SBE Authorizes New Chapter: 106 Panhandle

The Board of Directors of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, approved the application for the newest SBE chapter, Chapter 106 Panhandle, which serves SBE members in the Florida Panhandle and southern portions of Alabama and Georgia. The action was taken at the Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 15, held during the SBE National Meeting in Madison, WI, in conjunction with the Broadcasters Clinic. Chapter 106 brings the number of active SBE chapters 115. The chapter leaders are Chair Mark Johnson, CSRE, of Linkup Communications; Vice Chair Alan Lane, CSRE, AMD, DRB, of Cumulus Media; and Secretary/Treasurer Ricky Carter of Alarado Media.

To form a chapter, a minimum of 10 SBE members must hold at least three meetings, and then submit an application to the SBE National Office. The application is reviewed and voted on by the SBE Board of Directors. Chapter 106 members met more than the required three times before submitting the chapter application. The organization process was also delayed by Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Commenting on the new chapter, SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, said, “The SBE members in the Florida Panhandle area have been without a chapter for some time. The efforts of Mark Johnson and others in the area to organize a chapter have paid off, and all the chapter leaders and organizers deserve the credit for their work in establishing the chapter to serve SBE members in the area.”

2019-2020 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. 15 and 16 in Madison, WI, in conjunction with the Broadcasters Clinic. 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. 16, the 2019-2020 officers and directors were sworn in to begin their new terms. (The results of the SBE election were announced on Aug. 29.) SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, 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. 15. The committee chair assignments follow.

Committee Chair
Awards Tom McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT
By-Laws Charles “Ched” Keiler, CPBE, 8-VSB, CBNE
Certification Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE*
Chapter Liaison Mark Fehlig, CPBE, 8-VSB
Education Geary Morrill, CPBE, CBNE
Fellowship Troy Pennington, CSRE, CBNT*
Electronic Communications Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT
Finance Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT
Frequency Coordination Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB
Government Relations Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT
International Charles W. Kelly Jr.*
Membership Steve Brown, CPBE, CBNT
Mentoring Chris Tarr, CSRE, AMD, DRB, CBNE
Nominations Jim Leifer, CPBE
Publications Jason Ornellas, CBRE, CRO
Social Networking Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE
Sustaining Membership Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT
Technologies Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT

On the committee assignments, President Pecena said, “The skill and experience of the SBE Board of Directors and committee chairs is wide and varied, and I look forward to drawing on their abilities to continue the forward progress of the SBE as we implement plans from the 2018 strategic planning conference and develop new opportunities for our members.”

President Pecena also appointed two directors to serve on the SBE Executive Committee, which also includes all the officers and the past president. Roswell Clark and Geary Morrill were appointed and approved by the Board, and they join Pecena, Vice President Andrea Cummis, Secretary Kevin Trueblood, Treasurer Ted Hand, and Immediate Past President Jim Leifer.

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 5,000 members.

* These committee chairs do not serve on the SBE Board of Directors.

SBE Enhances MemberPlus Opportunity

On Jan. 2, 2018, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, introduced the SBE MemberPlus member benefit. The enhanced member benefit allows Regular, Senior or Associate members to upgrade their membership with full access to the more than 80 Webinars by SBE. Response to the SBE MemberPlus program has been positive, and more than 1,000 members have added SBE MemberPlus to their regular membership.

SBE MemberPlusAt the SBE Board of Directors meeting, held Oct. 15, 2019, in Madison, WI, the program was further expanded to provide the member benefit to SBE Life members and SBE Student members, who previously could not participate in the program. Called SBE Life MemberPlus and SBE Student MemberPlus, SBE members in these two categories will be able to add the benefit to their membership beginning in January of 2020.

SBE MemberPlus has been available to Regular, Senior or Associate members for the cost of annual dues, plus $90; a total of $175. On Jan. 2, 2020, Life members will be able to add SBE MemberPlus to their membership for $90. Student members will be able to opt for SBE MemberPlus when they join or renew, also for $90. Existing SBE Life and Student members can add the option beginning Jan. 2 by contacting the SBE National Office by phone at 317-846-9000.

SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, commenting on the member benefit, said, “The SBE educational efforts have grown significantly in recent years, and SBE MemberPlus provides the greatest access to our leading educational tool: Webinars by SBE. Providing access to Life and Student members allows younger, as well as more experienced SBE members, to continue learning by taking advantage of this popular benefit.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

SBE Holds Daily Booth Drawing at 2019 NAB Show

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the 2019 NAB Show, visitors to the Society of Broadcast Engineers booth were encouraged to drop a business card for the daily drawing for a $200 Fry’s gift card.

Each day’s drawing was sponsored, and the SBE thanks these Sustaining Members:
Monday: Nemal Electronics
Tuesday: Linkup Communications
Wednesday: Blackmagic Design

The winners are:
Monday: David Weaver, chief engineer of Ion Media in Fairfax Station, VA.
Tuesday: Tim Neese of MultiTech Consulting, Inc. in Swannanoa, NC.
Wednesday: Alex Brewster, assistant chief engineer at Entercom Seattle.

John Collinson Named SBE Fellow

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has elevated John Collinson, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, CBNE, to the membership rank of Fellow. The SBE Board of Directors elected him at its meeting held Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas during the 2019 NAB Show.

John Collinson, who joined the SBE in 1976 and is currently a Senior member, is the chief engineer at Ventana Television, Inc., a branch of HSN, in Saint Petersburg, FL. He has held that position since 1994. He previously was the chief engineer of WWSB-TV and WAAY-TV in Sarasota, FL from 2007 to 2008, and the chief engineer of WDAF-AM/KYYS-FM in Kansas City from 1987 to 1993. He attended Oklahoma State Tech and John Brown University.

Collinson has served SBE Chapter 39 Tampa Bay Area as chapter chair from 1999 to 2001, and chapter certification chair since 1995. In the early 1990s, he led the effort to restart the chapter. For the past 11 years, the chapter has presented an annual Broadcast Technology Symposium, and Collinson has been a leader in founding and continuing that project. Many chapter members credit him as being a driving force in keeping the chapter active with, as one of his Fellow nominators wrote, “his steady support and wise counsel even after he handed off the main leadership role to others.”

One nomination credited Collinson’s mentoring efforts: “[John] encourages both brand new and seasoned engineers to expand their knowledge and their level of certification. He takes the time to nurture young talent and has been instrumental in growing [the chapter’s] relationship with St. Petersburg College with the goal of enticing more young talent to join our trade.” Another nomination noted that because of Collinson’s efforts, 19 St. Petersburg College students (and counting) have earned the SBE Certified Radio Operator Certification to date.

His dedication to SBE certification is boundless. One nominator wrote, “John is not only a great mentor for new members, but also pushes the membership as a group for higher certifications every chance he can.”

Additional comments from his nomination include notes words of praise, including:
“John is always one of the first to volunteer for a project.”
“John is an engineer’s engineer.”
“John is a shining star in our industry.”
“John values our broadcast community, and it shows with his dedication year after year to the SBE, both locally and nationally.”

On the SBE Board of Directors’ approval of John Collinson’s elevation to Fellow, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “The peer accolades expressed for John show the highest esteem of an SBE member, and recognizing him with the membership grade of Fellow is a testament to John’s skill, attitude, professionalism and dedication to broadcast engineering. These are the marks of an SBE Fellow.”

The Fellow honor is the highest membership level in the SBE. Members must have made significant contributions to the broadcast engineering field or the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. Since the Society’s founding 55 years ago, 79 members have been honored with the Fellow rank.

Collinson will be recognized for his election to Fellow during the SBE National Awards Dinner on Oct. 16, 2019, in Madison, WI, during the annual SBE National Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic.