What You Think | radioinfo

What You Think

User Opinion Story
16 November 2018 - 1:59pm
This article is largely irrelevant in Australia.
DAB is the original version of Digital Audio Broadcasting and is now only used in the UK. Australia was the first country (which was in 2009) to commence high powered DAB+ broadcasting. DAB+ has improved error correction which provides perfect reception when under the same conditions DAB sounds like bubbling mud. In addition we transmit digital radio at much greater power (The same as for digital TV). We also have on channel repeaters in black spots. In addition nearly all programs in Australia nearly all DAB+ programs are in stereo where as in the UK most are mono, because of inefficient compression.

HD radio is only used in the USA, where all the digital signals are between 1/10th and a 1/25th of the FM signal power. The HD Radio in the AM band interference makes the digital signal even weaker.

As a result HD2 - HD4 fails much more often in vehicles than does DAB+. In addition HD1 is a simulcast with the FM or AM signal. In poor signal conditions the radio automatically blends back to FM or AM.

In Australia listeners select programs by name and not frequency making logos less necessary, even so, some stations already transmit station logos without Radioplayer using of using mobile broadband to deliver logos.

The adoption of using Radio player which will switch to mobile broadband when digital radio signals is a poor solution to poor radio technology. It would not be necessary if they converted all programs to DAB+ instead of the 3 they have now.

A better option is to use Digital Radio Mondiale who's signal processing is very similar to DAB+ but it can operate in any frequency band from the Medium Frequency band (which is used by AM radio), through HF (Short Wave) through the vacated TV band 1 and on into the FM band. Its narrow transmission bandwidth compared to DAB+ enables many more transmission channels, so broadcasters can install transmitter in the centre of the audience through to worldwide coverage depending on the frequency and power used. DRM is capable of transmitting station logos and station selection by name and not frequency.

Radio in the car - a better experience
Anthony The Koala
15 November 2018 - 11:43pm
I have finished reading "On Air" by Mike Carlton, ISBN 978 0 85798 780 8. I will be discussing his literary style, funny moments, pay particular attention to Mike's critique of 2GB and its current presenters. Also discussed is political interferece in the ABC, comparing Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer, the downfall of the Fairfax empire and its consequences on 2GB.

If "a picture paints a thousand words" then Mike Carlton can paint pictures with his words. Whether his personal life at 53 Orchard Rd Chatswood (now a fruit shop, sale value $6.9 million), or a student at Barker or his professional life in South East Asia, Australia and London, Carlton weaves in the particular events in history associated with his professional and personal life.

His book is sprinkled with humour. It cracked me. His particular style is to use a metaphor and a little allegory. For example, he described a former colleague as "....dumb as a bag of hammers...." (p302, RIP). At his boss's wedding at an old English church, heating was needed inside the cold 14th Century building(p406). His description of the effect of the heating on the church's organ was when Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" commenced and the organ "...wheezed, farted, squawked and honked with an ear-splitting racket somewhere between a blast of foghorns and a collapsing wooden shed..." (p407).

His words definitely stripped the glamour off TCN channel 9's Willoughby TV centre; "...take away the studios...,their lights, cameras and control rooms and it could have been a struggling widget factory in Wollongong...." (p267).

One of the funniest moments that was not recorded in the book occurred on his 2GB breakfast program during the late 1980s towards Christmas. This was Mike's second attempt at a massed choir of talkback callers. All 24 lines were put to air. The talkback 'choristers' sang "Good King Wenceslas", badly! It created a belly-laugh due to the effect of sopranos, baritones and crooners some in tune, many out of tune and some 'choristers' two bars out of time.

I shall refrain from an in-depth discussion of the radio colleagues he likes or dislikes. Reviews of the characters can be found by clicking the above hyperlinks and the hyperlinks of the hyperlinked articles in the RadioInfo site. Suffice to say that the current 2GB presenters have a different style to presenting radio than Mike Carlton.

Many of the issues discussed on the Alan Jones such as power prices and population growth are of concern to many citizens and Jones has his way of making the political leaders account for their actions or inactions. You won't see (with cameras present) Jones ask a political leader to twerk to music (as happened on 2Day-fm in 2013) or give them an easy ride as those FM radio breakfast programs.

Even if 2GB's programs are not to Mike Carlton's liking, the result is that the programs do have a structure, a consistent delivery and do attract an audience that makes 2GB a market leader. Whether the programs appeal to the ignorant, I doubt that Macquarie Media's market research would indicate that.

Anyway, one of the contemporary issues (2018) is alleged political interference at the ABC between a member of parliament and the ABC board of directors. It's not new. There was direct political interference in the ABC in 1972, on allegations of corruption in the postal service. ABC management banned the airing of a story on those allegations through the Coalition-appointed Post Master General Sir Alan Hulme, pages 230,231. In defiance of ABC management, the story did get to air, p231.

While chapter's in Carlton's book may well be the impetus for further case studies in a university business studies course, he touches on two media giants, Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer (RIP). Carlton appraising Murdoch (p351) also does not like Murdoch using his media empire to influence his readers (p353). He observes that even though the editors in Murdoch's publications are supposed to be independent, they appear to unanimously agree with him, probably because these editors know what Murdoch wants (p352).

For decades, to this day, Rupert Murdoch's publications have always been anti-ABC, the 'why should we pay taxes for the ABC' "...like some endless infant tantrum..." (p352) that is also repeated on 2GB. Allegations of left-bias are not new. But journalists have been left-of-centre since the 1960s (p139).

The notions described are not new, so ignore it next time issues of supporting the ABC and bias recur. Australian media is not dominated by one source. We can vote with the tuning dial or a mouse click.

Furthermore, whether the meister of legacy media empire Rupert Murdoch can influence the public to vote a particular way may well be a moot point in the future as media consumers resort to other sources of media, left or right, fake or genuine.

In contrast, to Carlton's surprise, Kerry Packer never instructed his journalists on how to cover a political campaign such as the 1975 federal election campaign (p257). Packer is described as having an instinct for news, being genial, shrewd and fair (pages 268-270). The result was a workplace with high morale and high profitability (p270).

At the same time Carlton documents the downfall of the Fairfax empire starting with the strategic mistake made by newly-minted Harvard MBA graduate, 'young' Warwick Fairfax (p369) with the consequence of the Fairfax name disappearing in 2018 (p372).

One of the other consequences of the devolution of the Fairfax empire was the necessity to divest the Macquarie radio network to raise cash in order for the Fairfax organisation to repay loans made by 'young' Warwick's (p380) strategic mistake.

Changing entities, managements, staff reductions and wage reductions did not augur well for 2GB for the next decade (pages 381, 382, 386, 387, 389) resulting in falling ratings and 2GB "...falling over the cliff" with massive losses (p389) and likely loss of morale. That was until 1999 when John Singleton turned the station's fortunes around starting with 2GB incorporating more sporting coverage (p457).

In summary, "On Air" by Mike Carlton is a very entertaining book in which you will find hard to put down. It's readable and funny giving his account of his personal and professional life sprinkled with milestones of the events in public history with the events in Mike's personal and professional life. Refraining from Mike's personal friend and foeships, this discussion was pertinent to the media, particularly the ABC, 2GB, Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer. I'm sure Mike could have written more such as my recall of Mike's talkback choir in the late 1980s which was not included in his book.

There are many more aspects of the book not discussed here. I leave that to you. Mike Carlton's "On Air" is highly recommended reading.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Mike Carlton's book names radio's naughty and nice
Anthony The Koala
13 November 2018 - 1:37am
In a similar article on RadioPlayer's hybrid radio, source article, RadioInfo November 7, 2018, all RadioPlayer needs to do is to incorporate AM radio stations just as the DTS Connected Radio, source article "https://www.radioworld.com/tech-and-gear/xperi-will-showcase-dts-connected-radio-platform-at-ces, Jan 5, 2018.

The BBC are have been running the latest in-car version of RadioPlayer, source http://www.radioplayer.co.uk/blog/radioplayer-car-launch since 2017 and will be trialing DTS Connected Radio, sources, RadioInfo, 26 September 2018, and https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180925005483/en/Xperi-BBC-Collaborate-Enhance-In-Car-Radio-Listening .

At the moment a "seamless" connection between AM, FM, DAB and IP streams are based on the assumption of terrestrial transmission of signals. If one signal from say the AM (MW frequency) is not available, then either the DAB and/or IP streams should substitute. If one is in the middle of the nowhere, there would not be any reception.

Perhaps whatever form of hybrid radio, it could be extended to the reception of satellite radio. By the way some DAB radios have the capability of receiving L-Band satellite reception such as the 2009 model Pure Siesta bedside clock radio.

But why limit digital radio to DAB and incorporate Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) into the hybrid radio mix?

Anyway If we said aside the business model (subscription) and non-DAB but digital technology of the US's XMSirius satellite radio, they too are developing IP stream-based apps with their service.

It could well that the future hybrid radio could be a competition between RadioPlayer, DTS connected radio and XMSirius. Will it be like the competing technologies of SQ vs Discrete quadraphonic of the 1970s with no winners, VHS vs Beta of the 1980s with VHS winning but now redundant, or like Blu-ray vs HD discs with blu-ray the winner?

Time will tell,

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Is Hybrid radio the answer to the ultimate in-car audio experience
David Smallwood
12 November 2018 - 8:57am
Hello, I'm David Smallwood. I wrote Herb Kent's autobiography, "The Cool Gent: The Nine Lives Of Radio Legend Herb Kent." I'm also the person who contacted Guinness and submitted all the paperwork that got Herb the Guinness Record for having the longest radio career by a DJ.

Now that Herb has passed, two years ago, it seems that Bob Rogers does now own that achievement. I'd be happy to assist anyone from Bob's camp in reaching out to Guinness to have him officially honored with that record. You can reach me at my digital publication's email: dsmallwood@ndigo.com. Thanks, and congratulations to Bob Rogers!
Bob Rogers sets a new radio world record
Secret Squid
10 November 2018 - 12:02am
If if only petrol prices were "continuing to skyrocket past $1 per litre....." River 94.9 FM’s Bowser Wowser
Neil Docherty
9 November 2018 - 5:33pm
What a fantastic effort Bob!!!!!
This could be an opportunity for Ron E Sparks to come out of retirement?
Trevor Sinclair.....Ronnie Sparks, they were great at 2SM in the hey days.....food for thought.
Bob Rogers hangs up the headphones
9 November 2018 - 1:05pm
Why does Australian radio management still do this kind of stuff? It's these sorts of things that give the radio industry an image of still being in the Stone Age. Mr. Rockhead Sylvester Nate Oscar George Slate would be proud ... Anne Stone marched out of FIVEaa
9 November 2018 - 1:01pm
As identified by Next Radio Conference research, reported here at RadioInfo [https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/secrets-great-radio-creative] September 23, and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omRUliKooIA ... consistency across platforms was the NUMBER ONE factor in a successful campaign involving radio.

Here it is coming up again after Ralph and co were unable to find a single Australian campaign that had that consistency.

The question must be asked - is anyone listening?
Audio advertising in need of a shake-up: IAB MeasureUp Conference
Anthony The Koala
7 November 2018 - 3:46pm
The idea of integrating seamless automatic selection between the same radio station on both FM and DAB is not new.

Kenwood Europe sell a receiver with a "Seamless FM-DAB blending" https://www.kenwood.eu/car/navigation_multimedia/multimedia/DDX4015DAB/?view=details. While such radios have been available on the market, the above story extends this to automatic blending of FM, DAB and Internet streams with extensions to voice activated control.

Whether it is the Kenwood radio or the newest development, why aren't AM stations included in the seamless blend? In Australia both AM and FM stations simulcast on DAB. They also have internet streams. So why not have seamless blending amongst the AM, FM, DAB, IP Stream modes? It would make sense if one listens to a Sydney AM station in the country (say) and other modes DAB and IP stream are not available. Then when driving in the city, the radio switches seamlessly between AM, DAB and IP stream to whichever is available and the strongest.

Car safety is very important, especially when wanting to select the radio. It is indeed a hazard if one has to go through a series of joystick maneuvers as some prestige marques when one has to concentrate on the road!

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Radioplayer unveils its prototype hybrid player
Anthony The Koala
2 November 2018 - 5:11pm
I have made comments about the low ratings that MSR, also known by the callsigns 2UE, 3EE and 4BH. Given MSR is a labour-intensive format one wonders how it will sustain economically.

Despite that, if one wants a station that comprehensively covers sport together with its companion website comprehensive with information, give it ago. There is a lot of coverage in November and the final survey 8 starts on the 4th of November and finishes on the 2nd of December.

Time will tell whether MSR's surge in comprehensive sports coverage will rate and whether the returns are profitable.

Anthony of Belfield
Macquarie Media is set for a big sporting November


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