Tag Archives: FM

“Threatened radio shut down” in Germany

UPDATE:  Many thanks to Mike Barraclough who notes that a report today is that this has been averted. Click here to read.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Germany – up to 10 million people could be hit by threatened radio shut down

The airwaves across many parts of Germany could fall silent next week due to a financial dispute between radio stations and an FM broadcasting provider.

The company Media Broadcast announced on Friday that it would cut off FM broadcasters for several radio stations if they did not immediately fulfil certain payment demands.

“Up to 10 million radio listeners could be affected by their FM broadcaster being cut off from Wednesday onwards,” company head Wolfgang Breuer told Die Welt.

Major public service broadcasters such as MDR, NDR and Deutschlandfunk are among those who could be cut off, the newspaper reported.

The dispute began when Media Broadcast, formerly a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, decided to move focus away from FM radio and onto digital platforms last year. The shift meant that broadcasting antennae across Germany, for which Media Broadcast had previously been responsible, were sold to private investors.

Broadcasters and their network operators were then left furious when many of the new owners raised prices for the use of their antennae, leading to a stalemate in business negotiations.

Hessian broadcaster FFH told dpa that a 50 percent rise in the cost of antennae use had left them with a “massive problem”.

In order to break the stalemate, Media Broadcast recently agreed to continue operating all antennae until the end of June, so as to provide more time for negotiations. Yet such an arrangement would still require the stations to contract the company during that period.

Media Broadcast now claims that around 75 percent of stations have not done this, and has threatened to cut these stations off if they do not officially contract the company by Monday.

Though digital and online streaming radio will still be available, the mass cut-off of FM radio broadcasts would affect a huge proportion of the population. According to Bild, around 92.7 percent of Germans said they still preferred listening to radio on an analogue device in a poll last year.

Up to 10 million people could be hit by threatened radio shut down

https://www.thelocal.de/20180406/up-to-10-million-people-could-be-hit-by-threatened-radio-shut-down

BBC mothballs idea of forced move to digital broadcasting

(Source: The Telegraph via Mike Hansgen)

BBC to keep broadcasting on FM

For years fans of wireless radios have campaigned to stop the apparently inevitable march of progress as Britain prepares to switch off its crackling analogue signal and become totally digital.

But now, the BBC will announce that it has shelved plans to force listeners to replace their analogue radios with DAB sets.

In a move that will also be welcomed by the two million motorists with analogue car radios, the corporation will admit for the first time that FM broadcasts must continue to keep audiences on side as music streaming and podcasts threaten its traditional strongholds.[…]

Click here to read this article on The Telegraph (content behind paywall).

 

At $20 billion in debt, iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy

(Source: NPR)

The “substantial doubt” that iHeartMedia’s corporate leaders expressed around the company’s likelihood of surviving another year, mentioned in its quarterly financial report last November, has been put to rest.

iHeartMedia, the country’s largest radio broadcaster with around 850 stations and a leading outdoor advertising company, is filing for bankruptcy after spending years trying to manage its $20 billion in outstanding indebtedness. (For some context, per that November statement, iHeartMedia was obligated to pay $1.8 billion in interest over that coming year.)

The company writes in a press release that it has reached “an agreement in principle with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt and its financial sponsors” that will essentially cut its debt in half, and that it has filed motions with the court to be allowed to operate normally through the restructuring. The bankruptcy follows, by two months, the bankruptcy of the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus, which offloaded $1 billion in debt.[…]

Read the full story at NPR.

78 Megahertz: Australian astronomers detect signal from the dawn of the universe

(Image: NASA – Hubble Space Telescope)

(Source: ABC Science via William Lee)

Astronomers detect signal from the dawn of the universe, using simple antenna in WA outback

They have picked up a radio signature produced just 180 million years after the Big Bang using a simple antenna in the West Australian outback.

The ground breaking discovery, reported today in the journal Nature, sheds light on a period of time known as the “cosmic dawn”, when radiation from the first stars started to alter the primordial gas soup surrounding them.

[…]The signal they’ve been looking for is a miniscule fraction — between 0.1 and 0.01 per cent — of the radio noise from the sky.

“It’s like trying to hear a whisper from the other side of a roaring football stadium,” Professor Bowman said.

The signal is also within the lower range of FM radio, so finding a place on Earth that is free of human radio interference was essential.

That’s why Professor Bowman and colleagues decided to base their experiment at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, 300 kilometres north-east of Geraldton.

“Going to Western Australia and working at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory was an absolutely critical first step for us,” he said.

There they built a small table-sized radio spectrometer with a radio receiver attached to two metal panels that act as an antenna. Akin to a set-up from the 60s or 70s, the EDGES instrument is much simpler in design than bigger array telescopes around the world.[…]

Click here to read the full article at ABC Science.

FCC lifts local control rule for radio stations

(Source: The Washington Post)

Federal regulators have voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape the nation’s media landscape.

The regulation, which was first adopted almost 80 years ago, requires broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. Known as the “main studio rule,” the regulation ensured that residents of a community could have a say in their local broadcast station’s operations.

Tuesday’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission lifts that requirement. With the rise of social media, the agency said, consumers now have other ways to get in touch with their local broadcasters.

“Additionally, technology allows broadcast stations to produce local news even without a nearby studio,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

But that same technological capability could prompt large media titans to take over small, local TV and radio stations, turning them into megaphones blasting content developed for a national audience rather than a local one, according to critics.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Washington Post.