|For immediate release
Jan. 28, 2005
Emily Hellewell: 202.513.2322
NPR's Tomorrow Radio Revolution
LAS VEGAS, NV - Demonstrating that it leads the industry in using HD Radio to provide the listening public with quality programming, NPR (National Public Radio) announced today that the Digital Radio Revolution is here.
At a Consumer Electronics Show press conference in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Ben Roe, NPR director of music, announced NPR's commitment to deliver four new NPR HD Radio program streams covering music and news/talk. The target launch date for the first of these NPR channels is June 2005.
HD Radio is about more than additional programming," Roe said. "We are quickly discovering that HD Radio is an entirely new radio art form." Roe is also the executive producer of NPR's "Toast of the Nation" New Year's Eve special. On Dec. 31, 2004, "Toast of the Nation" was broadcast in 5.1 discrete surround sound for the first time in its 25-year history.
Mike Starling, NPR vice president for engineering and operations, announced, "In addition to these significant programming commitments, we know that in order to hear great radio programming you need a great receiver. Today NPR is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) for a potential group buy of up to 50,000 HD Multicast receivers to all licensed HD Radio receiver manufacturers."
Standing with NPR are leaders in the electronics field: Neural Audio, Harris and iBiquity. "There are leaders and followers," said Robert Reams, Neural Audio co-founder and chief scientist. "NPR is by far the leader in the terrestrial digital radio transition. Neural Audio is extremely proud to have become an integral part of that process in helping develop technology for surround sound and multichannel broadcasting."
Scott Hanley, a member of the NPR Board of Directors and general manager of member station WDUQ in Pittsburgh, said, "Tomorrow Radio is a great long-term benefit for better serving listeners, in Pittsburgh and in all markets. To best serve our listeners we've had to target different types of programming during different day parts. But in our case, some folks are diehard fans of either jazz or news, but not necessarily both. For them, this technology is the answer."
Robert Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity Digital corporation praised NPR for being the "leader in FM radio transformation with its Tomorrow Radio-multicasting initiative." Struble said, "We're gratified by NPR's enthusiasm for the power and potential of HD Radio technology to better serve public radio listeners. We support NPR's Tomorrow Radio-multicasting and applaud the network's efforts to further expand services made possible by HD Radio technology." iBiquity is the sole developer and licenser of HD Radio technology.
NPR initiated the Tomorrow Radio project in January 2003. Currently there are 50 NPR member stations broadcasting in HD radio with a total of 312 public radio stations committed to convert in the coming months.
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 22 million Americans each week via nearly 760 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.