NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
We welcome Good Friends Radio Network, newest NASB Associate Member.
President Rod Hembree provided this information below about GFRN. For more details, see the website <www.goodfriendsradio.com>.
INTRODUCTION TO GOOD FRIENDS RADIO NETWORK
MEDIA COMPANY SEES OPPORTUNITY IN SHORTWAVE
Beginning in 2002, LIFE LESSONS Canada, located in Orangeville, Ontario, targeted the internet and shortwave radio to develop new creative approaches in religious radio broadcasting. The media company recently created the Good Friends Radio Network (GFRN). Its production team has been organized to create new approaches in communicating truths from the Bible. In a special media statement dated February 2003, the organization said that, while mainstream commercial business and mainline religious groups for the most part have left international shortwave broadcasting, it intends to target shortwave and internet audiences.
The GFRN team says since it started experimenting with shortwave broadcasting, the response has been dramatic when compared with the same programming on conventional AM and FM stations. It says that huge shortwave audiences still exist and overwhelming response was felt first-hand with the flurry of QSL requests from its radio technology program called “Radio Weather.” The statement also mentioned a significant loyalty feature in shortwave listeners, unlike conventional radio audiences. GFRN created 5 original radio shows in 2003 and began broadcasting on WHRI, WWCR WJIE and WBCQ the summer of 2004.
In an unusual follow-up release on the Internet, the producers made the bold statement that they see shortwave as the “wave of the future from the past.” GFRN says the whole creative structure of the radio subsidiary is uniquely focused on the long hard work of pioneering new creative listening alternatives for international and regional audiences on shortwave and the Internet.
WHO IS BEHIND GOOD FRIENDS RADIO NETWORK?
Professional broadcast engineer turned Radio/TV producer, Rod Hembree, is the President of the Good Friends Radio Network. He is the Executive Director of the not-for-profit media ministry LIFE LESSONS Canada. Although Hembree resides in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, home of the GFRN studios, he is also the Executive Vice President of Good Friends Inc. located in Pittsburgh, PA. Hembree also hosts and is the Executive Producer of Quick Study International Television Ministry. Rod Hembree’s father is Ron Hembree and is the President of Good Friends Inc. as well as the President of Cornerstone TV Network. Cornerstone TV Network owns and operates a number of full power TV broadcast properties in the United States, including a 24/7 satellite channel on the DISH network. Together this father and son team seems determined to develop creative radio programming for shortwave and Internet outlets exclusively. Both have claimed that it’s the shortwave and Internet broadcasts that are yielding the most productive results because the conventional systems of media are bogged down by the long time older news and entertainment institutions.
GFRN began with 5 radio programs produced specifically to offer an alternative to traditional radio norms. “FAITH FACTOR” is carefully crafted with the intelligent listener in mind. Taking the latest in pop-culture icons and conventional wisdom, challenging the empirical reality with the unseen factors of faith, this 30 minute weekly show has become a regular spot for the thinking mind that loves mystery. “NORTHERN LIGHTS Science and the Bible” is a weekly Creation Science program focused on the same discoveries and evidence being uncovered daily in the halls of academia, but with the unusual addition and revelation from the ancient book that has remained the world’s best seller throughout history. “SCIENCE ROCKS” is looking at and under the rocks. Archeology is a scientific discipline that has yielded more important history than all the ancient legends. With the latest and the greatest discoveries being unearthed daily, “SCIENCE ROCKS” is the weekly Radio show designed to order them with sacred words of real history.
“The Walk And The Word,” the Radio counterpart to the “Walk And The Word” TV program is a must for anyone who desires to navigate through today’s world of many voices but only one truth. “RADIO WEATHER” is the weekly top rated show for GFRN shortwave listeners. Ham radio operators, SWLs and all around tech geeks will love “GADGETS AND STUFF.” Conspiracy theorists will find a great mystery in our regular features on weapons technology and utility radio, while the amateur astronomer will love the space weather features along with digital radio updates for wanabee hackers.
CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT!
Rod Hembree was quoted in a 2003 press release: “All media is dead without something to say. But what is worth saying? That’s the million dollar question.” GFRN believes it’s on to something unique. “Words worth saying are words and ideas that last and are meaningful to daily life on planet earth,” according to Rod Hembree. He continues, “Without good meaningful content nothing survives.” Hembree says GFRN is exploring the most meaningful content in history and is experimenting with it on shortwave and the Internet. He says that’s why GFRN from the beginning focused on creative production instead of mass distribution. In the next two years, GFRN plans call for “GOOD FRIENDS RADIO NEWS & VIEWS,” a 30 minute per week and 2-minute news capsule daily. In the fall of 2005 GFRN is introducing the apologetics radio show “UNDER COVER.” One of the more interesting shows in the minds of the creative production team at GFRN is called “CONVERGENCE” and will wrap the Internet around shortwave broadcasts a number of ways. There are dramatic shows also scheduled for production as well as live events from unusual people and places, according to Hembree.
Hembree was asked about the so-called “hate radio” and “conspiracy theorists” that have dominated shortwave the last 10 years. “Shortwave has been abandoned by many creative voices in radio, simply because the commercial structures were built for local broadcasting instead of international impact,” he said. “So strange and senseless voices always replace meaningful and sensible ones in a void.” He adds, “In many ways we are victims of our own structures. Traditionally, good talent has been driven by money in the entertainment industry.” According to Hembree, “Now that is changing. Many new producers and creative voices are looking to express themselves as they exchange the dollar for personal significance in the world.”
However, Hembree also believes that many evangelists make the mistake of lean production value over distribution. “The smart and creative radio producers know they can gain more ears per minute if they focus on creative production values and on the right stations who are willing to experiment.” He warns that evangelists must “try to avoid the drone of boring radiation” as he calls it. Hembree is harder on evangelists because he is one. He is also the senior pastor of the local church that he pioneered by conducting services in a hockey arena upstairs lobby. The church outgrew the lobby, so they formed the Good Friends Fellowship and bought an old movie theatre that now houses a digital TV/Radio studio. When asked about creative presentation of the Bible he said, “We’ve got to start making radio sense if we’re going to be listened to. It has to be easy to listen to, fun, engaging, relevant and thoughtful. But we must never, ever compromise the message at all.”
Hembree’s evangelical roots go all the way back to his teenage years. His first job was a TV camera grip with the Rex Humbard Television Ministries in 1976 at the tender age of 14. “I learned how to drive a camera crane before I learned how to drive a car,” he said. Since that time he has been trained in broadcast engineering and worked on several projects for shortwave ministry FEBC in the early 1980’s. But today he is in front of the mic and is forced to look at his own message and its relevance in today’s neo-culture. “We’ve got to address the world now,” he says. No doubt that’s another reason why the GFRN team is so committed to shortwave radio as a viable outlet for new creative, relevant evangelism.
GFRN is anything but traditional in their production and distribution. They distribute to their shortwave stations the same way they distribute to the Internet. GFRN can be heard 24/7 on-line at <www.goodfriendsradio.com>. The GFRN producers believe that the conventional radio industry is “crashing” because of fragmentation. “Conventional radio has a lot to lose, but shortwave broadcasters have a lot to gain,” Hembree explained. He claims that there are no huge infrastructures to protect in most shortwave stations or on internet broadcasting. He believes there is more opportunity for station operators to experiment and develop good creative talent.
GFRN is also distributing radio programs to mp3 and IPOD users via their main web site <www.thestreamtv.com>. They call it “streamcasting.” Hembree has an interesting vision of digital radio for the future: “ I’m looking forward to the day that Allan calls me from WBCQ and tells me I can feed my mp3 program content over the air in a subcarrier to listeners while I’m broadcasting my regular show.” He calls that idea “singularity radio” and says that if a manufacturer would create a decoder device it would be a great income generator for shortwave capital funds for station operators. “We’ll have to wait and see if DRM brings anything other than hi-fi to the signal,” he concluded.
Hembree believes that, just like ham radio experimented with the technology on the HF bands, the shortwave bands will continue to be the testing ground for new and innovative programming ideas in the future. They have nothing to protect, unlike the gigantic money machines of conventional radio.
GFRN is located in the old Uptown Theatre off the main drag in Orangeville, Ontario, a small town of 32,000 people just north of Toronto, Ontario. They can be contacted at 519-940-8338 or you can e-mail Rod Hembree at < firstname.lastname@example.org>. You can visit the main media site at < www.thestreamtv.com >. You can send mail to them at Good Friends Radio Network, 207 Broadway, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada L9W1K4.
WORLD CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING EXPANSION
World Christian Broadcasting, charter member of NASB and owner and operator of KNLS, Anchor Point, Alaska, has announced expansion of their KNLS facility. They are also announcing the beginning of construction of a broadcast center on the island of Madagascar. Charles Caudill, President, stated that their expansion is an indication of the company’s confidence in the future of shortwave and that they are looking forward to DRM usage worldwide.
KNLS has been on the air since July 1983. Situated on a 70-acre property located just south of the small town of Anchor Point and some 120 air miles southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula, they began broadcasting daily in the Russian, Mandarin Chinese and English languages. Since 1983 they have been using a 100KW Harris transmitter and a TCI 611 antenna. On May 1, 2005 they doubled the broadcast day by adding a 100KW Continental 418F transmitter and another TCI 611 antenna. Director of Engineering, Kevin Chambers, reports the new facility is working well.
During November 2004 World Christian Broadcasting obtained 85 acres of land on the island nation of Madagascar. Initial plans were to begin an Arabic language service to add to the present programming in English, Russian and Chinese from Alaska. But, after propagation studies showed that excellent signals could be put into Western Europe, southern and western China, India, Indonesia, South America and of course, Africa, it was decided to expand the original plan.
Construction will begin this October under the supervision of Chambers. The facility will be comprised of three 100 kW transmitters, feeding into four antennas; two 9-17 MHz 4/4/1, one 7-15 MHz 4/4/1 and one Log Periodic antenna. The three curtain dipole antennas will be aimed to reach the areas of the world mentioned above. The Log Periodic antenna will be used to broadcast directly to the people of Madagascar. In fact, World Christian Broadcasting has agreed for the government of Madagascar to use that antenna to broadcast to the Malagasy people.
At a projected cost of $7,000,000, construction is expected to be completed early in 2008.
World Christian Broadcasting Operation Center and Studios are located in Franklin, Tennessee. Using a magazine format of programming content, they present a variety of programs including: good music; programs on science, health, technology; life in America; family life; language tutorials and more. The Bible messages vary in length from one to five minutes. They are brief and simple, with the focus on reaching out to unbelievers.
Charles Caudill is President/CEO of the ministry. Dale Ward is Executive Producer. Kevin Chambers is Director of Engineering and KNLS Station Manager, while Andy Baker serves as Vice President. Ed Bailey, former COO and board member now serves as legal counsel for NASB.
SHARING HF SPECTRUM HAS WORKED FOR 20 YEARS!
The viability of the U.S. private shortwave broadcaster depends upon the availability of suitable frequencies for international broadcasting. In 1980, there were only four private shortwave broadcasters licensed in the United States and its territories. In the mid-80’s, there were calls for a moratorium on further licensing of private shortwave broadcasters due to a world-wide frequency shortage. Fortunately, no moratorium occurred, and the private shortwave industry has grown steadily through the strategic use of in-band and out-of-band frequencies.
An examination of the current A05 HFCC schedule will reveal that approximately 40% of the frequency-hours used by U.S. private broadcasters are out-of-band frequencies authorized on a non-interference basis. It is a concept based on the sharing of HF spectrum that has worked well for twenty years. In the last year, however, there have been numerous instances of stations being displaced from out-of-band frequencies that were shared by the private broadcaster for many years. This is a tremendous hardship on any station. It is particularly difficult for a small 100 kW (or less) station that relies upon out-of-band frequencies to allow their signals to arrive at their target areas without the competition of strong co-channel or adjacent channel interference from powerful government-funded international broadcast stations.
A few private broadcasters have 250 kW and 500 kW transmitters with sophisticated antenna arrays that allow greater flexibility in the choice of frequencies and can compete with government broadcasters in the selection of suitable in-band frequencies. However, even these more powerful private broadcasters sometimes use out-of-band frequencies due to the intense competition in the international frequency coordination process. Nearly all of the twenty-five private broadcasters use out-of-band frequencies for a portion of their broadcast day and some smaller stations use out-of-band frequencies exclusively.
Two primary factors threaten the continued use of out-of-band frequencies. One is the natural technological advancement in HF Communications techniques that will result in more intensive use of the available spectrum. HF e-mail and other digital data technologies will present new pressures for spectrum use by Fixed Services and Land, Aeronautical and Maritime Mobile Services. It may be several years before the analysis of these needs can be properly placed in a document for consideration at a WRC conference.
The greater threat to the continued use of out-of-band frequencies is the result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Several U.S. government agencies are drafting plans to protect America from future attacks by reclaiming HF spectrum previously shared with U.S. private shortwave broadcasters. The Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Justice Department and other local jurisdictions are rediscovering HF. Many of these government agencies are re-asserting their inherent right to these out-of-band frequencies whether they actually need them or not. There is no effective argument to be made by a private broadcaster that can trump the national security interest.
It would be an ironic twist of fate, if the deeds of terrorists were rewarded by a reduction in international broadcasts originating from the United States.
Many out-of-band frequencies are being lost. It is increasingly difficult or impossible for the private broadcaster to find a new one. The status quo has that served us so well for the last twenty years was forever changed by the events of September 11th. In WRC-03, the NASB supported efforts to expand the in-band HF broadcast spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz by at least 250 kHz. The catch-22 in supporting such expansion is that if successful, the result may be the curtailment of the authorization of any out-of-band frequencies. The cure could be as bad as the illness.
Opponents of expanded frequencies for HF broadcasters are carefully searching the shortwave bands and comparing the actual frequencies used with the HFCC coordinated database. Whenever an unused frequency is found that has been coordinated for use; it gives ammunition to these opponents that the industry does not need additional frequencies. It is vitally important that all broadcasters actually use all the frequencies they have coordinated. These unused frequencies known as “wood” should be released in the database to other users.
It should be noted, that in the event of a national emergency that results in the activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS); all U.S. licensed private shortwave broadcasters are required to cease transmission during the period of an Emergency Action Notification (EAN) issued by the White House. In addition, the FCC can order any station to leave the air on an individual basis at any time. Shared out-of-band frequencies used by private broadcasters can be made immediately available to government agencies if the need arises.
The National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters must have a voice in forums that will affect our future. This point was stressed during discussions at our annual meeting in Washington. We plan to participate in the IWG-4 meetings to develop the U.S. position for WRC-07. On June 16th, our legal counsel Ed Bailey represented NASB at the IWG-4 meeting in Washington DC. In the future, the NASB intends to send a representative to as many meetings as possible.
As the IWG-4 meetings progress, the NASB must determine the likelihood of U.S. government support for band expansion. We must preserve the availability of spectrum for our use in the solar minima of the next sunspot cycle. We must determine the continued viability of out-of-band authorizations and work to protect our shared use of those frequencies on a non-interfering basis as we have for the last twenty years.
Ron Wilensky, VP, Business Development for TCI, notes that TCI should be listed as TCI or TCI International, Inc. (their formal name). They are no longer part of Dielectric Communications, but are still a subsidiary of SPX Corporation, which is also Dielectric’s parent.
DENNIS DEMPSEY LEAVES WEWN
On July 1, NASB Board of Directors member Dennis Dempsey left his job as Director of Engineering at EWTN Worldwide Catholic Radio, which operates shortwave station WEWN in Birmingham, Alabama. Dennis is now working at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta.
"I don't see any personal involvement in shortwave in the near future," he said. "I have enjoyed working with the NASB and its members." Among other things, Dennis and his crew provided a great deal of technical support for the recent HFCC Conference in Mexico City, which NASB sponsored.
NEXT HFCC CONFERENCE IN VALENCIA AUGUST 22-26
The next High Frequency Coordinating Conference (HFCC) will take place in Valencia, Spain August 22-26, 2005. It is being hosted by Radio Nacional de España.
The official NASB representatives at the Conference will be George Ross and Jeff Lecureux of KTWR in Guam. We encourage all NASB member stations who do not have their own representatives in Valencia to send their requested B05 schedules to George or Jeff in advance of the Conference, so they can check them for accuracy in the HFCC database and for potential collisions. If they find any problems, they will e-mail the stations from Valencia to determine what action to take. You may send schedules to: < email@example.com >.
Thanks to RFA for the news release below.
RADIO FREE ASIA FOUNDING PRESIDENT TO RETIRE
JOURNALIST RICHARD RICHTER WORKED IN MEDIA FOR HALF
July 19, 2005 (RFA)---Veteran journalist Richard
Richter will retire July 29 as founding president of Radio Free Asia (RFA)
after more than a half-century in print, broadcast, and electronic media.
The bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) chose Richter, a longtime executive producer with ABC, CBS, and PBS television, to launch RFA in 1996, shortly after the U.S. Congress authorized its creation as a "surrogate" broadcaster providing news and information to those East Asian countries that lack free media.
"Few people in the history of international broadcasting have served with the intellectual honesty and the essential decency as Dick Richter,” BBG Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson said in a statement. "He is a good man, and he has been a terrific leader. Journalistic excellence has been the hallmark of Radio Free Asia under Dick Richter."
AWARD WINNING PROGRAMMING
Under Richter's leadership, RFA has launched and continues to expand round-the-clock, award-winning news broadcasts to the closed countries of East Asia in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, Wu (Shanghaiese), Tibetan, Uyghur, and Vietnamese. Also under his leadership, RFA maintains an award-winning Web site in nine languages at www.rfa.org <http://www.rfa.org/>, as well as a number of toll-free caller hotlines that reach listeners in Mandarin, Cantonese, Khmer, Tibetan, and Uyghur.
"For all my years in the news business, I have felt a great sense of responsibility to deliver information and to get it right---to use my privileged position as a journalist to enrich readers, viewers, and listeners," Richter said. "But my time at RFA has been the most fulfilling---to hear from listeners that RFA is 'a lighthouse and a beacon of hope,' that our broadcasts are like 'the drinking water of life or a spirit of freedom.' What could be better than that?"
"Initially, repressive governments reviled RFA, because we were letting people know what was going on in their own countries---providing information that their own leaders would suppress. Other news organizations were skeptical too, but not anymore, because time after time RFA has managed to break news that no one else had. Now we're recognized as an exceptional source of accurate news about Asia."
RFA reporters broadcast to their homelands using
their native languages and dialects, he said, and knowing that they are
reaching "people starved for honest, responsible news."
POSITIVE LISTENER FEEDBACK
Listener feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Richter said, citing a recent caller from China's Jiangxi Province who said: "I love you, Radio Free Asia. You have given me the courage of life [and] brought hope to the future of China...[You] have taught me the true value of life."
Richter also cited a recent letter from a North Korean man hiding in China who wrote: "For those who can ask no help... RFA is a lifeline...I have informed other defectors about your radio and urged them to listen. I tell these refugees to lie low, hold onto their hopes, be patient, and listen to RFA."
The BBG has named RFA's Vice President for Administration and Finance, Libby Liu, as acting president of the corporation, effective Aug. 1, pending final selection of a new president.
AN AWARD WINNING CAREER
Before founding RFA, Richter worked for 25 years at ABC News and CBS News as a producer, senior producer, and executive producer for news and documentaries.
At ABC Evening News, Richter served as executive producer and was a founding senior producer of "Good Morning America." As senior producer of the ABC News “Close-up” series, he worked on 64 documentaries that won virtually every major national and international award.
Richter worked as executive producer for the Public Broadcast Laboratory, a two-year experiment in public television, which preceded the creation of PBS, before joining ABC.
From 1989-94, Richter was at Washington, DC PBS affiliate WETA as executive producer of news and public affairs. He managed production of "Washington Week in Review," news specials, and other documentary programs and series for broadcast on PBS.
Richter began his career as a reporter for “Newsday” and went on to work as a writer and editor for “The New York World-Telegram” and “The Sun.” He received a B.A. in English from Queens College in New York. He also was the recipient of the CBS News Fellowship at Columbia University for the study of African affairs, and from 1963-67 he served on the Peace Corps staff in Washington and Kenya.
For more information, go to www.rfa.org < http://www.rfa.org/
> or contact:
Radio Free Asia (RFA)
202 530 7774 direct/202 907 4613 mobile
RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in those East Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. RFA adheres to the highest standards of journalism and strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. RFA is funded by an annual grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). #####
VOICE OF THE NASB ON HCJB
For about a year and a half, the NASB broadcast a weekly half-hour DRM program, first to Europe via facilities of VT Merlin Communications in England, and later to North America via facilities of Radio Canada International in Sackville, New Brunswick. The program was called the "Voice of the NASB," and each week's edition featured a sample program from one of NASB's member or associate member stations.
These DRM broadcasts ceased in the spring of this year at the end of the B04 season, as the NASB Board decided to assess the impact of these DRM transmissions and consider the possibility of resuming them in the future via one or more of the growing number of DRM facilities around the world.
In the meantime, NASB associate member HCJB in Quito, Ecuador continues to offer us a short monthly space on HCJB's popular "DX Party Line" program for an analog version of the "Voice of the NASB." The report, presented by NASB Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Jeff White, includes news and features about the NASB and its members and associate members. It can be heard on the third Saturday of each month from HCJB in Quito, as well as from HCJB-Australia, and rebroadcast by shortwave stations WWCR and WRMI in the United States.
The July edition of the "Voice of the NASB" contained a summary of Graham Mytton's recent talk about shortwave audience research at the NASB annual meeting. The August report is expected to feature new NASB associate member Good Friends Radio Network.
Adventist World Radio
Assemblies of Yahweh
Family Stations Inc.
Far East Broadcasting Co.
Fundamental Broadcasting Network
La Voz de Restauracion Broadcasting, Inc.
Le Sea Broadcasting Corp.
Radio Miami International
Trans World Radio
Two If By Sea Broadcasting Corp.
World Christian Broadcasting
World International Broadcasters
World Wide Catholic Radio
NASB Associate Members:
Beth Shalom Center Radio
Comet North America
Continental Electronics Corporation
George Jacobs & Associates
Good Friends Radio Network
Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers
HCJB World Radio
TCI International, Inc.
Thales Broadcast and Multimedia
VT Merlin Communications
National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters
10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972
Ph: (863) 763-0281 Fax: (863) 763-8867 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org