From the Editor

Well, it is off to Las Vegas and NAB 2011, the “big show.” More than 100,000 broadcasters are expected to invade the “sin city” for this year’s show with acres of exhibitor space to explore. It will be interesting to see the latest in smart television technologies, digital radio and automation technology.

Some of us will be participating in presentations at this year’s show as part of the Broadcast Engineering Conference, including Andy Skotdal, Ben Dawson, and yours truly. Look for the “NAB 2011″ report on our website.

Andy Skotdal was also featured with his KRKO tower reconstruction story on the front of Radio World in the March 23rd issue. The article was written by Chapter 16 engineer Tom McGinley. Don Miller was featured in Radio World March 9 issue with his work on implementing CAP into our EAS system in Washington. You can find more details in an extended story in this issue of our online newsletter.

In other March news of note, the 2000 foot WEAU broadcast tower crashed to the ground. The tower stood as the tallest man made structure east of the Mississippi for 45 years. WEAU Chief Engineer Ron Wiedemeier said: “I got a phone call just before I got to the transmitter site, they told me the county had called and the tower was lying on the ground. I parked on the side of the road for a few minutes, because it was gut wrenching.” For me, it brought back memories of waking up to the fire that destroyed the KKDZ KARR AM transmitter building several years ago. Fortunately, in both cases no one was injured.

Copper thieves hit a couple of broadcasters in March. High profile KSL AM lost more than $30,000 in copper wire, tools and other goods. One of the nation’s pioneer 50,000 watt stations, the station has a non-directional 400 foot tower on the Great Salt Lake west of Salt Lake City. Copper thieves also took WNDB-AM, Daytona Beach, Florida down after ripping the copper ground straps off the tower bases causing $10,000 in damage. The station lost another $10,000 in ad revenue before they could get back on the air.

Fisher Broadcasting’s shareholder battle may come to a close in May 11th with the company’s annual shareholders meeting. The company has put Fisher Plaza on the real estate market and there is the question of the asset value of the broadcast properties. A bit more than an engineer can figure out.

March also saw the passing of former Radio Station Owner Barry Ackerley. The Ackerly Group owned TV and radio stations including Seattle pioneer station KJR-AM and billboard businesses in six states. Ackerly sold the company to Clear Channel for $495 million in 2001. Ackerley also owned the Seattle Supersonic NBA franchise for 18 years. He bought the team in 1983. Ackerley was one of the first owners to broadcast games on radio and TV stations he owned.

Well, that is it from the editor for the April issue of the online Waveguide. If I survive NAB and Las Vegas, we will have a report for next month.
Jim Dalke W7PB