[RDD] An Open Letter to Christian Radio Stations, Program Providers, Agencies, , Industry Observers and Friends:

Michael Barnes mbarnes at srnradio.com
Fri Mar 28 20:45:41 EDT 2008


An Open Letter to Christian Radio Stations, Program Providers, Agencies,
Industry Observers and Friends:


For many months some in the Christian radio industry have engaged in
spirited discussion and debate concerning the future of program
delivery.  A small group has concluded that for them now is the time for
a fundamental change in program distribution.  This group has developed
and is marketing a new proprietary delivery system of their own-a
private system called Amb-OS with the goal in part of replacing their
use of the Unity 4000 system which has served the Christian radio
industry with unprecedented reliability for nearly a decade.

At the recent National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville,
it was apparent that confusion exists for many within the Christian
radio industry.  The purpose of this letter is to calm the concerns and
to clarify the future of the Unity platform currently in use,
particularly in light of the proposed deployment of the Amb-OS system.
We have no qualms with Amb-OS or our friends who are sponsoring it.  We
do, however, want to correct some misconceptions about how most
programs, newscasts, talk shows and music formats will continue to be
delivered to affiliates going forward.  It appears that many stations
and ministries are under the erroneous impression that the entire
Christian radio industry will be converting to Amb-OS and that the
Wegener Unity 4000 system soon will become obsolete. We want to make it
very clear that this is not the case.  To the contrary, the tried and
proven Unity 4000 is healthy, robust and will continue to be the
distribution system of choice for most of Christian radio for the
foreseeable future.

The large majority of networks and program providers serving Christian
radio will continue to operate on the Wegener Unity platform. Some have
characterized the Unity 4000 as a "legacy system," implying that it is
on the way out. The Unity 4000 remains one of the most stable and
time-tested satellite receiver technologies in the broadcasting
industry.  It will continue to serve the radio and television industries
around the world for many years to come.  Current networks and program
providers include the Salem Radio Network (SRN), Moody Broadcasting
Network (MBN), Christian Broadcasting System, Calvary Satellite Network,
IRN-USA Radio Network, Jones Radio Network, Fox Cable Television and the
BBC.  Literally hundreds of programs used by Christian radio stations
are and will continue to be distributed through the Unity platform.  As
with all technical products and systems, Wegener Communications
continues to expand and improve its current technology.  Even now the
Unity 4000 has been updated by the new Unity 4600, incorporating both
software and hardware enhancements.  These next generation receivers are
fully compatible with the Unity 4000.  Again, the Wegener Unity
4000/4600 series will remain the distribution platform of choice for the
foreseeable future.  Additionally we expect exciting new applications to
be available in the days ahead.

Our intention is neither to challenge nor cast aspersions on the
proposed Amb-OS system.  It is our understanding that the only networks
 planning to move to that system are Ambassador Advertising and Focus
Satellite Network.  If you currently receive programming from one of
their satellite channels via the Unity 4000, you would need to convert
to their proprietary, privately-owned Amb-OS receiver to continue to
directly receive their programming. But you will still need the Unity
system if you receive programming from the majority of other Christian
Radio Consortium (CRC) networks. So please don't be confused: The only
reason you will need an AMB-OS receiver is if you take programming from
the Ambassador or Focus networks. The Unity series platform will remain
the receiver of choice for the majority of Christian networks and
ministries across the United States.

Accordingly, Greg Hurt, VP of Sales and Marketing at Microspace
Communications, the CRC's satellite uplink provider, states: "Microspace
is fully committed to the long term support of the Unity 4000 delivery
platform.  The platform is proven, reliable and quite capable of serving
the needs of the Christian radio industry for many years to come."

Wegener's president and COO Ned Mountain states "The Radio Broadcasting
industry has been a part of Wegener since 1981 and continues to be a
very important part of our present and future product offerings.  The
original Unity 4000 CRC product and the follow up Unity 4600 CRC product
 continue to provide reliable service to affiliates and there are
absolutely no plans to abandon this product functionality in the future.
 In fact, we see a renewed growth for our products, especially the new
file based delivery products,  among radio broadcasters such as EMF
Broadcasting, BBC World Service, and Jones Radio Networks.  Be assured
that Wegener will be here with products and support as long as the radio
broadcast industry calls for them."

As the primary distributors of programming to the Christian radio
industry we are unified in our commitment to continue to provide the
highest quality and reliable delivery of our programming through the
Unity platform.  This dependable and fully-tested platform will remain
robust for many years to come.  Moreover, we pride ourselves on the
customer service we provide for our affiliates and ministry partners
24/7.  It is with a great source of satisfaction and thankfulness that
we have the privilege of serving national ministries and Christian radio
stations from coast-to-coast.  We look forward to continuing to partner
 with you via the Unity platform. If you have any questions, please feel
free to call any of us.

Sincerely,

Greg R. Anderson, President		
Salem Radio Network	

Doug Hastings, Network Team Manager
Moody Radio

Jonathan R. Yinger, President/CEO		
Christian Broadcasting System		

Tim Maddoux, VP Operations
IRN/USA Radio Network

Don Mills, Program Director					
Calvary Satellite Network		

Greg Hurt, VP/Sales and Marketing
Microspace Communications

Ned Mountain, President/COO
Wegener Communications







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