A company unknown outside the broadcast industry is poised to become the next big player in radio. Entercom Communications Corp, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, has moved to the head of the pack in the race to buy 31 FM and 15 AM stations from Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation. The $824.5 million purchase is being financed in part by a public stock offering that Entercom floated last January.
Imagine yourself a recording artist just signed to a contract with one of Sony Music's record labels. You put out a couple of albums and start a website using your own name (say, for example, www.bobdylan.com). But the music wind starts blowing in a different direction, your contract comes up for renewal, and, either through your manager's insistence or that of one of Sony's big cheeses, you decide to leave the label and sign with someone else.
Nationwide electronics retailer Best Buy has reported a record $59 million in profits for the second quarter of its fiscal year. Profits were up 34% from the previous year, according to a September 15 report in the Wall Street Journal. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based chain is one of the largest outlets for consumer electronics, and is Circuit City's only serious rival.
The audiophile in the plaid shirt and gray Dockers had his hand up. Moderator Jonathan Scull handed him the roving microphone, and the Stereophile writers on the podium at HI-FI '99's Sunday afternoon "Ask the Editors" session shifted in their chairs. "This one's for John Atkinson," came the windup. The other writers relaxed; I started to sweat. Then the pitch: "How come Stereophile issues are so small these days?"
Back in 1985, J. Gordon Holt wrote: "It seems, these days, that many of us audiophiles have become so preoccupied with the minutiae of sound reproduction that we haven't even noticed that it doesn't sound like music any more." He was talking about the obsession with soundstaging and detail at the expense of musical accuracy. In "Getting the Notes Right (Midrange Madness)," he renders his lesson in classic JGH style, observing that "I have played on this old saw in these pages for so many years that it has turned into a dead sawhorse, but somehow the message never seems to get through. There should be no harm done by beating it into the ground a little farther."
CD recorders are the hottest ticket in audio at the moment. Philips and Marantz once dominated the category, but other manufacturers have recently jumped on board with their own versions, among them Pioneer and Harman/Kardon. Onkyo will introduce its DX-RD511 dubber later this month at the 1999 CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. The machine is expected to arrive in stores in October—just in time for the holiday season.
J. Gordon Holt founded Stereophile in the fall of 1962 in order to promote the idea that the optimal way to judge audio components was to do what end users did: listen to them. Since then, Gordon has had an unbroken relationship with Stereophile, through its sale to Larry Archibald in 1982, my coming on board as editor in 1986, the sale of the magazine to Petersen Publishing in 1998, and the subsequent sale of Petersen to Emap in 1999. Through all this time he has been listed on the magazine's masthead as "Founder & Chief Tester." (A fascinating interview with Gordon, conducted by his associate and friend Steven Stone, can be found in this website's "Archives.")
More than a million CD recorders have been sold in the last 21 months, making the category one of the most rapidly developing segments in the history of the consumer electronics industry. The news was delivered by Philips executives at the end of August at the IFA trade and consumer exhibition in Berlin, Germany.