up all of their dirty secrets,” according to Amazon.
The cast includes Elisabeth Shue, Jack Quaid, Karl Urban, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon and Karen Fukuhara.
Eric Kripke is showrunner and executive producer. Also exec producing The Boys are Point Grey Pictures’ Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, Original Film’s Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty and Ori Marmur, and Ken Levin and Jason Netter. Dan Trachtenberg directed the pilot.
The Boys will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival Monday, April 29.
Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television Studios are producing, along with Point Grey Pictures, Kripke Enterprises and Original Film.
San Diego, CA, April 17, 2019 – Verance Corporation today announced significant growth in deployment of the Verance Aspect watermark by leading broadcasters across the country. Building on an extensive list of existing partners, Aspect has expanded into the Santa Barbara, Cleveland and Phoenix markets as part of relationships with News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting (NPG), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and Pearl TV.
The increased adoption of the Verance Aspect watermark stems from its ability to empower broadcasters with two-way connections, census-like audience measurement and household-level addressability on par with digital platforms. These connections enable compelling consumer capabilities such as interactivity and personalization, and will support television manufacturers by driving incremental television sales. Because Aspect enables these capabilities to reach 100% of televisions across all distribution paths, including both ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 services, it is available now and plays an essential role in maximizing the reach and scale of these experiences.
The most recent station to embed the Verance Aspect watermark is News-Press & Gazette’s KSBB-TV in Santa Barbara. NPG initiated ATSC 3.0 testing in late 2018 to capitalize on its interactive and advanced emergency alerting capabilities and prepare for additional market rollouts. In February 2019, Aspect was included within the NAB-led ATSC 3.0 interoperability test at KSBB to ensure consistent delivery of these experiences across various devices and distribution paths. Based on the successful embedding and detection of Aspect within this test, the watermark will continue to be embedded by KSBB moving forward.
“NPG launched ATSC 3.0 in Santa Barbara for multiple reasons, one being the natural disasters that have plagued the market over the last few years,” explained Eric Bradley, Executive Vice President of Business Development at News-Press & Gazette. “The inclusion of Aspect means we’ll be able to deliver location-specific emergency information to 100% of television viewers and save more lives.”
Lynn Claudy, Senior Vice President of Technology at NAB commented, “We are pleased to include the Verance Aspect watermark within our ‘living laboratory’ based in Cleveland. As we evaluate different ATSC 3.0 enabling technologies, Aspect is a vital component for the uniform delivery of Next Gen experiences across all distribution paths.”
Pearl TV has consistently been at the forefront of Next Gen TV innovations. In 2018, Pearl TV led the deployment of Next Gen TV testing across all Phoenix broadcast stations as part of the Phoenix Model Market and included the Verance Aspect watermark. Aspect will remain embedded in the test bed as part of the comprehensive development of the basic TV service, automotive use cases and ongoing consumer testing.
“We have partnered with Verance to embed the Aspect watermark in Phoenix as a part of the Model Market,” explained Anne Schelle, Managing Director of Pearl TV. “Based on these tests, we’ve validated its effectiveness, and are further exploring innovative use cases for interactivity and data delivery for both fixed and mobile services.”
“The rapid increase in Aspect deployment across the country is a clear indicator that broadcasters are eager to level the playing field with digital platforms,” said Nil Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Verance. “The two-way experiences enabled by Aspect will revolutionize broadcast television for consumers and dramatically increase television sales for manufacturers.”
News-Press and Gazette Co. (NPG), headquartered in St. Joseph, Missouri, is a diverse media company owned and operated by the Bradley family since 1951. The company and its approximately 1,080 employees are committed to the success of the people and businesses in the communities they serve. The company’s properties include broadcast television and radio stations in 10 markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Oregon and Texas; several daily and weekly newspapers serving Missouri and Kansas communities; the Green Acres rural-focused publication distributed in Missouri and Kansas; associated digital news and information assets at all locations. The company is also pursuing further investments in food/agri-business, media, manufacturing and technology through NPG and its diversification arm called BERKS Group. For more information, please visit www.npgco.com or www.BERKSGroup.com.
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.
Pearl TV is a business group comprised of Cox Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Gray Television Inc., Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, and TEGNA, Inc. Pearl TV’s membership includes companies that operate more than 300 network-affiliated, local stations across the country.
Verance Aspect is an audio and video watermarking technology that powers broadband features on broadcast television by enabling advanced, census-like audience measurement, personalization, interactivity and addressable advertising across all screens and distribution paths. Selected as a foundational component of the ATSC 3.0 Next Generation TV standard, Aspect is fully compatible with the ATSC 1.0 broadcasting environment and currently being deployed by FOX, NBC, PBS and other leading broadcasters. Aspect is currently being adapted for use within the HbbTV ecosystem.
Verance content measurement and enhancement technologies are at the forefront of innovation and set the industry standard for television, movies and music. Our solutions have been adopted by over 100 leading entertainment and technology companies and deployed in over 330 million consumer products worldwide. For more information, visit www.verance.com.
Verance Media Contact:
The Lippin Group
‘Bless This Mess’ starts strong on ABC on decent night for comedies
CBS won the ratings race Tuesday, a soft night for the Nielsens, as NCIS led the net to a 0.9 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 4 share. That squeaked by the 0.8/4 that ABC posted.
No network reached a 1.0 on the night.
NCIS got a 1.1 and FBI a 0.9, both dramas flat, then NCIS: New Orleans grew 17% to 0.7.
ABC had American Housewife at 0.8 and The Kids Are Alright at 0.7, then Black-ish at 0.8, all three comedies up a tenth of a point. The premiere of Bless This Mess, about a New York City couple that moves to a farm, popped a promising 0.9, a 50% gain over last week’s Splitting Up Together closer. Lake Bell and Dax Shepard are in the cast. The Rookie finale went up 17% to 0.7.
NBC did a 0.7/3 and Fox a 0.6/3.
On NBC, The Voice fell 17% to 1.0 and The Village was a level 0.6. New Amsterdam slid 14% to 0.6.
On Fox, MasterChef Junior got a flat 0.7 and Mental Samurai dropped 17% to 0.5.
The CW got a 0.4/2, with The Flash at 0.6 and Roswell, New Mexico at 0.3, both north a tenth of a point.
Telemundo also posted a 0.4/2 while Univision rated a 0.3/2.
Winners will get specific licenses in follow-on auction
The clock phase of the FCC's 24 GHz auction has ended with a total $1,988,888,836 bid for the spectrum--2,909 licenses were available--over 91 rounds.
There will be a separate auction among the winners for specific frequencies.
The FCC had just increased the number of rounds from five to eight and reduced the time from a half hour to 15 minutes per round. But it took only one 15-minute round for the auction to wrap up.
The FCC was auctioning the spectrum to free up more bandwidth for 5G wireless broadband, to help close the rural digital divide, and to make wireless a stronger competitor to wired broadband.
The millimeter-wave (high-band) auction opened March 14 and was being held in two phases. Initial bidding (clock phase) was on generic spectrum. Now there will be a follow-on auction (assignment phase) among the winners for specific frequencies.
The clock auction meant the FCC continued to raise prices automatically after each round, so long as there was more demand than supply, until there were no new bids. High bidder at that point won.
The initial license periods are not to exceed 10 years. There are also build-out requirements so the spectrum can't be warehoused but must be used as advertised.
The 24 GHz spectrum is divided into a lower and higher portion, the lower (24.25-24.45 GHz and 24.75-25.25 GHz) being licenses as two, 100-MHz blocks and the upper (24.75-25.25 GHz) licenses as five, 100 MHz blocks.
The FCC earlier this year completed auction 101 (28 GHz spectrum), the first millimeter-wave auction, which brought in $702,572,410 for 2,965 licenses.
A third 5G spectrum auction is planned for December.
“We’re excited to see the successful conclusion of this stage of our nation’s second 5G high-band spectrum auction," said CTIA SVP Scott Bergmann. "We look forward to the final results of this auction, as well as making progress on mid-band spectrum availability, which will also be critical to maintaining our global wireless leadership.”
“Following on the strong demand in Auction 101, Auction 102 demonstrated the strong appetite for large bands of spectrum that can help fulfill the promise of 5G," said Ari Meltzer, partner with Wiley Rein. "Throughout the country, bidders continue to recognize the need for more spectrum to satisfy our nation’s growing demand for wireless data services.”
St. Louis, MO — April 17, 2019 — It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our longtime President and Chief Executive Officer, John (Jack) Galmiche III, at the age of 71.
Jack was a strong advocate for the power of public media to be an agent for positive change. Serving the public as President and CEO of Nine inspired him. Jack liked to say that Channel 9 shaped his early learning as a child. His mother turned on Channel 9 for her four sons because it was a safe and trusted place for learning. Her passion for educational television, he said, is what drove his work.
Jack was a native St. Louisan and returned to his hometown in November 2006, from Portland, OR, to take the reins of this venerable institution, founded for and by the community in 1954.
Jack has been a force for positive change at Nine and in the community since he arrived. He focused the station's efforts around new forms of community engagement and expanded the reach of the station's programming and content through four local channels and digital distribution.
“I’m proud to have worked with Jack as a board member. I was blessed to be able to see the impact one can make on the community through public media. Jack was a strong leader. Under his direction, the station flourished. His mission to inspire the community through public media will live on,” said David Steward II, Chair, Nine Network Board of Directors.
Jack championed public media’s American Graduate initiative, early education for our youngest and most vulnerable learners, the local arts, science and technology, entrepreneurship, the environment, and more. He presided over the design and installation of the Public Media Commons, the outdoor plaza between Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio in Grand Center. He also spearheaded the Nine Center for Public Engagement, a first of its kind community engagement center in the Nine Network.
“Jack was a hard-charging, bright and intelligent leader,” says Board Chair Emeritus Steve Frank. “I am honored that he was my good friend for 30-plus years.”
Jack served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) before coming to Nine.
Jack was a current board member of Webster University, Public Television Association of Missouri, Grand Center, Inc., and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. He has also served on the boards of the Public Broadcasting Service, American Public Television, Public Television Major Market Group, Public Television Affinity Group Coalition, National Education Telecommunication Association, Integrated Media Association, and the Northwest News Network.
Jack is survived by his wife, Rosemary, four children, and his beloved grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending. We will share the information when it becomes available.
About the Nine Network of Public Media
The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine Network offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life. Nine’s platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine PBS KIDS®), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, the Public Media Commons, social media, and multiple websites accessible at nineNet.org. Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our vision of a strong and healthy community working together through public media and our mission of igniting the spirit of possibility.
Singer pays homage to historically black colleges and universities
Netflix has released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, a look at the singer’s 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America's historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). Netflix notes that many in Beyoncé’s stage show, including band members and dancers, are former students of historically black colleges.
Beyoncé was the first black woman to headline Coachella, according to Netflix.
The film offers candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation before the performance. “Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional physical sacrifices it took to conceptualize and execute a performance of that magnitude that became a cultural movement,” said Netflix.
Shot over eight months, the film follows Beyoncé as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins.
“It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary,” said Beyoncé. “We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African-American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Ed Burke is co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.
In the end credits, Beyoncé performs “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, an R&B classic that’s commonly performed at HBCU games. The single is available on the film’s soundtrack.
Beyoncé’s set list also includes "Crazy In Love,” "Freedom,” "Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” "Formation" and "Déjà Vu" with husband Jay-Z.
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
Pushes back on WSJ report suggesting otherwise
T-Mobile CEO John Legere said a Wall Street Journal report that the Sprint merger was in trouble is off base.
That lead WSJ graph was:
"Justice Department antitrust enforcement staff have told T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. that their planned merger is unlikely to be approved as currently structured, according to people familiar with the matter, casting doubt on the fate of the $26 billion deal."
It was not clear whether Legere was saying Justice had not signaled the deal needed to be reconfigured, or whether there had been such a request, but that it did not necessarily put the fate of the deal in doubt.
It would not be unusual for Justice to seeks changes. If T-Mobile were OK with them, Justice could file suit and immediately file a settlement saying the deal was OK with those adjustments.
T-Mobile has argued that the merger of the third and fourth largest wireless carriers would create a stronger "uncarrier" competitor to AT&T and Verizon and that it was the fastest and best way to create a 5G network, a goal the Trump Administration has made a priority given that the President does not want to lose the race to next-gen wireless to the Chinese.
Free Press, which opposes the deal, was taking the story and running with it, sending out an e-mail saying the merger was teetering toward collapse. “We are encouraged by news of the potential demise of this bad deal," said Free Press Policy Counsel Carmen Scurato.
Others were pushing back on the suggestion DOJ should step in.
“The idea that the Trump administration—otherwise largely committed to a hands-off, deregulatory agenda—would block the proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile is baffling," said Competitive Enterprise Institute VP Wayne Crews. "Blocking the merger would contradict the administration’s long-stated plans for vast new infrastructure growth in the United States -- of which networks and cells needed to launch 5G are critical examples. This type of healthy, pro-consumer investment should come from private ventures like a merged Sprint/T-Mobile, not government; and that requires big companies to make significant investments without worrying about Washington.
"I was disappointed to read the report in today’s Wall Street Journal that the T-Mobile-Sprint merger may be encountering resistance from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division," said Free State Foundation President Randolph May. "If this is true, it is problematic because I fear that the Antitrust Division may be relying on an outdated static view of the relevant market rather than one that reflects today’s market dynamics. The T-Mobile/Sprint combination will likely make the wireless market even more competitive by creating a stronger third place competitor behind Verizon and AT&T. Increasingly, it looks like a standalone Sprint will play a diminishing role as a competitive check."
HEBDEN BRIDGE, UK, APRIL 16, 2019 — TVB, the largest broadcaster in Hong Kong, is building on its legacy with Calrec Audio with the purchase of a Brio12, its 10th Calrec console purchase to date. The new Brio joins a fleet of Artemis consoles, including two Artemis Beams and one Artemis Light console that were purchased last year, as part of TVB’s on-going audio technology upgrade.
The Brio12 is being used as a portable console and was most recently used for live sports events, including the 2019 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup held in January and the SIXDAY Series PRURide cycling event that happened in Hong Kong last month.
TVB is also taking advantage of Calrec’s Hydra2 networking and its additional Dante and MADI I/O cards. “Connecting via fiber, it’s easy to change the I/O cards to accommodate different productions,” explains Mr. Law Yui Wah, Studio Production Department/Assistant Manager at TVB Hong Kong. “We’re using MADI cards for our intercom connection and Dante cards for signal interchanging between a PA console and the broadcast console. The Brio12 is small enough for us to use portably, yet offers enough connectivity and power, surpassing other consoles on the market in this price range. This is what makes Calrec stand out from the competition.”
The commissioning was handled by Calrec’s official Hong Kong distributor, Jolly Pro Audio.
“By being able to move the Brio around, TVB Hong Kong is taking advantage of the true benefits of the Brio’s versatility as a compact console that doesn’t compromise on quality,” says Anthony Harrison, International Sales Manager, Calrec. “TVB is proving that product performance and price point are at the top of its purchasing decisions when it comes to audio consoles.”
About Calrec Audio Ltd.
Calrec Audio is exclusively dedicated to excellence in audio mixing for on-air and live production. A broadcast specialist for more than 50 years, Calrec has developed a range of digital consoles relied on by the world's most successful broadcasters. Increasingly consoles are integral components on a facility-wide networks, giving rise to adaptable workflows, shareable resources and the ability to be easily expanded. From the very beginning, Calrec has created innovative solutions that have allowed broadcasters to develop their working methods and get greater value from their equipment. For premium audio solutions, broadcasters put their trust in Calrec. More information is available at calrec.com.
Follow Calrec Audio: https://www.facebook.com/calrecaudio
Landmark cathedral damaged by fire
The Walt Disney Co. said it was pledging $5 million to help reconstruct the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was severely damaged by a fire.
“Notre-Dame is a beacon of hope and beauty that has defined the heart of Paris and the soul of France for centuries, inspiring awe and reverence for its art and architecture and for its enduring place in human history,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger.
“The Walt Disney Company stands with our friends and neighbors in the community, offering our heartfelt support as well as a $5 million donation for the restoration of this irreplaceable masterpiece,” said Iger.
Among its many animated movies, the cathedral is the setting for Disney’s version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, made in 1996.
Arkansas Broadcasters Association turns 70; we checked in with its leadership
The Arkansas Broadcasters Association is noting its 70th anniversary this year.
“ABA began in 1949 as the trade association for broadcasters in Arkansas focused on providing broadcasters with a lobbying voice, while also providing them with technical and regulatory support and continuous professional enrichment opportunities,” it announced. “Over the years, ABA has been successful at helping Natural State broadcasters stay ahead of the ever evolving and changing landscape of broadcast media.”
The association will note the anniversary at its ARKCON event in July.
What are broadcasters talking about in Arkansas these days? We asked Executive Director Luke Story and ABA Board President Ali King-Sugg, owner/GM of Red River Radio Inc. of Heber Springs, where she is also a morning air personality.
Radio World: As the ABA celebrates its anniversary, what is the business climate like for broadcasters, and radio in particular, in Arkansas these days?
Ali King-Sugg: Because Arkansas is mostly rural, I think that many Arkansans look to local radio as their first resource for what is going on in their communities. Because of that radio is thriving!
With my family being in the radio business for over 40 years, I’ve gotten to learn from some of the best broadcasters in Arkansas on how to keep radio local and the importance of it. If you do that, your community will support you back.
Luke Story: When I started this job a little over a year ago, I launched a statewide member tour with the goal of visiting as many members as I could and glean from them how their needs have changed and what the association could do better to serve them. What the tour has taught me is more than ever, our industry is vibrant, vital and strong, but we must work collectively to address old, new and emerging challenges.
You ask specifically about radio but I think it’s important to recognize that more so than ever before, radio and TV are siblings in media. Radio does face the steep challenge of adapting to new digital technology, but together we will get there.
I often compare today’s challenges facing radio to the challenges it faced in the late ’40s-early ’50s, with the advent of television and TV becoming the household influential medium. A lot of people wrote radio off then, but 60-plus years later it still remains a powerful marketing tool for advertisers, a “go to” place for new and popular music and an economic growth engine for our communities and state. Over 18,000 Arkansas jobs created by local radio and TV.
RW: What important issues are front of mind right now for your radio members?
King-Sugg: With all the new technology of smart speakers, podcasts and dashboards, a big issue will be figuring out how to integrate digital and turn it into a revenue generator. And as broadcasters we are always worried about a performance tax.
Story: Issues that are front of mind for all members, radio and TV, are similar to other industries in the state. We are working hard to find quality sales people. Our industry is addressing a shortage of engineers, both RF and IT/digital. And we continue to navigate the evolving digital landscape.
RW: There’s discussion at the FCC about removing ownership subcaps for radio. What is ABA’s stance on this?
Story: We haven’t formally discussed this within the association.
RW: What other major lobbying concerns are you dealing with at the national or state level right now?
King-Sugg: On the national level, our main concern is a performance tax that would hurt local radio and potentially threaten local jobs. On the state level, we are very active and involved especially with any new law that would weaken the Freedom of Information Act. Others that have come up in this year’s session are advertising for medical marijuana.
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Story: Right now, medical marijuana advertising regulations is a hot topic and a very complex one at that. We continue to focus on any and all FOIA exemption-related legislation. At the national level, I work closely with my counterparts across the country and at the National Association of Broadcasters to address radio topics, such as the Local Radio Freedom Act, unlocking the FM chip in wireless phones, performance royalties and consent decrees and ownership regulations. We also address TV topics, such as the next generation of broadcast television, the expiration of STELA and open negotiations with retransmission consent.
RW: How many members does the association have; how does that compare to years past?
Story: We represent 230 members, both radio and TV, across the Natural State. We have worked hard to improve and grow our membership base and have succeeded in membership growth over the last year plus.
RW: Anything else we should know?
Story: In Arkansas, we are fortunate to have great broadcasters that show others what we like to call “Broadcasting Naturally.” Arkansas broadcasters continue to serve their local communities and provide relevant news, weather, sports and emergency information in time of need in all 75 counties of the state.
Something else we are proud of is the equally important community service role broadcasters play. We raise money and support for dozens of community organizations helping them amplify their needs and good work. That’s part of the mission of broadcasting: to strengthen the communities we serve. Last year, broadcasters raised more than $30 million in charitable contributions to help Arkansans in need.
ARKCON is scheduled for July 18 and 19. For information visit www.arkbroadcasters.org.
A security mindset is no longer optional in broadcast facility management
It seems hardly a week goes by that we don’t hear about some multiple shooting event. It’s stating the obvious but: No place is safe. Now factor in the field in which we broadcasters work, and we add a bit more to our risk factor.
Every media outlet attracts attention and many are lightning rods in today’s polarized culture. If you have never considered your radio station a target, you either haven’t given it much thought or your transmitter has been off for a while.
Certainly there are formats that lend themselves to more controversy. Talk, especially political, immediately comes to mind. In another lifetime, I was program director for one of this company’s talkers. We took strong stands on many hot-button issues. I can vividly remember taking numerous complaint calls and can never forget getting a visit from the Secret Service.
My employer has many Christian-formatted stations. On the surface, this wouldn’t seem like a format that would have to worry about an unstable person coming in to the station and causing problems. For those of us who worked in this format for a while, we know that’s not the case. Any format that can generate passion will incite some individuals on the edge to do more than write a strongly-worded letter.
I have never worked a sports format but I can’t imagine a sports fan getting passionate. (Remove tongue from cheek.)
TAKE THREATS SERIOUSLY
We live in an era where there are enough individuals on the edge that we must take these things seriously. If you haven’t thought through active shooter scenarios and how you would prepare and respond to one at your station, I humbly submit that the time has come. Just Google “Radio Station Shooting” and you’ll see numerous stories on the Madison, Wis., station that was the subject of an active shooter last August. Nothing like seeing a picture of a bullet hole in studio glass to make you think.
You just never know who is coming through that front door sometimes. Where I am writing this article it crosses our minds a lot. We’re in a neighborhood that has many homeless who wander the streets. Beyond the expected panhandling, many of these individuals often seem on the edge of rage. That doesn’t mean they are likely to come in and shoot up the station; but we have had one of them manage to get into the building with a sickle. Fortunately, this individual was looking for temp work to cut our weeds (we don’t have a lawn). He put out vibes that made all of us uncomfortable.
More recently, I was working with one of my engineers at our front-gate control pedestal because of a problem with the access card reader for the gate. I went back into the building for one minute to check something inside.
By the time I got back out to the front gate, my engineer had been confronted by a passerby who had asked him for tickets. He told him he wasn’t in charge of tickets, at which point the passerby let out a lot of expletives and then threatened to come back and “shoot up the station and burn it down.” This wasn’t an individual who won tickets and showed up to the station to collect his prize. Our surveillance video showed that he was walking from one of the local neighborhoods and then back again to the same neighborhood later.
Once I found out, we called the police. I was 99.9999 percent sure that this was somebody shooting their mouth off, but with today’s environment, you have to take every threat seriously. We collected all the appropriate videos from our security system so that we could forward them to the police. This is important so that you get a record of the event, because sometimes these events escalate over time.
I’m reminded of another event in Wisconsin, this time at a television station. An unstable individual had stolen a crucifix from a church and then took it to the TV station and was using it to bash the digital sign board along the sidewalk outside. Just a few days before, the TV station had found blue crosses painted on one of their exterior doors. In all likelihood, this was the same individual escalating his actions.
We need to take any event like this seriously and get it on record with the local authorities. It could be related to events they’ve seen elsewhere and our report might help them stop an unstable person before they do greater harm.
THE PANIC BUTTON
We have had many of these incidents, enough to cause us to take steps to better our security.
When I first got here, we had an intercom system that was an aging off-the-shelf system from Radio Shack. It didn’t work too well. With the amount of road noise at our front gate, it was not practical for the receptionist to screen the public properly before letting them in our front gate or front door.
Certainly, a very important aspect of security is to not let the potential problem makers into the building in the first place. We ended up installing a newer system that featured noise cancellation. This works well, but in reality, it is only as good as the person doing the actual screening.
I also designed a panic button system for the reception position using our Avaya phone system. We simply designated one of the unused extensions on our phone system as our panic alarm. We use an analog output on the phone system to an Enberg FN-2 Phone Relay module that will set off buzzer alarms throughout the offices.
The extension is assigned on a button at reception and labeled panic. Furthermore, any calls to the extension are forwarded automatically to 911. When the person at the reception desk hits the panic button, the alarms are set off and then the call is forwarded to 911, all at the touch of one button.
This was a step in the right direction. But as we analyze our situation further, we know we need to take more steps to keep our staff secure. While we did enclose our receptionist in a booth, it is not really substantial enough to offer much protection against a violent offender. Our hallways from the reception area are open so that anyone wanting to gain access to other parts of the building can easily do so.
The days of radio stations having open reception desks with open hallways to the rest of the office and studios are probably over. Certainly if we are designing a new office layout, we would design it with greater care to set up barriers to keep a dangerous individual as confined as possible.
It is well worth the time to examine current setups to understand where we are vulnerable. You may find, as we have, that it is difficult to weigh being more secure against the ability of evacuation in case of fire or other events. Setting up barriers could possibly compromise potential fire escapes. Consulting with the fire marshal is not a bad idea; we are planning a meeting with ours to be sure what we do will pass his inspection.
Besides the technical and structural changes that you might want to make, training staff for these scenarios is important. For instance, when the reception panic alarm was set off the first few times, we found that staff members were rushing into the reception area. Not really a good idea as you are adding stress to an already unstable individual. We had to praise our staff for responding so well but caution them to enter the room more casually. You don’t want to add gasoline to a fire.
You also want to make sure they understand their role. We don’t want staff members taking matters into their own hands. Usually, that type of person who wants to be the hero is more likely again to be gasoline. The staff needs to train to understand they are to be witnesses and not heroes. If you are not capable of adding calm to the situation, stay out and let the police arrive and do their job.
It’s not fun to think about these things, but the reality of the news each day should drive us to realize we shouldn’t wait for a tragic event at our facilities to take steps to increase security for protection of our staff.
Rick Sewell, CSRE, CBNT, AMD, is engineering manager at Crawford Broadcasting Company in Chicago.
This article was published in the March 2019 issue of The Local Oscillator, the newsletter of Crawford Broadcasting Company Corporate Engineering.
Shift also prompts several other board changes
The Society of Broadcast Engineers’ executive committee has approved Wayne Pecena to serve as its new vice president on April 17, filling a vacancy left by RJ Russell’s April 12 resignation.
Pecena had been serving a term as SBE secretary, so his appointment causes several other executive committee shifts for this term. After SBE President Jim Leifer selected Pecena, he elevated board member Kevin Trueblood to SBE secretary. Therefore, former board member Jason Ornellas will take over Trueblood’s seat, while current board member Steve Brown will join Roz Clark as board representatives on the executive committee.
Russell stepped down because the society may hire his company, Technical Broadcast Solutions, for a to-be-announced-project.
“Losing RJ as the VP of the SBE is unfortunate, but understandable given the circumstances,” Leifer said in the announcement. “While his skill and abilities will be missed on the SBE leadership team, we are fortunate to have a deep bench of talent to continue the SBE’s work.”
Pecena has served on the SBE board of directors since 2012 and was elected secretary in 2016. He is an SBE fellow and chairs the SBE Education Committee. In his day job, Pecena is the assistant director of educational broadcast services in the Office of Information Technology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Radio World also honored Pecena with the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award in 2014.
And Paul Jackson has returned to the commission
The FCC Media Bureau has promoted Holly Saurer to deputy bureau chief and named Paul Jackson as associate bureau chief, according to FCC Media Bureau Chief Michelle Carey.
Saurer has previously served as associate bureau chief, senior legal advisor to the bureau chief and attorney-advisor with the Bureau’s Policy Division. She also was an advisor to then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and acting advisor to Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. Before joining the FCC, she was an attorney at the Washington, D.C. offices of Drinker Biddle & Reath and Miller & Van Eaton.
Jackson previously served as staff member at the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, specializing in digital commerce and consumer protection. Prior to that, he was with the FCC for six years, working as acting director and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, and special assistant to FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell. Jackson also worked for O’Melveny & Myers LLP, News Corp., and the United States Senate.
“The bureau has relied on Holly’s breadth of knowledge for many years, and Paul’s significant private sector and Hill experience will provide a unique perspective,” Carey said in the announcement.
Italian region is the country’s latest to receive local digital radio services
Local broadcasters have switched on a new DAB+ multiplexer in the Umbria region of Italy.
Members of the Aeranti-Corallo association of local radio and TV broadcasters activated the new MUX, “Radiofonia locale digitale Umbria,” which transmits on the 10C block.
This latest local digital radio MUX, which is located in Colle della Trinità, carries content from stations including Max Radio Classic; Radio Blu; Radio Galileo; Radio Studio Delta; and Simply Radio.
Other local digital radio services are also operating in Tuscany (provinces of Florence, Pistoia, Prato, Arezzo and Siena), western Piedmont (provinces of Turin and Cuneo), Trentino Alto Adige and Campania (provinces of Naples and Caserta).
“The new MUX confirms local radio broadcasters’ commitment to invest in digital radio, to be a protagonist in the new technological scenario,” said Marco Rossignoli, Aeranti-Corallo coordinator. “It is now necessary for local broadcasting to be able to operate throughout Italy,” he said.
“In fact, at the moment, due to the scarcity of frequencies in many areas, local radios still do not have the ability to transmit via DAB+. It’s absolutely necessary that the Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (the Ministry of Economic Development) authorizes the activation of experimental systems, pending the reorganization of frequencies expected to be implemented in June 2022.”
If you have time to do it twice, you have time to do it right
We’ve all done it: Facing a situation with some exigency, we do something temporary to get things going again. Our intention is to come back after the crisis is over and apply a proper fix, but life and work gets in the way and we are delayed … or forget about it … or both.
That one little incident, by itself, is no big deal. The fix may not be neat, but it works, and it doesn’t really compromise the integrity of the facility or its infrastructure.
The trouble is, it happens again. And again. Busy engineers responsible for multiple stations with limited resources are under a lot of time pressure. As we apply quick fixes, we relieve the immediate pressure but cumulatively produce a whole new kind of pressure.
For the past 20 years, I have mostly flown a desk, working at the corporate level and dealing with all the technical and physical plant administrative aspects of the company for which I work; but from time to time, I just have to get out in the field. It’s in the blood.
On several occasions, I have helped out with various projects and fixes at our studios and transmitter sites. Two sites in particular have vexed me with many layers of “quick fixes” for which permanent solutions were never applied.
Earlier this year, I helped out with transmitter replacements at these sites, and I took the opportunity to overhaul the RF plumbing and wiring infrastructure there, clearing layers of quick fixes and shortcuts that had piled up over the years.
For starters, the RF plumbing at one site was done with big loops of 7/8-inch Heliax that extended up from the transmitters to the ceiling grid, sometimes pressing tiles out of place before looping back down to the phasor.
It’s one of those things that we always meant to redo but never got around to. That was now job #1, and we did it up right. The site today is plumbed with shiny 1-5/8-inch rigid, and the big Heliax loops are gone.
Beyond that, we started picking our way through the AC and remote control wiring at the sites, and as we plowed through the transmitter replacements, I occasionally had to shake my head at the things I found. For example, tracing out the audio input wire from the aux transmitter, I found its end stripped and twisted together with two other wires, one for left and one for right, coming out of a distribution amplifier downstream of the analog outputs of the audio processor.
That cobbled-together L+R summing junction worked, but it wasn’t even soldered … and it was in no way insulated — just bare wires hanging deep in the rack. It’s a miracle that it hadn’t shorted out on an equipment chassis and produced an intermittent that would have driven our engineers crazy! I have no idea who was responsible for that “quick fix” but I certainly was glad to get rid of it.
I found all sorts of other issues, many of them related to grounding, including one distribution panel that had no neutral — the 120 VAC circuits were getting their neutral from the ground in the box, which was only provided through the conduit itself.
The biggest irritation about these sites, however, was that there was no documentation on the remote control wiring scheme. I have no doubt that the very capable chief engineer who installed the wiring did in fact carefully document it, but over the years, that documentation was lost, probably as a result of computer upgrades and replacements. But whatever reason, there were no hard copies to be found at the sites — or anywhere.
As a result, anytime problem arose, the current CE had to spend a good bit of time to trace things out and find the cause. It was proof of the old adage that “a stitch in time saves nine.” Taking the time to do things right, document the changes and make sure that documentation is readily available will pay big dividends going forward.
And so it was that we stripped everything down to the bare bones and, with yellow legal pad in hand, started tracing out and documenting the wiring. It was a painstaking process, but as we moved along, we began to see how the underlying infrastructure was all very systematic, symmetrical and sensible.
The command, status and metering connections from the remote control system were terminated on a split insulation displacement block. Similarly, the command, status and metering wiring from the transmitters also terminated on a split block. Since the main would become the aux and a new transmitter would become the main, we had to pull all the cross-connects anyway, so this really was the ideal time to make things right and produce new documentation.
In the end, it really didn’t take all that long. With the pages from the legal pad in hand, we made a spreadsheet with tabs for command, status and metering, showing wire numbers, wire color, function and cross-connect source/destination on each line. All those spreadsheets were printed out, laminated and affixed to the inside of the rack door for easy reference. Then it was simply a matter of making all the cross-connects and testing everything out.
Those laminated spreadsheets will have to be updated from time to time as changes are made, but at the very least they provide documentation of the underlying wiring scheme. To find channel 6-raise, for example, it’s a simple matter of finding that function on the command spreadsheet, identifying the wire number and getting the wire color for confirmation. In seconds, we know on exactly which terminal that function is punched. And that’s the way it ought to be.
CAN’T AFFORD TO LET IT PASS
We are engineers. Ask most anyone for a list of characteristics of an engineer and among them will be neatness, precision and organization. And those words are accurate, or they should be.
Certainly, there are some in our ranks who are a little challenged in those attributes, but for the most part, a good engineer wants to see things done neatly, with precision and organization. Yet, again, sometimes the exigencies get in the way and we’re tempted to take the shortcut.
I’ve heard it said that if you have time to do something twice, you have time to do it right. I would agree with that sentiment. Quite often, the reality is that it takes a lot less time to do a task right the first time than it does to apply a quick fix now and make it right later. So look at it this way: By doing it right the first time, you’ll actually save time, and those who come after you will benefit as well.
While he’s not an engineer, singer/songwriter Billy Joel captured the sentiment well:
I’ve gotta get it right the first time
That’s the main thing,
I can’t afford to let it pass
You get it right the next time that’s not the same thing,
Gonna have to make the first time last
Cris Alexander, CPBE AMD DRB, is director of engineering of Crawford Broadcasting Co. and technical editor of RW Engineering Extra. Email him your thoughts and suggestions for articles to [email protected].
Document aims to help FM stations understand what is potentially reimbursable
How much can I receive? And what’s covered?
Those are questions that radio broadcasters affected by the TV band repack can get answered when it comes to being reimbursed by the federal government.
At its March meeting, the Federal Communications Commission said that FM broadcast stations, television translators and LPTVs are eligible for reimbursement if their facilities have been affected by a repacked television station, assuming the stations have been in operation for a stipulated amount of time. The commission finalized and released a catalog that details potentially reimbursable costs.
Earlier, Congress had appropriated $1 billion in funding as part of the 2018 Reimbursement Expansion Act. Of the $600 million available in fiscal 2018 and $400 million in 2019, the REA stipulated that up to $50 million be used to reimburse FM stations, and up to $150 million for LPTVs and TV translators.
To help broadcasters keep track of what is potentially reimbursable, the Incentive Auction Task Force at the FCC finalized its cost “catalog.” A draft had been circulated earlier. The catalog is a 20-page document that can be found at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-176A2.pdf.
The FCC adopted rules to reimburse both hard and soft expenses for FM stations that must replace or modify equipment, as well as stations that must construct or upgrade auxiliary facilities in order to minimize disruption of service. “Hard” expenses include new equipment and tower rigging; “soft” include legal and engineering services.
The goal of the catalog is to give stations a list of ranges for use as estimates when they do not have vendor quotes and to help them establish acceptable price ranges. These provide guidance only, the FCC clarified; they do not serve as price caps, and stations can submit additional cost justification documentation if needed, the commission said.
Earlier, NPR had expressed a concern that the draft version of the catalog limited the range of equipment and services that is potentially reimbursable.
“We reiterate that the cost catalog is a non-exhaustive list of equipment and services,” the FCC said in finalizing the catalog. “It is intended to serve as a reference guide that will add structure to the process of claiming reimbursement by identifying the types of equipment and services that are most commonly required to construct new broadcast facilities, as well as their price ranges.”
For equipment or services not listed in the catalog, the form provides flexibility for users to claim reimbursement for such reasonably incurred expenses.
The final version includes other changes, such as a modification requested by NPR that the initial price range proposed in the draft for “lease negotiations or other legal matters” for FM stations should be equivalent with the range for LPTV and translator stations.
The FCC also amended the catalog to add a line for FM stations looking to purchase a combined HD importer/exporter, a relatively new type of product that combines an HD Radio importer and exporter into one unit.
The commission also added a broader range of program management and consulting costs as part of the professional services category, since “local public radio stations are likely to need ‘legal, engineering and consulting services to assist with overall planning, determining the specific steps needed to minimize disruption, and procuring equipment, labor and services,’” the report said.
The FCC also updated the catalog amounts for filing fees associated with certain Media Bureau applications that FMs, LPTVs and translators may need to implement changes necessary to remain on the air during the repack.
The technology is on its way and could become complementary to digital broadcasting but not a replacement for it
The author is chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale.
What is 5G? Is it a bird or a plane or yet another good topic for myriads of conferences?
It seems to me, as a “laywoman,” that 5G is an exciting new wireless communication project. It is an improvement on 4G that hopefully will revolutionize our lives by optimizing many of our daily activities, including access to fast internet and video.
5G began as a technology for mobile network operators to deployed. In principle it should ensure faster speeds — great for video then — more volume of data transported with very little delay. Since 5G, when compared to 4G, allows for better, faster, cheaper and more reliable data distribution, it could also optimize other activities in addition to telecommunications. In fact, the new platform may have wide applications in the industry (i.e. control and move equipment in a factory), as nowadays data transport is the currency of everyday life and logistics. Software will program 5G for a lot of applications of which broadcasting will be just one slice.
5G started as a technology developed by mobile operators but it is highly unlikely that the telecom companies will be able alone to roll it out as “a network for everything” at profit. So, there is already talk of private 5G networks and also of repurposing existing terrestrial broadcast networks or using satellites or a combination of all these.
It is clear that 5G is still a nebulous concept, which is being worked on technically at the moment, with standardization at an advanced stage. 5G has a big chance to become a truly global standard, widely accepted and thus delivering economies of scale.
But, alas, the technology will not be the answer to all our digital prayers. And there are many other “issues.” For example, 5G is a very small-cell application i.e. it works well and fast at short distances. So, it will require even more transmitters than FM, DAB+ or the efficient DRM. More spectrum, even below 470 MHz or just as low as band III, will have to be made available, if we want connectivity for a lot of devices simultaneously.
5G, at least in the beginning, will need a new and very dense (read expensive) infrastructure. This month, authorities halted a pilot project to provide high-speed 5G wireless internet in Brussels due to fear of radiation. Belgian Environment Minister, Celine Fremault, wrote in the Brussels Times on April 1 that the people there “are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit.”
In addition, the United Kingdom Government recently announced that it has ditched part of its £35 million trial of 5G-based mobile and fixed line fiber technology on a rail route between Manchester and York in northern England. The reasons given were mainly complexity and costs.
Even if we will eventually overcome these hiccups, new receivers will have to be manufactured and sold. A solid business model will need to be defined, too.
5G will progress and offer new opportunities in both content creation and distribution. Some specialists estimate that 5G will become reality in 10 years. According to Darko Ratkay of the, EBU, it would be premature to consider 5G as a replacement of technologies and infrastructure in use (tech-I, tech.ebu.ch/March 2019).
Those who still hesitate to go the digital radio way, invoking the mirage of the 5G, are simply using it as an excuse for their lack of determination and courage. After all, 5G is still in its infancy; it will be great for internet and video but will not deliver the large coverage that digital DRM can do in AM, for example, or what DRM, DAB+ and HD can do for local coverage.
And we have not even touched the question of audio in cars. But neither can 5G and its potential be ignored, as the industry worldwide and the policy makers are behind it, considering it to be the future.
This year 5G broadcasting tests are taking place in Germany and the U.K. The BBC is pioneering live radio broadcasts over 5G mobile networks in the first public trial of its kind in the far away Scottish island of Orkney where 4G/5G mobiles will be used to deliver BBC content.
So, is digital terrestrial audio broadcasting at the moment just a stepping stone to the predicted benefits of 5G? The answer has to be an emphatic no.
Digital radio (DRM and other digital standards) can already distribute rich multi-media content to many, at low energy costs and with clear spectral efficiency.
Radio has been recently declared the most trustworthy medium in both Europe and the US. Duncan Stewart, director of Research with Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications, boldly predicts that 18- to 34-year-old Americans will spend more time listening to radio than watching TV by 2025.
And this might be happening already in the Nordic countries (except Norway) “as radio listening minutes for younger demographics was already higher than linear TV viewing minutes in Sweden and Finland, and was going to crossover in Denmark in 2019.”
Radio is in a good place just now and in the words of Bob Pittman, CEO of iHeart Media,” is hot for the first time in decades.” Radio does not need to be shy and apologetic in the new media landscape, or fear the advent of 5G. Conversation, discussion and discovery are central to this medium that is resilient and has shown how it can reinvent itself digitally.
If you are in a part of the world where 2G and 3G are the norm, where electricity might be sporadic and data plans unaffordable, you can be connected and linked through radio.
Broadcasters, regulators and the industry need to watch, experiment and develop 5G but, before anything else, digital radio has to be available everywhere in good quality and for free.
If you start experimenting and developing digital content and also renew your analog infrastructure by upgrading to digital with DRM, for example, you might be using the good place audio is in just now, while video is planning on the huge boost it will receive with 5G.
By becoming digital and putting your faith in radio, you might be even better prepared to benefit from 5G, too, once it is clearly defined and available.
Codec interoperability … powerful remote control systems … smart engineering management…securing your facility against the unthinkable
Codec interoperability … powerful remote control systems … smart engineering management…securing your facility against the unthinkable. All this and more in your latest RWEE, with articles from Tom Hartnett, Paul Shulins, Rick Sewell, John Marcon, Frank Eliason and Cris Alexander.
Physical Security in the Broadcast Plant
The hard truth is that your radio station conceivably could become the target of a shooter or other person looking to do harm. What can you do today to keep your people and your facility safe?
Codecs of different brands can work together if you take the proper steps, writes Tom Hartnett.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
- Get the Most Out of Your Modern Remote Control System
- It’s the Repack — Scoot Over!
- Failure Is, in Fact, an Option
Spectrum to be repurposed for uses such as mobile broadband
The post With Earth Station Filing Deadline Set, FCC Will Eye Potential C Band Opportunities appeared first on Radio World.
The wheels are in motion for submitting information about a radio station’s satellite earth station usage.
The Federal Communications Commission has finalized the deadline for all radio stations to submit information about earth station and satellite usage as May 28, 2019.
Way back in July 2018, the FCC started the process of collecting information for earth station and satellite licensees. The goal, plainly stated by Commissioner Ajit Pai at the time, was to “ensure that America continues to lead the world in mobile innovation” and pursue a spectrum strategy that “calls for making low-band, midband and high-band airwaves available for flexible use,” he said.
The process marches on now that the FCC has finally finalized the deadline for radio stations to detail their use of the spectrum in the 3.7–4.2 GHz band. The goal is to gather feedback on current usage to determine the viability of transitioning some or all of the 3.7–4.2 GHz band to terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband services.
By the May 28 deadline, operators of fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations in this band must certify the accuracy of their license info, including call signs and file numbers as well as detailed info on satellite operating capacity. Temporary or transportable users must also provide details such as how often the link is used.
The FCC has some fairly specific guidance on how to file the information. FSS stations must submit the information using the “Pleadings and Comments” link here. For fixed, temporary fixed or transportable earth station licensee, file certifications as a pleading type “C Band certification” for each call sign. And also: temporary fixed and transportable earth station licensees and space station licensees must file the additional earth station and space station data requested above using the pleading type “Other” for each call sign.
The mood from broadcasters on the issue has been one part dubious, one part hopeful. The National Association of Broadcasters has called on the commission to “tread lightly” when it comes to potentially repurposing spectrum for the commercial wireless industry, said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton when the initial order was released. Since nearly every American depends on C Band satellite spectrum to receive radio and television programming, he said, the FCC must move carefully.
Other broadcasters, like National Public Radio have also expressed concern about impact the move could have on the continued affordability, reliability and availability of existing C Band operations.
The post With Earth Station Filing Deadline Set, FCC Will Eye Potential C Band Opportunities appeared first on Radio World.
And Dan Slentz offers more ideas for nifty stuff that’s cheap or free
Our mention of the Ion Trap magnet (March 13 column) brought back some very old memories for a number of readers.
NHPR’s Stephanie Donnell, WA1YKL, wrote that she had not even heard the term “picture tube” in many years. She also recalled a thing called a “purity ring,” used on color picture tubes. And if you have a weak CRT, Stephanie still has a B&K CRT Rejuvenator.
Stephanie shared another story of interest about an old Ferrups UPS, on which the AC output had died. The only logged fault displayed was “Low AC Output.” After checking for the usual things like fuses and signs of damage or burns, she called Eaton Tech Support, who recommended she check the tank cap.
It took Stephanie a second, but she quickly realized this was the large, nonpolarized electrolytic capacitor that made up a resonant “tank,” along with the additional secondary winding on the AC power transformer. With the UPS switched off and unplugged and with the capacitor disconnected, Stephanie attempted to check the capacitor and saw that it was shorted. A quick inspection of the capacitor did not reveal anything unusual, and there wasn’t any leakage.
What she saw when setting the capacitor top on a flat surface was a very noticeable wobble. The top of the new replacement capacitor was very stable. Checking against a business card (see Fig. 1) revealed a subtle outward bulge in the otherwise flat surface.
While this was far less noticeable than what has been seen with electrolytic capacitors when they have similarly failed, it provided further proof of the condition of the capacitor. A new 10 uF 660V capacitor was ordered from Eaton, installed and the UPS was back in operation.
This issue with the UPS brought back some of the things recalled about power supply regulators. The old UPS uses a “ferro-resonant” or what is sometimes called a “constant voltage” transformer, kind of an ugly stepchild of power supplies. Their regulation is based on the resonance of an extra secondary winding in the transformer, and the capacitor that is connected to it. The capacitor and the extra secondary form a resonant tank circuit that works in conjunction with the AC Line frequency. Their efficiency is often quite low, compared to other power supply designs. But one advantage is that they are very simple.
Broadcast engineer and Radio World colleague Dan Slentz has been surfing the web again and found more useful sites.
Formerly expensive Digital Audio Workstation Cakewalk software is now free. It’s good for mixing music (CDs and albums), allowing you to compose, record and then edit material. Here’s the site to visit: www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk.
And here’s a novel reason to become associated with an educational facility or nonprofit. AutoDesk, maker of AutoCAD drawing/drafting software, offers their full software suite to .edu organizations. This is not a “lite” version but the full-blown AutoCAD, and you can choose any version, including a network-applied version for educational nonprofits.
If you are associated with an .edu, check out this link: www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/autocad.
Dan also suggests Workbench readers take a look at Wireshark. It’s said to be the world’s most widely used network protocol analyzer.
Wireshark lets you see what’s going on in your network at a microscopic level. Its feature set includes deep inspection of hundreds of protocols. Wireshark is multiplatform, running on Windows, MacOS and Linux, along with many other operating systems. Network data can be browsed using a GUI. Wireshark also provides VoIP analysis. A Wireshark user guide can be downloaded from the site: www.wireshark.org.
And Dan’s latest find is the MixerFace R4, a portable two-mic (with phantom power) mixer and mobile recording interface, featuring high-quality mic preamps, High-Z (guitar) inputs and balanced outputs. Dan says that it would work great with a cell phone doing a call-in, or using Cleanfeed. The device lets you record pro-quality audio on your smartphone. An internal long-lasting rechargeable battery makes it ideal for interviews or remotes “on the road.”
It’s manufactured by CEntrance, which has been around for two decades providing products primarily to the music/performing industry. The MixerFace R4 sells for between $349 and $599, depending on options. Here’s the link for more information or to order: https://centrance.com/mixerface.
“Thumbs” Feebleman is the editor of the Munn-Reese Broadcast Engineering Consultants e-newsletter (www.munn-reese.com). In a recent issue, Thumbs cautioned owners of new translator construction permits to read the CP thoroughly.
Many new CPs are conditioned with special requirements, like intermodulation and spectral measurements. You may also need to complete a partial proof on a nearby AM array.
Remember, your new translator is licensed under Part 74 of the FCC Rules and Regulations; however, at the very beginning of Part 74 is a paragraph that refers many requirements back to Part 73. Although your translator is licensed under Part 74, it is a Part 73 device!
Radio World’s popular Workbench column relies on your tips and ideas. You’ll help fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send tips and high-resolution photos to j[email protected].
John Bisset has spent 49 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is SBE certified and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.
A “first informer” celebrates the power of the medium in a documentary short
I’m Michael O’Shea. I serve as president of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group, owners/operators of five market-leading radio stations in Sonoma County in California Wine Country.
My community, Santa Rosa, was devastated in October a year and a half ago, when vicious wildfires swept through our city at 2 a.m., literally evaporating 7,000 homes, 100 businesses and killing 43 of our citizens.
My AM-FM news/talk station KSRO, on the air with continuous service for over 80 years, was the only true “first informer.” And when the power was off, land lines dead, cable TV off the air, cell service off due to bandwidth starvation and many cell towers melted in the fire, there were only two ways to seek help in the middle of that terrible night: 1) knock on your neighbors door; and 2) local radio.
My station, with auxiliary generators buzzing to keep our signal viable, literally saved lives that night, at a time when ALL other forms of communications were simply GONE. After the initial 72 hours of true emergency and the next months-long period of initial recovery, local radio (and KSRO) stepped up and served its community at the highest level possible.
We were awarded two Marconi Awards at the NAB’s Radio Show in Orlando in September as a result of our lifesaving efforts.
As a recent article in Broadcasting & Cable pointed out, when it’s Armageddon time, and we need immediate lifesaving information the most, that is when infrastructure is most likely to become disrupted. We are so increasingly dependent on the smart phone in our hand 16 hours a day for virtually every source of info. When there is nothing but a little dial going round and round trying to find something to re-transmit is when we are most vulnerable.
Then the “old-school” Walkman or other small radio with batteries (fished from an old gym bag or tackle box in the garage) becomes a literal life line. I heard this exact story from hundreds of my listeners after our disaster.
I helped produce a documentary short film about our fire emergency and how the community pulled through to get through. Our skilled director pointed out how local radio was as important in those wicked moments as the firefighters and sheriff’s deputies banging on the doors of sleeping residents.
Our film, “Urban Inferno, the Night Santa Rosa Burned,” is on the international film festival tour now, winning festivals in Las Vegas, Chile, Australia and India.
I’m posting here a short clip from the film, and a full YouTube HD version. I’m asking my industry colleagues to share it with anyone who could make a difference in appreciating what local radio has done for decades and continues to do today.
Michael O’Shea is president of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group in Santa Rosa, Calif. Radio World welcomes commentaries on this or any relevant industry issue. Email [email protected].
Says agency still has not justified decision in light of lack of broadcast diversity
The post Prometheus, Et al, Fire Back at FCC Over Ownership Dereg appeared first on Radio World.
Groups that filed a legal challenge to the FCC’s media ownership deregulation under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have told the court that the FCC ignored its obligation to the public interest, and an order from a federal appeals court, to study the impact of its moves on diversity.
That came in a reply brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The groups said the FCC ignored the impact of the broadcast incentive auction — where owners gave up their licenses for pay — on the amount of broadcast diversity. The Third Circuit had instructed the FCC to consider the impact of the broadcast incentive auction on diversity, it did not. The FCC has said that was also reasonable because not all the facts were in. While the auction was over by the time it made its 2017 decision to deregulate, the repack was not.
“The Third Circuit has told the FCC on multiple occasions to examine how its media ownership rules impact race and gender ownership diversity,” said Michael Copps, former FCC chairman and special advisor to Common Cause, one of the petitioners. “The FCC has not only failed to assess the impact of its rules on minority ownership but has also abandoned its rules all together. We urge the court to reverse this unlawful decision and require the FCC to fulfill its statutory mandate to promote race and gender diversity in media ownership.”
“The FCC and intervenors [broadcasters and others filing briefs in support of the commission] ignore petitioners’ core points and this court’s mandate about the agency’s obligation under the public interest standard …,” the petitioners told the court. “The FCC tries to have it both ways — claiming it has addressed race/gender ownership diversity yet insisting it cannot. Neither is true: the FCC must heed its obligation to at minimum do no harm to race/gender diversity by apprising itself of knowable facts. The FCC cannot justify reliance on an insubstantial record.”
It was in response to the FCC’s defense of the decision filed with the court last month. The FCC had told the court that it did gauge the effect of its 2017 broadcast deregulation on media ownership diversity and found it would have “no material impact.”
The FCC’s deregulatory moves came as part of its congressionally mandated quadrennial review, which also had to be responsive to a Third Circuit remand of its previous review, part of a years-long legal challenge to media deregulation stretching back to the early 2000s.
Indicating, Goldilocks-like, that its decision was neither too regulatory nor too deregulatory, but justifiably “just right,” the FCC told the court that it had reasonably updated its rules in light of increased competition and its public interest analysis, which included that the old rules were doing affirmative harm. The FCC also suggested the groups did not even have standing to bring the suit, something they countered in their reply as well. In fact, it asked the court for permission to provide additional supporting material for its standing.
The FCC launched a program to encourage established broadcasters to help minorities and women get into the business, but the groups told the court that did not cut it. “The FCC is left only with the Incubator Program to meet its obligation [to diversity in broadcasting], whose eligible entity definition is without “a sufficient analytical connection” to the statutory goal of race/gender diversity.”
The brief was filed by Prometheus Radio Project, Media Mobilizing Project, Free Press, Office of Communication, Inc. of the United Church of Christ, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America and Common Cause.
The Communications and Technology Law Clinic Institute for Public Representation Georgetown University Law Center is representing petitioners in the legal challenge.
The post Prometheus, Et al, Fire Back at FCC Over Ownership Dereg appeared first on Radio World.
Readers have shared memories of respected broadcast engineer Ron Rackley, who died April 12
Ron’s family also requests that photos and memories be shared via email to [email protected], and if you’d like to send cards or letters of condolence, mail them to:
du Treil, Lundin & Rackley, Inc.
Attn: Mrs. Dorothy Rackley
3135 Southgate Circle
Sarasota, FL 34239-5515
This article is periodically updated to reflect additional submissions.
Yes, Ron Rackley was a giant.. He was a classically trained engineer who understood the RF world at great depth. Ron had a particular passion for AM radio systems and was well regarded for the many improvements he developed. We’ll miss you, Ron.
I am deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of my good friend, Ron Rackley.
Ron was the top expert in bandwidth optimization of AM broadcast antenna arrays for HD Radio and DRM transmission. I had the opportunity to work with Ron on several interesting broadcast engineering projects, and we both enjoyed our amateur radio antenna projects. He taught me so much over the decades that I knew him.
One of my favorite, fun memories of Ron was when we went together to Skycraft surplus electronic parts store in Winter Park, Fla., in search of ham radio goodies. We were like two kids in a candy store!
I am truly glad to have known and worked with Ron. He contributed so much to the broadcast engineering profession and is greatly missed.
I am so saddened to learn of his passing as he was a friend and mentor. He always had time to explain and share his incredible knowledge, a two-line email from me led to a long multi-paragraph explanation of the problem or situation and his thoughts on solving it.
On Thursday of last week, he sent me a picture of the former AM site on Gomer Road where our first AM IBOC demonstration on KUSA took place. The picture that he sent shows that site is now a housing development. We talked on Thursday morning about our long nights at the site with Dave Hartup and Hilmer Swanson.
Ron lived his life as a Christian. I will miss the gentle giant and the broadcast industry will be less without him.
John Sadler, retired FCC Communications Specialist, writes:
It is hard to believe that the broadcast world has lost an industry icon. Ron was a real gentleman and a hard worker. He was a good friend of mine for over 50 years.
I first met Ron at one of the NAB engineering seminars on directional AM antennas in which we both participated. He was a very knowledgeable individual and always had time for everyone should they have questions relating to antennas.
During my 26 year tenure at the FCC, I had many opportunities to consult with Ron regarding reports that he had submitted to the FCC for review. My son Jim and his wife worked for the Rackley firm for several years, until the company relocated to Florida from Washington. Thanks to Jim’s experience with Ron’s firm, he still enjoys working in the industry at Carl T. Jones.
Ron will be sorely missed by those working in the broadcast business.
I had the honor and pleasure of working with Ron on a number of projects. He was always ready to talk about the philosophy behind the applications when there was time. I have found this to be the best way to learn a subject.
He was generous will all sorts of info. I had picked up a Wayne-Kerr b601 at the Dayton Hamfest. The unknown terminals are a bit complicated on that device. We were working on a new D.A. in Los Angeles, and I mentioned I had this bridge but no instructions. Ron talked at some length about that device and its virtues and weaknesses vis a vis devices such as the genrad 1606. A few weeks after I got back to my office in Cincinnati, a package arrived from Sarasota with a nicely bound copy of the Wayne-Kerr manual — with a note from Ron that said simply, “Hope this is useful.” (I still have the book with the note attached — and the bridge.)
For several years, I handled the network broadcasts of Cincinnati Reds’ spring training in Sarasota. I would invite Ron to lunch every year at his favorite local Mexican restaurant. Each of these occasions lasted for several hours as we just talked medium wave engineering. (He talked, I listened). These were fascinating experiences — some of the very best of my career — like going to an oracle.
Karl D. Lahm:
Superb engineer, raconteur par excellence, exemplary Christian. This was the Ron Rackley who I knew since 1981.
That summer, I joined Jules Cohen’s firm, experienced in transmitters, station engineering, and audio design, but a newbie to AM directional antenna design and tune-ups. Ron was the firm’s primary AM field engineer then. He didn’t mentor me in the conventional sense. Instead, he gave me hints here and there that greatly facilitated my own exploration of AM antenna theory and practical implementation, finding my own way. In turn, I created software that facilitated his work. We always approached engineering problems, especially field projects, very differently, but always with similar results. Ron was more intuitive and favored graphical analysis, I more deductive and favored numerical analysis. Many years later, we had the opportunity to work together again on a diplexing project, in 2017, which was an eminently enjoyable reunion.
That Ron was a character would be an understatement. On the door of his office in the Cohen firm’s suite, there was a business card that read “Ronald D. Rackley – All the Bull That’s Fit to Throw – Washington, DC”. He took me out for a drink the evening following my first son’s birth, firmly stating that “a man’s place during childbirth is in a bar.” He always had a good story, many involving less-than-optimal technical situations he had encountered over the years. And, anyone who new about it could never forget the night around 1990 that a pirate shortwave transmitter lit up and the voice said “Welcome to the voice of Trailer Park Ministries, America’s first pirate Christian radio station. This is the Rt. Rev. Dr. R.F. Field speakin’,” followed by a 40-minute parody of southern radio preachers from the ’80s.
Ron helped countless station engineers understand better how AM antenna systems worked. It seems that we lose too early those best equipped to transfer knowledge to our successors.
I am very saddened to hear of the loss of Ron Rackley. I met Ron for lunch in 2000 where he inspired me to further my studies of electromagnetic fields and radiation. He introduced me to the concept of displacement current and recommended that I start my studies in a book called “Radio-Electronic Transmission Fundamentals” by R. Whitfield Griffith, Jr. It is an honor to have known and met Ron and be inspired by him.
Ron was, in part, responsible for the republishing of this valuable book in 2000. He autographed and sent me a copy of the reprint, which I shall always cherish.
David E. Ehehalt:
I was just talking to him at Kurt’s Booth on Tuesday at NAB, John Lyons , Jim G , Kurt , Matt , Ben D + a few others, he was telling me, “You know Dave , I am pretty much retired now,” and I asked, “Don’t you think you will get bored?” “I still have enough to keep me busy.”
What will AM radio do without him?
I worked with him at WKDM in Carlstadt, N.J., as well as other locations. He gave me one of one of the greatest compliments I ever got from someone with his background and knowledge: “Hey Dave, I think you are starting to understand this. ” That statement coming from him , I thought I had just won an Emmy! I had been to his office in Sarasota , Fla. , as it was two to three blocks away from my good friend Gean’s Studio , five to six years ago, he had a great old AM radio collection that surrounded you on the upper shelf, all the old classics. He was one of (maybe the only?) few hams that ran CW from his mobile. This is a very large loss to the world of radio. I just can’t believe I was talking with him On Tuesday!
Richard Ross, chief engineer for Univision Radio in New York:
I have known Ron as far back as the 1980s. I cannot say enough great things about him. Here are only two anecdotes of many. Ron designed our WADO power increase from 5 kW to 50 kW which involved adding two towers.
As we were performing measurements (Ron and myself) at 2 a.m. one winter morning in December 1999, we experienced a vacuum cap failure in tower #3. Ron said we are not going to wait for a replacement and he sat down and drew it out of the ATU circuit which involved repositioning of coil taps and retuning of other caps among major retuning surgery in the system. By dawn we had a perfect in spec operating system.
Ron remembered what he and I had for lunch three years ago. I don’t remember what I had two days ago. We also owned 1989 Lincoln Town cars, and I still have mine.
Robert Martin, Entercom Greenville Spartanburg IT manager, engineering:
One of my favorite memories of Ron was one of my earliest in broadcasting. We were both very young members of the staff at WFBC AM/FM/TV in Greenville, S.C. In early 1973, he sat across from me at a small worktable in the primitive FM automation studio and tapped out 5 WPM Morse Code, so he could order the papers to administer my Amateur Radio Technician test. He was a special guy.
I am back working at the Entercom cluster in Upstate SC, and his handiwork is still all over our AM sites even today. I am proud to have known Ron and have some great memories of him!
Ron was one of my early mentors in Spartanburg, S.C., while he was with the late Palmer Greer. We were working on the WSPA phasor overnight and bleary-eyed. He asked me for an electric drill, and I pulled out one with the brand name Rockwell on it. Ron suddenly remarked, “Hey, that’s a Collins drill!”
Michael David Rey:
I’m saddened to learn we’ve all lost a true national treasure and friend of our industry.
Attached is the official sticker he placed on the KSPN 710 KinTronics phasor after blessing our newly rebuilt transmission system in 2009.
Ron was also instrumental in making the KTNQ 1020 rebuild an operational success in 1991 with the famous overhead ground system buried in the concrete walls and foundation of Towers Industrial Park in City of Industry, Calif., as well as consulting us on diplexing with KXTA-1150 (ex-KIIS-AM) in 1998.
During those rare ‘down times’, he’d share stories with the staff about the glory days of border radio.
R.I.P. Ron. You will be missed.
Garrett G. Lysiak:
I first met Ron when I was the engineer-in-charge of the St. Paul, Minn., office in 1981. After leaving the FCC and starting my own firm, we often talked about AM projects.
We often spoke about the future of AM Radio and the lack of new engineers entering the profession and how we could generate interest in younger folks.
He was a talented engineer, and I will miss him greatly.
The broadcast industry has lost a friend and AM icon, its been said before, but I’ll say it again: He will be missed.
Ron taught me a lot about directional AM antennas and for that I am forever grateful.
Ron had a quiet sense of humor, I remember when we were working on the new directional system at WQBA in Miami, we would get back to the hotel early in the morning and the ice machine was always empty. Ron took out a 3 X 5 card and neatly wrote “Please do not urinate in the ice machine” he taped it to the machine, and quietly said
“We’ll have ice tomorrow night”. When we got back to the hotel the following night, the ice machine was completely full.
I would like to express my sincere condolences to Ron’s family and all of his friends of which there are many.
I have fond memories of Ron from my days of association with the Broadcast Technology Society and reading about his many accomplishments since.
A lasting memory arises from a luncheon one day when Ron mentioned how he had suffered from poor eyesight as a youth (perhaps nearsightedness, although he did not specifically say so). This forced him to mentally visualize his surroundings. Later, while studying vector calculus in college, he found this shortcoming turned out to be an asset as he could easily visualize the concepts of curl and other vector functions essential to the study of electromagnetics, while his classmates struggled.
In leaving us, Ron joins Carl Smith and other legendary engineers as an exceptional contributor to broadcast technology.
“Radio always seemed like magic to me”
Ron Rackley’s death has rocked radio engineers and others in the radio industry’s technology circles. Rackley passed away unexpectedly on Friday night. He was 66.
The veteran consulting engineer was the champion of AM radio and its revitalization efforts. He worked on high-power medium wave antennas systems around the world and served as a consultant to USA Digital Radio during the early stages of in-band on-channel (IBOC) digital testing in this country.
AM broadcast system design and optimization was Rackley’s passion, according to industry friends. He graduated from Clemson University with an electrical engineering degree and was a former radio station CE and antenna designer for Kintronic Labs Inc. In 1983 he co-founded du Treil-Rackley Consulting Engineers, with Bob du Treil, which later merged with A.D. Ring & Associates to form du Treil, Lundin and Rackley.
Rackley grew up in Greenville, S.C., and worked as a duty operator for several local AM radio stations while still in high school.
“I had plenty of time to read various engineering reports and study contour maps while on duty. Radio always seemed like magic to me. It seemed less like magic after I took mathematics in college,” Rackley told Radio World during an interview in 2006 acknowledging his NAB Engineering Achievement Award, which he shared that year with his friend Ben Dawson.
Rackley said, “I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t interested in radio.”
Touching tributes to Rackley appeared over the weekend, including one from his daughter, Elizabeth, posted to her father’s Facebook account: “My father passed away unexpectedly Friday night. Please pray for my family, and especially my mother. My dad was definitely the most intelligent person I have ever known.”
“He did work in his field of electrical engineering that only a handful of people in the world were capable of, and was renowned for it. I will remember my father as an incredibly wise and loving father, who always knew what was best and who loved and appreciated his family. I have annoyed so many people bragging about my dad, and I have no shame for it. He deserved every word of appreciation,” she wrote.
Rackley, who was at the NAB Show in Las Vegas early last week, told Radio World during an earlier interview that he was a “self-professed introvert uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds,” yet delivered countless speeches to radio engineers on how to troubleshoot and maintain AM antenna systems through the years.
“I’ll do it if I can help other engineers understand what AM is all about. Professionals are supposed to share information and to share knowledge,” he said.
Rackley was a regular at broadcast engineering conferences, friends say. David Layer, the NAB’s VP of advanced engineering, told us, “It was devastating news that Ron Rackley had passed. I am so glad I was able to see him last week at the NAB Show and of course now wish I had spent more time with him. Ron was one of the gentlest souls I’ve ever encountered, a true gentleman and scholar, his brilliance as an AM broadcast engineer was world-renowned. He will be greatly missed by me and I expect everyone who knew him.”
The broadcast engineering community flooded Rackley’s Facebook page with condolences. Veteran broadcast engineer Richard Rudman posted the following: “I had the great fortune to know this man and work with him on a research project. Ron was more than a brilliant radio engineer who I swear could visualize complex solutions as Smith Chart displays, a form of analyzing that require mere mortals to use expensive test equipment. Ron was wonderful teacher with a folksy down home style. He will be missed.”
Jeff Littlejohn, executive VP, engineering and systems integration of iHeartMedia posted his condolences: “One of the nicest, most intelligent and professional people I have ever met. The broadcast industry lost a giant.”
Art Sutton, president of Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting, told Radio World in an email: “I first became acquainted with Ron, like many did, when needing help with an AM signal matter. No one knew amplitude modulation better. In addition to just being a hell of a nice guy, he was a great broadcast historian. We shared many enjoyable communications about the history of this business we love and the prominent role radio broadcasting has played in the development of our great nation.”
Rackley lived with his wife, Dorothy, in Sarasota, Fla. The couple has four children. His family is currently planning a Celebration of Life service.
Streaming media is cutting into broadcast radio’s audience, but it also presents an opportunity
LONDON — There is no shortage of news reports bemoaning broadcast radio’s demise at the hands of streaming media.
A case in point: “Since 2010, around 840,000 15 to 24-year-olds have switched off for good, according to research from Enders Analysis,” reported The Guardian newspaper in an article with the witty headline, “Is streaming killing the radio star?” “And among the 6.5 million or so who do still tune in, the amount of time they spend listening has plummeted 29 percent between 2010 and 2018. The problem is even more acute at the BBC, with total listening hours among 15 to 24-year-olds falling 40 percent over the same time period.”
This sense of doom and gloom was reflected by Bob Shennan, the BBC’s director of radio and music, in a May 15, 2018 speech to the Radio Academy. “Streaming services are the new best friend to music. After all they have transformed the financial fortunes of a sector that was on its knees,” he said. “But they have set their sights on radio.”
Worse yet, “Whereas in years gone by my predecessors would today be eyeballing their competition across the United Kingdom radio sector, our competition isn’t even based on this island,” said Shennan. “The new competitive set is global.”
NOT NECESSARILY THE BAD GUY
Based on the warnings about streaming media such as those delivered above, it is easy to assume that listeners accessing audio content by the web is bad news for broadcasters.
But this isn’t actually the case, because streaming media is merely a delivery platform that is indifferent to the content is carries. In other words, streaming media itself is no more an enemy of broadcast radio than it is a friend: It all comes down to the specific content being streamed, and how that affects broadcast radio’s audience share.
This point is not lost on James Cridland, radio consultant.
“Are Spotify, Deezer, Pandora or other streaming music operators hurting radio? Yeah, of course they are — if your radio station just plays music,” Cridland told Radio World. “I can get a much better ‘10 great songs in a row’ from Spotify than I ever could from your station — with the benefit of personalization and skipping songs I don’t like. The same goes for YouTube, which gives a pretty good music service these days too, and YouTube’s free.”
“If you are a radio station and you don’t offer anything beyond ‘10 great songs in a row,’ then the growth of these streaming services should concern you,” he noted. “They account for a significant chunk of at-work listening; including mine.”
CAPTURING APP MAGIC
On the flip side, are TuneIn, Radioplayer, and other websites that aggregate and stream radio stations hurting broadcast radio? “Absolutely not,” replied Cridland.
“First, it’s another place for your radio station to be found. Second, aggregators like TuneIn or Radioplayer get your station into places that you, yourself, can find much harder to reach. Everything from smart speakers to better experiences in the car are all enabled by aggregators like this.”
The takeaway: Streaming media can be a boon to broadcast radio if their stations are easily available on TuneIn, Radioplayer, and other aggregator sites; and made accessible online and via apps to people at their computers, in cars, and on their smartphones.
Radio apps are increasingly popular with listeners in general, and particularly the Millennials that broadcasters are so desperate to reach.
Don’t take our word for it; check out what’s happening in the U.K. according to RAJAR [Radio Joint Audience Research]; the country’s official radio audience measurement agency.
According to RAJAR’s Spring 2015 MIDAS [Measurement of Internet Delivered Audience Services] survey, 19 million people (35 percent of the U.K.’s population) had downloaded radio apps. This included 4.1 million (49 percent) of 15–24-year-olds and 4.3 million (49 percent) of 25–34-year-olds.
AN APP MASTER
Jump ahead three years to RAJAR’s Spring 2018 MIDAS: Now 28 million people (52 percent) of the U.K. population) had downloaded radio apps. This total includes 5.1 million (64 percent) of 15–24-year-olds) and 6.2 million (69 percent) of 25–34-year-olds.
On the good side, radio apps (those delivering broadcast radio streams via the mobile internet), are gaining ground among U.K. listeners of all ages; including the much-sought-after Millennials. On the bad side, listeners can also tune into streamed radio using “aggregator apps” offered by TuneIn and Radioplayer; apps that let people easily tune to other stations besides your own.
Don’t lose heart: “If you want your listeners to come to your station’s app, then they will,” said Cridland; “but only if you make your app better than the aggregator apps, and at least maintain ‘feature parity’ with them.” In other words, a broadcaster’s radio app has to offer “all the bells and whistles” that are in TuneIn’s app, he said. “Got Chromecast? Android Auto or Carplay functionality? Does it work with your watch? Listeners want all this stuff too.”
“Do your own apps hurt ‘radio’?” he queried. “Only if you believe radio is defined by having a transmitter in a field.”
Austrian Top 40 station Kronehit has embraced James Cridland’s approach and then some, by ensuring that their free Kronehit app is not only as better than TuneIn’s but also able to match the music selection features offered by Spotify and Pandora.
MAKE STREAMING YOUR FRIEND
Specifically, Kronehit’s radio app allows listeners to skip songs they don’t like, just as they can with Spotify. When the replacement song has finished, Kronehit’s streaming feed automatically rejoins the show in progress; keeping listeners locked into Kronehit’s unique broadcast environment.
“We let people jump over the song, while remaining with the live feed,” said Rüdiger Landgraf, Kronehit’s program director. “In this way, they don’t lose out on our live weather and traffic information; something that makes broadcast radio so much better than automated streaming media. Live content like this is what makes broadcast radio so much better than music streaming. With the Kronehit app, our listeners get the best of both worlds.”
If there’s a moral to this tale, it is that streaming media can be broadcast radio’s salvation, rather than the cause of its demise.
The key to attaining this salvation is for broadcasters to go all-out in replicating the very best features that streaming media web sites and apps have to offer, and then topping them with the live information and personality-driven content that radio excels at.
James Careless reports on the industry for Radio World from Ottawa, Ontario.
Stations will no longer need a satellite dish or antenna hardware to receive Christian network feeds
The post Salem to Move Its Christian Stations to IP Platform appeared first on Radio World.
For parts of the Salem Radio Network, the dish is going the way of the dodo.
Salem Radio Network announced that it plans to transition its Christian programming platform to an all-IP receiver platform later this year, effectively eliminating the stalwart satellite dish for more than 500 stations.
A note from Salem executives in early April alerted affiliate stations that Salem plans to replace existing Wegener satellite receivers with ATX (formerly Pico Digital) XDS Pro receivers that offer internet protocol network capability allowing for full-time IP program delivery. The plan will go into effect in mid-2019 with harder switch planned for fall 2019. Salem Radio Network provides audio production and national distribution over satellite and IP platforms for both networks and independent programmers.
The media company said it will continue to utilize the existing SES-2/Wegener satellite platform while migrating to the new XDS IP receivers and expects to end the SES-2 satellite feed in early 2020. The change will impact Salem’s current Wegener users, those receiving Salem’s programming, but will not impact current recipients of third-party Westwood One programming via the XDS pipeline.
“We’re seeing industry standards change,” said Derek Anderson, network operations manager and director of satellite services for Salem, about the phasing out of the dish era. “The old guard of satellite still has a place in broadcast distribution but with IP hardware becoming more efficient and web bandwidth expenses dropping, we may see a mass migration very soon.”
According to the company, scheduling and program feeds will be delivered by internet connection only — meaning Christian programming stations will no longer need a satellite dish or antenna hardware to receive Salem’s Christian network feeds. The new XDS receivers will give stations the ability to record and play back all programming as well as integrate with local automation systems. According to Salem, full control of programming will be maintained by individual stations via web-based scheduling.
“And maybe best of all,” the company said in its note to stations, “terrestrial or weather interference — sun outage/rain fade — is eliminated.”
According to Anderson, the decision came about as the company began thinking about the benefits of IP networking over the long term.
“Salem Media Group has historically been an industry leader in broadcast distribution,” he said. “As our current satellite platform has worked well for us, we’ve been moving forward with a plan to transition from satellite to full IP in 2019 for our Christian teaching and talk and music platforms.”
The initial rollout in 2019 will migrate more than 500 stations from satellite to IP receivers “with more added as we fully transition this platform to IP only,” Anderson said.
By migrating to the XDS Pro receiver platform, stations will gain greater control over their programming, he said. The system will integrate fully with stations’ local automation systems with a simple web connection, he said.
Anderson said there are cost benefits for both networks and affiliates. “Program distribution via IP will provide us an expense savings over satellite and stations will see savings in local dish and hardware lease/maintenance costs,” he said.
Affiliates should be aware that despite the major technology change, Salem plans to continue the same quality of service to national affiliates as it transitions, Anderson said.
Anderson said the network has used XDS Pro receivers as its general market satellite platform on Westwood One for many years. “It’s proven itself to be the industry standard,” he said. “Our affiliates prefer the ease of use of the XDS web-based scheduler over all other platforms and honestly, no other platform provides such a robust system than XDS.”
He said the company’s Christian programming platform has been due for an upgrade for awhile. “We knew we were headed to IP and once we had full integration with our uplink provider Microspace, we felt confident in making the jump,” he said.
While there’s no concrete plans to expand the program to any other general market news/talk stations, Anderson said he expects other networks to realize the benefits of moving from satellite to IP. “Many are now using IP as backup to satellite feeds and we foresee more moving over in the near future,” he said.
Editor’s note: Salem Radio Network’s model also includes distribution with outside clients. Those looking for more information can contact Derek Anderson at [email protected].
The post Salem to Move Its Christian Stations to IP Platform appeared first on Radio World.
Ventana Television chief engineer was approved for the society’s highest membership level
The Society of Broadcast Engineers board has elected a new Fellow: Senior member and Ventana Television Chief Engineer John Collinson was approved for the society’s highest membership level at its April 7 meeting.
SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “The peer accolades expressed for John show the highest esteem of an SBE member, and recognizing him with the membership grade of Fellow is a testament to John’s skill, attitude, professionalism and dedication to broadcast engineering.”
Collinson (CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, CBNE) joined the society in 1976. He is a member of SBE Chapter 39 Tampa Bay Area, which he is credited with reviving in the 1990s. Collinson also served as chapter chair from 1999 to 2001 and as chapter certification chair since 1995.
Collinson will be recognized for his election to Fellow during the SBE National Awards Dinner on Oct. 16 in Madison, Wis. He is the 79th member to attain this rank.
Relies on 96 Orban Optimods and 27 PC-based Opticodec cards across multiple locations in Malaysia
The author is senior manager, broadcast operations, Astro Radio.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Astro Radio, a commercial radio network based in Malaysia and owned by Astro Holdings Bhd., has been revolutionizing radio in Malaysia since its launch in 1996 when we introduced format specific programming (i.e. format-radio to our listeners).
We began operations with five FM radio stations, eight satellite radio stations with 25 regional commercial splits with the (then revolutionary and now legendary) Optimod-FM 8200 digital audio processor. Much has been said and written about this amazing piece of technology, it is sufficient for us to simply state it was the best decision we ever made to go with Orban.
The 8200 made our stations the consistently best-sounding radio network on the FM-dial in Malaysia. We’re pleased to say that even after 20 years in the transmission chain, the Optimod FM 8200 still performs better than any competitor’s current products.
Today, Astro Radio operates 19 radio networks, which cater to a diverse range of musical tastes and demographics. Our stations broadcast to our listeners on three primary delivery platforms — FM, satellite radio and online.
Our flagship brands, namely hitz, My, Lite, Mix, Era, Sinar, Melody, Raaga, Gegar, Zayan and goXUAN, combined reach 16.2 million radio listeners, 17.5 million social media followers and 56.3 million on Facebook.
To deliver steady high-fidelity audio over these platforms, we deployed Orban’s extensive arsenal of digital audio processors with great success.
For FM broadcasts, we utilize the 8700i, 8600, 8500, 8500-FM and 5500 audio processors in tandem with the 5518 stereo encoders.
For satellite-radio audio processing we chose the 8685 (yes, the one which does surround-sound). We also still use the 8200 to process audio for some of our satellite-radio stations!
To dominate and tame the online streaming platform, we use a combination of Optimod-PC 1211 cards as well as Optimod-PCn StreamS software.
In total, we use 96 units of rackmount Orban Optimods as well as 27 PC-based Opticodec cards across multiple locations in Malaysia to deliver the sweetest, cleanest, distortion-free and regulatory-compliant sounds. We’re very pleased that our stations sound clean and loud but don’t distort.
We have been able to achieve and maintain these high standards simply because of excellent technical support and sound product advice over the years from many of the experienced, talented and knowledgeable people at Orban.
Simply put, Orban’s audio processor solutions just work beautifully for Astro Radio.
For information, contact Orban in Germany at +49-7141-2266-0 or visit www.orban.com.
Ron Rackley, a luminary of the U.S. broadcasting engineering community, has died.
Rackley passed away Friday at his home in Florida, according to an announcement by the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, of which he was a former president.
Current AFCCE President John Lyons shared the news with colleagues via email on Sunday. “I first worked with Ron in the early 1970s in a project at WWRL(AM) in New York,” Lyons wrote. “Since that time, we worked on several projects over the years and spoke regularly about issues affecting broadcasters.”
Rackley was AFCCE president in 1987-88 and was the 2006 co-honoree with colleague Ben Dawson of the NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award. Rackley also was a board member and as vice president of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society. In 1983, he co-founded duTreil-Rackley, which later merged with A. D. Ring & Associates to form duTreil, Lundin and Rackley.
Lyons said he saw Ron Rackley just a few days earlier at the recent NAB Show.
Radio World is gathering memories and reflections about Rackley’s career. We welcome yours via email to [email protected].
Consulting engineer and Radio World contributor Buc Fitch said, “One of the giants has passed.”
Rackley worked in radio and television stations from an early age, according to a bio on the duTreil Lundin & Rackley website. He attended Clemson University. “His natural progression and graduation made him attractive as an engineer to consulting firms,” the site states. “He eventually went to work as a staff engineer at Jules Cohen & Associates and that is where he met Bob du Treil. The two would pair up for a life-long professional relationship.”
He was considered one of the country’s premier experts in AM engineering, and was vocal on AM regulatory issues including the FCC’s “revitalization” initiatives in recent years.