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.