It often seems like it is not until one of our peers pass on that we discover a colorful past and support to broadcasters in our radio community that we did not know. Terry Denbrook was one of those I wish I had spent more time with to hear his broadcast experiences. The online response to our website memorial from those that knew Terry is testimony to his colorful relationship with those in the broadcast community.
I worked with Terry from time-to-time at Pigeon Point as we updated the KKDZ 1250, KBLE 1050 diplex in preparation for HD. Our conversation was spare with his quiet demure and his illness induced speech impairment. Over the last several years I have been involved in care for numerous stations, and more than once: “Oh, Terry Denbrook takes care of that station.”
I had no idea how many stations he had cared for and how many s experiences there were, like his entrepreneurship when he built Spokane’s first stereo FM station with his moniker call letters KTWB. We will miss Terry, particularly at our Christmas party and summer picnic.
EAS National Test
With the EAS National Test scheduled for November 9, some of us have quit holding our breath. In the latest development, FEMA has reduced the length of the test from 3 minutes to 30 seconds, rendering the test to be little more than the ubiquitous RMT.
There is some speculation that FEMA shortened the test to reduce the chance of the public perception of a reinactment of the “War of the Worlds.” There were also complaints from the cable industry that the video “crawl message” could not be inserted with the lack of the new CAP cability.
All broadcasters are expected to relay the test, much the same as a RMT. Broadcasters must file a report on the success of the test online as well as post the new “National Test EAS Handbook.” You can find more information elsewhere on our website.
Family Radio – Harold Camping
Well, October 21 passed without the third (or was it the fourth?) apocalypse predicted by Family Radio’s prophet, Harold Camping. Harold announced he had miscalculated for the last time and he is going to retire from broadcasting and propheting. KARR-AM 1460, in Kirkland is reputed to be one of the Family Radio groups more “profitable” stations.
Camping got a lot of national media attention earlier this year when he predicted the end of the world for May 21. When the date came and went, he said he had miscalculated again, and the new date would be October 21. Family’s website now makes no reference to the apocalyptic event. Camping suffered a stroke in June and since has said the final day cannot be predicted.
Broadcast Patent challenge
I noted in the last issue of the Waveguide that I had been granted a patent for using fiber optics to replace the coaxial cable in AM directional antenna sampling systems. It was interesting to note that the US Patent Office in October rejected all of the patent claims made by Digimedia, a firm which sued seven broadcasters claiming infringement of a patent granted them for storing and accessing music on hard drives for broadcast automation systems.
Digimedia acquired several patents filed in 1994 and 1997 from Robert Goldman who claimed he had invented the idea of storing music on hard drives for radio stations for on-air broadcast. The problem for Digimedia was that broadcast automation manufacturers Digilink and Dalet were using hard drives for their automations systems back in the early 1990s, showing ops manuals from as early as 1992.
There are businesses that go digging up patents covering systems used by deep pocket businesses and then pressing claims of patent infringement, hoping to intimidate firms into making royalty payments for products developed years before.
Broadcast Station Totals
The FCC has announced the following totals for broadcast stations licensed as of September 30, 2011:
AM STATIONS 4763
FM COMMERCIAL 6530
FM EDUCATIONAL 3572
UHF COMMERCIAL TV 1027
VHF COMMERCIAL TV 359
UHF EDUCATIONAL TV 289
VHF EDUCATIONAL TV 107
CLASS A UHF STATIONS 421
CLASS A VHF STATIONS 71
& BOOSTERS 6113
UHF TRANSLATORS 3043
VHF TRANSLATORS 1230
UHF LOW POWER TV 1659
VHF LOW POWER TV 409
LOW POWER FM 848
TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS:
Jim Dalke W7PB