CHAPTER 24, Inc., MADISON, WI
Edited by: Mark Croom
Electronic Version: Leonard Charles
Electronically Distributed by Chris Cain
Contributors this month:
Articles Welcome!! Send correspondence to:
Chapter 24 Newsletter
34 Rustic Parkway
Madison, WI 53713-4700
or call (608) 271-1025 (home) or (608) 221-1979 (work)
Thursday, April 20, 1995
Dinner, Meeting, and Program at:
The Grand Pagoda, 2705 W. Beltline Hwy (Exit Todd Drive)
Program: Follows Meeting
We'll meet in the downstairs meeting room. This month we will
hold our annual Chapter Elections followed by this year's NAB
Visitors and Guests are welcome at all SBE meetings.
Tentative Program Subjects
May 23, 1995 Tue
T B A
WMGN\WTDY Tour (Rescheduled from winter storm cancellation
CHAPTER 24 OFFICERS:
Leonard Charles (WISC TV)
W - 271-4321
H - 274-0041
Paul Stoffel (WI Public TV)
W - 263-2175
H - 241-4621
Mark Croom(WNWC Radio)
W - 271-1025
H - 221-1979
Stan Scharch (WISC TV)
W - 271-4321
H - 831-1168
CHAPTER 24 COMMITTEE APPOINTEES:
Membership - Leonard Charles
Sustaining Membership - Fred Sperry
Strategic Plan - Denny Behr
Newsletter - Paul Stoffel/Mark Croom
Program Committee - Steve Zimmerman
- Mark Croom
- Kerry Maki
- Denise Maney
Special Events - Kevin Ruppert
Cert/Ed - Jim Hermanson
Frequency Coordination - Tom Smith
NATIONAL SBE PHONE DIRECTORY
SBE National Office
8445 Keystone Crossing Suite 140
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Main Number 317-253-1640
Engineering Conference Line 317-253-0122
Job Line 317-253-0474
President: Chuck Kelly CBT
P.O. Box 3606
Quincy, IL 62305
CIS ID# 70307,2642
Vice President: Terrence Baun CPBE
Criterion Broadcast Services
5300 W. Garfield Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208
CIS ID# 71525,1060
Secretary: Keith Kintner CSTE
KLCS TV 58
1061 W. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
CIS ID# 72530,620
Treasurer: Bob Goza CPBE
3315 Highway 50
Beaufort, MO 63013
Executive Director: John Poray CAE
SBE National Office
8445 Keystone Crossing Suite 140
Indianapolis, IN 46240
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jim Bernier CBT
980 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13203
David Carr CPBE
P.O. Box 11
Houston, TX 77001
Leonard Charles CSTE
7025 Raymond Road
Madison, WI 53719
Dane Ericksen PE CSRE CSTE
Hammett & Edison, Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94128-0068
Michael Fast CPBE
1303 Burleigh Road
Lutherville, MD 21093
Michael McCarthy CBRE
WLIT FM/Viacom International
150 N. Michigan Ave., #1135
Chicago, IL 60601
Edward Miller CPBE
WEWS Scripps Howard
3001 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115
Troy Pennington CSRE
WZZK AM/FM, WODL FM Radio
530 Beacon Parkway W. #300
Birmingham, AL 35209
Robert Reymont CPBE
Nationwide Communications, Inc.
P.O. Box 5159
Mesa, AZ 85211-0500
CIS ID# 71645,254
Martin "Sandy" Sandberg CPBE
9807 Edgecove Drive
Dallas, TX 75238
John Schneider CBRE
RF Specialties of Washington, Inc.
19237 Aurora Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98133
CIS ID# 74603,3342
Tom Weber CSTE
WISH TV 8
1950 N Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
CIS ID#: 73250,215
Chris Imlay, Esq.
SBE General Counsel
Booth, Freret & Imlay
1233 20th St. NW Suite 204
Washington, DC 20036
James Wulliman, CPBE
721 W. Calle Del Regalo
Green Valley, AZ 85614
Phone and Fax 602-648-1250
NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF
Linda Godby, Certification
Peggy Hall, Membership
Sarah Hayden, Signal/Conferences
Julie Dinger, Secretary
Job Line 317-253-0474
BBS (N,8,1) 317-253-7555
NATIONAL COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCE CHAIRS
By Laws Committee.....................................Sandy Sandberg
Certification Committee.................................Jim Wulliman
Chapter Awards Committee.............................Leonard Charles
Chapter Liaison Committee.............................John Schneider
Electronic Communication Committee.......................Jim Bernier
Engineering Conference Committee.........Jerry Whitaker 503-690-8798
Engineering Conference Promotion Committee.............Mike McCarthy
FCC Liaison Committee..................................Dane Ericksen
Fellowship Committee......................................David Carr
Finance Committee....................................Troy Pennington
Frequency Coordination Committee..........................David Carr
High Freq Bcst Task Force................Doug Garlinger 317-773-5050
Industry Relations Committee..............................Terry Baun
International Committee...............................Sandy Sandberg
Membership Committee....................................Michael Fast
Nomination Committee..................................Robert Reymont
Sustaining Membership Committee........................Edward Miller
IT'S ELECTION TIME!
It's April and once again time to elect a new slate of officers
for Chapter 24. These officers will carry the torch in the year
ahead and continue the fine leadership of our award winning
The nominations committee has met and carefully selected and
contacted candidates for each of the elected offices. This,
however, is not to mean that nominations are closed. If you wish
to run for an office or nominate someone, please indicate so on
the ballot in the appropriate space reserved for write-in
Voting will take place at the April 20th chapter meeting. If you
are unable to attend the April meeting, you may vote with the
absentee ballot that is enclosed in this month's newsletter.
Absentee ballots must be received at the address indicated on the
ballot by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 25th. Nominations and
elections will officially end when the absentee ballots are due.
Only current members of Chapter 24 in good standing are eligible
to vote. Each eligible member may vote only once. This year,
SBE member numbers must be included on all ballots, for
membership verification only. Voter's names will not be
identified. We will use a "numbers only" list for verifications.
After the votes are counted, the nominations committee will
communicate the results to the candidates and to the current
officers. Results will also be published in the May newsletter.
Thanks to Dennis Behr, Herb Jordan, and Kerry Maki for serving on
this year's nominations committee!
Don't forget to vote! Good luck to all candidates!
FROM THE CHAIR
This will likely be my last article as your Chapter Chair. With
the elections at our April meeting, my second and last term will
come to an end. Looking back, in my first year, we undertook and
completed the first ever SBE National Teleconference. In my
second term, I ran for, and was elected to the National Board of
Directors. We should all be proud, these are no small feats. I
doubt that many Chapter Chairs across the country can boast of
the level of support from their Chapters as I can of mine.
Thanks much... no regrets!
My latest responsibility as a Board member is the Chairmanship of
the National EAS Committee. Implementation of this new system
will likely be the prime project of Chapter 24 and all Chapters
across the country for the next few years. This committee will
work hard to make the change from EBS to EAS as painless and
efficient as possible. The new system should prove very
effective, but there are enough variables in the plan that
broadcasters will need to work together with each other, and with
government agencies. The National SBE EAS committee will try to
be the catalyst for this type of teamwork.
In the last mailing of the SBE Signal, included was a sample
letter to your Washington Representatives urging support of a
renewed push by the SBE to require an Engineer on the staff of
each FCC Commissioner. To make the task easier, I have
researched the addresses of our Madison area Congressmen. Simply
choose those appropriate to your area and write to them.
Senator Russ Feingold (Represents the entire State)
502 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4904
Senator Herb Kohl (Represents the entire State)
330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4903
Congressman Scott Klug (Territory includes Dane County)
1113 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Congressman Mark Neumann (Eastern Rock County to the Lake)
1725 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Congressman Steve Gunderson (Grant County and beyond)
2185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
CHAPTER 24'S 1995 WBA/SBE SCHOLARSHIP
Chapter 24 is again offering a scholarship for this year's
WBA/SBE Engineering Seminar to be held in La Crosse on July 19.
The scholarship includes $150.00 to help cover the cost of
registration and lodging. The scholarship will be awarded on the
basis of the following criteria and maximum number of points
1) Must be a current member of Chapter 24
2) Attendance at 6 of the 12 meetings prior to July 1.
3) Employment in or a student of a broadcast related field.
4) Must have SBE National dues paid for the current year.
Points will be assigned as follows:
a) 5 points for each month applicant has at least one article
published in the Chapter 24 newsletter.
b) 5 points for certification, any level.
c) 2 points for each monthly meeting attended in excess of the 6
In the case of a tie, final selection will be by the elected
officers of Chapter 24 or by a committee appointed by those
officers, excluding any whom may have applied. If more than one
applicant, an alternate will also be selected based on the second
highest number of points. The scholarship winners will be
required to write a summary article to be published in the
Applications should be in the form of a letter which is signed,
dated and received no later then June 1. Mail your application
Wisconsin Public Television
821 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
This year's WBA/SBE Engineering Seminar, "NETWORKING: Broadcast
Survival in the 90's," will take place on July 19 at the Radisson
Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Chapter 24 of the Society of Broadcast Engineers met on
Wednesday, March 22 at the MEG Communications facility in
Madison. There were 14 in attendance, nine of whom were
certified. The meeting was facilitated by Chapter 24 Chairman
Leonard (Chuck) Charles.
Nominations Chair Jim Hermanson gave a report for the nominating
committee, which has a slate of officers ready to be voted on at
the next regular meeting. Ballots will be included in the April
Newsletter for those members who wish to vote and will be unable
to attend next month's meeting.
Jim also reported that the next local certification exams will be
administered from June 9 through 19, with the application
deadline set for April 28.
The minutes of last month's meeting were approved as published in
the Chapter 24 Newsletter. Newsletter editor Mark Croom
announced the deadline of April 7 at midnight for articles for
the April issue, with the folding party at WKOW-TV at 5:30 PM on
Chuck reported that membership renewals are up at the National
office, but asked that anyone who hadn't renewed for 1995 to
please do so before the membership falls into arrears, since
there is a significant amount of extra paperwork involved at the
National office when a member goes to arrears and is restored.
Chuck appealed for copies of older Chapter 24 Newsletters to add
to his collection. He has taken it as a project to be the de
facto Chapter Historian, and is always looking out for items that
pertain to the history of the Chapter.
Program Chair Steve Zimmerman reported next month's meeting would
be at the Grand Pagoda Restaurant, in their downstairs meeting
room, and would feature Chapter Elections and a review of the NAB
from those members who had attended.
Chuck then reported that a mailing is probably on the way for the
Platteville Broadcasters Symposium coming up April 26. He also
promoted the WBA Convention at the La Crosse Radisson Hotel on
July 19. Chapter 24 is offering a scholarship for the WBA
sessions, for information see Paul Stoffel [see information
elsewhere in this newsletter-ed].
Frequency Coordinator Tom Smith reported that there was no major
activity last month, but there were requests to coordinate more
Chuck reported that he is the Chair of the National SBE EAS
Committee. He solicited input regarding the EAS system changes
for consideration by the committee as they plan to respond to FCC
on the changes. Chuck then gave some other National news
including the fact that the membership drive continues until
5/31/95. He also stated that a new membership guide will be
published soon, so that members can locate other members who may
have moved on since the last guide was published.
There was no old business. New business included the
announcement of a procedure for canceling meetings. We had a
meeting cancellation in January which resulted in some confusion,
and the officers discussed a procedure for finding out whether a
meeting is canceled. On days when there is a question because of
weather or other factors, members should call the BBS line (277-
5239) after 4:30 PM to hear a recorded message about the status
of the meeting. Our thanks to WISC-TV and Chris Cain for making
this available. The officers authorized an expenditure to buy an
answering machine for the line. If members call the line and
hear the modem, or receive no answer, then they may assume the
meeting is going to proceed as scheduled.
In professional or personal announcements, student member Vicki
Way announced that she is seeking an internship for the summer of
1995. Anyone interested in helping can see Vicki's ad elsewhere
in the newsletter.
In general announcements, Chuck highlighted the upcoming Chapter
28 meeting with a representative of Underwriter's Laboratories,
who will discuss UL-1419, a standard for certifying broadcast
equipment. He encouraged all who are able to attend the meeting
at Video Images in Brookfield [Information appears elsewhere in
the Newsletter]. Tom Smith then mentioned the opportunity to
comment on FCC Rulemaking proposals [See his article].
The meeting was adjourned at 7:36 PM and Program Committee member
Denise Maney introduced Steve Paugh for a tour of the MEG
AMATEUR RADIO NEWS
by Tom Weeden, WJ9H
The FCC has adopted rules for the future licensing and continued
development of a number of services, including Amateur Radio, in
the 902-928 MHz band. The new rules set standards for the
location and Monitoring Service (LMS), formerly called automatic
vehicle monitoring systems. Amateur radio operators will
continue to have access to the entire 902-928 MHz band, but on a
secondary basis to LMS systems. Hams also must accept
interference from industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) and
government users of the band. Unlicensed "Part 15" users are
secondary to all users, including amateurs. The American Radio
Relay League (ARRL) petitioned the FCC in January 1994 requesting
that 902-904 and 912-918 MHz be made primary for amateurs, but
the Commission denied the petition.
Two amateur radio satellites were destroyed in an explosion
during launch on March 28. The Reuters News Agency reported that
a rocket launched from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome exploded
after launch and came down in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian
Far East. The rocket, a Russian SS-25, carried the Israeli-built
GURWIN-1 Techsat and the Mexican UNAMSAT. GURWIN-1 was a 9600-
bps packet radio store-and-forward repeater. UNAMSAT was a 1200-
bps packet repeater which included a meteor radar experiment.
Two Russian satellites were also lost in the accident.
(From April 1995 QST and packet-radio news bulletins)
By Tom Smith
AURAL BROADCAST STATION AUXILIARY FACILITIES
The FCC has issued a final rulemaking that will allow for the
limited use of non-approved transmitters for use in the 944-952
MHz band. Radio broadcasters were required to replace their STL
and Intercity relays in this band with transmitters that meet
much tighter bandwidth requirements by July 1, 1990 which was
later extended to July 1, 1993. The FCC was requested to allow
use of older non-approved transmitters for back-up emergency use.
The FCC agreed with the suggestions and issued a Notice of
Rulemaking in June of 1993.
The final rules concerning the use of non-approved transmitters
will allow there use for back-up use when the main approved
transmitter is being serviced. Such use is limited to 720 hours
a year. Also, a station may not purchase non-approved equipment
from other sources for stand-by use, as the non-approved
transmitter must have been in possession of the licensee before
July 1, 1993. A licensee also must correct any interference
problems that use of the older unit may cause or stop it's use.
This rule was under MM Docket 93-154; FCC 95-69 and was adopted
on February 24, 1995, released March 7, 1995 and published in the
FEDERAL REGISTER on March 16, 1995 on pages 14,224 and 14,225.
From the FEDERAL REGISTER
CLOSED CAPTIONING REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPUTER SYSTEMS USED AS
The FCC has issued an interpretation to it's rules concerning
computer systems that also have the capability to be used as TV
receivers. The FCC has basically stated that any computer that
is sold with a monitor having a viewable picture of 13" or over
and is able to receive TV broadcasts must have the ability to
display closed captions. This rule would apply to systems like
the APPLE combined MAC/TV that is sold as an integrated unit and
also to any unit that is sold with a receiver capability and a
separate monitor. The FCC ruled that even if the monitor is
priced separately, but is sold as part of the same transaction,
it is considered a integrated unit as far as the rules are
concerned. The requirements for closed captioning do not a apply
to computer or computer systems without the capability to receive
TV signals computers sold without monitors, computers with
monitors having less than a 13" viewable picture or to separate
"plug in" circuit cards that when added to a computer would make
it capable of receiving TV broadcasts.
This Notice was published in the FEDERAL REGISTER on March 29,
1995 on pages 16055-16056 and the number of this notice is DH 95-
From the FEDERAL REGISTER
TELCOS MOVE INTO TRADITIONAL VIDEO
By Tom Smith
Bell Atlantic and Nynex have announced that they will invest $
100 million in CAI Wireless systems. The telcos will hold the
rights to acquire 45% ownership in CAI. CAI Wireless systems is
a MMDS (multichannel multipoint distribution system) that serves
a number of cities in the Northeast. These cites include New
York City, Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, Boston, Hartford,
Providence and Norfolk, Va. The telcos consider it a quick way
to enter the video market until they are able to build a wired
network to reach all of these homes. The telcos also plan on
using digital compression to deliver 100 video channels.
From Broadcasting and Cable
PCS AUCTIONS WIN BIG
By Tom Smith
The auction for Personal Communication Services licenses netted
the U.S. treasury $7.1 billion. The biggest bidder was
WirelessCo which is owned by Sprint, TCI, Cox and Comcast. They
bid $2.11 billion for the right to provide wireless telephone
service in 29 of the largest markets in the U.S. which include
New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston and Seattle to name a
few. AT & T bid $1.68 billion as the next largest bid and PCS
Primeco, consisting of Nytex, Bell Atlantic, Air Touch and US
West, was the third largest bidder with a bid of $1.107 billion.
The smallest bids were $228,001 and $214,555 for 2 licenses in
Am. Samoa. The bid for the Los Angeles market was $493.5 million
by Pacific Telesis and the New York part of the bid by WirelessCo
was $442.7 million.
The FCC is also proposing more auctions in other bands. There is
currently a rulemaking to allow for auctions in the Specialized
Mobile Radio band which occupies the 800 MHz band. The FCC has
suspended the processing of SMR applications of which there is a
large backlog. The commission is proposing to use a competitive
bidding process as a method to speed-up the licensing process.
Because of this proposal, the small land mobile system operators
are upset. They feel that they will be forced out of the
business because they will not be able to afford to outbid larger
operators and other telecommunication companies.
The auctions may also affect broadcasters as there have been
proposals to have broadcasters bid on or pay some other type of
spectrum fee for the use of the new advanced TV channels. Most
of the fee proposals would depend on if the broadcasters used the
new channels for something other than ATV, such as data
transmission or multi-video services. There are also proposals
for auctioning the original channels the broadcasters would
vacant when transmissions of the current NTSC system ends
operation. The FCC is considering bidding for the 4660-4685 MHz
band for fixed and mobile microwave. Broadcasters had been
hoping to get this band allocated for broadcast auxiliary service
and have asked the FCC for reconsideration.
Between the PCS and IDVS auctions, the FCC has taken in over $9
million in bids. Congress originally ordered the auctions for
200 MHz of spectrum that had been released from use by the
From BROADCASTING and CABLE, MOBILE RADIO TECHNOLOGY, and
EAS MADE EASY
by Gary E. Timm, Chairman
Wisconsin State Emergency Communications Committee
Broadcast Engineer WTMJ Stations
(From THE BROADCAST NEWSLETTER, MARCH & APRIL 1995 Chapter 28,
The following excerpts are gleaned from a 114-page FCC document
released 12/9/94. It outlines the creation of the new Emergency
Alert System (EAS), which replaces the current Emergency
Broadcast System (EBS). That release contains 3 elements:
First, a Report & Order, which describes the background and
intentions of the new system. Second, Part 73, Subpart G of the
Commissions rules (dealing with EBS) has been eliminated, and is
replaced with a new Part 11, which covers the new EAS. The new
rules require not only broadcast stations but also all cable
systems to participate in the new EAS. The third element of the
release is a Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM),
where they ask for comments on two proposals. First, should
"small" cable systems be exempt from the new EAS rules? Second,
should other video service providers be required to participate
in the new EAS? They propose that MDS (known as "wireless
cable") should participate, and ask about adding SMATV and "Video
Dial Tone" (telco in-home video service). FNPRM Comments were
due by 2/22/95, Reply Comments by 3/24/95. The rules In Part 11
became law on January 28, 1995, 30 days after they were published
in the Federal Register.
Here are the important things to know:
The only change for 1995 is in shortening our current EBS Tone.
BY JULY 1, 1995, PRESENT EBS DECODERS MUST BE MODIFIED TO DEMUTE
ON 3-4 SECONDS OF EBS TONE. In addition, it is an option to
modify current EBS encoders to send an 8-second Tone.
By July 1, 1996, broadcast stations will be required to install
the new EAS encoder and decoder. This is a digital audio signal
that goes right on the main audio channel of all radio and TV
stations. In addition on this date, TV stations must have a
means to visually broadcast the data from incoming EAS alerts.
The FCC will authorize a State or Local Area to go to the new
system early, if ALL stations in the State or Area have EAS
equipment installed, cable is "represented" in the local EAS
Plan, and the Area complies with all other applicable part 11
rules. Benefits of going to the new system are: Doing only a
monthly test that requires audio message, and weekly tests that
only involve 10 seconds of the digital signal.
A one year span from July 1, 1996 to July 1, 1997 is dubbed by
the FCC as a "debugging" period. During this time, the old EBS
equipment must be "retained and kept operational to ensure that
the new architecture is effective."
On July 1, 1997, old EBS equipment can be removed. The two-tone
signal will no longer be used to demute decoders. However, 8
seconds of two-tone must still be sent before any emergency audio
or video message, as an Attention Signal for the public. This
rule never goes away. July 1, 1997 is also the day that all
cable systems must have their EAS encoders and decoders
Cost projections by manufacturers for the new combined
Encoder/Decoders range from $600-$1000 at the low-end, to $1500-
$2500 for a more sophisticated unit.
Here are some additional things you need to know about the new
* ALL radio, TV and cable operations must participate in the
National level EAS, except those that request and obtain an FCC
"Non-participating National (NN) Authorization." Participation
at the State and Local levels continues to be voluntary for all
stations, as it was with the EBS. As before, even "Non-
participating" stations may participate in the State or Local
Area EAS without any prior approval. All stations, including Non-
participating, must have an FCC "EAS Operating Handbook" (which
replaces the old EBS Checklist), and the Red Envelope
Authenticator List (same as now). The FCC is studying digitally
authenticating National EAS Alerts.
* The EAS Encoder can "pass on" decoded alerts, or create its
own. The digital audio signal is applied to the station's main
audio channel at 80% modulation. It identifies the sender, type,
length, and county-location of every EAS alert sent.
* Stations will be required to monitor two sources on the new EAS
Decoder, rather than the present single source. That decoder
will also be capable of either Manual or Automatic reaction to a
received alert. It can store up to 10 preselected codes that you
may wish it to respond to. It also will store 2 minutes of
incoming audio or text.
* Remote Control stations can use the Manual mode if they can
directly monitor the signals of both assigned sources with the
decoder at the remote control location. If not, Automatic
operation must be used. However, in that case the remote control
location can be used to override the transmission of an EAS
message if appropriate. Remote Control stations may switch
between Manual and Automatic as desired.
* With Automatic decoders coming, the FCC is proposing rules to
permit the unattended operation of broadcast stations. See NPRM
in MM Docket 94-130, FCC 94-289.
* Co-owned/co-located stations can share one encoder and decoder.
* Test requirements under the new EAS after July 1 1997:
- Required Weekly Test (RWT)- Send digital codes only, once
per week, anytime.
- Required Monthly Test (RMT)-This will be received from the
monitored stations on your decoder. You must retransmit the test
within 15 minutes, sending digital code, 8-second Attention
Signal, audio test script, and digital end-of-message code. Test
will be run daytime one month, nighttime the next month.
* Foreign-language stations, under the new rules, can use "the
primary language of the station" for all announcements, including
all National, State, and Local Area Tests and Activations. NO
English announcement is required....this is in place of the
English. In addition, now that Part 11 has become law these
stations may begin doing our current Weekly EBS Test Script in
their "primary language."
Chapter 28 Editor's Terry Baun's Note: This has been a brief
summary of the new EAS Rules. If you would like more detail on
the new EAS System, including information on EAS Protocol,
Encoder/Decoder Requirements, Tests, SECC Duties, EAS Priorities
and Terms, Training and Awareness, EAS requirements for CLASS D
FM, LPTV, Foreign-language stations, and Cable TV, as well as how
RBDS and NWS-WRSAME fit in with EAS, request a copy of Gary's
complete EAS report, which should be available by the time you
read this. Call Gary Timm at WTMJ, 414/223-5232, to request a
copy. Our thanks to Gary for sharing all this information with
THE FUTURE OF BROADCASTING
edited by Paul Stoffel
The NAB and Charles Sherman, Senior Vice President for Television
with NAB, want to dispel the mindset that broadcasting will
continue to be a one-channel delivery system. The following
excerpts are taken from a presentation Sherman gave during a
recent visit to Madison, Wisconsin:
When we think about broadcasting, we think about programs. New
technologies have made it possible for broadcasters to be much
more exciting, innovative and spontaneous. For instance, the
style of radio and television has changed dramatically in less
than 50 years because someone invented tape. Satellites have
helped protect local radio by making it possible for a lot of
local radio stations to get national distribution and get it
On the television side, it has also enhanced localism. Because
the satellite cut the umbilical cord (basically the telephone
cord) between the network and the local station, it is possible
for that local station to be more responsive and more innovative
as far as its local community is concerned and no longer
beholding to the network.
Another form of technology which has changed our industry has
been the multi-channel systems, such as cable companies, direct
broadcast satellite and, very soon, the telephone companies.
At one time there was a telephone; then along came a TV set,
followed by cable TV and the computer. People began to see that
these technologies have certain similarities and might be able to
be used as a common unit. One debate going on today is how far
will convergence go? How far will these technologies really
meld? Frankly, nobody knows for sure.
Broadcasters say this is all going to be similar to how the
public uses kitchen appliances. Sometimes they will interact;
some times they wont. Consumer dollars will dictate the way the
technologies are put together. Consumer cost is something that a
lot of people simply are not thinking about, or they're tending
to ignore this whole equation.
The Digital World
From a competitive point of view, it's going to be easier for
telephone and cable companies to move to the digital world. They
will charge you an extra couple of dollars a month to convert
analog signals to digital.
Our problem as broadcasters, right now, more than anything else,
is that we are still in the analog transmission world. Oddly
enough, whether we're radio or television at this point, if you
look around your studios, and if you look at the equipment that
people are using at home, a lot of it is already digital.
Digital is already well ensconced.
We could make the leap to digital transmission overnight, but we
would obsolete 250 million TV receivers. Would the American
public be happy if you required them to spend $100 to buy a black
box to immediately convert from analog to digital reception?
Basically, we're going make the transition slowly and over a
period of time, because we have to keep in mind as far as the
consumer is concerned, there is a great deal of skepticism about
whether or not they need to spend a lot of money on TV. The
single biggest factor that people use in spending on TV sets is
cost. $400 is the consumer barrier as far as expense is
Digital Revolution or Evolution?
We are now on the verge of what some might call another
revolution or evolution-- the so-called digital age. Through
digital processing, our whole system of communication is going to
change. In fact, there is probably not a form of communication
in this country today that has not in one way or another been
effected by digital devices. From a broadcasting point of view,
how do we get to the digital world? How do we make that
Oddly enough, the transition is going to come through a process
known as HDTV. Keep in mind, HDTV is a means, not an end in
itself. Really, what we should be talking about is advanced
television (ATV). The focus should not be on HDTV alone. And
the same thing can be said about digital audio broadcast (DAB)
with all of its in-channel, in-band possibilities.
The FCC has proposed simulcasting. For a period of time, we will
be both analog broadcasters and ATV (or digital) broadcasters.
The transition is going to take a considerable period of time:
in the range of 15 to 25 years. When the commission says that
we're going to stop this (simulcasting) in 15 years, they still
have not dealt with the American public. According to most of
the figures, the average household buys a TV set about every 5-10
years. The idea that we are going to make a very quick
transition in the 15 year period of time is a little specious in
The first day we become digital broadcasters, we will become
multimedia broadcasters. As long as radio and television
broadcasters are providing their primary service using their
digital channel for transmission, there should be nothing to
prevent them from providing other ancillary services. The
question we're going to ask ourselves as broadcasters is, "What
business are we in?"
We're going to be in the business of radiating packets of bits.
Some of those bits will be programming; some bits will be
information or data. Some bits will go to the TV set and some to
various other electronic reception devices. The beauty of this
system is that reception devices that have yet to be invented
will still be able to receive the same information contained in
packets. You will have specific addressable bits that will go to
those information receivers, as well.
To a certain degree, we're already doing some of what I'm talking
about. Using the vertical blanking interval (VBI), television
broadcasters are already experimenting with various ways that
they can send other data. But once you go digital, the amount of
flexibility that is inherent in that transmission increases
exponentially. Radio can be involved in the same process.
We also have to consider a different concept. Broadcasting is
basically a real-time medium. What happens when you tie a
television set to some of the components of a computer? It is at
that point you become non-real-time broadcasters. By using video
servers, computers can output previously received material. The
viewer can now decide when to view or listen to a program.
Another thing broadcasters can do is data broadcasting, which is
basically a one-way message that goes from central source to many
different receivers, yet can be personalized. You will be able
to pick out what is needed for you by tying your TV set to a
computer. For radio, RBDS enables listeners to tune to formats,
to program type, as well as emergency use. Once the system
becomes totally digitized, for the first time, FM will be able to
send a visual signal, such as a logo or visual advertising
What about interactive TV? No matter whether it's over the air
or cable, a flood of information will be sent out, but only a
trickle will be sent back. Not everyone is going to use the
system at the same time, in the same way, or even have an
interest in sending information back. For broadcasting, our
pathways from the home could be telephone line; wireless
telephone or cellular. PCS (personal communication systems) is
going to be terrific for this sort of thing.
What about broadcasting if we don't go into digital? How about
broadcasting in an analog world faced with digital competition?
It is going to be very lonely out there. We will be subjected to
the whims and fancies of telephone and cable companies. They
will take our analog signals, put them on wire, convert them to
digital, and they will simply make us one service of thousands of
The 500-channel world is a misnomer. With cable and telephone
wire-line delivery systems, connections that could be provided
with a fiber delivered network or star-switch system are endless.
But, navigating in this system is extremely important. If we
simply become another icon on those delivery systems, or, as
broadcasters, we allow ourselves to be known simply as drama,
mystery, news and education, frankly, we are going to lose. The
cable and telephone systems will control us, and we will have
very little say over our future. On the other hand, if we retain
our brand identity and do it in a digital way, we will continue
to survive and provide an important service.
What about government in this digital world? Capital Hill is
dictating how this is going to move. There are various
congressional proposals that are being considered. This Congress
is very serious about opening up everything. It will be an
interesting world of competition and survival.
What about broadcasting? We are a very small part of this
equation. We are not driving the process. The process is being
driven by the telephone and cable companies. In a digital world,
our survival depends on several things:
* spectrum flexibility to allow broadcasters to be able to use
our signal any way we want to as long as we still provide an
advanced television signal on our digital channel
* navigational devices to assure when we're on a wire-line
delivery system that we are not just shunted aside.
* syndication exclusivity
* signal integrity
* license reform and foreign ownership.
Broadcasting is still the one medium that is universal, free, and
reaches all of the people all of the time. But, we need to make
that leap into the digital world. People will continue to use TV
for entertainment long into the perceivable future.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
By Tom Smith
Deregulation, ownership rules, spectrum fees, spectrum auctions,
video dial-tone-- these are some of the issues that confront our
futures in broadcasting and the rest of the communications
industry. As we look at the rules that the FCC issues concerning
our industry and all the changes that are caused by the
introduction of all the new information systems, we have to
wonder how they come about.
Well, the process in which the FCC creates new rules and modifies
old ones is called rulemaking. This process is defined in the
FCC rules and is open to anyone who wishes to add their input to
A rulemaking can be started in two ways. The FCC can start the
rulemaking process on it's own or the commission could accept a
Petition for Rulemaking from a member of the public or from
another government agency.
When the FCC starts a rulemaking, they do it in either of two
ways. The first way is to issue a Notice of Inquiry. In a
Notice of Inquiry, they will ask for information on the
particular subject or on a broad range of subjects to determine
if rule changes are needed. Many times the FCC will not continue
beyond this point or leave the issue open and revisit it at a
later date. The second method is to issue a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking in which a change of the rules is actually proposed.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking can be issued on it's own or
after the FCC has taken comment in a Notice of Inquiry. At this
point commentators will agree with the changes or make
suggestions on modifying the proposed rules. After all the
comments are taken the FCC will act in either two ways. The FCC
could issue a Memorandum Opinion and Order in which they conclude
an inquiry, deny a petition for rulemaking, modify a decision or
deny a petition for reconsider of a petition. The other action
they could take is to enact or amend a rule or restate a rule by
issuing a Report and Order.
The FCC holds two comment periods: the first is the normal time
to make comments and the second is a reply period in which you
can rebut comments made during the first comment period.
Normally, the comment period last's 30 to 45 days. The reply
period last's 15 to 30 days.
How can you get involved in the rulemaking process? It is not
too difficult to make your opinion's known to the FCC. All you
have to do is file a comment to the FCC before the deadline that
the FCC has set for that particular inquiry. You don't need a
lawyer or any other professional to file a comment. All you need
to do is find out what information the FCC is seeking and write
down your opinion and following a few simple rules.
The first thing you need to know is what the rulemaking or
inquiry is about and when the comments are due. The easiest way
is the obtain a copy of the rulemaking from the FEDERAL REGISTER
which can be found in any public library that is designated as a
Federal Repository. The FEDERAL REGISTER contains a synopsis of
the proposed rulemakings and the final action on rules from all
Federal government agencies and is issued on all Federal working
days. You can also get the complete text of the notice from the
FCC copy service contractor which is listed in the notice in the
FEDERAL REGISTER or sometimes the text can be found on the FCC or
other government servers on the INTERNET.
After you have a copy of the rulemaking, you may still want to do
some research on the subject. Good sources of information would
be various trade magazines which might have articles on the
issues involved, and the FCC rules. Browsing through back issues
of these magazines may also help as some of the issues before the
FCC evolve over a period of time.
After you have developed your opinion on the rulemaking, you now
want to file it with the FCC. You can do it one of two ways,
either informally or formally.
To file informally, all you have to do is sent a letter stating
your opinion to the FCC. The only requirements are that it
contain the Docket number in the heading and that you send the
signed original and one copy. If you want each commissioner and
responsible members of the staff to receive a copy, you need to
send a total of nine copies. Any informal comments filed after
the reply comment period is closed or during reconsideration must
be marked EX PARTE.
To file comments formally, you have to follow more rules when you
write your comments, but it is not very difficult. The first
thing you should do is type your comments and use the standard
legal title format for the title. This header should contain the
title of the rulemaking and all of the docket numbers listed in
the notice. Other things to be done on a formal comment is to 11
by 8 1/2" paper, double space, use a one and half inch left
margin on single sided copies and the same sized right margin on
the backside of double sided copies and double staple. This is
so your comments can be read like a book. If your comments are
over 10 pages, you must have a list of contents and summary.
The FCC requires the signed original and four copies for formal
comments. If you wish each commissioner to get a copy, you need
to file the original and nine copies.
Putting the docket number on the envelope helps your comments to
reach the right office in the commission. Also, do not forget to
sign and date your comments and be sure to include your address.
For more information on filing comments or petitioning for
rulemakings check section ONE of the FCC rules. Rules on filing
comments on rulemakings are found in sections 1.399 to 1.430 and
on specifications as to pleadings and documents in sections 1.49
to 1.52. Please note that reply comments require you to notify
certain or all original commentators of your reply comments. So,
check the rules before filing a reply.
Will your voice be heard by the FCC? The answer is yes, as many
rulemakings receive comments for very few commentators. Most of
the commentators include the networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, PBS),
large broadcast groups, law and consulting firms, trade groups
(NAB, NCTA, SBE, etc.), public interest groups and a few
individuals. Not all these groups file on every rulemaking, and,
in most cases, there are fewer than 2 or 3 dozen commentators.
All comments are entered into the record of the proceeding and
are there for all to read. And don't be shocked if you receive
an envelope in the mail from some law firm. It is just a copy of
their reply to you and the other commentators.
This article was based on a 1979 article by Doyle Thompson in the
ADDRESS FOR FILING COMMENTS TO THE FCC
Federal Communications Commission
1919 M Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20554
SAMPLE HEADER FOR FORMAL COMMENTS
BEFORE THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the matter of ) Gen Docket No. 95-000
(docket title) ) FCC 95-000
Comments of ( your name)
Note: The first docket number code could be MM, GEN, BC, CC, CT,
or SS. Be sure to use correct code.
SBE "SHORT CIRCUITS VIA BBS"
March 30, 1995
WIN A TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS IN SBE'S "ONE NEW MEMBER" CAMPAIGN
Any SBE member who recruits just one new member between March 1
and May 31, 1995 will be eligible to win a trip for two to New
Orleans for the SBE Engineering Conference and World Media Expo,
September 6-9, 1995.
The Grand Prize includes air transportation for two, five nights
accommodations at SBE's headquarters hotel, the New Orleans
Fairmont, $100 credit from Hertz for car rental, a complimentary
Full Registration to the SBE Engineering Conference and World
Media Expo and a complimentary Spouse Tour package. Other prizes
will be awarded, including outstanding books from the SBE Book
Store and SBE Certification Study Guides.
To participate, just recruit a new Member, Associate or
Sustaining Member. A flyer was mailed to all SBE members in
early March with program details. Complete the tear-off slip on
the bottom of the flyer and attach to your new member's
application before it's submitted to the National Office. For
full details, see the flyer or call the SBE National Office.
SBE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY COMES YOUR WAY IN MAY
For the first time since 1990, SBE will publish the SBE
Membership Directory and Buyer's Guide. The Directory will be a
handy tool when you need to locate a member or supplier. In
addition to an alphabetical listing of members, members will also
be listed by chapter. The special phone directory style will
feature a classified section where you can easily locate
services, suppliers and manufacturers of broadcast equipment.
The Directory will be mailed to all SBE Members with the May/June
issue of the SBE SIGNAL.
PLEASE GET THOSE RENEWALS IN
Many members have sent in their membership renewal already but
there are a few of you we haven't heard from. Please ensure that
your membership is not interrupted - renew today!
SBE AWARDS DEADLINE JUNE 1
Nominations for the annual SBE National Awards are due June 1,
1995. Awards selected from nominations will be presented in nine
categories, including: Broadcast Engineer of the Year, Educator
of the Year, Best Technical Article or Program, Best Chapter
Newsletter, Most Interactive Chapter, Best Chapter Frequency
Coordination Effort, Best Regional Convention or Conference,
Technology Award and Best Article, Paper or Program by a Student
Member. Three additional awards will be presented based on
statistics compiled at the SBE National Office. These
are: Most Certified Chapter, Highest Member Attendance and
Greatest Growth in New Members.
A Nomination Form was included in the February/March issue of the
SBE SIGNAL or can be obtained from the National Office. Winners
will be announced in July and awards will be presented during the
SBE Awards Dinner, held at the close of the SBE Engineering
Conference and World Media Expo, Saturday, September 9, in New
YOUR LETTERS TO CONGRESS STILL NEEDED
With Congress' first 100 days of the current session about over
and the Republican's "Contract With America" emphasis winding
down, SBE hopes to gain their attention and have legislation
introduced which requires each FCC Commissioner to have at least
one senior staff member with an engineering background. In the
February/March issue of the SBE SIGNAL, background on the issue
and a sample letter to congressmen were included. All members
are asked to write their Congressmen, urging them to support this
legislation when it comes before them. MAILED letters to Congress
DO make a difference. Thanks, in advance, for your help to make
this a reality.
SBE WORKS TO ENCOURAGE SUPPORT OF EMPLOYERS
SBE wants to encourage employer support of its members and
potential members. In an effort to inform broadcast station
executives about SBE and the benefits of their engineering
staff's involvement in the Society, a special letter from SBE
President, Chuck Kelly, was prepared and mailed in mid-March to
Chief Engineers across the country. Chiefs were encouraged to
share the letter with their station general manager or other
Any broadcast engineer can obtain a copy of the letter to review
from the SBE National Office. At the engineer's request, a
personalized copy will be mailed to a station executive he or she
designates. The letter encourages stations to support their
engineering staff's involvement in SBE with time and money to
attend meetings, educational events and become certified. It
explains how a station's investment made in the engineer's
professional development is returned with professional
performance and positive effects on the station's bottom line.
SBE ENGINEERING CONFERENCE AND WORLD MEDIA EXPO - NEW ORLEANS,
SEPTEMBER 6-9, 1995.
Mark your calendars and plan your budgets to take in this annual
conference and unique exhibition featuring the combined
conferences of SBE, SMPTE, the NAB Radio Show and RTNDA. The
Conference will be held at the Morial Convention Center while SBE
will use the historic New Orleans Fairmont Hotel as its
headquarters. The Conference and Expo will feature three days of
technical sessions, a day of Ennes Workshops, 130,000 square feet
of exhibits, several receptions and the annual SBE Awards Dinner.
Additional hotel accommodations will be available and special
rates on airfare have been arranged with United and Delta
Airlines. Watch for more details in the May/June SIGNAL.
SBE TO EXHIBIT AT DAYTON HAMVENTION
SBE will have a booth at the popular Dayton Hamvention, April 28-
30, in Dayton, Ohio. Information about SBE membership,
certification and other SBE programs will be available to the
crowd of more than 30,000 that are expected. If you are planning
to be there, stop by and see us in Booth #238.
SBE CERTIFICATION - A KEY TO CAREER ADVANCEMENT
Several opportunities to take an SBE Certification Exam are
available during 1995. The Spring exam period in local chapters
will be June 9-19; application deadline is April 28. The SBE
Engineering Conference and World Media Expo in New Orleans will
be the next opportunity with the test date set for September 7;
application deadline is July 27. The final period for 1995 will
be in local chapters November 10-20; application deadline is
September 29. For information on how to become SBE Certified,
see your local chapter Certification Chairman or call the SBE
WORKSHOP SCHEDULED FOR MIDWEST
The Kansas City and St. Louis chapters of SBE will jointly host
an Ennes Regional Workshop at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, June
15. It will be held in conjunction with the Missouri Association
of Broadcasters Summer Convention. Members within a day's drive
of the Workshop will receive information in the mail.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR NATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS THROUGH THE INTERNET
Last month we began listing SBE National Board members who
communicate via the Internet. We added more. A current list
Chuck Kelly, President firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Baun, Vice President email@example.com
Keith Kintner, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Goza, Treasurer rgoza695696aol.com
Jim Bernier email@example.com
Leonard Charles firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Reymont email@example.com
Tom Weber firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
We'll update again as we get additions.
"SHORT CIRCUITS VIA BBS" is published by the Society of Broadcast
Engineers, Inc., 8445 Keystone Crossing, Suite 140, Indianapolis,
Indiana. For more information about SBE, contact John L. Poray,
CAE, Executive Director through this BBS or call the SBE National
Office at (317) 253-1640.
Motivated college student seeks summer internship in broadcast
1 University Plaza
Wilgus Hall 214
Platteville, WI 53818
Broadcast Maintenance Engineer: TV station in beautiful area on
the Mississippi. Must have experience in broadcast maintenance
and operations. UHF transmitter experience a plus. Send letter
and resume to Chief Engineer, WXOW, PO Box C-4019, La Crosse, WI
CHAPTER 24 SUSTAINING MEMBERS
Our latest renewals:
Thanks to all our
Clark Wire and Cable
Fuji Film I&I
Harris Allied Broadcast
3M Audio & Video