8/30/2012 5:04:00 PM

'At this convention we’ve had more trouble with ISDN than anyone can recall'

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8/28/2012 9:33:00 PM

As news began to circulate on Tuesday morning of SBE “Member #1” John Battison’s death at age 96, colleagues remembered fondly the broadcast engineering vet’s contributions to the industry over the last seven decades.

This afternoon, Radio World spoke with SBE President Ralph Hogan, also director of engineering at KJZZ(FM) in Phoenix, for his thoughts on the legendary Battison.

Did you know Mr. Battison personally?

RH: He was not only the founder of the society, but I considered him to be a cherished friend. He attended national meetings when he could during his later years, and he was always very much a gentleman and an excellent engineer, always excited about talking about engineering and training and how to form our membership. He gave me some guidance.

What are your favorite memories of him?

RH: Just sitting in a meeting room with various other engineers around and he and I talking and reminiscing about some of the old days. About how the industry has changed over time, and how consolidation has affected the industry.

How did the rest of the SBE react when they knew he would be attending a meeting?

RH: He didn’t attend regularly, because of his health, but when he did attend, there was always a level of excitement within the membership. Not only him being Member #1, but the conversation he would bring to the group.

Just recently, the society renamed the SBE lifetime achievement award the John Battison Lifetime Achievement Award. This recognizes and pays tribute to individuals for their dedication, lifelong achievement and outstanding contributions … and that I think sums up John (and) some of those values that he brought to the industry. His wealth of knowledge that he disseminated to the broadcast community will be missed.

More reaction and remembrances will be posted online in the coming week. Feel free to share memories of Battison in the comments section here.

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8/22/2012 1:49:00 PM

Paul McLane is editor in chief.

The news about an Apple patent that involves radio is intriguing.

As we’ve reported on our website, the company just received a patent for “seamless switching between radio and local media.” This raises a host of possibilities; and one of the most obvious is that it presumably will make it easier for consumers to avoid commercials, and that presumably is a bad thing for the traditional revenue-based radio model (sample headline this morning: “New Apple Patent Could Kill Commercial Radio”).

But before we hyperventilate, the news could also be seen as positive. Radio advocates have long urged Apple to incorporate radio into its products more widely. Here we see Apple giving signs that it is thinking about how radio fits into media products, and how to better integrate it. This development could imply broader interest on the part of Apple in incorporating radio functionality more widely.

Yet again, reading patent tea leaves always is a dangerous hobby, and companies often file patents that do not directly result in products. Some early chatter is that Apple could “transform” radio with this. I am always leery of such reactions. There is much to ponder here. We’ll watch with interest to see what Apple, and industry observers, have to say about this.
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8/14/2012 3:40:00 PM

Hey, radio history buffs! Here’s a note from a Radio World reader, maybe you can help.

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