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February 01, 2011

Comments

Eric Rhoads

Thanks Darla,
Im proud of Radios true heroes and America has a hundred stories like this from the storm.

Farcewatch


"HD Radio Farce" is a troll who scours the internet all day and has some kind of psychological problem. He is paranoid, delusional, and neurotic. He has some kind of psycho feud with the people who run HD radio....and feels it necessary to search all day (every day) for ANY references to HD radio....so he can post his propaganda.

Some of us know all about him and his psycho/sexual ramblings.

So, just ignore him.

Darla Jaye

"I write this knowing full well and respecting that it is your job to be a cheerleader for the radio business. My tone is not meant to be confrontational, but rather to spur discussion."

Really?! You sound like confrontational is EXACTLY what you want to be!
You might think local radio is done, and as you say"that ship has sailed", but we just went through the full blast of that storm in Kansas City, and I know for a fact, that police were counting on US to get messages out to the citizens. City officials were counting on us to help them declare a state of Emergency. State officials in Mo, and Kansas were counting on us, to get the message to thousands about what the State of Emergencies in both States meant for our listeners! Power went out all over the city, and if your computer battery was dead, or you didn't have a smart phone that had juice, you could watch a black tv screen or turn to us!
Confrontational you are. Sounds like you have an axe to grind against radio, and that is sad.

Eric, thank you for the kudos for our industry! Many of us are very proud of what we did to help our community.
Darla Jaye www.kmbz.com

Greg

"ABC turns to HF during tropical Cyclone"

"Radio Australia carried Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) Queensland coverage of the storm, which was extraordinary. Spot coverage, emergency information, sheltering information, updates and calls from listeners in the midst of the storm. Some of it is pretty intense. One fellow, John, out in the country all by himself in the height of the storm sounded somewhat forlorn, I hope he makes it. Due to the size of the storm, wide spread power outages are expected and may last for weeks or months. As a part of this, there are numerous outages and potential outages in their AM and FM broadcasting chain. To that end, ABC has two shortwave frequencies available for their Queensland service; daytime on 9580 KHz and night time is 6080 KHz. Once again, HF (shortwave) radio gets the job done when local stations, cell towers, and internet connections to dead. Sometimes it is the low tech answer."

http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/2011/02/abc-turns-to-hf-during-tropical-cyclone/

You were saying, Eric?

HDRadioFarce

Yea! Another excuse to get Struble's gimmick mandated into cell phones, toasters, Satrad, analog radios, refrigerators, and even your Mama, just to please the NAB and NRSC Board Mambers as investors in iBiquity! Cheers for the horse-and-buggy-whip! LMAO!

Eric Rhoads

Ted:

Debate indeed.

I have lived through many storms in the radio industry with mountain top transmitters subject to heavy snow. A couple of thoughts.

1. Most radio station transmitter have back up generators and most are designed for snow and ice load.

2. Cell towers each operate independently and it would be cost prohibitive to keep all cell towers powered when a storm knocks the power down. If the power is out in an area where there is a cell tower that tower is down. Of course there are exceptions. Some transmission towers where cells exist do have power generators.

Though there are exceptions in all cases, the liklihood radio will remain on air in a heavy storm is higher and proven. Often the case with TV as well, though it requires power in most homes to see it.
3. Internet, social, etc are WONDERFUL tools and sure they sparked revolution in Egypt (though were not discussing Egypt). If however the power is out, your modem does not work, unless of course you have a wireless to cell tower modem, which wont work if it is out. And of course there is the battery life issue on a laptop. If youre lucky you get a day. But a day without power leaves few options.


Yes sometimes radio towers go down, but most cities have numerous stations with numerous towers. They probably wont all go down.

The issue you raise about automated stations with no operators IS a very real issue and those stations loose in this scenario unless they come up with a way to go live and local. Most wont and most will look foolish. Fortunately MOST (not all) communities do have ample live local stations who have some staff to cover in these scenarios. If you remember New Orleans during the Hurricane, ALL local stations got together and invented ONE live broadcast using the resources of all stations, with all stations either shutting down OR feeding the same feed.


Ted, your debate is worthy of discussion indeed. Clearly there are benefits to other media when the power is on and their are on the air. But if not, I still stand behind radio.

Tad Ambilo

I write this knowing full well and respecting that it is your job to be a cheerleader for the radio business. My tone is not meant to be confrontational, but rather to spur discussion.

That said- a few points:

Where is it that these purported widespread internet and cell outages are happening? I ask because cell and internet connectivity is demonstrably more reliable than a terrestrial transmitter. In fact, out of all of the distribution platforms you mentioned, terrestrial radio is the most vulnerable to inclement weather, natural disasters, and the like- much more so than other distribution platforms. Anyone who's had to take a snow machine to an iced-over transmitter site can confirm this.

Beyond that, when major market stations have no live bodies in the studio on weekends, when the newsroom has been outsourced to "regional hubs", and when the few bodies that are in the stations are not remotely qualified to deliver any sort of "breaking news"- you can't make these claims.

To wit- the current situation in Egypt. Nobody is talking about terrestrial radio's part in this event. It is unlikely that terrestrial radio has a meaningful part in it- other than as a propaganda tool. It is the power of social platforms that dominate this discussion, that enable the two-way sharing of information that leads to millions of people congregating in one spot. It took an entire dictatorship to kill internet and cell access to the country, and even then- we saw how resilient the network is- work-arounds and new conduits were in place within hours. When a radio tower gets knocked over by a storm, you are SOL for weeks, maybe months.

One metal tower- reliant on uninterrupted power and perhaps a finite amount of diesel or propane- vs the ENTIRE NETWORK? It's a silly argument.

The way I see it, you cannot selectively hang your hats on "live and local", and "there when you need us", when neither of those positioning statements are true the majority of the time.

All of this aside, the most important point:

You really think that listeners even have this expectation of terrestrial radio anymore? That it's their first stop for info in an emergency? I don't..that ship has sailed. In the event of an emergency- weather or otherwise-, a more contemporary response is to check your personal network first- via Facebook, Twitter, hyper-local web portals, etc. Real-time info and responses from personally trusted sources. There is an inherent latency within broadcast media that doesn't exist in the "new media". Waiting 10 mins for a TV or Radio station to pick up on a story and go wall-to-wall with it does not mesh with the way that I consume media and information. And even if you've deputized your lone PT board-op to go on the air with this info- where does this info come from? I don't need someone to read the internet for me.

I would also suggest your assertion that "virtually everyone" has a battery operated receiver in their homes is not in sync with a contemporary lifestyle. Beyond the car, the radio receiver is no longer as ubiquitous as the industry leads us to believe. If it were, then why the manic push to mandate FM chips to CE?

I believe that this "we are indispensable in an emergency" argument is a way to stave off the inevitable performance rights obligations that terrestrial radio has to content providers and artists. It's a red herring- and a weak, easily dis-proven one at that.

Bruce J. Mittman

Yes...It's good to remind ourselves and the marketplace about the impact of radio in our communities...We need to do more of it...Let's celebrate radio and stop apologizing....Thanks...bruce

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