Ennes Educational Foundation Trust Announces Scholarship Recipients

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust™ has awarded four scholarships for 2019. Winners were chosen from applications received by July 1, 2019, from the previous 12 months.

The Harold E. Ennes Scholarship, Robert D. Greenberg Scholarship and John H. Battison Founder’s Scholarship are awarded to individuals interested in continuing or beginning their education in broadcast engineering and technology. The Youth Scholarship is specifically for a graduating high school senior interested in broadcast engineering as a career. Each scholarship awarded this year is for $1,500.

Nick ChurchThis year the Harold E. Ennes Scholarship recipient is Nicholas Church of Rhinelander, WI. In May 2019, Nick began working as the director of operations and technology at WXPR-FM, the public radio station in Rhinelander, WI. He has a B.A. in music with a management studies concentration from St. Olaf College and is drawn to technology including amateur radio, micro-controllers, programming and creating efficiency through automation. After earning his SBE Certified Radio Operator, Nick began his broadcast education towards achieving the SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist and Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist certifications.

Chris GamelinReceiving the Robert Greenberg Scholarship is Chris Gamelin of Middletown, CT. His interest in broadcasting began when he was 12. He learned how radio worked and started his own internet radio station and collected money to build a professional studio. He has improved his radio skills at WNHU-FM, the University of New Haven (where he met John Ramsey) and WQUN-AM at Quinnipiac University. He is currently a student at the University of New Haven, hoping to finish his part-time schooling soon. John Ramsey, who is now a friend, encouraged Chris to get involved on the engineering part of broadcasting. He has since worked as an assistant engineer at Entercom, and is now a maintenance technician at WFSB-TV. He has since learned to operate UAVs as well.

Sadie LevyThe John H. Battison SBE Founder’s Scholarship has been awarded to Sadie Levy of New York, NY. She recently graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she worked on various school productions as a Digital Media Department intern. Additionally, she was awarded scholarships to study digital electronics in pre-college programs at both The Cooper Union and New York University. This past summer, Sadie completed a media internship in a New York City government office. These opportunities made her realize that she would love to contribute to the exciting field of recording and new media. She plans to major in electrical engineering, with an interest in media production, at Northeastern University in Boston.

Andrew HellerAndrew Marcus Heller of Two Rivers, WI, received the Youth Scholarship. His father owns two AM radio stations today, and Andrew was the first person to turn on WTRW’s solid-state transmitter at age three, and then again, now WGBW’s 12 kW transmitter at Denmark, WI, at 11 years old. Andrew has been involved in his high school audio/video efforts, and was the director of the student daily announcements his senior year. With a 3.9 grade point average in his senior year, Andrew was accepted to the Science and Engineering program at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He selected Minnesota because of its strong engineering emphasis.

SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Education is still one of the prime efforts of the SBE. These four rising engineering talents have earned their educational awards through the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust, and it’s an honor for us to help them achieve their educational goals in broadcast engineering.”

Defense Dept Taps SBE to Coordinate Frequencies Common to Broadcasters

Over the past several years, the Society of Broadcast Engineers has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which has been provided co-primary status with broadcasters in the 2025-2110 MHz Broadcast Auxiliary Spectrum (BAS) band as a result of the Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) transition.

The DoD plans to deploy a number of training systems that utilize this spectrum it now shares with broadcasters. The SBE, DoD and the National Association of Broadcasters have discussed how broadcasters use this spectrum and its importance for electronic news gathering. It became clear to DoD officials that to operate their defense systems without causing or receiving interference, a substantial, national frequency coordination effort would need to be initiated, providing in some cases, near-real-time coordination. The DoD turned to the SBE for assistance.

The SBE has for many years facilitated a network of volunteer frequency coordinators, most through local SBE chapters, across the United States and its territories.

The systems the DoD intends to deploy potentially may be located at installations of all the military branches, including the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. These installations are ubiquitous and located in both urban and rural areas. The DoD, with encouragement from the NAB, asked the SBE to employ a national frequency coordinator, paid for with DoD funds, who would work with our established volunteer coordinators, and cover the areas that don’t have their own local coordinator.

Through the DoD’s primary contractor in this area, Alion Science and Technology, the SBE has entered an agreement to provide national frequency coordination services that will mutually serve the needs of the DoD and broadcasters. The SBE Board of Directors approved the agreement in April of this year and work began in June.

To handle the added responsibilities, the SBE retained the broadcast consulting firm of Technical Broadcast Solutions, Inc., (TBSI) of Middletown, DE. Its principal is RJ Russell, CPBE, a 20-year member of the SBE and, until recently, SBE national vice president and chair of our Frequency Coordination Committee. TBSI is heavily involved in TV repack and ATSC 3.0 implementation work for clients and is taking on the SBE as a major client to serve as our national SBE Frequency Coordination Manager (FCM). Russell and SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay have worked on the SBE’s behalf with DoD officials and the NAB to develop a workable solution for this shared spectrum.

On taking on this important project, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Part of the SBE’s mission is to create working alliances within the broadcast industry and with those who work in our space. Entering into this agreement serves to protect broadcaster’s use of spectrum and provides a needed service to our government. I am pleased that we are able to partner with the DoD’s prime contractor in this effort.”

Stations: Confirm Your Station is Compliant with EAS Updates

by Larry Wilkins, CPBE, CBNT, AMD
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

The FCC and FEMA are in the process of making changes in the EAS and CAP system. Most of these changes concern security issues. To aid stations in understanding these changes and what will be required to keep your EAS units compliant, the SBE has gathered the following information.

A change in FCC EAS rules (Part 11) has come into effect that makes the validation of digital signatures in CAP messages a mandatory element. The FCC amended section 11.56 “Obligation to Process CAP-formatted EAS Messages” to add the following new paragraph:
(c) EAS Participants shall configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.

The FCC has also changed its EAS rules to refine the time window within which an alert message is valid. The change is to 11.33(a)(10) “Message Validity”, where the existing sentence, “A header code must only be considered valid when two of the three headers match exactly;”, the FCC added: “the Origination Date/Time field (JJJHHMM) is not more than 15 minutes in the future and the expiration time (Origination Date/Time plus Valid Time TTTT) is in the future (i.e., current time at the EAS equipment when the alert is received is between origination time minus 15 minutes and expiration time).”

In a long-awaited move, FEMA is updating the IPAWS system with Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. TLS is a cryptographic protocol providing end-to-end communications security over networks and is widely used for Internet communications.

The Federal Bridge Certificate Authority (CA) will expire on Nov. 8, 2019. Depending on the CA used by IPAWS, it may be necessary to provide a new CA for installation in all EAS decoders.

Finally, The FCC has put into effect a new false EAS alert reporting rule. Pursuant to section 11.45(b), an EAS Participant must inform the Commission if it discovers that it has transmitted a false alert. This rule provides that: No later than 24 hours of an EAS Participant’s discovery (i.e., actual knowledge) that it has transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to the public, the EAS Participant send an email to the Commission at the FCC Ops Center at FCCOPS@fcc.gov, informing the Commission of the event and of any details that the EAS Participant may have concerning the event.

FEMA has indicated the target date to update the IPAWS server to TLS is Nov. 8, 2019.

What do stations need to do to remain compliant with FCC and FEMA guidelines?

Sage Alerting Systems Endec
Sage added support for the Part 11.33 15-minute change in its 89-34 release. Sage has supported the ability to validate the digital signature since 2012, it is enabled by default.

Sage’s September 2019 release, called Rev95, will support the TLS and certificate updates. This release will be mandatory. After the FEMA switchover, scheduled for Nov. 8, 2019, older versions of the ENDEC software will not be able to receive CAP messages from IPAWS. This will render the station in violation of FCC rules concerning EAS monitoring and logging.

Sage Alerting Systems has indicated there will be a one-time charge of $349 for the September release. The release will only be sold through their distributors. This update will be provided free of charge for ENDECs purchased new after March 1, 2018, (18 months prior to September 2019). Direct questions regarding these updates to Sage at support@sagealertingsystems.com or 914-872-4069 and press 1 for support.

Gorman-Redlich
Radio stations operating with E-prom V 9.5.8 and television stations operating with E-prom V 20.9.8 will remain compliant with the changes. Contact Gorman-Redlich at 740-593-3150.

DASDEC/One-Net
Units operating with software versions 3.1 or 4.0 will remain compliant with the items listed above. If an updated CA certificate for FEMA IPAWS is necessary, Digital Alert Systems will make it available to DASDEC and One-Net users as soon as possible at no charge.

While the upcoming FEMA TLS change can be handled by either v3.1 or v4.0 software, Digital Alert Systems wanted to let customers know about some of the additional features in v4.0. The v4.0 upgrade includes a complete OS upgrade (improved operating and security), Triggered CAP Polling, Blue Alert (BLU) event code support, and greater flexibility for future value-added enhancements. V4.0 is a highly recommended upgrade.

While V4.0 is an optional upgrade, users should be aware that Digital Alert Systems has deprecated development support on v3.0. New feature requests, updates, and software revisions will only be provided within the Version 4.x series of software. Contact Digital Alert Systems at support@digitalalertsystems.com or 585-765-2254.


Information in this report was furnish with the permission of Digital Alert Systems, Sage Alerting Systems and Gorman-Redlich.

SBE Elects Wayne Pecena as President

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2019 election for the national board of directors. Wayne PecenaWayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, was elected as the society’s president. Pecena is the assistant director of educational broadcast services at Texas A&M University where he serves as director of engineering for public broadcast stations KAMU FM & TV. He is a member of SBE Chapter 99 in College Station, TX.

Regarding the election, President-elect Pecena said, “I look to continue the strategic planning implementation work that began under President Leifer while insuring that future certification, continuing education, and professional service needs of all SBE members are met as our industry and technology continues to change.”

Others serving one-year terms as officers, which begin on Oct. 16, are:

• Vice President: Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO; Chapter 15 New York; Roseland, NJ
• Secretary: Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT; Chapter 90 Southwest, FL; Ft. Myers, FL
• Treasurer: Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB; Chapter 45 Charlotte; Charlotte, NC

      

Serving two-year terms on the board of directors, which also begin Oct. 16 are:

• Mark Fehlig, PE, CPBE, 8-VSB; Chapter 40 San Francisco; Walnut Creek, CA
• Charles “Ched” Keiler, CPBE, 8-VSB, CBNE; Chapter 53 South Florida; Ft. Lauderdale
• Geary Morrill, CPBE, CBNE; Chapter 91 Central Michigan; Saginaw, MI
• Jason Ornellas, CBRE, CRO; Chapter 43 Sacramento; Sacramento, CA
• Chris Tarr, CSRE, AMD, DRB, CBNE; Chapter 28 Milwaukee; Milwaukee, WI
• Dan Whealy, CBTE; Chapter 96 Rockford; Waterloo, IA

The national board of directors of the SBE is responsible for the development of policy and determines the programs and services the society provides to its more than 5,000 members. Those elected will begin their terms on Oct. 16, 2019, during the SBE Membership Meeting. They will join the other six directors who have another year remaining in their terms: Stephen J. Brown, CPBE, CBNT, director of broadcast engineering, Woodward Radio Group, Appleton, WI; Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT, senior director of radio engineering, Cox Media Group, Clearwater, FL; Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE, senior solutions consultant, Telos Alliance, Nashville, TN; Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT, chief engineer, WSTM/WTVH/WSTQ-TV, Syracuse, NY; Thomas McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT, president, McGinley Enterprizes, Missoula, MT; and Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT, field engineer, Educational Media Foundation, Laramie, WY. Jim Leifer, CPBE, senior manager of broadcast operations at American Tower Corporation, Andover, MA, becomes the immediate past president.

The SBE National Meeting will be held Oct. 15-16, 2019, in Madison, WI, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic.

SBE@PBS TechCon 2019 Videos Available

ATSC 3.0 and the rapid launch of NextGen Broadcast were the drivers behind the first-ever SBE/PBS TechCon collaborative tutorial day, which was held April 6, 2019, at PBS TechCon in Las Vegas. The day-long tutorial, Launching ATSC 3.0 NextGen Broadcast: A Tutorial, covered what ATSC 3.0 means for the future of broadcast. The presentations were recorded, and the SBE is now making them available for online viewing.

Six tutorial sections will be available. The first two are available through the SBE online registration system. They are Part 4: NextGen/ATSC 3.0 Transmitter Conversion and Part 6: NextGen Broadcast/ATSC 3.x Scheduler.

Registered attendees of the SBE @ PBS TechCon 2019 will receive an email with instructions on how to view the videos. Others can register to view the videos through the SBE Webinar library via the SBE website. The cost for SBE members is $59, non-members is $89. SBE members with SBE MemberPlus can view the videos for free.

The remaining four sections will be made available in the coming weeks.

EAS 2019 National Periodic Test Final Checklist

by Larry Wilkins, CPBE, CBNT, AMD
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

As the 2019 National EAS Test, commonly called the National Periodic Test (NPT), approaches, there are several steps broadcasters should take to ensure they are prepared on Aug. 7.

FEMA will transmit the test via the Primary Entry Point (PEP) system. It will not be available on the IPAWS CAP system. The NPT will be issued at 2:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019.

By now all EAS participants should have checked their EAS units to ensure that they are programmed and working properly. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. Key items to check:

1. Verify your EAS equipment is running the required software version (contact your equipment vendor if you have questions).
2. Verify you are monitoring the correct legacy EAS monitor sources as outlined in your state EAS plan.
3. Verify the audio from both required sources is broadcast quality.
4. Verify the system clock is correct and synced to a national time server (check the time zone setting as well).
5. Be prepared to file ETRS Form Two by midnight on August 7.

Contact your state emergency communications committee (SECC) or state broadcaster association with any questions about the NPT requirements.

Charles Wooten, Bill Hubbard Earn SBE’s 2019 Top Individual Award Honors

The winner of the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award for 2019 is Charles Wooten, of Panama City, FL. The award is presented to a member who has excelled in his or her career while furthering the mission of the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. The winner of the 2019 James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year award is Bill Hubbard, CPBE, of Green Bay, WI. Hubbard is a member of Chapter 80. The award recognizes outstanding service and excellence in sharing knowledge through teaching other broadcast engineers.

Charlie WootenOn October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael bared down on the Florida Panhandle. The Category 5 hurricane came ashore and knocked out terrestrial and wireless communications and all utilities. Because of Charlie’s experience, planning and system redundancy, the citizens of Bay County tuned in their radios the morning after the storm and found iHeart Media signals live. Locals had access to critical information regarding, food, water and emergency health care.

Bill HubbardBill Hubbard recently retired from a long career in broadcast engineering. Bill is one of the charter members of Chapter 80. Among his service with the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Bill spent much of his time volunteering his time with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Clinic program committee. In that role, he assisted in putting together two educational seminars each year. Bill has also helped contribute to the “Media Technology Institute,” a seminar to train new graduates in the basics of broadcast engineering. In 2019, Bill also developed and helped implement an incentive plan for Chapter 80 members to become SBE certified. The plan allows for Chapter 80 fund raising proceeds to be used to reimburse members for SBE certification exams and study materials.

The SBE 2019 Awards Program also recognizes other achievements from SBE members, chapters and SBE sustaining member companies.

Blackmagic Design has been awarded the 2019 SBE Technology Award for its 8K Workflow Technology. The 8K Workflow Technology introduces a complete range of 8K broadcast workflow products. To make sure customers truly benefit from these 8K products, they are based on the latest hardware processors running an embedded Linux operating system, which incorporates 30 years of experience and knowledge in the remote site management industry.

Chapter and Individual Awards
Chapters are the lifeblood of the SBE, and 2019 marks the sixth year that the Chapter Engineer of the Year Award has highlighted the achievements of members within their chapters. This year, seven chapters selected their own award recipients. Each winner will be presented with a special plaque and be recognized nationally on the SBE website and in a future issue of The Signal. The seven chapter winners also were automatically nominated for the national Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year Award.

The 2018 Broadcasters Clinic in Wisconsin has won for Best Chapter Regional Educational Event. Chapter 16 in Seattle, WA, has won for Best Chapter Communication.

Doug Irwin, CPBE, AMD, DRB, of Chapter 47 has won the award for Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE member for his three-part Radio World article series on the repack.

Statistical Awards
Greatest Growth in New Members
Class A: Chapter 115, Southern Idaho, Chapter Chairman Thomas Kettwig, CBT
Class B: Chapter 85, Central Western Oklahoma, Chapter Chairman Brian Ryel, CBTE

Most Certified Chapters
Class A: Chapter 7, Jacksonville, FL, Chapter Chairman Craig Butler, CSRTE, and Certification Chairman Alan Alsobrook, CSRE, AMD, CBNT
Class B: Chapter 24, Madison, WI, Chapter Chairman Britny Williams, CBT, CBNT, and Certification Chairman James Hermanson, CPBE, CBNT

Highest Member Attendance
Class A: Chapter 112, Western Wisconsin, Chapter Chairman Todd Zscherntiz, CBTE
Class B: Chapter 79, Austin, TX, Chapter Chairman Ed Rupp, CBTE, CBNT

All the winners will be recognized at the SBE National Awards Dinner, held during the SBE National Meeting Oct. 15 and 16 at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic in Madison, WI.

Nominations for the 2020 awards will open in February.

Note: Class awards are determined using the median chapter size as of Dec. 31, 2018, as the dividing line between Class A (fewer than the median) and Class B (more than the median).

SBE Releases 2019 Compensation Survey Results

Compensation SurveyFrom April 1 to May 24, 2019, the Society of Broadcast Engineers conducted its fourth annual compensation survey to determine salary levels and benefits among broadcast and media technology engineers. This survey provides a wealth of useful information, and it adds to the baseline being developed for subsequent surveys to establish compensation trends.

The complete results of the survey are available at no charge to SBE members as a benefit of membership. A link to the survey is posted on the SBE website. SBE members will login to view and download the report.

The survey included 23 questions that gathered information about job titles, broadcast market size and compensation in dollars and offered benefits. SBE membership was not required to take the survey. About the survey, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “The SBE Compensation Survey continues to receive a high level of participation, which helps us provide useful data to our members in radio, TV and multimedia technology.”

While all responses remained anonymous, demographic data collected included market size, job category/title, age, years working in broadcasting, salary, benefits received, and any certification held. The data is split into radio or TV results, with greater detail on job category and market size. President Leifer added, “Just like in previous years, the survey shows that individuals who hold SBE Certification on average earn a higher salary than those who do not hold SBE Certification.”

SBE members can access the survey at this link. SBE login is required.

2019 National Periodic Test Date Announced

FEMA has announced that the 2019 National Periodic Test (NPT) will issued Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. EDT (18:20 GMT). The alternate date is Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.

Alfred Kenyon, chief, Customer Support Branch IPAWS Program Office, indicated, “This year FEMA proposes to originate the test via the National Public Warning System composed of the FEMA designated Primary Entry Point (PEP) facilities. The intent of conducting the test in this fashion is to determine the capability of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to deliver messages to the public in event that dissemination via internet is not available. The public should be aware that full message text and multilingual messaging will not be available due to the over-the-air message delivery and relay used in this system of EAS message dissemination.”

All EAS participants are encouraged to verify the two required monitor sources assigned by the State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC). Check not only for the correct source but the quality of the audio. If you not able to receive clearly the assigned sources or have not been receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from both sources, contact your SECC for an alternate source.

The 2019 test will not be fed via the IPAWS network as in past years. The test will be received via each state’s Primary Entry Point (PEP) and relayed by the area LP-1 and LP-2 stations.

Pecena Appointed SBE Vice President After Russell Steps Down

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) announced that RJ Russell, CPBE, has resigned his position as vice president of the society effective April 12, 2019. Russell resigned in anticipation that his company, Technical Broadcast Solutions, will be hired to take on a significant SBE project in the near future. The SBE will announce that project when details are confirmed.
Wayne PecenaAs per the SBE by-laws, the SBE president appoints SBE members to fill unexpired terms, subject to approval by the SBE Executive Committee. Following a meeting on April 17, the Executive Committee approved the appointment of Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, to fill the remaining vice president term. Pecena was serving as secretary, and so President Leifer appointed and the Executive Committee approved board member Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT, to fill that role. With an opening on the Board, Leifer appointed and the Executive Committee approved former board member Jason Ornellas, CBRE, CRO, to fill the remainder of Trueblood’s term, which runs through Oct. 16 of this year.
The SBE Executive Committee is comprised of the four officers, plus two appointees from the Board of Directors. Trueblood was already a member of the Executive Committee as an appointed board member. To fill that vacancy, Steve Brown, CPBE, CBNT, has been appointed and confirmed to serve through Oct. 16, 2019.
Wayne Pecena is the assistant director of educational broadcast services in the Office of Information Technology at Texas A&M University. In this position, he serves as the director of engineering of TTVN: The Enterprise Videoconference and Data Network serving the Texas A&M University System and Public Broadcast stations KAMU-TV and KAMU-FM serving the Brazos Valley area. He is a Fellow member of the SBE, and active in SBE Chapter 99 College Station, TX. He was elected to the SBE Board of Directors in 2012, and became secretary in 2016. He has chaired the SBE Education Committee since 2012.

Kevin Trueblood   Jason Ornellas   Steve Brown

On the changes, SBE President Jim Leifer said, “Losing RJ as the VP of the SBE is unfortunate, but understandable given the circumstances. While his skill and abilities will be missed on the SBE leadership team, we are fortunate to have a deep bench of talent to continue the SBE’s work.”