| Clay’s Corner for October 2022 Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986
Hello and welcome to Fall. Lots of interesting stuff this past month –
For some time we have been wondering if our twice-a-year clock setting would go away and we would end up with a new ‘Standard Time’. It’s looking like this is not likely to happen anytime soon and one of the reasons has a broadcast connection. Switching to ‘Day Light Time’ year around would shift the clocks in such a way that Day Time Only AM Broadcasters would, effectively, lose a good portion of their morning ability to operate and they have been pressing the issue with Congress.
Recently, Bill Putney (Local broadcast engineer that recently re-located from Pt Townsend to the Portland area) made mention in a popular Remailer of the classic Carl and Jerry stories that ran in the magazine Popular Electronics.
For me, this brought back a flood of memories of when I was just getting interested in electronics. I recall finding the magazine at a local store and convinced my folks to purchase it. This was in 1954 when Vol 1 of the magazine came out. I was hooked! I became a subscriber. I have to give credit to not only Popular Electronics, but to the writer of the Carl and Jerry stories for my long career, as well as interest in Ham Radio. You can read more about it via the links I have provided here.
Once again, it’s the time of year that we all become more interested in weather and start wondering what kind of winter we might have. I recall, many years ago, that Jack Hegseth would be asking this question with one of betting as to when we thought we might see the first snowfall. (The loser had to buy the pizza)
I could not help but notice that the Georgia Association of Broadcasters recently named recipients of an Engineering Award. Here is they way their notice expressed it –
“This award recognizes exceptional broadcast engineers who have had a lasting impact on the radio and television stations in the state of Georgia,” the association said. “Beyond their own stations that they have kept on the air, they must also demonstrate professionalism among their colleagues and a willingness to help and support other engineers in the support of the industry.”
They’ll be honored during the annual convention of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. Kudo’s to the GAB for recognizing Broadcast Engineers.
The FCC has not been making many friends with their proposal to increase fees with push-back from NAB as well as many other stations and groups. Perhaps good news, the increases will not be as much as first proposed. The FCC said broadcasters fail to recognize the fundamental task they face. In the end, the largest FM stations, in the largest markets will be paying $22,390, down from #23,585 as first proposed (Guess this is a reduction?). Big AM’s in big markets will be paying $17,945 rather than $18,885. Note that these are markets larger than Seattle. Here’s a table that shows the Radio Fee’s (I can only imagine what TV looks like)
Single Frequency Networks or Co-Channel Boosters have been around in FM Broadcasting for some time. In the last couple of years, a firm called Geo Broadcast Solutions has been actively promoting the idea. A couple of years ago, Bustos Media had one of their systems operating with the goal of filling in weak signal areas from the Bustos 99.3 FM on South Mountain.
Geo has been promoting the idea of not just having co-channel boosters in weak-signal areas, but enabling those boosters to run spots targeted to the area of the booster. They call it FM geo-targeting. Geo has been trying to get the FCC to permit their scheme. This has caused a number of objections to surface.
NAB has also stated –
“inevitably damage radio technical integrity and serve as a lever for advertisers to force radio broadcasters to reduce their advertising rates,”
Townsquare Media, who operates a number of stations in Washington State has launched what they call The Washington State News Network. Here is their news release –
SEP 1, 2022
TOWNSQUARE MEDIA LAUNCHES WASHINGTON STATE NEWS NETWORK
Tri-Cities, WA – September 1, 2022 – Townsquare Media Inc. announced today that the Company has launched the Washington State News Network (“WSNN”). WSNN is the only source of local, regional, and statewide news that is available to broadcasters and listeners in the State of WashingtonBreaking news stories will also be available online at https://washingtonstatenews.net and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/washingtonstatenewsnetwork.
Here are some related links –
Thanks to Jason Royals at NWPB – This picture from the base of the KNWR Tower at Naneum Ridge… Near Mission Ridge, site of KNWR. At over 6600 feet above sea-level, this is one of the highest broadcast sites in the State.
Access to this site is very an extremely challenging road, popular with Jeep owners. Due to its elevation, much of the year access is limited to ‘over the snow’ vehicles, known as vehicles with ‘Tracks’
Those of us that continue to drive vehicles with a Manual Transmission know well that they are a wonderful anti-theft device as fewer people today know how to drive a ‘3-Peddle’ vehicle.
I spotted this item recently – Perhaps a window sticker to warn those that would like to take yours that it’s, perhaps, too complicated for them to comprehend?
As the Earth wobbles, the Sun appears to be moving south…and once again I will be able to see evening sunsets from my Southwest facing back deck. This one taken on Sept 24th.
If you have a picture to share- Please send it my way !!
And finally ….If you are a Ham, or electronics buff. Now that the Pandemic is behind us, we have events returning – The following is a link to many of them in our area.
Hope to catch you here next month
Clay, K7CR, CPBE
SBE Member # 714
Since March 1968