Saturday, March 17, 2007

CNN Radio’s ‘Digital Downbeat’ Keeps Affiliates in Tune with Tech News

CNN Pressroom - CNN Radio and Headline News anchor Renay San Miguel tackle the latest developments in technology in “Digital Downbeat.” This long-form program examines everything from satellite radio to online music to high-definition radio. “Digital Downbeat” was produced by CNN Radio supervising producer Sherri Maksin.

The four-part “Digital Downbeat” show examines the issue of digital rights management in the wake of comments from Apple Chairman Steve Jobs, who wants the recording industry to ease up on restrictions placed on downloading music; the proposed merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio and what it means for their subscribers as well as terrestrial radio broadcasters; the current state of online music, especially as more artists debut their songs on the Internet; and the future of high-definition radio.

The program’s impressive slate of guests include Jerry del Colliano, founder of Inside Radio; Steven Levy, chief technology writer for Newsweek; Dave Ramsey, president of Hear 2.0; Dan Sheeran, vice president of Real Networks; Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America; Bob Struble, president of iBiquity Digital Corp.; and Dennis Wharton of the National Association of Broadcasters.

“Digital Downbeat” is now available to CNN Radio stations on the private affiliate Web site and as a podcast at

Here are some excerpts from the program. Please credit CNN Radio in all uses.

Jerry del Colliano on the future of high-definition radio:

The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) ruling could be terminal for Internet radio. But it’s the consumer that will be hurt the most as Wi-Fi becomes the technology to get Internet streams wherever you are. HD radio is a turkey. The generation that loves radio is NOT “Generation Y.” The generation that loves radio is not buying HD Radios, so there’s no future.

Cary Sherman on illegal downloads:

The RIAA is asking colleges and universities to step up, show their students that there are consequences to illegal downloading.

Mark Ramsey on radio mergers and consolidation:

The NAB was all for radio consolidation but opposes satellite radio consolidation. Merger conversation is a distraction because of the low number of subscribers – 14 million. Radio overall is healthy. The opportunity is to spread programming across numerous platforms – the Internet, podcasting, etc. – and do a better job of pleasing consumers.

Steven Levy on Internet music:

The Internet has allowed musicians to go further without a record label. Because production costs are low, you don’t need a blockbuster album in order to be profitable.

CNN Radio is a full-service network, providing its approximately 2,000 worldwide affiliates with the latest information in news, sports and business. Utilizing CNN’s 36 bureaus worldwide, CNN Radio offers an unmatched menu of actualities and reports through satellite feeds and an affiliate-accessible Web site. CNN Radio is based in CNN’s world headquarters in Atlanta, with personnel, including radio-only correspondents, located at the CNN bureau in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York. CNN Radio programming is distributed exclusively for radio broadcast in the United States by Westwood One. CNN Radio audio can also be heard via a link on the Web site.

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