The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

News Items Archive: 2021



12/23/21 – 5G SOLUTIONS?
The FAA and the airline industry screamed after the FCC raised over $81 Billion by auctioning off a large portion of the C-Band spectrum for 5G use. Recently, the wireless (CTIA) and aviation camps have said they will cooperate, sharing data,  to help  resolve the potential interference. As part of this, ATT and Verizon indicated they were going to delay use of the frequencies they got in the auction. On the other hand, the FCC’s new Chairwoman wrote to the Senate that the Commission is thinking of strengthening restrictions in 5G operations.

12/22/21 – AES has inaugurated a “President’s Award” for group efforts. The First such aware went to the committee that worked on and set out a series of recommendations for loudnss levels in Internet streaming and other on-demand situations. 

The 11 awardees are:  David Bialik, Rob Byers, Jim Coursey, Eelco Grimm, Bob Katz, John Kean, Scott Norcross, Robert Orban, Shawn Singh, Jim Starzynski, and Alessandro Travaglini.

12/22/21 – The Telos Alliance now has a V4.0 software upgrade for the Omnia.11, along with the Silvio Clipper, from Frank Foti.
This free upgrade is available here – just register your Omnia.11 with its serial number.

12/12/21 – Jeremy Ruck and Dennis Baldridge have passed away recently. 

11/30/21 – The FCC announced that 1282 applications for NCEFM stations were tended, of them 883 were MX (Mutually Exclusive) applications from 231 groups. The Commission indicated that 13 were “dismissed.” 

11/25/21 – Phil Kane, former FCC District Director in San Francisco has passed away. 

11/15/21 – The IBC has noted that the current three-week “lockdown” for covid-19 that the Dutch government started on Friday may have an impact on the Convention due to start on December 3rd. IBC announced on Tuesday that they are going ahead with the convention, but with some cautionary actions. 

11/4/21 – The FCC is expecting the biennial Ownership Report by December 1st. If you are not doing it now, do not delay. Sometimes a question will take some time to answer, so leaving it to the last minute is not good. This is not a deadline you want to miss, as fines and more fees will be likely – and during the last week of November, you can expect the FCC system to be slower than normal. 

11/3/21 – The FCC has indicated that some Staff may have the option to return to the office in the “new” building, just opened a year ago. While some may return soon, full staffing in not expected until sometime next year.

10/27/21 – During its October Meeting, the FCC The FCC has introduced MB Docket 21-422, to determine if Dielectric’s proposal for allowing computer modeling to compute directional patterns for FM, similar to the changes on AM and TV in recent years.

10/26/21 – The President nominated FCC acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to be the agency’s official Chair. In addition, the Administration is nominating Gigi Sohn to fill the vacant 5th seat on the Commission. (Sohn is said to be “progressive”)

With the Commission up to full strength and 3 to 2 Democrats, we should probably expect changes to be in the air – pun intended.

10/14/21 – The NAB has announced that in 2022 there will be no Fall Radio Show. The Radio Show program will be added to the Spring Show. Following the pull-out of several more major manufacturers, including Sony, Panasonic, Canon, and others, the NAB today issued a Press Release that  announced the 2021 Fall/Spring Show has been cancelled, with plans for a Show in Spring 2022.  The notice is here.

The new dates set for the 2022 NAB Convention are April 23-27, 2022. 

AES has also cancelled their plans for a live convention in Las Vegas. 

9/10/21 – The FCC has now set the due date for the 2021 Regulatory Fees. It is September 24th. Substantial penalties are added for late payment. Page 57 of the FCC’s notice is a good place to look. The Public Notice is here.

9/9/21 – The AES has permitted us to share the podcast “Rebuilding New York” in the aftermath of the 9/11 disaster.  You will find it here.

9/3/21 – Among other places, some stations in Pittsburgh, Omaha, or Honolulu, among other cities, have noticed interference aurally and/or visually on their satellite feeds. While some of this may be interference from licensees testing their %G allocations on the lower part of the C-Band there is another aspect that may affect you – users building out 5G on other frequencies.

8/31/21 – Hurricane Ida came ashore 16 years to the day since Katrina whacked New Orleans. At least one thing worked: there was little or no reporting of any problems with the levees and pumps.

Reports indicate a number of broadcast stations were knocked off due to loss of power – or worse. This time, it was not just New Orleans that got hit and had stations go do, but with all power in New Orleans completely out, only those with generator kept going – led by WWL. Also in New Orleans itself, 15 of 17 TV stations stayed on, although one had major issues when the roof came off and they could see the sky. Some clusters like Cumulus went totally dark when power failed. iHeart lost five stations for a time. And a 2000-foot tower at Vacherie, LA shared by iHeart and Cumulus for WZRH and KVDU lost the top 1800 feet. (It had been the tallest tower in LA.)

As bad as it was for broadcast (not to mention trees, buildings, etc), cell service was really beat up. 100% failure in NOLA – including 911 service over the weekend – and much of the area affected by Ida saw 60-100% cell towers down. That makes the small percentage of issues from the recent NPT pale in comparison. 

8/31/21 – If you are due compensation from the recent C-Band relocation program, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse (RPC llc) site is now up and is accepting claims. There are some deadlines, so if you were impacted by the C-Band changes, check it out.

8/26/21 – Andrea Cummis, CTO for WLVT-TV in Bethlehem PA and the current SBE Vice President, was elected as the first female President of the SBE, effective October 11th. Ted Hand, former treasurer, will be the new Vice President. The other officers elected are Secretary: Kevin Trueblood and Jason Ornellas.

8/18/21 – The NAB has issued a Press Release stating that all attendees at the October NAB Spring Show and Radio Show must show proof of being vaccinated against the Covid virus. FYI: those attending the BEA sessions also will need to show proof of vaccination. 

8/6/21 – Darryl Parker, the “face” of TFT from 1991 until it closed has passed away. 

8/1/21 – The NAB has sent out information that this coming NAB Spring/Fall/everything Show will be a no-touch affair. Exhibitors are expected to keep booth visitors separated by distance and dividers and they and attendees are cautioned to use non-contact greetings, among other cautions. 

7/23/21 – The FCC has issued a Public Notice announcing the forthcoming NCE FM Window. It will run From November 2-9, 2021.  An FM application Freeze will start on October 5th. Form 2100, Schedule 340, which must be filed on the LMS, will be available on August 2nd.  The Public Notice with informational links is here. 

7/23/21 – The FCC has now licensed – 5,676 licensees – for operations in the 3,7 – 3.98 GHz band. Public Notice is here.  We will soon find out if the anxiety about interference was justified.

7/13/21 – The FCC decided to push the group of Rules adjustments and changes right into NPRM status. (The Comment period will be comment due date 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, with 15 days after that as the deadline for Reply Comments.)

7/12/21 – Scott Incz, co-founder of Broadcast Warehouse and BW Broadcast has passed away. Details are sketchy, but Scott was hit hard by the Covid virus last year. His co-founder partner Roger Howe passed away last year.

6/29/21 – The Fall NAB Show (with the Radio Show tacked on at the end) in Las Vegas will also be joined the  annual AES (Audio Engineering Society) Show. The AES event will also be streamed globally from Oct. 20 to 23.

6/26/21 – We learned that Ken Branton has passed away.

6/25/21 – Bob Moore passed away earlier this month.

6/22/21 – The NAB has announced the winner of the Engineering Achievement Award for Radio for 2021: David Hershberger. Now retired from Continental Electronics, Hershberger has worked for  several radio and TV manufacturers, developing exciters, modulators, and more. 

The TV award went to David Folsom of Pearl TV,  for work on Next Gen TV.

6/10/21 – It is now official: The FCC’s PSHSB has issued a Public Notice designating August 11th at 2:20 PM EDT for the National Periodic Test of the EAS. 

6/10/21 – CHLO Toronto has begun testing IBOC HD Radio. The station, on 530, is said to be the first in Canada to use HD on AM. 

6/3/21 – Ransomware has hit another group of US broadcasters. This time it is Cox Media Group, operator of 57 radio and TV stations. Reports indicate the many of the chains local networks and streams were affected and some completely taken offline. Some programs, including TV News at some stations, had to be cancelled. Some other groups that have been hit are listed here.

5/25/21 – The IBC has been delayed, due to health concerns to December 3rd to 6th. The International Broadcast Convention, normally held in early September in Amsterdam is one of the largest international broadcast shows each year. 

5/24/21 – WFAS(AM) in White Plains, NY has converted to all digital operation. The third station to do so, the conversion coincides with a change to all talk radio. 

4/28/21 – The FCC issued a Public Notice to announce the effective date of the FCC’s 2019 Report and Order on RF Exposure. The requires all stations to do an evaluation no later than two years of the RF Exposure on the site.  This does not affect most broadcast stations – they already are required to do this and there is no change in the limits – although translators under 100W lose a previous exemption, and amateur stations are brought under the rules. New and modified stations must do the evaluation immediately. It goes into effect on May 3rd. 

4/21/21 – The FCC Media Bureau has announced the dates for the upcoming NCE FM Window: November 2-9, 2021. It will encompass channels 201-220, with a limit of 10 applications per organization. 

4/7/21 – The FCC has released its latest census of broadcast facilities. As of March 31st, there are 4,546 AM and 10,895 full power FM  stations with 2124 LPFM, and 8521 FM translators and boosters. 

One year into the pandemic, where some stations saw a 75% drop in income, 78 full power AM and FM stations and 45 LPFM stations have turned in their licenses.

4/7/21 – NAB Chief Gordon Smith will step down as President/CEO on December 31st, in favor of Curtis LeGeyt, currently COO of the NAB. 

4/2/21 – A breach in systems at manufacturer Ubiquity has exposed millions of units – some still running default credentials. 

4/1/21 – Ken Benner passed away peacefully today. He was  one of the main architects of the Alternate Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP).

4/1/21 – Canada’s Western Association of Broadcasters confirmed that the only broadcast technical training program currently operating in the country – at the South Alberta Technical Institute – will end with the current class. 

3/30/21 – Entercom has changed its corporate name to Audacy (the new stock ticker will be AUD). According to the company, this will allow the company to focus on the wide variety of audio offerings from its sevearl divisions. There already is a new website.

3/20/21 – Bob du Treil, Sr. has passed away. The founding member of du Treil, Lundin, and Rackley was 88. 

3/19/21 – The free audio editing program Audacity has been upgraded to V3.0.0. Among the most visible changes, the way projects are stored has changed, to bring the files together. The main interface has not changed a lot, which will be of help to casual users. The info and download links are here. 

3/13/21 – The program automation company ENCO has moved after 20 years, and is now down the road to new offices. The new site in Novi, MI is 17 miles from the old offices.

 

Among the benefits of the move, ENCO will have a lot more space, and be able to bring all departments together at one location, making the whole operation more efficient. 

3/12/21 – The FCC has been putting out a lot of Public Notices and Enforcement Advisories recently, reminding stations of key issues, apparently being missed in the Public File uploads.

  1. Stations are reminded to ensure all ads have proper sponsor identification disclosures.
  2. If a station is doing joint sales, time brokering, or shared service agreements, these need to be in the online Public File. 
  3. Stations need to be sure their transmissions stay in their assigned frequencies, and not infringe on others, like Air Traffic Control (ATC). Even translators are included.
  4. Trying to “game” the FCC with short sporadic operations to avoid the statutory deletion for not operating for 12 months is not seen very favorably. A station renewal can be in jeopardy for inconsistent operation.  

3/9/21 – You may recall that in January the FCC issued a Public Notice to remind stations to report all C-Band satellite dishes in use by April 19th or the Commission would presume these earth stations were inoperative and delete its authorization.

The FCC had tasked RSM to identify and list as inactive earth stations that are no longer operational. If you have registered, it is worth taking time to ensure you have “confirmed” use to the FCC by April 19th, or any protection will disappear.

3/5/21 – The computer security folks have noticed a major 0-Day hack by multiple bad guys attacking the Outlook/Exchange email software. Chinese hackers thought to be responsible have seized control over hundreds of thousands of Microsoft Exchange Servers worldwide, at least 30,000 in America

Microsoft has released emergency security updates to plug four security holes in Exchange Server versions 2013 through 2019 that hackers were actively using to siphon email communications from Internet-facing systems running Exchange. More information and patch information is available here.

3/4/21 – In the old days, when a record skipped or a cart machine failed to stop and cue, sometimes it repeated a phrase or section over and over, until someone stopped it. 

On the other hand, how about a TIS station that repeated the same traffic report over and over for 8 years. And no one noticed!  Take a look here.

2/24/21 – The FCC issued another Public Notice to remind stations of things they need to do – this time to register changes in the ownership of any ASR  registered tower structure.

2/23/21 – EEO Audits by the FCC are scheduled to start soon. The stations chosen randomly are listed in this Public Notice.

2/22/21 – The March FCC Open Meeting should provide a look at what the Commission plans to do in response to the READI Act (Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act) Congress has pushed READI through primarily to respond to the January 2018 fiasco in Hawaii, where  a false EAS activation frightened people expecting a missile attack. 

Congress wants the FCC to demand reports on fake EAS Alerts, repeat EAN messages, make changes to the SECCs, etc. They call it modernization of the EAS.  The Senate version did not pass last Congress, but the Act was made part of the Defense Authorization Bill that Congress passed – and 0verrode the President’s Veto in January. 

2/12/21 – The NAB has filed a strong opposition to a petition to allow FM Boosters to originate separate programming from the main signal.

1/26/21 – Ward Beck, well-known Canadian manufacturers of broadcast consoles for over 50 years, is Closed Down on January 31st. 

1/9/21 – The companies bidding for former C-Band space must see a big profit ahead: FCC reports that over $80 billion was bid in the 5G auctions. As the bidding winds down, it now is expected easily to top more twice than predicted. 


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