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.

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.

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).

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.