NEW YORK, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven of the top U.S. radio companies
today announced a strategic alliance to accelerate the rollout of HD Digital
Radio. The Alliance's charter is threefold:
* coordinate the rollout of HD digital radio, including coordinating the
formats on new multicast channels known as HD2;
* work together to secure automotive design wins and lower receiver price
* jointly market HD digital radio, in partnership with receiver
manufacturers and retailers.
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Member companies will also devote more than $200 million in commercial
inventory on their own stations in 2006 to promote HD digital radio and the
new HD2 multicast channels. More than 200 million people listen to radio each
Called the HD Digital Radio Alliance, the effort is open to all U.S.-based
radio companies. The group expects to announce its first market-specific HD2
programming line-up early in the new year, including launch dates, specifics
on specialized multicast signals, and a nationwide consumer marketing campaign.
Charter members jointly announcing the Alliance today at a press
conference here include: Bonneville International, Citadel Broadcasting, Clear
Channel Radio, Cumulus, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media, and
Infinity Broadcasting. The Alliance also announced that 30-year radio-industry
veteran Peter Ferrara was named CEO.
"The industry today has stepped up in a major and unprecedented way," said
Ferrara. "These companies should be congratulated on coming together to create
a joint action plan, and committing air time and money to move HD digital
radio forward. I'm honored to be asked to help lead this important
Ferrara has an extensive background in radio-group management, station
ownership and trade association oversight. Among his previous executive
positions, Ferrara was a senior vice president of Clear Channel Communications,
chief operating officer of both U.S. Radio and Granum Communications,
executive vice president of the National Radio Broadcasters Association, and a
board member of the National Association of Broadcasters.
Serving as the Alliance's oversight management committee are Clear Channel
Communications president and CEO Mark Mays; Greater Media president and CEO
Peter Smyth; and Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander.
HD radio eliminates the static, hiss, pop and fades associated with analog
signals, so for listeners, AM-band broadcasts sound like FM and FM-band
broadcasts have digital CD-like quality. The wireless data feature enables
text information on songs to be broadcast directly to receiver display screens.
HD Radio also enables radio broadcasters to segment a single, existing radio
frequency so that it can carry multiple, simultaneous, higher-quality AM and
FM broadcast streams as well as wireless data.
Member companies have agreed to coordinate the use of all multicast HD2
channels to create the greatest diversity of formats. The goal: create new,
unique and compelling content within a high-quality listening experience
across a broad spectrum of music, news and entertainment programming.
HD2 channels will be locally programmed in each market. And HD2
programming will initially be commercial-free. No subscription is required to
hear HD digital radio broadcasts.
HD digital radio technology is enjoying strong momentum:
* Nearly 600 radio stations in the U.S. are already broadcasting their
primary programming signal in HD digital quality.
* More than 15 manufacturers are creating digital receivers, including ADA,
Alpine, Boston Acoustics, Day Sequerra, Delphi, DICE, Eclipse, JVC,
Kenwood, Panasonic, Polk, Radiosophy, Rotel, Sanyo, Visteon and Yamaha.
* Receivers are available now from the following in-store and online
retailers: ABC Warehouse, Audio Adviser, Bjorn's, Boston Acoustics, Car
Toys, Great Indoors (a unit of Sears Roebuck & Co.), Harvey's, eBay,
J & R Music, Listen Up, Magnolia Audio Video, One Call, Ovation AV,
Radiosophy, Tweeter and Ultimate.
About the HD Digital Radio Alliance
The HD Digital Radio Alliance is a joint initiative of leading radio
broadcasters focused on accelerating the successful rollout of HD digital
radio. Charter members include: Bonneville International, Citadel Broadcasting,
Clear Channel Radio, Cumulus, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media,
and Infinity Broadcasting.
SOURCE HD Digital Radio Alliance