Posts Categorised: NAB Engineering Achievement Award

“Joint Keynote Address” featured several past winners of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award

LAS VEGAS — New to NAB Show this year is what organizers called an “unconventional keynote session.”

Sunday morning, NAB convened several past recipients of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award to participate in a panel of mini-keynotes. NAB EVP and CTO Sam Matheny acted as moderator, and participants were asked to address “the single most important challenge for the future of broadcasting.”

The participants were: E. Glynn Walden, Entercom consultant; John Turner, principal engineer, Turner Engineering Inc.; Ben Dawson, president of Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers, LLC; Laurence Thorpe of Canon U.S.A.; Ronald Rackley, VP of duTreil, Lundin & Rackley; Ira Goldstone, executive engineer at FOX Studios; Thomas Silliman, president of Electronic Research Inc.; S. Merrill Weiss, president of Merrill Weiss Group; Frank Foti, executive chairman of the board for The Telos Alliance; Mark Richer, president of ATSC; Tom King, president and CEO of Kintronic Labs Inc.; Robert Seidel, vice president of CBS Engineering and Advanced Technology for CBS Television Network; Andy Laird, retired VP of engineering/CTO emeritus for Journal Broadcast Group; Richard Friedel, EVP and GM of FOX Network Engineering and Operations; John Kean, consulting engineer for Cavell Mertz & Associates; and Rich Chernock, chief science officer for Triveni Digital.

As part of the session, Rackley used his time to promote the cause of updating interference standards to reflect modern challenges.For those who could not attend the “Joint Keynote Address: Previous Engineering Award Winners,”

the following is a transcript of remarks delivered by Rackley.

I am grateful for having been able to enjoy my work every day over the past 45 years that I have been a consulting radio engineer, but there is one area of unfinished business that I would like to see receive serious attention while I am still around — revising the requirements of the FCC rules to recognize that it is not the 1930s anymore when it comes to the environment of noise and interference in which AM stations broadcast.

Fortunately, we have the AM revitalization rulemaking that is being considered by the FCC for that, and an FCC chairman who would like to see it taken seriously.

The comments that have been filed with the FCC in the rulemaking contain a lot of well thought-out scientific analysis of both the limitations on AM station coverage due to noise and man-made interference today and how proper administration of revised station-to-station interference standards could help.

But, those comments sit there on the record unheeded — with the rulemaking process at a stalemate — because of pushback from broadcasters that was inspired by the severity of some of the rule changes that were initially proposed by the FCC. Many comments prepared by expert consulting engineers support compromise standards that I think address the controversies well.

I believe the time has come for those with differing perspectives on questions having to do with how AM stations should protect each other from interference to meet together and iron out good solutions, aimed at optimizing AM radio service to the public day and night, that are acceptable to all.

I am going to be so bold as to suggest that the NAB might be able to play a pivotal role in pulling such an effort together. Thank you.

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Tom Jones will be recognized in Las Vegas

WASHINGTON — Two engineers well known in the world of U.S. radio broadcasting will be honored by the National Association of Broadcasters at the spring show.

Tom Jones will receive the 2018 NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award. He is president of Carl T. Jones Corp., having joined his father’s firm as a senior engineer in 1979. He became a full partner in 1983 and become president two years later.

Tom Jones

“He has managed hundreds of complex broadcast engineering projects, served on industry and government advisory committees and has been heavily involved in the development of the Method Moments analysis for AM directional arrays and more recently the AM revitalization effort,” NAB stated in the announcement. (For a full list of past radio winners, see below.)

Clay Freinwald will receive the Service to Broadcast Engineering Achievement Award from NAB. He began his engineering career in 1961 and has held technical positions at numerous stations and station groups, including Tacoma News Tribune, Viacom and Entercom, according to the NAB announcement.

Clay Freinwald

A recipient in 2007 of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award, Freinwald is a Fellow in the Society of Broadcast Engineers and a founding member of the Broadcast Warning Working Group, which helps broadcasters and others understand and implement EAS technology. He has served as chairman of the Washington State EAS Committee for over 20 years and chaired the SBE EAS Committee for a decade.

On the TV side, Roger Keating will receive the NAB Digital Leadership Award. He joined Hearst Television in 2008, overseeing its digital media unit and leading product development, business development and corporate development. His portfolio includes serving as the first chairman of Pearl TV, leadership in the Dyle mobile DTV project, support of the NAB SPROCKIT program and most recently leadership in the launch of NewsON, the mobile-only app for local news aggregation, according to the NAB announcement.

And the NAB Television Engineering Achievement Award will go to Mark Aitken, whom NAB described as “a dynamic leader in the development of Next Gen TV.” He joined Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1999 and became VP of advanced technology in 2011. “He has been involved in the broadcast industry’s migration to advanced services, including participation in the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, involvement in ATSC including chairing the specialist group on mobile DTV, and with the formation of Sinclair’s joint venture ONE Media, serving as its President.”


Recipients of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award are listed here. Beginning in 1991, radio and TV winners were named; radio winners are shown.

1960 T.A.M. Craven

1961 Raymond F. Guy

1962 Ralph N. Harmon

1963 Dr. George R. Town

1964 John H. DeWitt Jr.

1965 Edward W. Allen Jr.

1966 Carl J. Meyers

1967 Robert M. Morris

1968 Howard A. Chinn

1969 Jarrett L. Hathaway

1970 Philip Whitney

1971 Benjamin Wolfe

1972 John M. Sherman

1973 A. James Ebel

1974 Joseph B. Epperson

1975 John D. Silva

1976 Dr. Frank G. Kear

1977 Daniel H. Smith

1978 John A. Moseley

1979 Robert W. Flanders

1980 James D. Parker

1981 Wallace E. Johnson

1982 Julius Barnathan

1983 Joseph Flaherty

1984 Otis S. Freeman

1985 Carl E. Smith

1986 Dr. George Brown

1987 Renville H. McMann

1988 Jules Cohen

1989 William Connolly

1990 Hilmer Swanson

1991 George Marti

1992 Edward Edison & Robert L. Hammett

1993 Robert M. Silliman

1994 Charles T. Morgan

1995 Robert Orban

1996 Ogden Prestholdt

1997 George Jacobs

1998 John Battison

1999 Geoffrey Mendenhall

2000 Michael Dorrough

2001 Arno Meyer

2002 Paul Schafer

2003 John W. Reiser

2004 E. Glynn Walden

2005 Milford Smith

2006 Benjamin Dawson & Ronald Rackley

2007 Louis A. King

2008 Thomas B. Silliman

2009 Jack Sellmeyer

2010 Steve Church

2011 L. Robert du Treil

2012 Paul Brenner

2013 Frank Foti

2014 Jeff Littlejohn

2015 Thomas F. King

2016 Andy Laird 

2017 John Kean

2018 Tom Jones

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