SBE Begins Work on Strategic Planning Conference Tasks

On June 9, 2018, the SBE conducted a professionally facilitated, all-day strategic planning meeting attended by members of the Board, chapter chairs and national staff. The result was a list of 46 action steps to accomplish objectives of growing and retaining membership, attracting new and younger members to the SBE, and increasing participation in SBE activities among members.

SBE President Jim Leifer enlisted a special Strategic Planning Task Group to review the 46 action steps with the intent to prioritize, group and refine them to a manageable number. They brought their recommendations back to the Board at its meeting on Oct. 2, 2018. At that meeting, the Board adopted the recommendations, which identified 14 priority action steps, each assigned to one of three priority levels.

The Board voted to establish five task groups, enlist three of our existing committees and create a new Technologies Committee to research the resources and outline the steps needed to accomplish the objectives of the 14 action steps. The task groups will be chaired by members of the Board and include other SBE members, including other Board members. Each task group will have a member of the SBE staff assigned to it to serve as staff liaison.

On the task group and committee assignments, SBE President Jim Leifer said, “It’s important for the SBE to set specific plans to guide the future of our organization. This first round of tasks will lay a firm groundwork to help serve our current and future members more effectively and grow the SBE.”

Each task group and committee will research their assigned priorities (objectives), establish a list of action items to meet the objectives, recommend timelines for completion and assess the impact on SBE resources in terms of volunteers, staff and budget.

The following groups and group chairs have been established. Also shown are the first priority tasks assigned to each group, which have project deadlines for a report to be submitted at the April board meeting. Additional tasks have been assigned to each group, but those have later action dates.

Task Group 1
Chair: Wayne Pecena
Expanding SBE Membership Scope
Research the non-traditional tech professionals and begin to generate a list of other mediums that use similar skills and knowledge as traditional SBE members.

Task Group 2
Chair: Kirk Harnack
Expanding Member Participation
Create monthly virtual program for member engineers, technicians and other broadcast professionals, wherever they may be.

Task Group 3
Chair: Jim Leifer
Public Relations/Marketing
Research the advantages and disadvantages of redefining Society mission and name/branding. Task Group 3 to include several Executive Committee members and others. (Report due Oct. 15, 2019.)

Task Group 4
Chair: Kevin Trueblood
Public Relations/Marketing
Develop a “first responder” broadcast team, activated to help other broadcasters in time of disaster.

Task Group 5
Chair: Roz Clark
Website, App and Social Media
Bring website up to date, while keeping it functional. Research the advantages and disadvantages of an app and its application to SBE.

Certification Committee
Chair: Ralph Hogan
Certification
Expand SBE Certification programs to include newer technologies and review existing programs for their accuracy and relevance.

Publications Committee
Chair: Andrea Cummis
Expanding Member Participation
Create archive of program resources (tutorial videos) for use by individual members and chapters.

Social Networking Committee
Chair: Kirk Harnack
Public Relations/Marketing
Advocate the value proposition of SBE membership – education and certification, to broadcast management via state broadcaster associations and the NAB.

Website, App and Social Media
Improve and increase SBE social media presence, primarily to reach younger people.

Technologies Committee
Chair: Shane Toven
Strategic Planning
Create a Technologies Committee that includes Board and chapter representatives, dedicated to seeing that new technologies are integrated into SBE educational and certification programs.

Education
Identify content to educate an expanded scope of membership (the new audience).

Research and recommend to the Education Committee, and for purposes of certification, to the Certification Committee, expanded educational and training materials to include 5G and future multimedia content delivery technologies including streaming, OT and all non-traditional distribution mediums.

Board and Executive Committee
Chair: Jim Leifer
Strategic Planning
On an ongoing basis, regularly evaluate success/progress of strategic planning objectives and action items.

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SBE Files FCC Comments on Flex Use of 3.7-4.2 GHz

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, filed comments on Oct. 29, 2018, with the FCC in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (FCC 18-91), released July 13, 2018. That notice sought comment on various proposals for transitioning all or part of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band for flexible use, terrestrial mobile spectrum, and explores options for more efficient and intensive fixed use of the same band, all while protecting incumbent C-Band satellite earth stations from harmful interference.

The SBE comments constitute a counterproposal that offers a reasonable alternative to dividing the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, a reverse auction, or other action that would not protect incumbent C-band receive-only earth stations. The SBE suggests that, given the huge number of C-band registrations since the opening of the window (now reportedly greater than 16,000), the FCC’s initial premise that the C-Band could be shared with 5G as an overlay was simply wrong.

Recognizing that the European 5G proposal is 3.4-3.8 GHz, and since that offers 1 MHz of overlap with the U.S. proposal, the U.S, should adopt the European allocation, put the commercial broadband providers in the 3.4-3.7 GHz band and use the small overlap segment with C-band for local, private 5G networks critical for next-generation manufacturing and industrial applications. That is actually workable with C-band in the 100 MHz overlap segment. It leaves the vast majority of the spectrum, 3.8-4.2 GHz, intact with no 5G.

In contrast to other proposals, nothing is lost for current C-band users with the SBE plan. 5G moves into military radar spectrum, which was already designated years ago for broadband reallocation as part of the National Broadband Plan.

Read the SBE filing.

FCC Extends C-Band Registration Deadline to Oct. 31, 2018

In a public notice, the FCC announced a two-week extension, through Oct. 31, 2018, to the filing window for fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth stations currently operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency band (C-Band) announced previously in Public Notice DA 18-398 on April 19, 2018.

The FCC previously announced that the C-Band filing window would close on Oct. 17, 2018. Due to the large influx of applications filed near the mid-October deadline, the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS), which handles the registration, experienced intermittent difficulties that have prevented some applicants from filing for license or registration. Because of this, the filing window has been extended for an additional two weeks.

2018 SBE Board Takes Office, Committee Chairs Assigned

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, held its National Meeting Oct. 2 and 3 in Danvers, MA, in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo. Among the events during those two days, the SBE Board of Directors met, and the SBE held its annual Membership Meeting.

At the Membership Meeting on Oct. 3, the 2018-2019 officers and directors were sworn in to begin their new terms. (The results of the SBE election were announced on Aug. 23.) SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, also announced his committee chair appointments for the coming year, which were reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting on Oct. 2. The committee chair assignments follow.

Committee Chair
Awards Tom McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT
By-Laws Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB
Certification Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE
Chapter Liaison Mark Fehlig, CPBE, 8-VSB
Education Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE
Fellowship Troy Pennington, CSRE, CBNT
Finance Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT
Frequency Coordination R.J. Russell, CPBE
Government Relations Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT
International Charles W. Kelly Jr.
Membership Steve Brown, CPBE, CBNT
Mentoring Kimberly K. Sacks, CBT
Nominations Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT
Publications Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO
Social Networking Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE
Sustaining Membership Stephen H. Lampen, CBRE
Technologies Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT

On the committee assignments, President Leifer said, “We have a wide range of talent and skills represented by our committee chairs. I look forward to working with all of them in the coming year to further the goals of the SBE and enact the plans being laid following our strategic planning conference held earlier this year.”

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.

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.

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.