SBE Statement on the Passing of SBE Fellow and Past President Barry Thomas

Barry ThomasWe are deeply saddened by the passing of Barry Thomas, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, who died on Dec. 6, 2018. Barry devoted a great deal of his time and talents to the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He joined the SBE in 1986 and served the SBE with involvement in several local SBE chapters and on the national level. His national involvement included two terms on the SBE Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005, and two terms as treasurer from 2005 to 2007. He served as the society’s 25th president from 2007 to 2009 and immediate past president from 2009 to 2011. In 2017 he was elected to serve on the board again, but decided to step down early in his term. In 2011, Barry was elevated to the membership grade of Fellow.

On Barry’s passing, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Barry served the SBE in many capacities and has been a voice for many engineers in our industry for decades. After hearing this news, I remembered so many occasions where Barry spent time developing younger engineers and being that mentor so many of us talk about. He was a devoted father, son, brother and fellow engineer who will be sorely missed by all.”

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SBE MemberPlus Marks One Year

It has been almost one year since the SBE began to offer the SBE MemberPlus option. If you are not aware of what this is, those who choose the option receive a significant increase in membership value. Access to all live and archived webinars the SBE produces during the membership year, at no additional cost. With the never-ending changes in technology, most SBE members look for ways to keep up at a reasonable cost. Our members’ desire to learn about new technology was one of the reasons the SBE created this membership option.

SBE MemberPlusOver the past several years, the SBE has produced a significant number of technical broadcast and media webinars of interest to our members, more than 70 and climbing, many of them on evergreen topics. After the live presentation, each webinar is archived and available on the SBE website 24/7/365. The SBE is grateful to the many talented and knowledgeable individuals, all subject matter experts, who have presented webinars for the SBE in the past and in the future.

In the traditional membership model, members who pay annual dues of $85 would pay an additional $59 for each webinar they wanted to take. With SBE MemberPlus, which has an annual cost of $175, there is no additional cost to take as many of these webinars as you want. Just taking two webinars more than pays for the higher dues cost.

We had heard from members that paying for multiple webinars was cost prohibitive, no matter if they were paying for it themselves or if their employer was. So for an additional $90 investment, a significant educational benefit was now within reasonable reach of many members.

You may wonder how SBE MemberPlus has been received. I am happy to tell you that since January 2, 2018, when it first became available, we saw far more members take the option than we ever anticipated. As of this writing, 871 members have chosen SBE MemberPlus. That number represents more than 20% of all renewing Members and Senior Members, and more than 41% of all new members.

Those 871 members have been using their expanded benefit in a big way. Through September 2018, SBE MemberPlus members had registered for 2,023 SBE webinars. That is 96% of the total webinars taken this year and the total is far more than any previous year!

As of the end of September, 488 new members have joined and, as I mentioned earlier, 41% have chosen the SBE MemberPlus option. It’s safe to say that the added membership value has helped attract many of them.

When membership renewal comes around in a couple of months, we encourage those who are SBE MemberPlus members will choose to renew and maintain that status. We also hope that if you passed on it the first time around, you will choose the SBE MemberPlus option when you renew.

Looking ahead to 2019, the SBE Education team is planning a full slate of new webinars, including our series on ATSC 3.0 and more in our series on Advanced RF. The ATSC 3.0 series will begin in January 2019 with Networking for ATSC 3.0. Our growing archive of webinars incudes the popular, eight-part SBE RF 101 Terrestrial Transmission series, the SBE basic and advanced series on IP Networking and many more.

If your employer has not been willing to cover the cost of traditional dues in the past, let them know about the expanded educational benefit. They may just decide that the added educational benefit, which potentially could help their station’s performance and bottom line, is worth the investment and be willing to pay for it.

The SBE MemberPlus Option
Individuals can choose to join or renew with the SBE as a traditional Regular, Senior or Associate member at the low-cost rate of $85. They receive access to SBE publications, social media outlets, job listings, compensation survey results and access to a life insurance program at no additional cost. Traditional SBE membership also provides member discounts for SBE certification, education programs and purchases at the SBE Bookstore, and the opportunity to participate in local chapters affiliated with the national SBE

SBE MemberPlus has all the benefits of traditional SBE membership, plus access to all the archived Webinars by SBE and all new webinars the SBE produces during the membership year, at a cost of $175. Currently, there are more than 70 webinars archived and available online, with more added every month, that cover a wealth of topics of interest to broadcast and media engineers and technicians.

Free access to the extensive SBE webinar education resource is an enormous benefit. For less than the cost of two SBE webinars, the member who opts for SBE MemberPlus has access to archived programs including the eight-part SBE RF101 series and five-part Fundamentals of IT Networking, as well as the current Advanced RF and ATSC 3.0 series.

Q: Can I upgrade my Regular membership to SBE MemberPlus at any time?
A: Yes. Annual membership renewal takes place on April 1, but an SBE member can pay the difference from Regular membership to SBE MemberPlus at any time to add the benefit.

Q: If I join the SBE midyear, can I prorate any portion of my dues?
A: New SBE MemberPlus members who join from October through December pay the full SBE MemberPlus rate and then will pay a prorated SBE MemberPlus amount at their first renewal cycle the next year, just as new traditional Regular members do. This will sync those members with the April 1 membership cycle.

Q: Can I renew before April 1 to take advantage of SBE MemberPlus?
A: Yes. Members can elect to renew their membership as early as January 2 each year to access the SBE MemberPlus program. Get up to an additional three months of SBE webinars free!

Q: What if I do not renew my SBE membership by April 1?
A: SBE MemberPlus members who do not renew by April 1 lose the SBE MemberPlus benefit at that time. Their membership reverts to traditional Regular membership and remains active until the three-month grace period ends June 30. The SBE MemberPlus benefits are reinstated if the member renews after April 1.

Apply or upgrade to SBE MemberPlus at the SBE website, sbe.org/join.