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.

SBE WEBxtra Begins Pilot Run

SBE WEBxtraFollowing the SBE strategic planning conference held in Jun 2018, the SBE has created several task groups to investigate and develop plans based on 46 action steps to accomplish the objectives of growing and retaining membership, attracting new and younger members to the SBE, and increasing participation in SBE activities among members. One of those action steps was to create a monthly virtual program for member engineers, technicians and other broadcast professionals, wherever they may be.

The task group, under the leadership of SBE Board Member Kirk Harnack, launched a three-episode trial of the SBE WEBxtra. The first episode aired live on Jan. 25. (Watch that episode now.) Additional episodes will air in February and March as part of a pilot program to evaluate the YouTube live stream. Harnack and his task group will present its collected information to the SBE Board of Directors at its meeting on April 7 in Las Vegas at the 2019 NAB Show.

The SBE WEBxtra is being developed as an SBE chapter of the web. It’s not intended to replace the function and interaction of local chapter meetings, but to enhance member participation. This may be beneficial to SBE members who do not live near a local chapter.

For those holding SBE certification, viewing the SBE WEBxtra qualifies for 0.5 points in category G (attendance), just like attending a local chapter meeting.

The dates and guests for the February and March episodes will be announced as they are finalized.

Tarr Appointed to Fill SBE Board Vacancy

Chris TarrThe SBE Board of Directors Executive Committee, at its meeting on Jan. 26, 2019, approved the appointment of Chris Tarr, CSRE, AMD, DRB, CBNE, to fill an open position on the SBE Board of Directors. The Board seat opened when Kim Sacks, CBT, resigned her position on the board for personal reasons. Tarr fills Sacks’ unexpired term that will end in the fall 2019.

Tarr is director of technical operations for Entercom Milwaukee/Madison, WI. He lives in Mukwonago, WI. Tarr served a previous term on the board as a director from 2006 to 2008. He will also take over as the chair of the SBE Mentor Committee. On his appointment, Chris Tarr said, “As someone who is passionate about the future of our industry, and an SBE mentor of two engineers, I’m honored to be able to continue the great work Kim Sacks has done with the Mentorship program.”

On the appointment, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Chris has a boundless energy for broadcast engineering. With his previous experience on the board, I anticipate Chris will continue to grow the SBE Mentor Program, continuing on the great work Kim Sacks started.”

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.”

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.