Nominations Open for 2016 SBE Awards

By Mike Hendrickson, CPBE, CBNT
Awards Committee Chair

SBE award ribbonThe time has come to nominate SBE members and chapters for SBE awards. Please consider your chapter and chapter members when you think about these awards. There may be an individual in your chapter who has been an outstanding engineer, educator or mentor for new broadcast engineers. Recognize that person by nominating him or her for the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year or the James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year awards.

Perhaps someone has written a notable technical article or presented a technical paper at a meeting. The SBE Freedom Award recognizes an individual or group that has performed extraordinary service to the United States through the use of media technology. For the hardware and software side, the SBE Technology Award recognizes the person, group, or company that has developed innovative new technology or systems for media technology.

These are a few of the awards that are presented each year by the SBE. Of the 13 awards that are presented each year, the local chapter or SBE member nominates for 10 of them.

Many SBE members are highly qualified and deserving of recognition. Likewise, many chapters do an excellent job promoting the ideals and goals of the SBE. I urge you to nominate these members and chapters so they can receive the recognition they deserve. Nominate someone or a chapter today.

All the national awards were created to recognize the efforts of members and chapters. Find all the details on the SBE awards at sbe.org/awards. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Certification Director Megan Clappe at mclappe@sbe.org or me at mhendrickson@sbe.org.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers Forms EAS Advisory Group

The Society of Broadcast Engineers has actively worked as a source of information for the Emergency Alert System since it was launched. As the system has developed and evolved to include new technologies and alerting partners, so has the SBE adapted to be the most effective and thorough resource for broadcasters to use to implement their EAS efforts.

As part of this evolution, SBE President Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, authorized the formation of the SBE EAS Advisory Group. The purpose of the group is to stay abreast of developments regarding EAS that will affect SBE members, including changes in federal regulations, policy and technology, and communicate pertinent developments to appropriate SBE national leadership and staff.

The group’s member’s are:
Larry Wilkins, CPBE, AMD, CBNT (group chair)
George Molnar
James Hoge
Ed Czarnecki (Monroe Electronics/Digital Alert Systems)
Harold Price (Sage Alerting Systems)

The group members were chosen to yield insight from the two SBE national committees that are involved with EAS issues, SBE members who are heavily involved with EAS, and SBE sustaining members that manufacture EAS equipment. The group reports to Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, the chair of the SBE Education Committee, and Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, the chair of the SBE Government Relations Committee.

On the announcement of the group’s formation, SBE President Jerry Massey said, “The SBE has worked with the various EAS partners, from stations to manufacturers to legislators, to be the trusted source of EAS information. The SBE EAS Advisory Group continues the effort that was begun by previous SBE committees.”

Larry Wilkins, the group chair, added, “Going forward, one focus of the group will be to field reports concerning origination or distribution problems from broadcast stations and state emergency communications committees (SECC). Using the expertise of the committee members along with information from our contacts with the FCC and FEMA, a recommended solution can be issued to the industry.”

Initial Findings of the 2016 EAS Nationwide Test

EAS logoAt the end of December, the FCC released an initial overview of the nationwide EAS test results and highlighted several opportunities for strengthening the EAS. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) and the National Weather Service (NWS), conducted a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 2:20 p.m. EDT on Sept. 28, 2016. The nationwide test was designed to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS, with a particular emphasis on testing FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the integrated gateway through which common alerting protocol-based (CAP-based) EAS alerts are disseminated to EAS Participants.

The test also provided the Commission an opportunity to evaluate improvements made to the EAS since the 2011 nationwide EAS test and to improve its ability to monitor the performance of EAS Participants during nationwide EAS tests. At the direction of the Commission, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau launched the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS), an electronic filing system and related database, on June 27, 2016. Using ETRS for the first time, EAS Participants nationwide registered accounts and submitted identifying information regarding their participation in the EAS. In the hours following the nationwide test, EAS Participants submitted “day of test” results that indicated whether they successfully received and retransmitted the test alert. EAS Participants submitted detailed analyses in the weeks following the test that specified how they received the alert and identified any complications they experienced during the test.

The FCC reports that the Nationwide EAS Test was successful. Initial test data indicates that the vast majority of EAS participants successfully received and retransmitted the National Periodic Test (NPT) code that was used for the test. The improvements made to the EAS using the lessons learned from the 2011 nationwide EAS test and the implementation of the ETRS appear to have significantly improved test performance over what was observed during the 2011 test.

From the data submitted by EAS participants to the ETRS, several steps have been identified where the Commission could strengthen the EAS. These improvements address problems with poor audio quality, inability to deliver the Spanish alert because of receive timing between the over-the-air test and the IPAWS CAP alert, better access to alerts for people with disabilities, shortcomings in some state EAS plans, improperly configured station equipment, and potential improvements in cybersecurity of the EAS.

Read the FCC’s public notice:
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-1452A1.docx
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-1452A1.pdf

Pecena Appointed to Fill SBE Secretary Vacancy

SBE President Jerry Massey has appointed Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, as national secretary on the SBE national Board of Directors. The SBE Executive Committee ratified the appointment during a conference call meeting held December 12. The position of national secretary was vacated when Tim Anderson, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, resigned to focus on a new career direction as a commercial airline pilot.

Wayne PecenaPecena, who is director of engineering at Texas A&M University and a member of Chapter 99, has been a member of the SBE Board for four years and was elected to a third director term earlier this year. He chairs the SBE Education Committee and will continue to do so while serving as secretary. Pecena vacates his director seat to assume the secretary role.

Anderson was elected national secretary this past summer and had served as a director on the Board for six years. For most of those years, he served as chair of the membership committee.

On the appointment, Massey said, “We’re certainly sorry that Tim is leaving the Board, but it’s understandable as he pursues his new career path. We’ll miss his insight and contributions to the SBE’s national efforts. At the same time, Wayne has been, and I expect will continue to be, a valuable asset to the SBE and especially our education efforts. I welcome him to his new position.”

President Massey has also appointed board director Jim Bernier, CPBE, CBNE, senior director of broadcast engineering at Turner Entertainment Networks and a member of Chapter 5 in Atlanta, to serve on the Executive Committee.

New SBE Facebook Group: SBE Chapters

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, has created a new group on Facebook called SBE Chapters. Sharing information and experiences is a great path to a more active SBE membership. This group is the official place to post a photo and description of what your SBE chapter is doing. Did you host a terrific presenter? Is your chapter doing something interesting, educational, or just plain fun? This group is the spot to share photos from these SBE chapter events.

SBE Launches Mentor Program

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, has begun its first Mentor Program. The Mentor Program is designed to provide broadcast engineers who are new to the field a means to gain insight and work with a seasoned broadcast engineer who can share his or her acquired knowledge. SBE Mentor ProgramThe SBE accepted applications for mentors and mentees from SBE members through September. Mentees were paired with mentors based on mutual experiences and career interests.

Participants are asked to have regular communication by voice or video at least every other week. In all but a few pairings, mentors and mentees are not in the same city, but this should not impair the interaction of the participants. Officially, the mentoring will last one year, but the professional relationship can certainly continue.

The inaugural launch of the program attracted 32 mentees and 18 mentors. Many mentors are working with more than one mentee. The SBE Mentor Committee is cochaired by SBE board members Jeff Keith, CPBE, and Eric Schecter, CBRE.

On the launch of the program, SBE President Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, said, “This program provides a fast-track for those SBE members who are new to broadcast engineering to gain practical insight and knowledge from some of our more experienced SBE members. Through this, we are able to tap the knowledge resource to grow an engineering talent resource. I extend a personal thanks to the volunteer mentors who are participating in the SBE Mentor Program.”

The SBE is still accepting applications for new mentors and mentees. As new mentors and mentees apply, new partners will be matched.

SBE Re-Elects Jerry Massey as President

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2016 election for the national board of directors. Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, was re-elected as the society’s president. Massey is the regional technical operations director, Southeast for Entercom Communications, and the director of technical operations, MIS, sustainability for Entercom Greenville.

Regarding the election results, President Massey said, “I set several goals when I was elected president last year, and I look forward to working with the board and our members to see these goals to completion.”

Others serving one-year terms as officers, which begin on Oct. 27 are:

■ Vice President: Jim Leifer, CPBE, director of engineering and IT at iHeartMedia/South Florida, Boynton Beach, FL.

■ Secretary: Tim Anderson, CPBE, DRB, CBNE; manager of business and product development, radio transmission, GatesAir; Covington, KY.

■ Treasurer: Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, managing partner, AC Video Solutions, Roseland, NJ.

    Serving two-year terms on the board of directors, which also begin Oct. 27 are:

■ Jim Bernier, CPBE, CBNE; Senior Director, Broadcast Engineering, Turner Entertainment Networks; Alpharetta, GA
■ Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE; Director of Multimedia Education, Telos Alliance; Nashville, TN
■ Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE; Director of Engineering , Texas A&M University – KAMU FM & TV; College Station, TX
■ Marcelo Sanchez, CPBE; Director of Broadcast Operations and Engineering, WFOR-TV/WBFS-TV; Miramar, FL
■ Mark Simpson, CPBE, AMD, DRB, CBNE; VP Engineering, Townsquare Media; Tucson, AZ
■ Justin “JT” Tucker, CSRE, AMD, CBNE; Regional Director of Engineering Southwest, Cumulus Media Charleston; Charleston, SC

   
    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 5,100 members. Those elected will begin their terms on Oct. 27, 2016, during the SBE Membership Meeting. They will join the other six directors who have another year remaining in their terms (Mark Fehlig, CPBE, 8-VSB, CBNT; senior engineer, RF spectrum; Osborn Engineering; Snellville, GA; Michael Hendrickson, CPBE, CBNT; chief engineer; American Public Media Group/Minnesota Public Radio/Classical South Florida; Lakeville, MN; Ched Keiler, CPBE, 8-VSB, CBNE; senior engineer; ISC/E Three; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Jeff Keith, CPBE; senior product development engineer; Wheatstone Corporation; New Bern, NC; Kevin Plumb, CPBE; vice president, video/audio platform technologies; ESPN Technology; Trumbull, CT; RJ Russell, CPBE; VP of engineering; Fox 29 Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA) as well as Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, who is the immediate past president.

The SBE National Meeting will be held Oct. 26-27, 2015, in Columbus, OH, in conjunction with the Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference, presented by the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, the Ohio chapters of the SBE, and the Ohio chapter of SMPTE.

Ennes Educational Foundation Trust Announces 2016 Scholarship Recipients

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust has awarded four scholarships for 2016. Winners were chosen from applications received by July 1, 2016, from the previous 12 months.

The Harold E. Ennes Scholarship, Robert D. Greenberg Scholarship and John H. Battison Founder’s Scholarship are awarded to individuals interested in continuing or beginning their education in broadcast engineering and technology. The Youth Scholarship is specifically for a graduating high school senior interested in broadcast engineering as a career. Each scholarship awarded this year is for $1,500.

This year the Harold E. Ennes Scholarship recipient is Michael Frushour from Brookfield, IL. Frushour is a student at Columbia College in Chicago studying television production. His introduction to broadcasting was via a television production course offered at his high school. After his sophomore year, he applied some of his college knowledge by helping his high school update its facilities from analog to digital. He plans to pursue a career in live sports production.

Receiving the Robert Greenberg Scholarship is James Copeland from Wichita, KS. He is starting his junior year at Kansas Sate University studying broadcasting. He is currently the program director and student engineer at K-State’s student-run radio station. On the side, he collects classic Heathkit and Collins radios.

The John H. Battison Founder’s Scholarship has been awarded to Clifford White from Tyler, TX. Obtaining his Amateur Extra Class license at age 14, his ham radio acquaintances who worked in broadcasting introduced him to the big leagues of radio. During the summer of 2015, White is freelance radio broadcast engineer in East Texas and studies electrical engineering at LeTourneau University in Longview, TX.

Ruth Willet of Lawrenceville, GA, received the Youth Scholarship. She recently graduated from high school and plans to attend Kettering College in Michigan with a double major in mechanical engineering and engineering physics. She is an active amateur radio operator and was introduced to broadcast engineering through contacts with other amateur operators.

The Harold Ennes Scholarship Fund Trust was initiated by Indianapolis Chapter 25 in 1980 in memory of Harold E. Ennes, author of many textbooks for broadcast and broadcast-related communications training and a member of the Indianapolis chapter. Ennes was a member of the SBE’s national Certification Committee and made many contributions to the early development of the Certification Program. To encourage greater growth, the Scholarship Trust was transferred by Chapter 25 to the SBE national organization to administer in 1981. The name of the Trust was changed in 1995 to the “Harold Ennes Educational Foundation Trust” to fully embrace its expanded role.

SBE Announces Winners of 2016 National Awards

The Society of Broadcast Engineers announces the recipients of the 2016 SBE National Awards. The awards recognize excellence and achievement by individual members, SBE chapters and Sustaining Member companies. 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.

Mike HendricksonPresented to a member who has excelled in his or her career while furthering the mission of the SBE, the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year is awarded to Michael Hendrickson, CPBE, CBNT, of Lakeville, MN. Hendrickson is a former SBE Chapter 17 chair, and currently a member of the SBE National Board of Directors.

Cheryl LustenbergerThe 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 award is Cheryl Lustenberger, CBNT, CTO, of Chapter 11 in Boston. Lustenberger is the assistant manager at the Tufte Television Facilities at Emerson College and has been instrumental in creating a fun and educational environment to students interested in broadcast engineering.

Mike Hendrickson has been in the broadcast engineering industry for more than 35 years. Recently retired, Mike was elected to the national SBE Board of Directors in 2015. Prior to retirement, Mike was chief engineer for American Public Media and was responsible for the upgrade of Minnesota Public Radio stations in Minnesota and several stations in Florida. In addition to being a former chapter chairman of Chapter 17, Mike has held several offices. Mike wrote an early version of a database that contained entries of most of the 950MHz aural studio/transmitter link assignments in the area. He is remembered by some SBE members for the demonstration of this database at an SBE meeting in the early 1980s, when a static discharge from bad carpet to the computer ended the database demo!

2016 marks the fourth 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 certificate and will be recognized nationally on the SBE website and in a future issue of The Signal. The nine chapter winners also were automatically nominated for the national Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year Award.

Cheryl Lustenberger has spent the last nine years educating future broadcast engineers at Tufte Television Studios at Emerson College. Having previously worked at several network affiliates in Massachusetts before coming back to her alma mater as staff, she was always happy to help students learn about the technology behind the productions they were developing and carrying out. In addition to formal workshops on safety, rigging and technology, Cheryl makes herself available to students via personal workshops on most any subject. One Emerson College student commented, “Her devotion to lifelong learning and teaching sets an example for students who will have to keep up with a rapidly changing industry.”

Blackmagic Design is awarded the 2016 SBE Technology Award for its URSA Studio Viewfinder, which turns the URSA mini, a compact lightweight Super 35 digital film camera, into a true professional studio camera.

Norman PortilloNorman Portillo, CBT, CTO, has won the newly added Freedom Award. Portillo previously won the Educator of the Year award in 2014 and has continued that education and training throughout the military community with his move from the Defense Information School in Maryland to Fort Bragg, NC. Norman recently established an SBE Chapter at Fort Bragg, Chapter 147. He currently serves as the chairman of that chapter. His supervisor, Jeremiah Green commented, “I have seen him personally reach out to the military community about the SBE’s programs and benefits. The command has also recognized his success and relies on him to connect the bridge between civilian and military training. Where the most Army military broadcast engineers are stationed, they now have a home where they can have training and certification opportunities.”

Chapter Awards
Best Chapter Communication
Chapter 24 of Madison, WI

Best Regional Convention or Conference
SBE Chapters of Wisconsin, and the 2015 Broadcasters Clinic

Several SBE National Awards recognize chapters for growth in membership, percentage of certified members and highest average attendance at chapter meetings. These awards are based on statistics kept at the national office, as submitted by chapters. Two awards for each category are presented, based on chapter enrollment. Class A represents chapters whose membership is less than the national median. Class B includes chapters with a membership greater than the national median.

Greatest Growth in New Members
A: Chapter 96, Rockford, IL, Chapter Chairman Ben Pflederer
B: Chapter 7, Jacksonville, FL, Chapter Chairman Craig Butler, CSRTE

Most Certified Chapter
A: Chapter 118, Montgomery, AL, Chapter Chairman Wiely Boswell, CBRE, CBNE; Certification Chairman, Charlie Grider, CBRE, CBNT
B: Chapter 131, Inland Empire, CA, Chapter Chairman, Wayne Murphy, CPBE, CBNE; Certification Chairman, Paul Claxton, CPBE, CBNE

Highest Average Member Attendance
A: Chapter 145, Magic Valley, ID, Chapter Chairman Thomas Lowther, CSRTE, CBNT
B: Chapter 34, Albuquerque, NM, Chapter Chairman William Harris, CPBE, AMD, CBNT

Nominations for the 2017 awards will open in February.

All the awards will be presented during the SBE National Awards Dinner on October 27, at the SBE National Meeting in Columbus, OH. The National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference, which is presented by the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, the Ohio chapters of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and the Ohio section of SMPTE.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers is the professional organization of television and radio engineers and those in related fields. The SBE has more than 5,100 members in 115 chapters across the United States and in Hong Kong. There are also members in more than 30 other countries. Most chapters meet monthly and offer educational programs and an opportunity to network with other engineers. The SBE offers the largest and most recognized certification program for broadcast engineers, operators and technicians, with more than 4,500 certifications currently active.

Be Prepared for the 2016 National EAS Test

EAS logoWith the pending national EAS test, and the FCC’s unveiling of the EAS Test Reporting System, the SBE has prepared this summary of dates and actions of which all stations should be aware.

Aug. 26, 2016
Stations must complete Form One in the ETRS

Sep 28, 2016, 2:20 p.m. ET
EAS test
If circumstances prevent a test on Sep 28, the secondary test date is Oct 5, 2016.

Sep 28, 2016
By 11:59 p.m. ET, stations must complete the day-of-test report on Form Two in the ETRS

Nov 14, 2016
Deadline to submit post-test data on Form Three in the ETRS