SBE Announces Winners of 2018 National Awards

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

The Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award is presented to a member who has excelled in his or her career while furthering the mission of the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. The winner of the award for 2018 is Mark Persons, CPBE, AMD, CBNT, of Brainerd, MN. Persons is a current member of SBE Chapter 17.

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

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

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

Davicom has been awarded the 2018 SBE Technology Award for its Cortex 360 Site Management System. The Cortex 360 Site Management System is based on the latest hardware processors running an embedded Linux operating system, which incorporates 30 years of experience and knowledge in the remote site management industry.

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

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

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

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

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

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National EAS Test Scheduled for Sept. 20

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

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

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

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

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

SBE Releases 2018 Compensation Survey Results

Compensation SurveyFrom April 1 to May 21, 2018, the Society of Broadcast Engineers conducted its third annual compensation survey to determine salary levels and benefits among broadcast and media technology engineers. This survey provides a wealth of useful information, and it adds to the baseline being developed for subsequent surveys to establish compensation trends.

The complete results of the survey are available at no charge to SBE members as a benefit of membership. A link to the survey is posted on the SBE website. SBE members will login to view and download the report.

The survey included 23 questions that gathered information about job titles, broadcast market size and compensation in dollars and offered benefits. SBE membership was not required to take the survey. About the survey, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “The SBE is again pleased with the number of responses we received for the 2018 Compensation Survey. The data is a value to SBE members, and to the industry.”

While all responses remained anonymous, demographic data collected included market size, job category/title, age, years working in broadcasting, salary, benefits received, and any certification held. The data is split into radio or TV results, with greater detail on job category and market size. President Leifer added, “The survey again shows the continuing trend that individuals who hold SBE Certification on average earn a higher salary than those who do not hold SBE Certification. The SBE Compensation Survey broadly encompasses radio, TV and other media.”

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

Boston Suburb of Danvers is Site of the 2018 SBE National Meeting

The Society of Broadcast Engineers will bring the 54th SBE National Meeting to Danvers, MA, just outside of Boston, on October 2-3. The event will be held in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo (MRE), an annual New England regional exposition and educational event. The MRE includes a media equipment and services tradeshow and multiple technical sessions of interest to all media engineers, technicians, post-production, A/V and media IT professionals.

Serving as event host is SBE Chapter 11 of Boston. The SBE National Meeting begins on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 2, with the fall meeting of the national SBE Certification Committee from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The fall meeting of the SBE Board of Directors will take place from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Attendance at the Board meeting is open to any SBE member. On Wednesday, activities begin with the annual SBE Fellows Breakfast, a reunion of SBE Fellow members including this year’s inductee, Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT. In the afternoon, the one-hour SBE Annual Membership Meeting will be webcast live to members around the world.

The SBE Annual Awards Reception and Dinner also takes place on Wednesday. The dinner will feature a guest speaker and the presentation of the society’s major awards, including the Robert L. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year and James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year awards. The dinner program will conclude with the presentation of the Fellow honor to Massey.

The SBE chapter and individual awards will be presented during the dinner program. For chapters, they include the Best Chapter or Regional Educational Event, Best Chapter Communications, Most Certified Chapter, Highest Member Attendance and Greatest Growth in New Members.

Individual (or company) awards include: Technology Award, Facility Innovation of the Year, Best Technical Paper, Article, Book or Program by an SBE Member; Best Article, Paper or Program by a Student Member and the new Freedom Award.

The MRE is a one-day event, held on Wednesday, Oct. 3. MRE session topics and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

The SBE National Meeting and the MRE will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Boston North Shore. The hotel is located 19 miles north, up I-95, from downtown Boston and Logan Airport.

Information about MRE registration and other details will be released later this summer.
Registration for the SBE National Awards Reception and Dinner is made through the SBE website. Reservations are required ($16) and made online at the SBE website by calling the SBE National Office at 317-846-9000. There is no other registration fee to attend SBE National Meeting events.

Make hotel reservations at the Doubletree by Hilton Boston North Shore by calling 978-777-2500 and ask for the Society of Broadcast Engineers SBE discount. A special rate of $149 per night plus tax has been arranged for the event.

Save the dates and plan to make your way to Boston for this year’s SBE National Meeting and the Media Resource Expo.

SBE Officer, Director Candidates Announced for 2018 Election

Each year the SBE membership elects members to serve on the national Board of Directors; the governing body of the society. This includes all four officers for one-year terms and half the 12 directors for two-year terms. The slate of candidates assembled by the Nominations Committee includes:

Officers:
James LeiferPresident: James Leifer, CPBE; Chapter 11 Boston; Andover, MA
Vice President: RJ Russell, CPBE; Chapter 18 Philadelphia; Middletown, DE
Secretary: Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE; Chapter 99 Bryan, TX, College Station, TX
Treasurer: Jim Bernier, CPBE, CBNE; Chapter 5 Atlanta; Alpharetta, GA

Directors:
(top six vote getters will be elected):
Stephen J. Brown, CPBE, CBNT; Chapter 80 Fox Valley; Appleton, WI
Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT; Chapter 39 Tampa Bay Area; Clearwater, FL
Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE; Chapter 103 Nashville; Nashville, TN
Gary Kline; Chapter 5 Atlanta; Atlanta, GA
Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT; Chapter 22 Central New York; Syracuse, NY
Thomas R. McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT; Chapter 16 Seattle; Missoula, MT
Jason Ornellas, CBRE, CRO; Chapter 43 Sacramento; Sacramento, CA
Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT; Chapter 48 Denver; Laramie, WY
Daniel N. Whealy, CBTE; Chapter 96 Rockford; Sumner, IA

Additional candidates may be nominated by the membership. Any eligible member proposed by at least ten members to the national Secretary by July 6 will be added to the ballot. The election will take place July 20 through August 22. Balloting will be via the election website, except for those members who have opted out of electronic voting this year or who have not provided the SBE national office with their email address. They will receive their ballots through the mail.
For more information about candidacy, contact Secretary Wayne Pecena at wpecena@sbe.org, or Executive Director John Poray at jporay@sbe.org or 317-846-9000.

FCC Extends C-Band Earth Station Filing Window

In a public notice, the International Bureau of the FCC announced a 90-day extension, to October 17, 2018, to the filing window for fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth stations currently operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency band as announced in public notice DA 18-398 on April 19, 2018. The earlier notice announced a temporary freeze on new or modification applications, and established a 90-day filing window for existing entities to voluntarily register or license their FSS earth-station facilities. The FCC also waived the coordination report requirement for the duration of the freeze. That filing windows was due to expire on July 18, 2018.

Since the beginning of the freeze, many parties have submitted to the record their concerns about the volume of unregistered earth stations and the difficulties that many of these operators have faced in preparing the information for filing. These parties indicate that without some relief many operators will be unable to satisfy the filing deadline and the Commission will be without accurate information for its deliberations in the Mid-band Proceeding. To address these concerns, the International Bureau now extends the 90-day filing date for an additional 90 days, until October 17, 2018, in order to provide operators with more time to file applications, should they choose to do so. Only earth stations constructed and operational as of April 19, 2018 are eligible for filing during this window.

The FCC also clarified that applications to register multiple FSS antennas operating in this band that are located at the same address or geographic location may be filed in the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) by using a single registration form and paying a single fee (fee code CMO, currently $435). Finally, the FCC announced the availability of an additional option to facilitate the registration of large numbers of geographically diverse earth stations by filing an application for a single “network” license and paying a single fee in IBFS (fee code BGV, currently $10,620).

SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, and SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay visited representatives from the FCC International Bureau and the Office of Engineering and Technology on May 22 with specific requests to ease the registration burden to broadcasters. The SBE is pleased that the FCC implemented most of what the SBE requested.

The SBE’s requests were to extend the filing window, which it did, and to eliminate the filing fee. If the filing fee could not be waived, the SBE suggested a method of bulk filing for multiple stations or locations, which the FCC granted.

Read the FCC public notice

DA/FCC #: DA-18-639
Docket/RM: 17-183, 18-122

Info on registering Earth station sites

Hand Appointed to Fill SBE Board Vacancy

SBE President Jim Leifer has appointed Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, to fill an open position on the SBE Board of Directors. The SBE Executive Committee ratified the appointment during its meeting on June 8. The Board seat opened when Barry Thomas, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, resigned from the Board. Hand fills Thomas’ unexpired term that will end in the fall 2019.

Ted HandHand is director of engineering/operations at Cox Media Group – Charlotte in Charlotte, NC. He has been an SBE member since 1981, and was elevated to the member grade of Fellow in 2017. He has been involved with SBE chapters in Hampton Roads, VA, and Charlotte, NC. He is a member of Chapter 45 Charlotte. He has served on the SBE board of directors as a director and as secretary. He is a Fellow member of the SBE.

On the appointment, Leifer said, “Ted has served the SBE locally and nationally for many years, and I welcome him back to the board of directors. At the same time, I’m sorry that Barry Thomas has decided to step down, but I understand his professional reasons.”

“I promise to keep working hard as I have in the past years to support the needs of the Society and its membership, especially in supporting the Society’s education goals,” said Ted Hand on the appointment. “Education is the key to staying ahead in knowledge.”

SBE and ATSC to Develop ATSC 3.0 Certification for Broadcast Engineers

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. (SBE), the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, and the Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc. (ATSC) today announced a cooperative effort to develop a new Specialist level of SBE certification that will benchmark an individual’s proficiency in the ATSC 3.0 System standard.

“SBE Certification covers a range of experience levels and disciplines in broadcast and media engineering. As broadcast engineering diversified beyond legacy technology, the SBE Certification Program also diversified by adding certifications for computer networking and IT, and then a series of specific Specialist Certifications for television transmission, AM directional arrays, and digital radio. With the industry preparing to implement ATSC 3.0, broadcast engineers must be proficient in the next-generation television technology. The SBE and ATSC are working together to develop the next SBE Certification Specialist to cover ATSC 3.0,” said SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE.

“ATSC is pleased to work with SBE to develop an ATSC 3.0 Specialist Certification program. The SBE has extensive experience training and certifying broadcast engineers. Our work with the SBE is part of efforts to support deployment of ATSC 3.0,” said Mark Richer, president of ATSC.
The world’s first internet-based broadcast television standard, ATSC 3.0 will give stations and viewers more choices and options now that broadcast TV can seamlessly connect with broadband-delivered content. Approved for use by U.S. broadcasters and deployed in South Korea, ATSC 3.0 technologies make it possible to transmit in Ultra High-Definition, to offer immersive audio, and to add more capabilities like high dynamic range, wide color gamut, and interoperability with Internet-delivered content.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers Certification Program is part of the society’s efforts contributing to the advancement of broadcast engineering for the general benefit of the entire broadcast industry. The program was created in 1975 to recognize and raise the professional status of broadcast engineers by providing standards of professional competence. Through the years, the SBE’s certification program has become recognized in the industry as the primary method of verifying the attainment of educational standards. With the industry constantly changing, the SBE-certified engineer must keep up with those changes.

To hold SBE Specialist Certification, an individual must first hold one of the SBE core-four certifications: CBT, CBRE/CBTE, CSRE/CSTE or CPBE. Once the new Specialist Certification is released, applicants will take a 50-question, multiple-choice exam and answer an essay question.

More information about SBE certification is online at sbe.org/cert.

Nominations Committee Seeks Board Candidates for 2018 Election

The SBE Nominations Committee work has begun. Members of this committee include: Robert Combs, from Spring, TX; John George Jr., from Lexington, SC; Martin Stabbert, CPBE, from Reno, NV; Joe Snelson, Jr., CPBE, 8-VSB, from Aurora, CO; and chairman Justin Tucker, CSRE, AMD, CBNE, from Charleston, SC.

ballot boxThe SBE Nominations Committee seeks qualified candidates who are voting members (Member, Senior, Fellow or the designated representative of a SBE Sustaining Member) in good standing (dues paid). Candidates must hold an engineering level of SBE certification (CBT or higher, or CBNE) and maintain it the entire duration of service on the Board, if elected. Candidates should have a desire to serve and lead, not only as a member of the board, but through service as a national committee chair or member. Members of the Board are “at large,” meaning they represent all members, not any one specific region, state, city or chapter. It is suggested that candidates have previous experience as a leader in his or her local chapter, or other volunteer leadership experience, prior to running for the national SBE Board.

Members of the Board are expected to attend two regularly called meetings each year; in the spring, held during the annual NAB Show, and in the fall, at the annual SBE National Meeting. Other meetings may be called via conference call during the year.

The national SBE board includes 12 directors, four officers and the immediate past president. Directors serve two-year terms and officers serve one-year terms. Six director seats will be contested in 2017 as will all four officer positions. The SBE By-laws limits the number of terms of elected members of the Board. Directors may serve three consecutive terms. The secretary and treasurer may serve up to four consecutive terms and the president and vice president may serve up to two consecutive terms. The maximum number of years anyone may serve on the board is ten consecutive years. The time spent as immediate past president does not count towards the ten-year total.

Members interested in offering their candidacy and serving on the national Board if elected are encouraged to contact the chairman of the SBE Nominations Committee, Justin Tucker, CSRE, AMD, CBNE, at jttucker@sbe.org or 843-277-1270. A slate of nominees will be assembled by the committee by May 1. Other qualified members may be nominated by members in good standing no later than July 6.

The election takes place from July 20 through Aug. 22. Those elected will be installed into office during the SBE National Meeting in Danvers, MA, on Oct. 3.

Register Your C-Band Receive-Only Earth Station Now

The Battle for the C-Band Heats Up

On April 19, 2018, the FCC issued a public notice of a temporary freeze on applications for new or modified fixed satellite service earth stations and fixed microwave stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. This is the C-Band downlink. The notice also established, as a limited exception to the freeze, a 90-day window allowing existing entities that now own Fixed Satellite Service earth stations to register or license them if not currently licensed or registered. During this 90-day window, earth station users of this band can also modify currently licensed or registered earth stations.

The FCC explains plainly that the purpose of the freeze is to preserve the status quo in the C-Band pending FCC action in its open inquiry into “the possibility of permitting mobile broadband use and more intensive fixed use of the band” pursuant to Docket 18-122. This is known informally as the “mid-band proceeding” and it is a freight train. Congress, in the Mobile Now Act (Part of the 2018 Appropriations Act), called on the FCC to study the feasibility of federal and non-federal sharing of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and to submit a report to the Secretary of Commerce and Congress within 18 months. In other legislation, the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services (Ray Baum’s Act), the NTIA and the FCC are required to submit reports evaluating the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services to share use of specified frequencies between 3.1 and 4.2 GHz. If such sharing is feasible, the reports must identify which of the frequencies are most suitable: (1) for sharing with commercial wireless services through the assignment of new licenses by competitive bidding, (2) for sharing with unlicensed operations, or (3) for sharing through a combination of licensing and unlicensed operations. So there is a direct threat to the C-Band.

As noted in the public notice, there is a 90 day filing window for Receive-Only Earth Stations that have not been registered or licensed and current registrations and licenses can be modified. It is critical that you immediately see to the licensing or registration of your C-Band receive-only earth station within this window or risk losing the programming feeds. The window opened April 19 and it closes July 18, 2018. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Read the public notice
Info on registering Earth station sites