Thursday, September 25, 2014

BBG Names Andy Lack CEO

Respected Executive to Lead U.S. International Media
 
WASHINGTON -The Broadcasting Board of Governors announced today that it intends to hire respected journalist and media executive Andrew Lack as Chief Executive Officer of the federal agency that oversees the five networks and broadcasting operations of U.S. international media. Those networks include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.


"Andy Lack has an unmatched record as a journalist and media executive, and he has successfully steered large organizations through changes in competitive media environments," BBG Chair Jeff Shell said. "We are incredibly excited that Andy has decided to serve his country and lead the BBG as it fulfills its critical mission in this ever-changing and more complicated world."


Once his appointment is finalized, Lack will serve as the first-ever CEO of U.S. international media.  Creating the position of a CEO has been a key objective of the agency's governing board and the Administration.  


Lack's selection follows an extensive search process launched in October 2013, when the Board formed a special committee on the creation of a CEO.  Earlier this year, the agency engaged an executive search firm to identify candidates. 


"Andy is a great leader, a great communicator, and a great journalist," said Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, who serves as the delegate to the Board for Secretary of State John Kerry.  "He is the perfect person - and I really mean the perfect person - to be this organization's first CEO in the 21st century. We are lucky to have him, and we at State look forward to working with him."
 
Chairman of the Bloomberg Media Group for the past year, Lack joined Bloomberg in October 2008 as CEO of its Global Media Group.  In this position, he was responsible for expanding television, radio, magazine, conference and digital businesses.  Under his leadership, Bloomberg LP has enhanced the quality of its media properties, expanded internationally, and built out services to bring information to more people, in more places, on more platforms than ever before.


Prior to joining Bloomberg, Lack was Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, where he led the company's roster of prominent international artists and vast catalog of recorded music from around the world. Before joining Sony Music Entertainment, he was president and chief operating officer of NBC, where he oversaw entertainment, news (including MSNBC and CNBC), NBC stations, sales and broadcast and network operations. He was responsible for expanding the Today show to three hours and creating the show's street-side studio in New York's Rockefeller Center. 


From 1993 to 2001, Lack was president of NBC News, which he transformed into America's most-watched news organization through NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, Today and Dateline NBC. 

Before going to NBC, Lack spent much of his television career at CBS News. After joining in 1976, within a year, he became a prominent producer for 60 Minutes and subsequently, senior executive producer of CBS Reports.  Lack's broadcasts at CBS earned numerous honors, including 16 Emmy Awards and 4 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards. 


Lack received a bachelor's degree from the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, where he is currently a trustee. 


He lives in Bronxville, NY with his wife, Betsy, and their two sons.
 
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG networks include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).
       
BBG | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20237 | 202.203.4400

(BBG Press Release)

New DRM receiver from India, Avion AV-DR-1401 - up & close

Here are few pictures of the new DRM receiver from India, Avion AV-DR-1401, please note these pics are from the working prototype that was assembled at short notice for IBC 2014, the final product may/will differ from this. The receiver is expected to hit the market by December 2014.






















Specifications


3.5" TFT LCD
320 x 480 Resolution
Stereo Speakers and Headphones
FM : 87.5-108 MHz
DRM/AM : SW 2.3-27 MHz
DRM/AM : MW 522-1720 MHz
Adjustable Tuning Speed
Adjustable MW Step 9/10 kHz
DRM AFS
MPEG Audio Signal
Digital Audio Output
10 Hours Battery Backup
DC in 5V 1000mA
Built in Li-Pol Rechargable Battery
3.7 @ 6000 Mah Battery
3.5 mm Stereo Headphone Jack
Micro SD Card Slot
DRM Audio Input AAC+
CELP/HVXC/SBR
External Antenna Jack 3.5 mm
Speaker 3.5" 4 Ohms 3W
Detachable Remote Control

Key Features

DRM/AM/FM Stereo Reception
MW/SW/FM Bands
DRM Journaline Data
DRM Scrolling Text
DRM Program Recording
Auto Scan and Manual Tuning
DRM Emergency Warning
Unicode Character Support
100 Station Memory
Music/Photos playback from Micro SD Card
Multiple Language Support
Realtime Clock
MOT Slideshow
Service Mode
DRM AFS
Battery Indicator

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Announces at IBC 2014 First DRM Receiver produced in India

At IBC on Friday 12th September the DRM Consortium launched the first DRM AM model receiver produced in India for India and for global use.
 
The AV-DR -1401 designed and produced by Communications Systems Inc under the brand name Avion Electronics of India (www.avionelectronics.in) is a digital DRM SW, MW, as well as analogue AM and FM receiver with stereo reception, offering some of the extra features that make digital superior to analogue: more choice in perfect sound (MPEG audio), multimedia applications and local interactive text and media (Journaline), automatic tuning by station, not frequency, emergency alert capability etc.
 
The receiver was unveiled at the first DRM 'Pit-stop' on Friday 12th September at the Ampegon stand (Hall 8:D35). It was subsequently showcased on Saturday 13th September at Thomson Broadcast, the second 'Pit stop' event (Hall 8:C35) and  at the "tell and show" event organised by DRM Consortium member Nautel Ltd (Hall 8:C49). At their session 'Building to a Billion and Beyond', Nautel representatives and other Consortium companies from India and around the world gave an update on the digital project in India and participants could sample the excellent sound of the new DRM receiver model.
 
Ankit Agrawal, Director of Communications Systems Inc which produced the new model was thrilled with the interest created by the DRM radio: "Our receiver performed very well and its audio quality, extra features and ease of use received a lot of positive feedback.  IBC participants particularly liked the extended battery life of the receiver and its emergency warning capability.  With small adjustments we plan to make the receiver available for order in the next few months."
 
Ruxandra Obreja, the Consortium Chairman, says that: "We are very pleased with the exciting announcement on this new Indian receiver. With sufficient orders and support it could do very well and start the receiver ball rolling demonstrating that global, green and extremely cost-effective DRM is not just the future of digital radio but a reality for listeners now."
 
Other DRM members present at IBC are: Digidia, Fraunhofer IIs, GatesAir, RFmondial and Transradio.
 

 
 
About DRM
Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) is the universal, openly standardised digital broadcasting system for all broadcasting frequencies.
The DRM standard comprises of two major configurations: 'DRM30' intended for broadcasts on short, medium and long wave up to 30 MHz and providing large coverage areas and low power consumption. The configuration for the VHF bands above 30 MHz is called 'DRM+', tailored for local and regional coverage with broadcaster-controlled transmissions.
All DRM configurations share the same audio coding, data and multimedia services, service linking, multiplexing and signalling schemes. DRM provides high quality sound combined with a wealth of enhanced features : Surround Sound, Journaline text information, Slideshow, EPG and data services.
For more information and DRM updates please visit www.drm.org or subscribe to DRM news by writing to pressoffice@drm.org.  Click here for the Newsletter with all the latest DRM news from around the world.

(DRM Consortium Press Release)


Friday, September 12, 2014

AOR unveils new receiver AR-DV1



AOR has unveiled a new receiver AR-DV1 at the Tokyo Ham Fair, pricing and availability details are awaited.

Here's a video : http://youtu.be/Mge3_6wmAZo

Thanks to Hiroyuki Okamura for the photo's and video.

Ampegon delivers Shortwave Transmitters and Antenna Systems to Saudi Broadcast Corporation

Turgi, Switzerland, September 12, 2014. Saudi Broadcast Corporation (SBC), Saudi's National Broadcaster, has contracted Ampegon through undisputed Saudi market leader First Gulf Company (FGC) for the renewal of their radio transmission site in Riyadh. 

Ampegon will deliver four 500 kW shortwave transmitters, four shortwave antennas HRS 4/4/0.5 and the BroadMaster broadcast control system. The new systems will replace existing analog transmitters with four tubes by modern analog/digital transmitters having single high power tube amplification and hence a much better overall efficiency. Saudi Broadcast Corporation has selected FGC proposal with Ampegon because of the capability of FGC to handle large projects along with Ampegon's expertise and the reliability of their systems well known since decades. Ampegon had supplied several antenna and transmission systems in the past and feels honored to once again show presence in Saudi Arabia.

The transmitters will be manufactured in Turgi, Switzerland. Factory tests together with SBC engineers are planned for autumn and shipments before end of 2014. Commissioning by an Ampegon engineer will start afterwards and the new systems are expected to be on air within summer 2015.

Engineer Saleh A. Almeghaileeth, Vice-President for Engineering Affairs at SBC, is extremely pleased to work together with Ampegon: "Ampegon offers a complete solution approach including transmitters, antennas, broadcast control systems and DRM integration. We trust on Ampegon's and FGC's experience as they had delivered shortwave transmitters in the past that still work to our full satisfaction."


Tel. +41 58 710 44 00

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New website of All India Radio, Raipur




New website of  All India Radio (Akashwani) Raipur (Madhya Pradeah) was inaugurated on Friday, August 15th 2014 by Shri K.K.Singh, Deputy Director General (Engineering) and Head of the Office.
 
The excellently designed website offers extensive information for listeners about All India Radio Raipur's activities, program schedule, advertisement rate cards, engineering/administration/organizational set up, staff details, audience research unit, news unit, infrastructure & broadcasting facilities. There is a separate photo gallery highlighting the activities of the station.
 
The new website can be accessed at : http://airraipur.org/index.html
 
Photo's and media coverage of inauguration is available at :  http://airraipand r.org/picture_gallery5.html


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Explore the century-old mystery of numbers stations

Some time after World War II (if not earlier), shortwave radiobroadcasts started appearing with no obvious purpose. A synthesized voice, usually female-sounding, would read out a list of numbers or seemingly random words, sometimes accompanied by morse code with a nonsensical translation. It is widely assumed that the stations are used in spycraft, but no country or intelligence agency has ever admitted to being the source, and their true function remains unknown.

Read more at :

http://www.avclub.com/article/explore-century-old-mystery-numbers-stations-207413

Airspy

Good news, Airspy is coming!

Today, august 2 2014, we finished validating the last technical details and started preparing the production with our partners at Itead Studio and we should have a first batch of 500 units available soon. An email should be sent to the registrants with a link to purchase Airspy directly from Itead's website.

Our special thanks to all the folks on the IRC channel #airspy @ freenode who supported the project from the beginning and helped with code, testing, ideas and encouragements.

What is Airspy?

Airspy is a very tiny (5×3 cm) software defined radio receiver capable of sampling 10MHz of spectrum anywhere between 24MHz and 1.7GHz. It is the fruit of countless hours of head scratching, fiddling and experimenting with the cutting edge Radio and DSP technologies. We believe it will change the way radio professionals and enthusiasts see the spectrum beyond 30MHz.

Frequency hopping GSM signals Early prototype Fitting in the new aluminum enclosure FM Broadcast band in Paris, 1.5km away from the Eiffel tower antennas GSM Band with strong signals 

Technical specifications:

24 – 1750 MHz RX range with no gaps
3.5 dB NF between 42 and 1002 MHz
12bit ADC @ 20 MSPS (80dB SFDR, 64dB SNR, 10.4 ENOB)
Cortex M4F @ 200 MHz and up to 204MHz with Multi Core MCU (dual M0)
1.5 ppm clock
1 RTC clock
External clock input (10 MHz to 100 MHz)
10 MHz panoramic spectrum view with 8MHz alias/image free
IQ or Real, 16bit fixed or 32bit float output streams
No IQ imbalance, DC offset or 1/F noise at the center of the spectrum
that plagues all the other SDRs
Extension ports: SGPIO, 2 x ADC channels, 2 x programmable clocks

Possible usages:

Spectrum Analyzer,
Fast scanner,
Radio surveillance,
Direction Finding,
Passive Radars,
ADS-B,
FM Radio,
Analog TV,
Digital Terrestrial TV,
Ham Radio,
Heck, this is a software defined radio! The only limitation is your imagination

May be you will want to get one or two boards to experience the joy of listening to the radio waves like nobody did before and with software you can hack by yourself? Then register so we can let you know when
the product is ready for purchase! Our special thanks to the all folks who helped debugging and improving the project.

(Source : airspy.com)

Voice of America Ends Greek Broadcasts

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 11, 2014 - After 72 years on air, the Voice of America Greek Service -- one of the longest-running language services -- is signing off today for the last time, bidding adieu to loyal listeners in Greece, Cyprus, and beyond.

VOA Director David Ensor called the Greek Service "a small but mighty group of talented, dedicated journalists, who for over seven decades served as an unbiased, objective news source."

The Greek Service was established on November 1, 1942, and went on to cover historic turning points of modern Greece, from the civil war in the late 1940s to the accession to the European Union, and most recently the country's struggles to remain an integral part of the E.U.

The Greek Service was among the first services at the Voice of America to transition to exclusively affiliate-based broadcasting in the early 1990s. One of VOA's smallest language services, the staff provided regular and ad-hoc content to its affiliate stations in Greece, with unique perspectives on U.S. politics, coverage of issues concerning the Greek-American community, and live Q&As during major global news events.

Ioannis Spanolios, general manager of one of VOA's first-ever affiliates, SKAI Radio and TV in Greece, said, "We are saddened because our collaboration that lasted close to a quarter century has come to a close...because we are losing a valuable news source from the other side of the Atlantic."

VOA Greek Service Chief Anna K. Morris said of her time with the Greek Service, "I feel absolutely privileged to have been given the opportunity to present American perspectives to Greek audiences for over 22 years."

(VOA Press Release)

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

From vinyl to CDs to digital, the evolution of radio

Despite being over a century old, radio broadcasting is still one of the biggest forms of communication for many today.
 
Radio has come a long way since its invention, and companies such as Clear Channel Communications are helping to shape and evolve this tried-and-true technology in several ways.
 
Read the full story at :
 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

To Be Where the Audience Is — Report of the Special Committee on the Future of Shortwave Broadcasting

WASHINGTON (August 1, 2014) — The Broadcasting Board of Governors today released "To Be Where the Audience Is," a report that found shortwave radio to be essential to listeners in target countries, but of marginal impact in most markets. The report's recommendations came after a comprehensive review, grounded in audience-based research, of the efficacy of shortwave as a distribution platform for U.S. international media.
 
"Shortwave radio continues to be an important means for large numbers of people in some countries to receive news and information," said Matt Armstrong, who chaired the BBG's Special Committee on the Future of Shortwave Broadcasting, which issued the report. "However, many of our networks' target audiences have moved to newer platforms including TV, FM and digital media. This report maps a way forward for U.S. international media to remain accessible for all our audiences."
 
Research-based evidence of media trends suggests that the increased availability and affordability of television, mobile devices and Internet access has led to the declining use of shortwave around the world. Still, the report finds that substantial audiences embrace shortwave in Nigeria, Burma, North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Cuba and other target markets for the BBG.
 
At the same time, the committee's recommendations make clear that the BBG will need to continue to reduce or eliminate shortwave broadcasts where there is either minimal audience or that audience is not a U.S. foreign policy priority. It also ratifies reductions that were made in redundant signals in 2013 and further cuts in transmissions that were made in 2014.
 
Even with these recent reductions, the BBG makes programs in 35 of its 61 broadcast languages available on shortwave where there is a strategic reason to do so.
 
The report notes there is no evidence that shortwave usage increases during crises. At such times, audiences continue to use their preferred platforms or seek out anti-censorship tools to help them navigate to the news online, including firewall circumvention tools or offline media including thumb drives and DVDs.
 
The Shortwave Committee report will be discussed at the August 13 public meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.


The report can be accessed here.... 

Monday, July 28, 2014

The gutting of Radio Australia

The ABC's international broadcasting to the Pacific islands is being devastated by the latest round of staffing cuts, writes Nic Maclellan


Read more at:
 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Radio New Zealand mailbox program goes after 65 years



We were saddened to learn today that the Radio NZ International Mailbox program to which we regularly contribute features about Pacific radio has been cancelled after 65 years. That's a good run,
and we're pleased the funds will now be used for the core news and information programs directed to the South Pacific, which is the funded target area for RNZI.


We have about 10 years of features we've researched and presented, and we will shortly be working through these and converting them into multi-media features at our website www.radioheritage.net. We've already got an example there, Papua New Guinea Radio, and it's proving quite popular. Why not check it out.


A special thanks to our team of financial supporters who make it possible to keep the project going each month. If you can join them, we'd love to hear from you this month. Currently, we need to find
$1,649 to meet all our obligations by July 31. We welcome your gifts to help us continue all aspects of the project to protect radio memorabilia from being thrown away or lost, and we'd also love to add
you to the Supporter Roll of Honor at www.radioheritage.net.


You'll find simple and quick ways to make a gift that counts just by looking under the ZCO Tonga logo on the right-hand side of every page. And, whilst you're there, have a look around the hundreds of features and images, explore our radio guides, learn more about our mission, and share us on various social media. Did you know we have a Facebook page with over 1,350 fans!


Whether you're in the middle of summer or the middle of winter, it's good to know we have so many friends, like you, that we can count on to keep the radio memories safe for future generations.


Best wishes from the team
Radio Heritage Foundation
Connecting today's people with yesterday's radio

Japan donates new shortwave transmitter to Solomon Islands

The Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has delivered a new radio broadcasting transmission facility through the National Broadcaster, SIBC.
 
The more than 40-million dollars facility is donated under a project called "Improvement of Radio Broadcasting Network for Disaster Prevention" and is to improve early warning systems during times of disasters in Solomon Islands.
 
 
Related :


BBC Uzbek comes to Saraish Radio in Afghanistan

BBC World Service has extended the availability of its Uzbek-language radio programming in north-western Afghanistan.
 
Thanks to a new co-operation with Saraish Radio 91.1 FM, which reaches audiences in the Jowzjan and Sar-e Pol provinces with large ethnic Uzbek population, the station now broadcasts BBC Uzbek service's hour-long radio programming every day at 17.30-18.30 local time.
 
Saraish Radio 91.1 FM is a private station which sees women as its main target audience and covers sensitive issues such as women's education and role in society. It broadcasts news and current affairs, youth and educational programmes, talk shows, short dramas and sport. Uzbek is widely spoken in the area covered by Saraish Radio.
 
Saraish Radio Founder and President, Farida Rahim Azizi, comments: "Everyone at Radio Saraish is excited about our cooperation with the BBC. Thanks to this new arrangement, BBC radio will reach Uzbek-speakers in our region, bringing them unbiased, objective news and information. This is an excellent development for Saraish Radio and our listeners."
 
Since it launched 20 years ago, BBC Uzbek service has built a strong reputation for impartial news, reporting to a region where unbiased news is hard to come by. Editor of Central Asia Hub, BBC World Service, Hamid Ismailov, says: "International news and current-affairs content is not readily available in this area of Afghanistan. We are delighted that, thanks to this new link with Saraish Radio, BBC Uzbek radio programming will reach a large audience of Uzbek-speakers, especially women in rural areas, bringing them news and analysis from the wider region and the rest of the world, in their own language."
 
BBC Uzbek is part of BBC World Service.
 
(BBC Press Release)