Thursday, September 25, 2014

BBG Names Andy Lack CEO

Respected Executive to Lead U.S. International Media
WASHINGTON -The Broadcasting Board of Governors announced today that it intends to hire respected journalist and media executive Andrew Lack as Chief Executive Officer of the federal agency that oversees the five networks and broadcasting operations of U.S. international media. Those networks include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

"Andy Lack has an unmatched record as a journalist and media executive, and he has successfully steered large organizations through changes in competitive media environments," BBG Chair Jeff Shell said. "We are incredibly excited that Andy has decided to serve his country and lead the BBG as it fulfills its critical mission in this ever-changing and more complicated world."

Once his appointment is finalized, Lack will serve as the first-ever CEO of U.S. international media.  Creating the position of a CEO has been a key objective of the agency's governing board and the Administration.  

Lack's selection follows an extensive search process launched in October 2013, when the Board formed a special committee on the creation of a CEO.  Earlier this year, the agency engaged an executive search firm to identify candidates. 

"Andy is a great leader, a great communicator, and a great journalist," said Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, who serves as the delegate to the Board for Secretary of State John Kerry.  "He is the perfect person - and I really mean the perfect person - to be this organization's first CEO in the 21st century. We are lucky to have him, and we at State look forward to working with him."
Chairman of the Bloomberg Media Group for the past year, Lack joined Bloomberg in October 2008 as CEO of its Global Media Group.  In this position, he was responsible for expanding television, radio, magazine, conference and digital businesses.  Under his leadership, Bloomberg LP has enhanced the quality of its media properties, expanded internationally, and built out services to bring information to more people, in more places, on more platforms than ever before.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Lack was Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, where he led the company's roster of prominent international artists and vast catalog of recorded music from around the world. Before joining Sony Music Entertainment, he was president and chief operating officer of NBC, where he oversaw entertainment, news (including MSNBC and CNBC), NBC stations, sales and broadcast and network operations. He was responsible for expanding the Today show to three hours and creating the show's street-side studio in New York's Rockefeller Center. 

From 1993 to 2001, Lack was president of NBC News, which he transformed into America's most-watched news organization through NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, Today and Dateline NBC. 

Before going to NBC, Lack spent much of his television career at CBS News. After joining in 1976, within a year, he became a prominent producer for 60 Minutes and subsequently, senior executive producer of CBS Reports.  Lack's broadcasts at CBS earned numerous honors, including 16 Emmy Awards and 4 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards. 

Lack received a bachelor's degree from the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, where he is currently a trustee. 

He lives in Bronxville, NY with his wife, Betsy, and their two sons.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG networks include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).
BBG | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20237 | 202.203.4400

(BBG Press Release)

New DRM receiver from India, Avion AV-DR-1401 - up & close

Here are few pictures of the new DRM receiver from India, Avion AV-DR-1401, please note these pics are from the working prototype that was assembled at short notice for IBC 2014, the final product may/will differ from this. The receiver is expected to hit the market by December 2014.


3.5" TFT LCD
320 x 480 Resolution
Stereo Speakers and Headphones
FM : 87.5-108 MHz
DRM/AM : SW 2.3-27 MHz
DRM/AM : MW 522-1720 MHz
Adjustable Tuning Speed
Adjustable MW Step 9/10 kHz
MPEG Audio Signal
Digital Audio Output
10 Hours Battery Backup
DC in 5V 1000mA
Built in Li-Pol Rechargable Battery
3.7 @ 6000 Mah Battery
3.5 mm Stereo Headphone Jack
Micro SD Card Slot
DRM Audio Input AAC+
External Antenna Jack 3.5 mm
Speaker 3.5" 4 Ohms 3W
Detachable Remote Control

Key Features

DRM/AM/FM Stereo Reception
MW/SW/FM Bands
DRM Journaline Data
DRM Scrolling Text
DRM Program Recording
Auto Scan and Manual Tuning
DRM Emergency Warning
Unicode Character Support
100 Station Memory
Music/Photos playback from Micro SD Card
Multiple Language Support
Realtime Clock
MOT Slideshow
Service Mode
Battery Indicator

Official site of Communication Systems Inc.

DRM Consortium press release

DRM Launches India Receiver
By Davide Moro, Radio World International
Exclusive interview with Indian DRM manufacturer Ankit Agrawal


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Announces at IBC 2014 First DRM Receiver produced in India

At IBC on Friday 12th September the DRM Consortium launched the first DRM AM model receiver produced in India for India and for global use.
The AV-DR -1401 designed and produced by Communications Systems Inc under the brand name Avion Electronics of India ( is a digital DRM SW, MW, as well as analogue AM and FM receiver with stereo reception, offering some of the extra features that make digital superior to analogue: more choice in perfect sound (MPEG audio), multimedia applications and local interactive text and media (Journaline), automatic tuning by station, not frequency, emergency alert capability etc.
The receiver was unveiled at the first DRM 'Pit-stop' on Friday 12th September at the Ampegon stand (Hall 8:D35). It was subsequently showcased on Saturday 13th September at Thomson Broadcast, the second 'Pit stop' event (Hall 8:C35) and  at the "tell and show" event organised by DRM Consortium member Nautel Ltd (Hall 8:C49). At their session 'Building to a Billion and Beyond', Nautel representatives and other Consortium companies from India and around the world gave an update on the digital project in India and participants could sample the excellent sound of the new DRM receiver model.
Ankit Agrawal, Director of Communications Systems Inc which produced the new model was thrilled with the interest created by the DRM radio: "Our receiver performed very well and its audio quality, extra features and ease of use received a lot of positive feedback.  IBC participants particularly liked the extended battery life of the receiver and its emergency warning capability.  With small adjustments we plan to make the receiver available for order in the next few months."
Ruxandra Obreja, the Consortium Chairman, says that: "We are very pleased with the exciting announcement on this new Indian receiver. With sufficient orders and support it could do very well and start the receiver ball rolling demonstrating that global, green and extremely cost-effective DRM is not just the future of digital radio but a reality for listeners now."
Other DRM members present at IBC are: Digidia, Fraunhofer IIs, GatesAir, RFmondial and Transradio.

About DRM
Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) is the universal, openly standardised digital broadcasting system for all broadcasting frequencies.
The DRM standard comprises of two major configurations: 'DRM30' intended for broadcasts on short, medium and long wave up to 30 MHz and providing large coverage areas and low power consumption. The configuration for the VHF bands above 30 MHz is called 'DRM+', tailored for local and regional coverage with broadcaster-controlled transmissions.
All DRM configurations share the same audio coding, data and multimedia services, service linking, multiplexing and signalling schemes. DRM provides high quality sound combined with a wealth of enhanced features : Surround Sound, Journaline text information, Slideshow, EPG and data services.
For more information and DRM updates please visit or subscribe to DRM news by writing to  Click here for the Newsletter with all the latest DRM news from around the world.

(DRM Consortium Press Release)

Friday, September 12, 2014

AOR unveils new receiver AR-DV1

AOR has unveiled a new receiver AR-DV1 at the Tokyo Ham Fair, pricing and availability details are awaited.

Here's a video :

Thanks to Hiroyuki Okamura for the photo's and video.

Ampegon delivers Shortwave Transmitters and Antenna Systems to Saudi Broadcast Corporation

Turgi, Switzerland, September 12, 2014. Saudi Broadcast Corporation (SBC), Saudi's National Broadcaster, has contracted Ampegon through undisputed Saudi market leader First Gulf Company (FGC) for the renewal of their radio transmission site in Riyadh. 

Ampegon will deliver four 500 kW shortwave transmitters, four shortwave antennas HRS 4/4/0.5 and the BroadMaster broadcast control system. The new systems will replace existing analog transmitters with four tubes by modern analog/digital transmitters having single high power tube amplification and hence a much better overall efficiency. Saudi Broadcast Corporation has selected FGC proposal with Ampegon because of the capability of FGC to handle large projects along with Ampegon's expertise and the reliability of their systems well known since decades. Ampegon had supplied several antenna and transmission systems in the past and feels honored to once again show presence in Saudi Arabia.

The transmitters will be manufactured in Turgi, Switzerland. Factory tests together with SBC engineers are planned for autumn and shipments before end of 2014. Commissioning by an Ampegon engineer will start afterwards and the new systems are expected to be on air within summer 2015.

Engineer Saleh A. Almeghaileeth, Vice-President for Engineering Affairs at SBC, is extremely pleased to work together with Ampegon: "Ampegon offers a complete solution approach including transmitters, antennas, broadcast control systems and DRM integration. We trust on Ampegon's and FGC's experience as they had delivered shortwave transmitters in the past that still work to our full satisfaction."

Tel. +41 58 710 44 00