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The Live Bandscan returned last week. Unfortunately, the backups were also toast and so we lost some (not all) data going back to the end of 2016. I think it’s about back to where it needs to be, notwithstanding a few tweaks needed that I know about (like KSPR still showing up even though it’s KYCW-LD now).

On the rest of the site, I’m back in the swing of trying to move things over from CDBS to LMS. The Tower Query and the Location Map now use LMS, and I’ve got the contours and population data regenerated for use with LMS entries. I wanted to make this post to note that the next big task related to that is going to be moving the coverage maps over, and probably the main listings right after. The result of this is that there will likely be a period of time that I hope is measured in hours and not days during which the maps will not work. I have to rename all the map files to line up with the new LMS ID numbers, and with more than 10,000 of them to pick through, even an automated process to do so will not be instantaneous. I do not yet know exactly when this will be, but I’m hoping it’s overnight one night soon. I know there will be some amount of manual cleanup needed afterward, so it may not all be back up and running right away.

I also want to flag that things may be broken here and there even after the maps are back up and running and the main listings are moved into LMS format. The CDBS database has only been updated with TV data two or three times in the past month and a half, and so I’m urgently trying to get away from it. My plan had been to try to transition everything over slowly and as seamlessly as I could, but the lack of updates to CDBS and the coming LPTV filing window are making me rush over to LMS. So, once the maps come back online, notwithstanding Canadian and Mexican data which will likely remain in a state of limbo for several weeks at a minimum, please let me know if you trip over anything that doesn’t work properly. With as many features as RabbitEars has, I can’t really test it all, and it’s easy to overlook things.

The last note I want to make is that I’m not actually making an entirely clean break from CDBS just yet. To those that are familiar with the data structure of the FCC databases, I’m still using the facility table from CDBS but then relating it to the application_facility table in LMS. I’m doing this to hurry the conversion process along, and will ultimately have to go back and adjust the code again to make it use the facility table in LMS instead. Since the facility table changes so infrequently and time is of the essence, I’m leaving RabbitEars on the CDBS facility table for now.

Friend of the site Eric Wotila is attempting to launch a 24/7 hybrid local-national news subchannel network, based out of his WMNN-LD 24/7 local news station in Cadillac, MI. He’s using the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to get the network off the ground, and is looking for backers to contribute a few dollars each toward making the project a reality. Funding is all-or-nothing, so if he doesn’t reach his fund-raising goal, no backers will be charged for their pledges. Along side this press release, he separately sent me an e-mail about it. I’ve received his permission to publish a few choice quotes:

"My goal is to launch a 24/7 national news channel that gets back to the headlines. No opinion. No shouting heads. Just a good, old-fashioned news wheel format: Give us 15 minutes, we’ll tell you what’s going on around the world, not analyze or voice our opinions. I’ve heard more and more over the past year or two that people are sick and tired of their existing options for 24-hour news, and I truly hope to provide a news broadcast that informs, rather than agitates.

"LNN will be the only 24/7 news channel without opinion-based talk shows, and it will also be the only such channel available both for free on antenna and via internet platforms such as mobile apps, Roku and Apple TV. In addition, the network is designed from the ground up with localization in mind, allowing many stations that currently lack the resources for local news to add local programming as well as national news to their lineup."

I’m looking for a college student or someone similarly situated who is skilled or becoming skilled in web coding and databases. Since RabbitEars is run as a hobby and is not for profit, I cannot offer any payment, but I am willing to provide a good reference in exchange for good work. If you are interested, please let me know. (If you’re a college student looking for internship credit in addition to a good reference, I’m willing to speak with the relevant officials at your school to try to make it happen, just let me know in your initial e-mail.)

The underlying code RabbitEars uses is more than 9 years old. It is currently running on PHP 5.6, support for which will sunset next year. Additionally, the underlying database is patterned on the FCC’s CDBS database, which is in the process of being phased out in favor of the newer LMS database. As such, I’m getting to the point where RabbitEars needs a full ground-up rewrite, and I simply don’t have the time anymore to do that myself. I’m looking for someone who can: