Broadcasting & Cable
The Two Motion-Imaging Industry Leaders Unify Their Annual Silicon Valley Conferences Into One Event Dedicated to Next-Generation Storytelling
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — May 23, 2019 — The SMPTE® San Francisco Section and the Advanced Imaging Society (AIS) are partnering to present Entertainment Technology on the Bay 2019 ([email protected]), a two-day event in Silicon Valley that will focus on the art and science of next-generation storytelling. Slated for June 5 and 6 at the Santa Clara Marriott, the conference will connect attendees with the technical experts and creative innovators leveraging new and emerging tools and techniques to shape the future media landscape. The price of general admission registration includes a one-year individual membership to both SMPTE and AIS.
"[email protected] is a must for engineers, filmmakers, researchers, production and postproduction creatives, business development strategists, and management looking ahead to the future of storytelling," said Pat Griffis, SMPTE president and [email protected] conference chair. "With participation from an array of notable experts, the conference will explore the technologies and techniques that will play a critical role in revolutionizing the stories being told, how they are being told, and by whom."
"With [email protected], SMPTE and AIS are bringing their annual Silicon Valley conferences together in a unified event boasting more than 50 presenters," said Jim Chabin, AIS president. "Attendees will hear from and meet the industry leaders and innovators who are developing and driving new forms of storytelling enabled by new technologies influencing all aspects of content creation, delivery, and consumption."
The conference will feature a technology track and a storytellers' track, as well as evening events including a session on women in technology and entertainment, an 80th anniversary reception at the HP Museum that includes young entertainment professionals and SMPTE Student members, and a special premier screening of "Dark Phoenix" in Dolby Cinema at the close of the conference. Program highlights include an insider's preview of Hollywood's summer and fall movie offerings, presented with clips and commentary by Scott "Movie" Mantz and a session on the "Making of Toy
Presentations and panel discussions across the two days will address topics such as AI, cloud creative, 5G, OTT streaming, social media, content cyber safety, volumetric capture and rendering, virtual production, light field cinematography, broadband and mobile IP management, digital workflows and distribution, VR/AR/XR, audio processing, and workstation collaboration. More details on the program are available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xrTR8QEaG6Wi70LHZC2xWbkZRQvoASiu/view?mc_cid=620cd58256&mc_eid=8bf24034bf.
Registration for [email protected] is open now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/entertainment-technology-2019-tickets-60957450375. Pricing for both days starts at $299 (plus a handling fee) for SMPTE members and $499 (plus fee) for general admission, which includes the option of one free year of membership in SMPTE and AIS. The two-day rate includes meals, evening reception, as well as admission to the movie event. Attendees can also choose to attend either or both days of the conference. A limited room block is available at the Santa Clara Marriott at a reduced rate for registered conference attendees. Here is the link: Book your group rate for AIS - Silicon Valley Entertainment Technology On The Bay 2019.
Further information about SMPTE is available at smpte.org.
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The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers®, or SMPTE, is defining the future of storytelling. The Society's mission is to enable the technical framework that allows the global professional community to make media for artistic, educational, and entertainment purposes and to distribute that content for the benefit and enjoyment of people worldwide. As a global volunteer-driven society of technologists, developers, and creatives, SMPTE is engaged in driving the quality and evolution of motion pictures, television, and professional media. The Society sets industry standards that help businesses maximize their markets more cost-effectively, provides relevant education that supports members' career growth, and fosters an engaged and diverse membership community.
All trademarks appearing herein are the properties of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/SMPTE/190523SMPTE.docx
Link to Photos: www.wallstcom.com/SMPTE/SMPTE-ET19.jpg
Photo Caption: Entertainment Technology on the Bay 2019 ([email protected]) will be held June 5 and 6 at the Santa Clara Marriott.
Pixit Media, pioneer of software-defined storage and data-management solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry, is pleased to announce that one of the UK’s leading post houses, Films at 59, has installed a PixStor scalable storage platform to support its 4K high-end grading and finishing work.
Founded in 1990, Films at 59 is an award-winning Pre and Post production house, with sites in Bristol and Cardiff and collaborative working relationships worldwide. Delivering across all genres, the company is renowned for its achievements in high-end broadcast, particularly in factual entertainment and natural history. With a growing international client list including Netflix, the BBC and National Geographic and producing stunning 4K programming such as Our Planet (Netflix) and Dynasties (BBC One), Films at 59 needed to replace its legacy SAN as it could no longer deliver the performance, or the reliability, required to keep up with the increasing demands placed upon it.
Following an in-depth examination of the leading systems on the market with Integration Partner Digital Garage, PixStor was recommended as the “sensible choice for a leading-edge, tried and tested solution.” Coupled with further recommendations from the post production community and a visit to Pixit Media’s Technical Lab, the Films at 59 team was confident that PixStor's capabilities could deliver its workflow requirements and the solution was installed in December 2018.
“We were impressed by both the PixStor solution and the team’s technical expertise and approach,” comments Stuart Dyer, Films at 59’s Operations Manager. “We visited the Pixit Lab and during our discussion on future workflow requirements they were able to clearly demonstrate guaranteed performance at every possible angle, along with intelligent automated tools to help us streamline our pipeline. We really liked their approach; they provided a documented and data-led consultation that truly addressed our workflow challenges head-on - crunching the numbers for bandwidth specifications with us and they were open about what each system build could deliver for us.”
Proven performance and stability were the critical requirements for Films at 59. Their chosen system had to reliably support its suites to cope with the increase in 4K workflows and provide scalability to keep up with future demands, both in terms of volume of work and a potential shift to 8K finishing. “PixStor’s software-defined architecture provides us with a future-proof platform based on commodity hardware, with performance bandwidth guaranteed for the lifetime of the system with no degradation,” says Dyer. “It’s the perfect match for our needs now and can easily scale up and scale out to allow us to grow the capacity and performance as we require it.”
Pixit Media delivered a complete solution for Films at 59’s Production Media Services Central Storage system, with a PixStor integrated with best-of-breed Dell hardware and Mellanox networking to meet the Post house’s specific requirements. The PixStor system currently has six workstations attached to it: two Autodesk Flames, two FilmLight Baselights and two Assist systems, with the capacity to add further workstations quickly and easily. It connects Films at 59’s Avid network, Storage DNA archive system and Object Matrix nearline storage together - seamlessly integrating it all in a single global namespace for maximum efficiency, visibility and usability.
“With an expansion in high-end broadcast, we are seeing an increasing volume of files from production companies and PixStor helps us to manage them in a really simple way,” Andy Farmer, Films at 59’s Senior Engineer, explains. “What’s more, its tiered performance lets us efficiently manage the costs of fast bandwidth storage, allocating super-fast storage to the most demanding projects and setting policies for sequential 4K, and in the future 8K, content. With access to a heat-map that visualizes files, we’ve gained real insight to help us develop our storage strategies and that’s a real payoff in managing the costs of projects – both internally and for our clients.”
Even before deployment, the performance and efficiency of PixStor was never in doubt for integration partner Digital Garage. “We are a long-trusted partner of Films at 59 and we were confident in our selection of PixStor as a software-defined storage platform to deliver the guaranteed performance, scalability and collaboration capabilities to take them into an 8K future,” explains Charles Manolescue, Sales Director at Digital Garage. “PixStor is a really solid platform that effectively delivers for true 4K and HDR workflows. Its power and usability are unrivalled.”
With its continued success, Films at 59 is now looking to expand its PixStor system to meet its growing 4K workload and remain agile with 8K on the horizon.
“Films at 59 is both a technical and creative trailblazer in post-production and we’re proud to support their team as they continue to deliver stunning 4K programming,” said Ben Leaver CEO Pixit Media. “With PixStor we’ve gone beyond storage to deliver a workflow-focused infrastructure that empowers our customers to take on demanding Any-K projects, create award-winning work and evolve their business.”
Cable operator tells customers the technology supporting the app on platform is out of date and can’t be upgraded or updated
“The current platform connecting your TiVo to Xfinity On Demand runs on an out-of-date technology that cannot be upgraded or updated,” Comcast said in its notification.
Comcast reps didn't immediately responds to MCN's inquiries for comment.
The missive was first reported on by video tech aficionado and blogger Dave Zatz, who wrote—based on conversations with insiders—that ROI probably factored more into Comcast’s decision than did the cable operator's ongoing patent battle with TiVo.
Regardless, it doesn’t look like the two companies are sharing a lot of code these days. (Notably, in a turn of the screw parroted by several other blogs today, the International Trade Federation is investigating TiVo’s latest patent complaint against Comcast, which was filed earlier this month.)
For its part, Comcast takes the opportunity to plug its new Xfinity Stream app, telling customers in its notification that Xfinity On Demand can be accessed on “other devices” using that app.
U.S. needs to guard against internet inequity
In a speech at Georgetown University, Starks, the newest member of the commission, said he wanted to lay down a market on one of the most important issues the country faces. That is getting broadband to the over 24 million without access to broadband at any speed.
Starks said he feared the transition to 5G was also a transition from a digital divide to an "internet inequality."
"I am worried about a world where those with much get even more, and everyone else gets left behind," he said.
He said the consequences are that the disconnected are disaffected and the country's global competitiveness is compromised. "Towns without broadband struggle to create or retain businesses and jobs, and few new businesses will move to a town that isn’t connected," he said.
He also said internet inequality is a threat to democracy. "The widening chasm of broadband haves and have-nots threatens central and core notions of our shared culture as Americans," he said. "It is pulling us apart when it should, by its very nature, connect us. That is to say, the persistently uneven distribution of who is connected is not healthy for our democracy."
Footage had been altered to make her appear 'out of it'
Liberal activists at CREDO Action were slamming Facebook Friday (May 24) for not taking down a doctored video of House speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral.
The video, which has been viewed millions of times, according to CNN, had been slowed to make Pelosi seem drunk or "out of it," the characterization leveled by President Trump following an aborted meeting with Democrats, including Pelosi, about funding infrastructure upgrades. Pelosi had said following the meeting that the President could use an "intervention" by staffers or family or friends.
"This is a stunning abdication of responsibility from a company with a well-earned reputation for facilitating the spread of malicious right-wing conspiracy theories," said CREDO Action Co-Director Josh Nelson in a statement. "Facebook's decision not to remove this video is a wink and nod to foreign actors and conspiracy theorists around the globe."
"Facebook has a responsibility to protect its users from deliberately misleading political propaganda," Nelson added. "This is just the latest episode in the company's long history of utterly failing to live up to that responsibility."
Asked about the altered video Friday and whether that signaled his feud with her had gone too far, the President said he didn't know about the video, but said that the suggestion he had attacked her was fake news and that she had made "horrible statements" and said "terrible things" that weren't true, so he "just responded in kind," which suggests he countered with horrible statements and terrible things that weren't true.
A Facebook spokesperson was not available for comment, but the issue illustrates the challenge of social media sites under pressure from Washington to police their content, while just what content should come down depends on who is doing the pressing.
Late night tweets target perceived media friends and foes
President Trump was doing some late night media currying and clobbering on Twitter Thursday night.
His first was essentially a promo for Fox Nation, the subscription streaming service from his favorite news outlet--that list does not appear long.
But that was it for the positive side of the media ledger as he followed that with an attack on his favorite target, CNN:
Followed by a tweet that bit the hand that was feeding him:
The President appears convinced, as are some Hill Republicans, that social media sites systematically censor conservative speakers.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has told the Hill that while concerns of a liberal bias in Silicon Valley are understandable, his company has no systematic bias against conservatives.
In fact, on Friday liberal group CREDO criticized Facebook for not taking down a video "altered" to make Nancy Pelosi look like she was "losing it," a characterization made by President Trump as he and the House speaker traded jabs over the breakdown of a meeting on infrastructure funding.
Just last month, the President met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, after which the President suggested, again in a tweet, that he was willing to keep an open mind about an edge he has targeted with cutting criticism.
Dorsey was among the tech CEO's who testified on the Hill last year as D.C., drilled down on issues of edge giant power, data sharing, election meddling and more. He told he House Energy & Commerce Committee that the social media site does not use political ideology in its decision making, period.
"Let me be clear about one important and foundational fact: Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules," said Dorsey in his prepared testimony for a Hill hearing. "We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially. We do not shadow ban anyone based on political ideology. In fact, from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform."
NBC in close second with Red Nose Day
ABC and CBS tied in Thursday's primetime ratings with a 0.6 and a 3 share but ABC stood out with the This Is Farrah Fawcett special from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. NBC had it's Red Nose Day special and came in second with a .4 on the night in ages 18-49.
The Red Nose Day special from 8 to 11 p.m. had more than two million viewers and saw a 10% increase from the previous year. This special has raised almost $40 million this year. Following the Red Nose Day special was Hollywood Game Night: Red Nose Day which also did a .04 on the night and had two million viewers.
CBS had repeats of Young Sheldon, Mom, and Life in Pieces before the season premiere of Elementary which averaged a .5 and 3 share.
Fox, Telemundo and Univision also tied with NBC at a .4 on the evening overall. Fox had Paradise Hotel which scored a .4, a 33% increase from last week.
The CW did a .2/1 with iZombie and In The Dark.
Commission appears to have voted to approve deal
FCC commissioner Brendan Carr says his support of two of the top four wireless carriers merging--T-Mobile and Sprint--hinged on those companies' commitment to build out 5G to 97% of the population within three years.
That is no big surprise since winning the race to 5G is a priority for the President and FCC chair Ajit Pai. In addition, Pai deputized Carr to oversee agenda items on easing impediments to that rollout.
In an interview for C-SPAN's Communicators series, Carr called that a "really good win" for rural America. He also pointed to the fact that the merger would create a stronger third provider to compete with AT&T and Verizon.
Pai has said he will circulate an order approving the deal. Carr said he was on board and fellow Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly tweeted that he was also inclined to support it, which would give the FCC the necessary three votes to approve, though the Justice Department has not yet concluded its antitrust review.
Carr said one of the key ways to drive up broadband access in rural areas is to drive down the cost of deployment, which he says the FCC has been doing to the tune of billions of dollars by streamlining the permitting and siting process, an effort he has championed.
The second key is the Universal Service Fund broadband subsides, he said, and the third is freeing up spectrum.
Carr's Communicators episode airs on C-SPAN Saturday, May 25, at 6:30 p.m. ET, and Monday, May 27, on C-SPAN2 at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.
C-SPAN is a suite of public service networks funded by the cable industry.
Axon Digital, leading Broadcast and IP infrastructure specialist, has announced a new channel partnership with Canadian-based Applied Electronics Limited, a trusted provider of integrated media solutions and professional audio visual, broadcast and media storage technology. The relationship will expand Axon’s reach throughout Canada, with a strong focus on building and supporting IP environments.
Applied Electronics, which supplies, integrates and supports the latest broadcast technology offerings for broadcast, production and post-production from its locations in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, will provide sales and on-the-ground technical support across the region, where Axon has a growing customer base.
A strong emphasis will be placed on Axon’s Cerebrum control and monitoring platform - the solution of choice for major sports and news operations worldwide - and the adoption of Axon’s Neuron, the world’s first Network Attached Processor (NAP) delivering IP signal processing with guaranteed bandwidth performance for new formats such as 4K.
“Axon’s pioneering solutions for IP signal processing and control seamlessly integrate into our technology portfolio and greatly strengthen our offering, providing flexibility and choice to our customers,” says Paul Stechly, President of Applied Electronics. “Axon’s worldwide reputation for user-friendly reliable broadcast infrastructure solutions is second to none and we are delighted to represent the Axon brand as their regional partner.”
“As the move to IP gains momentum so does the need to overcome the complexity of integrating new technologies,” says Karel van der Flier Axon’s CCO. “By partnering with local technology providers, such as Applied Electronics, Axon is able to offer solutions that empower and simplify complex IP workflows with vital 24/7 local support. Combining our solutions with Applied Electronics’ front-line knowledge and integration expertise of new IP-based technologies, we are well-placed to accelerate the move to IP and minimise the risk.”
For further information, please visit www.axon.tv or contact your local Applied Electronics sales representation.
Headquartered in The Netherlands, and with offices across the world, Axon develops, manufactures and markets high quality broadcast equipment for the conversion, processing and compliance recording of audio and video signals. Products integrate advanced signal processing techniques, innovative engineering and modular flexibility and provide high quality, affordability and reliability within mission-critical broadcast applications. For more information please visit www.axon.tv.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pat Esser, President of Cox Communications, Inc., was reelected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association (NCTA). The election took place on May 15, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
In addition, the following officers were reelected: Dave Watson, President & CEO, Comcast Cable, and Senior EVP, Comcast Corporation, as Vice Chairman; Gary Shorman, President & CEO, Eagle Communications, as Treasurer; and Bob Bakish, President & CEO, Viacom, Inc., as Secretary.
Other Board elections included:
- At-Large System Director: Ron Duncan, CEO & Co-Founder, General Communication, Inc., for another three-year term.
- Rural/Midsize Directors: In April 2019, Jeff DeMond, President & CEO, Vyve Broadband, was reelected to serve another two-year term.
- At-Large Programmer Directors: David Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery, Inc.; Josh Sapan, President & CEO, AMC Networks; Paul Buccieri, President, A+E Networks Group; and new to the NCTA Board, Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment.
In addition, Alfred Liggins, CEO, Urban One, was reappointed to serve as an Appointed At-Large Director.
Other directors who serve on the NCTA Board were not subject to reelection.
Filmmaker Chris Ray has made a career out of capturing epic shots.From his beginnings in the skate industry to his work on the viral hit ‘Pipedream’ which saw Robbie Maddison surf waves on a dirt bike in Tahiti and garnered 30 Million views, Ray’s run and gun style of filming has made him successful. But what began with skating has quickly expanded into work with companies like DC Shoes, NFL Films, Ford, GoPro, ESPN and many more.
Filmmaker Chris Ray has made a career out of capturing epic shots.
From his beginnings in the skate industry to his work on the viral hit ‘Pipedream’ which saw Robbie Maddison surf waves on a dirt bike in Tahiti and garnered 30 Million views, Ray’s run and gun style of filming has made him successful. But what began with skating has quickly expanded into work with companies like DC Shoes, NFL Films, Ford, GoPro, ESPN and many more.
“I do so much outside of skateboarding now – commercials and so many other things,” explains Ray, who shot his first skate video in eighth grade. “This reminds me of where I came from. I owe a lot to skateboarding.”
Ray returned to his roots to compete in the X Games: Real Street 2019, an all-street skateboarding video contest. His one-minute video and collaboration with skater Chase Webb earned Ray his second gold and the fifth overall medal of his X Games career.
“I’ve always enjoyed doing Real Street because it’s the only contest that really gives the skater and the filmmaker a platform and an opportunity to win a gold medal,” says Ray. “I think that’s pretty rare anywhere. This video took us about six months to shoot. Chase was the underdog of this contest, so to walk away with a Gold feels even better.”
In the winning video, Ray used a long lens to capture ‘next level’ tricks on rails that were kinked, curved, and huge! Or in the words of one commenter, “Someone call Master Splinter... I found a Shredder.” Ray’s cinematography let Webb and the skating speak for itself.
“It’s a 60-second edit, but I try and make it feel as if it’s a full video,” says Ray. “It has a start; it has a finish. I try to work around the skater or the athlete and have my equipment ready to go. Everything needs to be pretty run and gun. I would hate to go on a shoot and say ‘oh wait, hold on guys. I need to get this ready.’ I just want to be ready to go.”
Being ready to respond to events around him has established Ray as a highly sought after filmmaker. While he continues to lead the video strategy for major skate brand, DC Shoes, Ray is now filming with many companies, but one he's idolized for a long time, NFL Films. In his kit, he trusts products he knows will be ready to perform when he needs it. In Ray’s run and gun kit, he includes a RED Epic, Core batteries, and for shots that need a long lens and ultra-stability, he chooses the Cartoni Focus 22.
“The Focus 22 is my go-to tripod,” says Ray. “That’s important to me because a lot of the cameras I’m using these days, like the Red Epic, are not very good for going handheld for skateboarding. When I’m using a long lens, that’s when the Focus 22 comes in. It's perfect. I remember when I switched from a bad tripod to a Cartoni, and it was just like my camera was floating in clouds. That’s what you want. You don’t want something that is fighting your shot or is going jerk mid-trick. Using a tripod that moves seamlessly with my camera has been huge for me.“
Having the right gear helps Ray gets the shot, but he credits his success to doing what he loves and taking chances.
“It’s funny because I always want to say no when I’m approached with a new opportunity because the scariest thing in the world is when you have the opportunity to realize your dream. You have to be brave enough to seize those opportunities and take those chances.
'Rhinestone Blue' screening, June 1, 11:30 a.m., Paramount Theatre, Los Angeles
Valhalla, New York, May 23, 2019 – Rhinestone Blue, a short film lensed by master cinematographer Tobias Schliessler, ASC, will premiere at this year’s Cine Gear Expo on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood. The six-minute film, directed by Schliessler’s daughter, Aisha, showcases the new line of FUJINON PREMISTA large format cinema lenses. The screening is set for Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Paramount Theatre, and will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers.
We follow an aging cowboy who sets out to compete in a small-town talent show. When his plan goes awry, he’s left to win something much more meaningful.” The film was produced over the course of three days, with shots designed to put FUJINON’s 28-100mm PREMISTA zoom lens through its paces, using Sony’s large-format VENICE camera on as many camera platforms as possible.
“At the same time, we wanted to hold on to static shots long enough for the viewer to study the beauty of the lens,” says Tobias Schliessler. “We also included as many different lighting situations as possible, with low- and high-contrast settings and opportunities to show the color characteristics of the lens. I was very impressed with how the PREMISTA, in combination with the VENICE, captured color nuance.”
The Premista 28-100mm is a standard zoom lens that covers 28-100mm focal lengths. Since this range is normally covered by six different prime lenses, this lens can save significant time on the set, especially when the camera is on a crane or helicopter and access is difficult. A new 13-blade iris allows for a pleasant bokeh effect, and a wide dynamic range of light can be captured thanks to dedicated optical design that suppresses unwanted flare and ghosting. Thanks to its large-diameter aspherical lens elements and new focus/zoom system, the PREMISTA series achieves stunning optical quality from the center to the corner at all focal lengths. The lens weighs only 3.8kg/8.3 lbs., yet is still very durable, allowing professional use even in harsh conditions.
The FUJINON PREMISTA 28-100mm T2.9 will be available in summer 2019, followed by the launch of the 80-250mm T2.9-3.5 before the end of 2019. Together, the lenses will cover the most frequently used focal lengths from 28mm to 250mm. The 28-100mm has a constant T2.9 speed across the entire zoom range and the 80-250mm has a constant T2.9 speed from 80-200mm, before gradually ramping less than a stop to T3.5 between 201-250mm. Both lenses cover a 46.3mm image circle, sufficient for all current large format digital cinema cameras.
“I’ve been a fan of the FUJINON Zoom lenses since my first experience on Lone Survivor, where I used the 19-90mm Cabrio and the Premier zooms for the first time,” says Schliessler. “I have since used them on all on my spherical feature films and commercials. I am happy to have the PREMISTA for my large format work. The lens has the same contrast, sharpness, color characteristics, quality, and lack of lens breathing as the Premier zooms.”
FUJINON's PREMISTA large format cinema zooms are the culmination of 20 years of high-quality cinema optics design and manufacturing. The list of cinematographers who, like Schliessler, choose FUJINON lenses is robust, including the likes of John Toll, ASC; Tom Sigel, ASC; Claudio Miranda, ASC, Linus Sandgren, ASC, FSF and many more.
“We’re thrilled to present Rhinestone Blue to the filmmaking community,” says Tom Fletcher, director of marketing for the Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “Tobias and Aisha have created a visual treat that shows what the Premista lenses are capable of in the hands of true artists. We can’t wait to show off the results to the discerning eyes at Cine Gear Expo.”
The Cine Gear premiere is part of a “Presenting Premista” tour that invites filmmakers to see, touch and test FUJINON's 28-100mm T2.9 Premista large format cinema zoom lens, and eventually the 80-250mm, as well. Events have been scheduled at Sim in Vancouver; William F. White in Toronto; TCS, ARRI Rental, and AbelCine in New York; PC&E and John Sharaf Photography in Atlanta; and AbelCine and Panavision in Chicago. More events will be announced here as they are added.
Watch the Rhinestone Blue trailer here. Production photos and interviews with the filmmakers are available upon request.
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division provides consumer and commercial photographic products and services, including: photographic paper; digital printing equipment, along with service and support; personalized photo products; film; and one-time-use cameras; and also markets motion picture archival film and on-set color management solutions to the motion picture, broadcast and production industries. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the graphic printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides optical lenses for the broadcast, cinematography, closed circuit television, videography and industrial markets, and also markets binoculars. The Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division delivers new products derived from Fujifilm technologies. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. sells and markets a range of FUJIFILM products and services in Canada. For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com/northamerica, go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to www.facebook.com/FujifilmNorthAmerica to Like Fujifilm on Facebook. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings cutting edge solutions to a broad range of global industries by leveraging its depth of knowledge and fundamental technologies developed in its relentless pursuit of innovation. Its proprietary core technologies contribute to the various fields including healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products. These products and services are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. For the year ended March 31, 2019, the company had global revenues of $22 billion, at an exchange rate of 111 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.
Linear, digital finally converge
"Although news coming out of the upfronts this year wasn’t particularly revolutionary, the same cannot be said for the broader tide of announcements that has been reshaping the TV sphere." -Anupam Gupta, Chief Product Officer, 4C
The 2019 television network upfronts for ad buyers came and went this year with the usual fanfare—news around network positioning, upcoming shows, celebrity appearances and, yes, lavish parties. Despite the current tumultuous television landscape, these annual events looked and felt much as they have in recent years. But that’s going to change—and soon.
By 2021, you’ll be hard-pressed to recognize the TV upfronts in the context of how they function today. While it’s hard to see past the awkward stage of digital upheaval in which TV finds itself today, the pieces are at last falling into place in terms of the future of TV buying. Two years from now, the linear-digital coalescence that we’ve all been anticipating for years will have finally happened, and media buying will never be the same.
Positioning, Posturing and Planning
Although news coming out of the upfronts this year wasn’t particularly revolutionary, the same cannot be said for the broader tide of announcements that has been reshaping the TV sphere. The new media landscape—the one in which new consumer behaviors across streaming, over-the-top (OTT) and other digital viewing environments are reflected in how brands purchase advertising space—is rapidly falling into place. The roster of players that have thrown their hats in the ring to vie for the portion of TV budgets that is expected to shift from linear to digital over the next few years is impressive, as are their ambitions.
Consider just a few of the news items that have rocked the industry over the past year: AT&T acquired programmatic ad tech platform AppNexus, thereby uniting real-time analytics and technology with premium TV and video content. Disney has continued its absorption of major media players with its acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets, which was made all the more relevant by the unveiling of Disney+, its forthcoming OTT subscription video on-demand service. Viacom acquired video streaming service Pluto TV, a rising ad-supported streaming service that attracts more than 12 million users. Comcast outbid Fox in a $39 billion takeover of British broadcaster Sky, which has invested deeply in digital media and OTT in recent years. Nearly all traditional linear TV players have rolled out their own new OTT and streaming offerings, both subscription and ad-supported.
Meanwhile, the pure-digital players continue their own evolution. We’ve seen platforms like YouTube and Hulu get into the live TV realm. Facebook is doubling-down on video and new content formats with Facebook Watch, its video-on-demand service. Snap is launching Originals, some from publishers like Buzzfeed, and has even formed a joint venture with NBCUniversal to produce more. Twitter has made deep investments in sports content licences. Companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple are investing billions on original programming. Roku continues to refine and ramp its ad business. “Convergence” is the right word for this trend – but convergence toward what, exactly?
Many Paths to a Single Destination
While it might seem like today’s TV and video players are all scrambling in disparate directions, all underlying intentions and forward motion are running on the same track: toward a future where advertisers can buy all linear and digital video content seamlessly and simultaneously. By the 2021 upfronts, this will no longer be an emerging trend or area to watch. It will be a reality. The new media landscape will be set.
Ultimately, the playing field is going to be a lot more level than anyone might have suspected only a year or two ago. Traditional linear players like Disney, NBCU, CBS and others will be going head-to-head with digital-first movers like Google, Facebook, Snapchat and others. Legacy defensive strategies built around the brand safety of linear and traditional TV formats will break down as digital channels grow or acquire new compelling offers in this arena.
At the 2021 upfronts, linear, streaming and OTT offerings will be bundled in a way that at last enables advertisers to optimize properly across channels. Linear and digital distinctions will fall away, as discussions of audiences and integrated cross-channel strategies take center stage. Yes, there will still be celebrities and parties. But the real star of the 2021 upfronts will be the sophisticated audience intelligence that enables advertisers to allocate their TV and video impressions based on known consumer affinities, cross-channel viewing habits and all the nuanced segmentation enabled by digital media. At the 2021 upfronts, we will see true coalescence at last.
4C is a global data science and marketing technology company that delivers self-service software for brands to execute video-centric marketing and optimize business outcomes.
First season premiered in April
Produced by Lookout Point for HBO and BBC One, the drama series premiered in April.
“We’re thrilled that Anne Lister’s story has resonated so powerfully with audiences in the U.S. and abroad, and we’re grateful to Sally Wainwright and the entire Gentleman Jack family for bringing her story to life,” said Francesca Orsi, executive VP, HBO Drama Programming. “Anne’s journey is an important and courageous one and we can’t wait to share this next season with the world.”
Gentleman Jack is based on the diaries of Anne Lister, an English woman who fought against the conventions of the 1800s as a landowner and industrialist.
Sally Wainwright is creator, writer and co-director of the series. Suranne Jones stars as Lister.
"It's so exciting that so many people have had such a positive response to Suranne's exuberant performance as the brilliant, life-affirming Anne Lister and to Sophie Rundle's beautiful performance as her courageous partner, Ann Walker,” said Wainwright. “I'm utterly delighted that we've been recommissioned, because there are so many more big, bold stories to tell about Anne Lister and Ann Walker. A massive thank you to the BBC and HBO and to everyone at Lookout Point."
Along with Wainwright, Sarah Harding and Jennifer Perrott co-direct the series. Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester executive produce for Lookout Point with Ben Irving serving as EP for BBC One.
Kubel will be the Burbank-based presence of the HPA management team, managing the organization’s day-to-day business as well as supporting strategic planning, membership development, and program development.
The Hollywood Professional Association, the trade association serving the community of individuals and businesses who provide creative and technical expertise, support, tools and infrastructure for professional content creation, distribution and archive, announced today that industry veteran Phil Kubel has joined as the organization’s director.
Kubel will be the Burbank-based presence of the HPA management team, managing the organization’s day-to-day business as well as supporting strategic planning, membership development, and program development.
“Phil’s extensive and direct experience creating and managing a broad range of content for an array of outlets, combined with his innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, make him the perfect person to help us grow. The HPA is a fast-paced environment,” says Executive Director Barbara Lange, “and he will help us set the pace. We’re thrilled to have him on the team.”
After his graduation from USC, Kubel worked in a number of production-related positions. In 2003 he became one of the founding members of HRTV, a national television network that featured equestrian and horse racing content. Kubel was instrumental in the design, engineering and production build of the studios and broadcast facility at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. He went on to oversee day-to-day operations of all digital media, production and technology initiatives at HRTV including creating the subscription based HRTV.com which quickly became the leading industry platform. In addition to Kubel’s technical portfolio, he served as vice president of post production for HRTV and was the creative force behind the critically acclaimed documentary series "Inside Information" which earned 10 Emmy wins and 2 Eclipse awards within 3 years.
In 2015, Kubel was appointed vice president and executive producer for a new digital media initiative for The Stronach Group. Under Stronach Digital, Phil oversaw the launch of XBTV, which is now an industry-leading multi-media horse racing product available providing insight and analysis for wagering customers.
“It’s an exciting time to be joining HPA,” notes Kubel. “We have a rare opportunity to use our accumulated knowledge and relationships to support industry growth by connecting the players and leading the conversation. I look forward to continuing the vision of HPA and developing it as a world class resource for production professionals.”
“As HPA continues its evolution of events and community outreach, we are thrilled to have Phil join our team and build close relationships with our LA-based audience. As our industry continues to rapidly evolve, the HPA has been keenly focused on remaining aligned with these changes and maintaining a very close relationship with our community. As our events and reach have taken root and grown, the time is at hand for our next steps. At this exciting new phase of the HPA, in events, membership, and community engagement, we look forward to seeing the new perspective and ideas he will bring to the organization,” said Seth Hallen, HPA President.
Kubel will be based in the HPA office in Burbank, reporting to Lange.
Will start accepting applications for new transmission technology
Looks like the next-gen era in broadcast transmissions will begin May 28.
That red-letter day is when the FCC says it will start accepting TV station applications to modify their licenses to allow them to broadcast in the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard, which will allow for interactivity, targeted advertising, 4K pictures and more, though it will require a new TV set or adaptor to receive them.
The FCC authorized the new service in November 2018, saying the transition was a voluntary one--the analog-to-DTV transition in 2009 was not. But it could not start accepting applications until it had modified its online Licensing and Management System (LMS) to accommodate the new applications.
The application window will open for all licensed full-power and low-power stations and translators, but not stations licensed to share spectrum with a host station.
To speed the process, the FCC says it is a one-step process, which is not the case with "traditional" license modification applications.
Between its November authorization and this week, the FCC granted several temporary authorities to test ATSC 3.0. It said Thursday that no more test licenses will be granted absent unusual circumstances. Experimental stations will have to file for a modification before their experimental license expires or stop broadcasting in ATSC 3.0. The FCC is advising those stations not to wait until the last minute, but instead file at least 30 days before their temporary license expires.
Adds government ally to TV white spaces plan
Microsoft has a new government ally in its Airband Initiative effort to use TV white spaces for unlicensed broadband, an effort it says will help close the rural digital divide.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will team up with Microsoft to get broadband access to more veterans.
Microsoft will contribute money, training amd technological expertise to expand access to vets to help them "unlock new economic opportunities" and enhance quality of life, the reasons rural broadband more broadly is billed by the FCC and the Trump Administration as a national priority, though the President Thursday (May 23) signaled he was willing to hold up rural broadband investment until Congress stops investigating him for possible obstruction of justice.
Related: Microsoft Ups Airband Deployment Target
"Through the partnership, we’ll help VA identify communities with Veterans in need and work with our internet service provider (ISP) partners across the nation to bring broadband services to those regions," said Shelley McKinley, head of technology and corporate resposibility for Microsoft. "Following our Airband Initiative model, we’ll also provide the Veterans in these newly connected communities with digital skills training so they can take advantage of the tools and services connectivity enables, including critical telehealth services provided by VA."
Microsoft is working out some potential interference issues with, or at least concerns of, broadcasters, after which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled this week the FCC is eager to free up that white spaces spectrum for wireless broadband.
KDSM returns to DirecTV, Dish after transmitter failure
KDSM-TV, the Fox affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, is back on the air thanks to rival station WHO-TV, which is letting KDSM broadcast on its digital channels.
A line to KDSM’s transmitter failed on May 17 and efforts to repair the transmission line have been delayed.
In order to get a high-definition picture, KDSM is displacing both Antenna TV, which had been on digital channel 13.3 and This TV, which had been on 13.4. Both networks will be restored when KDSM returns to channel 17.
Financial terms were not disclosed. WHO is owned by Tribune Media. KDSM is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which failed in its attempt to buy Tribune last year.
Being off the air also knocked KDSM off DirecTV and Dish. Now, through WHO’s signal, the station’s programming is again available via satellite. KDSM continued to program the station and Mediacom cable TV subscribers were able to watch because the station is connected to the cable company via a separate fiber connection.
The arrangement lets central Iowans watch the Fox affiliate’s programming, including a Cubs game Thursday and a Cardinals game Saturday.
Tyrus to sit with Snoop Dogg on ‘Nuffsaid’
Fox Nation, the subscription streaming service from Fox News, will roll out new programs the week of June 10. Fox News Channel contributors Tyrus, Kat Timpf, Tammy Bruce and Lawrence Jones will host the shows.
Fox Nation launched November 27. It costs $5.99 a month and $64.99 yearly.
Nuffsaid features Tyrus as he sits with prominent figures “to discuss their path to success and some of the setbacks they endured along the way,” said Fox Nation. Interview subjects include Cal Ripken Jr. and Snoop Dogg.
Sincerely Kat is hosted by Kat Timpf and is described as a Dear Abby show for millennials.
Get Tammy Bruce shows Bruce pulling back the curtains on identity politics.
Keeping Up With the Jones has Lawrence Jones debating the issues with a guest.
Man on the Street is an extension of Jones’ man on the street segments for Hannity on Fox News.
FNC contributor Britt McHenry will continue as co-host of the hot topics program UN-PC.
PHABRIX, a worldwide leader in test and measurement solutions, today announced it has teamed up with Joseph Roncon to manage the company’s sales operations in North America. Roncon joined the company on May 6, 2019.
Roncon will assume responsibility for the management of PHABRIX’s distributor channel network and growing business across the region.
PHABRIX’s Sales and Operations Director, Martin Mulligan, said: “Joseph’s wealth of industry knowledge and proven track record of driving growth in region are great assets to PHABRIX as we look to strengthen relationships and maximise our presence in North America.”
Commenting on his appointment, Roncon said: “PHABRIX has great products and very exciting plans for the future; I’m delighted to join the company at such a key stage in its development, catering to the growing IP ecosystems.”
Roncon joins PHABRIX following over 20 years in the broadcast industry, most recently as Senior Director of Sales, Evertz. Roncon will be based in Toronto, Canada and will report to PHABRIX’s Sales and Operations Director, Martin Mulligan.
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, MAY 23, 2019 — Vislink Technologies’ new low-latency HCAM 4K UHD transmitter and UltraReceiver (ULRX-LD) wireless camera solution offers single-frame end-to-end capabilities for broadcast sports and major entertainment event coverage applications. When used collaboratively, Vislink’s award-winning HCAM+ULRX solution provides less than one frame of latency when working with 4K content, making it the lowest latency, highest quality system on the market.
“As the first company to launch single-frame, end-to-end latency in 4K, our customers have been able to create more immersive and high-impact live programming for viewers,” says John Payne, President and COO of Vislink Technologies. “For event producers, the growth in UHD and HDR programming, paired with Vislink’s single-frame latency wireless camera solution, provides greater creative freedom. They can now seamlessly cut between wired and wireless UHD resolution cameras at will for continuity throughout the broadcast.”
Vislink’s award-winning HCAM transmitter is the most widely deployed HEVC 4K UHD wireless transmitter on the market today. It features user-interchangeable RF modules and a range of software capabilities, including HDR-ready capability. It is equipped with dual SFP modules that support quad 3/6/12G HD-SDI, HDMI and SMPTE 2022-6 IP interfaces. With highly flexible configurable mounting options and intuitive video interfaces, the unit can be mounted to broadcast, ENG and other professional-grade cameras. It is also designed with Wi-fi and Bluetooth® control via a dedicated Android and iOS app. In addition, the unit features integrated camera control with Vislink FocalPoint compatibility and direct-docking V-Lock and Anton/Bauer® battery plates with integral power feed through. The Vislink HCAM accepts plug-in frequency agile RF modules – allowing for easy deployment across different frequency bands.
The ULRX fills the need for reliable HEVC reception as part of a highly bandwidth-efficient video transfer system, without sacrificing picture quality. The versatile receiver features four UHF inputs with maximum-ratio combining, DVB-T and proprietary LMS-T demodulation, as well as ASI and IP capabilities. Perfect for broadcast sports and major events coverage with wireless cameras, the ULRX is a 1RU half-width, rackmount chassis receiver.
About Vislink Technologies
Vislink Technologies is a global leader in the development and distribution of advanced communication solutions. Driven by technical excellence that has led the industry for over 50 years, our innovative products and turnkey solutions provide reliable connectivity in the toughest environments across the global live production, military and government sectors. Our solutions include high-definition communication links that reliably capture, transmit and manage live event footage, as well as secure video systems that support mission-critical applications. Headquartered in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Vislink Technologies has over 70 patents and pending patent applications. More information can be found at www.vislinktechnologies.com.
Commission could levy whopping $10,000 per call
On its way out the door for the Memorial Day holiday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151).
The bill was introduced in January, co-sponsored by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee, and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and has the the backing of Senate Commerce Committee chair Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
The bill would give the FCC civil fining authority of up to $10,000 per call for those who "intentionally flout" telemarketing restrictions. That could add up given that, by some estimates, spam calls make up over 40% of all calls.
It would also extend the statute of limitations for taking action against illegal robocalls from one year to three.
"The TRACED Act would give the FCC more flexibility to enforce rules in the short term, while setting in motion consultations to increase prosecutions of violations, which often require international cooperation," the bills sponsors said.
The bill also:
"Brings together the Department of Justice, FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other relevant federal agencies, as well as state attorneys general and other non-federal entities to identify and report to Congress on improving deterrence and criminal prosecution at the federal and state level of robocall scams.
"Requires voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, enabling a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones.
"Directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to help protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or texts from callers."
Sen. Thune called the bill "puts a bullseye on the scam artists and criminals who are making it difficult for many Americans to answer the phone with any bit of confidence about who’s on the other end of the line."
“As abusive robocalls continue to flood our phones, we applaud the Senate on passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, and commend the bipartisan leadership of Senators Thune and Markey," said NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, in a statement. "The TRACED Act is important step to help alleviate Illegal robocalls, and keep consumers safe from scammers.”
FCC chair Ajit Pai is proposing making it clear that carriers are allowed to block robocalls before they get to their subs, so long as the subs also have the ability to reject that pre-screening.
Pai had a lot to say on the subject following the bill's passage:
“I commend the U.S. Senate for passing the TRACED Act and Senators Thune and Markey for leading this bipartisan effort," he said in a statement. "The TRACED Act would help strengthen the FCC’s ability to combat illegal robocalls, and we would welcome these additional tools to fight this scourge. Further powers like increased fines, longer statutes of limitations, and removing citation requirements [that] obligate us to warn some robocallers before penalizing them, will significantly improve our already strong robocall enforcement efforts.
“I also welcome the Act’s provisions that would increase coordination with state Attorneys General. This is a vital partnership in the fight against unwanted robocalls and one we already are working hard at. Just today, I am meeting with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter to discuss his efforts to fight scammers, and earlier this week I attended the National Association of Attorneys General Consumer Protection Conference. It’s important that federal and state partners work together—and engage productively with private stakeholders—to address this important consumer protection priority.”
“I applaud the Senate for taking an important step to crack down on unwanted robocalls and spoofed calls by passing the TRACED Act," said ACA Connects President Matt Polka. "This bill would allow industry to continue to drive implementation of call authentication technology on a timely basis, while recognizing that smaller providers may require more time to fully implement the technology. The bill would also strengthen FCC authority to bring robocall scammers to justice. Senators Thune and Markey and their many co-sponsors deserve praise for working on a bipartisan basis to address a matter of urgent concern for American consumers.”
“Americans are fed up with robocalls. They are tired of scam artists and fraudsters placing illegal calls to their phones at all hours of the day and night," said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. "So I want to commend Senator Thune and Senator Markey for their bipartisan leadership. Their TRACED Act provides the FCC with additional authorities and tools so that we can continue our crack down on these annoying calls. I look forward to continuing to work with members of Congress and my colleagues as we combat unlawful robocalls.”
“This is a very big deal for industry’s multi-pronged effort to battle back against illegal robocalls," said USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter. "Today the Senate delivered a loud and clear message to the criminals who scam and spoof consumers: more blocking, more fines and more criminal enforcement is coming.
“USTelecom is on the barricades of this anti-robocall movement. We are investing millions of dollars in state-of-the-art authentication and verification technologies, partnering daily with federal and state law and civil enforcement officials to trace illegal calls, and everyday offering more tools and apps for consumers to reclaim their devices."
Silver Spring, MD; May 23, 2019 - Featuring the highest rated UK programs of 2019 with BBC One’s smash hit cop thriller LINE OF DUTY, Season 5 and ITV’s gripping true crime drama MANHUNT, Acorn TV is off to an incredible start to the year. Available via Acorn.TV and via apps on most streaming devices, Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service for British and international television and features new, exclusive content every week. This year, Acorn TV continues to add a fantastic mix of highly entertaining binges of high-quality mysteries and dramas. For those interested in an edge-of-your-seat thriller, subscribers have loved LINE OF DUTY from the creator of global sensation Bodyguard and MANHUNT with Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) in an award-worthy turn as a real-life detective on the trail of a serial killer. If subscribers favor a more fun and light-hearted mystery series, then look no further than the charming QUEENS OF MYSTERY and amusing AGATHA RAISIN. Additionally, if viewers prefer a period drama, Acorn TV features beloved Aussie drama A PLACE TO CALL HOME, which has been called an Aussie Downton Abbey, to the fun 1960s-set MS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES, a spin-off of one of Australia’s most popular series.
Matthew Graham, General Manager of Acorn TV, notes, “Featuring dozens of bingeable shows with stellar production values, award-worthy acting, gripping scripts and beautiful locations, Acorn TV offers a highly entertaining, thought-provoking escape unlike any other service or network. Our singular goal is to provide our subscribers unparalleled access to extraordinary programs they won’t find anywhere else. We’re thrilled to offer our subscribers the very best in British television with the highest rated programs of 2019, LINE OF DUTY and MANHUNT, the two must-see television events of the year in Britain.”
LINE OF DUTY (Watch Trailer)
“Binge-inducing television at its best… best British police show since Prime Suspect… Suspensefully plotted and wickedly well-acted… Addictive… jaw-dropping reveals” - The New York Times
From the creator/writer of global sensation BODYGUARD, the record-setting Season 5 is the highest rated UK program of 2019 and one of the top five highest rated UK shows of the last decade. The series is one of the best cop thrillers on television with constant surprises and cliffhangers and features incredible season-long guest stars every year, including The Walking Dead’s Lennie James (Season 1), Bodyguard’s Keeley Hawes (S2), Westworld’s Emmy winner Thandie Newton (S4), and Boardwalk Empire’s Stephen Graham (S5). (5 seasons of 5-6 episodes)
“Tremendously satisfying” -The New York Times
ITV’s highest-rated new drama in six years
This true crime drama stars one of the most popular British actors on television in the U. S., Doc Martin star Martin Clunes as real-life detective DCI Colin Sutton who determinedly and tenaciously pursued serial killer Levi Bellfield. (3 episodes)
QUEENS OF MYSTERY (Trailer)
“A surefire crowd-pleaser” -Los Angeles Times
A fun, quirky contemporary take on the classic mystery genre with an up-and-coming detective solving mysteries with her three crime-writing aunts. (6 episodes)
AGATHA RAISIN (Trailer)
“The sleuthing skills of a Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote) and the slapstick comedy of Lucille Ball - Tribune News Service
Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, Extras, Ugly Betty) stars as a London PR whiz turned amateur sleuth, who becomes entangled in mischief, mayhem and murder when she opts for early retirement in the country. (2 Seasons)
MS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES (Trailer)
"Vivacious crime series spinoff delights… Stand(s) alone and above any comparisons to the original series." -IndieWire
Featuring every bit the embodiment of female empowerment, style, glamour, charm, and adventure as the original - the newest stylish amateur comes to the swinging sixties. (4 TV Movies)
A PLACE TO CALL HOME (Trailer)
“Instantly irresistible saga…captivatingly filmed, deeply romantic drama of immense intelligence distinguished by a uniformly superb cast” -The Wall Street Journal
Called an Australian Downton Abbey, this epic story of love, loss, and family ties takes place in 1950s Australia. Gorgeously filmed and masterfully acted, this sweeping drama follows nurse Sarah Adams (the charming Marta Dusseldorp, Janet King, Jack Irish), as she maneuvers among the secrets of the wealthy Bligh family. (6 Seasons)
Additionally, Acorn TV features an impressive mix of first-rate international exclusives, including new British crime drama LONDON KILLS (Trailer); Paul Abbott’s outrageous police drama NO OFFENCE; smash hit dramedy DOC MARTIN; gripping Irish drama BLOOD; Aussie detective drama MYSTERY ROAD starring Judy Davis; 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 on Monday, June 10, Acorn TV premieres new Danish / New Zealand thriller STRAIGHT FORWARD (Trailer), and, on Monday, June 24, the charming travelogue MARTIN CLUNES’ ISLANDS OF AMERICA (Int'l Trailer). 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
Acorn TV Press Contact: Chad Campbell, [email protected]
‘Whiskey Cavalier’ goes out strong on ABC
ABC got the top score in Wednesday prime ratings, with live airings of All in the Family and The Jeffersons leading the net to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 7 share. In second was NBC at 1.0/5.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons rated a 1.7 from 8 to 9:30. Special All About All in the Family and The Jeffersons did a 1.4 and the finale of Whiskey Cavalier doubled its previous score for a 0.8.
On NBC, it was Chicago night, with three season finales. Chicago Med got a flat 1.1 and Chicago Fire ticked up 10% to 1.1, then Chicago P.D. shed 10% for a 0.9.
CBS did a 0.8/4 and Fox a 0.6/3. On CBS, two hours of The Amazing Race got a level 0.8 and the SEAL Team finale grew 17% for a 0.7.
Fox had MasterChef Junior Celebrity Family Showdown up 20% for a 0.6 and Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back at 0.5. 24 Hours did a 0.8 last time out.
Univision and Telemundo both did a 0.4/2.
The CW rated a 0.2/1. Special My Last Days got a 0.2 and Jane the Virgin a 0.3 was 0.2.
Point Source Audio (PSA), will be displaying their patent-pending CO2 Confidence Collection, a new class of built-in redundant microphones, at this year’s Infocomm trade show being held June 12-14 in Orlando, FL at booth 5443.
Petaluma, CA – Point Source Audio (PSA), will be displaying their patent-pending CO2 Confidence Collection, a new class of built-in redundant microphones, at this year’s Infocomm trade show being held June 12-14 in Orlando, FL.
The CO2 Confidence Collection all have dual elements, each measuring a tiny 3mm, that offer built-in redundancy and comes in three styles: headset, lavalier, and in Point Source Audio’s patented EMBRACE™ embodiment. The CO2 dual elements maintain two of the company’s signature features: IP 57 waterproof rating (rated against water, sweat and makeup), and the “unbreakable” headset boom bendable up to 360° to bolster durability.
The CO2 Confidence Collection, released in February 2019, has been gaining market acceptance as a convenient mic redundancy solution in their core theatre market as well as house of worship and corporate audio markets. Forty of PSA’s CO2 headsets were recently utilized for double mic’ing at the 2019 American Israeli Policy Conference (AIPAC) held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, in early March.
The CO2 headset microphones were also used at the recent USITT 2019 Stage Expo for the keynote speech and other high profile events. Jeff Polunas, Special Events Sound Coordinator for the USITT Sound Commission, incorporated the CO2 Confidence mics into his audio rigs saying, “I think they are top of the line products and anyone that would be using them would be happy to have them in their production.”
Attendees can see the full line of specialty miniature, body-worn style microphones and the patented EMBRACE™ earmounted lavalier, as well as in-ear audio headsets at the Infocomm booth 5443. For more information about Point Source Audio’s various audio solutions, visit www.point-sourceaudio.com.
About Point Source Audio
Point Source Audio (@PSA_audio) manufactures and distributes worldwide their SERIES8, EMBRACE, and CONFIDENCE collection of miniature microphones — a unique line of headset, earworn and earmounted microphones known for their robust bendable boom and waterproof features. The company also holds two patents for the EMBRACE concealable microphone as well as the patent for the world’s first modular in-ear comms headset that is supporting the hearing health for audio, lighting and camera techs using headsets everywhere from sports to space. Founded in 2004, Point Source Audio is headquartered in Petaluma, California. For more information call (415) 226-1122 or visit www.point-sourceaudio.com. Follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PSA_audio.
Here come antennas and over-the-air broadcast, again
When cable TV came onto the scene, the question of the day was, “Who will pay for TV when TV is free?” The answer, as we all know by now, was most people. And most people were willing to pay because the promise of the day was that cable TV would provide a better, more reliable picture without having to fiddle with the position of the antenna or worry about how a thunderstorm might impact the broadcast.
Additionally, cable allowed for a breadth of entertainment, news and sports content that had never been seen before. For a long time, it seemed like cable TV was going to be the way of the future, the gold standard, and the antenna would drown in the wake of cable TV’s wave. And for many years, that’s what we saw.
Then, less than 15 years ago, YouTube and Netflix began streaming video content, and everything changed again. In the years since YouTube and Netflix changed the game, the era of innovation in video has not slowed down. Apple TV announced its streaming service in March, Disney just released pricing for its Disney+ product, and Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal are expected to release details about their direct-to-consumer subscription video-on-demand services later this year. Outside of the digital ecosystem, advancements in broadcast and cellular technology are improving video delivery outside the traditional pay TV ecosystem, and this is leading to a re-emergence of that once cast-aside technology: the antenna.
Antennas Rise Again
As more and more viewers begin to rely on streaming, but are unwilling to cut out live and broadcast television completely, they are turning back to antennas. According to Horowitz’s State of Pay TV, OTT & SVOD 2019 report, a full third (34%) of TV content viewers today use an antenna at home.
Qualitatively, from several projects that I have worked on, I have seen the antenna serve different purposes in the home. In some homes, the antenna is only for football games; in others, it’s for local broadcast; still in others, there are six TVs and the head of household is just not willing to pay for six cable boxes but still wants some access to TV content on every set.
Today’s antennas are a far cry from what many of us may think about when we think about antennas: many of them are sleek, unobtrusive and a few are downright stylish. Innovations in antenna design are helping it shed its reputation as an antiquated piece of technology. In fact, today’s antenna owners skew toward a demographic that is traditionally thought of as tech-savvy: young, male, and heavy streamers. Antenna owners are also more likely to subscribe to an SVOD service: 78% of antenna users subscribe to Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu (not including Hulu with Live TV) (vs. 66% of MVPD subscribers), suggesting that antennas are helping fill in the live, local, and broadcast gaps for those who have made streaming a central part of their TV viewing diet.
It’s never just about design though: the technology also has to work — and here, too, we are seeing innovations and improvements that are creating an increasingly better over-the-air experience.
Creating a ‘Cable Experience’
Newer technologies, including TiVo’s Bolt OTA, Plex, and Amazon’s Fire TV Recast, allow for DVR’ing over-the-air content. This DVR capability is empowering viewers to piece together a “cable experience” using subscription video-on-demand services — which provide the breadth of content that for so long was one of cable’s differentiators — and over-the-air broadcasts, often at dramatically reduced costs.
Perhaps most importantly, TV and video streaming technology has improved to the point where accessing different video sources as easy — or, in some cases, easier — than navigating a cable set-top box menu. It used to be that, in order to access streaming services, you would have to change HDMI inputs; on some of the latest models of TVs, antenna TV shows up as just another app, as if it were Netflix.
ATSC 3.0 and 5G will bring yet another layer of complexity into the TV viewing ecosystem. ATSC 3.0 will introduce stronger signals, making over-the-air more accessible to even more viewers, 4K and HDR support, appeasing the picture purists, improved mobile support, giving viewers on-the-go access and programmatic advertising, allowing brands to better reach the demographics they want to target.
So now, we find ourselves asking the same question we were asking when Horowitz was founded in 1985: who will pay for TV when TV is free?
Stephanie Wong is director of insights and strategy at Horowitz Research, a consumer market research provider specializing in media content, services and technology.
Exec has been with Google, Telaria, GroupM
Comcast’s FreeWheel said it named Utpal Kalita as VP, engineering and chief technology officer for Blockgraph, which Comcast is trying to get the industry to adopt as a secure way to use data and share information for advanced TV advertising.
Kalita most recently had been chief technology officer of Eyeview Digital. Over a 20-year career, he also spent time at DoubleClick, now a part of Google, Tremor Video (now Telaria) and GroupM’s Xaxis division.
He reports to Jason Manningham, general manager of Blockgraph.
“In today’s data-driven age, our vision for creating Blockgraph was to offer the entire advertising ecosystem the ability to seamlessly provide marketers best-in-class data capabilities while protecting, first and foremost, consumer privacy,” Manningham said. “As we looked for a CTO to help us realize our transformative vision, it was critical to find a leader with a strong track record of leading and inspiring teams to pioneer and build large scale platforms and Utpal stood out.”
Comcast Advertising launched Blockgraph in 2017. In 2018 Blockgraph formed a peer-to-peer platform for securely sharing data needed for advanced television advertising. Viacom and Charter Communications are working with Comcast and FreeWheel on the initiative.
Trump won't talk infrastructure funding while Dems investigate
The $40 billion in funding in the Democrats' LIFT America Act infrastructure bill could be at risk in the showdown with President Donald Trump over the Mueller report and ongoing Democratic led investigations into whether the President obstructed justice, an impeachable offense.
The President walked out of a meeting over infrastructure legislation funding Wednesday--the same day the House Energy & Commerce Committee was holding a hearing on the bill --saying he would not negotiate while under investigation by Dems.
The President said he calmly ended meeting, while Dems alternately called it a tantrum and a calculated move. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the non-meeting "jaw-dropping."
He said Democrats believed rural and inner-city America needed broadband and that while Democrats were interested in doing infrastructure, "the President isn't." Schumer suggested the President had "run away" when asked to talk about how to pay for that infrastructure.
In an impromptu Rose Garden speech following the aborted infrastructure meeting, the President undertook a rambling defense of his campaign and presidency--"no collusion, no obstruction"--and attack on Democrats and the media before saying Congress can't both legislate investment and investigate him.
He said he told Democratic leaders in the meeting that he wanted to "do infrastructure," but "not under these circumstances," which meant, he said, "these phony investigations." The President said they would only be going down one track at a time, the clear message being that so long as they were investigating, he would not be working with them on infrastructure or drug prices or other issues.
The President later tweeted:
The LIFT America Act allocates $40 billion over five years to deploy "secure and resilient
broadband" and to "expand access for communities nationwide while promoting security by design."
The majority (three quarters) of the funding will go to deploy to "unserved" areas, which are the mostly rural areas that are a focus of both Democrats and President President Trump, who has tied the issue to helping farmers with high-tech agriculture. The money will be handed out via reverse auction--low bid wins.
The other 25% will go to states to allocate, also through reverse auctions.
If there are no unserved areas in a state, the money can go to deploy broadband underserved, for schools and libraries, or to deploy next-gen 9/11.
One issue that will need to be addressed before that broadband money can be targeted is improving the FCC's data and maps on where broadband is or isn't, a problem both sides of the political aisle acknowledge.
SINGAPORE, May 23, 2019 – TSL Products, a leading designer and manufacturer of broadcast workflow solutions, presents its new SAM-Q audio monitoring platform to the Asia-Pacific region at this year’s BroadcastAsia Show (Level 6, Stand 6J3-01). In addition, TSL will be presenting its full-suite of product offerings since the recent announcement of its acquisition of DNF Controls, a U.S.-based company offering a wide range of human-to-machine and machine-to-machine solutions, this past April.
SAM-Q represents a new approach to audio monitoring, allowing customers to determine how they wish to control and visualize their audio content based on application, environment or simple personal preference. Designed in direct response to customer requirements and feedback, SAM-Q provides a completely new user experience and seeds the next generation of TSL’s audio monitoring range. Key features that differentiate the SAM-Q platform from existing audio monitoring solutions on the market include customizable configuration, lock–down controls and expandable capabilities via the license system.
The SAM-Q-SDI is the first audio monitor to realize the benefits of TSL’s new SAM-Q audio platform. Designed for customers operating with SDI infrastructures—the SAM-Q-SDI demonstrates exactly how customers can maximize operational efficiency and reduce operational error simply by choosing their preferred method of interaction.
“We are excited to showcase SAM-Q, our new audio monitoring platform, as well as our integrated control capabilities and solutions with DNF at this year’s BroadcastAsia show,” says Chris Exelby, Managing Director, TSL Products “The acquisition enables TSL to offer complete solutions that may incorporate components from all product families to provide the most powerful and cost-effective solutions possible. This also allows TSL to expand its presence in the broadcast control systems market for customers throughout Asia, as well as worldwide and locally to the Americas.”
Formally announced at NAB 2019, TSL and DNF will together provide a complete control platform that services the needs of customers from single interfaces right through to advanced enterprise solutions. TSL customers around the world will benefit from DNF’s dedicated hardware control panel and integration capabilities, allowing them to add further functionality to their systems. DNF customers in the U.S. region will have increased access to TSL’s complete product range, offering audio and power solutions in addition to control systems.
There will be a period of transition to bring the DNF and TSL product families together, with DNF’s California base becoming the TSL Inc. head office for the Americas. TSL and DNF have a joined vision, which feeds into the overall control platform product roadmap. Existing DNF and TSL customers will be able to maintain and grow their existing systems.
For more information, please visit www.tslproducts.com.
Exec will focus on financing
Troubled measurement company Comscore said former Turner CEO John Martin has joined its board of directors.
Comscore, once seen as a potential competitor to industry leader Nielsen, has been struggling since accounting issues were discovered in its financial statements three years ago. That led to a distracting re-audit, management changes, new product delays, quarterly losses and pressure from investors.
On April 1, Comscore’s most recent full-time CEO, Bryan Wiener and president Sarah Hoffsetter resigned over differences in how to grow the company.
Comscore said that Martin would assist the company with its financing efforts.
“John's illustrious track record in content and distribution, both from an operator and investor perspective, is world class. His experience will be immensely valuable to our company as we seek to expand cross-platform in all of our market segments,” said Brent Rosenthal, chairman of Comscore’s board.
Martin replaces former GroupM Worldwide chief digital Rob Norman, who stepped down from the board on May 22. Norman will continue as a consultant to the company and the board.
After Turner’s parent Time Warner was acquired by AT&T, Martin was among the senior executives who left the company. Before getting the Turner job, Martin was CFO at Time Warner.
"The media industry is at a pivotal point in time where consumers and brands need to be better served. Comscore is uniquely positioned to deliver standardized and reliable measurement across the media value chain, reaching consumers in an addressable way, across all platforms, that benefits them while also maximizing ROI for brands and marketers. This has never been done before,” Martin said. “Throughout my career, I have led companies through transition, formulated and achieved their strategies, and generated superior shareholder returns. I look forward to working with the Comscore Board and management to achieve this goal.”
Improved video quality reduces churn
As video shifts from broadcast to streaming, maintaining a TV-like experience in terms of picture and audio quality has a big impact on revenue and shouldn’t be overlooked, according to a new whitepaper from Akamai.
Viewers increasingly expect video delivered over IP to be as reliable as programming watched on broadcast and cable. But that doesn’t always happen.
Rebuffering a video stream can result in the viewers watching a different show or, more severely, switching streaming services, the report said.
Akamai estimates that one instance of rebuffering per play on one network could result in a loss of advertising revenue of more than $85,000.
Here are Akamai’s calculations: Each rebuffering incident results in a 1% rate of subscriber abandoning a service. With video’s playing for an average of eight minutes, a single rebuffering episode translates to 496,417 hours lost, or 10.7 million ad impressions (based on 11 minutes of ad time per hour.) At an $8 CPM, rebuffering costs $85,000 in lost revenue,
On a more positive note, one SVOD provider improved video quality and churn was reduced by 90% as a result.
While the impact of buffering on a user’s experience is now increasingly understood, finding the cause can be a technical puzzle, the report said. The culprit for glitches could be the ISP, the user’s device, their WiFi setup, available bandwidth, network traffic or something to do with the content itself.
For OTT services that are ad supported, inserting ads can create more issues around video quality that impact the user experience, the report added.
Live OTT video, which is increasingly important as a selling point to potential subscribers, also presents challenges.
But Akamai concludes making the quality of OTT video better is not optional if the platform is to thrive.
“A failure to invest in improving video quality--in terms of consistency as well as peak quality--will impact the ability of video distributors to generate revenues from subscribers and advertisers, the report said.
Research for the report was conducted by MTM.
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 May 19).
On the strength of nearly a quarter billion TV ad impressions, HGTV’s promo for Flip or Flop spin-off Christina on the Coast takes our top spot — plus the network takes fourth place to promote Good Bones. TNT also makes a double showing, with promos for Animal Kingdom at third and Claws at fifth.
The only traditional broadcaster to crack our top five: CBS, which takes second place for new action-adventure series Blood & Treasure.
Notably, Animal Kingdom earns the highest iSpot Attention Index (140) in our ranking, getting 40% fewer interruptions than the average promo (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV).
While the Fire TV ecosystem is larger globally, Roku owns more than half of U.S. market share for streaming players, TDG says
“It is important to recognize that Amazon aggressively sells Fire TV boxes and sticks internationally. Conversely, though, Roku is available in nearly two dozen countries, to this point domestic U.S. sales make up the vast majority of its sales,” TDG said in a posting Tuesday.
According to TDG, Roku controls 50.8% of the U.S. streaming box market compared to 28.5% for Amazon Fire TV. Meanwhile, Fire TV controls 56.6% of the U.S. streaming stick market, vs. 30.2% for Roku.
“When we total stick and box users together, and broaden our focus from user households to all broadband households, 21% use a Roku and 23% use a Fire TV, putting the two about even domestically,” TDG said.
Notably, TDG's analysis leaves out the percentage of U.S. OTT consumers accessing the Roku and Amazon ecosystems through smart TVs.
Light Iron, a Panavision company specializing in post production services, is again playing an important collaborative role with notable episodic series this season.
Light Iron, a Panavision company specializing in post production services, is again playing an important collaborative role with notable episodic series this season. Customized workflow offerings from Light Iron for BETTER THINGS, THE GOOD FIGHT, THE OA, RAMY, SHRILL, THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, and WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, included dailies, digital intermediate, archive, and data services, among other creative and technical contributions. From San Francisco and Los Angeles to New York and Toronto, Light Iron serviced the productions from a range of locations with color and front-end teams involved from pre-production for a smooth and efficient experience.
“We are honored to support these outstanding projects,” says Peter Cioni, Light Iron’s General Manager. “Our unique understanding of the demands of episodic schedules coupled with our technical skills in file-based workflows fuels our ability to fulfill the creative vision on time and on budget. Light Iron at its core is focused on innovation and, as part of the Panavision family, we offer our expertise from pre-production through finishing, creating efficiencies throughout the imaging chain.”
A closer look at the projects demonstrates the possibilities for end-to-end solutions from Light Iron and Panavision:
BETTER THINGS, season 3 (FX) – Already renewed for a fourth season, BETTER THINGS follows the trials and tribulations of Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a single mother and working actor with no filter, raising her three daughters in Los Angeles. The season was shot by Paul Koestner who collaborated with Light Iron’s dailies colorist Gregory Pastore and DI colorist Corinne Bogdanowicz. Panavision Hollywood provided the camera and lens package.
THE GOOD FIGHT, season 3 (CBS All Access) – Entertainment Weekly hails the third installment of THE GOOD FIGHT as “the best show on TV.” Shot by Fred Murphy, ASC, this season was supported by Light Iron with dailies by Andrew Hodgdon and final color from Steven Bodner. The production is also serviced by Panavision New York.
THE OA, season 2 (Netflix) – The first season of THE OA quickly developed a cult fan base. For the highly anticipated second installment, Light Iron worked closely with series DPs Steven Meizler and Magnus Nordenhof Jønck to ensure the work done by dailies colorists Andrew Hodgdon and George Thomas was reflected in the final color grade with Ian Vertovec. Services included location support in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
RAMY, season 1 (Hulu) – Winner of the 2019 SXSW Audience Award, RAMY stars actor-director-comedian Ramy Youssef as the son of Egyptian immigrants in New Jersey. Light Iron worked closely with cinematographers Adrian Peng Correia and Ashley Connor to establish the look in dailies, which transferred seamlessly into the DI where the final color grade was performed by Steve Bodner. Cameras and optics were supplied by Panavision New York.
SHRILL, season 1 (Hulu) – From executive producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks and showrunner Ali Rushfield, SHRILL stars Aidy Bryant (from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) as Annie, an overweight young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Based on the 2016 memoir by Lindy West, Vox calls the series “a quietly tender portrayal of learning how to love yourself.” Light Iron colorist Nick Lareau provided the final color grade in collaboration with cinematographer Joe Meade.
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, season 2 (Amazon) – Light Iron worked alongside cinematographers M. David Mullen, ASC and Eric Moynier, returning for the second season of this award-winning series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Light Iron’s Aaron Burns handled dailies color and Steve Bodner collaborated with the two DPs during finishing. For camera and lens options, Panavision New York was the go-to resource.
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, season 1 (FX) – Based on the feature film of the same name, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is a documentary-style look into the lives of four vampires who have “existed” together for hundreds of years on Staten Island. The film’s cinematographer D.J. Stipsen returned for the series, which has earned a 96% rating from Tomatometer critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Christian Sprenger lensed the pilot. Light Iron dailies colorists Gregory Pastore and Jacob Doforno supported early look development in Toronto via the local Panavision facility, which carried over into finishing in the DI by Ian Vertovec.
For more information, visit www.lightiron.com.
He continues to work for 'GMA' on weekends
Sam Champion is returning to WABC-TV in New York.
Champion will work on the morning and noon editions of Eyewitness News on WABC, where he first worked beginning in 1988.
Champion has been contributing to GMA as a fill-in forecaster on the weekends.
“Sam has a fascination and passion for weather that is absolutely contagious,” said Debra O’Connell, president and general manager, WABC. “I am thrilled to have Sam join our outstanding Eyewitness News team, bringing with him a tremendous track record for accuracy in weather forecasting along with his genuine care for our tri-state area communities and viewers.”
Champion began his career as an intern at WKYT-TV, Lexington, Kentucky.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity to come home and, once again, be a part of the Eyewitness News family,” added Sam Champion. “I have felt the trust and kindness of New York and the tri-state viewers since 1988, and I can’t wait to start our days together again at the No. 1 station in the nation!”
Visit AIMS at InfoComm 2019, Booth 375
BOTHELL, Wash. — May 22, 2019 — The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) today announced that at InfoComm 2019, representatives from AIMS member companies will be providing three days of educational presentations on the subject of adopting open standards for AV over IP. The presentations will take place in the AIMS Theatre at Booth 375. In addition to making individual presentations, AIMS members will also participate in the session "Audio and Video Streaming Using Established IP Standards," to be held on Tuesday, June 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Room W304E.
"AIMS members believe strongly that the future of AV over IP should be built on a technology infrastructure that is based on open standards, and we're at InfoComm to advocate for this concept," said David Chiappini, the AIMS ProAV Working Group chair. "This is not the first technology transition our industry has been through, and we need to understand the lessons of the past — which simply amount to this: Open standards provide the industry with maximum agility and flexibility to adjust business models, capitalize on new revenue opportunities, and add new capabilities and services without having to constantly rebuild workflows."
The educational presentations at the AIMS booth will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday of the show and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The following presentations will be repeated several times during the three days.
"Who Is AIMS and What Is SMPTE ST 2110?" Andre Testa, Director of ASIC/FPGA Engineering, Matrox
"NMOS: The Open AV Over IP API," Andrew Starks, Director of Product Management, Macnica
"How Open Standards Like AES67 and ST 2110 Drive Innovation," Bill Rounopoulos, Business Development Manager, OEM & Partnerships, Ross Video
"ST 2110 and Intercomm," Martin Dyster, Vice President, Business Development — TV, The Telos Alliance
In the Tuesday session, "Audio and Video Streaming Using Established IP Standards," AIMS members will speak on the following:
"The Origins of Audio Over IP and the Need for Standards," Richard Zwiebel, Vice President, Systems Strategy, QSC
"There's Nothing to Be Afraid of With SMPTE ST 2110," Andrew Starks, Director of Product Management, Macnica
"The Open Standards-Based Method for AV Over IP," Scott Barella, Chief Technology Officer at Pesa and Deputy Chairman of AIMS ProAV Working Group
"Next-Gen IP for Networked Media — Collision or Convergence?" Karl Paulsen, Chief Technology Officer, Diversified
The full schedule can be found on the AIMS website at https://aimsalliance.org/theater-presentations-infocomm-2019/.
# # #
About the Alliance for IP Media Solutions
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the education, awareness, and promotion of industry standards for the transmission of video, audio, and ancillary information over an IP infrastructure, as well as products based on those standards. The group represents the interests of both broadcast and media companies and technology suppliers that share a commitment to facilitating the industry's transition from SDI to IP through industry standards and interoperable solutions that enable the rapid evolution to open, agile, and versatile production environments.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/AIMS/190522AIMS.docx
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/AIMS/AIMS-David-Chiappini.jpg
Photo Caption: David Chiappini, chair of AIMS Pro AV Working Group
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/AIMS/AIMS-GradientBackground.png
Photo Caption: AIMS Logo
A new era for distribution could reignite the market for TV content
In 2005, after a freelance producing career, I was hired as a network executive by HGTV and spent the ensuing decade enjoying the fruits of the growing cable-TV business from the buyer’s side. It’s hard to believe now, but back in the “aughts” (when House Hunters was hosted and Mike Rowe was crawling through sewage), cable and satellite had not fully penetrated every U.S. household. As homes added these services, the industry blossomed and a new ecosystem thrived.
Operators made money selling predominantly unscripted cable tiers, networks were enjoying incredible revenue growth through both subscriptions and advertising, and producers were getting volume orders and relatively good deals because once viewers landed on a network, their thirst for fresh content was insatiable. Bidding wars for talent and content ensued as the competition for viewers (and ad dollars) increased. Even agents, who hadn’t considered “alternative” TV worth their time, got in on the action by packaging unscripted talent, producers and intellectual property. This became a real business for William Morris, CAA and other ten-percenters. Life was good for everyone in cable — until DVRs and high-speed internet started giving viewers the power to choose when they wanted to watch, how much they consumed and the ability to skip commercials.
Digital Video Disruption
Today, time-shifted viewing, binge-watching and cord-cutting have wreaked havoc on the linear cable business. Hungry viewers found a veritable buffet of quality content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, with a great user experience to boot. I initially resisted Netflix since it was a threat to my mortgage, but I eventually caved (I've since added Amazon Prime and Hulu, just in case you're wondering).
Not knowing when and if viewers will regularly return to their networks, cablers have become more cautious (with good reason). They order less; they look for old, tried and true show titles or talent consumers know; they make decisions slowly and more often by committee; and once they enter into dealmaking, the negotiations are decidedly one-sided and, with little exception, not beneficial for content creators. Because these publicly traded companies are trying to hang onto every penny and show shareholders that they are still valuable, they are compressing budgets and therefore producers’ businesses. Any type of meaningful profit participation is nearly nonexistent. Though these budgets and ownership stakes are decreasing, the risks and demands placed on producers have only increased.
Nervous network clients want to keep quality up but feel they cannot afford to pay the freight for what it truly costs to employ and gear up a production. There has been little recourse for battle-scarred producers because, in this current marketplace, we’re faced with either sucking it up or walking away from work. But all of this may be about to change as we enter a new era of content quest in the form of “SVOD Wars.” With Disney+ and Apple now entering the OTT arms race, sellers may benefit — at least for a little while.
More Outlets, More Shows
A marketplace full of content providers means well-financed buyers need a lot of fresh shows to satisfy their hungry subscribers and justify their monthly fees. In an effort to compete for content and subscribers, streamers may be willing to give creators better deals because they will need to fill their libraries and solidify their market positions. In turn, linear networks need to remain competitive and presumably won’t want to lose quality talent and projects to their digital nemeses. We could see a shift in the power dynamic and a re-emergence of a sellers’ market, mirroring the cable boom of the early 2000s.
Much like the early dot-com days, not all OTT platforms will survive. On the linear side, smaller networks will fold or be left to atrophy as corporations shift funding into their strongest assets. New technologies will continue to emerge and mobile offerings combined with AR will certainly continue to grow. While we don’t know what the next five years will look like, the quest for content may very well prove to be a good thing for sellers — at least for as long as it lasts.
Andy Singer is executive VP, TV & digital content at Alkemy X, a creative content firm with offices in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and Amsterdam.
Season three of standup series visits unheralded cities in the comedy world
Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City returns to Comedy Central with back to back episodes June 14. Hart will showcase 24 comedians in eight cities in the new season.
The show follows Hart and co-stars Joey Wells and Harry Ratchford on a mission to spotlight up-and-coming comics from cities with under-appreciated stand-up scenes. Each episode features stand-up sets, conversations between Hart and the comedians, and interstitial segments with Hart, Wells and Ratchford.
The comedians include Princeton Dew in St. Louis, Blaq Ron in Dallas, Carissa Cropper in New Orleans and Nelsin Davis in Cleveland.
The other cities visited on the show are Rochester, Baltimore, Oakland and San Diego.
Comedian Hart’s movie work includes Night School and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Blackmagic Design announced today that URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K were used for live shooting of The Birthday's TOUR 19 NIGHTS 2018 AUTUMN, the sold out recent tour by the popular UNIVERSAL SIGMA Japanese rock band.
Fremont, CA - May 22, 2019 - Blackmagic Design announced today that URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K were used for live shooting of The Birthday's TOUR 19 NIGHTS 2018 AUTUMN, the sold out recent tour by the popular UNIVERSAL SIGMA Japanese rock band.
A total of 10 Blackmagic Design cameras, including four Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and six URSA Mini Pro 4.6K's recording in Blackmagic RAW, were used. DaVinci Resolve Studio was used for post production editing and grading workflows.
The Birthday is a popular Japanese garage rock band, and the tour was recorded by Japanese production company MAZRI Inc.
Mr. Toru Nomura of MAZRI Inc., who directed live shooting, said: "I decided to unify all workflow from shooting to editing to grading with Blackmagic products. Because I wanted to get the most in grading in order to make the live image wonderful I used the Blackmagic cameras to record in RAW. Combined with the Blackmagic camera's high mobility, they were the best choice."
"The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K was mounted on a hand held gimbal and shot the seated audience. When shooting with a conventional hand held camera, an external monitor was always required, but with the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K there was no need for an external monitor because there is a 5 inch rear monitor, and a very compact camera setup can be realized. The user interface is so simple that you can operate without getting lost and I was able to capture the gradation of concert smoke beautifully with the camera. The dynamic range of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is really amazing. The highlights and shadows remained beautiful" said cameraman Mr. Masatoshi Toyonou.
"The built in ND filter of the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K was really active. Shooting a concert live could not be done without an ND filter because the lighting varies widely depending on the stage. This was also the first recording we did using Blackmagic RAW format" said Mr. Nomura. "I was really surprised at Blackmagic RAW! Data recorded for more than 2 hours had a very small file size. Its data can be read in a short time, and we could start work on editing immediately. Blackmagic RAW is a much faster workflow, and does not require large capacity recording media. Blackmagic RAW is the best for live concerts that require long shooting and many cameras."
For the concert, they used six URSA Mini Pro 4.6K, including a mix of EF mount, PL mount and B4 mount, while using active MFT lenses with the four Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks. "The versatility of the URSA Mini Pro allowed us to be able to handle various situations with one camera system. Both the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K capture very beautiful skin tones and provide a unified cinema look and was really surprised at the wide dynamic range of the two cameras" said cameraman Mr. Shinya Yamada.
Mr. Yamada was also in charge of color grading. "I used DaVinci Resolve Studio for color grading. I was conscious that I would finish the look to feel the presence of live. Even if the material was shot in various live lighting conditions, if it is a RAW material, many colors can be drawn out during grading, and adjustments can be made to fine parts. The performance of Blackmagic RAW with DaVinci Resolve is much faster than the other RAW formats, so it is very easy to handle and speeds up all workflows."
Product photos of URSA Mini Pro, Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, DaVinci Resolve Studio and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world's highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design's DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company's Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.
Upholds FTC charge of anticompetitive conduct
A California district court has ruled that the way Qualcomm licensed its modem chips for handsets was anticompetitive--siding with the Federal Trade Commission, which had sued the company for having "harmed competition in two markets for baseband processors [modem chips]."
Judge Lucy Koh concluded in a 200-plus-page opinion that Qualcomm's anticompetitive conduct was ongoing and likely to continue, so barred it from various practices the FTC had cited.
"[W]ith practices that result in exclusivity and eliminate opportunities to compete for OEM business, Qualcomm undermines rivals in every facet," the judge wrote. "Qualcomm attempts to eliminate competition in certain markets; eliminates competing standards; deprives rivals of revenues to invest in research and development and acquisitions; forecloses rivals from establishing technical and business relationships with OEMs; prevents rivals from field testing with OEMs, network vendors, and operators; and ensures that Qualcomm retains influence in SSOs, so that Qualcomm can maintain its time-to-market advantage and its unlawful monopoly. By so hobbling rivals, Qualcomm’s practices “unfairly tend to destroy competition itself.”
The decision means the company must license its chips to other suppliers on on fair,
reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms.
In January 2017, the FTC charged Qualcomm with using anticompetitive tactics to monopolize the supply of a key technology for cell phones and other devices.
On the specific issue of its essential patents, the FTC said that Qualcomm's essential patents were adopted by a standards-setting body--of which Qualcomm was a member--in exchange for which participants "typically commit" to license the patents on those FRAND terms. But the FTC concluded that "despite its commitment to license standard-essential patents on FRAND terms, Qualcomm has consistently refused to license those patents to competing suppliers of baseband processors."
The FTC had asked the court to make Qualcomm "cease its anticompetitive conduct and take actions to restore competitive conditions." Which the court has done.
Qualcomm had said the FTC charges were baseless.
“Judge Koh's ruling is not only a rebuke of anticompetitive and discriminatory licensing practices, but it’s also a clear victory for innovation, consumers, and America’s 5G ambitions,” said Morgan Reed, president of the App Association, which had filed an amicus brief in support of the FTC suit. “We appreciate the FTC’s commitment to fight this case to the end and to establish this precedent for all stakeholders.”
A FRAND promise is a promise, Reed suggested.
"Most importantly, the ruling forces Qualcomm to finally live up to its voluntary fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing commitments, and they will no longer be able to refuse to license its standard-essential patents (SEPs) to competitors," he said. "Additionally, the court banned Qualcomm’s harmful ‘no license, no chips’ practices."
“CCIA has long led in supporting vigorous government action to prevent and stop harmful anti-competitive behavior," said Computer & Communications Industry Association president Ed Black. "At a time when there are many poorly conceived attacks on tech rivals under the cloak of monopoly abuse, this case re-validates the importance and effectiveness of the US competition authorities in preserving a competitive digital ecosystem.
“This ruling shows the FTC is using its antitrust authority to crack down on anti-competitive practices and that the court system is upholding the law as well. Qualcomm improperly benefits from its use of standard essential patents that other companies use to build compatible products. We support the court’s determination that Qualcomm used anti-competitive tactics to harm competitors and consumers. This ruling is a win for wireless technology and American competitiveness in 5G.”
Qualcomm won't be going down without a fight.
“We strongly disagree with the judge’s conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law,” said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm EVP and general counsel.
The company is seeking an immediate stay of the district court decision as well as expedited appeal to a federal appeals court (the Ninth Circuit).
SKOKIE, IL, MAY 22, 2019 – Studio Technologies, manufacturer of high-quality audio, video, and fiber-optic solutions, introduces two new Dante®-enabled intercom beltpacks, the Model 372A and Model 373A. Both units, which combine a single talk channel with two channels of listen, are capable of supporting professional and consumer-grade, single- and dual-channel headsets with audio quality that far exceeds typical party-line intercom equipment. The Model 372A is intended to connect with headsets that use a 5-pin male XLR connector, while the Model 373A interfaces with headsets that use a 4-pin female XLR connector. Both are also equipped with a 3.5 mm 4-conductor TRRS jack, allowing direct connection with earbuds and gaming headsets. Only a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection is required for interconnection with a Dante network.
Over a standard IP network, multiple Model 372A and Model 373A devices, and other compatible Studio Technologies' beltpack units can be used to create party-line intercom applications with an external Dante-enabled audio matrix, such as the Studio Technologies' Model 5422 Dante Intercom Audio Engine. In addition, these new beltpacks can be used "point-to-point" or interfaced with Dante-compatible matrix intercom systems.
“The typical Model 372A and Model 373A user is primarily listening and non-verbally responding to requests made by producers, directors, or stage managers,” says Gordon Kapes, President of Studio Technologies. “We put an emphasis on the audio quality and call signal support in these products, as the listen functions typically serves an important role for these users. Audio quality for the talk function is also very good. The compact enclosure, along with the ability to directly connect personal computer ‘gaming’ headsets, allows the Model 372A/373A to effectively support production personnel in a high performance yet cost-effective manner.”
The Model 372A/373A is designed with a low-noise, wide dynamic-range microphone preamplifier. Its associated voltage-controlled-amplifier (VCA) dynamics controller (compressor) ensures that microphone audio quality is preserved while minimizing the chance of signal overload. Low-voltage DC power can be enabled as required to support electret microphones. In addition, a call receive function allows Model 372A and Model 373A users to be provided with a visual indication that a call signal is active.
The STcontroller software application is used to configure all Model 372A and Model 373A operating parameters. Selection choices include electret microphone power on/off and preamplifier gain, headphone monitoring, sidetone audio operation, and talk button operation. This flexibility allows for a variety of listening environments to be created, including stereo, single-channel monaural, and dual-channel monaural. The talk pushbutton switch can be configured from among three choices: Push to Talk, Latching, or Push to Talk/Tap to Latch.
About Studio Technologies, Inc.
Studio Technologies, Inc. provides tailored, high-performance video, audio and fiber optic products for the professional audio and broadcast markets. Founded in 1978, the company is committed to designing and manufacturing dependable, cost-effective, and creative solutions for broadcast studio, stadium and corporate environments. Known for “designing for the way professionals work,” the company is recognized as an industry leader. Product categories include fiber-optic transport, intercom and IFB interfaces, announcer consoles, and loudspeaker monitor control systems. A growing line of Dante-enabled Audio-over-Ethernet products is receiving wide recognition. For more information, please visit the Studio Technologies website at www.studio-tech.com or call 847.676.9177.
Chalks it up to telecom lobbyists
Net neutrality activists at Fight for the Future (FFTF) say they have gotten hold of a draft letter signed by almost four dozen Democratic House members calling for compromise network neutrality legislation, including forming a bipartisan caucus, as a pair of senators did), a conciliatory move FFTF strongly opposed.
They all voted for a bill, the Save the Internet Act, which would have restored the old net neutrality rules, which passed in the House. But that is going nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate, something the purported draft concedes.
Fight for the Future opposes any compromise on Title II-based rules that include a general conduct standard, both of which are nonstarters for Republicans. It slammed the letter, which it said was championed by Democrats friendly to telecoms and their lobbying dollars.
FFTF provided a copy of the letter language, saying it simply "parrots ISP lobbyist talking points":
"Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer and Whip Clyburn:
"The Internet is one of the greatest engines of economic growth in our nation’s history. It has fundamentally changed virtually every aspect of our lives — how we connect with friends and family, as well as how we get our news, information, and entertainment. For that reason, we, like you, strongly support net neutrality and the preservation of an Open Internet. We commend you, chairman Pallone, and Subcommittee chairman Doyle for your leadership in championing this issue and for successfully advancing the “Save the Internet Act” through the House.
"We, the undersigned, voted for this legislation because it represented an opportunity to resolve questions that courts have struggled with for decades. At the same time, we recognize that this legislation is unlikely to become law, or pass through the Senate, in its current form. If that proves true, consumers will be left without enforceable net neutrality protections while partisan conflict continues. We believe this result is unacceptable and unnecessary.
"In the spirit of passing bipartisan, bicameral legislation that can be signed into law, we are calling for the establishment of a bipartisan working group, like the Wicker-Sinema effort in the Senate. As the Senate begins its bipartisan negotiations on net neutrality legislation, the House must also begin a process of forging bipartisan consensus. Various models for legislation could achieve our goals of providing strong, enforceable net neutrality protections for consumers.
"We believe a bipartisan working group will allow us to work together to enact strong, enforceable protections that will ensure a truly free and open Internet for all. We hope that we can count on your support."
University of North Carolina Board of Governors has announced that UNC School of the Arts Chancellor Lindsay Bierman has been named as the new chief executive officer of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina. Bierman will assume the new role on August 12, 2019.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2018
UNC Board of Governors Names M. Lindsay Bierman as CEO of UNC-TV
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—University of North Carolina Board of Governors has announced that UNC School of the Arts Chancellor Lindsay Bierman has been named as the new chief executive officer of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina. Bierman will assume the new role on August 12, 2019.
“Using creative thinking and planning, Lindsay has carefully guided UNC School of the Arts through a very successful period,” UNC System Interim President Bill Roper said. “We are delighted to keep Lindsay and his wide array of leadership and talent in the UNC System family.”
Bierman will replace Brian Sickora, who served as executive director and general manager of UNC-TV from July 1, 2016 to October 26, 2018. Since that time, Steven D. Hammel and Kevin FitzGerald have served in interim capacities at UNC-TV.
In his new role as CEO of UNC-TV, Bierman will assume responsibility for the overall vision, leadership, strategic direction, and success of the organization. He will oversee a budget of approximately $28 million and over 150 permanent, temporary, and contract employees that make possible a robust portfolio including in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—UNC-TV PBS & More, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS and the Explorer Channel.
“Chancellor Bierman’s background and experience made him the ideal candidate for this important position,” said UNC-TV Board of Trustees Chair Eric Teal. “He has demonstrated, throughout his career, a willingness to present innovative and creative ideas to the organizations he has led. We are extremely excited about what he will bring to UNC-TV.”
A longtime media veteran, Bierman came to UNCSA after 17 years at Time Inc., where he worked with writers, editors, producers, photographers, videographers, stylists, marketers, and countless others on cross-platform audience, content and franchise development for numerous mainstream brands, including the juggernaut Southern Living. As the title’s editor-in-chief from 2010-14, he drove the strategic growth, editorial vision, and digital revolution for the country’s eighth-largest monthly paid magazine, reaching 18 million consumers each month.
Since 2014, Bierman has served as the eighth chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. During his tenure, he spearheaded the creation of a new strategic plan, “Creative Momentum,” designed to deepen UNCSA’s ties with the global arts and entertainment industries, propel the school to the forefront of performing arts and media education in the nation, and expand its cultural and economic impact across the region.
“I’m excited to fully leverage my creative leadership, business acumen, and fundraising track record at UNC-TV, and I’m inspired by the power and potential of public media to positively impact the life of every North Carolinian,” said Bierman. “Though it is difficult to leave UNCSA, I am confident that the school is poised for continued growth and long-term success.”
While at UNCSA, Bierman built a transformative leadership team including a new vice provost, four new deans, and several new senior officers to reorganize the institution’s admissions, advancement, facilities, finance, IT, and marketing operations.
As a fundraiser, Bierman shepherded the largest donations in the school’s history. He launched the institution’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign since 1999 (now in its quiet phase), raising nearly $50 million in less than three years. In 2016, he secured several important gifts, including $11 million to support groundbreaking new programs, faculty endowments, student scholarships, and $5 million to overhaul the largest performance venue on campus. In 2018, he announced a gift of $4 million to be used for music scholarships. The total dollars raised overall have nearly tripled since 2014.
As a result of Chancellor Bierman’s leadership, UNCSA has led a steady rise in rankings and recognition for the institution’s degree programs. In addition to being Money magazine’s highest-ranked arts specialty school, UNCSA has made third in the country for Design & Production (OnStage), Top 5 in the country for Drama (The Hollywood Reporter), Top 10 in the country for Dance (Backstage) and among the 50 best film programs in the world (Variety).
Utilizing his media expertise, Bierman led a campus-wide effort to create a new visual identity, rebranding the university with a new logo and seal. He also initiated and oversaw a complete rebuild of UNCSA’s website, uncsa.edu—the first major redesign of the site in more than a decade. The new branding, combined with new marketing strategies, have driven significant increases across all platforms—including a 30 percent increase in applications to UNCSA in 2018.
Bierman currently chairs the board of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts; works with top business leaders as a member of The Winston-Salem Alliance; serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Reynolda House Museum of American Art; and sits on the board of directors of the RiverRun International Film Festival.
Bierman earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in history and French and earned a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. He studied abroad at the Institut d’Études Sciences Politiques de Paris and completed internships at Sotheby’s, the National Gallery of Art, and on Capitol Hill.
ABOUT UNC-TV PUBLIC MEDIA NORTH CAROLINA
On air, online and in person, UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina connects North Carolinians to each other, the world and endless possibilities. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—UNC-TV PBS & More, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS and the Explorer Channel. Additionally, it provides emergency services support for the state and free educational services and resources for teachers. Visit and join the conversation by connecting with us at , and on Twitter. For more, visit .
IRVINE, Calif. — May 22, 2019
Sonnet Technologies today announced the Solo10G™ SFP+ PCIe Card and the Solo10G™ SFP+ Thunderbolt™ 3 Edition adapter, the latest products in the company's expanding line of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) network adapters. Solo10G SFP+ adapters add lightning-fast 10GbE network connectivity to a wide range of computers, enabling users to easily connect to 10GbE-enabled network infrastructure and storage systems via LC fiber optic cables (sold separately). Both products include a 10GBASE-SR (short-range) SFP+ transceiver (the most commonly used optical transceiver), enabling 10Gb connectivity at distances up to 300 meters.
What They Do:
The Solo10G SFP+ PCIe Card is a low-profile x4 PCIe 3.0 adapter card that offers Mac®, Windows®, and Linux® users an easy-to-install and -manage solution for adding 10GbE fiber network connectivity to computers with PCIe card slots. This card is also perfect for use in a multi-slot Thunderbolt to PCIe card expansion system connected to a Mac. The Solo10G SFP+ Thunderbolt 3 Edition adapter is a compact, rugged, bus-powered, fanless Thunderbolt 3 adapter for Mac and Windows computers with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Why They're Important:
Sonnet's Solo10G SFP+ products offer Mac users a plug-and-play experience with no driver installation required; Windows and Linux use only requires a simple driver installation. Both products are configured using operating system settings, so there's no separate management program to install or run.
With its broad OS support and small form factor, the Solo10G SFP+ PCIe Card enables organizations to standardize on a single adapter and deploy it across platforms with ease. For users with Thunderbolt 3 equipped Mac and Windows computers, the Solo10G SFP+ Thunderbolt 3 Edition adapter is the simplest external solution yet for adding 10GbE fiber network connectivity. From its replaceable captive cable to its bus-powered operation, the Thunderbolt 3 adapter is highly portable.
How They're Unique:
Solo10G SFP+ products were engineered with security features essential to today's users. Incorporating encryption in hardware, the Sonnet network adapters are protected against malicious firmware modification. Any unauthorized attempt to modify the firmware to enable covert computer access renders them inoperable. These security features prevent the Solo10G SFP+ adapters from being reprogrammed, except by a manufacturer's update using a secure encryption key.
Measuring a compact 3.1 inches wide by 4.9 inches deep by 1.1 inches tall — less than half the size of every other adapter in its class — the Solo10G SFP+ Thunderbolt 3 Edition adapter features an aluminum enclosure that effectively cools the circuitry and eliminates the need for a fan, enabling silent operation. Unlike every other 10GbE fiber Thunderbolt adapter available, Sonnet's Solo10G SFP+ adapter requires no power adapter and instead is powered by the computer to which it's connected.
When You Can Get Them:
The Solo10G SFP+ PCIe Card (part number G10E-SFP-1X-E3) and Solo10G SFP+ Thunderbolt 3 Edition adapter (part number SOLO10G-SFP-TB3) are available now at suggested retail prices of $149 and $249, respectively.
More Context: https://www.sonnettech.com/product/solo10g-sfp-pcie-card.html | https://www.sonnettech.com/product/solo10g-sfp-tb3.html | www.sonnettech.com.
# # #
About Sonnet Technologies
Sonnet Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of Thunderbolt™ 3 to PCIe® card expansion systems; external graphics (eGFX) solutions for pro users and gamers; pro media readers; docks and adapters; and network, storage, and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet's Thunderbolt expansion products enable the use of pro audio I/O and DSP cards, pro video capture and transcoding cards, GPU cards, network and storage interface cards, and other high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt technology-enabled computers. For more than 30 years Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac®, Windows®, and other industry-standard computers. More information is available at www.sonnettech.com.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/190522Sonnet.docx
Link to Japanese translation: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/190522SonnetJP.pdf
Link to Photos: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/sonnet-solo-10G-pcie-card.jpeg
Image Caption: Solo10G™ SFP+ PCIe® Card 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter Card With 10GBASE-SR Optical Transceiver
Link to Photos: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/sonnet-solo10G_sfp_thunderbolt_3_edition_adapter.jpeg
Image Caption: Solo10G™ SFP+ Thunderbolt™ 3 Edition 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter With 10GBASE-SR Optical Transceiver
Follow Sonnet Technologies:
‘Innovation Talk’ Series with Industry Luminaries Including Ted Sarandos, Mike Fries, Elvis Mitchell and Jane Turton Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global
Six Day Line-Up of Special Events, Premieres and Panels Featuring Talent and Executives from Shondaland, Netflix, Lionsgate, WE tv, CNBC and More!
SeriesFest, the award-winning international television festival and non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the art of episodic storytelling, announced today the expansive programming line-up for SeriesFest: Season 5, taking place in Denver, Colorado.
SeriesFest is dedicating this milestone year to the artists, studios, and companies who are taking creative risks and leveraging advances in technology to reimagine storytelling as part of ‘The Year of Innovation.’ The festival includes six days of in-competition screenings, panels, workshops, as well as never-before-seen sneak peeks and television premieres.
SeriesFest: Season 5 kicks off opening night on June 21 with the special event screening and Q&A panel of the STARZ supernatural spy thriller The Rook produced by Lionsgate and Liberty Global, followed by a Q&A with series’ stars Emma Greenwell, Joely Richardson, Olivia Munn, Executive Producers and Showrunners Lisa Zwerling and Karyn Usher, and Executive Producer Stephen Garrett. WE tv’s original documentary, Power, Influence and Hip-Hop: The Remarkable Rise of So So Def with hip hop mogul Jermaine Dupri; Participant Media’s America To Me with Oscar-nominated American film producer and director Steve James; The Outdoor Channel’s My Outdoor Family with star Eva Shockey and creator/director, Branlin Shockey; and CNBC Prime’s newest unscripted series, Cash Pad, with JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers from The Bachelorette.
Shining a spotlight on those individuals and initiatives committed to amplifying previously unheard voices, the ‘Year of Innovation’ platform will include insightful panels with industry leaders covering culturally-relevant and newsworthy topics. This year, for the first time ever, the festival will introduce the Innovation Talks series, presented in partnership with Liberty Global, with three up-close and personal discussions between: Liberty Global’s CEO and Vice Chairman Mike Fries and Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos; Elvis Mitchell, renowned film critic and host of NPR’s The Treatment; and Jane Turton, CEO of All3Media.
Shondaland 2.0 will give an inside look at the growth and innovation of one of the leading storytelling companies. Panelists include Alison Eakle (Head of Fiction & Non-Fiction, Shondaland), Anna Deavere Smith (Award-Winning Playwright, Actress, Professor, adapting Warmth of Other Sons at Shondaland for Netflix), Katie Lowes (Actress and host of the ‘Katie’s Crib’ ), Akua Murphy (Director of Short Form Content, Shondaland) and moderated by Ashley Ford, acclaimed author, journalist and host of PROFILE by Buzzfeed News. As previously announced, Shondaland has partnered with SeriesFest to award an up and coming director the opportunity to shadow a director of a Shondaland production as part of the first-ever Women Directing Mentorship initiative. The recipient of this award will be announced during the panel.
Other panels that hone in on this year’s theme include Identity & Inclusion: LGBTQ Representation in Television with the cast from the Netflix series EastSiders (sponsored by SAG-AFTRA); Click Subscribe: The Podcast Series, a meaningful dialogue on the role and development of podcast storytelling; and Generation Innovator: Showrunners & Series Creators Under 40 featuring Joey Slamon (truTV’s I’m Sorry), Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman (SundanceTV’s This Close) and Laura Chinn (Florida Girls).
Additional discussions featuring prominent talent and executives at this year’s SeriesFest include: Pitching and Marketing Your Series with Laura Fischer (CEO, Powderkeg), Lee Hollin (SVP, Current Programming, Lionsgate Television Group) and David Person (Manager, Original Programming, IFC TV); Crowdfunding Workshop led by the SeriesFest: Season 4 alumni and winners of Best Writers for comedy pilot competition, Stephen Colletti and James Lafferty (One Tree Hill) followed by an advance screening of their original pilot, Everyone is Doing Great; and a screening and Q&A led by CEO, Laura Fischer of Powderkeg: Fuse, a development incubator for on-the-cusp female directors.
“The ‘Year of Innovation’ speaks to the powerful narratives and groundbreaking work that our growing SeriesFest community has come to be known for,” added Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook, founders of SeriesFest. “During this milestone year we’re thrilled to present a lineup of programming which will highlight and further inspire unique and poignant approaches to storytelling. We’re truly honored to have such an incredibly impressive roster of participants who want to be part of the conversation.”
“Liberty Global is particularly pleased to help introduce the ‘Innovation Talks’ series of one-on-one conversations with both visionary business leaders and creative masterminds starting with what promises to be a fascinating conversation between Mike Fries and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos,” commented Bob Leighton, SVP, Programming, Liberty Global.
As previously announced, the festival’s Centerpiece event entitled SeriesFest’s Season 5 Benefit, A Celebration of TV & Music on Monday, June 24 will feature an unforgettable night with the legendary Stevie Wonder making his Red Rocks Amphitheatre debut, preceded by a special television presentation which will be announced shortly. SeriesFest: Season 5 will also feature its annual Independent Pilot Competition with selections from around the world and an esteemed jury which will also be announced in the coming weeks; and as always, there will be multiple opportunities for our emerging voices to network and learn from insiders, including the Industry Roundtable event, annual Pitch-a-Thon, and our new workshop opportunity Break Room Sessions with studios and networks.
The primary screening venue during SeriesFest is the Sie FilmCenter, which is the year-round cinematic home of SeriesFest’s partner organization, Denver Film Society. Passes and individual tickets to screenings, panels, and the Centerpiece event at Red Rocks Amphitheatre featuring the legendary Stevie Wonder, are available now at https://www.seriesfest.com/.
SeriesFest: Season 5 is presented with generous support from sponsors including Denver Film Society, Liberty Global, Once Upon a Time Productions, Xfinity, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Fries Foundation, Coca-Cola, i-Heart Media and JEEP.
** SCHEDULE OF SPECIAL EVENTS AND INDUSTRY PANELS BELOW BY DATE**
(***Updates will be announced asap***)
INNOVATION TALK SERIES WITH MIKE FRIES AND TED SARANDOS - SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global
*Year of Innovation Program
In Attendance: Ted Sarandos (COO of Netflix) and Mike Fries (CEO of Liberty Global)
SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives, Ted Sarandos, COO of Netflix, and Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving national and international television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.
THE ROOK (STARZ; Premieres June 30) - OPENING NIGHT SCREENING AND PANEL
In Attendance: Stars Emma Greenwell (Shameless), Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck), Olivia Munn (Predator), Lisa Zwerling and Karyn Usher (Executive Producers/Showrunners) and Stephen Garrett (Executive Producer)
Moderator: Laura Prudom (Deputy Entertainment Manager, IGN)
STARZ Original series “The Rook” from Lionsgate and Liberty Global tells the story of Myfanwy Thomas, a woman who wakes up in the rain beside London’s Millennium Bridge with no memory of who she is and no way to explain the circle of latex-gloved dead bodies splayed around her. When Myfanwy discovers she is a high ranking official in the Checquy, Britain’s last truly secret service for people with paranormal abilities, she will have to navigate the dangerous and complex world of the agency to uncover who wiped her memory - and why she is a target. As Myfanwy unearths more of her troubled past and learns the truth about her own abilities, she discovers that no one in her life is quite as they seem. Myfanwy will be faced with a choice – return to the difficult life she has always known, or seize this opportunity for a new beginning.
HOME $WEET HOME: WHY PROPERTY PROGRAMMING IS TV’S "CASH PAD"-PANEL
Panelists: JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers (hosts of ‘Cash Pad’); Jim Ackerman (Executive Vice President, Primetime Alternative Programming, CNBC)
First came home renovation TV, which inspired a generation of viewers to reimagine their dream house. Now, CNBC invites homeowners and house-hunters alike to transform their unused spaces into money-making Cash Pads. Hosted by JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers, break-out stars of “The Bachelorette” and experienced home flippers, Cash Pad (premiering July 25) is the bold new series that introduces viewers to the lucrative world of short term rentals. Join us for a sneak peak of Cash Pad and a special conversation with the hosts.
EASTSIDERS (Netflix)-U.S. PREMIERE
In Attendance: Stars Kit Williamson (also creator/director) and John Halbach (also executive producer)
“EastSiders” is an Emmy-Nominated LGBT series about a gay couple and their friends trying to stay together through drunken outbursts, double standards and dirty deeds. In season 3, the series set out to Make America Gay Again as Cal and Thom hit the road from New York to LA hauling a vintage camper trailer and tried to find their way back to one another. Ian and Hillary moved in together, Derrick and Jeremy started talking about having kids, and Douglas and Quincy got engaged. Season 4 picks up a year later and tackles some big questions: what does commitment really look like in a long term relationship? What does "gay marriage" really mean? And how do two human beings make love last? EastSiders launched on YouTube in 2012 to a lot of love from fans and critics alike, with Entertainment Weekly calling the show “funny and heartbreaking” and Out Magazine praising it as “relatable, fresh and darkly funny." The show has been nominated for 8 Daytime Emmy Awards. The series won Best Web Drama at the LA Weekly Awards, Best Ensemble at the Indie Series Awards and was nominated for a Satellite Award from the International Press Academy. In 2016 the series found a world-wide audience on Netflix, and has now been subtitled in more than 30 languages.
MY OUTDOOR FAMILY (Outdoor Channel) - SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING
In Attendance: Eva Shockey (Star) and Branlin Shockey (Creator, Director, Writer)
My Outdoor Family will follow Eva, Tim, and little Leni-Bow as they learn and grow as a family. Every key situation, decision and event will be framed around living and embracing the outdoor lifestyle as best as a young family with many conflicting obligations can.
CLICK SUBSCRIBE: THE PODCAST SERIES - PANEL
*Year of Innovation Program
Panelists: Clint Schaff (VP, Strategy & Development, LA Times); Rachel Estabrook (CPR's News Director) and Jack O’Brien (Head of Comedy and SVP of Podcast Development, iHeartMedia)
Podcasts have ears buzzing with new series. From murder mysteries to health and wellness, these series have us hooked and clicking play the next episode. This conversation will dive into the ins and outs of making a podcast, and what’s next for this storytelling medium.
IDENTITY & INCLUSION: LGBTQ REPRESENTATION IN TELEVISION- PANEL
Presented in Partnership with SAG-AFTRA
*Year of Innovation Program
In Attendance: Netflix ‘EastSiders’ stars, Kit Williamson (also creator/director); John Halbach (also executive producer); additional names TBA
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which sparked a revolution for the LGBTQIA Community. This milestone highlights the importance of acknowledging the nature of sexual orientation, gender identity and how we move forward
culturally with an elevated understanding of diversity and inclusion. As the television landscape continues to evolve, so does the conversation around representation of the LGBTQIA Community. Join us for an in-depth conversation with entertainment industry panelists, including agents, casting directors, writers and actors who are leading the charge and innovating diversity standards.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN CROWDFUND? - SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti (One Tree Hill, Everyone is Doing Great)
SeriesFest: Season 4 alums James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti return to the festival to discuss their journey successfully (albeit sometimes clumsily) crowdfunding a season of their comedy pilot Everyone is Doing Great. They'll share insights on each phase of their crowdfunding process - from defining your project's unique story to tackling the challenges of perk fulfillment - including an open conversation with panel attendees, and finally, an advanced screening of the second episode of their original series, Everyone is Doing Great.
SHONDALAND 2.0 - PANEL
*Expansion of SeriesFest’s ‘Featuring Women’ Initiative
*Year of Innovation Program
Panelists: Alison Eakle (Head of Fiction & Non-Fiction, Shondaland), Anna Deavere Smith (Playwright, Actress “The West Wing,” “Nurse Jackie,” Professor, adapting “Warmth of Other Sons” at Shondaland for Netflix), Katie Lowes (Actress “Scandal” and host of ‘Katie’s Crib’ podcast), Akua Murphy (Director of Short Form Content, Shondaland)
Moderator: Ashley Ford (Writer, Host of PROFILE by Buzzfeed News)
Shondaland is a storytelling company founded by award-winning writer and producer Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes along with producing partner Betsy Beers are behind award-winning hits such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How To Get Away with Murder.” As Shondaland looks ahead to a new creative partnership with Netflix, the company will diversify its content offering, while also expanding its digital footprint with podcasts, a website vertical, and new brand partnerships. Hear from members of Shondaland content and brand teams as they discuss the ways in which they’ve been able to evolve and explore new creative avenues to storytelling as the media company grows in size and reach. Through a previously announced partnership between Shondaland and SeriesFest, the first-ever recipient of Women Directing Mentorship initiative will be announced. This recipient will have the unique opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland production.
INNOVATION TALK WITH ELVIS MITCHELL- SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global
*Year of Innovation Program
In Attendance: Elvis Mitchell (renowned film critic and host of NPR’s The Treatment)
SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving national and international television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.
POWER, INFLUENCE AND HIP-HOP: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF SO SO DEF (WE tv; Premieres July 18)-WORLD PREMIERE
In Attendance: Jermaine Dupri (Hip hop mogul)
Throughout this one-hour documentary special, we uncover the unique stories that make up the history of So So Def, one of the very few black owned labels from its humble beginnings to multi-platinum success and stardom. Jermaine Dupri’s ability to shape Atlanta’s popular music culture becomes apparent in this riveting journey that has turned him into one of the biggest music moguls of our time. Dupri’s mission has always been to create a universal platform through music not only in urban communities but around the world. Today, he’s achieved just that. The documentary features never-before-seen archival footage and original interviews with Dupri’s contemporaries including Mariah Carey, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Will.I.Am, Da Brat, Bow Wow and Nelly.
PITCHING AND MARKETING YOUR SERIES - PANEL
Panelists: Laura Fischer (CEO, Powderkeg), Lee Hollin (SVP, Current Programming, Lionsgate Television Group), David Person (Manager, Original Programming, IFC TV)
The good idea is paramount, but knowing who your audience is and how to pitch your show is the conduit to success. Unfortunately, there isn’t always time for an elaborate presentation, so honing the messaging can be a boon to taking your project to the next level. Meet Laura, Lee and David who have heard and given many a pitch. Today’s discussion will go over key points to cover in pitching and marketing your idea and how to stand out in a crowd.
INNOVATION TALK WITH JANE TURTON- SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global
*Year of Innovation Program
In Attendance: Jane Turton (CEO of All3Media)
SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving national and international television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.
POWDERKEG: FUSE - SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING
In Attendance: Laura Fischer (CEO) plus directors of the selections
Paul Feig is launching an incubator for women directors through his digital media and production company, Powderkeg. The initiative, called Powderkeg: Fuse, pairs filmmakers with top producers and casting directors to help develop their short films. A pool of 40 ethnically diverse women were asked to submit their ideas around the theme of community and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. The six women chosen will screen their original work, each short film is a proof of concept for series that Powderkeg is attached to produced.
GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SINGER, SONGWRITER, MUSICIAN, AND PRODUCER, STEVIE WONDER LIVE PERFORMANCE- SPECIAL EVENT AT RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE!
GENERATION INNOVATOR: SHOWRUNNERS & SERIES CREATORS UNDER 40 - PANEL
*Year of Innovation Program
Panelists: Joey Slamon (truTV’s I'm Sorry), Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman (SundanceTV’s “This Close”) and Laura Chinn (Pop TV’s “Florida Girls”)
This generation of episodic creators have found a way to use episodic storytelling to highlight contemporary issues and underrepresented voices. Join us for an in depth discussion with leading showrunners and series creators under 40 on how they got their foot in the door and what drives them to keep kicking down the gates.
AMERICA TO ME: INNOVATION, IMPACT AND “REAL TALK” (Starz) -- SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Steve James (Oscar®-nominated American film producer/director), Jessica Stovall (teacher/cast) and Holly Gordon (Participant Media’s Chief Impact Officer)
America to Me, the groundbreaking 10-part docuseries from Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Steve James, fearlessly tackles issues of race, equity, culture and privilege as it follows one year in the life of students, teachers and administrators at Chicagoland’s Oak Park and River Forest High School. Inspired by this powerful series, hear how Participant Media’s innovative “Real Talk” campaign helped seed a nationwide conversation around race and equity – offering tools, strategies, resources and training to disrupt every day racism in our schools and communities.
SeriesFest (https://www.seriesfest.com/) is a non-profit organization dedicated to championing artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling. With year-round educational programs, initiatives supporting underserved voices, and professional development opportunities, SeriesFest inspires, educates, and connects a worldwide community of creators. Each June, SeriesFest culminates in a highly-curated and celebrated Denver-based festival and marketplace. Dedicated to showcasing innovative episodic content, the annual festival also includes a musical performance and network screening at the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in-competition independent pilot screenings, panels, workshops, live reads, parties and network television premieres.
Follow @seriesfest on Twitter
The No. 1 Rack Series Offers Higher Weight Capacity, More Usable Rackspace, and Further Functionality to Solve Challenges, Speed Up Integration
Visit Middle Atlantic at InfoComm 2019, Legrand | AV Booth 2500
FAIRFIELD, N.J. — May 22, 2019 — Middle Atlantic Products, a brand of Legrand | AV, today announced that its popular BGR Series is the company's No. 1 selling AV rack enclosure, taking the lead over Middle Atlantic's MRK Series rack. Introduced in 2011, the BGR Series goes beyond the traditional rack enclosure with innovations that allow integrators to quickly mount, maintain, and service a variety of system components with ease and reliability. Last year, more than 187,000 BGR Series rack units were installed on a range of AV projects.
"The MRK was launched in 1995 and was designed with installer-friendly features, which made it the chosen rack among integrators," said Paul Dolynchuk, director of product management at Middle Atlantic Products. "As equipment has shrunk in size, and floor space has become a premium, we once again zeroed in on how to solve these challenges for integrators. The BGR is the result of integrator feedback and the evolution of the features we introduced in the MRK. This milestone comes at a perfect time as we launch the next phase of innovation for BGR at InfoComm 2019."
Middle Atlantic's BGR Series floor-standing enclosure is designed specifically to solve AV integration and servicing challenges. Its patented breakthrough design provides incredible strength without extra weight. The result is a lighter, UL-certified solution that can be loaded with up to 3,000lbs of equipment. Making every rack unit count, it also uniquely features a slimmer top and bottom. This provides an extra rack unit of useable space for more components but in the same standard rack height. In addition, the BGR Series incorporates Middle Atlantic's patented Lever Lock™ system. At its core, it's designed to speed up installations with a flexible, future-proof integration approach that allows integrators to easily configure the rack as needed. Integrators can also optimize the formerly unused space in the enclosure by mounting small devices on the side of the rack, freeing up shelves and other space throughout the rack. Adhering to AVIXA's new rack building standard for AV, the system also provides tool-less vertical and horizontal cable management, ensuring clean cable routing and strain relief on connectors. The BGR Series is available in multiple form factors, including gangable, standalone, or as part of the BGR-MDK mobile presentation cart.
More information about Middle Atlantic Products is available at www.middleatlantic.com.
# # #
About Legrand | AV
The brands of Legrand | AV are leading providers of mounts, racks, video conferencing, screens, connectivity, and display solutions enabling amazing audiovisual experiences. Our innovative solutions — sold principally under the Chief, Da-Lite, Middle Atlantic, Projecta, Sanus and Vaddio brands — are accessible through numerous channels. The brands of Legrand provide the most comprehensive offering of AV solutions in the market. The company serves a broad base of over 6,000 global AV customers.
Legrand | AV is a division of Legrand, which globally reported sales of $6.2 billion (USD) in 2017. Legrand has a strong presence in North and Central America, with a portfolio of well-known market brands and product lines that includes AFCO Systems, C2G, Cablofil, Chief, Da-Lite, Electrorack, Finelite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic Products, Milestone AV, Nuvo, OCL, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Pinnacle, Projecta, QMotion, Quiktron, Raritan, Sanus, Server Technology, Solarfective, Vaddio, Vantage, Wattstopper, and Wiremold. Legrand is listed on Euronext Paris and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI, Corporate Oekom Rating, and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819) www.legrand.us
PR Link: www.ingearpr.com/MAP/190522MAP.docx
Photo Links: www.ingearpr.com/MAP/Middle_Atlantic_BGR_Rack.jpg
Image Caption: The BGR Series is Middle Atlantic's No. 1 selling AV rack enclosure.
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Loads of season finales, while ‘Blood & Treasure’ opens on CBS
NBC won the prime ratings race Tuesday, riding The Voice to a 0.9 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 4 share. In second was CBS at 0.8/4.
NBC had the finale of The Village at a flat 0.6 and part 2 of The Voice finale up 10% for a 1.1 from 9 to 11 p.m.
CBS had the NCIS season ender up 9% at 1.2 and the premiere of adventure drama Blood & Treasure at 0.6 from 9 to 11.
ABC and Fox both got a 0.6/3. Comedies had their finales on ABC. American Housewife closed down 13% at 0.7 and The Kids Are Alright posted a level 0.6, then Black-ish ticked up 17% for a 0.7 and Bless This Mess was a flat 0.6. Docuseries 1969 grew 33% for a 0.4.
On Fox, MasterChef Junior got a 0.8 and the Mental Samurai finale a 0.5, both up a tenth of a point.
Telemundo and Univision both rated a 0.4/2.
The CW got a 0.2/1 with a Flash repeat and The 100 down 33% for a 0.2.
Said technology must protect rule of law, human rights, democratic values and diversity
The Trump Administration is supporting new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) international principles for the "responsible stewardship" of artificial intelligence (AI), a potentially, and current, world-changing technology.
Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the President for technology policy, announced that support at the OECD Forum and Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris.
It was not a big surprise since the U.S. has been working with OECD on the principles, which dovetail with the President's American AI Initiative, announced in February 2019.
That means "flexible, light touch policy environments that support basic AI research and development, and encourage innovation and competition," Kratsios said.
“For the first time in history, America and likeminded democracies of the world will commit to common AI principles reflecting our shared values and priorities," he told the OECD audience."These principles send a strong message: The OECD countries stand together in unleashing AI innovation, understanding that it is an essential tool to drive economic growth, empower workers, and lift up quality of life for all."
The OECD principles boil down to five basics:
1. "AI should benefit people and the planet by driving inclusive growth, sustainable development and well-being.
2. "AI systems should be designed in a way that respects the rule of law, human rights, democratic values and diversity, and they should include appropriate safeguards – for example, enabling human intervention where necessary – to ensure a fair and just society.
3. "There should be transparency and responsible disclosure around AI systems to ensure that people understand AI-based outcomes and can challenge them.
4. "AI systems must function in a robust, secure and safe way throughout their life cycles and potential risks should be continually assessed and managed.
5. "Organizations and individuals developing, deploying or operating AI systems should be held accountable for their proper functioning in line with the above principles.
There are an equal number of government action items:
1. "Facilitate public and private investment in research & development to spur innovation in trustworthy AI.
2. "Foster accessible AI ecosystems with digital infrastructure and technologies and mechanisms to share data and knowledge.
3. "Ensure a policy environment that will open the way to deployment of trustworthy AI systems.
4. "Empower people with the skills for AI and support workers for a fair transition.
5. "Co-operate across borders and sectors to progress on responsible stewardship of trustworthy AI."
Departs Chicago’s City Hall for role in the media
Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor, has joined ABC News as an on-air contributor. Emanuel departed City Hall May 20 as Lori Lightfoot was named mayor of Chicago.
Emanuel, who is 59, started as mayor in 2011. He was previously White House chief of staff from 2009-2010, under President Barack Obama, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Illinois, prior to that.
ABC News did not specify Emanuel’s role at the network.
Emanuel also signed on to be a contributing editor at The Atlantic. The magazine said it would be the “primary home” for Emanuel’s stories.
Rep. Walden cites KGW-TV fact check of posted warnings in Portland
Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette has called for a Hill hearing on a 5G disinformation campaign spotted in Denver and "everywhere," saying she thought the House Energy & Commerce Committee--Democrats control the committee--should hold a hearing on it.
That came after fellow Colorado legislator Greg Walden, a Republican, and ranking member of the committee, had brought up the issue in a LIFT America Act oversight hearing Wednesday (May 22) about building out broadband, including his emphasis on the need to win the race to 5G.
Walden cited KGW-TV Portland for doing a fact check on 5G public health warning posters and confirming the official-looking warnings were not official or sanctioned by the city.
Walden said someone had been putting up stickers in Portland on lamp posts saying 5G was a health hazard. He also said the issue was worth Congress looking into.
KGW 's Verify unit did a reality check and reported that the alleged public health warnings that had been posted in East Portland "urg[ing] residents to call the mayor and city council about 5G, calling the technology 'potentially hazardous,'" did not come from the city.
The station did point out that Russia-backed Russian TV network RT had been running anti-5G stories saying the next-gen wireless tech led to "brain cancer, infertility, autism and even Alzheimer's disease," without any scientific evidence to back it up. Walden also cited that story in suggesting the committee needed to be vigilant about tactics in the race to 5G, saying that in Russia they were suggesting 5G could cure cancer, not cause it.
"We can Verify: These public warning signs did not come from an official government source, and they are not official health warnings," the station said on its Web site.
The station pointed out that the Portland City Council was voting June 5 on whether to allow AT&T to build out more small cells in rights of way, but those don't currently employ 5G, the mayor told the station.
Musicians’ objectionable actions raise questions about their place on radio
How does your radio station handle artists accused of assault or inappropriate behavior? It is a bigger question to your listeners and community than you may think.
In the wake of #MeToo, more focus has come to musical performers at the center of major controversies. The power of these artists and how the music industry reacts to — and oftentimes looks the other way in the event of — unacceptable and sometimes illegal actions has been one of the big music media stories of late.
Pitchfork summed up a spate of news coverage over the last two years of mainstream pop and hip-hop artists, such as R. Kelly, 6ix9ine and the late XXXTentacion. In February, indie pop star Ryan Adams was the subject of a New York Times investigation into claims Adams used his position to prey on women. Adams was thereafter probed by the FBI amid claims at least one female was under 18 at the time. Spotify took it a step further by temporarily yanking some artists from its lucrative streaming pool. For musicians like Kelly, who has long had a cloud of pedophilia and abuse accusations following him, time is apparently up, as he faces various charges.
In response, commercial radio has had an uneven policy. Some may recall the commercial country radio boycott of the Dixie Chicks for speaking out against former President George W. Bush, but pop and urban commercial radio has rarely been as assertive about musicians’ words and actions. The acts that are marginal on playlists may be removed, but it seems popular performers are not going anywhere.
The avoidance on the commercial radio side to challenge performers whose actions may run counter to audience’s perceived values has prompted extra attention for noncommercial broadcasters. Current covered a Non-Commvention panel last week on how noncommercial radio stations should respond to artists facing allegations of abuse or other objectionable behavior. The viewpoints expressed reflect a conflict that, I expect, many stations are still attempting to figure out.
“If the majority of my audience is going ‘icky’ about, say, Michael Jackson, then maybe I don’t need to play Michael Jackson,” panelist Jim McGuinn said, according to Current. “I don’t know if it stays that way forever. Like, maybe that changes? I don’t know. But for now, whenever we talk about these issues, we say, look, let’s do this for now because I don’t know if I have the absolute moral authority on anything.”
The paper notes Stacy Owen countered this with the idea that noncommercial stations are in a unique position to take a stand in a way commercial radio may not.
The unspoken part of this matter, on the panel and elsewhere, is how social media has changed the stakes for radio. Look no further than groups like Mute R. Kelly, which have gained momentum and attention through getting the issue out on Facebook and elsewhere. Listeners see these conversations online and opinions change about the performer and the institutions that appear to support him. We also live in an age where anyone with a following and even those without can demand accountability in ways previous generations could not. People now interact with brands all the time and expect responses, and deference to a degree. Such power has pushed commercial and nonprofit organizations to carefully consider their positions. If Twitter, which skews younger, wealthier and more liberal than the rest of the nation, was a force in 2003, it is doubtful country radio’s ban on the Dixie Chicks would have gone down without repercussions on advertisers and stations.
The Non-Commvention’s discussion should inspire your noncommercial outlet to consider its own stance on what it broadcasts and how it communicates its vision to its donors and listeners. Community radio has oftentimes embraced a freewheeling attitude about programming, where individual DJs get to curate whatever they want. For some stations, this broader conversation may press you to think deeply about volunteer policies. What are your community obligations? What are the on-air standards, those quality guidelines that go beyond general federal regulations or “clean up your trash” type of local rules, to which you hold your volunteers and staff? And where is the line, in the event you have one, when it comes to content, insofar as performers on the record with racist, sexist or otherwise abhorrent statements and/or accusations against them?
To be clear, how one separates the art from the artist is one of popular culture’s most enduring debates. Whether it is the anti-Semitic composer Richard Wagner, the violent misogynistic lyrics of Eminem, Behemoth’s Adam “Nerga” Darski’s frequent legal trials for anti-Christian viewpoints, Kanye West’s remarks on slavery and President Donald Trump or Morrissey’s hypernationalist ranting, the words and actions of musicians stir up plenty of feelings among the public. How your station handles particular musicians in an age of greater awareness and means to articulate that awareness may be one of the better stories still untold.
And Amador Bustos, David Field and Bill McElveen to remain for two more years
Radio Board Chairman Randy Gravley has made five appointments to the NAB Radio Board of Directors. The appointments are effective as of the board meeting scheduled for June 10–12.
Three designated representatives will return to the board for another two-year term. They are Bustos Media Holdings President Amador Bustos, Entercom Communications President/Chairman/CEO David Field and Alpha Media Regional President Bill McElveen.
New to the role of designated representative are Cumulus Media President/CEO Mary Berner and Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Co. Vice President/General Manager Kevin Perry.
Developer tells FCC staff that HD Radio can upgrade and enhance emergency warning
The developer of HD Radio believes its technology can “upgrade and enhance the nation’s emergency alerting capabilities,” delivering alerts with better geographic targeting and dynamic visual images along with other enhancements.
So in March, a top radio technology executive of Xperi Corp. met with representatives from the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau in Washington to highlight HD Radio’s emergency alert feature. According to a public filing, Xperi described improved text notifications, multilingual audio and geographically targeted messaging abilities.
The company proposed no major changes to the Emergency Alert System but sought to offer a reminder of benefits it believes HD Radio can bring to the EAS infrastructure, primarily text and future capabilities, such as images and maps.
Xperi also released a white paper, “Upgrading the Emergency Alert System: HD Radio Digital Emergency Alerting,” and shared it in the FCC meeting. The paper lists the current and planned emergency alerting capabilities like wake-up signaling and delivery of visuals.
Xperi cited a recent report from the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council that recommended upgrading several aspects of the public alerting ecosystem. These include improving geographic targeting, enhancing public alerting systems with multimedia, improving resiliency and redundancy and improving accessibility of alert info.
“While each method of public alerting has particular strengths, HD Radio technology is uniquely positioned to enhance the overall system and fulfill many of the important recommendations made by CSRIC in its December 2018 Final Report,” Xperi wrote in its meeting summary.
The digital data capabilities of HD Radio enable digital broadcasters to “enhance their emergency messaging broadcasts by providing more rich and detailed content, including, for example, alternate languages, message text, pictures and maps,” Xperi wrote.
“Notably, the HD Radio emergency alerting broadcast protocol is completely CAP-compliant, thus allowing dissemination of all the rich content facilitated by CAP,” it stated, referring to Common Alerting Protocol.
The FCC already mandates that EAS participants be able to receive CAP-formatted alert messages. The Federal Emergency Management Administration is responsible for EAS implementation and testing.
FEMA released its own report earlier this year that touched on various themes to improve public warning via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS. FEMA recognizes the need to “optimize technical developments and how the nation’s alert and warning systems can take advantage of new capabilities,” according to the report.
At the NAB Show, FEMA featured a demonstration of HD Radio’s emergency alerting functionality at the IPAWS booth. In addition, HD Radio’s emergency alert capabilities are now integrated into FEMA’s IPAWS test bed in the IPAWS Lab in Washington, which is used to provide training and coordination planning with emergency managers, a company official confirmed.
“PART OF THE CONVERSATION”
Xperi says there are 2,141 digital on-air broadcasts in the United States, with 90% of the population living within reception distance of an HD Radio station. About 43 million HD Radio-equipped cars are on the road, according to the company.
It says approximately 300 radio stations in 85 markets are transmitting emergency alerts over HD Radio as simple text messages and that about 15% are using some of the other enhancements, said Ashruf El-Dinary, vice president of radio technology solutions, who led the Xperi visit to the FCC along with members of its legal team.
Dinary met with Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau staff and detailed the potential benefits of using the in-band, on-channel digital transmission system. “It was an introductory meeting, really. To the extent that the FCC has been working on HD Radio, we wanted to make sure other bureaus within the commission were aware of the technology and how it can be applied to public alerting,” he said.
“We see it as a very strong application that will advance emergency notification across the country. HD Radio with the enhancements can support these objectives.”
Dinary said HD Radio alerting technology “allows for an HD Radio to scan the background looking these alerts, so if just one HD Radio station in a community is broadcasting an alert then the HD receiver should pick it up.”
Receiver manufacturers are beginning to turn out more HD Radio receivers enabled with the emergency alert function, Dinary said.
“That’s being addressed through a number of after-market car receivers from Kenwood and Pioneer, as well as Sangean in some of the home and portable products. A number of OEM car models are including it now going into the 2020 model year.”
Xperi hopes the FCC will consider HD Radio’s emergency alert capabilities as the commission progresses with the next phase of EAS policymaking and regulations around that, Dinary said. But it is not asking for specific rule changes. “We want to be part of that conversation going forward.”
The company is especially focused on the visual aspect of HD Radio’s emergency alert feature, Dinary said, and its ability to display images such as photos of a missing child or adult.
“We are increasingly a visual society. We are visually connected to our devices. Even radio is now visual. These are becoming critical components that radio can offer that it couldn’t before. That coupled with geo-targeting and the wakeup feature really allows us to offer a complete alerting package,” Dinary said.
He said no additional licensing of HD Radio technology is required for receiver manufacturers or radio stations to participate in what Xperi calls a public service feature.
DETAILS TO WORK OUT
While some HD Radio stations have implemented many of the EAS enhancements, others are waiting for HD Radio receiver manufacturers to catch up with its capabilities, several observers said.
In at least one case, an HD Radio station stopped using the enriched EAS data because some car radios from certain manufacturers didn’t digest it properly, according to an observer familiar with that situation. “The auto-on, geofencing and enhanced displays elements can cause issues for the radio receiver itself.”
According to Harold Price, president of Sage Alerting Systems, “I think there are some technical issues and details that need to be worked out. … Some standards work needs to be done for rich media, including defining supported data formats for the ecosystem as well as tagging images intended for broadcast. For instance, CAP already allows for multilingual data, and it allows images and other rich media to be referenced. Multilingual alerts have several challenges, including who provides the additional languages and how legacy EAS is handled.”
Some HD Radio stations would likely have to purchase additional EAS equipment to implement the suggested enhancements if they are adopted by the FCC, said Edward Czarnecki, senior director for strategy and government affairs for Digital Alert Systems.
“This may pose a challenge for any operation that has already maxed out the number of receiver inputs it may have already assigned, such as PEP, LP-1, LP-2 and NWS. Adding an HD input source might in some cases mean the need to drop an existing monitoring source. I’m not sure that is an acceptable tradeoff,” Czarnecki wrote in an email.
Despite advances in U.S. alerting, one veteran public warning professional expressed a general concern that the more “sophisticated alerting becomes,” the more likely the system could leave some folks behind. Nevada EAS Chair Adrienne Abbott said of the discussion: “My concern is that we are creating a two-tiered society: the Informed and the Less-Than-Informed. The Informed, with their HD Radios, smartphones and next-gen TVs, will not only know that there is an emergency, they will know what it is, where it is and what to do about it, and the message will be reinforced because the Informed will receive similar messages from multiple sources, in multiple formats.”
She continued, “While some of the Less-Than-Informed will know, at best, that someone, somewhere, might have a problem, most of them won’t know what hit them.”
Another EAS observer told Radio World: “Improvements in the ability of EAS to deliver enhanced data to devices that can use it is good, so long as the ability and the desire to send data to simpler devices is not compromised. It’s all needed.”
In the white paper, Xperi also stated that HD Radio will soon offer support for “first responder alerting.” It said the system can send isolated data to specific receivers, allowing creation of a secure data network for police, fire and other first responders to receive targeted situation reports. It expects this functionality to be available in the next two years.
The white paper even proposed a new concept in emergency alerting, one that uses HD Radio technology to alert motorists of an approaching emergency service vehicle. The Emergency Vehicle Warning System would allow for emergency vehicles, equipped with an in-vehicle transmitter, to transmit a warning message on a fixed frequency to nearby cars. The company proposes using 87.9 MHz.
The white paper, an attachment to Xperi’s public filing, can be read at https://tinyurl.com/rw-xperi-3. Xperi’s comments were laid out in a notice of ex parte communication regarding Amendments to Part 11 of the FCC’s Rules Regarding the Emergency Alert System, PS Docket No. 15-94, and In the Matter of Improving Wireless Emergency Alerts and Community-Initiated Alerting, PS Docket No. 15-91.
Thom Whetston is rescuing and rehoming 800 pounds of transcriptions
If you’re looking to honor those who’ve served the United States this Memorial Day, here’s an idea with a broadcasting bent: contribute to the preservation of the American Forces Radio & Television Service archives.
Radio World has previously chronicled the origins and importance of the AFRTS, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017. We’ve also profiled Thom Whetston’s efforts to preserve and share much of the service’s historical programming; he’s been digitizing vinyl discs and adding them to a website for others to enjoy and blogging about AFRTS.
Now Whetston, a veteran of the U.S. Army himself, is at it again and says he could use some help.
“I’m in the middle of the biggest AFRTS project I’ve ever attempted,” Whetston told Radio World in a recent email. “We’ve got over 800 pounds of 12-inch transcriptions in Los Angeles to get halfway across the country.”
In the message, he explains, “If you could donate what you can it’d help a lot. Our history is important (these disks really were fished out of a dumpster).”
If you’d like to donate to defray shipping costs, Whetston is accepting donations via PayPal. He says he’s “very grateful” to those who have contributed so far.
As low-power FM nears its 20th anniversary, let’s agree that the true threat is from “non-radio”
The author is founder of REC Networks.
Greetings from Riverton, Md.
Twenty years ago, the comment period for the creation of a new low-power radio service (otherwise known as LPFM) was open, and people from all walks of life were making comments.
These included comments in favor of bringing new community voices, and they also included comments of concern from broadcast interests over fears of increased interference and in some cases, increased “competition.” There was an aggressive opposition from both the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio.
The Kennard-era FCC took a huge gamble by crossing into uncharted territory through proposing and eventually adopting a new FM broadcast service without a requirement to protect third-adjacent channels.
In the aftermath of the Jan. 20, 2000, adoption of the original Report and Order to establish a new LPFM service, the opposition to the new service by the establishment grew stronger.
The broadcasting lobbying efforts led by the NAB gave a CD to members of Congress that included “simulations” of what interference by LPFM stations on third-adjacent channels to full-service stations would sound like. This lead to the Radio Broadcast Protection Act of 2001, which reinstated the third-adjacent channel protections and resulted in the dismissal of hundreds of applications that could not meet the new requirements.
It would not be until a few years later that a study, mandated by the 2001 act, would show that, based on field studies, there would be little to no interference caused by LPFM stations on third-adjacent channels.
The Local Community Radio Act was signed by President Obama in January 2011 to reinstate the third-adjacent channel exemptions, in most cases.
Following the LPFM filing window in 2013, many new LPFM stations that would have otherwise been third-adjacent channel short spaced came on the air. I am not aware of any third-adjacent interference issues being caused by any of them. Real-world use of low-power stations on third-adjacent channels only shows that what was demonstrated to Congress in 2001 would never come to fruition.
To this day, there is a resentment by some in the LPFM community toward the NAB and NPR. There are some who feel that the NAB is out to “destroy” LPFM. While the NAB did come to the table to pass the compromise LCRA legislation, the association continues to oppose any positive actions being requested by LPFM. This includes REC Networks’ petitions for rulemaking RM-11749 and RM-11810.
[Ed. note: RM-11749 asked the commission to allow for service contours of up to 7.1 km for LPFMs; extend the distance that an LPFM station can move as a minor change; impose second adjacent channel protections to LPFM stations by FM translator and booster stations; and sought relief in the local origination pledge for time-share LPFM stations. In RM-11810, REC focused on addressing “unnecessary overprotection of other broadcast facilities by LPFM stations as well as disparity in the relationship between LPFM stations and FM translators.”]
Ironically, during the RM-11749 proceeding, a few state broadcaster associations even came forward to admit that they had LPFM stations in their membership and that those stations were not as bad as some had thought in the past. Some have gotten over the fear of the unknown and have moved on from their pre-LCRA fears.
I must note that, while there was resentment of NPR because of its actions in the early days over interference fears, resentment lingers because of NPR’s alleged involvement in decisions made by individual college stations to remove student programming and to adopt a mainstream public radio model. That is a conversation for another day.
WHAT POP CULTURE SAYS ABOUT RADIO
On the Sunday during this year’s NAB Show, Fox aired an episode of the television show “Bob’s Burgers” titled “Long Time Listener, First Time Bob.” The episode was about a former local DJ who lost his job at the station when the corporate owners switched to automation and voice tracking (because “no one wants to hear a DJ who talks too much and plays whatever they want”) and ended up working at a bowling alley. This episode touched on a few things many of us could definitely connect to regarding the state of radio and got me wondering if the airing of this episode during NAB Show was intentional.
In one scene, set at the bowling alley, family patriarch and titular character Bob Belcher tells the DJ that he would like to hear him back on the radio again. Then he asked his kids if they would like to hear them on the radio. First, the edgy daughter Louise answered, “I like this guy’s style. I hope I burn half as many bridges at his age.” Bob’s son Gene enthusiastically answered, “I want to listen, too!” But then whispers to his sister, “What is a radio again?”
What Gene Belcher asked in this episode was not far from reality. We have a new generation that is not being exposed to radio. In addition, we have earlier generations that are turning away from radio. This is because of a threat that is much bigger than a few 100 W (and eventually 250 W) LPFM stations could ever be. That threat is “non-radio” — streaming services that do not require a broadcast license and are available anywhere and at any time.
That threat not only impacts the NAB members and other full-service stations, but it also affects LPFM. Despite what some may say, fewer people are turning on the radio than in the past. We are in a time when radio’s future of prominent presence on the dashboard is under threat in favor of streaming services.
Radio has the power to build and move a community, and it can be used by anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status or availability of broadband services. A subscription is never required.
PROGRAMMING IS THE KEY
The way I see it, radio — both full-power and low-power stations — needs to provide compelling content, not to bring listeners to a specific station but to get people to turn the radio back on again.
If a community-based LPFM station starts presenting programming that is not available elsewhere, this is going to get someone to turn the radio on. While they are there, they may check out the other stations on the dial. A full-service station carrying local events and information that is tailored to their community may be what it takes to get more listeners to push the “on” button and start listening again. We need people, especially our younger generations, to recognize that they have always had one of the greatest “apps” for listening to music, news and other entertainment. They don’t need a smartphone, just a radio.
We are coming up on LPFM’s 20-year anniversary. There have been many success stories from this service over that time. Stations like KBUU(LP) in Malibu, Calif., which was on the air in the aftermath of the southern California brush fires carrying localized information and was still operating on a generator months after because power had not been restored to the transmitter site. Then there’s KWSV(LP) in Simi Valley, Calif., which is actively involved with its community through their storefront main studio and popular high school football coverage. Just down the road from here in Cambridge, Md., is WHCP(LP), which is also very connected to its community and the local arts scene.
There are many other successful LPFMs across the nation. If this is what it takes to get people to discover (or rediscover) radio, then it is something we need to do.
With that, I feel that it is time to stop this animosity between the NAB and LPFMs, and we need to work together to keep the word “radio” first on the minds of anyone looking for news, information and entertainment. This can only happen if all of radio is working together. Otherwise, we will all fall prey to the same common threat.
Comment on this or any article. Email [email protected] with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line.
Deadline for reply comments is May 29
The post Big Broadcasters Weigh in on Radio Ownership Changes appeared first on Radio World.
As the comment deadline approaches, the broadcast industry continues to share its concerns and wishes about the future of broadcast radio and television ownership.
The Federal Communications Commission now has a thick sheaf of comments from which to piece through as it contemplates exactly how to proceed when it comes to revising radio ownership rules as part of the commission’s ongoing Quadrennial Review.
The calls have ranged from “do no harm” to “keep the status quo.” Now that the final reply comment deadline is less than a week away — May 29 — the comments continue to roll in from small-market broadcasters, individual listeners, broadcast associations and nonprofit organizations.
Salem Media Group is one of those broadcasters who met with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to express opposition to any changes in the local radio ownership rules. Salem CEO Edward Atsinger pointed out the industry division on the issue of broadcast deregulation, noting that groups like Urban One and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters are one of several groups standing firm against the proposal put forward in the proceeding by the National Association of Broadcasters.
Specifically, Atsinger expressed concern with the “foreseeable and troubling migration of content from the AM band to the FM band,” noting past content migration concerns in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga. Salem requests the FCC retain all the local ownership rules on AM radio, although Atsinger said he recognizes there may be some modest benefit to possibly removing only the subcaps on AM.
Cumulus Media took a separate tact by expressing its strong support for the NAB proposal.
“The broadcast radio industry is facing unprecedented competition from other audio, as well as non-audio, sources for both audience and advertising dollars,” said Collin R. Jones, senior vice president of corporate development and strategy for Cumulus Media. “Relaxing the FCC’s ownership regulations will enhance investment in the business, increase the ability of radio broadcasters to successfully compete, and help provide local stations with the necessary resources to serve their listeners.”
The NAB is proposing three main changes. One, that the FCC change its ownership rules so that a single entity can own or control up to eight commercial FM stations in Nielsen Audio markets 1–75 with no cap on AM ownership; two, that a licensee have the ability to own up to two more commercial FM stations (up to 10 FMs) if that licensee participates in the FCC’s incubator program; and three, that it eliminate restrictions on the number of commercial FM or AM stations a single entity can own in both unrated markets and those outside of the top 75.
Comments submitted in regard to the Quadrennial Review process can be found at the FCC’s ECFS database using Media Bureau Docket Number 18-349. The deadline for reply comments is May 29.
The post Big Broadcasters Weigh in on Radio Ownership Changes appeared first on Radio World.
They have become important historical records of the industry’s legendary deejays and broadcasts
Anyone who has deejayed in radio in the past 60 years knows about airchecks. They are as much a part of top 40 radio’s legacy as spinning Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and exploiting its 8:02 running time for a much-needed bathroom break.
In top 40 terms, “an aircheck is an off-air recording usually intended to showcase the talent of an announcer or programmer to a prospective employer,” said Rick Burnett, former radio deejay and owner of TwinCitiesRadioAirchecks.com in St. Paul, Minn. “Additionally, the airchecks were used for self-critique and evaluation by radio management and for legal archiving of content that is broadcast over the air.”
This is how airchecks from radio’s rock’n’roll era are generally understood today. But this definition hasn’t always held true: The earliest airchecks were “transcriptions” meant to capture live shows for rebroadcast at other times and on other stations. Due to technology limits, using them to find jobs wasn’t usually an option.
THE ROOTS OF AIRCHECKS
Like many firsts, it is difficult to know when the actual first radio aircheck was recorded. This confusion is muddied by the fact that certain early broadcasts — like KDKA Pittsburgh’s Nov. 2, 1920 coverage of the Harding/Cox presidential results — were recreated and recorded after the event, then touted as authentic airchecks.
According to the National Archives, a 1923 Armistice Day Broadcast by former President Woodrow Wilson made by phonograph technician Frank L. Capps “is the earliest surviving sound recording of a regular radio broadcast.” It was transmitted over WEAF in New York, WCAP in Washington and WJAR in Providence, R.I; and can be heard online at https://tinyurl.com/y44yon8h.
Wilson’s speech is among a handful of airchecks from radio’s early days. This is because “in the early 1920s, everything was live,” said Donna Halper, a noted media historian, radio consultant and radio broadcaster who is also credited with having discovered and promoted the band Rush when she was music director at WMMS(FM) Cleveland in 1974. “So we have few, if any, original recordings from about the first 10 years of radio.”
The lack of early airchecks is due to the fact that “there was no easy way to make radio recordings,” said Halper. “You could use a Dictaphone [that scratched audio waves into wax cylinders], and a few people actually did that. But there was no way to record live audio for later re-use.”
In 1929, the National Radio Advertising Co. Inc. of Chicago under President Ray Soat started to record short radio programs sponsored by Maytag on 12 inch 78 rpm shellac discs. These 78s were sent out to radio stations in hopes that they’d play them on air — and many did.
However, it took the invention of “transcription turntables” in the 1930s for live radio recordings to take hold. Such recorded programs — which were known as transcribed broadcasts — involved engraving the live feed directly onto a lacquer-coated 16 inch 33 rpm disk. This transcription method could also be used to record local commercials and other often-played content, but it was a gamble: If someone blew their lines, the disc had to be scrapped and the whole process started again from the top.
Despite the risks involved with transcribing broadcasts to discs, they were a popular way for broadcasters to syndicate shows to other stations. “Long distance phone lines were very expensive,” said Halper. “So transcribing shows to disc was an economical way to record and distribute radio programming.”
Today, the classic radio shows made by Jack Benny, Fred Allen and other greats of Radio’s Golden Age (the 1930–50s) that are available to hear online owe their existence to 16 inch transcription discs.
TAPE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Although the transcribed discs of the 1930–50s are airchecks by definition, they do not fit the current definition of the word. This didn’t happen until magnetic tape recorders made their way into radio following World War II.
Crooner and ABC Radio star Bing Crosby led the way. He was introduced to magnetic reel-to-reel tape by Ampex in 1947.
Impressed, Bing ordered 20 first-generation Ampex 200A recorders (and wisely bought stock in Ampex); allowing his “Philco Radio Time” show to be re-recorded, edited and tape-delayed by time zones in 1948. This mattered, because going “straight to air” had forced Crosby to do two live shows on the same day, one for the East Coast and one for the West later on.
“Bing, being a rather laid-back individual, knew he had difficulty enough getting through one show error-free, so repeating it three hours later would be next to impossible,” according to the AES paper “History of The Early Days of Ampex Corporation.” “Obviously, being able to record and edit was a necessity.”
AIRCHECKS AND ROCK’N’ROLL RADIO
It took a few years for reel-to-reel tape recorders to find their way in American radio stations. (Compact cassette tape recorders didn’t take serious hold until the 1970s). Once “reel-to-reels” arrived, even the smallest of radio stations could record, edit and re-record audio themselves. Suddenly, anyone who wanted to “aircheck” their own shows could do so.
A speed of 7.5 inches of tape per second was fast enough for decent quality audio, with a 10.5 inch reel able to hold 64 minutes of content. Stations also “logged” 12 hours’ worth of on-air broadcasts for regulatory purposes (e.g. to address listener complaints and FCC queries) by running one 10.5 inch tape reel at a painfully slow, low-fidelity rate of 15/16 inch per second.
Reel-to-reel’s arrival coincided with radio’s rebirth as a top 40 music medium (following the migration of its traditional content to TV in the 1950s and early 1960s). Once deejays and program directors alike got access to this technology, they started “airchecking” shows on a regular basis.
“When I was a disc jockey, I would make my own airchecks and work on them at home for fear of the station finding out I was looking for another job,” said Mel Phillips of MelPhillipsRadioViews.com. “When I was looking for talent there were two ways I acted: Either listening to airchecks sent to me or what turned out to be the best way; taking a trip and listening to the radio.”
TWO KINDS OF AIRCHECKS
As airchecks caught on, two versions evolved. The first were “unscoped airchecks,” in which the entire show was captured complete with music and ads. The second were “scoped airchecks,” which only captured the deejay speaking.
“I remember several scoped aircheck systems I’ve done over the years,” said Grady Moates. A former radio engineer, he owns LOUD & Clean, a Boston firm that designs, installs and maintains radio broadcast facilities.
“All it took was connecting a $10 relay across the ‘On-Air Light’ voltage feeding the On Air Light on the wall by the studio door, and connecting the ‘normally-open’ contacts of that relay in series with the little motor in the cassette recorder so that the motor turned on only when the light was on,” he said. “With air-monitor audio connected to the record input jacks, all an announcer had to do was insert a blank cassette into the machine when their show started, press the Record button, go do their show, press Stop and retrieve the cassette.”
Today, airchecks are recorded digitally as MP3s, but the science remains the same.
AIRCHECKS AS TIME MACHINES
Over the years, deejays and fans alike have recorded a vast number of airchecks. Many of them can now be heard online at web sites such as airchexx.com, archive.org (aka the Internet Archive), ReelRadio.com and TwinCitiesRadioAirchecks.com, among others. These aircheck sites let listeners hear famous deejays like Alan Freed and Wolfman Jack, plus local stars from their own cities and states — voices pulled from radio’s past brought into the here and now.
A case in point: Tom Gavaras, who previously worked at Minnesota radio stations, including WCCO(AM), launched his own Twin Cities aircheck website 15 years ago. Using his own airchecks and those provided by more than 100 fans, Gavaras’ RadioTapes.com lets people hear more than 2,000 recordings of Minneapolis/St. Paul radio stations from 1924 to the present. These clips include local deejays and reporting on major events such as the Kennedy assassinations, the Apollo space flights and Watergate.
“In some cases, people don’t have a way to digitize the reel-to-reel or cassette tape airchecks they own,” said Gavaras. “I have enough of these machines plus computers to digitize three contributed airchecks at a time.”
Now operating a radio aircheck site can come with unexpected hassles. For instance, ReelRadio.com removed unscoped airchecks from its online site, following a copyright complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America in 2014.
Still, airchecks abound on the internet. Just type “radio aircheck” into Google or YouTube, and you’ll come across thousands.
Airchecks can even be searched by deejay, year, station or city. So if you want to relive your youth by listening to the actual radio you grew up with, airchecks can make it happen for you. With online radio airchecks, time travel is only a mouse click away.
Share your own aircheck stories. Email [email protected] with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject field.
Dutch community station chooses Lawo Crystal and RƎLAY
Aalsmeer, Netherlands-based community radio station, Radio Aalsmeer, has transitioned its on-air studio to digital with the help of Lawo’s mixing console and virtual radio software solutions. The main studio now features a 16-fader Crystal surface powered by a Lawo Compact Engine.
“Value played a big part in the selection of Crystal,” explained Lennart Bader and Niels Tenhagen, self-employed broadcast professionals who began their respective careers volunteering at Radio Aalsmeer. “Funds for the renovation came from generous donations by Rabobank and Schiphol Airport, so a keen eye was kept on costs.”
The station’s playout system and studio computers make use of Lawo RƎLAY VSC Virtual Sound Card software. Lawo says the software provides eight “virtual sound card” instances for each Windows computer to allow the direct exchange of audio between PC workstations and the Ravenna/AES67 studio network.
In addition, Radio Aalsmeer relies on the Lawo RƎLAY VPB Virtual Patch Bay as its main switching matrix.
“VPB has turned out to be super versatile and even allowed us to add additional analog in- and outputs,” said Bader. “Via the Ember+ protocol, we programmed a custom GPIO solution for tally lights and a multi-function color strip.”
TV appears more likely to be affected than radio
LONDON — The uncertainty around Brexit continues to concern United Kingdom broadcasters, with respect to the possible fallout should the U.K. actually leave the European Union.
The level of concern appears to be directly related to each broadcaster’s level of reliance on the European market.
Private U.K. broadcaster Radio Caroline is a prime example. Once a pirate station broadcasting from an actual ship, today’s Radio Caroline is a licensed land-based broadcaster operating on 648 in the medium-wave band in North Essex and Suffolk. It is also available via DAB in Norwich, Aldershot, Brighton, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Glasgow and London; and to the world online at www.radiocaroline.co.uk.
Radio Caroline Station Manager Peter Moore is not afraid of Brexit, one way or the other. “Brexit will have no effect on us as we are funded by our listeners home and abroad.” Moore explained. “We have no advertisers based in Europe. If a European advertiser approached us, we do not see Brexit as a problem. Money can still be transferred and our signals will still go exactly where they go at the moment.”
This said Moore wishes that “Brexit would take place and be settled once and for all.”
Other commercial U.K. broadcasters approached by Radio World were not as forthcoming as Radio Caroline. In fact, no one at Absolute Radio, Bauer Media Group, or Global would comment on the impact of Brexit on their businesses.
The BBC was similarly tight-lipped. “I believe you’ve been in touch with the press office again about the potential impact of Brexit on U.K. radio,” wrote Mattie Allen, assistant publicist with BBC News and Current Affairs. “As you can see, I went back to you on the 24th April on this. It’s not something we would comment on.”
Maybe not. Yet the Guardian newspaper reported on January 24, 2019 “The BBC is considering Brussels as the location for a new EU base after Brexit to allow it to continue to broadcast across the continent. Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, has disclosed that he held discussions on the possibility in Davos with the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall.”
In this case, the BBC’s Brexit issues are associated with TV rather than radio. “The BBC will need EU-based licenses for its international channels — which include BBC World, BBC Entertainment, BBC First, and BBC Earth — if it wishes to have them broadcast across the rest of Europe,” said the Guardian assuming that Brexit takes place. Possible BBC broadcast bases are said to include EU countries such as Belgium, Ireland, or The Netherlands.
This story was verified by The Times newspaper on Jan. 31, 2019.
“The BBC could set up a base in Brussels or Amsterdam after Brexit, its director-general has confirmed,” The Times reported. “Lord Hall of Birkenhead said that establishing a small office on the continent would allow the broadcaster to continue operating channels within the European Union. Channels licensed in the U.K. can broadcast across the EU at present, but this arrangement is likely to end after Brexit.”
All of these concerns depend on whether Brexit actually takes place or not. As of now, no one knows for sure.
This issue is chock-full of insights into radio's place in cars of today and the future digital dash
This issue is chock-full of insights into radio’s place in cars of today and the future digital dash. We dig into a NABA paper exploring broadcasting’s prospects in the connected car, online and more. We also explore how stations appear in Mercedes-Benz’s Comand infotainment center and learn about Xperi’s EAS efforts.
Hubbard Radio Consolidates Three Chicago FMs
The broadcaster recently took on a project for its Windy City stations, relocating FM stations WTMX “The Mix,” WSHE and WDRV “The Drive.” The job was headed by Kent Lewin, chief engineer of the cluster, and facilitated by integrator RadioDNA.
Rackley Was Revered in Engineering Community
Ron Rackley was a lifelong supporter of AM radio, and perhaps no broadcast engineer ever had a deeper understanding of AM antenna system design, according to his industry friends. His loss is deeply felt by the broadcast engineering community.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
- What Is Radio’s Value in 2019 and Beyond?
- The Ever-Evolving Role of Airchecks
- LPFM Is Not a Threat to Full-Service Radio
Program features a keynote, demos, case studies, panels, workshops and networking
This year’s Radio Show in Dallas will feature a new “technology-intensive program” geared toward engineers, technology professionals and managers, co-producer National Association of Broadcasters announced Wednesday.
Dubbed “Tech Tuesday,” the inaugural event is scheduled for Sept. 24, the first day of the 2019 Radio Show.
“We are excited to introduce a full day of programming specifically curated to meet the needs of today’s do-everything tech teams,” said NAB Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Sam Matheny. “Technology is a vital and integral part of every station’s operations, and we’re confident Tech Tuesday will provide valuable takeaways for all who attend.”
Tech Tuesday will consist of keynote speaker, hands-on demos, case studies, panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities. Subjects to be explored include audio-over-IP, RF transmission, visual radio, streaming audio, remote backhaul, audio production and processing, data acquisition and protection, and hybrid radio applications.
Registration is required, but the program is free for NAB and RAB members. Participants can choose to register separately from the rest of the Radio Show, though registration does included Wednesday and Thursday access to the exhibit hall, according to the announcement.
The Radio Show will run Sept. 24–27.
Fourth generation of KRK monitors have hit the shelves.
KRK Systems has released the Rokit G4 product range. The new line of studio monitors, which includes 5-, 7-, 8- and 10-inch models, has reportedly been completely redesigned from the ground up.
The Rokit G4s feature an on-board, DSP-driven, graphic EQ with 25 settings, visible via an LCD screen. The monitors also sport advanced drivers made with Kevlar, Class D power amplifiers and a front-firing port to aid bass reproduction and reduce listening fatigue.
“Our team put a great deal of time, energy and research into developing this product that has the power to transform any environment into a professional project studio,” says Jimmy R. Landry, global director of marketing, Pro Audio Division, Gibson Brands. “If you compare the KRK G4 monitors with the G3s, you will instantly hear the difference between the two, especially on the low-end accuracy — it’s dimensional with a lot of detail. The high-end is more open and detailed as well. With selectable DSP-driven EQ presets and an onboard LCD, the user experience has significantly improved – and we believe there isn’t a more complete studio monitor available at this price point that delivers such high-end performance.”
The KRK Rokit G4 monitors feature a low-resonance enclosure and a high-density foam isolation pad that decouples the speaker from the surface.
The biamplified G4 range includes RP5 (5-inch), RP7 (7-inch) and RP8 (8-inch) models; an additional triamped version, the RP10-3 (10-inch), incorporates a 4.5-inch mid-range woofer and one-inch tweeter for midfield monitoring. The RP10-3 can also be arranged in horizontal mode by allowing the user to rotate the midrange woofer and tweeter by 90 degrees.
All G4 models feature a built-in brick-wall limiter, which automatically engages at maximum amp-level to maintain a balanced sound and protect the system. The company expects to soon release a smartphone app for iOS and Google Play which will assist with monitor placement; level matching; subwoofer level and crossover setting assistance; polarity; and EQ for all KRK monitor lines.
Also, who monitors the station’s tower lights — and who should?
Creating space for performance studios has become a popular way to generate nontraditional revenue for stations.
Fig. 1 shows space set aside at Engineering Manager Armando Gonzales’ Entercom cluster in Dallas. Note the charging stations in Fig. 2, helpful in an age when most every listener has a smartphone. These stations are sponsored by Verizon, another plus.
We’ve seen smart TVs with USB drive ports that play loops of station promotion videos or slides, but Armando’s reception area took this idea a step further. The 55-inch sets were mounted lengthwise (see Fig. 3) for a stunning impression for visitors.
Engineering working in conjunction with the promotions department is a definite win-win. Send us your own good examples via the email address below.
After several columns discussing station logs, one Workbench reader raised a question.
This engineer’s towers and lighting are owned by Vertical Bridge. The company has sophisticated gear on their lighted towers to sense problems and to notify their operations center should a failure occur.
The station does absolutely nothing with respect to checking tower lights on the towers it no longer owns but currently uses. The engineer admits he glances at the lights when he is nearby after sunset, and if there is an issue he will look for a NOTAM just because he cares about the pilots, though nothing is recorded in the station log.
The question is, “What is the engineer’s or station’s responsibility here?”
For the answer, I turned to Ed Trombley, an engineer with Munn-Reese Broadcast Engineering Consultants.
Ed responded that the question was a good one. Up in Michigan, where the firm is located, they experience their share of unstable winter weather with both freezing rain and ice. This kind of weather puts the tower light monitoring question to the test several times each winter.
Tower light monitoring from a central location is now a common practice, with many group owners setting up a central command post staffed 24/7/365. Most of this monitoring requires the internet to be up and running. Although Ed can’t speak for your wireless provider, he writes that in Michigan they seem to have the signals bounced off every farm silo, grain elevator and ham radio tower!
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The barn storming wireless network is like the old telephone party line. Get an ice day where the school is closed, and the wireless network turns to mud! So what happens when the ice takes down Reddy Kilowatt and the wireless internet goes poof? Did the backup generator start? If it did, there is a good chance the tower lights are on. Otherwise the lights may be out, the wireless may be down, and the guy at tower light central may not know.
So in the case where a station is leasing vertical real estate on a tower where the lights are monitored from some central location, Ed directs us to part 17 of the FCC Rules:
- 17.6 Responsibility for painting and lighting compliance.
(a) The antenna structure owner is responsible for maintaining the painting and lighting in accordance with this part. However, if a licensee or permittee authorized on an antenna structure is aware that the structure is not being maintained in accordance with the specifications set forth on the Antenna Structure Registration (FCC Form 854R) or the requirements of this part, or otherwise has reason to question whether the antenna structure owner is carrying out its responsibility under this part, the licensee or permittee must take immediate steps to ensure that the antenna structure is brought into compliance and remains in compliance. The licensee must:
(1) Immediately notify the structure owner;
(2) Immediately notify the site management company (If applicable) …
The FCC rule goes on for several more sub-statements, but from here it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that if your company rents space on a tower and you observe the lights are dark, you need to call the tower owner for confirmation.
That emergency number should be posted on the gate. Ten minutes of your time may keep somebody else alive.
And as for the “automatic monitoring,” Ed shared a true story:
At breakfast with a good friend and fellow broadcast engineer, the subject of towers was discussed. Some folks at an adjacent table heard the discussion, and explained that they lived near a tall tower on a big hill in southern Michigan. They said that the tower’s lights had been out for four months. A few questions later and Ed had confirmed the tower location, and got the gentleman’s phone number. Ed told him the lights would be on by the time they got back home, about a four-hour drive.
Ed made a phone call, and three hours later, he got a return call, explaining that a failure had indeed left the tower lights dark, even though the remote control showed normal status; the lights were on and blinking.
Being vigilant with respect to tower lighting — even if it’s not your tower — may save a life. Thanks, Ed, for your insight with respect to this important matter.
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 has spent 50 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is SBE certified and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.
Will update attendees on recent developments and unveil new DRM receiver module
The Digital Radio Mondiale consortium is participating this year for the first time in the Meeting of Regional Broadcasting Organizations and Transmitting Equipment Manufacturers.
During the conference, hosted by Antenna Hungária Zrt May 22–24 in Budapest, DRM representatives are providing updates on recent DRM developments worldwide. The consortium is also demonstrating new receiver solutions.
On Thursday May 23 German firm Starwaves will unveil the new DRM W102 module, equipped with an integrated hard-coded baseband decoder. The unit, DRM points out, is suitable for consumer radio and aftermarket automotive applications. It features a tuner frontend, digital-to-analog audio converter and digital input for external audio sources.
Available in the third quarter of 2019, the device measures 40×40 mm and covers longwave, medium wave, shortwave and the FM Band (64-108 MHz) in DRM and analog radio. DRM adds that it also allows the extraction of data services (Journaline or MOT Slide Shows) from the data stream for further processing in the target device.
Republicans said deal is in public interest; DOJ review still pending
The reconfigured T-Mobile-Sprint deal appears to have the three votes needed to secure approval by the five-member FCC.
That came after the companies volunteered a revised list of conditions that included divesting Boost Mobile, the low-cost prepaid wireless subsidiary; building out high-speed 5G wireless service to most of the nation, including rural areas, on a timetable acceptable to the FCC; and maintaining the same or better prices for three years.
The buildout requirements and other commitments are subject to up to $2.4 billion in fines if the companies to not do as promised.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced his support Monday: “In light of the significant commitments made by T-Mobile and Sprint as well as the facts in the record to date, I believe that this transaction is in the public interest and intend to recommend to my colleagues that the FCC approve it. This is a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States and bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans. We should seize this opportunity.”
Those are both key priorities both for the FCC and the Trump administration.
Republican commissioner Brendan Carr also agreed the restructured deal, submitted to the FCC Monday (May 20), was in the public interest and had his vote as well. Third Republican commissioner Michael O’Rielly said late Monday that he was “inclined” to approve it, providing the votes needed to pass.
O’Rielly’s less-than-full-throated support appeared to stem from the number and type of conditions, so his reservation was likely by way of making the point that the deal did not need them to be in the public interest rather than signaling he might incline the other way before the item was voted.
The chairman said he would be circulating an order approving the deal to the other commissioners “in the coming weeks.” The review began in June of last year.
On the Democratic side of the agency, commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told NPR she had issues with the deal.
The Justice Department still has to resolve its antitrust review of the deal, but the Boost divestiture may signal it will be OK with it as well given antitrust chief Makan Delrahim’s avowed preference for divestitures to resolve outstanding competition issues.
Time crunch, tight spaces and efficiency govern new studios for WDRV, WSHE and WTMX
Those of us who have participated in one know that a station move can produce the most stressful times in our careers, regardless of market size. Recently, Hubbard Radio took on such a project for its Chicago radio stations, consolidating FM stations WTMX “The Mix,” WSHE and WDRV “The Drive.” The project was directed by Kent Lewin, chief engineer of the cluster, and facilitated by integrator RadioDNA, headed by Rob Goldberg.
PHYSICAL AND TIME CONSTRAINTS
As with so many projects of this sort, the end of a lease precipitated the move. In this case, WDRV was coming to the end of its lease at the John Hancock Center building, while WTMX and WSHE were already located about a mile away at the Prudential Building.
Hubbard Director of Engineering Dave Garner said, “The Drive was on a very short fuse as far as its existing lease, and it had to be out by the end of last April  so it was a real tight schedule. That was the moving force, and the timing was such that we had to work all the other renovations around moving the Drive into Prudential.”
The company decided to completely revamp the Prudential facility. Before WDRV moved over, a series of temporary moves needed to be accomplished.
“It was really like musical chairs,” said Garner. “They took a large office and moved The Mix into that area; and after that, the rebuild project was kind of like dominoes. We got The Drive in there, and it was just moving things around — moving studios from one station to another — in order to accommodate them. We actually created production rooms in some new offices. In other words, somebody’s office — like a programming office, for example — became a production studio, and that happened numerous times during the reconfiguration.”
All the pieces came together. Through careful planning and timely execution, the team completed the project on time, with just a few days left on the calendar to spare.
“It was, to say the least, quite a project,” Garner said.
NEW CONSOLES AND ROUTER SYSTEM
As part of the entire revamping of the Chicago facility, the three stations were re-equipped using the Wheatstone AoIP system WheatNet. For this project, radioDNA built out 13 studios: on-air studios for WSHE, WDRV and WTMX plus a back-up on-air studio that can be used by any of the stations; three large-scale production rooms; three dubbing studios (i.e., less-capable production rooms); and three call-screen/producer booths.
The four on-air studios have Wheatstone’s 37-module LXE frame, with 25 motorized faders. “It’s just a monster,” said radioDNA’s Goldberg about the console. “It was pretty cool unboxing that huge coffin, as you can imagine.”
The air studios for WSHE, WDRV and back-up on-air are fixed-position, stand-up designs. However, according to Goldberg, the console in the WTMX on-air studio has a unique setup, designed and built by Studio Technology.
“It actually is a motorized countertop, so the whole thing can go from basically sit-down to higher than stand-up. A lot of extra engineering went into that — as you can imagine, the huge countertop for a multi-person morning show and a 37-module console. The countertop is big and heavy. It has eight motorized legs to lift and stabilize the thing, which is pretty cool.”
The big production studios use Wheatstone L-12s. Goldberg said, “Each of the large production studios has Pro Tools and Wheatstone’s VoxPro — actually every studio in the new facility has VoxPro, so there are 13, all told. We also included near-field monitoring using Genelec speakers.”
The call-screen/producer studios use Wheatstone L-8s, and each studio has direct line of sight to its associated on-air studio.
“We just didn’t have the room (in the group of the three smallest studios) or the countertop space to put a control surface. There just wouldn’t have been any work room; they’re very small. So we built the control surfaces on a Microsoft Surface Touch Pad, using Wheatstone ScreenBuilder.” ScreenBuilder is a software tool that lets the end-user build control, routing and monitoring interfaces on a PC or touchscreen tablet to create virtual surfaces.
“There’s a boom arm that holds some monitors, a mic boom and mic status [by way of a visual indicator], and they have a VoxPro, BE AudioVault and an Adobe editor machine in this small studio. We had to do things efficiently. ScreenBuilder works great.”
As with any studio build, this one includes custom features.
“For WTMX, we have two screener/producer studios and both have talkback in to the main studio, and they can talk to each other as well,” Goldberg said. “We added logic to indicate if a studio’s live or not — and there’s a lot of talking back and forth, with five people in all, including the screeners and the co-hosts for WTMX. We also have another one of the little booth studios, which can also function as a screener studio, that has talkback capability as well, for phone screening and whatnot.”
The screener/producer studios also have separate indications for when local mics are live on-air, or just live in the room. “We did little things like that, to just make it nice and easy for the operator so they can know when they’re live and when they’re not,” said Goldberg.
He added that Hubbard’s Market Chief Kent Lewin had a stringent set of requirements with respect to system redundancy.
“As radio engineers, we all are into backup systems and redundancy. Kent really takes that to the next level with everything. With the AudioVault, every audio output coming into a control surface comes from a different audio server — so you could actually completely lose one server, and all that would happen is that one channel would be missing.
“In addition to that, he actually breaks it out so the music comes from one control machine and the stop sets come from another. This created unique challenges in how we were going to control those machines. Previously they used custom relay boxes that did some neat things from their old boards and talked to the automation system. We did it all through programming directly from the surface to the AudioVault for all four music decks and all four spot decks. We programmed the cue button so that when you press it, it starts the first 30 seconds of the song; when we turn the cue off it stops the deck and cues it back up.”
THE RACK ROOM
Due to time constraints, a rebuild of the stations’ rack room will be revisited later.
“Time was a little bit tight with all the moves, so we didn’t finish the rack room,” said Goldberg. “We’re actually going to come back and revamp it with all new equipment racks, and we’ll be taking out old gear to make room for the new.”
The blade count, as it stands now, is in the upper 70s, according to Rob.
“There’s plenty of growth — we didn’t use every I/O from each blade. We like to put blades where gear is. For example, Studio Technology builds these nice roll-around racks that come out from underneath the furniture. We have minimal cable going to these roll-out racks and we like to keep all of the audio interconnects within that rack if at all possible, not having to go out of a rack and then back.
“Our goal is to keep things organized and neat, so when you pull out the rack you have everything that was installed, or anything that needs troubleshooting, right in front of you.”
Though big studio projects like the one Hubbard has accomplished in Chicago can produce the most stressful times in your career, the upside is that, afterwards, you’ll likely have had some of the proudest moments of your life. Projects such as this offer a rare — perhaps once-in-a-career — chance to make a real difference in an operation or in a company.
Hubbard Chicago equipment list
- 25-Seven Systems PDM
- Avid Pro Tools
- Benchmark SPM-2 program meters
- Broadcast Electronics AudioVAULT automation software
- Denon DN-700R SD/USB networkable SD/USB recorder
- Fostex RM-3 powered rackmount audio monitors
- Genelec powered monitor speakers
- Studio Technology custom furniture
- Tascam 500B CD players
- Wheatstone WheatNet AoIP system
- Wheatstone L8, L12, LXE consoles
- Wheatstone VoxPro audio software
- Yellowtec m!ka mic booms, monitor arms
Doug Irwin is the VP of engineering for the Los Angeles Region of iHeartMedia.
Affordable condensers expected in June
The CL7a is a large diaphragm condenser mic with a capsule sporting a 1.1-inch 3-micron thick, gold-sputtered diaphragm that intended to provide a balanced sound built around a smooth midrange and slight high-frequency lift around 15 kHz, ideally imparting a sense of air around the sound source.
The mic features a cardioid pickup pattern, along with a selectable two-pole high-pass filter at 100 Hz to remove unwanted low frequency content like stage rumble and wind noise. Additionally, the CL7a can handle SPLs of up to 147 dB, and includes a 10 dB attenuation pad, which is used to prevent overloading the onboard preamplifier by lowering the input sensitivity of the microphone preamp circuit. Inside the durable die-cast body, an internal shock-mount provides both protection for capsule and isolation from vibration noise.
Meanwhile, the Samson CL8a multipattern large-diaphragm condenser mic has a custom-tuned capsule with a dual 1.1″ gold-sputtered, 4-micron thick diaphragm. This design provides a range of selectable pickup patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional and bidirectional). Similar to the CL7a, the CL8a has a selectable, two-pole high-pass filter at 100 Hz; can handle SPLs up to 147 dB; and a 10 dB attenuation pad.
Expected to hit retail in June, the Resound CL7a and CL8a will be available for $129.99 and $149.99, respectively.
Share your ideas by June 7
It may be hard to believe, but the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and Wisconsin-based chapters of the Society of Broadcast Engineers are once again seeking suggestions for the annual Broadcasters Clinic.
In an announcement, WBA is soliciting “fresh, innovative, cutting-edge ideas, case studies and best practices that will motivate the ‘best of the best’ in station technical staff!”
The clinic and the Upper Midwest Chapter Meeting of the Society of Broadcast Engineers is scheduled for Oct. 15–17 at the Madison Marriott West Hotel in Middleton, Wis. But you must share your ideas no later than June 7 in order for WBA to consider them.
Email Linda Baun or call 608-729-1480 with any questions.
New on-air studios meet scalability and compatibility requirements using IP
ANTWERP, Belgium — NRJ België launched in Belgium’s Flemish region last September with a national frequency “package” for six commercial areas. The bundle consists of a license for each of the five provinces and one for digital (DAB+, digital TV, streaming).
SBS Belgium and the Mediahuis publishing company, proprietor of the Flemish Nostalgie Vlaanderen brand, own NRJ België. The station’s studios are located in the Mediahuis building in Antwerp together with Nostalgie’s studios, which, according to station staff, created some challenges during the installation of the new NRJ on-air studios.
With Nostalgie’s on-air studio’s being installed nearly a decade ago, and today’s fresh approach of studio building, investing in completely new studio gear was a logical step. “But throughout the design and research for the new facilities, we had to bear in mind that we wanted to achieve maximum compatibility with Nostalgie’s DHD-based on-air studios and the future NRJ studio,” said Luk De Groote, technical manager for both radio stations.
De Groote decided to team up with RadioStudio.be, a company specializing in integration and rental of broadcast equipment. “RadioStudio.be provided outside broadcast services for Nostalgie,” continued De Groote. “And that’s how I started talking with Tom Callebaut, the manager of the company.”
IP AND COMPATIBILITY
“The message was clear,” said Callebaut. “NRJ België wanted a futureproof on-air solution with full AoIP and compatibility. I suggested we use Lawo’s Ravenna-compatible technology for the two new studios. The keyword was scalability. In the past, you had a specific console or audio matrix and a fixed number of in/out’s. Today, we’re talking IP — the only limit being the bandwidth of your network.”
The assignment included the building, installation, acoustic design and technical integration of two studios for NRJ, with the option to use one for Nostalgie in a DHD setup. All content sources had to be interchangeable between the twin facilities and both radio products, requiring seamless, swift switching between both, without the audience noticing. In addition, the creation of a completely new on-air path for NRJ was part of the mission.
Both studios were equipped with Lawo Ruby AoIP mixing surfaces connected with a Lawo Power Core. “The majority of all input signals are via AoIP sources, widely available over the whole network,” explained Callebaut.
“The Ruby consoles are used as mixing engines but also for DSP, audio routing and conversion. The modular Power Core, with standard two AES67 and four MADI connections, offers exactly the scalability NRJ België required: To be able to expand the number of simultaneous channels to 10 or 35 with no need for extra devices. That was a major advantage in building these studios.
“The only analog inputs are microphones and studio monitors connected to the Power Core. All other sources like playout, telephone hybrid, codecs are AES67 AoIP streams to the Power Core audio routers in the main control room (MCR), with double compatibility — MADI for Nostalgie’s DHD platform and AoIP for future use. Everything is IP now, the days of discrete audio are almost completely gone.”
Mark Tito, sales director Lawo Benelux, said the project, in terms of equipment, was definitely on the edge of technology. “NRJ België is the first radio solution in Belgium adapting Ruby — and Power Core, which was actually just released when they decided for the product.”
“We started from the basic idea not to have one single computer in the on-air studio,” underlined De Groote. “Software and systems that are running in the studio are connected over IP via KVM to the master control room.
Intronics supplied the KVM system. “The big advantages of implementing KVM are security, with all sources in a climate-controlled and dust-free environment, ergonomics (one module in the on-air room instead of computers), and multitasking, allowing multiple users to work simultaneously on the system, from any location,” explained Yves Van Hullebusch, account and project manager KVM at Intronics Belgium.
“For NRJ, we used the Adderlink XDIP PoE models: Six pairs of compact KVM receiver modules per studio, running completely over IP with a minimal latency of less than 25 ms. The system is extremely flexible as you don’t need any management servers — it can be expanded by means of Layer 2 switches. Every module is a standalone power-over-Ethernet unit, functioning either as transmitter or receiver. NRJ België’s on-air studio is among the first in Belgium implementing the XDIP solution, as it is a new platform.”
In the NRJ studios, 30 Adderlink XDIP units are used to display full HD images from the computers located in the MCR, on six screens. Two are configured for DJs or co-hosts and two have Zenon playout software, an editing screen for recordings, and a multipurpose screen to select a common source like the MultiCAM Radio system or a clone of the Zenon playout screen.
The broadcaster stripped both studio rooms and added new acoustic materials from iDealAcoustics, which also designed and supplied the presenter desks. Each studio has room for four (self-op DJ, co-host and guests) seats, equipped with Neumann TLM 102 microphones on Yellowtec m!ka microphone arms.
“We decided to continue with Zenon Media radio software, an upgraded version of what our neighbors at Nostalgie are already using,” explained De Groote “The Zenon playout’s audio is routed via the Lawo R3LAY VSC drivers on the network to the Ruby desk core in the active studio where the signal is channeled to the Power Core in the MCR.”
“For the regional commercial breaks we use a blank/silence from the active studio program mixed with one of the six available commercial-players playing audio output on the AoIP network in the MCR. Each region has its own commercials but they are fully balanced,” said Callebaut. “The built-in silence detection in the Lawo Power Core monitors possible silence gaps and automatically switches on a slave playout computer or an SSD player, the silence detection is installed after the mix with active studio and one commercial regional output.”
The complete system was created in a redundant configuration for full backup, with switching almost inaudibly between both. A telephone hybrid from The Telos Alliance completed the setup. Callebaut added that the company is “excellent in delivering telephone systems. We are converting the Livewire signal to Ravenna, by means of an Axia xNode interface, making it AES67 compatible.”
The Power Core’s final signal is then channeled via six Orban Optimod 8600-S broadcast processors and six 2wcom MM01 codecs (one for each province, DAB+, streaming and DTV) to the transmitter sites using an IP connection.
“We put in place a completely new FM transmitter network and it had to be built up from scratch in less than two months,” said Christiaan Pladdet, business development manager with Broadcast Partners. “We attached a lot of importance to the design of the network ensuring maximum coverage within the license’s criteria. Each of the 16 transmitter sites is equipped with Elenos Indium transmitters and Lambda Technologies antennas. The 2wcom codecs serve multiple transmitter sites — in the past we had to install one codec for each transmitter — now we save in both rack space and energy.”
With one of NRJ’s owners being SBS Belgium, operating three TV channels in Flanders, the introduction of visual radio was evident. “NRJ’s morning show, hosted by Kim and Michaël, runs on the ZES TV channel between 6–9 a.m. using a MultiCAM Radio visual radio system,” said De Groote. “We are already using the system for Nostalgie using an AES soundcard. We moved three Panasonic AW-HE130 HD SDI cameras to NRJ’s on-air studio and installed the Lawo R3LAY VSC, capturing the audio feed for AoIP.”
“MultiCAM Radio receives GPIO and audio levels from the Lawo Ruby console via Ember Plus protocol. So it detects which microphone is open, and automatically controls the change of camera position, over IP,” explained Arnaud Anchelergue, MultiCAM director of sales. MultiCAM’s recording allows use of live streaming on different social media platforms and the station’s website. The audio-embedded SDI output of the system allows the splitting of audio (for transmission on Telenet’s radio Channel 943) and visual radio (for broadcast on ZES).”
All parties involved in the building of the on-air studios agreed that timing of the deployment was the most critical challenge. “We started brainstorming in May last year and one month later we embarked upon the endeavor. We subsequently began broadcasting in September. Meanwhile, we started refurbishing Nostalgie’s former back-up studio, took out the DHD and had new acoustics brought in to become our main on-air studio today.”
“It’s been 10 years since a new radio station in Flanders was launched and it’s amazing we managed to get NRJ on the air in such a short time span,” commented Tom Klerkx, managing director for NRJ and Nostalgie, “I’m proud of our tech team, who did the job. The basic product is now on track and we’ll continue refining the details in the coming months.”
The launch of NRJ on DAB+, mandatory in accordance with NRJ België’s broadcast license, took place in mid-April is backed by a marketing campaign.
Generational shifts and more are reshaping community radio donations
During my time as a program director, there were few puzzles as challenging as audience giving and community radio. What vision and values does a station convey organically that excites a listener enough to donate? Independence and even contrarianism can shore up gifts from the most ardent, but what is the secret to long-term support from the greatest number of people and especially the casual listener? For volunteer-dependent and sometimes self-referential community media organizations, the most correct answers were at points elusive.
A new study conducted by Carl Bloom Associates may present information that could help your community radio station.
The consulting firm just issued its 2019 Public Media Member Motivation Survey. With nearly 16,000 responses from noncommercial radio donors, it is one of the most comprehensive looks today of public media giving. And, while the numbers may not apply in terms of scale, the truth is that people who like noncommercial radio are not all that different. The casual listener and donor may know a particular brand or station by its sound, but the things they appreciate in our medium as a whole — the spirit of inquiry and cultural curiosity, for example — are nearly universal.
What researchers discovered may help your station fine tune its approach to fundraising.
According to the study, and consistent with the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Circle of Engagement model, good programming drives engagement and revenue. Sixty-four percent of those polled say ensuring quality program production and supporting the acquisition of new programs are their biggest motivations to pledge as well as to increase their gifts. However, 61% of respondents said they contribute because they feel obligated to pay for what they consume. “A quid-pro-quo mentality more evident among older members compared to the more community-oriented and altruistic attitudes observed among younger members,” notes the survey.
In addition, the presence of a mix of national and local programs tended to drive contributions (55%) rather than the nationally syndicated programs stations aired (though cited by 40% as key) or by local programs (named by only 5% as the main reason for donations). Of course, different stations have different schedules, but this data may help you understand audiences as you craft your message.
For a lot of community radio loyalists, giving out the phone number to the pledge line during on-air fundraising is a time-honored tradition. Thus, you might be shocked to know people are not recalling phone calls as a way to give like they once may have. It’s a method whose awareness, in fact, has been on the decline since 2016. Now, 49% of people recall web giving, likely as a consequence of so many nonprofits pushing for online donation via Giving Tuesday and other affairs; and 30% remember mail. Phone calls are remembered as a way to give by only 32% of respondents.
Such findings may prompt your station to look at how your asks define your online donation presence. Even if web giving is not as big for you now, the winds are shifting online in a huge way. When it comes to preferred methods for giving, online (46%) obliterates everything, including mail (22%) and phone (18%) and social media giving, like the Facebook donate feature (2%).
Also, counter to what many community radio stations have always assumed, more people say giving smaller monthly amounts is preferable to making a larger annual contribution. In general, older audiences prefer annual renewal by mail or phone, while millennials and Generation X like to autopay monthly. Those surveyed said the smaller monthly gifts felt easier to manage. Donors also believed their support, spread monthly, was more consistent and present. Your station may want to consider speaking to monthly gifts more, using such logic.
And lastly, why people stop giving may help shatter assumptions. The number of folks who stop giving because they no longer like the programming (8%) or pledge drives (4%) are outpaced by financial issues (18%). That financial number is up from 2016 (14%), but the pledge drive annoyance is down from the 2016 peak of 12%. Perhaps indicative of our polarized times, programming dissatisfaction for withheld contributions has spiked since 2016, when that figure sat at 4%.
The internet has helped nonprofits globally reimagine fundraising, so it should come as no surprise how it has altered your audience’s habits when it comes to charitable giving. May those insights, and many more, help make your community radio station’s 2019 its most successful year yet.