National EAS Test Rescheduled for Oct. 3

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) previously announced that a National EAS test would be sent Sept. 20, 2018. Following the effects of the Hurricane Florence, the test has been moved to the backup date, Oct. 3, 2018.

The times for the test have not changed. At 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA-capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. Immediately following the WEA nationwide end-to-end test, at 2:20 p.m. EDT, FEMA will conduct a live test of the Emergency Alerting System (EAS). All EAS participants are required to participate in this nationwide test. The EAS message will be disseminated via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

Stations are encouraged to verify that their EAS units are communicating correctly with the IPAWS server. Review station logs (which should be checked once each week by the chief operator) to ensure stations are receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS. This RWT is fed every Monday at 11:00 a.m. local time. Contact your equipment representative for details on setting up your EAS decoder to properly receive and relay the National test.

EAS participants are reminded that they are required to register with the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). Form One was to be filed on or before Aug. 27, 2018. Then on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Oct. 3, 2018, EAS participants must file the day-of-test information sought by ETRS Form Two. Post-test data will be filed later with Form Three.

More information is availble from the FEMA website.

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EAS National Test Reminder: Do Not Air Alert Tones as Examples

As you prepare your station for the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) national test on Sept. 20, 2018, remember that the FCC forbids airing the audio attention signal or EAS tones for any reason other than a genuine alert, authorized test, or approved public service announcement. Remind your news and programming operations of this rule.

Any transmission, including broadcast, of the WEA or EAS attention signals or codes, or a simulation of them, under any circumstances other than a genuine alert, authorized test, or approved public service announcement violates the Commission’s rules and undermines the important public safety precautions that WEA and EAS provide. See 47 CFR §§ 10.520(d), 11.45.

While the FCC encourages improving public awareness of WEA and the EAS, including the upcoming nationwide test, broadcasters and cable providers are reminded to exercise caution and avoid inadvertently broadcasting the WEA or EAS tones in a news story.

Any question or concerns with the upcoming nationwide test can be directed to the FCC at alerting@fcc.gov.

Update FEMA Security Certificates by Sept. 24, 2018

By Larry Wilkins, CPBE
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

As a reminder to all engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will update one of its security certificates on Sept. 24, 2018.

Security certificates allow EAS decoders to use the digital signature in the CAP message to verify that the message came from an authorized authority, and that it wasn’t changed between the originator and EAS participants’ equipment. These certificates expire periodically. FEMA currently uses a chain of five certificates for alert validation, one of which expires at 11:55 p.m. EDT on Sept. 24, 2018 (Sep 25 03:55:36 2018 UTC).

Monroe-Electronics and Sage Alerting Systems have both issued updates to their EAS units.

DASDEC users: A field service bulletin and CA file are available from the Digital Alert Systems website at digitalalertsystems.com/resources_fsb.html. All DASDEC and One-Net customers should download the field service bulletin for instructions, and install the new CA file.

Sage Endec users should visit sagealertingsystems.com for compete information on downloading and installing the file in their units.

Engineers are also reminded that FEMA has scheduled a national EAS test on Thursday, Sept. 20. It will be sent at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will be fed via IPAWS.

Be aware that preceding the EAS test to broadcasters, FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. That message will be sent at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

SBE Re-elects Jim Leifer as President

Jim LeiferThe Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2018 election for the national board of directors. Jim Leifer, CPBE, was re-elected as the society’s president. Leifer is senior manager of broadcast operations at American Tower Corporation, Andover, MA.

Regarding the election, President Leifer said, “I thank SBE members for their support and the Board of Directors for their work over the last year. Looking ahead, I am eager to discuss the ideas from the SBE strategic planning meeting held in June, and then implement those approved by the SBE Board of Directors. This will enhance the membership experience as we embrace new technologies and new ways of performing the work of the SBE.”

Others serving one-year terms as officers, which begin on Oct. 3, are:

Vice President: Robert “RJ” Russell, CPBE; president, Technical Broadcast Solutions, Inc.; Middletown, DE

Secretary: Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE; director of engineering, Texas A&M University – KAMU-FM & TV; College Station, TX

Treasurer: Jim Bernier, CPBE, CBNE; senior director, Techwood Engineering; Turner; Atlanta

    

Serving two-year terms on the board of directors, which also begin Oct. 3 are:
• 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
• Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT; field engineer, Educational Media Foundation; Laramie, WY

    

    

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. 3, 2018, during the SBE Membership Meeting. They will join the other six directors who have another year remaining in their terms (Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO; CTO, WLVT-TV, Roseland, NJ; Mark Fehlig, PE, CPBE, 8-VSB, senior systems engineer, Jampro Antennas/Alan Dick, Walnut Creek, CA; Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, director of engineering/operations, Cox Media Group, Charlotte, NC; Stephen H. Lampen, CBRE, consultant, San Francisco, CA; Kimberly K. Sacks, CBT, director of engineering, iHeartMedia, Loveland, CO; Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT, director of engineering, WGCU Public Media, Estero, FL; and Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, director of technical operations, Entercom Greenville Spartanburg, who remains the immediate past president.

The SBE National Meeting will be held Oct. 2-3, 2018, in Danvers, MA, in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo (MRE).

SBE Certification Exam Session Scheduled for 145th AES Convention

AES logoIn cooperation with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the SBE is offering an opportunity for registered AES Convention participants to take an SBE certification exam while attending the 145th AES Convention convention in New York City.

The exam session will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20 in the Javitz Center. The time and room will be announced later this summer. Those interested in taking an SBE certification exam at the AES Convention must submit their certification application to the SBE National Office no later than Sept. 21.

SBE Joins Professional Certification Coalition

Since February 2018, a number of states have considered legislation that could restrict how holders of SBE certifications, and hundreds of other non-governmental certifications, are able to use them. The intent has been to remove perceived employment barriers and is focused on state professional licensing laws. However, language affecting voluntary certifications offered by private organizations has been swept up into these bills.

The legislation varies by state. Some define certifications as solely created by the state, while others limit holders of certifications from using them to promote their business, or indicate their knowledge and experience to current or potential employees.

Legislation in Louisiana was successfully amended earlier this year, but a new law in Missouri went into effect earlier this summer that defines certification as only authorized by the state. Legislation is pending in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

PCC logoThe SBE has joined the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC), which was formed to challenge these legislative efforts. The coalition is led by the American Society of Association Executives and the Institute for Certification Excellence. It currently numbers more than 50 organizational members. The group is waging a campaign focused on educating state legislators and their staffs on how this legislation will negatively affect thousands of their constituents. Their aim is to modify the bills to remove any effect they have on certifications offered by private, non-profit associations and other certification granting organizations.

The SBE will be an active participant in this effort and may call on individual SBE members who hold SBE certifications to contact their state legislators. Watch for further updates in The Signal, SBE-news and SBE Legislative Updates and Alerts.

ATSC’s Richer to Keynote SBE National Awards Dinner

Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 SBE National Awards Dinner. The ATSC is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards for digital television including the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards for next generation television. The SBE National Awards Dinner is the closing event of the SBE National Meeting, this year held in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo in Danvers, MA, just outside of Boston, on Oct. 3.

Marck RicherRicher will also take part in that afternoon’s live webcast of the SBE Annual Membership Meeting. SBE President Jim Leifer will discuss with him ATSC 3.0 standards, testing and implementation.

Richer first joined the ATSC after 16 years with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) where, as vice president of engineering & computer services, he was responsible for development of new technologies for PBS and its member stations, design of audio/video systems, and management of information technology operations.

Richer was a recipient of the Broadcasting & Cable Technology Leadership Award in 2007, the 2010 recipient of the National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Achievement Award for Television and the 2018 EDGE Award for Excellence in Innovation from America’s Public Television Stations. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves on the FCC Technology Advisory Council. He has been a member of the SBE since 1995.

SBE National Meeting events begin on Tuesday, Oct. 2 with meetings of the national SBE Certification Committee and the SBE Board of Directors. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, activities include the annual SBE Fellows Breakfast (invitation-only), sponsored by Kathrein USA, SBE Annual Membership Meeting (webcast live), sponsored by Blackmagic Design, Dielectric, DVEO, Drake Lighting, IMT Vislink, Lawo and Technical Broadcast Solutions.

The SBE Annual Awards Reception, sponsored by Comrex, is followed by the SBE National Awards Dinner, sponsored by Telos Systems. Presentation of the society’s major awards will be made, including the SBE Fellow Award to Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, of Greenville, SC. Also to be presented are, the Robert W. Flanders SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year, James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year, the SBE Technology Award to a Sustaining Member company and the Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE member.

SBE chapters will be presented with awards recognizing achievement for Best Chapter Communications, Best Regional Educational Event, Greatest Member Growth, Highest SBE Certified Chapter and Highest Meeting Attendance.

The SBE National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo and our host is SBE Chapter 11 of Boston. MRE is a one-day annual trade show and technical educational event that attracts professionals in broadcast, film, instructional media and communication, along with manufacturers, resellers and integrators. The SBE will have a booth during the show, sponsored by Technical Broadcast Solutions.

The SBE National Meeting and the MRE will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Boston North Shore Hotel in Danvers, MA. The hotel is located 19 miles north of downtown Boston and Logan Airport.

Registration for the MRE is required but free to SBE members if they register in advance. Tickets for the SBE National Awards Reception and Dinner ($16) are available through the SBE website, www.sbe.org, and by telephone, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET at 317-846-9000. There is no registration or fee to attend the Annual Membership Meeting.

Accommodations at the Doubletree can be reserved by calling 978-777-2500. The SBE has a limited number of rooms reserved at the discounted rate of $149. Rooms are on a first come, first-served basis, so don’t wait too long.

The SBE National Meeting and MRE are open to anyone interested in media technology. We invite SBE members, especially those in the New England area, to take advantage of this opportunity and attend all of the events on Oct. 3.

SBE Announces Winners of 2018 National Awards

SBE blue ribbonThe 2018 SBE National Awards, which recognize excellence and achievement by individual members, SBE chapters and Sustaining Member companies, have been announced. The two highest individual awards are the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year and the James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year.

The Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year 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 award for 2018 is Mark Persons, CPBE, AMD, CBNT, of Brainerd, MN. Persons is a current member of SBE Chapter 17.

The recipient of the James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year award is recognized for outstanding service and excellence in sharing knowledge through teaching other broadcast engineers. The winner of the 2018 James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year award is Jeff Welton, CBRE, in Hackett’s Cove, NS. Welton is the sales manager for the central region of the US at Nautel and has been a presenter at many Ennes Workshops conducted by the SBE across the country.

Mark PersonsMark Persons was exposed to broadcast engineering at an early age. His father began working as a broadcast engineer in the 1920s. Throughout his 50+ year career, Persons helped to build 12 new commercial AM and FM radio broadcast stations for clients as well as countless other rebuilds and upgrades. Recently retired, Persons and his wife Paula are mentoring four broadcast engineers. It is Mark’s way of giving back to the industry that kept him employed for over half a century. In addition to his hands-on work, Person’s has also written more than 175 articles between 1980 and 2018, as well as presented 27 talks at various events throughout that same time period.

Jeff WeltonJeff Welton began his professional career in 1990 as a Nautel field service technician. In addition to his current work with Nautel, Welton also lends his expertise to CKVE-FM as a co-engineer. CKVE is a community broadcaster in Hubbards, NS. This unique background has served Jeff well in his many technical presentations, tutorials and speaking engagements. He has further provided his broadcast engineer colleagues countless professional development events ranging from Nautel specific equipment seminars, participated as an instructor at the Alabama Broadcast Association Engineering Academy and served as a presenter at the NAB BEIT conference. His passion for transmitter site safety education is just one area of noteworthy mention.

Davicom has been awarded the 2018 SBE Technology Award for its Cortex 360 Site Management System. The Cortex 360 Site Management System is 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 2018 marks the fifth year that the Chapter Engineer of the Year Award has highlighted the achievements of members within their chapters. This year, six chapters selected their own award recipients. Each winner will be presented with a special certificate and be recognized nationally on the SBE website and in a future issue of The Signal. The six chapter winners also were automatically nominated for the national Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year Award. The 2018 national winner, Mark Persons, represented Chapter 17 as its Chapter Engineer of the Year Award winner.

The 2017 Broadcasters Clinic in Wisconsin has won for Best Chapter Regional Educational Event. Chapter 16 in Seattle, WA, has won for Best Chapter Communication.

Rob Sobol of Hilights has won the award for Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE member for “NOC, NOC. Who’s There?” in AGL Magazine.

Statistical Awards
Greatest Growth in New Members
Class A: Chapter 57, Rochester, NY Chapter Chairman Gregory Carter, CBT, CBNT
Class B: Chapter 118, Montgomery, AL, Chapter Chairman Wiely Boswell, CBRE, CBNE
Most Certified Chapters
Class A: Chapter 115, Southern Idaho, Chapter Chairman Thomas Kettwig, CBT
Class B: Chapter 131, Inland Empire, Chapter Chairman Wayne Murphy, CPBE, CBNE, and Certification Chairman Paul Claxton, CPBE, CBNE
Highest Member Attendance
Class A: Chapter 145, Magic Valley, Chapter Chairman Thomas Lowther, CSRTE, CBNT
Class B: Chapter 79, Austin, TX, Chapter Chairman Ed Rupp, CBTE, CBNT

Nominations for the 2019 awards will open in February.
Note: Class awards are determined using the median chapter size as of Dec. 31, 2017, as the dividing line between Class A (fewer than the median) and Class B (more than the median).

National EAS Test Scheduled for Sept. 20

By Larry Wilkins, CPBE, chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has announced that a National EAS test will be sent on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. There is a difference between this test and the two previous tests. At 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. Immediately following the WEA nationwide end-to-end test, at 2:20 p.m. EDT, FEMA will conduct a live test of the Emergency Alerting System (EAS). All EAS participants are required to participate in this nationwide test. The EAS message will be disseminated via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

Stations are encouraged to verify that their EAS units are communicating correctly with the IPAWS server. Review your station logs (which should be checked once each week by the chief operator) to ensure you are receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS. This RWT is fed every Monday at 11:00 a.m. local time. Contact your equipment representative for details on setting up your EAS decoder to properly receive and relay the National test.

EAS participants are reminded that they are required to register with the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) and must complete the filing of ETRS Form One on or before Aug. 27, 2018. Then on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Sept. 20, 2018, EAS participants must file the day-of-test information sought by ETRS Form Two. On or before Nov. 5, 2018, EAS participants must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three.

Filers can access ETRS by visiting the ETRS page of the Commission’s website at www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system. Instructional videos regarding registration and completion of the ETRS Forms are available on the ETRS page.

SBE Releases 2018 Compensation Survey Results

Compensation SurveyFrom April 1 to May 21, 2018, the Society of Broadcast Engineers conducted its third 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 is again pleased with the number of responses we received for the 2018 Compensation Survey. The data is a value to SBE members, and to the industry.”

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, “The survey again shows the continuing trend that individuals who hold SBE Certification on average earn a higher salary than those who do not hold SBE Certification. The SBE Compensation Survey broadly encompasses radio, TV and other media.”

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