All posts by MAB Staff

FCC Wants to Expand Video Description

According to a legal advisory released by Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) looking to amend its video description rules to increase the amount of required video described programming as well as the number of programmers who must offer video description. Presently, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC-affiliated TV stations in the top 60 broadcast markets, and the top 5 non-broadcast networks – i.e., cable and satellite channels – must provide 50 hours per calendar quarter of prime-time or children’s programming with video description, with the top 5 networks being reassessed every three years. The key points of the NPRM are as follows:

  • The NPRM proposes that the number of hours of video-described programming required for each covered broadcast station or non-broadcast network increases from 50 hours per quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter, a 75% jump, which is the maximum the FCC is statutorily authorized to require by the enabling statute.
  • The NPRM proposes to increase the number of broadcast networks whose affiliates must provide video description from the “big four” of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, to add the fifth most-popular commercial broadcast network (currently CW, although that could change), and to increase the number cable/satellite networks from the top 5 – currently the Disney Channel, History, TBS, TNT and USA – to the top 10 “most popular” non-broadcast networks.
  • The NPRM proposes a “no backsliding” rule, such that, if a network in the top 5 broadcast or top 10 cable/satellite categories falls out of the top 5 or top 10, respectively, it would, nonetheless, remain subject to the obligation to provide video descriptions.
  • The NPRM proposes to remove the threshold requirement that non-broadcast networks reach 50 percent of pay-tv households to be subject to video description, since those numbers are declining.
  • The NPRM proposes to require distributors to provide publicly available contact information for a person who can address video description issues and concerns within one business day.
  • The NPRM proposes that any request for exemption from the video description rules, as well as all related filings, be filed electronically with the FCC.
  • The NPRM seeks comment on the timelines over which the above proposed changes should roll out, if adopted, with a tentative conclusion that expansion in the number of networks and of hours of video-described programming should commence on July 18, 2018, the effective date of the next triennial recalculation of top networks. The NPRM suggests that its proposed rule to make company contact information public could be accomplished more quickly.

The NPRM sets an opening comment deadline of 30 days after the NPRM appears in the Federal Register, and a reply comment deadline of 30 days after that.

MDHHS Faces Major Restructuring

capitol3The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is making a major realignment in its divisions dealing with public health. The department will create a new bureau of epidemiology and population health as it comes under severe criticism for how it handled a deadly outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Genesee County. Advocates for public health called the move a positive step for helping to improve communication and giving public health a stronger voice. The changes will take effect April 18. The new bureau will also contain the divisions of Family and Community Health, Communicable Diseases, Lifecourse Epidemiology and Genomics, Environmental Health and Zoonotic Disease and Special Projects.

Engineering: Barix Box Advisory

On April 6, The Alabama Broadcasters Association shared this with us…from one of their members:

“Someone is attacking Barix Boxes. Within the past 24 hours, several radio stations and at least one radio network have been compromised. The Barix receiver is pointed to an obscene podcast and its password changed so it can only be reset manually. This appears to have been in the planning stages for some time by the person doing it – apparently they have been accumulating passwords for some time. MAKE SURE that your password is of sufficient strength! Barix Boxes will take up to 24 characters…. In at least two cases six character passwords were cracked.”

Updated 9:16am on 4/7/16:  Apparently the reported Colorado signal hack was related to this Barix story.  Read about the KIFT signal hack here.

The stream programmer who had their explicit content aired on the Colorado radio station did their own investigation into the incident and provides some insight here.

Updated 2:10pm on 4/6/16:  Jason Walther, CE of Townsquare Media (Lansing) adds: “Best advice is to change your password to the web interface, and hide it behind a firewall that only exposes the ports needed to receive the stream (aka: port forwarding)

When these boxes are connected to a plain static IP and no changes are made, they are an easy target.

Also, if you have a Comrex Access unit that sits open with “Accept Incoming Calls”, you will get hacked the same. It is easy to disable incoming SIP connections.

Associate Member Spotlight: The Lyman & Sheets Insurance Agency

Lyman&Sheets_350The Lyman & Sheets Insurance Agency’s early beginnings date back to 1874 when the state’s first insurance commissioner created an insurance agency to serve the needs of the citizens. Today, the Lyman & Sheets Agency is a full-service insurance firm offering property, general liability, workers’ compensation, builder’s risk, auto, crime, directors and officers liability, professional liability, special event liability, international exposures, fiduciary liability, kidnap and ransom, and employee benefits among other insurance coverages.

They provide insurance coverage in over 45 states and in multiple countries across the globe. They are privileged to serve as the managing general agent for a number of insurance programs and we offer special expertise in developing insurance solutions for the broadcast sector. Lyman & Sheets excel at identifying areas of exposure and developing affordable solutions to protect the financial integrity of MAB members.

Visit their website here.

MAB Foundation Student Award Winners Announced

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THANK YOU to those who participated in the 2016 MAB Foundation Student Broadcast Awards! We had 639 entries this year!

The judging process is complete and we have posted the winners’ names and schools on our website. To view this year’s winners, please click here.

Awards Presentation
Awards will be presented during the Main Luncheon at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing on Tuesday, May 3, beginning at 12:30 pm. This luncheon will include both students and professionals. All students must arrive by 12:15 pm to check in at the main registration desk.

Information for Student Winners
Please take a close look at all of the names and schools and notify Alisha Clack of any spelling changes as soon as possible. Please note that these names and titles were pulled directly from the online system. The names, as they appear on the site, will be used on the award certificates and in the awards program.

Each student winner receives a complimentary lunch ticket and admittance to all GLBC Student Sessions, Exhibit Hall and Career Fair on Tuesday, May 3. EACH student winner attending MUST complete the online Student Award Winner registration form by Friday, April 22, 2016 to receive their FREE registration. Late registrations cannot be guaranteed lunch.

Want to attend ALL GLBC sessions? For just $5, student winners only can upgrade their registration to a full GLBC Student Registration which includes admittance into ALL of the GLBC educational sessions. Mingle and network with Michigan broadcast and media professionals…just select the “GLBC Upgrade” option when you complete the Student Award Winner registration form and bring your $5 to the GLBC when you check in.

Click here for the complete GLBC session schedule.

Click here to register EACH student winner.

Non-Winning Students, Parents, Teachers and Friends Information
If you are a non-winning student, parent, family, guest and/or advisor of a student and would like to attend the luncheon, you MUST register online to secure a seat. The cost is $35 per person. Non-winning students, parents, teachers and friends can register to attend by selecting the “Student Awards Luncheon Only” option which is $35 per person to attend the Main Luncheon.
Click here to register to attend the Luncheon.

Remember: On-site registrations are NOT guaranteed a lunch!

2016 Award Winners Compilation
A  link to the 2016 Award Winners compilation video will be sent to each entering school and posted on the MABF website.

Contact Alisha Clack with any questions or changes at clack@michmab.com.

Awards Rules and Categories

What’s happening at the Museum of Broadcast Communications:

MBC_350MAB President/CEO Karole White is pleased to be on the Board of Directors for the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) and on the Steering Committee of the National Radio Hall of Fame. If you are planning to be in Chicago soon, you must visit the Museum. Here is what is currently on exhibit:

“Here’s Johnny: The Making of the Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson,” now through October 15, 2016. The show’s host joked that he was “In more bedrooms than any other man in America.” Now, The Museum of Broadcast Communications is bringing an exhibit about the 20th Century’s most enduring show, as well as its iconic host, the late Johnny Carson. “Here’s Johnny: The Making of the Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson” will feature costumes, stage props, video, cue cards, and production materials to bring visitors behind the scenes into the phenomenal creative collaboration that dominated late night TV from 1962 – 1992.

Also at the Museum, visitors can take in the “Larry King Fantasy Interview Experience.”  Guests can answer questions from TV icon Larry King and have those answers preserved as a DVD momento.
BruceDumont_300Bruce Dumont (pictured left), President of the Museum, reports that they now offer online viewing of over 120 vintage television broadcasts with plans to add 20 digitized shows or more each week.  The broadcasts include conventions, political debates, ABC’s Our WorldFolkfest, big band broadcasts from Chicago, the Radio Hall of Fame ceremonies, Record Hop with Jim LounsburyKups ShowSee it Now with Edward R. Murrow, and many more.  Click here to view.  There is no charge.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications is located at  360 North State Street in Chicago and is open Tuesday through Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Closed Sunday, Monday, and all federal holidays.  The museum is offering 50% admission through April 30.

For more information, visit their website.

 

The MAB Job Bank

Job-BankIf you’re looking for a new challenge, your first job, or maybe an internship, you’ll find many listings on the MAB Job Bank.  We want to help you find the job you want.

Stations:  We have a situation wanted section where savvy job seekers are placing their resume and contact information.  You’ll also find a listing of other resources to help you find the employees you need.

Visit the MAB Job Bank here.

Why is My Station Not Featured in MAB News Briefs?

If your station has not been featured in MAB News Briefs, we need you to send us information about your events and activities.  We’re always looking for information on community service events, new personnel hires, format changes, and whatever is going on at your station.

We also love photos!  Lots of photos!

We want to feature you and your station.  Nominate your traffic director or engineer to be featured.  Tell us what your station is up to.

Just drop an email to dkelley@michmab.com.  Thank you!

SBE Releases New Engineering Handbook

SBEhandbookThe Society of Broadcast Engineers and McGraw-Hill Education have released the SBE Broadcast Engineering Handbook: Hands-on Guide to Station Design and Maintenance. This new book offers detailed practical information on video, audio, and broadcast transmission systems from dozens of the field’s foremost experts. Featuring everything from basic principles and formulae to the latest technologies and engineering trends, this hands-on resource offers practical and up-to-date coverage of all major broadcast technologies for radio, TV, and related fields.

The handbook features in-depth tutorials that stress key topics throughout, complete coverage of radio and television technologies, and is written from the perspective of the broadcast engineer. More than 50 authors have contributed their expertise to the ten sections of the book. The handbook has been deftly assembled by Jerry Whitaker, editor-in-chief. He is vice president of standards development for the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) in Washington, DC, and also the author or editor of more than 40 technical books.

The book covers every aspect of broadcast engineering in seven sections: Regulatory Issues, RF Transmission, DTV Transport, Information Technology Systems, Production Systems, Facility Issues, Broadcast Management, plus three reference annexes.

The book is available from the SBE Bookstore. SBE members can purchase the book at the member discount price of $159 through the SBE Bookstore. The book is also available through www.mhprofessional.com and online retailers for $199.

National Radio Hall of Fame Calls for 2016 Nominations

Radio-Hall-of-Fame_300The 28th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration will take place on Thursday evening, November 17 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Industry members are encouraged to submit nominations for the Class of 2016 inductees via email to nominations@radiohof.org. The last day to submit suggestions to the Nominating Committee is Friday, May 6 at midnight ET.

National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “This is one of the best times in preparing for the induction ceremony because we get to see firsthand the tremendous amount of talented people who deserve recognition. It’s a proud moment for everyone involved.”

Nominations should be made for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.

About the National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum of Broadcast Communications:  The institution collects, preserves, and presents historic and contemporary radio and television content, as well as educates, informs, and entertains the public through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources. The museum is located at 360 North State Street in downtown Chicago and was founded in 1983 by veteran broadcaster Bruce DuMont.

A list of past inductees to the National Radio Hall of Fame is available here.