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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » News Feed


This Week in Broadcast Regulation:  October 17, 2020 to October 23, 2020

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Sun 25 Oct 2020 3:47 pm

Here are some of the regulatory developments of the last week of significance to broadcasters, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC’s International Bureau released a Public Notice on its review of the requests for “lump sum reimbursement requests” for stations that have C Band earth stations that will be affected by the repacking of the band for wireless uses. The Public Notice contains a list of all applications for lump sum reimbursement and the status of each applicant’s request.  While most applications are listed as “approved,” for applicants with identified issues with their requests, the Public Notice says that failure to resolve the issues by October 28 may result in dismissal of the lumps sum reimbursement requests, though applicants would still be eligible for the normal reimbursement process. (Public Notice)(List of requests for lump sum reimbursement)
  • A window to submit applications for new noncommercial educational FM stations will open in 2021. This week, the Commission asked for comments on its tentative conclusion to limit parties to submitting ten applications during the window, which was the same limit imposed in 2007 during the last noncommercial reserved-band window.  The Commission reasons for the proposed limit include that it will prevent mass filings by speculators, avoid some instances where applications are mutually exclusive, and allow for quicker processing of applications by FCC staff.  Interested parties should start preparing their comments, as those comments will be due 15 days after the Public Notice is published in the Federal Register.  Reply comments will be due 10 days after the comment deadline date.  (Broadcast Law Blog) (Public Notice)
  • After voting in August to eliminate the radio program duplication rule for AM and FM stations, the rule change became effective October 22. The rule had prohibited radio stations in the same service (AM or FM) that have over 50% overlap of their principal community contours (the 70 dBu contour for FM stations and the 5 mV/m contour for AM stations) from duplicating more than 25 per cent of the total hours in their average programming week.  We covered the rule repeal on the blog in August, and posted a short note on this week’s abolition of the rule.  (Federal Register)
  • FCC General Counsel Thomas M. Johnson, Jr. published a blog post laying out the legal reasoning behind why the FCC has the authority to interpret and clarify Section 230, the section of the Communications Act that gives online platforms immunity from liability for what third-party users post on those platforms. Johnson points to language of the statute and to Supreme Court cases that held that the Commission has authority to interpret the Communications Act unless the Act specifically says that authority rests elsewhere.  As Section 230 is part of the Communications Act and makes no mention of removing the FCC’s authority to interpret it, Johnson argues that the FCC is free to interpret the section’s language, just as it does for other parts of the Communications Act.  We noted in our blog post from June that there are plenty of debates over whether the FCC has the power to interpret Section 230 and Johnson’s 2,600+-word blog post appears to be an attempt to anticipate those arguments.  Watch for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Section 230 soon.
  • On the blog this week, we posted our thoughts on how broadcasters can re-think their EEO programs and compliance efforts to tailor them to the pandemic reality we live in. Depending on where your station is in your two-year EEO reporting period, your station might need to get creative to satisfy the non-vacancy specific outreach efforts (the “menu options”) required by the rules.  We note in the post that, unlike other areas where the FCC has issued waivers or otherwise shown leniency about compliance, EEO is still a priority for the Commission and, in fact, random audits have continued throughout the pandemic.  (Broadcast Law Blog)
  • We looked at the Broadcast Diversity in Leadership Act, introduced last month in the House of Representatives by former radio broadcaster and current Member of Congress, Greg Walden (R-Ore). The bill seeks to put into law much of what the FCC has tried to do with its incubator program, fostering ownership by minorities and other new entrants.  The FCC’s program was blocked by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision on the broadcast ownership rules that is now before the Supreme Court for review.  With so few days left this year on the legislative calendar and Congressman Walden’s retirement at the end of the year, it will fall to another Member of Congress to run with this effort in the next congressional session.  (Broadcast Law Blog)

Looking ahead to next week, the FCC will hold an Open Meeting on Tuesday, October 27.  Broadcasters will be watching three items: A Report and Order that would expand audio description requirements to more markets, a Report and Order that would authorize all-digital AM transmission, and a Report and Order that would allow expanded use of higher-powered unlicensed devices in the TV white spaces (industry reporting indicates we could see a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that incorporates changes sought by Microsoft).  We took a closer look at these three items when the drafts were released.  The meeting will again be conducted virtually and can be viewed here.

Sun Ra Arkestra: Swirling review – out of this world

Delivered... Neil Spencer | Scene | Sat 24 Oct 2020 4:00 pm

(Strut)
The Arkestra’s first album in 20 years is an intoxicating, cosmic tribute to Sun Ra

For much of his long, prolific career, the late Sun Ra (born plain Herman Blount) found his music marginalised. Though rooted in jazz tradition, its atonal tunings and proto-electronica, along with its space-age themes and gaudy costumes, were too way out for an era of studied, mohair-suited cool. Since his death in 1993, however, Ra has become hailed as a pioneer of Afrofuturism, whose influence runs from Funkadelic to Black Panther. Meanwhile Ra’s band, the Arkestra, have toured tirelessly, presided over by alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, now 96.

This first album in 20 years proves an inspired tribute to the master, revisiting celebrated pieces like Satellites Are Spinning, with its promise A better day is breaking/ The planet Earth’s awakening”, beautifully sung by violinist Tara Middleton. The vocalised, upbeat mood (Ra was essentially utopian) maintains through the bebop riff of Rocket Number Nine, and Allen’s title track, whose finger-snapping big band arrangement evokes a nightclub on Mars, while the swaying Egyptian melody of Angels and Demons at Play and the foreboding Sea of Darkness come from deeper space. It’s a heady brew, challenging but intoxicating. Ra always said his music was from the future… and now it has arrived.

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This bulbous-looking instrument is made for music therapy and inclusive design, too

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 23 Oct 2020 6:57 pm

Musicians already know well this feeling of expressing with an instrument what words cannot. The open Omniphone instrument does that for some of the people who may desire it most - but who are too often left at the sidelines of music technology.

The post This bulbous-looking instrument is made for music therapy and inclusive design, too appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Congressman Walden Urges Adoption of Broadcast Diversity in Leadership Act – An Incubator Program to Assist New Entrants to Broadcast Ownership

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 23 Oct 2020 4:34 pm

There were several reports in the broadcast trade press today about an article in the Hill newsletter from retiring Congressman Greg Walden about his proposals to increase diversity in broadcast ownership.  Congressman Walden, a former broadcaster, seeks in his Broadcast Diversity in Leadership Act to foster minority ownership and ownership by new entrants by establishing in legislation an incubator program similar to the one adopted by the FCC in 2018, but put on hold by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in their decision on broadcast ownership (which is now before the Supreme Court – see our post here).  While, given the short time before the end of the Congressional session, the Congressman’s bill stands little chance of passing both houses of Congress and being adopted before the end of the year, the bill is worth reviewing as it has the support of both the NAB and minority-advocacy organizations, so it could well resurface in a new Congress.

The bill adopts much of the framework of the FCC’s incubator program (which we outlined in our article here).  Under the proposed legislation, an existing broadcaster could work with an aspiring broadcaster to help that new entrant purchase and operate a broadcast station. The bill asks the FCC to adopt rules outlining the support that could be provided to the new entrant, including training, financing and access to resources of the established broadcaster. The established broadcaster could even hold a non-controlling equity interest in the emerging broadcaster, as long as the new entrant retains control.  In exchange for providing the services or financing, if the incubation is determined to be successful after a two-year period, the existing broadcaster would be allowed to acquire one station in a similarly sized market that exceeded the current cap on broadcast ownership allowed by Section 73.3555 of the Commission’s rules.  So, if the existing broadcaster operates in a market where one party can only own 6 stations, it could acquire a seventh.

What is different in this proposal from the incubator program that the FCC already adopted?  First, it would apply to TV as well as radio.  Second, the size of the markets in which the existing broadcaster could exercise its reward for a successful incubation is based not on the number of stations that a broadcaster can currently own, but instead on the size of the market.  In the FCC’s program, if the incubated station was in a market where one party could own up to 6 stations, the established broadcaster could acquire its reward for a successful incubation in any market where the cap was 6 stations, no matter the population of that market.  In the Walden proposal, the reward would come in a similarly sized or smaller market (market size being based on Nielsen market ranks for radio and TV).  So, if the incubation was in a market between 25 and 50, the reward for the successful program would come in a similarly rated market – or one that was smaller.  In the legislation, the incubation could be ended and judged successful in two years, as opposed to the three years in the FCC-adopted program.

The legislation would also give a Congressional stamp of approval to the program, insulating it from attacks on the FCC’s authority to adopt it.  It would also remove it from review under the Quadrennial Review process, taking it out of the current log-jam on FCC ownership rule changes that has been ongoing, unless the Supreme Court overturns last year’s decision by the Third Circuit that has frozen any consideration of changes in the broadcast ownership rules.

Given the diverse support for this program, watch for its reintroduction in the new post-election Congress, perhaps in connection with other proposals to advance new entrants into broadcast ownership.  For instance, as we wrote here, there also proposals in Congress to revive the minority tax certificate as a way to foster new broadcast owners.  We will be watching to see what develops next year.

Congressman Walden Urges Adoption of Broadcast Diversity in Leadership Act – An Incubator Program to Assist New Entrants to Broadcast Ownership

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 23 Oct 2020 4:34 pm

There were several reports in the broadcast trade press today about an article in the Hill newsletter from retiring Congressman Greg Walden about his proposals to increase diversity in broadcast ownership.  Congressman Walden, a former broadcaster, seeks in his Broadcast Diversity in Leadership Act to foster minority ownership and ownership by new entrants by establishing in legislation an incubator program similar to the one adopted by the FCC in 2018, but put on hold by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in their decision on broadcast ownership (which is now before the Supreme Court – see our post here).  While, given the short time before the end of the Congressional session, the Congressman’s bill stands little chance of passing both houses of Congress and being adopted before the end of the year, the bill is worth reviewing as it has the support of both the NAB and minority-advocacy organizations, so it could well resurface in a new Congress.

The bill adopts much of the framework of the FCC’s incubator program (which we outlined in our article here).  Under the proposed legislation, an existing broadcaster could work with an aspiring broadcaster to help that new entrant purchase and operate a broadcast station. The bill asks the FCC to adopt rules outlining the support that could be provided to the new entrant, including training, financing and access to resources of the established broadcaster. The established broadcaster could even hold a non-controlling equity interest in the emerging broadcaster, as long as the new entrant retains control.  In exchange for providing the services or financing, if the incubation is determined to be successful after a two-year period, the existing broadcaster would be allowed to acquire one station in a similarly sized market that exceeded the current cap on broadcast ownership allowed by Section 73.3555 of the Commission’s rules.  So, if the existing broadcaster operates in a market where one party can only own 6 stations, it could acquire a seventh.

What is different in this proposal from the incubator program that the FCC already adopted?  First, it would apply to TV as well as radio.  Second, the size of the markets in which the existing broadcaster could exercise its reward for a successful incubation is based not on the number of stations that a broadcaster can currently own, but instead on the size of the market.  In the FCC’s program, if the incubated station was in a market where one party could own up to 6 stations, the established broadcaster could acquire its reward for a successful incubation in any market where the cap was 6 stations, no matter the population of that market.  In the Walden proposal, the reward would come in a similarly sized or smaller market (market size being based on Nielsen market ranks for radio and TV).  So, if the incubation was in a market between 25 and 50, the reward for the successful program would come in a similarly rated market – or one that was smaller.  In the legislation, the incubation could be ended and judged successful in two years, as opposed to the three years in the FCC-adopted program.

The legislation would also give a Congressional stamp of approval to the program, insulating it from attacks on the FCC’s authority to adopt it.  It would also remove it from review under the Quadrennial Review process, taking it out of the current log-jam on FCC ownership rule changes that has been ongoing, unless the Supreme Court overturns last year’s decision by the Third Circuit that has frozen any consideration of changes in the broadcast ownership rules.

Given the diverse support for this program, watch for its reintroduction in the new post-election Congress, perhaps in connection with other proposals to advance new entrants into broadcast ownership.  For instance, as we wrote here, there also proposals in Congress to revive the minority tax certificate as a way to foster new broadcast owners.  We will be watching to see what develops next year.

Ela Minus: Acts of Rebellion review – techno-pop for dancing, thinking and resisting

Delivered... Aimee Cliff | Scene | Fri 23 Oct 2020 9:00 am

(Domino)
Making her debut album alone on analogue machines, Minus has come up with an inspiring manifesto for 2020

As acts of rebellion go, Ela Minus’s is an intimate yet powerful one. On her debut album, the Colombia-born, Brooklyn-based artist makes personal-is-political statements amid alternately soothing and rousing electronic soundscapes, all of which she crafted alone in her apartment using analogue equipment.

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Premiere: Take a contemplative minimalist moment with Saele Valese on NOTON

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 22 Oct 2020 7:06 pm

You deserve a break. Make it happen with some chilled-out, pared-down percussion (courtesy Saele Valese) with flickering, Aurora Borealis visuals (via Markus Heckmann) on NOTON, Carsten Nicolai's imprint.

The post Premiere: Take a contemplative minimalist moment with Saele Valese on NOTON appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Actress Lets Light Through the Cracks

Delivered... ztippitt | Scene | Thu 22 Oct 2020 6:20 pm

The Theremin is 100 years old, and Moog is celebrating with new Claravox instrument

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 22 Oct 2020 6:08 pm

The Theremin blew up 100 years of electronic musical instruments, so what better way to celebrate than honoring its grand diva, Clara Rockmore?

The post The Theremin is 100 years old, and Moog is celebrating with new Claravox instrument appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Looking at FCC Non-Vacancy Specific EEO Outreach Efforts – the “Menu Options” – in a Pandemic World

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 22 Oct 2020 4:31 pm

In the last few weeks, we have received several inquiries from broadcasters about the FCC’s enforcement of its requirements that broadcasters conduct non-vacancy specific outreach efforts to educate their communities about broadcast employment opportunities and to train their staff to assume greater responsibility at stations and otherwise assist them in their career development (not to train them for their current positions, but to prepare them to assume a position with more responsibilities as their careers advance).  Stations are required to undertake a variety of activities to educate the public about broadcast employment opportunities (and the experience and skills that will be helpful to obtain these broadcast positions) and to train their employees to advance in their careers beyond their current positions.  These outreach efforts must be undertaken even when stations don’t have job openings.  The FCC has a whole list of “menu options” to meet these obligations (see them listed in the EEO training presentation that I did last year for a state broadcast association, available here).  While these menu options were designed for a “normal” work environment, many can be adapted to today’s world where so much business and education is being done virtually.

When asked if these rules are still in effect, I have been telling broadcasters that the FCC has not said that these obligations are suspended during the pandemic.  In fact, the FCC has been conducting EEO audits throughout the course of the pandemic (see our article here, for instance), so it appears that enforcement of the EEO rules continues unabated.  While I expect that the FCC will be somewhat flexible in assessing compliance in these present circumstances, stations can accomplish many of the activities listed in the menu options even in the pandemic.  In a webinar that I conducted recently for many of the states with upcoming radio license renewal deadlines, and in another webinar for a public broadcasters group in a midwestern state, I discussed some of those opportunities.

Attendance at job fairs is one of the menu options – a station having to send employees involved in the employment process to four job fairs in a two year period to obtain one EEO credit (stations in employment units with five to ten full-time employees and those operating in metropolitan areas with fewer than 250,000 people have to complete two credits in a two-year period, while larger groups in larger markets have to gather 4 credits – an employment unit being one or more commonly controlled stations serving the same area and having at least one common employee).  While in-person job fairs have been scarce during the time of COVID, many organizations, including many state broadcast associations, are conducting online job fairs about which I have heard some positive reviews.  Another of the menu options is talking to student groups about careers in broadcasting – four presentations to students in a two-year period gets a credit.  Certainly, these presentations can be done virtually especially as so many students are already learning in a virtual environment.  Educating community groups about broadcast employment opportunities can also be done virtually by speaking to local business and civic associations at their online meetings.

Activities inside the station also can count for credit and can be done even while socially distancing.  Training programs to help employees train for a higher position in the station is another option that can be done virtually, as well as mentorship programs to advance the skills of younger employees.  In fact, mentorship programs for newer employees probably have never been more important than now, when so many businesses are limiting in-person contact between employees, limiting the natural acclamation process that takes place when employees are all together in the same building.

Internships is another of the menu options.  I have heard that stations are doing virtual internships for high school and college students.  Scholarship programs, where the station does more than just give money (e.g. its employees help set up the program, judge the entries, etc.) are also an option that can be done in the pandemic.  There are other menu options that the station can do, even in the pandemic, to get credit for these outreach efforts.  It may take some creativity, but there are ways to comply.

The important point to remember is that the FCC expects a meaningful commitment of staff time to activities designed to encourage and educate new entrants into the broadcast industry and to train existing broadcasters to assume more responsible positions within the industry.  Just paying money or providing airtime to someone else’s programs is not enough – your staff needs to get involved too.  Also, remember that these EEO outreach efforts are judged in two-year periods – those periods running from date of the filing of a license renewal application.  So for stations in the second year of an evaluation period, hopefully your pre-pandemic efforts were strong.  And for those in the first year of an evaluation period, you can make up for any slowdown in activities that may be occurring now by next year doing more when things are hopefully more normal.  In any event, these outreach efforts can be done – but just like everything else in this brave new world – you need to be creative.  Obviously, talk to your own attorneys and advisors about how to meet these rules in today’s most unusual circumstances.

Abolition of the Radio Program Nonduplication Rules Effective October 22, 2020

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 22 Oct 2020 4:17 pm

The FCC’s abolition of the rule that prohibited same-service radio stations serving the same area from substantially duplicating their programming becomes effective today, as the FCC order repealing the rule was published in the Federal Register.  The rule had prohibited radio stations in the same service (AM or FM) that have over 50% overlap of their principal community contours (the 70 dBu for FM stations and the 5 mV/m contour for AM stations) from duplicating more than 25 per cent of the total hours in their average programming week. In August, the FCC voted to abolish that rule (see our article here), and that decision is now effective so stations, especially those suffering from the economic pinch of the pandemic, have more options for programming their stations.

Deep dive: Modulation and technique, with Moog Matriarch

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 22 Oct 2020 2:30 am

Understanding modulation allows you to explore a new synth as an instrument. We invited artist Lars Hemmerling to patch Moog's Matriarch - both as a showcase for what it can do, and to see techniques that can apply to electronic performance in the broader context.

The post Deep dive: Modulation and technique, with Moog Matriarch appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Deep dive: Master the Moog Matriarch’s controls

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 21 Oct 2020 6:57 pm

The Moog Matriarch is a unique encapsulation of Moog's modular history in an instrument. Following up on our conversation with the engineers, here's a guide to getting its capabilities underneath your fingers.

The post Deep dive: Master the Moog Matriarch’s controls appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

New Documentary “Underplayed” Offers an Intersectional Angle To Sexism in the Dance Music Industry

Delivered... Caroline Whiteley | Scene | Wed 21 Oct 2020 3:19 pm

AUDIOTISTIC BAY AREA 2021 TICKETS ARE ON SALE

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 20 Oct 2020 7:00 pm
It's a presale!
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