by Leslie Stimson
May 15, 2013
One of several stories providing a final overview of news and themes of the recent NAB Show.
[Radio’s involvement in platforms old and new was a theme of discussions at the NAB Show.Credit: Photo by Jim Peck]
LAS VEGAS — The future of radio in the dashboard. The appearance of program content descriptions on various receivers. The outlook for AM radio. These are big topics in the industry, and they certainly were as well in the sessions, exhibit floor and hallway buzz at the 2013 NAB Show.
The show came as the FCC faces a big change at the top. Meanwhile, so-called “sequestration” budget cuts left many commission staffers, and all FEMA personnel, who’d planned to attend at home.
Here are selected highlights; future issues will feature further in-depth analysis of show themes.
FM TRANSLATORS A-GO-GO
More than 1,000 pending FM translator applications from the Auction 83 window will survive FCC processing, according to experts. And Wilkinson Barker Knauer attorney Peter Oxenford believes that figure is low.
He praised the commission for working to balance the spectrum needs of those who want FM translators as well as non-profits who plan to file for new LPFM licenses.
The FCC has been winnowing the remaining pending FM translator applications, and the agency is “close to announcing a settlement window” for the remaining apps, according to Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle.
Speaking to attendees via Skype, Doyle said the agency is on track to open a window in October for non-commercial entities to apply for LPFMs.
The Audio Division hopes to release LPFM applications electronically, with the goal of getting non-profits to begin completing their station applications in June, he said.
And what’s next for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s call for an AM revitalization initiative? That’s “ultimately an Eighth Floor call,” according to Doyle. He ticked off regulatory barriers the agency has lifted over the years to help AM owners, like allowing AMs to retransmit their signal on FM translators.