Broadcast Industry News
Broadcasting & Cable
Season two has Pain trying robot-made hamburger
Season two of T-Pain’s School of Business premieres on Fuse Aug. 6. The show features rapper T-Pain exploring unique start-ups created by millennials. “In each half-hour episode, T-Pain will dive head first into each business while testing out new products and getting answers to all our questions about how to start a business,” said Fuse.
The season premiere sees T-Pain eat a robot-made hamburger, check out a zero carbon emissions semi-truck and get a tattoo with wearable UV sensors.
T-Pain was the winner on The Masked Singer earlier this year.
“T-Pain is on an incredible run lately and we are excited for the season two premiere of this empowering, unscripted series,” said Fuse Media Chief Content Officer J-T Ladt. “As an important voice in youth culture and a champion of young entrepreneurs, T-Pain and his ‘school of business’ shine a light on some of the most innovative startups and talented creators in a way that only he can.”
Jonas Bell Pasht, Jonah Bekhor, Rebecca Hertz, Jonny Shipes and T-Pain executive produce the show, which is produced by Citizen Jones.
Fuse programs for Latino, multicultural millennial and GenZ audiences.
Strategy Analytics predicts there will be 52 million Roku-enabled devices in use by year-end
The Roku operating environment now powers 41 million OTT devices and smart TVs around the world, the research company said, and it accounted for more than 30% of connected device sales in Q1.
In terms of number of devices used for OTT consumption, Roku’s 41 million is 36% greater than the next closest competitor, Sony PlayStation , Strategy Analytics said. The research company predicts Roku’s lead will stretch to 70% by the end of 2019, with 52 million devices in use accounting for 18% of the market.
In terms of streaming device sales in Q1, the next closest competitor were devices powered by the Amazon Fire TV operating system, which accounted for 12% of sales—less than half of Roku’s sales. Devices powered by Samsung’s Tizen accounted for 11% of sales, while those enabled by Google operating platforms (Android TV and Chromecast) accounted for 9%.
Updated: MCN received an email from Amazon's PR firm after this story was originally reported. The firm reminded us that in May, Amazon reported 34 million "active users" of its Fire TV platform, shortly after Roku trumpeted 29 million active users for its ecosystem. But as we noted to the rep, Strategy Analytics isn't measuring active users, but rather devices in the field.
Does Sony really have more OTT-capable PlayStation devices deployed than there are Fire TV devices? Very questionable. We'll let Amazon talk to the research company and work the rest out.
“Roku’s extensive content offering, comprehensive search function and simple and intuitive user interface have been key factors in its success, alongside affordable hardware and regularly updated software,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics and the report’s author. “Roku has managed to establish itself as a highly respected and trusted brand in the U.S. with no perceived hidden agenda when it comes to promoting content on its platform.”
Roku does, however, face a marketing challenge internationally, Watkins noted.
“The company is much less well-known outside of the U.S., and in order to succeed on the international stage it will need to face down the twin challenge of building brand awareness and drawing users away from well-established players such as Amazon, Apple and Google.”
New company re-combines TV and radio businesses
Cox Enterprises said it agreed to sell Cox Media Group’s radio stations, CoxReps and its Gamut advertising business to a new company owned by Apollo Global Management private equity funds.
Apollo earlier agreed to buy Cox’s TV stations and plans to combine them with the newly acquired assets to build a national media company with stations in key markets across the country.
Cox Enterprises will have a minority stake in the new company, which will continue to use the name Cox Media Group and be headquartered in Atlanta.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to acquire the Cox Radio station portfolio, CoxReps and Gamut and combine them with the Cox Television business to form a new media company focused on quality local broadcasting,” said David Sambur, chairman of the buyer and senior partner of Apollo. “Cox has deep roots in the media industry and has stood for the highest quality in local journalism for the past 120 years. As we shepherd these businesses into the future, we are committed to investing in high quality programming and fostering innovation in local media.”
Cox has more than 60 radio stations in 11 markets reaching 14 million listeners monthly.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory review and closing conditions. Radio stations currently owned by Cox Media Group are set forth below. To comply with FCC ownership limits, the buyer intends to divest two FM stations, one each in Orlando and Tampa.
“We are happy our Cox Radio and national ad platforms will continue to be operated with our television group,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO, Cox Enterprises. “Keeping these media businesses together gives us even more confidence in the future success of the new company. We have spent many years fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation across these businesses and are pleased to see that work will continue.”
LOS ANGELES, JUNE 26, 2019 – With a unique improvisational acting style at the heart of the Netflix original film, Paddleton, capturing audio was of paramount concern for Sound Supervisor Daniel S. McCoy CAS, owner and operator of ToneMesa, Inc. Taking into consideration that renowned comedian Ray Romano is in the starring role, McCoy seized the opportunity to showcase the actor’s comedic style by integrating two audio powerhouses, DPA Microphones and Wisycom, into his production workflow.
DPA Microphones and Wisycom enabled McCoy to succeed as a one-man sound crew on the set of the Duplass Brothers’ production. In today’s ever-changing landscape of film and cinema, the paradigm has shifted to where many projects, such as Paddleton, have more of a documentary formula and require reliable equipment with a skeleton crew that can work at an efficient pace.
“Sometimes, the team would go off to unplanned locations and I’d have to be ready to follow immediately,” says McCoy. “It was imperative to have microphones, receivers and transmitters that I could trust in situations where I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen next. Using DPA and Wisycom on Paddleton, I never had to stop a take and I’m really proud of that.”
During the production, McCoy used DPA’s d:screet CORE 4061 Miniature Microphone – one of the world’s first film projects to deploy the new CORE by DPA technology – along with d:dicate 4017 and 4018 Shotgun Microphones.
“It’s amazing how the boom mics blend seamlessly with the lavs, not only in the mix on-set, but also in post-production, when you need to blend them together,” adds McCoy. “I like to use some of the bass and proximity from the omni (4061) on the body, blended with the high-audio pickup of the shotgun mic in free space to get better articulation. Using DPA’s 4000 series lavalier microphones together with the 4017 and 4018 boom mics enabled me to create a harmony of vocal and ambient sound. The actors’ dialogue blended seamlessly on top of the sounds of real neighborhoods, towns and driving. I was able to capture crisp, clean vocal audio over all that background noise and still get incredible fidelities you can hear in the film.”
For wireless, McCoy turned to his trusted Wisycom MTP40/41 Wideband Bodypack Transmitter paired with the MCR42-S2 Dual True Diversity UHF Miniature Camera Receiver. “With Wisycom, I know that the exceptional RF range will ensure a perfect capture every time; it always amazes me how much range I can get with them,” he continues. “For this project, I employed the AES3 output on the mic transmitters to have that feed directly with a digital stream of audio on the receiver. It all stayed digital once it hit Wisycom’s MCR42, which sounded great. Post-production received a huge dynamic range of audio and was able to really carve and shape the sound design throughout the film from the tracks we provided.”
DPA Microphones and Wisycom further proved their reliability during a road trip scene where McCoy arranged monitoring systems in the actors’ car and follow vehicles. “We couldn’t always be within two or three car lengths of the actors’ car, but with Wisycom and DPA, that wasn’t an issue,” adds McCoy. The integration of these two audio brands enabled McCoy to capture audio from up to a mile of range, while seamlessly mixing sound for the scene – as well as audio for the entirety of the film.
Paddleton, a Duplass Brothers dramedy featuring Romano and Mark Duplass, takes viewers on an emotional journey as an unlikely friendship sparks between two misfit neighbors after the younger man (Duplass) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The director, Alex Lehmann, decided to utilize an improvisational style much like his past film with Duplass, Blue Jay.
Wisycom is a designer and builder of the most sophisticated RF solutions for broadcast, film and live production, renowned for their durability, flexibility, reliability, practicality and cost-effective price points. Wisycom’s design process is driven by attention to detail, customer feedback and ultimate quality, from the selection of components to the manufacturing process, which takes place at the company’s Italian plants. The company prides itself on serving as a technical advisor and partner to every customer. From custom design to evaluation and dimensioning of systems, the Wisycom team stands by its customers through every step of the process. For more information, please visit www.wisycom.com.
ABOUT DPA MICROPHONES:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound. For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.
Subtitled, futbol-themed series will debut on Charter’s on-demand channel on July 15
Charter’s original content unit, Spectrum Originals, has a acquired a series from Spain’s MedaPro Studios.
Todo por el Juego (“Side Games”) is a Spanish-language adaptation of the book El Fútbol no es Así. It was adapted by Argentine screenwriter Eduardo Sacheri and will appear on demand for Charter pay TV users on July 15 with subtitles.
The show follows a Spanish businessman who rises quickly into the management of a top-flight European pro soccer team, dealing with politics, organized crime and other drama.
“With its strong embrace by Latin American audiences and the massive popularity of soccer as a backdrop, we believe this wonderfully written dramatic series will appeal to both the large and the growing Spanish-speaking viewership in the U.S., as well as everyone who loves sophisticated drama,” said Spectrum Originals chief Katherine Pope, in a statement.
“We are very satisfied with this agreement with Spectrum Originals, which extends the international reach of the series, in line with the distribution strategy followed with all our major productions and at a time when fiction in Spanish is more in demand than ever,” added Javier Mendez, chief content officer as The Mediapro Studio.
The news follows an announcement earlier this month that Spectrum Originals picked up Southern Gothic series Paradise Lost from Paramount Network and Anonymous Content.
The original content division also announced the second-season greenlight of its first series, buddy cop show L.A.’s Finest. This came despite largely poor reviews from critics, as well as an on-set accident in February that cost co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier the lower part of a leg.
Beth and Duane were set to star in ‘Dog’s Most Wanted’
Beth Chapman, star of long-running unscripted series Dog the Bounty Hunter, died June 26 in Honolulu. She was 51. Beth had been placed in a medically induced coma, according to CNN, as she battled throat cancer.
Dog the Bounty Hunter ran on A&E from 2004 to 2012 and helped reposition the network, which initially ran fine arts programming. Stars Duane and Beth Chapman were married. They had 12 children and split their time between Hawaii and Colorado.
Duane wrote on Twitter:
A&E ran a two-hour special on Beth’s battle with cancer titled Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives.
Duane, known as Dog, and Beth also starred in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt on CMT, from 2013 to 2015.
Earlier this year, WGN America announced a series called Dog’s Most Wanted, starring Duane and Beth as they pursue fugitives. The couple were to be executive producers on behalf of Entertainment by Bonnie and Clyde.
A WGN America spokesperson told the NY Times the network did not know how Beth’s death would affect the show.
Says 'parade of horribles' was neither surprising nor convincing
FCC chairman Ajit Pai went into great detail to explain why the FCC proceeded with the 24 GHz spectrum auction despite concerns by weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about interference to their monitoring systems.
That came in letters to concerned Democratic legislators that were released June 25. He told them NOAA and NASA's last-minute "parade of horribles" related to potential interference from wireless emissions was to be predicted in such debates, but were rejected on sound engineering principles.
Pai has said that NOAA's concern was based on questionable data and that he is convinced 24 GHz spectrum can be freed up, threatening weather predicting by the NOAA.
Government entities do have a history of being protective of their spectrum, and they are increasingly being asked to find ways to be more efficient so more spectrum can be freed for commercial use.
When pressed at a Senate FCC oversight hearing, Pai said Commerce had been blocking and undermining the FCC's efforts "at every single turn," and that that had gotten worse since former National Telecommunications & Information chief David Redl resigned.
In his letter, Pai provided a timeline of how the process of protecting passive weather satellites in the 24 GHz auction process went down, a process he summed up as the result of "sound science and engineering" (on the FCC's part), as opposed to "exaggerated and unverified last-minute assertions" (NOAA and NASA, which also has issues) based on "unvalidated and badly flawed" studies, studies he suggests flout international guidelines on "reasonable input parameters."
Pai laid out the bottom line on the NOAA and NASA emission issues: "Advocacy is often characterized by claims of harmful interference by incumbents—and riddled with a parade of horribles that have no basis in reality. So it is unsurprising that we have not yet found any credible evidence or validated study showing that existing limits will insufficiently protect weather-sensing satellites. In contrast, adopting the limits suggested by the Department of Commerce would undeniably render the 24 GHz band unusable for 5G."
If so, that would defeat the purpose of the auction, which was to free up more spectrum for next-gen wireless service and closing the digital divide, the FCC's top priority Pai has said often and did so again this week.
Summer action-adventure series gets second season
CBS has ordered a second season of summer series Blood & Treasure. The show is averaging 5.7 million viewers, said the network, which calls the show “a globe-trotting action-adventure drama about a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief who team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasure.”
“Blood & Treasure is a fun, escapist adventure with comedic elements filmed in multiple locales around the world that has been a great performer and a wonderful addition to our summer schedule,” said Amy Reisenbach, executive VP, current programs, CBS Entertainment. “We’ve heard the story pitch for season two and look forward to seeing all-new exploits from Russia to Southeast Asia next year.”
Matt Barr and Sofia Pernas play the leads. Michael James Shaw, Katia Winter, James Callis, Oded Fehr, Alicia Coppola and Mark Gagliardi are also in the cast.
The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Propagate Content. Matthew Federman, Stephen Scaia, Taylor Elmore, Ben Silverman, Marc Webb, Mark Vlasic and Howard T. Owens are executive producers.
FCC would auction spectrum, but with deadline for freeing up for 5G
There may be a way out of the C-Band-clearing maze after all.
As promised at a recent hearing, Rep. Doris Matsui, co-chair of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, has released a discussion draft of a C-Band repurposing compromise bill, the Wireless Investment Now in (WIN) 5G Act, that would have the FCC auctioning some or all of the (3700-4200 MHz) midband spectrum in its effort to free up more airwaves for next-gen wireless broadband.
Broadcast and cable operators receive network programming via that C-band spectrum and could face dislocation and potential interference from new terrestrial users and a repack process, something the bill seeks to avoid while still trying to clear the maximum amount of spectrum possible for 5G.
A minimum of four satellite operators--out of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Telesat, ABS, Empresa Argentina, Hispasat, and Star One--would have to come up with a transition plan (they would be "transition facilitators"--that the FCC would review and accept, or modify, or reject with instructions on how to cure it.
Those satellite operators would receive an escalating cut of the auction proceeds based on how much of the spectrum could be freed up. The plan would also cover the transition costs of those incumbent cable operators and broadcasters, plus at least potentially giving them a cut of the auction proceeds above those transition costs, with the remainder of the auction proceeds going to a new rural broadband fund.
Satellite operators would get an extra 5% of the proceeds if the FCC accepted their first transition plan.
One of the knocks on the private market-sale approach offered up by the C-Band Alliance (comprising Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Telesat)--is that an FCC auction could apply those proceeds to rural broadband deployment, a national priority, rather than filling the coffers of international companies. Looking to address that concern, the bill establishes the Rural Broadband Deployment Fund within Treasury, with all proceeds not accounted for otherwise going there.
One of the knocks on the FCC auction approach is that it could take several years. The bill would instead put the FCC on the clock to try and ensure that FCC process does not become a hurdle in the race to 5G.
"The transition facilitation plan, complete with technical, frequency migration, and end-user protection plans, will be submitted to the FCC no later than 6 months after the date of enactment (though it is expected to take less time than that) and also to be submitted as part of the transition plan," the draft says. "The FCC will have 90 days to ensure the plan is adequate – and includes an opportunity for the transition facilitator to cure any inadequacies."
Satellite operators' cut of the auction proceeds off the top would increase along these lines: "0% if less than 100 MHz is cleared, 10% if 100 MHz but less than 200 MHz, 35% if 200 MHz but less than 300 MHz, 75% if 300 MHz but less than 400 MHz, 90% if 400 MHz but less than 500 MHz, and 100% of the proceeds if 500 MHz is cleared."
There are only 500 MHz in the band, so clearing that much would require finding an alternative delivery method for broadcast and cable programming distribution.
The bill says that cutting broadcast and cable operators in on the proceeds "may" happen, but that covering their moving or repositioning expenses must happen. And with the FCC overseeing the auction and transition, those broadcast and cable incumbents can make sure the FCC gets the signal they should get more money--a signal the legislation also sends--though probably not the $200,000 per headend some had sought.
The bill seeks to navigate between competing interests. It does not cap the amount of spectrum freed up at 200 MHz, and in fact requires the parties to free up as much spectrum as practicable, including all if that were possible. But it also says that the amount cleared is limited to what will do no harm to incumbent users.
Expected to have some encouraging words for the fill include AT&T, T-Mobile, Charter, Comcast, and the Competitive Carriers Association.
The C-Band Alliance would almost certainly have preferred the legislation establish a private market sale overseen by the FCC, as it proposed, rather than an FCC auction, but the deadlines may help assuage it. A compromise with buy-in from both sides could also avoid legal challenges to a pure marketplace sale approach.
Broadcasters likely won't like the fact that there is no limit on how much spectrum could be recaptured, given that they have already had their spectrum compacted by the broadcast incentive auction, and potentially even more so if the FCC allows unlicensed wireless to use channels adjacent to TV station signals, channels broadcasters want preserved as an interference buffer.
The FCC voted unanimously in July 2018 to find ways to open up the C-band spectrum (3.7-4.2 Ghz) -- either all of the proposed 500 Mhz or some portion of it -- for terrestrial wireless use, but has not yet decided just how to do it.
The FCC said its goal is to balance the need for speed (and efficiency) in freeing up the spectrum with the need to accommodate incumbent operations.
Those incumbents want the FCC to make sure that accommodation is top of mind, given the impact of interference with their primary means of getting programming from distributors.
The bill would also free up more funds for R&D into federal spectrum repurposing, including agencies operating on the 3.45-3.55 GHz band. If that band can be repurposed, the bill directs the FCC to auction it by 2025 and reallocated for commercial use by 2026.
That last part mirrors language in the just-released SPECTRUM NOW Act, on which Matsui is also a driving force, but it is to be determined which bill will be the vehicle for that portion of the spectrum-freeing-up effort.
CFO Winfrey expands role to include oversight of Spectrum Business
Charter Communications is making some executive changes, expanding the role of chief financial officer Christopher Winfrey and chief product officer Rich DiGeronimo while announcing the planned retirements of a trio of executives, the company said Wednesday.
Winfrey will expand his areas of oversight to include Charter’s large enterprise business, Spectrum Enterprise, and its Spectrum Reach advertising business. Charter executive VP and president of Spectrum Enterprise Phil Meeks and Charter EVP and president of Spectrum Reach David Kline will report to Winfrey beginning July 1. As planned, Meeks will retire in January 2020. Winfrey will continue to report to Charter chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge.
DiGeronimo will add technology officer to his title beginning July 1, overseeing engineering and IT, in addition to his current leadership of Charter’s product team. DiGeronimo will continue to report to Charter president and chief operating officer John Bickham.
Executive VP of IT and engineering Jim Blackley will continue to report to Rutledge and assist on the transition until his planned retirement in 2020.
Cliff Hagan, SVP of shared services, customer operations, will be promoted to EVP customer operations, succeeding Kathleen Mayo, who will retire in August.
“These changes demonstrate the depth of leadership at Charter and positions the company for continued success,” Rutledge said in a press release. “Chris, Rich and Cliff are proven leaders whose contributions have been significant to the current success at Charter. Their skill, passion, and commitment to excellence should continue to serve the company well into the future.”
“I also want to thank Phil, Jim and Kip for their countless contributions to Charter over the years,” Rutledge continued. “With his leadership and understanding of the telecommunications industry, Phil has built the enterprise business to the success it is today; Jim has been the driving force behind the design, development, and introduction of technologies that have transformed our platforms, the industry and advanced this company; and Kip’s innovative vision and commitment to a company-wide focus on the customer has been key to developing a well-trained and properly equipped service operation dedicated to delivering the best customer experience. They are true industry icons whose leadership, knowledge and operational expertise were key components behind the success and growth experienced at Charter. They will be missed and we wish them great retirements.”
Says it is good for the supply chain, among other things
FCC chairman Ajit Pai is praising the announcement by Ericsson that it will build a new factory in the U.S. to produce 5G equipment.
It will be the company's first automated "smart" factory and will build "Advanced Antenna System radios to boost network capacity and coverage, including rural coverage, as well as 5G radios for urban areas, both necessary for rapid 5G deployments in North America."
That move serves at least three Trump administration goals. One is winning the race to 5G. Another is trying to build out those 5G networks and devices without using the Chinese telecoms/equipment suppliers that dominate the market with suspect tech, particularly for low-cost tech employed by smaller network providers. The third is the "Made in the USA" mantra of attracting offshore manufacturers onto U.S. shores. Though highly automated, the factory will still create 100 jobs, yet another administration goal.
“I applaud Ericsson for today’s announcement that the company will build a new factory in the United States that will open in early 2020 and produce 5G radios," said the chairman. "Building 5G equipment in the United States is good for our economy, good for the supply chain, and good for the rapid rollout of the next generation of wireless connectivity in the United States.”
Ericsson announced last August it would be boosting U.S. investments in 5G, including on R&D, to accelerate deployment.
North America’s largest streaming service for British and international television continues to rapidly grow with addictive Acorn TV Originals and licensing the highest-rated UK Series of 2019
Silver Spring, MD; June 26, 2019 – Acorn TV, North America’s largest and most popular streaming service for British and international television, has greatly expanded its distribution channels in the last month, including increased availability on Apple TV channels in the Apple TV app, The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime Video Channels in Canada, and Android TV.
Mike Pears, President of U.S. Distribution for RLJ Entertainment and Acorn TV, notes, “Acorn TV is now available in more ways than ever before so customers can watch its addictive international mysteries and dramas on whatever device or platform they prefer. With millions of drama and mystery fans worldwide, we’re thrilled to work with these key distribution partners to continue to evolve the service and expands its distribution in North America as well as worldwide.”
· Apple TV app – Customers in the U.S. and Canada can now subscribe to Acorn TV directly in the all-new Apple TV app among its Apple TV channels offerings. Apple’s announcement
· The Roku Channel – Acorn TV is now available for purchase directly through Premium Subscriptions on The Roku Channel. Roku(R) Blog post
· Amazon Prime Video Channels for Canada – Besides being available via Acorn.TV in Canada, Acorn TV will soon be available as an add-on subscription service through Prime Video Channels in Canada as well. Acorn TV is already available in the U.S. and is among its most popular add-on services. Amazon’s announcement
· Android TV – Acorn TV is now available as an app on Android TV Smart TV’s and digital media players.
In addition, Acorn TV remains available through Acorn.TV as well as Chromecast, Comcast/Xfinity, and apps on the App Store, Android Google Play, Roku and Amazon FireTV. Later this summer Acorn TV will also be available as an app on Vizio smart TV’s.
Acorn TV continues to feature exclusive Acorn TV Originals, including commissioning AGATHA RAISIN, Series 2 (Trailer) and Series 3 starring Ashley Jensen; the straight-to-series order of British detective drama LONDON KILLS called a “superb British crime series” by the Los Angeles Times (Trailer); and fun British mystery QUEENS OF MYSTERY called “A surefire crowd-pleaser” by Los Angeles Times (Trailer). Other Acorn TV Originals include the U.S. premiere of ITV’s highest rated drama in the past five years with true crime drama MANHUNT starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) and called “tremendously satisfying” by The New York Times (Trailer); new 1960s-set spin-off mystery series MS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES (Trailer); gripping Irish drama BLOOD; and Aussie detective drama MYSTERY ROAD starring Judy Davis. Acorn TV also licensed and premiered UK’s highest rated show of 2019 and from the creator of Bodyguard with the return of BBC One’s LINE OF DUTY, Season 5 (Trailer).
Additionally, Acorn TV offers several smash hit series readily available to binge, including addictive Aussie period drama A PLACE TO CALL HOME (Trailer); Paul Abbott’s outrageous police drama NO OFFENCE; smash hit dramedy DOC MARTIN; Aussie conspiracy thriller JACK IRISH starring Guy Pearce; charming medical drama THE GOOD KARMA HOSPITAL; British drama DELICIOUS centered on food, love and betrayal; Aussie medical dramedy THE HEART GUY; as well as long-running mysteries GEORGE GENTLY, FOYLE’S WAR, and MURDOCH MYSTERIES.
Coming up, Acorn TV features the exclusive U.S. Premiere of Swedish dramedy THE SIMPLE HEIST, Series 2 (Mon., July 1); and a new season of acclaimed British crime drama LONDON KILLS, Series 2 (Mon., July 15). Watch now at press site: https://acorn.tv/press
Coming in 2019 Sizzle Reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D-X_4QFroc
Offering a “like cozy Agatha Raisin, classic Miss Marple and dark Line of Duty plus Aussie dramas” (TV Guide), Acorn TV features original and exclusive mysteries, dramas, and comedies from across the globe including Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and other European countries. Read announcements at https://www.rljentertainment.com/press-room/
About RLJ Entertainment: A privately owned subsidiary of AMC Networks, RLJ Entertainment, Inc. is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content. RLJE’s titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, UHD, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE commissions and co-produces new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited. For more information, please visit RLJENTERTAINMENT.COM, ACORN.TV, and UMC.TV
Chad Campbell | [email protected]
Roku is a registered trademark of Roku, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries.
The ERENVCM-27 Mounts Into VMP’s EREN-27, EREN-27E, & EREN-27E1K Equipment Rack Enclosures, While the ERENVCM-42 Mounts Into VMP’s EREN-42E & EREN-42E1K Equipment Rack Enclosures
STEVENSVILLE, Md., June 26, 2019 — Video Mount Products (videomount.com), a leading provider of mounting solutions for the broadcast, Pro, security, commercial, CI, and residential markets, is proud to announce its 27U and 42U cable management options for its popular floor rack enclosures are now available.
“In enclosures, wiring organization is a must,” explained Keith Fulmer, president of Video Mount Products. “VMP’s ERENVCM-27 and ERENVCM-42 help keep all your wire bundles organized and sorted as they feed into your rack equipment. Made out of durable ABS and steel with a removable front plate for easier mounting of cables, the ERENVCM-27 and ERENVCM-42 provide the strength and longevity you've come to expect from VMP.”
The 27U ERENVCM-27 (MSRP: $147.00) mounts into VMP’s EREN-27, EREN-27E, and EREN-27E1K equipment rack enclosures, while the 42U ERENVCM-42 (MSRP: $159.00) mounts into VMP’s EREN-42E and EREN-42E1K equipment rack enclosures.
VMP is celebrating its 25 year as a leading provider of mounting solutions for the A/V, communication, and security industries.
For more information, please visit or call toll free 877-281-2169. If you need help choosing the right mount for your application, try the VideoMount™-Finder at www.chooseamount.com.
About Video Mount Products
Video Mount Products (VMP) is a leading provider of mounting solutions for the A/V, communication and security industries since 1994. VMP products consistently offer the latest designs in safety and flexibility, all at an outstanding value. VMP’s product offering continues to grow by adding mounting systems to address growing segments across many markets.
VMP has become the mounting systems company of choice for professionals and their customers everywhere. All products have been engineered for and installed with confidence in thousands of residences, businesses, hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, houses of worship and security applications throughout the world. VMP prides itself on providing the best products in the industry and by supporting those products with knowledgeable professionals who understand that “support” is the core of our business.
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‘Big Brother’ opens down on CBS
America’s Got Talent, which saw an exuberant contestant erroneously hit the golden buzzer, ticked up 7% for a 1.6. Songland lost 10% for a 0.9.
CBS had the premiere of Big Brother at 1.2, down from last summer’s 1.5 debut. An FBI rerun led into Blood & Treasure at a flat 0.4.
Telemundo had Betty en NY at 0.5 and La Reina del Sur at 0.6, same as last night.
Univision did a 0.3/2.
The CW did a 0.2/1 with a Flash repeat and The 100 at a level 0.2.
Images from the B&C/MCN Programmatic TV Summit, held June 24 at The Stewart Hotel New York
Images from the B&C/MCN Programmatic TV Summit, held June 24 at The Stewart Hotel New York
Piper struggles with life outside Litchfield in season seven
The seventh and final season of Orange Is the New Black premieres on Netflix July 26. Jenji Kohan created the show, about a privileged New York woman who is sent to prison. It debuted in 2013.
The cast includes Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs and Natasha Lyonne.
Netflix says of the final season, “The ladies of Litchfield come to terms with the fact that prison has changed them forever. Piper struggles with life on the outside, while life in Max, as corrupt and unjust as ever, goes on without her. Taystee’s friendship with Cindy still hangs in the balance as her life sentence looms, Gloria and her kitchen staff are confronted by the harsh realities of Polycon’s newest profit stream, while others chase drugs or dreams and grapple with the reality of their place in this world.”
Piper Kerman wrote the book the show is adapted from.
Booker, Warren, O’Rourke on the first night; Biden, Buttigieg, Harris on second
The June 26 debate features Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Jay Inslee, Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan, Bill de Blasio and John Delaney.
June 27, it’s Marianne Williamson, John Hickenlooper, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand and Eric Swalwell.
The lineups for the two nights were chosen randomly.
NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and Noticiero Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart moderate the first hour, and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and The Rachel Maddow Show host Rachel Maddow handle the second hour.
The debates are at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
MSNBC coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Brian Williams and Nicolle Wallace.
The Democratic hopefuls again debate July 30-31 in Detroit on CNN.
Group requires open data to build trust
The Advertising Research Foundation said it has established a new Research Quality Certification Program designed to increase the amount of trust advertisers have in data about their ad campaigns.
In order to be certified, data from studies must be made available for public review and analysis in order to ensure transparency, the ARF said.
The first organization to have a study certified is the Mobile Marketing Association, which presented a study on cognition neuroscience earlier this year at an ARF conference.
“Our Research Quality Certification program is central to the ARF’s mission to improve the practice of advertising, marketing, and media research through objective research-based insights. There is no better way to generate such insights and achieve industry leadership than through research that addresses gaps in our knowledge with scientific rigor and transparency,” said Paul Donato, chief research officer for the ARF.
Certification is available to ARF members.
The program differs from accreditation in that it is not intended for syndicated currency-related research.
Extreme Reach reports finds ads getting longer
Connected TV continues to grow and accounted for 49% of digital video ad impressions in the first quarter, according to a new report from Extreme Reach.
Extreme Reach, whose AdBridge platform hosues 13 million creative assets for advertisers and their agencies, said in its Video Benchmark Report that while connected TV’s share of ad impressions are growing, mobile video ads accounted for just 25% of all ad impressions in the quarter, their lowest since first quarter 2017,
The report also found that digital video ad impressions are getting longer, with the share of six-second video ad impressions becoming negligible.
Because CTV ads are hard to skip, they have a 97% completion rate, with 30-second ads representing 69% of the total, up 20% from the fourth quarter, which 30-second ads became the most common length, supplanting 15-second spots.
Extreme Reach expects that 60-second spots will become more prominent going forward. At this point, 60s represent 3% of all ads, up five-fold from a year ago. The company adds that two-minute ads showed up in its survey for the first time in the first quarter at 0.1% and that it expects those to grow as well given the captive nature of the CTV audience.
During the first quarter Extreme Reach found that nearly all of the CTV ads came from premium publishers and were sold directly to agencies and advertisers who are looking to capitalize on the ability to target and measure their audiences.
“The digital advertising ecosystem is undergoing a total disruption which is driven by the growth of non-linear TV formats. The upside is significant for nearly everyone,” said Mary Vestewig, senior director, video account management at Extreme Reach. “Publishers are able to maximize the value of their inventory which will bring the revenue needed to create more high-quality programming. Meanwhile, audiences have an unprecedented selection of entertainment options and with new capabilities for targeting they should get more personalized and relevant advertising.”
Ultra Familia, a leading provider of family-friendly HD Spanish-language entertainment for kids and tweens, is pleased to announce the network premiere of the wildly popular buddy comedy, Sabuesos, a delightful series about an aspiring detective and his unusually gifted, wise-cracking Jack Russel Terrier, Max.
West Palm Beach, FL – July 01, 2019 – Ultra Familia, a leading provider of family-friendly HD Spanish-language entertainment for kids and tweens, is pleased to announce the network premiere of the wildly popular buddy comedy, Sabuesos, a delightful series about an aspiring detective and his unusually gifted, wise-cracking Jack Russel Terrier, Max.
Starting July 01, Sabuesos will air on Olympusat’s Ultra Familia network Monday to Friday at 4:45 p.m. EST. Sabuesos is feel-good entertainment with plot twists and turns for the entire family. It is at once a crime story, comedy and love triangle all rolled into one. Sabuesos is produced by the Spanish broadcasting company RTVE. All 101 episodes will be 60 minutes in duration.
A lifelong love affair with crime dramas and movies inspires Alberto to become a police officer but he is rejected by the police academy. Undeterred, he dreams of getting his private detective license while working as a shopping mall security guard. But before being fired from his job, Alberto accidently crosses paths with Max, a super-intelligent dog with a peculiar set of skills, who escapes from his villainous owners who have been performing genetic experiments on him so he can spy—and talk!
After Alberto’s brother Salva mysteriously disappears, he and Max move in with his sister-in-law Marta (his former childhood sweetheart before Salva swept her off her feet and married her) and her two children and eventually forms his detective agency, Sabuesos. As if that weren’t enough, rookie cop Paula’s romance with Alberto continues to heat up. Meanwhile, Max’s former criminal owners are hot on his heels to get him back into their fold before he can reveal a secret that threatens to bring down their nefarious organization for good.
Ultra Familia is owned and operated by Olympusat, Inc., and is currently available on Charter Spectrum, Liberty, Hotwire Communications and VEMOX™.
Senior Director of News
And more from Promo Mojo, our exclusive weekly ranking of the programming networks are promoting most heavily
B&C has partnered with TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv to bring you a weekly chart we call Promo Mojo: exclusive data showing the top five TV promos ranked by ad impressions. These are the shows networks have been promoting most heavily to drive tune-in (our data covers the seven-day period through June 23).
On the strength of 238.6 million TV ad impressions, Food Network’s promo for Chopped Junior takes first place, rising from fourth last time.
HGTV’s Christina on the Coast also moves up — to third from fifth — while the rest of our chart is all new: MTV hypes The Hills: New Beginnings at No. 2, ABC promotes Highwire Live in Times Square With Nik Wallenda at No. 4 and BET closes out the ranking with its promo for the 2019 BET Awards.
Notably, Chopped Junior earns the highest iSpot Attention Index (128) in our ranking, getting 28% fewer interruptions than the average promo (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV).
GCVN brings two-way, high bandwidth, IP-over-satellite connectivity to the enterprise market
Globecast, the global solutions provider for media, has announced Globecast Virtual Networking (GCVN), a new service offering that brings two-way, high bandwidth, IP-over-satellite connectivity to the enterprise market. It provides fast, reliable IP connectivity anywhere and anytime where terrestrial networks fail or are inconsistent.
With GCVN, media event producers and content creators in the B2B space can easily deliver streaming, file transfers, Wi-Fi, 4K, 8K and 360-degree live content using native IP-based satellite transmission from remote locations via a premium quality, guaranteed high-bandwidth solution. It’s ideal for corporate productions, events with high attendance where cell service bandwidth is scarce, and many situations where Internet connectivity is uncertain.
In addition, GCVN is deployable for disaster recovery/disaster avoidance. It’s useful for when a potential customer needs to quickly deploy additional IP connectivity or augment a network with additional bandwidth to avoid any issues, without having to spend the time and money to change their full-time configuration. There is a growing need for temporary, premium quality, two-way IP networks for special projects. The global service is initially available in the US, via connectivity with Globecast’s Culver City Media Center.
“We’ve developed Globecast Virtual Networking in direct response to the market demand for fast, reliable IP connectivity at any location. GCVN is perfect for corporate productions, music festivals and movie sets and events with high attendance where cell service bandwidth is scarce, or where Internet connectivity is uncertain,” explained Tim Jackson, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing the Americas at Globecast. “GCVN is a logical enhancement to our traditional distribution, contribution and media management services that utilize the satellite, fiber, cloud and infrastructure capabilities Globecast has provided for decades. The service comes with the same customer service and quality focus that we provide with all our offerings.”
GCVN was born out of Globecast’s relationship with Santa Barbara-based CBTV, which provides news/event remote connectivity via satellite, specializing in Internet protocol networked transmissions. The two companies began working together in 2018 when CBTV started supplying RF/modem modulation, IP switching, and routing equipment to connect customers using the platform to Globecast’s Culver City Media Center.
Jackson said, “From there, we took that offering and extended it, creating GCVN, a fully integrated service offering. It’s another example of how we are uniquely positioned to offer secure and reliable data delivery in what is a rapidly evolving market.”
Award show to appear live Aug. 26
Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco was named host of MTV’s Video Music Awards.
The VMAs will appear live on Aug. 26 from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The announcement was made Tuesday on The Tonight Show.
Maniscalco has a comedy special on Netflix and his book Stay Hungry was a best seller. He’s also appeared in movies including Green Book and the upcoming The Irishman.
“We’re thrilled to have the incredibly talented Sebastian Maniscalco as this year’s VMA host,” said Bruce Gillmer, MTV VMAs’ executive producer, global head of music and talent, Viacom and co-brand head, MTV International. “Sebastian is on fire right now and his comedic spin on relatable topics will make this year’s show truly unforgettable.”
This year’s VMAs are sponsored by Extra Refreshers, Pepsi, Taco Bell and Toyota Corolla.
Say they are concerned about increasing the audience for 'partisan political messages'
A trio of Democratic Senators/presidential candidates has asked both the FCC and Justice Department to take a hard look at Sinclair's purchase of Disney's (formerly Fox's) 21 regional sports networks (RSNs), saying they are worried both about Sinclair combining the RSNs with its TV stations to raise the price of carriage for the latter, and about the "danger" of Sinclair's "partisan political" programming getting a wider audience.
That came in a letter to both DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with the Dems.
While the deal does not involve any FCC licenses, so doesn't have to be vetted by the FCC, the Department of Justice reviews deals of such magnitude for antitrust issues.
"Given Sinclair's history of attempting to skirt FCC rules, its current dominance over local
television broadcasting, and its power in sports broadcasting, the recently announced acquisition of the Fox RSNs raise significant questions about the effects the deal is likely to have on consumers," they wrote.
They want answers to the following questions by July 8:
- "Have Sinclair Broadcast Corp. and/or the Walt Disney Company filed applications seeking your Department's consent to transfer control of Disney's 21 Regional Sports Networks and Fox College Sports to Sinclair? If so, when did they file these applications?"
- "Does your Department plan to issue a Public Notice that the application has been
- accepted for filing? Does your Department plan to issue a Public Notice setting aschedule for the public to submit comments on the application?"
The Free State Foundation, a free market think tank, said neither the FCC nor Justice has any business judging whether Sinclair's programming is partisan or conservative.
"For either agency to do what the Senators ask is inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and freedom of the press. The Senators know better — or surely should if they wish to run for president," said Free State President Randolph May. "Aside from whether their characterizations of Sinclair’s programming are even accurate, their purpose, an improper one, is to use government power to influence Sinclair’s editorial discretion."
Would repurpose 3450 MHz–3550 MHz band
A bipartisan, bicameral quartet of senate leaders has introduced the Supplementing the Pipeline for Efficient Control of The Resources for Users Making New Opportunities for Wireless (SPECTRUM NOW) Act to accelerate the repurposing of spectrum for 5G, specifically by freeing up more midband spectrum.
Teaming up on the omnibus bill are Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Commerce Committee; Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the Commerce Committee; Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), vice chair of the Communications Subcommittee; and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.).
The bill does not force government users to be more efficient spectrum users, but "creates a pathway for agencies to modify their operations on federally held spectrum to make those frequencies available for commercial wireless broadband use."
The 2015 Spectrum Pipeline Act increased what can be supported by the Spectrum Relocation Fund (SRF), but still limits what can be accessed for research. The new bill allows agencies to tap into SRF funds to study increasing spectrum efficiency so it can be freed up for commercial use.
The bill highlights, according to the legislators, are that it:
- "Improves Federal agencies’ ability to study making spectrum available for commercial wireless use.
- "Requires a plan be submitted to repurpose the 3450 MHz–3550 MHz band for commercial wireless use. This band is adjacent to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band, which is expected to be auctioned next year.
- "Creates a timeline for formal identification and auction of the 3450 MHz–3550 MHz band, provided the study required by the SPECTRUM NOW Act determines it can be made available for commercial use.
- "Requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to consult with the Federal Communications Commission and the relevant federal agency on whether spectrum subject to a plan could be made available on an unlicensed basis, if a study reveals it could not be made available for auction on a licensed basis.
- "Updates an annual report by NTIA on the implementation of relocation or sharing arrangements of federal spectrum."
“NCTA welcomes the bipartisan, bicameral introduction of SPECTRUM NOW by Senators Wicker and Schatz and Representatives Matsui and Guthrie," said NCTA-The Internet & Television Association. "Importantly, the bill sets up a process to consider unlicensed sharing in specific federal spectrum bands that cannot be auctioned. NCTA applauds this approach, which could help ensure that our nation’s spectrum resources are put to their highest and best use.”
Senators from both parties point to reports of questionable online conduct
It was kind of like an episode of "Algorithms Gone Wild" on Capitol Hill Tuesday (June 25).
The Senate Commerce Communications Subcommittee took a long look at the use of persuasive technologies on internet platforms that optimize engagement--AI, algorithms, web design--and whether mandating algorithmic transparency is a policy option. YouTube was cited by both sides for conduct they suggested was unbecoming a consumer-friendly platform.
That hearing was followed by a briefing on "dark patterns," which are ways edge providers get their users to make choices they might not ordinarily make as a way to keep them on a site, collecting data or money or both.
Keeping users engaged--on a site longer so they can be marketed to directly or their data harvested for use later--is how edge provider giants make their billions.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the subcommittee, took aim at Google-owned YouTube early in the June 25 hearing, citing a Bloomberg report that the social media platform had been chasing such engagement for years while ignoring calls from its own employees to address "toxic video" like vaccination conspiracies and "disturbing content" aimed at children.
He also cited a New York Times story about YouTube automatically recommending video of children playing in a pool to people who had viewed sexually themed content. He called that "truly troubling" and a consequence of using algorithms and AI to optimize engagement.
He also invoked Facebook filter bubbles as a possible contributor to political polarization because it allows users to remain in their own comfort zones and echo chambers.
Thune said Congress has a role in ensuring those companies keep consumers at the forefront as they innovate.
Thune said there should be a degree of personal responsibility when users take advantage of supposedly free services, platforms have a responsibility to be transparent about "how the contact we see is being filtered.
Thune said users should not be subject to manipulation by opaque algorithms.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the full committee, took aim at YouTube as well, citing it as one of those sites trying to keep users engaged in a stream of increasingly inflammatory content "pushed out with very little transparency of oversight by humans." He suggested that would need to change. Schatz cited a Wall Street Journal article that found YouTube's recommendation engine often recommended conspiracy theories, misleading videos and partisan viewpoints, even when users weren't seeking that content out.
Also pointing to the online distribution of the Christ Church, N.Z., mass shooting and the viral video of a slowed down to appear drunk House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying: "Something is really wrong here."
He said he thought the problem was that Silicon Valley has the premise that society would be better, more efficient, smarter and more "frictionless" if "we would just eliminate steps that include human judgment."
But he said if YouTube, Facebook or Twitter employees were making the recommendations, he questions whether they would have recommended those "awful videos."
He said he wasn't saying all decisions should be made by humans, but that Silicon Valley was letting "algorithms run wild" and only using their humans to "clean up the mess."
Aughts-era comedy is one of the SVOD service's most-watched shows
“The Office has become a staple of pop-culture and is a rare gem whose relevance continues to grow at a time when fans have more entertainment choices than ever before,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, in a statement. “We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
NBCU’s multi-year, $100 million deal with Netflix to license the show expires at the end of 2020. NBCU plans to launch a new OTT platform next year, as well.
The Office accounted for 52 million viewing minutes on Netflix in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Netflix responded with this tweet:
The decision comes as NBCU, Disney and WarnerMedia pull back popular shows from Netflix, which has grown its market capitalization to more than $157 billion over the last decade largely on the backs of hit Hollywood content.
Disney said that it will take a $150 million first-year hit by holding back content from the major SVOD services as it launches Disney+.
In December, AT&T’s WarnerMedia agreed to take $100 million to keep another former NBC primetime comedy staple, Friends, on Netflix through 2019. But it’s widely expected that Friends will depart the SVOD giant soon, as well.
Facing competition from the Women's World Cup, the Stanley Cup and the NBA championships, many syndies drop in week ended June 16
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup ran over virtually everything in syndication in the week ended June 16, causing many shows to drop to season and series lows.
CBS Television Distribution’s Hot Bench was the sole gainer in first-run syndication, adding 5% to a 2.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and ranking as the third-highest daytime strip behind only CTD’s court leader Judge Judy and talk leader Dr. Phil.
Everything else in first-run syndication was flat to down with several series hitting new season and series lows as the soccer tournament caused massive preemptions on Fox stations on four out of five days and created stronger than usual competition. The World Cup, along with games five and six of the NBA championships between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, and game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues.
In addition, shows were bumped in top market New York on June 10 for news coverage of a fatal helicopter crash in Manhattan.
Against this backdrop of heavy preemptions, many shows -- including Hot Bench -- were partially or completely in reruns.
In access, the spotlight was on the first full week without trivia savant James Holzhauer, leaving CTD’s Jeopardy! with no answer for Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which returned to the top of the game pack. Feud held steady at a 6.1, elbowing aside Jeopardy!, which dropped 15% to a 5.8. That marked the first time Jeopardy! has been out of the game lead since the week of March 31.
Jeopardy!’s weekly ratings with Holzhauer peaked in the week ended May 5 at a 14-year high weekly household ratings average of 8.3, although the individual day rating for the superstar contestant’s stunning defeat on June 3 was a stratospheric 9.0.
Rounding out the game show category, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 9% to a new season-low 5.2. Further back, Disney’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which will end its 17-year run after this season, remained at its season-low 1.5 for a third consecutive week. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was flat at a 0.5 for the 14th straight week.
Meanwhile, Disney’s viral video show RightThisMinute moved down 8% to a 1.1.
Magazines were mostly on par with the prior week against the strong sports competition. CTD’s Inside Edition eased 4% to a 2.6, matching its season low. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight came right behind at an unchanged 2.5. NBCU’s Access held its ground at a 1.1, to take third place, breaking a tie with Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which tumbled 25% to a new series-low 0.9 due to preemptions across the Fox stations for World Cup coverage. Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s DailyMailTV both delivered a steady 0.9, tying TMZ for fourth place.
Twentieth’s Page Six TV, which lost key time periods due to RuPaul’s three-week talk tryout, slipped 17% to a new series-low 0.5. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page was unchanged at a 0.2.
Speaking of RuPaul, the second full week of the daily test talker averaged a 0.5 rating/1 share weighted metered market rating in households, down 17% from its lead-in and even with its year-ago time periods. Among women 25-54, the second week averaged a 0.2/1, off 33% from both lead-ins and June 2018 time periods.
Back in national households, none of the talkers improved on the week. Phil aired repeats on all five days and slipped 4% to a 2.3, but still managed to lead the group for a 145th straight week with five ties. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 0.9.
Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan receded 5% to a new season-low 2.0, but still ranked as talk’s second-highest rated show for the 16th straight week.
Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 5%, even with a week of all originals, to a 1.8. NBCU’s Maury stayed at its season-low 1.2 for the second week in a row. Also airing encore episodes for part of the week was NBC’s Steve, which is nearing the end of its run. The talker starring Steve Harvey gave back 9% to fall to a new season-low 1.0.
NBCU’s Steve Wilkos sagged 10% to a new season-low 0.9, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which held steady.
Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz descended 11% to a new series-low 0.8, tying reruns of Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which were retitled as Wendy Williams World Cup, and slumped 20%. Retitling the show means the week’s average won’t count in its overall season ratings average.
Warner Bros.’ The Real registered a series-low 0.5 for a second straight week, tying CTD’s The Doctors, which remained at its series low for a fifth straight week. Disney’s Pickler & Ben stayed at a 0.4 for the 21st consecutive week, tying NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer, the syndication run of which held steady for the 40th week in a row.
Among the rookies, CTD’s soon-to-conclude Face the Truth fell 14% to a new season-low 0.6, while Debmar-Mercury’s freshman court show Caught in Providence lost 20% to a new season-low 0.4.
Judge Judy was heavily preempted and slipped 17% to a new season-low 5.4. Following the aforementioned Hot Bench, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court sank 20% to a new season-low 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis eroded 11% to a new series-low 0.8. Twentieth’s Divorce Court dropped 17% to a new series-low 0.5.
NBCU’s Dateline backtracked 8% to a 1.2 but led the field for a 40th straight week. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol skidded 11% to a new season-high 0.8. Off-Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files was unchanged at a 0.3.
Syndication’s lone off-net scripted strip, NBCU’s Chicago PD, posted a steady 0.9.
Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory dipped 2% to a 4.0 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing slid 5% to a 2.1, while its Modern Family was flat at a 1.7. SPT’s The Goldbergs stayed at a 1.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy stood pat at a 1.3 for the fifth straight week. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men dropped 8% to a new series-low 1.2. Disney’s Black-ish broke even at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly softened 9% to a 1.0. SPT’s Seinfeld retreated 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which weakened 10%, and Warner Bros.’ Mom, which held steady for an eighth straight week.
Interview show will feature David Spade, Tig Notaro
Comedy Central will debut comedic interview series Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik Sep.r 6. Over the course of six episodes, Jeselnik will interview David Spade, Kristen Schaal, Kumail Nanjiani, Natasha Leggero, Nick Kroll and Tig Notaro.
Good Talk will be in the 11 p.m. slot.
“Jeselnik switches gears from his signature acerbic style for tongue-in-cheek interviews with his fellow comedians about their careers, influences and what it’s like to live in his massive shadow,” said Comedy Central.
The show also features standup and “unconventional” studio segments, said Comedy Central.
Comedian Jeselnik has a multiplatform development deal with Comedy Central. The Jeselnik and Rosenthal Vanity Project podcast began in fall 2018. The Jeselnik Offensive debuted in 2013 and ran for two seasons.
Christie Smith and Meaghan Rady are executive producers of Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik, with Rady the showrunner. Anne Harris, Tara Schuster and Jackie Sosa are executives in charge of the series for Comedy Central.
Foreign nationals couldn't buy broadcast, cable, satellite, digital political ads
A pair of powerful senators have introduced the Preventing Adversaries Internationally from Disbursing Advertising Dollars (PAID AD) Act.
The bill, backed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), ranking member of the committee overseeing elections, and Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, would amend federal election law to "prevent foreign nationals from purchasing broadcast, cable, satellite, or digital communications naming a candidate for office at any point in time, and prevents foreign governments and foreign lobbyists from buying issue ads."
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) already prohibits a foreign national from buying electioneering communications, the senators conceded, but they said the definition of “electioneering” is too lose and creates a loophole — one their bill would close.
Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) have introduced companion legislation in the House.
“Russia’s massive and unprecedented interference in our last presidential election revealed a number of vulnerabilities in our election system,” Warner said. “And now that the Kremlin’s playbook is out in the open, we can expect more of the same in 2020, from Russia or elsewhere. We need to get serious about protecting our elections from foreign interference. This bill is just one common-sense measure we should adopt to strengthen our democracy against foreign intervention.”
Platform enables talk show to interview sports personalities remotely, efficiently
Video Call Center, the technology company founded by television veteran and former Sanford Bernstein media analyst Tom Wolzien, said it has reached a deal with MSG Networks to support the regional sports network’s newest weeknight sports talk show, The MSG 150.
The MSG 150 airs Monday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and features conversations around the latest New York sports news and national sports stories. With the VCC, the program’s anchors can interview coaches, athletes, television personalities and more regardless of their location. Guests only need a smartphone with standard mobile data or WiFi connection to appear on camera.
“The VCC has added tremendous depth and variety to our show and the opportunity to present our viewers with nightly commentary from the most relevant voices in sports,” MSG Network senior vice president of network and technical operations Jerry Passaro said in a press release. “The lag-free interaction with the innovative platform has made it feel as if the guests are right there in studio with our hosts and continues to provide our production team with incredible flexibility each night.”
The MSG 150 has had about 70 guest conversations enabled by the VCC during the first month of the show, including New York Knicks legend and MSG Networks broadcaster Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Mike Breen, Ken Daneyko, Jim Furyk, Mariano Riviera and New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.
“What The MSG 150 is delivering with the VCC is the very best of what is possible in sports television,” said VCC CEO Larry Thaler in a press release. “The VCC has in effect provided MSG Networks with the power of global reach so that they can share the most recognizable faces in sports with their passionate audience. This is a tremendous advantage when local teams are traveling or leagues are in their off-seasons and sports figures have returned to homes around the world.”
Trade org hopes ‘NYT’ columnist adds a little star power in New Orleans this fall
Looking to add a little star power to its speaking lineup at the Cable-Tec Expo this fall, SCTE•ISBE has announced the booking of tech author and TV host David Pogue.
The longtime New York Times columnist, and an Emmy winner for his tech correspondent work on CBS Sunday Morning, Pogue will speak at the event’s Annual Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The 2019 Cable-Tec Expo is slated for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. It’s the last stop in the Big Easy for Cable-Tec Expo before it embarks on a 10-year rotation that will include multiple engagements in Denver and Atlanta, as well as stops in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
With the NCTA’s shelving of the The Cable Show (aka INTX) in 2016, Cable-Tec Expo has emerged as the cable industry’s marquee conference event. And with the wireless industry’s marketing push behind 5G broadband, Cable-Tec Expo will certainly be a key asset in the cable industry’s quest to brand its own next-generation broadband technologies (aka “10G”).
“With his unique blend of subject matter expertise and personality, David Pogue has guided consumers through one of the most transformational technology periods in history,” said Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE•ISBE. “As our industry accelerates toward the goal of 10G services, we all can benefit greatly from David’s insights into technology disruption and the benefits for our customers.”
‘Grand Hotel’ loses a bit from its premiere on ABC
The Bachelorette scored a flat 1.5 and Grand Hotel fell 14% from its premiere to 0.6.
NBC had American Ninja Warrior at 0.9 and Dateline NBC at 0.7, both level with last week.
Fox had Beat Shazam at 0.6 and So You Think You Can Dance got a 0.5, both shows flat.
Telemundo had Betty en NY at 0.5 and La Reina del Sur at 0.6, both flat with last week.
CBS had repeats throughout prime.
The CW got a 0.2/1. Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway? both rated a 0.2. Penn & Teller was down a tenth and Whose Line was flat.
BURBANK, Calif. — June 25, 2019 — Reflecting its continued growth in North America, Riedel Communications today announced the appointment of Daniel Bakies as Project Manager for the company's U.S. system consulting team. In this newly created position, Bakies will work to ensure the smooth rollout of large-scale, multifaceted projects based on Riedel's line of real-time video, audio, data, and communications networks. Bakies reports to Rick Seegull, Manager, System Consulting, for Riedel North America.
Prior to joining Riedel, Bakies served as Production Operations and Systems Engineer for Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, where he was responsible for the design, installation, and implementation of all of the university's production systems. Other previous positions include Project Manager for McNally Enterprises, where he served as an on-site project leader for numerous high-profile events; Weekend Experience Director for Yucaipa Christian Church; and Technical Director for Christ's Church of the Valley, where he managed production of weekend worship services for up to 8,500 church members as well as special events for up to 12,000 attendees. Bakies has completed coursework in computer science and networking at Azusa Pacific University, and he also studied website design and multimedia authoring at Naugatuck Valley Community College.
"Dan is a great choice for this important new role. First of all, he brings a strong background in our MediorNet real-time network and Artist digital matrix intercom platform through his time as at Azusa Pacific University," said Seegull. "His production background for large churches is another big plus, since houses of worship represent a large and growing market for Riedel in North America. Dan's energy, project management expertise, and technology know-how will be big assets as we take on large, high-visibility events and other projects leveraging our award-winning technologies."
Further information about Riedel and the company's products is available at www.riedel.net.
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About Riedel Communications
Riedel Communications designs, manufactures, and distributes pioneering real-time video, audio, data, and communications networks for broadcast, pro audio, event, sports, theater, and security applications. Riedel is locally headquartered in Burbank, CA with its global headquarters in Wuppertal, Germany. Riedel employs over 600 people in 20 locations throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Riedel/190625Riedel.docx
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Riedel/Riedel-Dan_Bakies.jpg
Photo Caption: Riedel has appointed Daniel Bakies as project manager for the company's U.S. system consulting team.
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‘Law & Order: SVU’ Mondays, ‘Chicago P.D.’ Tuesdays, ‘Law & Order: CI’ Fridays
MyNetworkTV has shared its 2019-2020 schedule, with Law & Order: SVU shifting to Mondays and Law & Order: CI moving to Thursdays. The season begins Sept. 23 and the MyNet lineup occupies 8 to 10 p.m. on the schedule. Each night features a double run of a series.
The Good Wife appears on the MyNet schedule this year, but will not next year.
Mondays feature a double run of Law & Order: SVU. Tuesdays are Chicago P.D. and Wednesdays offer Dateline. Thursdays have Law & Order: CI and Fridays show CSI: Miami.
Dick Wolf created the Law & Order franchise, and the Chicago shows as well.
Fox owns MyNetworkTV.
“As MyNet continues to provide recognizable, big budget programs to affiliates, we’re happy to be bringing back Law & Order: SVU – the highest rated MyNet drama ever,” said Frank Cicha, executive VP of programming for Fox Television Stations. “Thanks to our partners at NBC and CBS for working with us on next year’s schedule.”
Emmy Award-Winning Innovator Hires Solutions Architect, Product Strategy Architect
Waterloo, ON, Canada, June 25, 2019 – SSIMWAVE®, an innovator in the science of perceptual video quality measurement, today announced the hiring of Dr. Kalyan Goswami and Waqas Malik to help drive the continued development of the SSIMPLUS™ quality of experience system.
Goswami, who joins SSIMWAVE as Solutions Architect, will work across SSIMWAVE’s research, product and sales teams, spearheading design of breakthrough video quality assessment algorithms and ensuring alignment between product direction and customer needs. Malik joins as Product Strategy Architect and will work to optimize the ability of SSIMWAVE’s SSIMPLUS™ system to address customer pain points across live, VOD and cDVR delivery chains (end-to-end) in an effective manner.
“Akamai’s recent ‘What Does Good Look Like?’ white paper clearly spells out the importance SSIMWAVE plays in driving video quality, viewer satisfaction and subscriber retention,” said Dr. Abdul Rehman, CEO of SSIMWAVE. “Our ongoing investment in new talent fortifies the ability of SSIMPLUS and our Subscriber Score™ to deliver metrics and insights that can make video better and improve our customers’ bottom lines.”
In his previous position with MulticoreWare, Dr. Goswami headed an engineering team whose mission it was to improve the performance and quality of the company’s x265 codec product. Prior to MulticoreWare, he conducted post-doctoral research in the areas of Video Quality Assessment and Video Quality Enhancement for the Broadcasting and Media Research Laboratory of the Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute in South Korea. He also has served as a research consultant for the Indian Institute of Technology’s (IIT Kgp) Advanced VLSI Design Laboratory. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Sunmoon University in South Korea, where his thesis was “Fast HEVC Encoder Design Using MCMC Algorithm and Bayesian Classifier.”
Malik most recently was with Rogers Communications, where he served as an OSS Technical Expert and as an architect of Network Diagnostic Tools for IPTV and legacy platforms. Among his responsibilities was the design of monitoring system and network surveillance solutions for both wireless and wireline. This included the orchestration, deployment and integration of probes and diagnostic tools within the service delivery chain. He holds a Master of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Says FCC should declare it out of bounds
ACA Connects says Gray Television's contractual prohibition on granting carriage of a TV station to MVPD C Spire Fiber makes a mockery of the FCC's good faith retransmission consent negotiations and market modification process.
Earlier this month, Telepak Networks, Inc. (C Spire Fiber) filed the complaint alleging lack of good faith bargaining, and asked for a declaratory ruling that when the FCC modifies a market to add communities served by a significantly viewed station, that that station's digital streams are also considered to be in that market for the purposes of retrans negotiations.
In 2018, CBS lined up Raycom's (now Gray's) WLOX Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss., to air the CBS network programming on its digital subchannel since Biloxi lacked a CBS affiliate.
According to C Spire Fiber, WLOX is significantly viewed in Diamondhead, Miss., was deemed such by the FCC in response to a market modification petition, but that Gray, at CBS' insistence, won't negotiate for carriage of that CBS subchannel unless C Spire also carries WWL the designated in-market New Orleans CBS affiliate, which is owned by Tegna.
C Spire said that while Gray did discuss the situation, CBS essentially required it to condition the subchannel on WWL carriage pursuant to terms of its network affiliation agreement, which C Spire suggests is trumped by the good faith bargaining requirement.
A CBS source confirmed that there was language in the contract that allowed Gray to negotiate carriage of WLOX and the subchannel, but only if C Spire also carried WWL, which the source said was standard language in its affiliation contracts to protect the in-market station in retrans disputes.
"Gray, in other words, has essentially contracted away the station’s ability to negotiate (or have another negotiate on its behalf) in good faith as required by the Commission’s rules," said ACA Connnects. "This makes a mockery of the market-modification process that Congress promulgated to promote the availability of local, in-state news. And it violates the good-faith negotiation rules, which do not permit networks to preclude the negotiation of retransmission consent in their affiliates’ own markets—regardless of what other role networks may legitimately play in retransmission consent negotiations."
ACA says Gray is violating the FCC's good faith bargaining requirement, but if there is any ambiguity, it wants the FCC to clear it up and declare "that a broadcaster must negotiate retransmission consent with an in-market MVPD regardless of any restrictions in its network-affiliation agreement."
Deal gives linear TV buyers access to more cross-screen video
The deal gives linear TV buyers the ability to buy video ads across all screens and streams, including connected TV, in content from more than 600 publishers, without interrupting their familiar workflow.
“We’re always looking for new ways to match advertisers with the wide variety of premium video inventory on our platform, and Mediaocean’s technology makes it possible for us to execute our goals,” said Kyle Benn, VP of mid-market, demand facilitation at SpotX. “We’re excited to launch this partnership and look forward to watching how our integration brings more efficiency to the way media buyers and owners do business.”
SpotX is available through Mediaocean’s Connect Partners Platform via the Spectra OX, Spectra DS local systems and Prisma.
“Our vision for television and digital convergence takes shape through partnerships with leaders in premium video supply like SpotX who provides our clients with the deepest and broadest premium video supply," said Ramsey McGrory, CRO, Mediaocean. "We’re thrilled to enable our local TV buyers with the depth of brand-safe video supply that is made available through the experts in video at SpotX.”
All transactions made on the Mediaocean platform will be reviewed by SpotX’s in-house brand safety team for trustworthiness and transparency.
HUDSON, MA (June 24, 2019) – Facilis, a leading international supplier of cost-effective, high performance shared storage solutions for collaborative media production networks announced today that Bethel Media has chosen Facilis shared storage to support the demanding content creation workflows supporting the church’s outreach through video, web, retail and production of its on-demand streaming service.
Based in Redding, California, Bethel Church is a non-denominational church with a congregation of over 11,000 people. As an organization, Bethel Media evolved from a substantial crew of videographers and supporting staff hired to capture Sunday services and additional outside content. As video content continued to grow and became a substantial part of the ministry, a decision was made to bring resources “in house” to create a dedicated production and post production group focusing on Bethel’s events, weekend services and project-based content.
For many years, as the production team captured weekend services and other events, all media was stored on stand-alone hard drives and various NAS units. At one point, Bethel invested in Quantum storage. They were happy with the speed and reliability, but it wasn’t ideal. “The Quantum storage was more rigid and less flexible with regards to control and permissions,” said Jake Watkins, Video Editor at Bethel Media. “It also required Fibre Channel connections for everyone. We started looking for new solutions that could serve all of our editors and stakeholders in different departments. Wanted central storage that could be accessed by different teams over different types of connections, wherever they might be.”
The search for solutions took the team to NAB in Las Vegas where they discovered Facilis. “What really impressed me was the flexibility of Facilis – we didn’t need everyone on Fibre and didn’t need everyone connected at 16Gig,” said Darrell Hill, Bethel Media Network Administrator. “With the Facilis system, we could also use ethernet and even have someone on a low-bandwidth Wi-Fi connection browsing media. This gave us much more flexibility for collaboration within the whole company. Now we can have producers on the system as well as our editors with everyone being managed at an appropriate level of connection and privileges.”
Bethel has had a long relationship with reseller and integrator Key Code Media, having previously relied on their advice for installation and workflows of production and post production equipment. Keycode’s enterprise account manager, Shane Scarbrough, walked the Bethel team through the options, and they took delivery of their Facilis system in mid-December—a 256TB Hub Stack with dual 24EX servers. “We purposefully bought two raid chassis which can hold up to 32 drives, but we’ve only populated 16 drives in each for a total of 256 TB currently,” said Watkins. “It’s good to know we have room to grow.”
Another feature that impressed the Bethel team was the ability and willingness by Facilis staff to integrate their older Quantum storage into the Facilis Shared File system. “We didn’t want to trash our older drive arrays as they still had value,” said Hill. “Facilis was able integrate this storage into the Facilis Shared File system and make it accessible to the clients alongside the new storage. This capability really cemented our decision to go with Facilis.”
Bethel Media shoots a wide range of content at differing resolutions depending on the event. Weekend services are shot on BMD URSA Mini Pro cameras and most of the content is shot at HD using the Apple ProRes 422 or HQ codec. Increasingly, more 4K work is being done, and whenever they shoot a music video, it’s done at 4K using Pro Res XQ. The team cuts with Adobe Premiere Pro and does some finishing with BMD Resolve. All audio post is done with Avid ProTools.
New Contracts, Feature Films and Big Events
- Bethel Media recently signed a contract with TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) to provide sermons and music worship content from its library of archived services. Bethel Music and Worship U content is also being supplied to TBN. The Facilis system is being used to handle all of the editing and packaging of the content bound for TBN.
- The Bethel Music and Bethel Media team have also produced a movie called Bright Ones, their second project geared for youth audiences.
- Bethel Music recently held a 3-day conference event—Heaven Come 2019—in Los Angeles at the at the L.A. Live Microsoft Theater. The Bethel Music production crew filmed the entire event with Red cameras at 4K. All content derived from the event has been stored on the Facilis system for editing.
“We typically have between 12-15 clients connected to the Facilis with both Bethel Media and Bethel Music using different workflows,” said Watkins. “Bethel Music’s creative team, only worked with local hard drives on their video editing systems for a long time, so working in a shared storage network is a new concept for their team which they’re very excited about. Bethel Music recently toured a new album and the creative team captured multiple performances on the road. They love having everything available online to pull from.”
In addition to Facilis shared storage, the Bethel team uses CatDV for media asset management and StorageDNA for LTO archive. “Bethel is most known for our worship music and teachings by our pastors. Bethel Media’s focus is all about getting the highest quality content out to the world as quickly as possible, and these tools are an essential part of our weekly workflow,” says Hill. “So far, the Facilis system can handle any challenge we throw at it.”
Kent, UK, 25 June 2019 – Densitron, a creator of HMI technologies and a global leader in display, monitor, and embedded computing solutions, today introduced the UReady 2U Full Surface Rack Display, a new 2RU TFT display designed for signal and picture monitoring and as a control system with multitouch projected capacitive touch (PCT) for a wide range of applications including broadcast, AV, electronics and others.
With a 16.3” horizontal, high resolution visible screen size, the 2U full surface rack display enables multiple video picture monitor and audio level displays to be viewed side by side. The PCT functionality provides the benefit of enabling the display to be interactive with a multiple range of common signal interfaces.
Densitron Global Business Development Director, Chris Goodhall, said “The introduction of the 2U full surface rack display is significant because it’s an excellent fit for a market gap. The aim is to solve the problem of low resolution in the majority of displays associated with rack-sized products. The major benefits of PCT screen durability, reliability, and image clarity are obvious, but its high resolution IPS screen and smartphone-like feel and responsiveness really set it apart.”
The functionality and visibility of many similar products are still limited by what can fit within the available space in a rack room. Most require some type of operational user interface, but those interfaces are usually basic, typically consisting of a small, low resolution display of limited functionality coupled with perhaps a few mechanical buttons and/or rotary dials.
Users today expect to be able to create enhanced user interfaces for such rack mounted devices, but until now there haven’t been suitable displays for that.
What Densitron has done is provide a smartphone-like display, the usable part of which covers the majority of the 19” rack width. This enables users to create and arrange an interface that is best suited to their business and specific application in a way that is both highly visible and far more flexible.
Goodhall added, “For example, on most existing rack mounted devices, it had not really been possible to provide a usefully visible preview of content on the device, if there even was a display.
“The 2U full surface rack display enables users to easily preview, at a high resolution, what is going out via that device. It also enables users to easily change the look and size of the GUI to suit their preferences. It includes many of the familiar multitouch and swipe functions you will find on modern-day smart phones and tablets.”
The display’s high resolution 1920 x 285 screen is thought to be unique to the broadcast industry. Importantly, its IPS technology ensures the widest possible viewing angles, which is particularly important to the broadcast market as it provides high visibility from almost any angle.
The 2U full surface rack display is available now but will make its official debut at IBC 2019 in Amsterdam from 13-17 September on Stand B41, Hall 8.
View online: www.densitron.com/about-us/news
Founded over 45 years ago, Densitron is a display expert designing and manufacturing touch based HMI (Human Machine Interface) solutions tailored to the needs of customers around the world. We collaborate with our customers to understand their particular requirements and then create bespoke products to address those. In November 2015 Densitron was acquired by Quixant plc which designs and manufactures highly optimised computing solutions and monitors principally to the global gaming industry. Together, the Company has offices in Asia, Europe and North America and experienced application engineers based worldwide, our global approach to innovation is always underpinned by a thorough local knowledge and understanding of cultural requirements. Our products can be found in a wide range of sectors including broadcast, medical, security, automotive, digital signage and gaming. More information can be found at www.densitron.com.
Network ad execs say with a new CEO, consortium poised to take advanced ads to next step
New York -- A panel of top network advertising executives said Turner’s decision to drop out of advanced ad consortium OpenAP was a “mistake,” adding that with a new CEO and an industry vet helping out with new products, the group is poised to take the next step.
Turner was one of the companies -- with Fox and Viacom -- that helped found OpenAP about a year ago. The company dropped out of the consortium in April, saying in a statement that as the company has transformed, its advanced ad strategy has evolved. Since then NBCUniversal has joined the group.
At the afternoon keynote presentation -- OpenAP 2.0 -- at the Programmatic TV Summit in New York City on Monday, NBCUniversal SVP advanced advertising products and strategy Denise Colella said with a new CEO and new products in the hopper at OpenAP, Turner may end up regretting its decision to go it alone on the advanced ad front.
“I think they made a mistake,” Colella said of Turner’s decision to leave OpenAP. “I don’t think the market needs another closed marketplace. Them being part of OAP made us much stronger.”
Fox VP audience and automated sales Dan Callahan said the consortium holds no ill will toward Turner, and wished the company well in its advanced ad endeavors.
“We will compete as we always have,” Callahan said.
But he noted that advanced advertising continues to make strides, especially on the addressable and digital sides of the business.
And new products are apparently in the pipeline.
Although he didn’t want to reveal them, Viacom VP product management and data science Amarachi Miller said that new products are expected in the data area, and anything involving the sharing and positioning of information.
"There's a lot of things in the chamber," Miller said. "We'll see where it goes."
Colella added that cross platform and addressable ad products should be a focus, adding that a lot depends on how fast the consortium is moving, what it’s team is and what the demand is.
Colella said that with actual employees dedicated to OpenAP, the work is able to progress easier and faster. And that could mean more employees will be needed.
“A lot depends on the scale of accounts,” Colella said, adding that data scientists and account managers that can handle ad trafficking would likely be needed.
Helping out in that aspect could be former Fox EVP and chief product officer advanced advertising Ed Davis, who sources said is serving as a consultant to OpenAP. Davis is a former colleague of OpenAP CEO David Levy, who was named CEO in May. Levy was formerly an EVP at Fox, overseeing its digital ad revenue and advanced ad products.
Jon Lafayette contributed to this report
Says he understands opposition may be driven by personal animosity
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) wants some answers from the Secretary of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the tensions between the FCC and National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), an arm of Commerce, over clearing spectrum in the 24 GHz band.
Commerce has registered concerns over the impact of out-of-band emissions on weather monitoring, though FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said that was based on questionable data and he is convinced 24 GHz spectrum can be freed up without threatening weather predicting by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
When pressed at a Senate FCC oversight hearing, Pai said Commerce had been blocking and undermining the FCC's efforts "at every single turn," and that that had gotten worse since former National Telecommunications & Information chief David Redl resigned.
The FCC conducted an auction of that 24 GHz spectrum earlier this year despite the pushback from Commerce.
The issue has gotten press attention, often framing it as the Trump Administration's race to 5G running roughshod over critical weather warnings at a time of unstable weather patterns sourced to climate change.
Johnson is certainly on board with the importance of winning the race to 5G, but suggests there were different issues at play in the Commerce stance.
"The completion of the 24 GHz auction earlier this month brought us one step closer to winning the race to 5G," Johnson wrote in a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. "But I was surprised to learn that at the very tail end of a 5+ year process, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), both within the Department of Commerce, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), all of a sudden raised concerns that emissions from the 24 GHz band might interfere with and adversely impact weather forecasting. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that NOAA’s claims are based on a study that is “fundamentally flawed.”
He said that he understood that a Ross senior advisor may be "placing personal animosity ahead of our country's 5G goals," a charge that has been making the rounds since the exit of former NTIA head David Redl, according to various Hill sources.
Given that the World Radiocommunications Conference is coming up in August, where harmonization of the 24GHz band use will be an issue, Johnson, who appears to have his own issues with the data, said he wants the following by July 10.
1. "Technical studies prepared by NOAA, NTIA, the Department of Commerce or outside consultants related to out of band emissions in the 24 GHz band.
2. "Correspondence, emails, memos, or data regarding 24 GHz emission levels and the impact on weather forecasting or similar issues whether in support of or counter to the FCC’s adopted levels.
3. "A written commitment:
To support the U.S. winning the race to 5G through significantly expanding commercial wireless industry access to spectrum as the President has declared; and
a. "That you have directed your staff, NTIA, and NOAA to support the U.S. position on 24 GHz and all other issues in the international WRC negotiations and all preparatory meetings and outreach.
4. "A written explanation of:
a. "Why NOAA used data from a sensor that was never built to brief members of Congress about concerns related to the 24 GHz auction;
b. "Why NOAA, NTIA, or the Department of Commerce did not raise objections to the use of the 24 GHz band when the FCC sought comment to use this band for commercial use in 2014;
c. "Why NOAA did not seek reconsideration of the FCC’s rules at the time they were adopted;
d. "Which passive sensors or passive sensor parameters NOAA, NTIA, the Department of Commerce or their outside d. consultants studied related to 24 GHz out of band emissions and why; and
e. "Why NOAA, NTIA, the Department of Commerce and/or their outside consultants decided not to move forward with the study on 24 GHz out of band emissions prepared by NOAA and previously submitted to the U.S. preparatory process for ITU Task Group 5/1.
5. "A staff briefing on or before July 12, 2019."
Will be interagency effort
Operation Call it Quits will be a joint agency effort, announced June 25 in Chicago by the director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, Andrew Smith, and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, as well as a consumer who has been "adversely affected" by telemarketing robocalls.
Both the FTC and FCC have take aim at the billions of robocalls placed annually, some of which are not unwanted--like school notifications or breach warnings--but many of which are scams or nuisance calls.
Just last month, the FTC secured summary judgment against defendants in the PointBreak Media alleged robocall scam.
Meanwhile, the FCC recently voted to clarify that carriers can block unwanted robocalls by default before they ever reach their subs.
Real-time Data Aggregation and Management Solutions Provide Fans with Crucial Data Content at One of the World's Most Prestigious esports Events
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario — June 24, 2019 — For the second year in a row, Bannister Lake has partnered with Montreal's Boombox Group to provide live data management and populate graphics for the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships 2019 Series. The June 21-22 event took place at the renowned Nürburgring Track in Germany, home of the world's most challenging 24-hour motorsports endurance race.
Bannister Lake software and expertise in live data management were used extensively throughout the event to read Google Sheets, ingest and moderate real-time social media feeds, and consolidate data for the competition's various races. The solution's data was used to drive graphics both in-venue and on the various broadcast streams.
Bannister Lake's Chameleon software has quickly become a popular data management solution for international esports events. Producers and event organizers use the product to add engaging content such as player and team profiles, event schedules, standings, and sponsorship information without taking away from the excitement of the game.
"It's great to bring Chameleon on location at the Nürburgring. The track has an illustrious history in racing, and we're thrilled to be part of the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships," said Al Savoie, Bannister Lake's technical and creative director. "Throughout the series we will be finding new and exciting ways to integrate data into the production and leverage live data content to allow producers to tell more compelling Gran Turismo stories."
The Nürburgring event featured 55 of the world's best Gran Turismo drivers from 20 countries competing in the Manufacturer Series, the Nations Cup, and GR Supra GT Cup. Winners moved on to participate in racing events that will be held in New York, Salzburg, and the finals scheduled for October in Tokyo. Chameleon will be used throughout the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships 2019 racing series to enhance editorial content and fuel new revenue opportunities for event organizers.
More information about Bannister Lake's solutions is available at www.bannisterlake.com.
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About Bannister Lake Inc.
Bannister Lake is a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for broadcast television, cable, satellite, audio/visual and information presentation applications, esports, and digital signage worldwide. The company's solutions integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructures while automating the integration and display of external data sources, improving the productivity of any organization. Visit Bannister Lake online at www.bannisterlake.com.
PR Link: www.ingearpr.com/BannisterLake/190624BannisterLake.docx
Photo Links: www.ingearpr.com/BannisterLake/BL_Gran_Turismo_Nurburger_Ring_4.jpg
Caption: For the second year, Bannister Lake partnered with Montreal's Boombox Group to provide live data management and populate graphics for the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships 2019 Series, which took place June 21-22 at the Nürburgring Track in Germany.
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‘Mayans M.C.’, ‘Mr Inbetween’, ‘American Horror Story’ start on FX in September
FX Networks has shared its fall premiere dates, with season two of Mayans M.C. starting Sept. 3, season two of Mr. Inbetween on Sept. 12, and the ninth installment of American Horror Story, called 1984, rolling Sept. 18.
Season 14 of antic comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia begins on FXX Sept 25. Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito are in the cast.
McElhenney created the show and is executive producer, along with Day, Michael Rotenberg, Nick Frenkel, Tom Lofaro, David Hornsby and Megan Ganz.
FX Productions produces It’s Always Sunny.
Providence investigative reporter trained CNN star reporter after she graduated from college
Jim Taricani, veteran investigative reporter at WJAR Providence, died June 21 at the age of 69. He retired from WJAR in 2014, after a long career of shining a light on government corruption, and on the mafia exploits in Rhode Island, which were plentiful in his career.
Taricani also mentored a young Christiane Amanpour when the CNN chief international reporter was just out of college, down I-95 a bit at the University of Rhode Island. She was an intern in the WJAR investigative unit.
“It was such an amazing experience,” Amanpour said.
Amanpour started at CNN as an assistant on the international assignment desk in 1983. She’s covered countless wars and humanitarian crises across her 36-year career. Based in London, the B&C Hall of Famer hosts global affairs show Amanpour on both CNN and PBS.
While interns typically grab coffee for reporters or take care of busy work, Amanpour said Taricani pushed her pretty much right away at WJAR. She recalls her boss wiring her up and sending her to a mafia hangout. “I was pretty scared and pretty clueless,” said Amanpour.
The young reporter did not get usable sound, but did get experience in what she calls “the scary side of journalism.”
Amanpour learned a ton in those early days of her career. “It was the first time anybody put their trust in me, their confidence in me, in the world of journalism,” she said.
Taricani spent four months under house arrest after refusing to say who gave him an undercover FBI videotape related to Operation Plunder Dome, which was an investigation into corruption that began in the late 90s.
“He wouldn’t tell them anything,” said Amanpour. “That was really, really, really important.”
Amanpour describes Taricani’s house arrest as “a crazy way to treat a journalist for doing his job.”
She credits Taricani for helping her land a job at CNN in 1983. Amanpour said she still leans on lessons learned from Taricani to this day. “Stay true to your sources, don’t bend to government pressure to reveal confidential information,” she said.
Journalism “is a poorer place with his loss,” Amanpour added.
“Jim stood up for his principles and was one of the best local investigative reporters in the country,” she said. “I was fantastically luck to end up in his unit.”
Submission Deadline July 12; Presentations to Cover Range of Media-Over-IP Topics Including Standards, Specifications, Key Building Blocks, and Use Cases
BOTHELL, Wash. — June 21, 2019 — The call for presentations is now open for the IP Showcase, an education and demonstration pavilion at IBC2019 that will highlight the benefits of, and momentum behind, a common set of IP standards for real-time professional media applications. The IP Showcase is sponsored by a consortium of industry partners including the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Society of Motion Picture and Technology Engineers® (SMPTE®), and the Video Services Forum (VSF).
The submission deadline for speaking proposals is July 12. More details and the submission form are available at http://www.ipshowcase.org/call-for-presentations-ibc2019/.
"The IP Showcase Theatre provides an exceptional opportunity for presenters to offer unique viewpoints on IP video and audio for production and playout. This year's edition will have a particular emphasis on JT-NM TR-1001-1 automation and covers the full range of standards including SMPTE ST 2110, AES67, and AMWA NMOS," said Brad Gilmer, IP Showcase executive director. "As in past years, we are expecting hundreds of IBC show attendees to benefit from the wide range of expertise on offer.
"As broadcasters increasingly adopt and expand their commitment to IP implementations, the industry has come to rely on IP Showcase presentations as a valuable ongoing industry reference for media professionals worldwide," Gilmer added. Presentations are posted and archived throughout the year at http://www.ipshowcase.org/presentations/.
The call for presentations is open to end users, industry associations, solution providers, and technology developers that can share their knowledge and perspectives on how developments in IP workflows are impacting the broadcast industry today and in the future. Presentations may take the form of tutorials (basic and advanced), case studies, panel discussions, market and business case analyses, point-of-view or advocacy, and standards progress updates. This year, the IP Showcase Theatre will also feature an expanded stage area, which provides the opportunity for presenting select hands-on technology demos.
Speaking times are limited during the five-day exhibition, and organizations are encouraged to act quickly and submit proposals early. Product marketing presentations are discouraged, as the theatre is an opportunity to discuss advances in working with media using open, IP-based technologies.
The IP Showcase returns again this year to Room E106/E107 at the RAI Amsterdam during IBC2019, Sept. 13-17.
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More information about the sponsoring organizations is available at:
Audio Engineering Society (AES): www.aes.org
Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS): www.aimsalliance.org
Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA): www.amwa.tv
European Broadcasting Union (EBU): www.ebu.ch
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®): www.smpte.org
Video Services Forum (VSF): www.videoservicesforum.org
More information about standards and open specifications is available at:
SMPTE ST 2110: https://www.smpte.org/st_2110
VSF Technical Recommendations: http://videoservicesforum.org/technical_recommendations.shtml
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/IPShowcase/190621IPShowcase.docx
WJAR reporter uncovered mafia shenanigans, government corruption
Jim Taricani, veteran investigative reporter at WJAR Providence, died June 21 at the age of 69. Taricani specialized in uncovering political corruption and shining a light on organized crime. He was at WJAR for more than 30 years, until his retirement in 2014.
WJAR, part of Sinclair, did not specify the cause of death.
Taricani joined WJAR, known as Channel 10, in 1979 as a general assignment reporter. He soon moved to the investigative unit and covered Rhode Island’s infamous mafia and its leader, Raymond Patriarca. He departed in 1995 to be press secretary for then-governor Lincoln Almond, and returned to the station two years later.
Taricani served four months in home confinement for refusing to name the source of an undercover FBI videotape in the Operation Plunder Dome case, which was an FBI investigation into corruption in the Rhode Island capital in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.
His family released the following statement: “It’s hard to describe the vast impact Jim had on our lives. His award-winning investigative reporting personified excellence in journalism. Covering organized crime and government corruption with unwavering courage for nearly four decades, Jim was fair, thorough and compassionate. He was committed to the highest professional standards. Yet he remained humble and curious, accessible to everyone regardless of their position.”
WJAR was an NBC O&O until its sale to Media General in 2006.
Taricani had received a heart transplant in 1996.
His family announced the creation of a lecture series on First Amendment Rights to be established at the University of Rhode Island by Taricani’s wife, Laurie White-Taricani. "Journalistic integrity and ethics were deeply important to Jim. Throughout his career, he was a champion of the news media’s First Amendment Rights. He knew that protecting those rights is critically important --- not only for journalists, but for all of us," said White-Taricani.
CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour was an intern at WJAR just after graduating from the University of Rhode Island. Amanpour calls Taricani a mentor. “Our profession is a poorer place with his loss,” she told B&C. “Jim stood up for his principles and was one of the best local investigative reporters in the country. I was fantastically luck to end up in his unit.”
Exec succeeds Tsujihara
AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit said it named BBC Studios Americas president Ann Sarnoff as chair and CEO of Warner Bros.
Sarnoff succeeds Kevin Tsujihara, who left after it was discovered that he’d been trying movie roles for a woman he was having an affair with.
Tsujihara is one of several top executives who have left the company after AT&T acquired Time Warner.
Sarnoff will be based in Los Angeles and will officially join the company later this summer.
“Ann’s contribution to BBC Studios has been immense,” said Tim Davie, CEO BBC Studios. “She has grown our core business as well as driving significant innovation, including the successful creation of BritBox, the growth of BBC America alongside our partner AMCN, the launch of new channels like BBC Earth in Canada, and major new content and production deals. We will miss her generosity and her spirit of collaboration, and we wish her great success at Warner Bros.”
After Tsujihara’s departure, Warner Bros. was managed by an interim team of leaders made up of Toby Emmerich, chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group; Peter Roth, president and chief content officer, Warner Bros. Television Group; and Kim Williams, executive VP & chief financial officer, Warner Bros.
Deal should help expand targeted ad capabilities
LiveRamp said it will buy measurement company Data Plus Math in a cash and stock deal valued at $150 million.
In the deal, reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal, publicly owned LiveRamp will pay $120 million in cash upfront and $30 million in stock over time for Data Plus Math. The deal is expected to help LiveRamp, which matches customer data with advertisers and brands, better help its clients target ads for its clients on streaming and traditional TV.
Data Plus Math works with brands, agencies, cable operators streaming services and networks to determine who is watching their ads and tie it to other consumer behavior data.
“While TV continues to be the most engaging screen in the household, the landscape is shifting,” LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe said in a press release. “Data and technology have transformed the relationship a brand can have with its consumer on TV, creating tremendous opportunities to improve how TV inventory is bought, sold and measured. We are excited for Data Plus Math to join the LiveRamp family and look forward to working closely with its deeply experienced team of industry experts. Together, we will accelerate LiveRamp’s TV efforts and offerings and unlock the amazing power of data-driven TV for the entire ecosystem.”
The deal is expected to close in LiveRamp’s fiscal second quarter.
“This is an exciting acquisition for LiveRamp,” said GroupM North America CEO Tim Castree in a press release. “Our clients are seeking more precise solutions for people-based, cross-platform activation and measurement. The combination of LiveRamp’s identity management capabilities and Data Plus Math’s TV attribution expertise will certainly help us accelerate that.”
Data Plus Math has had a relationship with cable programmer A+E Networks for years, and the LiveRamp deal is expected to enhance that.
“This deal will continue to help elevate the groundbreaking, foundational work that Data Plus Math and LiveRamp have already done – as neutral constituents – to bolster cross-screen measurement and outcome attribution for advertisers, agencies and media companies,” A+E Networks EVP Ad Sales Peter Olsen said in a press release.
Data Plus Math is expected to contribute approximately $5 million in revenue in fiscal 2020 and increase the combined company’s operating loss by about $8 million. In addition, LiveRamp expects the transaction to increase operating losses by approximately $27 million due to higher non-cash compensation and estimated purchased intangible asset amortization.
As a result, LiveRamp has updated its guidance for 2020 and now expects to report:
- Revenue of $363 million to $377 million, an increase of between 27% and 32% year-over-year.
- GAAP operating loss from continuing operations of between $192.5 million and $172.5 million. This guidance is subject to final purchase accounting adjustments.
- Non-GAAP operating loss of between $78 million to $58 million.
Bundle teams Babyface Pro interface with Audio-Technica mic, software and more
Interface manufacturer RME has created an all-in-one podcast audio bundle, the new Babyface Pro/Audio-Technica Podcast Bundle.
The selection brings together RME’s Babyface Pro audio interface and TotalMix FX mixing software with Audio-Technica’s BP40 Condenser Microphone. Also included is an On-Stage Clamp Desktop Boom Mic Stand and a Podcast Engineering School educational course.
At the heart of the bundle is RME’s Babyface Pro, an interface with multiple ins/outs allowing for a variety of podcast setups — two mic preamps, two headphone outputs for simple host/guest monitoring and the ability to configure a mix-minus as separate audio sources. The unit also allows independent adjustment of sound settings for every source, individual headphone mixes for up to six guests and compatibility with any recording software as well as Mac, Windows and iOS.
The Babyface Pro comes with a free TotalMix FX Remote iPad app which allows users to configure the mix-minus setup as separate audio sources, so podcasters can control what guests and listeners hear with no additional cables, mixer or hardware. Users can also mix multiple software applications simultaneously for adding music beds, sound effects and other audio clips to a podcast.
RME has partnered with Audio-Technica to include the company’s BP40 Condenser Microphone. Optimized for broadcast applications, the A-T BP40 offers a humbucking voice coil to prevent unwanted interference. An On-Stage Clamp Desktop Boom Mic Stand, as is a 10-foot microphone cable.
The final piece of the bundle is a Podcast Engineering School Educational Course, an online course providing an overview of the podcast production workflow using a Babyface Pro. The course covers setting up a Babyface Pro, production scenarios and tips, recording online guests, and post-production tips.
The Babyface Pro/Audio-Technica Podcast Bundle runs $1,299.
WorldDAB Automotive conference emphasizes the digital radio standard’s progress in the car
The author is communications manager for WorldDAB.
LONDON — As DAB+ continues to establish itself as the future platform for radio across Europe, focus is now shifting to developing the DAB+ experience in the car.
On one hand, drivers expect radio to be a seamless experience offering good performance, more — and more tailored — content, relevant information and as little distraction as possible. On the other hand, car manufacturers want a radio performance that exceeds FM, is able to display information on the screen, and does not put the driver at risk.
On June 20, WorldDAB Automotive 2019 brought together experts from the broadcasting and automotive industries to discuss how they are working together to further improve the in-car digital radio experience.
Speaking at the conference held in Turin, Italy, WorldDAB Automotive Working Group (AWG) chair Laurence Harrison, highlighted some of the work the AWG has been doing on various fronts to further develop DAB+ in the car and build long-term collaborations between broadcasters and car manufacturers.
Harrison touched on the launch of second version of the User Experience (UX) Design guidelines, which was published in February and are designed to help manufacturers and broadcasters deliver the best digital radio experience in the car.
Based on conversations between the AWG and all the leading automotive manufacturers, the updated guidelines give clearer direction to hybrid radio as providing the best UX in connected cars — particularly when DAB+ is included. The guidelines also give clearer signposting to other research and useful guidance on features such as user interface (UI) design, station logos and other on-screen information.
WorldDAB member Arqiva, which operates DAB networks in the United Kingdom, is conducting tests on the delivery of logos via DAB using Service and Programme Information (SPI) standards and is hoping to build on the success of early results.
Harrison also highlighted the importance of the Test Routes that WorldDAB has now made available. Following work within the WorldDAB Receiver/Antenna Performance Taskforce, and in order to help with DAB testing for cars in different markets, WorldDAB has published test routes from a number of markets in order to help any company producing vehicles, antennas, or equipment to test their products and services on a route showing different conditions for DAB+.
Finally, he also outlined the next phase of the Groups’ work, which will be to identify consumer use cases for digital radio in connected and autonomous cars. Initial use cases have been identified covering personalisation, a seamless experience between devices and platforms, a new UI sing voice and on-demand content, and richer visuals on bigger screens. The AWG will now focus on collaborative actions that can be undertaken to support delivery of these use cases.
Speaking at the conference in Turin, Eugenio La Teana, head of research and development at EuroDAB Italia, emphasized that DAB+ enables the creation of new and innovative content, and can help display useful information such as travel and traffic on screens. To that effect, RTL 102.5 and Autostrade per l’Italia have teamed up to create a digital-only station tailored for the needs of drivers that spend a lot of time in the car. The station, which is live 24/7 throughout the year, provides traffic updates between every other song.
If we are to draw one lesson from WorldDAB Automotive 2019, it’s that DAB+ is making waves both in and out of the car — something that is echoed by the EECC directive introduced by the European Union at the end of 2018, which requires all new car radios sold within the EU to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio by the end of 2020.
DAB+ continues to gain significant ground across the globe, and with the automotive industry on-board, the future of digital radio in the car is looking bright.
Association continues its pressure on commission over calculation of regulatory fees
Just in case the FCC has missed the point so far, the National Association of Broadcasters just filed another batch of comments criticizing the commission’s planned hike in regulatory fees for U.S. broadcasters.
“The NPRM imposes a steep increase in radio station regulatory fees disproportionate to other fee payor categories, as well as the increase in the commission’s overall budget,” NAB wrote in its latest filing.
“The proposed radio fees are also based on flawed data.” Nor is the potential harm limited to radio, NAB continued. “The NPRM does not explain significant changes in regulatory fees for both satellite and VHF television stations.”
The nation’s state broadcast associations have also been vocal on this issue, as we’ve reported, and the latest NAB filing reiterates their argument over how the commission is calculating “payment units” in the radio industry, which affects the fee schedule significantly.
“NAB simply asks the commission to show its homework by explaining its calculations of the radio regulatory fees, instead of merely issuing a chart of final fees,” it wrote. “It is frustrating that the commission has not seen fit to issue an interim public notice or some other document with additional data that could help inform stakeholders’ responses to the NPRM. Given the apparent inaccuracy of the NPRM’s count of radio station fee payors, and the lack of information and clarity, affected parties are simply unable to provide meaningful input into the regulatory fee process.”
The NAB also warned the FCC to “carefully consider” the potential impact of the proposed changes for certain television stations.
Read the NAB’s latest comments here.
A reading for radio program promotes confidence for students
A media professional since 1972, I eventually found myself in south Florida in the new millennium, working as an audio engineer for the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Marlins. A move to central Florida several years later forced me out of the media business and into education, where I have been ever since.
At Dunnellon High School, I teach intensive reading to seniors and AP world history. The reading students who motivated me to create a “reading for radio” program about five years ago.
I had been searching for an incentive to motivate students to improve their technical reading skills and, of all things, a 250-foot radio tower on our campus sparked the process. Although used by the transportation department, I looked into an LPFM license for the school and was encouraged, until I started the budget — no way! As most readers will know and understand, we in education barely have enough money for essentials, not to mention trying to fund a project like that.
But the idea of combining radio with the academic needs of my reading students still seemed like a great concept. Imagine, having a school radio station run by students and then opening the on-air auditions to students who are struggling as readers.
I started researching internet radio, and suddenly this idea had legs. Still, funding would be a challenge, but it would be nothing like the cost of trying to implement an over-the-air presence.
This is where CenturyLink Communications entered the picture. The company sponsors an annual grant competition through its Clarke M. Williams Foundation. These grants are open to public school teachers who blend technology and academics to benefit their students.
It seemed like a perfect fit. However, as a traditional broadcaster, I had a significant learning curve ahead, trying to wrap my head around a new-to-me, method of delivery.
I applied for the grant in the fall of 2015 and received word that I had been successful in April 2016. My first reaction was: “Now that I have the money, you mean I actually have to do this?!”
GETTING OFF THE GROUND
I spent the entire summer of that year doing the research; and there was plenty of it.
First, investigating what the technical aspects of putting a station on the internet was all about. What, if any, were the government regulations; what licensure was required; how are royalties covered — basically learning how all the pieces fit together.
Next, of course, came a design and a location within the school. The administration came through with an unused office, and I designed the equipment configuration around that space.
Next came a meeting with the school system’s head of IT to explain the project and learn if the infrastructure would support streaming within the school (bandwidth being the potential problem). I explained that we would be sending our outbound signal to a web hosting company for streaming and that our IT requirements were minimal. One potential problem eliminated.
Next, I had to survey and select equipment that would meet our needs at a reasonable cost. I enlisted the help of Guitar Center Pro and found them to be very helpful in the selection process.
Finally, I needed to find a software automation system that would fit our needs and our budget. You probably know that this market has become very active in the last few years, and there are dozens of products to choose from in every price range. I was fortunate to come across a talented young developer in Texas who has created a program called NextKast Pro. The program is sold as a download with program key and is incredibly reasonable and both powerful and flexible.
The studio is broken into two halves utilizing two Windows-based PCs. One is dedicated to running the NextKast software and is our “broadcast” computer. The other is our “production station,” utilizing an Allen & Heath analog mixer, Shure and AKG studio mics and Audacity editing software for our production needs.
The last piece of the puzzle was our access platform. We have chosen TuneIn Radio utilizing either their mobile app or their internet presence at www.tunein.com.
At the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, students first were recruited to join “The Growl” (We are the Dunnellon Tigers, hence the name). Our goal was to get on the air prior to Christmas break. On Dec. 13, 2016, “The Growl” went live for the first time and has been on 24/7 since. Our format is eclectic as we attempt to provide both music of all genres and some very creative original student programming (written, produced and performed by our students).
With DAB covering 90 percent of the U.K., turning off FM would save broadcasters money
LONDON — Shutting down the United Kingdom’s FM Radio broadcasts may be the real purpose of the U.K. radio review, which starts soon and is scheduled to conclude sometime in mid-2020.
Announced by Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) minister Margot James at the annual U.K. Radio Festival on May 13, 2019, the review’s official rationale “is to look at the ways people listen to the radio in the digital age,” said Paul Chantler. He is a radio programming consultant and co-owner of the Fix Radio DAB station in London, who heard James speak at the festival. “In reality, the government are responding to pressure from the big radio groups to turn off FM to allow them to focus on digital broadcasting platforms,” Chantler told RWI.
Minister James made no statements about shutting down FM nor any other forms of U.K. analog radio broadcasting. But she did tell festival attendees that “Digital radio now accounts for more than 52% of all U.K. radio listening and we need a legislative structure that reflects this change, and gives us flexibility to deal with the change that lies ahead.” James added that the parties to be consulted during the radio review include the BBC and commercial radio broadcasters, radio manufacturers, the car industry and others in the radio supply chain.
With U.K. radio moving strongly into the digital realm — not just over the air, but also via smartphones and web-connected “smart speakers” — having the review now makes sense, according to John Evington, a partner at The Radio People consultancy and low-cost DAB solutions provider Viamux.
“There needs to be a clear strategy for radio as the lines between traditional linear radio, streaming services and podcasting become increasingly blurred,” said Evington. Reflecting on the likely topics to be raised during the radio review, “the focus will inevitably be on platforms and delivery and the technological advances that are likely to impact on the listener experience.”
For his part, Chantler believes that a complete “switchover” from FM to DAB — rather than the FM/DAB simulcasts taking place today — will dominate the radio review discussions; driven by Britain’s big radio groups.
“The reason there is so much pressure from the big groups for a switchover is that for many years, radio companies have been financing dual transmission on both FM and DAB,” Chantler explained. “This is extremely expensive. Now that DAB radio covers 90% of the U.K. and listening via digital platforms accounts for 52% of all listening, the government feels that now is the time to consider ‘forcing’ a full migration to digital radio.”
Chantler predicts that the U.K. radio review will set a date for turning off British FM broadcasting, and that this shutdown “will probably happen in 2022–2023.”
He is not in favor of this option: “My own view is that there is still a place for FM radio alongside digital,” Chantler added. “Although there are some small-scale opportunities for smaller community and niche stations to cost-effectively transmit on DAB, I still think some use could be made of FM for small non-profit stations.”
Evington agrees. “I believe that FM needs to remain for at least another 10 years,” he said. “However, there are some interesting scenarios that could be developed during that time. For example, we would like to see a phased digital migration for BBC national services beginning with Radio 3, which still occupies a large portion of prime bandwidth despite a listening share of just 1.2%. This would free-up space for a range of new commercial services benefitting the consumer and the exchequer.”
One thing appears certain: “Most people in the industry have been expecting this review for a long time and welcome it,” said Chantler.
“Certainly, if the big groups get their way and a date is set for an FM switchoff, they will be able to save money by only broadcasting on DAB. They have been preparing for this for many years with the creation of big, well-branded national stations such as Heart, Capital and LBC (owned by Global) and Magic, Kiss and the Hits Network (owned by Bauer). Earlier this year, Wireless Group/News UK (the third biggest player in U.K. radio) invested heavily in revamping Virgin Radio — which is a national DAB-only station — by recruiting BBC Radio 2’s star DJ Chris Evans.”
Workshop will take place Friday, June 28, at FCC headquarters
The post Agenda Set for Multilingual Emergency Alert Workshop appeared first on Radio World.
In an effort to inform state and local emergency management authorities on how they can implement multilingual alerts for the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is hosting a public workshop on June 28 at the FCC headquarters in Washington.
The agenda for the workshop has officially been announced, including the panelists that will participate in the sessions.
The day will begin with a welcome from Zenji Nakazawa, public safety and consumer protection advisor to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, before heading into its first panel. The initial panel, which will begin at 9:15 a.m., is titled “Regulatory Framework for Multilingual Alert Distributions Over the EAS and WEA Systems.” David Munson, attorney advisor with PSHSB, will moderate a panel made up of Orlando Bermudez from the Multimedia Assistance in Spanish Program, Austin/San Antonio Weather Office, NOAA; Justin Cain, deputy chief, Operations and Emergency Management division at PSHSB; Gregory Cooke, the chief for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at CGB; Matthew Grest, vice president, regulatory affairs, CTIA; Al Kenyon, IPAWS Customer Support Branch chief, IPAWS Program Office, Continuity Communications Division DHS–FEMA; NCTA Vice President of Engineering Andy Scott; and Larry Walke, associate general counsel for the NAB.
At 10:15 a.m., the second panel, “Examples of How Various State and Local Journalists Provide Multilingual Alerting,” is scheduled. Cooke and Munson will co-moderate this panel, which is set to feature John Dooley, Minnesota Department of Public Safety; Fred Engel, chief technology officer at UNC-TV; Andy Huckaba, councilmember for Lenexa, Kan.; Jesus Salas, executive vice president of programming for Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. in Miami; Francisco Sanchez, deputy emergency management coordinator for Harris County, Texas; Aaron Wilborn, the marketing manager for Dick Broadcasting Co. in Savannah, Beaufort, Ga., Bluffton and Hilton Head, S.C.; and Adam Woodlief, chief technology officer for Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The final session of the day, slated to start at 1 p.m., is “Current Capabilities in EAS and WEA Equipment, and Complementary Technologies for Sending Multilingual Alerts.” Munson and Cooke again will moderate. Panelists for the final session include Dr. Edward Czarnecki, senior director–Strategy and Government Affairs for Digital Alert Systems Inc.; Brian J. Toolan, the director of government strategy with Everbridge; Xperi Corp.’s Vice President of Radio Technology Solutions Ashruf El-Dinary; Pat Feldhausen, offering manager with the Weather Company; and Harold Prince, president of Sage Alerting Systems.
The workshop, which runs from 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m., is open to the public, but admittance is limited to available seating. The workshop will take place in the Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305). It will also be broadcast live, with captioning in both English and Spanish, through fcc.gov/live.
The post Agenda Set for Multilingual Emergency Alert Workshop appeared first on Radio World.
Program aims to make U.S. “newsrooms look more like America” by training 200 journalists of color
National Federation of Community Broadcasters Program Director and Radio World contributor Ernesto Aguilar will participate in the 2019 edition of the Maynard 200 media diversity program.
According to a release from the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the Maynard 200 program aims to make U.S. “newsrooms look more like America” by training 200 journalists of color over the course of five years.
This year’s cohort consists of 23 fellows, who Maynard 200 Director Odette Alcazaren-Keeley said “represent the inclusive voices and expertise of media professionals from ethnic, community-based and mainstream media organizations.”
The curriculum is divided into three tracks: Storytelling, Advanced Leadership and Media Entrepreneurship, taught during sessions in June and October at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles.
Aguilar will take part in its Advanced Leadership track, during which he and other fellows will learn from a curriculum centered on strategy, financial capital and human capital, according to Robert C. Maynard Institute Co-executive Director Evelyn Hsu. The track’s executive-in-residence is Smith Edwards Group Principal Consultant Virgil Smith.
The 2019 program is funded by the News Integrity Initiative, Google News Initiative, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Processor unites analog and HD Radio for a better radio listening experience
“Best of Show Up Close” is a series about participants in Radio World’s annual Best of Show at NAB Awards program.
Wheatstone nominated the AirAura X5 processor. It is a processor aimed at stations with FM analog and HD Radio signals. Optimized for handling the unique mission of making sure that analog and HD Radio “blend,” it also offers the usual complement of processor tools such as EQs and limiters.
We asked Mike Erickson for more info.
Radio World: Wheatstone has said that the AirAura X5 takes into consideration the FM and the HD as “one experience.” What do you mean and how does it do that?
Mike Erickson: The HD section of the processor includes the tools needed to maintain alignment and the FM section gives you tools to maximize the experience when blend occurs. These include the built in FM/HD tuner to measure and maintain alignment in the processor without third-party boxes. It also includes our LimitLess technology that manages pre-emphasis in a way processing has never before dealt with it. Broadcasters are realizing HD is no longer in the sidecar. HD radio as standard equipment in cars is now above 50% market saturation. This means that for a large audience segment the listening experience now has to consider both modes. If the HD is out of step with the analog because of sonic or alignment issues, it can and will lead to tune-out. The X5 prevents this like no other processor on the market.
RW: This is a competitive market segment. What sets the X5 apart from other FM/HD processors?
Erickson: Our LimitLess technology, FM/HD tuner and alignment, how we designed our insert point technology (PPMport), and the LiveLogger function. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, these exclusive functions come together to form a processor that deals with audio as well as engineering needs. When shopping for a processor, broadcasters need to look for designs that meet sonic as well as practical needs of their stations. X5 offers automatic time alignment, a built in full-featured RDS, our specialized insert point, and a logger to track preset takes and other activities. You won’t find another processor on the market that comes even close to fulfilling all those functions.
RW: You put a lot of emphasis on its LimitLess clipper technology. Why?
Erickson: Jeff Keith, Steve Dove and I were all talking about how we could achieve the kind of transient audio you’d get from the HD side of our audio processors into the FM side. This, of course, plays into our goal of making the FM/HD radio listening experience on compatible receivers the best it can be. The X3 was cutting edge because of its 31-band limiter and how that interacted as a separate entity to the clipper. Now these two functions are combined …plus our addition of a new and exciting pre-emphasis embedding algorithm in the clipper, one that makes the highs jump out at you with astonishing detail; something we have not been able to replicate with any other processor in our lab.
RW: Is the processor shipping? What does it cost?
Erickson: It ships July 2019. We already have some beta units on the air and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. List price is $14,500, but our Wheatstone dealers can offer our customers the best pricing as well as set up demos for X5.
RW: What else should we know about the box?
Erickson: I touched on it before, but the PPMport is very cool. It’s not just an insert point; it’s the end result of over a decade working with PPM technology, both in the field at CBS Radio when PPM was rolled out and Dom Theodore and I did a lot of testing of the gear. Add that to my work with customers since joining Wheatstone in 2010. Needless to say, the data and good practices I’ve cultivated in the field have gone into PPMport, at what point the watermark is inserted, and how it interacts with LimitLess to put the mark “closer” to the meter than ever before.
The Future Best of Show Awards program honors and helps promote outstanding new products exhibited at industry conventions like the spring NAB Show. Exhibitors pay a fee to enter; not all entries win. Watch for more coverage of participating products soon. To learn about all of the nominees and winners, read the 2019 Best of Show Program Guide.
The newly elected officers will begin their upcoming terms July 1
The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers is under new leadership, as John George was recently elected as president of the organization during the AFCCE Annual Meeting. The vote was conducted by the newly constituted board of directors, which also rounded out the rest of AFCCE’s leadership team.
George replaces John Lyons as president following his two terms in the position, though Lyons will remain as part of the leadership team having been elected as treasurer; Lyons replaces Bob Weller, who is leaving the board. Jon Edwards was voted vice president and Stephen Pumple is the new secretary. All of their terms will begin as of July 1.
In addition, new and returning board members were determined. Lyons was re-elected for a new four-year term and will be joined by B. Ben Evans on his own four-year term as a member and Jim Leifer on a three-year term as an associate member. Mark Fehlig is leaving the board following the end of his term.
New mic designed for podcasters can hold its own against competitors with heftier price tags
Heavy. That’s the first word that comes to mind when unboxing the new Røde PodMic, a broadcast-grade dynamic microphone designed for podcast applications. The first time you hold it, you’ll realize you’re holding something that’s built to last, especially when compared to similarly priced microphones. It’s an all-metal construction with a solid, stainless steel mesh grille. While its appearance evokes the EV RE20 style broadcast mic, its shorter profile, built-in mounting system and $99 price tag set it apart.
As a podcast producer and engineer, I’m often asked by people looking to try their hand at it what equipment to buy — particularly microphones. The answer always boils down to budget. The podcast industry seems to be covered by the ubiquitous Shure SM7B, but as reasonably priced as it is, it’s often still out of range for beginners, especially those who will need more than one. With that in mind, Røde’s price point allows newcomers to purchase four PodMics for the price of one SM7B.
But how does it sound?
As a starting point, I brought the PodMic along to a podcast session for a show I produce. The co-host has a smooth, rich, “radio-friendly” voice, so I chose to put it side-by-side with the Shure SM7B in front of him. Both mics were recorded flat. On playback, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that it truly held its own against a mic that costs four times as much. The PodMic had a pleasing high end and tight mids, but lacked a bit of bottom, though in fairness, I think this mic is made to benefit from proximity effect, and the co-host doesn’t stay that close. An EQ boost in the low end put it right up against the SM7B, but with a natural brightness that gets lost in the Shure, probably because of its foam windscreen.
Where the PodMic disappointed, somewhat expectedly, was with its built-in windscreen. The marketing of the PodMic mentions it as a selling point, but unless you’re a seasoned voice actor with really excellent mic control, this mic most definitely needs a windscreen to block plosives. I worry that a foam cover might take away from some of its pleasing top end, and would personally opt for pop filter on this mic. But that’s certainly not a deal-breaker when you’re talking about a mic in this price range.
I was impressed enough with the PodMic to do a more ambitious test. The next day, I brought it to Digital Arts in New York, the recording studio I work at for ad agency, film, animation and television clients. I took the bold step of putting it side by side with a Neumann U 87 during the recording of a TV commercial, with both mics’ diaphragms behind a single windscreen. No, I didn’t expect the $99 mic to sound as good as the $3,200 mic, but I’ve been using U 87s for over 30 years, so it gives me a good point of reference.
While it didn’t sound like the Neumann out of the gate, some quick EQ work brought it into the neighborhood, which really surprised fellow engineers that came into the studio to check it out. I don’t think you’d fool anyone by trying to pass PodMic off as a U 87, but the fact that it can deliver that large-diaphragm sound with some EQ know-how is impressive.
Given its affordability and quality, I started to wonder how the PodMic might handle non-voice recording chores. For fun, I put it on my acoustic guitar. Sadly, it didn’t do much. For comparison, I recorded the same instrument with my Røde NT1A, which gave a clean and rich sound with very little effort. I placed the PodMic in several positions, and I just couldn’t get a great sound. Keep in mind that this mic is designed for a specific task, so this was really just a test to see if there was any bonus usage, because honestly, I could see having a number of these on hand at this price point.
So who is this mic for? It’s a definite for podcasting beginners looking to hit the ground running with solid sound on a budget, but for $99, it’s a solid backup mic to have on hand for professional studios. The PodMic has an entry-level price point for a mic that will
last a lifetime.
Frank Verderosa is a 30-year veteran of the audio industry, fighting the good fight for film studios, ad agencies and production companies, but secretly loves mixing music most of all. These days, he plies his trade at Digital Arts in New York City, but you can also hear his podcast engineering work weekly on Gilbert Gottfried’s “Amazing Colossal Podcast,” which he’s handled since 2014.
+ Excellent sound quality for voice
+ Great value
– Needs windscreen or pop filter
– Poor nonvocal sound quality
Contact: Røde Microphones in California at 1-562-364-7400 or visit www.rodemic.com.
Getting ready for the national EAS test
In case you missed it, FEMA has announced the date of the next national test of the Emergency Alert System. It is coming up far sooner than many stations realize. In fact, now is a good time for community and all stations to get prepared.
The next test happens Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. The backup date in the event the announced date cannot be met is August 21.
This year’s test is expected to be different than previous iterations, in that it will be disseminated only via the EAS broadcast-based channels rather than the internet-based IPAWS system. It is expected that using this form of contact will help authorities to assess whether and how the national EAS would function if activated. Considering a national emergency could involve the internet and connectivity being compromised, such a test of the EAS seems warranted.
In some circles, there are misconceptions about the national EAS test. In truth, all radio stations are required to comply with FCC EAS rules and must participate in this year’s test. Full- as well as low-power stations are required to carry emergency tests.
In April, the FCC issued an assessment of last year’s test. Of the 13,435 radio stations participating in the nationwide EAS test last year, just over 96% successfully received the test with around the same percentage successfully retransmitted it. It determined poor audio quality, out-of-date equipment and/or software and source issues were among the biggest problems documented by stations.
A big part of the lead up to the national test is the filing of Form One, which documents a station’s equipment status. Form One is due by July 3. A station should file a separate copy of Form One for each of its EAS decoders, encoders or combined decoder/encoder units.
On the day of the test, there is Form Two to complete by a station. It should indicate compliance and issues related to the national test. On September 23, Form Three offers further insights. However, Form One is a community radio station’s most pressing priority.
How should your station prepare for the test? First and foremost, your station should review last year’s Form One filings to identify and update information previously reported. Next, it is essential that your station ensure its EAS equipment can receive and process the National Periodic Test code and otherwise comply with FCC regulations. For the uninitiated, the National Periodic Test code is the national location code shown via six zeroes on your screen.
As you prepare your gear, it is smart to update your EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent versions. In addition, you should manually synchronize your EAS equipment clocks to the official time recognized by testing entities, in the event your equipment doesn’t otherwise synchronize the time.
While you’re at your equipment, make a point to review your State EAS Plan for source monitoring assignments. This is a fancy way of helping your EAS equipment know which sources to monitor for signals and emergencies.
However, there are plenty of nontechnical things your station should be doing now. Put a copy of the EAS Operating Handbook at your EAS equipment positions, or in a place where it is otherwise available immediately to operators. Lost your copy somewhere? The EAS Operating Handbook is available for download here.
The EAS Operating Handbook is a grand resource. Your station should look over it and determine the actions to be taken by operators on duty. Training and communication of what operators should do is important. You may tailor actions specific to your facilities as necessary;
Emergency services like EAS are core to how radio serves its cities and towns. And community radio can connect to first responders and wider audiences through serving as a conduit for critical messages like these. The Form One deadline coming up is our first step in fulfilling that promise successfully.
And where can you find a reasonably priced Yagi antenna?
How does that saying go — “Out of sight, out of mind!” Don’t let summer go by without changing out your air conditioning filters. Not only do clogged filters cause your cooling system to work harder, but the dirty filters can actually cause your system to fail prematurely.
As we have less time to visit sites (and to crawl up on the roof or into the studio ceiling), filter change-outs are easy to forget. If it’s been awhile, take a peek.
If you’re not using the more expensive high-density filters, consider switching to those. They will keep systems cleaner, and if you order them in bulk from companies like Grainger or others online, prices can be very reasonable.
If you’re fortunate enough to have snagged a summer engineering/remote intern, task them with logging the number and size of all the filters you use. Then, as the filters are changed, make sure they are dated, as seen in Fig. 1.
It’s also important that the filters are inserted properly — the arrow on the side of the filter points to the direction of air flow — make sure filters aren’t installed backwards!
With the humidity being sucked out of the air during the summer, now is a good time to check the condensate drains. Big box stores and HVAC suppliers sell condensate drain brushes that can be used to keep the drain lines clear, as well as tablets that can be placed in the drain pan to prevent algae formation.
If you’ve ever cleared an algae plug, you know how strong the fibers forming the plug can be. A little preventive maintenance will avoid flooding problems later. Preventing a flood is crucial if your air handler is mounted directly above a studio or transmitter.
And while we’re on the subject of studio air, let’s face it — studio air can get especially rancid, so you might want to try Filtrete’s new filter air fresheners. Seen in Fig. 2, these fresheners clip onto the air filter to provide a more pleasant scent for these rooms.
Got other air conditioning system tips or suggestions? Send ideas for inclusion in a future column to [email protected].
Wayne Eckert is with the Florida Rural Communications Cooperative and is no stranger to Workbench.
Over the years, Wayne has read a number of questions and laments by broadcast engineers trying to locate a source for FM band receive-only Yagis, commonly used to feed off-air transmitter monitor receivers. Once upon a time, this product was marketed by most TV antenna manufacturers, but with the growing popularity of satellite, cable and streaming TV services, many of these companies have gone out of business.
Wayne discovered that the few broadband Yagis on the market are either aimed at audiophiles, which equates to over-the-top pricing, or CATV Yagis, which also have a price tag that will likely make your GM hit the roof.
But all is not lost! Wayne found a product made by Stellar Labs and sold by Newark.
Wayne lives in the middle of nowhere in southwest Florida; he needed an FM Yagi, since the transmitter site he wanted to monitor was about 55 miles away. The Stellar Labs product did a very good job for a very fair price (single quantities available for $32.54), according to Wayne.
The antenna is a four-element Yagi, consisting of one driven element, one reflecting and two directing elements. The result is tremendous directivity and forward gain.
Wayne adds that another really nice feature that engineers will like about this antenna is that a mast mount is included, and the mount can be tilted either up or down to match the elevation between the transmitter and the studio. On www.newark.com, enter part number 30-2460 to obtain more information.
Frank Hertel, consultant with Newman-Kees RF Measurements, has discovered yet another inexpensive method of labeling cables.
Manufactured by Mr-Label, and available from Amazon, these letter-sized sheets of self-adhesive cable labels are waterproof and tear-resistant and come in five assorted colors. Laser-printable or hand-printed with a Sharpie, a packet of 10 sheets (300 labels) is under $10.
On the Amazon, search for “Mr-Label US letter sheet self-adhesive cable label.”
Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send Workbench tips and high-resolution photos to [email protected].
Author John Bisset 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.
New coupler system is intended for use in harsh environmental conditions
Platinum Tools debuted its new Waterproof RJ45 Coupler System at InfoComm 2019.
The couplers are intended for use in installs where Ethernet connections need protection due to exposure to water, dust, corrosion, harsh elements, and vibration. Accordingly, the Platinum Tools Waterproof RJ45 Coupler System is rated to IP67 to meet those harsh environmental conditions commonly found at broadcast, emergency and wireless communications, outdoor entertainment venues, industrial manufacturing and other sites.
The new system is shock and vibration resistant, and is intended for UTP and STP applications. Compatible with Cat-5e and Cat-6 use, the connector uses a screw mating system to ensure a secure connection, and it is RoHS compliant.
The new Waterproof RJ45 Coupler System is now available.
Honors contributions to the development, innovation and promotion of digital radio within the automotive industry
The post WorldDAB Introduces Excellence in Automotive Award appeared first on Radio World.
WorldDAB has launched the WorldDAB Excellence in Automotive Award.
According to the organization, the award “recognizes outstanding work carried out on the development, innovation and promotion of digital radio within the automotive industry.” It honors significant contributions of individuals, groups or teams working toward optimizing the experience of digital radio in the car, and has particular focus on the “recognition of technical expertise and project collaboration.”
The judging panel consists of a small group from the senior team at WorldDAB, chaired by the WorldDAB president. Areas of consideration include:
- Impact — individual contribution to a product, service or technical development which has helped or improved the current use and/or state of digital radio;
- Personal — leadership, expertise, championing, commitment and success;
- Collaboration – collaborative effort and engagement with the wider industry.
WorldDAB will announce the first winner at the WorldDAB Automotive event in June 2020. The call for nominations for is now open and has a submission deadline of April 1, 2020.
To nominate yourself or a colleague, send the following information to [email protected]:
- Name, title, company, email, mobile number of nominator
- Name, title, company, email, mobile number of nominee
- 300 words describing the reasons behind the nomination — including projects the nominees have worked on, specific examples of excellence and any other information that is relevant to the nomination
The post WorldDAB Introduces Excellence in Automotive Award appeared first on Radio World.
Australian broadcaster will upgrade infrastructure with 16 Flexiva FAX air-cooled FM transmitters
The post NOVA FM Boosts FM Transmission Network With GatesAir appeared first on Radio World.
GatesAir has won a contract with NOVA Entertainment in Australia to upgrade six FM radio transmission sites on the continent.
As per the agreement, the company will supply 16 Flexiva FAX air-cooled FM transmitters with in-country partner RaeAir conducting all site evaluations, installation, commissioning and post-sales services.
Specifically, GatesAir will deliver 12 10-kW and four 20-kW models with redundant transmitter configurations and integrated IP-based control and monitoring across the network.
NOVA Entertainment moved into the FM domain in 2001 when it established Nova 96.9 in Sydney. The media house subsequently launched stations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
GatesAir explains that the broadcaster will first upgrade these five metropolitan sites, beginning with the Melbourne and Perth locations. It will then upgrade the remaining three metropolitan sites, followed by a regional location on the NSW Central Coast.
“The remarkable compact footprint of GatesAir transmitters will take up substantially less space than our existing transmitters, lowering our monthly expenditures and our long-term total cost of ownership,” said Matt Steadman, head of technology, NOVA Entertainment.
“We are also confident that GatesAir’s Australian presence, both through direct personnel and their partners at RaeAir, will efficiently guide us through the installation process and ensure excellent post-sales service and support.”
NOVA Entertainment’s FM radio transmission project is part of a broader strategic initiative that follows a recent upgrade of its studio systems.
The post NOVA FM Boosts FM Transmission Network With GatesAir appeared first on Radio World.
The process will launch in July at ARKCON 2019
If all goes as planned, the 115th local chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers will host its first meeting at ARKCON 2019 and begin the process of chartering a new chapter, the Arkansas Broadcasters Association says.
According to the SBE, a new chapter must be authorized by the SBE board of directors, as provided by the society’s by-laws. The new chapter must be formed by a minimum of 10 voting SBE members, and they must apply to the national SBE organization. After approximately three meetings and the adoption of local chapter by-laws, the SBE board of directors will typically authorize the new chapter.
“We are proud to take this step towards better serving our engineers and believe it will provide our engineers the platform they need to network and strategize on advancing their professions and attracting young talent,” ABA Board President Ali Sugg said in a press release.
The most recent local SBE chapter to be added was Chapter 147 of Ft. Bragg, N.C., which achieved this status in January 2016, but began the process with its first meeting in September 2015.
Note that chapter numbers are retired after a chapter is deactivated, but a revived chapter will typically receive its old number. It is not yet clear what number designation the new Arkansas chapter will receive.
The RDS Forum continues to enhance and test the latest RDS standard
GENEVA — Radio Data System technology has been providing FM broadcasters with a robust and reliable data channel, using a digital FM subcarrier, since the 1990s. Since that time, the RDS Forum, an international organization based in Geneva, has maintained and expanded the RDS standard.
In 2016, the RDS Forum proposed the standardization of RDS with RDS2 — backward compatible with three additional subcarriers with the same modulation. The IEC approved the proposal and an updated RDS standard version IEC 62106:2018, which includes RDS2, was published in October 2018.
The updated RDS standard was restructured into six parts:
- Part 1: RDS system: Modulation characteristics and baseband coding
- Part 2: RDS message format, coding and definition of RDS features
- Part 3: Coding and registration of Open Data Applications (ODAs)
- Part 4: Registered code tables
- Part 5: Marking of RDS and RDS2 devices
- Part 6: Compilation of technical specifications for ODAs in the public domain
Two additional parts will be added later this year. These are:
- Part 7: RBDS (containing U.S.-specific provisions)
- Part 8: Universal Encoder Communication Protocol (UECP)
To put RDS with RDS2 on air required a new kind of RDS encoder. French company WorldCast Systems commercialized the first model in April 2018. The Audemat RDS encoder began shipping in February 2019. It’s plug-compatible with the firm’s previous model and lets the transmission operator switch on the additional subcarriers when needed. For broadcasters interested in RDS2, this is a future-proof investment. Three additional RDS subcarriers mean more data and thus also more business.
In 2018 the RDS Forum specified a new transmission protocol called RDS2 File Transfer (RFT). This protocol can be used to transfer all kinds of file types up to 163 KB. Applications to be supported can be defined within RDS using the ODA feature.
This tool permits users to add new application features that are totally backward compatible with existing receivers to the RDS system. To decode the new application, existing receivers need to either get a firmware update, which is seldom possible, or a new receiver supporting this feature must be used. The RDS Forum will propose the RFT to be added to Part 2 of the updated RDS standard later this year.
The RDS Forum held its annual meeting in May 2019 in Glion, Switzerland. The main focus of the meeting was to consider RDS2 use cases for applications of interest to broadcasters. The forum identified the following areas the new public ODAs (openly available and free of IPR) shall support:
- Logo for station identification;
- Slideshow for program related content such as program identification logo and music album cover art, all to be synchronized with the radio program audio;
- Slideshow with information that is a complimentary background to the program such as traffic and weather information in the form of images;
- Breaking news in the form of short headlines;
- Electronic program guide — simple to use such as next and over next item to be broadcast.
Some of these applications are already in an advanced stage of development. For example, Radio France created a live demo on its FIP radio channel during the 2019 European Radio Show in Paris in partnership with WorldCast Systems and Caméon.
To do this, the broadcaster used a specially designed RDS2 prototype portable radio application from Caméon and showed music cover art with a fully synchronized display mode for the music on air. This was a world premiere for achieving this on analog FM radio. Prior to this most people believed it was only possible to do this using digital radio or internet streaming.
The RFT is optimized for mobile reception. With RDS in the mobile reception mode there will be errors caused by signal fading and multipath distortion, even if it’s possible to repair these issues to a certain extent by using the repetition of the file to be transferred. It’s still necessary to test this with RDS2 signals that are on air for a longer time period. Also, respective regulators must be involved and agree to such tests, as is expected shortly in Hungary and France.
The RDS Forum occasionally organizes an information day to outline the latest advances on RDS2. This event is separate from our annual RDS Forum. The first one took place in Berlin in 2015 and the second in Paris in 2016.
We also held an informational conference last May in Budapest. Here WorldCast Systems carried out a similar demonstration to the one in Paris using a transmitter from the Budapest University of Technology. During the meeting, it was suggested that the country organize a countrywide RDS2 test transmission with Antenna Hungaria and national regulator NMHH managing RDS2 signal measurements using the Magyar Radio FM network.
Another issue of interest at the meeting was what the deviation on the upper subcarriers should be, say more or less +/-2 kHz per subcarrier. The University of Perugia (Italy) study (Electronic Letters – Volume 55, Issue 11, May 2019, p. 663 – 665: BER-optimal selection of peak frequency deviation for RDS2 by D. Saveri, G. Baruffa, L. Rugini, D.A. Samo and A. Ladanyi) helped clarify this question.
The RDS Forum invites all interested in RDS2 to attend the next RDS2 Info Day conference on Nov. 7 in Bordeaux, France. During the event, we will again demo RDS2 on air in collaboration with Radio France and TDF, WorldCast Systems and Caméon.
Caméon has also announced that it was planning to lead an RDS2 project involving 10 industry partners, mostly from France. This project began in June and will run about 18 months. The goal of this trial is to promote visually augmented smart radios in the car. “Smart” stands for smart service following on FM over to DAB+ and/or over to internet streaming if the program is lost outside the reception area of terrestrial radio.
Another topic discussed at the RDS Forum’s annual meeting in May was the availability of integrated circuits to receive and decode RDS2. This matter is more complex than initially thought. It’s true that RDS2 demodulation won’t require significant extra cost since DSP (already used for FM and RDS demodulation) will manage it. Some chips used today may simply require a firmware upgrade to solve the problem. However, firmware development is only interesting for the chip manufacturer if a large quantity of chips is needed for mass manufacturing of receivers. This is not the case at this stage.
At present, all RDS2 test and demo receivers built thus far make use of a USB receiver / data analyzer from the Dutch company MacBe, namely its RX014, which integrates a patched receiver chip from NXP. This product has been commercially available since late 2014.
Dutch-based Catena Radio Design, a company specialized in pre-development of chips for car radio platforms produced by NXP, developed the patch code.
MacBe plans to introduce a new module, the RX019, a small, 2.5 x 3.0 centimeter-circuit board later this year. The RX019 is designed for those who wish to easily carry out an RDS2 prototype or test receiver within their own hardware environment/platform. The module’s functions include FM stereo receiver, RF monitor, RDS monitor, RDS2 monitor and API control via UART.
Excerpts of NAB's ownership reply comments; Best of Show winners; attract the next generation
The U.S. commercial radio industry is divided on whether the FCC should change radio ownership limits, but NAB maintained a firm tone in its comments on the debate, excerpts of which we share here. We also highlight Radio World’s Best of Show at NAB Show winners. And the issue features two examples of how radio may attract the next generation of talent and engineers.
Peter Conlon dishes on how the integration is going since the Elenos Group acquired Broadcast Electronics in 2018.
Grant Helps Dunnellon Tigers Growl
Audio engineer-turned-reading teacher Barry Carrus uses a high school streamer to build students’ oratory confidence.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Rachel Haggerty was one of a handful of students selected for the program
This article was originally published on the website of Seton Hall University’s college of communication and the arts.
Rachel Haggerty, a student in the visual and sound media program within the Seton Hall University College of Communication and the Arts, was recently accepted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Technology Apprenticeship Program, a competitive opportunity that accepts less than 10 applicants nationwide.
Over six months, students in the program are exposed to the broadcast engineering and technology industry through a series of activities that refine their skills and prepare them for successful careers post-graduation. Key highlights include placement in a two-month, hands-on apprenticeship at a radio or television station and educational training for the Society of Broadcast Engineers’ exam, taken to become a Certified Broadcast Technologist.
“I was beyond excited when I found out I was accepted to the program,” said Haggerty. “I applied right away when the applications were sent out. The program is incredibly detailed, and I’m looking forward to really understanding the field and figuring out how I will best fit in the role of a future engineer.”
She is one of four students selected for this year’s cohort. TAP was an ideal fit for Haggerty, who is heavily involved in the technical operations department at WSOU(FM) 89.5, the university’s radio station.
“One of the most important parts of radio is the technology. If something goes wrong, the engineer steps in to troubleshoot. This program will help me become that person in one of my favorite environments, the radio station,” said Haggerty.
OUT IN THE FIELD
In April, Haggerty traveled to Las Vegas for the NAB Show, an annual gathering of over 90,000 industry professionals discussing the latest happenings in the industry. There, she joined sessions on career opportunities for broadcast engineers, learned about current trends and attended events on Women in Technology and the Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference.
Outside of the show, Rachel also toured the studios of NBC with her fellow TAP participants.
“Radio and TV stations, as well as networks and production companies, are all facing a shortage of broadcast engineers and broadcast technologists and TAP is helping to address this problem,” said Mark Maben, general manager of WSOU. “I am extremely proud of Rachel for being accepted into this prestigious program. She is bright, creative, hardworking and exactly the type of broadcast engineer our industry needs right now and in the decades ahead.”
The program also exposes students to various professional opportunities, including networking.
At present, Haggerty is participating in a summer apprenticeship, where she will work hands-on at WAXQ(FM) in New York. In the past, participants have worked in organizations including iHeartRadio, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Ion Media Networks and more.
During the show, she also visited a remote broadcast truck and was able to view the technology used by professionals in the field.
While Haggerty has already gained experience in the field through her work in the station at WSOU, as well as in the classroom and television studio during her visual and sound media classes, she’s eager to learn more.
“One thing that sets me apart from the engineering field is the sheer amount of communication work I’ve done,” she noted. “I’ve entered the program with the education of someone in news and sportscasting, rather than just a technology education. The hands-on training is going to be my favorite part because I’ll be observing established engineers and trying things myself.”
The program will conclude in September, finishing with a two-day learning conference at the NAB headquarters in Washington, D.C., with educational sessions from the NAB’s technology department, active broadcast engineers and the Leadership Foundation.
For more information about the visual and sound media program in Seton Hall University’s college of communication and the arts, contact Associate Dean Thomas Rondinella at [email protected].
For information about WSOU, email General Manager Mark Maben at [email protected].
2019’s “Audio Today” report paints a positive picture but underscores the importance of the car dashboard
The post Nielsen’s Kelly Brands Radio as “Original Electronic Media” appeared first on Radio World.
Despite increasing media and platform diversification, the numbers are still looking good for radio, according to Nielsen in its report “Audio Today 2019.”
Released this week and subtitled “How America Listens,” the report presents an optimistic and surprisingly steady picture for broadcasters.
In the introduction, Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly calls terrestrial radio “the original electronic media” and “the load-bearing wall in audio’s house.” However, Kelly highlights radio’s dominance in the dashboard as a crucial element of radio’s “continued success and resiliency.”
Among its findings:
Commute listening strongly drives radio use during the week, peaking for adults around the beginning and end of the work day (8 a.m. and 5 p.m.), and for teens and the open and close of school (7 a.m. and 3 p.m.). On weekends, both adults and teenagers tend to listen more in the middle of the day, presumably while running errands or traveling to activities.
Although the report says only 64% of radio listening on Saturday and Sunday is done while out of the home, 79% of that out-of-home weekend listening is done in the car. Compare that with the nearly three-quarters of listeners who tune in during the workday (35% listen during the day) or weekday commutes (71% listen in the car).
These numbers are a good reminder why OTA radio’s future position in the auto is already a source of angst for industry prognosticators, who see the digital dash as a potential threat.
But back to the good news.
Among adults (considered 18 and older by Nielsen), radio still dominates in both monthly and weekly reach. On the monthly end, radio use was followed somewhat closely by live/DVR television, then trailed by smartphone apps/web access. User interactions with computers, tablets and other internet-connected devices offered no real challenge.
For more granularity, 92% of the adult U.S. population listens to radio on a weekly basis. Only 87% claim the same for television. Interestingly, the 35-49 demographic had the highest percentage of radio listeners at 94%, while the 18-34 age group was the least heavy traditional TV watchers at 75%. Smartphones, TV-connected devices and tablets all appear to be on the upswing, but are no real challenges for radio or television as of 2019.
The post Nielsen’s Kelly Brands Radio as “Original Electronic Media” appeared first on Radio World.