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Marty Garrison
MARTY GARRISON OF NPR TO RECEIVE RADIO WORLD EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING AWARD
VP of Technology Operations, Distribution and Broadcast Engineering Recognized by Leading Industry Publication

ALEXANDRIA, VA (November 6, 2013) — NPR’s Marty Garrison will receive the 2013 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the newspaper for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane. Recipients represent the highest ideals of the U.S. radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Garrison is Vice President of Technology Operations, Distribution and Broadcast Engineering for NPR. “Marty heads the technical team that ensures that NPR programming gets on the air and is distributed nationally and globally,” McLane says. His staff also oversees distribution of public radio programming in the United States via NPR Satellite Services and is responsible for NPR’s own extensive back-office systems. With approximately 200 employees, the department is the second largest at NPR after its news staff.

Garrison supervised the move of NPR’s technical operations this year to the organization’s new headquarters in the NoMa neighborhood of Washington, D.C., including its new 55,000-square-foot newsroom, new studios and technology and distribution centers that support iconic programs such as “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition.”

“Marty and his people were responsible for facilitating one of the highest-profile radio build-outs in North America,” McLane continues. “The project demanded meticulous coordination, a vast amount of detail work and a move that had to be planned down to the minute, even the second. By all accounts it was a successful transition, and the job even was completed earlier than originally anticipated, creating a showcase in the nation’s capital for the best that public radio has to offer.”

“Marty’s leadership was critical to achieving the rare result of delivering a project of this magnitude and complexity ahead of schedule and under budget, and to the satisfaction of all constituencies,” says Joyce Slocum, NPR’s Chief Administrative Officer. “From production studios for our programming, to computers and telephones for our support staff, to the satellite system for distribution to public radio stations, Marty’s teams worked together to ensure that everything functioned smoothly from the first moment.”

It was not Garrison’s first technical project involving aggressive timeframes and large capital budgets. He is former Senior Vice President of Global Technical Operations for Turner Broadcasting System and has held technical management leadership positions with Thomson Reuters, British Petroleum and other companies. Radio World also cited his exceptional IT experience and strong management record. “His career exemplifies the evolving skills needed to lead media technology organizations,” McLane says. “Like radio itself, Marty’s career merges traditional radio and audio considerations with new media platforms, data networks and IT infrastructure.”

Garrison is the second NPR recipient of the award; Michael Starling, currently executive director of NPR’s Technology Research Center and NPR Labs, received it in 2005. Last year’s recipient was Paul Brenner of Emmis Communications.
 
 
 
 
 

Paul Brenner to Receive 2012 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award

 He is SVP/CTO of Emmis Communications and president of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium
 
Paul Brenner will receive the 2012 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the newspaper for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane.

Recipients of the award represent the highest ideals of the U.S. radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

“Paul Brenner’s byword is innovation,” said McLane. “He embodies the evolving nature of radio engineering and technical management. He’s an entrepreneur as well as a technical leader, someone who knows how to promote our industry but also help us find new ways of doing things.” McLane pointed to Brenner’s recent work to introduce NextRadio, a radio smartphone application for analog FM and HD Radio, and added, “Paul has been an outstanding representative of our industry in its evolving relationship with wireless carriers.”

Brenner is senior vice president and chief technology officer for Emmis Communications. He also is originator of the HD Radio data distribution consortium business model and serves as president of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, LLC (BTC), a partnership of 20 radio companies formed to distribute data and advertising via FM and HD Radio technology. The Dec. 5 issue of Radio World will feature an interview with Brenner.

“It’s hard to imagine how remarkable Paul’s contributions have been to our company and our industry,” said Emmis Communications Chairman, President and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan. “From forming and leading the BTC, to heading all of our technology efforts, to devising the NextRadio application, Paul has done exemplary work. We are proud that he is a member of our team and as proud that he is acknowledged by Radio World with its Excellence in Engineering Award. It is very well deserved.”

Last year’s recipient was Barry Thomas of Lincoln Financial Media. Past winners include Milford Smith of Greater Media, Gary Kline of Cumulus Media, Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel, Clay Freinwald of Entercom, John Lyons of The Durst Organization, Michael Starling of National Public Radio and Richard Andresen of Cumulus Media.

Emmis owns 18 FM and two AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Austin (it has a 50.1% controlling interest in Emmis’ radio stations located there), Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Ind. 
 

Barry Thomas to Receive 2011 Radio World “Excellence in Engineering” Award

VP of Engineering for Lincoln Financial Media is an active leader at SBE, NRSC

Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT, will receive the 2011 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the newspaper for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane.

Recipients of the award represent the highest ideals of the radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Thomas is vice president of engineering for Lincoln Financial Media, based in Atlanta.

“Barry’s résumé is rich with technical accomplishment in all manner of radio broadcast environments,” McLane said, “from supervising technical operations for an 18-station ownership group, to directing engineering work in support of national radio news bureaus and coverage of political conventions and Olympic games. He has built studios, moved stations, created engineering departments and designed satellite networks.

“But perhaps even more impressive has been his leadership role in national organizations like SBE and NRSC. When issues of importance involving radio technology are being debated, you can be sure to find him nearby. He has been a vocal advocate — on Capitol Hill, at convention panels and in standards discussions — for radio and for the broadcast engineering profession.”

Thomas served two terms as president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and currently chairs the SBE Government Relations Committee, where he has been active in support of legislation to allow FCC commissioners to add engineers or computer scientists to their staffs. He also has served as SBE national treasurer and secretary, and holds certifications as Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE) and Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT). The SBE this year elected him Fellow, a designation that recognizes members who have rendered conspicuous service or made valuable contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering.

SBE President Vinny Lopez said, “When we at SBE think of member champions, Barry is the first name that comes to mind. His enthusiasm for our profession is second to none, and his qualifications make him the ideal choice for the 2011 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award.”

Thomas also is active in the National Radio Systems Committee, an influential standards body co-sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association; he chairs the NRSC RBDS Subcommittee.

NRSC Chairman Milford K. Smith Jr. of Greater Media said, “Barry has almost singlehandedly revitalized the NRSC’s RBDS subcommittee and continues to spearhead extremely innovative work in this important area. He’s truly an exceptional engineer and a terrific person.”

Thomas also serves on NAB’s FASTROAD and Engineering Conference Committees.

Prior to Lincoln Financial Media, Thomas was vice president of engineering for Westwood One Radio Networks, and has held engineering positions at Comedy World Radio Network, AMFM/Chancellor Media and OmniAmerica Group of Cleveland. He co-founded and was chief technology officer of StratosAudio Inc., and was principal of contract engineering firm Thomas Media Systems & Design.

Last year’s recipient of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award was Milford Smith of Greater Media. Past recipients include Gary Kline of Cumulus Media, Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel, Clay Freinwald of Entercom, John Lyons of The Durst Organization, Michael Starling of National Public Radio and Richard Andresen of Cumulus Media.

 


 

Milford Smith of Greater Media to Receive 2010 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award Smitty also is chairman of the NRSC.

Milford K. Smith Jr. of Greater Media will receive the 2010 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the news source for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane.

Recipients of the award represent the highest ideals of the U.S. radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Smith is vice president of radio engineering for Greater Media, the parent company of 23 AM and FM radio stations in Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey as well as a group of weekly newspapers and several telecommunications towers.

“Smitty sometimes seems to be on a first-name basis with everybody, and everybody with him,” says McLane. “We shouldn’t let that familiarity cause us to overlook his remarkable contributions to radio engineering, to industry standards-setting and to new technology development. A small group of people are among the top technical opinion makers in our field. Smitty is among their leaders.”

“We are so proud of Milford Smith on receiving this distinguished honor from Radio World,” said Greater Media Chairman & CEO Peter Smyth. “He is a shining example of someone who continues to make Greater Media and the radio industry greater on a daily basis. It is a privilege to have him on our senior management team.”

In addition to his work at Greater Media, Smith is chairman of the standards-setting National Radio Systems Committee. He has served on its IBOC standards development working group, its RBDS subcommittee and its AM Broadcasting subcommittee; and he is the former long-time chairman of its DAB subcommittee.

He is a past recipient of the Radio Engineering Achievement Award from the National Association of Broadcasters, and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Last year’s recipient of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award was Gary Kline of Cumulus Media. Previous recipients include Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel, Clay Freinwald of Entercom, John Lyons of The Durst Organization, Michael Starling of National Public Radio and Richard “Andy” Andresen of Cumulus Media. Smith will be featured in an upcoming issue of Radio World newspaper and will receive a plaque commemorating the award.

 


 

Kline Blends Tech and Business Savvy A talk with Radio World’s Excellence in Engineering Award winner

When Cumulus Media’s engineering team recently rebuilt a pair of 2,000-foot tower sites in Houston after Hurricane Ike came through — replacing all of the transmission lines on both towers, and rebuilding an entire transmitter facility that had been flooded — it was just the latest entry on a lengthy list of technical accomplishments for the country’s second-largest radio broadcast company and for Gary Kline, its vice president of engineering and information technology.

Gary is our engineer of the year, recipient of Radio World’s Excellence in Engineering Award. We honor him for his achievements in broadcast engineering, his high level of responsibility at the company, his commitment to bettering the professional lives of employees, his mix of radio and IT savvy and his constant efforts to find creative ways to solve problems.

Tech tot

Born and raised in Queens in New York, Kline was interested in radio from the time he was a little kid. He remembers getting up late at night, turning on the stereo and listening to distant AM stations WOWO in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and CKLW in Detroit/Windsor, Ontario.

He’d pretend to be a DJ, using his eight-track deck and cassette player. Ham radio got him into electronics in a serious way; he took night classes at the New York Hall of Science at age 10 or 11 and built kits and circuits he bought at Radio Shack.

As a youngster he went on the NBC studio tour, and snagged a personal visit to WQXR(FM) from that station’s chief engineer. He remembers calling WYNY(FM) when he was in junior high to let them know about a technical problem he’d noticed on the air and wrangling that into a tour too.

By the time he graduated high school, Gary had attended summer engineering programs at Ball State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder through the National Science Foundation, and he had participated in a six-month internship at NBC Radio after lobbying the station to participate in the program. (Gary, as you can tell, was already good at networking.) That led to part-time paid engineering work there.

Business understanding

He did both technical and on-air work to help pay his way through Purdue University, where he studied business.

"I wanted to go to school for electrical engineering," he said, but his father, a civil engineer, provided another perspective.

"My dad always told me, ‘You can be an engineer, but maybe you should be the guy who tells engineers what to do. You should have more of a business and management understanding.’" That helped give Gary the broad foundation he brings to his job, overseeing people who have stronger skill sets in more specific technical areas.

(To this day Gary is loyal member of Purdue’s family. He has done the broadcast engineering for the Purdue Football Radio Network since 1997, handling technical production for its games. Every autumn weekend he travels from his home in Atlanta to West Lafayette, Ind., where he keeps an apartment; for away games he continues on to the road stadium with the team.)

Gary Kline. ‘Go become a better manager. You’re not just an engineer. You’re a department head.’

Over the years he has held engineering positions at ABC Radio and NBC Radio in New York as well as Artistic Media Partners in Indianapolis and other companies. He has done consulting work in at least eight countries.

He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and Association of Federal Communications Engineers. He is or has been involved with the IPAWS Practitioner’s Working Group, Media Security Reliability Council, National Radio Systems Committee, SBE Radio Frequency Coordination and IT Strategy Committees, and NAB groups including its Digital Radio Committee, Broadcast Engineering Conference Committee and TAP Radio Discovery Group.

Big jobs

Gary Kline is 45. In addition to the award, this month marks 10 years for him at Cumulus Media, which now owns more than 350 radio stations.

Among notable accomplishments for him and his team was a huge IT project that became necessary when Cumulus Media Partners purchased Susquehanna Radio in 2006.

"We moved and consolidated their two data centers with our Atlanta facility, requiring many changes and expansions to our existing infrastructure. The project took at least six months of planning," Gary told me.

"We built a new e-mail system using Microsoft Exchange ... incorporating the additional 1,000 mailboxes which Susquehanna had. We moved and built the infrastructure for a multitude of Web sites, all of which used many third-party providers or customized software." The entire Web site portfolio was cut over in a matter of seconds once it was time to pull the switch.

"We moved accounting information, listener databases, real estate/tower databases and several other critical systems."

A year later, the technical team designed and built a large infrastructure for new Cumulus corporate offices in Atlanta. They worked with architects and designers to prepare wiring, technical areas, conference rooms, video and audio gear. When the building was ready for wiring the team installed the routers, phone and network gear for the new space.

"We spent almost a year working on the design and implementation of the move. We shut down the old office on Friday afternoon and had everyone up and running like nothing happened when they came to work on Monday morning. This included moving PCs and other technical gear for several people."

Further projects over the decade include multiple RF jobs in Houston. There were new digital studios for Eugene, Ore., Topeka, Kan. and Nashville, Tenn., the latter featuring one of the first broadcast radio facilities to use fiber optics to connect studios into a centralized router.

Cumulus also launched its own streaming audio system; its stations all now stream using software written by the IT department. "A complete backend and high-bandwidth infrastructure was put in place to handle the loads; all commercial inventory for streaming is scheduled using this system," he said.

Last year the company also set up an HD2 to feed an FM translator, a novel concept at the time; the multicast channel of WNNK(FM) in Harrisburg, Pa., feeds a translator on 95.3 MHz.

Cumulus also converted one of its formats in Atlanta to a Web-only visual radio station using live video jocks and its own streaming software; this year 99x returned to the airwaves using an FM translator rebroadcasting an HD2 signal.

All of these projects relied heavily on Kline’s team.

‘On it’

What makes Gary Kline successful is not just his technical ability, though that’s vital. It’s also his passion and the way he blends understanding of two worlds.

As one Cumulus market manager told him after learning about RW’s award, Gary is "both an engineer and a radio executive," someone who can provide engineering leadership while making sound economic decisions that are in the company’s best interest. Also, as another colleague wrote, "You are one of the radio guys who always is ‘on it’ 24x7x365."

If you’ve spent time with Gary, you know how enthusiastic he can be on the topic of broadcast engineering. Words just shoot out in a rapid stream, like water under pressure.

I asked what advice he’d give to someone starting today. His answer is to get as much experience as you possibly can — broadcast engineering, Internet, digital media — but also managing projects and budgeting; and, perhaps harder for some engineers, developing a better understanding of moods and personalities, "interacting with people and gaining the respect of people who might work for you. If you get those skills you can probably transfer to many different roles.

"Radio has morphed," he continued. "A lot of what I do isn’t about changing the tube in the transmitter. It’s measuring bandwidth in a given city and finding out how we’ll turn on a new video Web site and making sure everyone around the world will have a clean and unbuffered connection to that video. These are new things we didn’t have to worry about before. Get as much experience as you can."

Don’t be afraid to tell the top people about your ambitions, in a confident, professional way. When Gary was working as a contract engineer, he made it a point to sit next to COO John Dickey at a company event one evening. He told Dickey about ideas and projects he’d been working on. That contact paid off soon with a job offer.

Most of all, learn to delegate ... and trust your employees.

"I could not do what I do without great people on my corporate team or the folks in the field, my regional engineers and every chief in the company," Gary said, specifically asking me to include that point in this article.

"I’m very happy about the team we’ve built at the company, at the cooperation and brotherhood we’ve built among the engineers and the folks in IT. I think the fact that we have done all of those projects, on budget and usually within schedule, and have done good work that furthered the distribution capability of our company — better signal to more people — ultimately has helped serve the people in those markets."

 


 

2009 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award Gary Kline Is RW’s Engineer of the Year

Gary Kline of Cumulus Media will receive the 2009 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the news source for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane.

Recipients of the award represent the highest ideals of the U.S. radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Kline is vice president of engineering & information technology for Cumulus Media, the second largest radio broadcaster in the United States by station count, with some 350 radio stations.

“Anyone who has spent time with or around Gary knows of his passion and endless energy not only for broadcast engineering, but for engineers as people,” McLane said. “He has been a vocal advocate for radio engineers through our industry’s up and down times. He manages creatively, never ceasing to explore new ways to solve problems for his company. He has contributed his time and expertise to numerous participatory organizations on the topics of digital radio, emergency alerting and new technology. Gary also embodies the skill set that is required of top broadcast engineering executives today, with his melding of IT and radio expertise.”

Recent facility projects for which Kline and his staff are responsible include a major studio/office relocation project in Cincinnati; a studio/office relocation in Melbourne, Fla.; a new transmitter build with HD Radio in Flint, Mich.; and a major rebuild of two 2,000-foot tower sites in Houston after last year’s hurricane.

Kline also is broadcast engineer for the Purdue Football Radio Network. A veteran of 27 years in broadcasting, he has held engineering positions at ABC Radio and NBC Radio, Artistic Media Partners and other organizations, and has consulted and provided engineering support and services in other countries including Panama, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Canada and China.

He is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Audio Engineering Society and Association of Federal Communications Engineers. He serves or has served on the National Association of Broadcasters Digital Radio Committee, NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference Committee and NAB Technology Advocacy Program Radio Discovery Group, as well as the National Radio Systems Committee; the Media Security Reliability Council Communications Infrastructure Working Group (Restoration Task Force); the IPAWS Practitioner’s Working Group; and the Peer Review Group of the Advanced IBOC Coverage & Compatibility Study.

Last year’s recipient of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award was Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel. Previous recipients include Clay Freinwald of Entercom, John Lyons of The Durst Organization, Michael Starling of National Public Radio and Richard “Andy” Andresen of Cumulus Media. Kline will be featured in an upcoming issue of Radio World newspaper and will receive a plaque commemorating the award.

 


 

2008 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel takes the honors

Jeff Littlejohn is the recipient of Radio World's 2008 Excellence in Engineering Award.

Recipients represent the highest ideals of the U.S. radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Jeff is the executive vice president of distribution development and is responsible for the oversight of technical aspects of the radio division at Clear Channel.

Answering to Radio President/CEO John Hogan, he oversees radio engineering matters including 400 or so engineers, capital management and radio's interface with IT. His team handles intellectual property issues, online technology and the hundreds of computer servers and distribution networks that handle Clear Channel content.

But as his title suggests, a key task is to find and build new ways to distribute that content. Beyond Clear Channel's main analog AM and FM outlets, that means platforms like HD Radio, RDS, cellular technologies, Internet streaming and podcasting.

Platforms

Littlejohn — who has an associates degree in electronics and a bachelor's in automated manufacturing from ITT Technical Institute in Indiana — started his career in Ft. Wayne, Ind., as an assistant engineer with WAJI and built much of their studios.

He pulled wire through ceilings, put wires on punch blocks and learned from the ground up; among his teachers was Jack Didier, who is now DOE for Federated Media. Later he worked for Didier and Jeff Goode at Broadcast Circuit Systems, a contract engineering company serving Ohio and Indiana. He then worked for WBYR(FM) when that station moved into Ft. Wayne, and for Beasley in Chicago.

Littlejohn went to work in 1992 for American Media, which owned about 15 radio stations, and he hasn't left a job since, though the employer name on the business cards certainly has evolved — from American Media to Chancellor Broadcasting to AMFM Inc. to Clear Channel.

Clear Channel has 983 AM/FM stations, more than 1,000 Web sites and 105 million listeners in four countries. I asked Jeff how many channels this all works out to; he figures at least 1,500 unique channels, including 350 HD2s and a few HD3s.

"Clearly AM and FM analog are our primary means of distribution right now; HD Radio is probably the most [notable] upcoming means. But we're also making fantastic progress on streaming in multiple formats in various types of devices. Cellular distribution with Sprint, US Cellular, Metro PCS; things like the iPhone."

Clear Channel, he says, decided early to concentrate on finding out what content listeners wanted. "It should not matter to us whether they want to receive that over the air or online. Radio should not lose sight of the listener. The challenge we have to expand on is: Who is that listener? Do they only count if they're listening on AM or FM? Of course not…As long as they're listening to our content, aren't they still a listener?

"John Hogan has been quoted as saying we're no longer a company of just tall towers and big fields. We need to get beyond the unique channel we have for distribution; we need to make sure we follow our listeners."

Jeff's team also is responsible for distributing content from other companies; for instance, most of the network that Microsoft uses to distribute content over MSN Direct is on Clear Channel signals.

Digital push

One of his priorities is working with manufacturers to get HD Radios into cars, preferably as standard equipment. While HD Radio hasn't taken off as quickly as he'd hoped, he sees momentum coming.

"That's going to be a game changer for radio, having an additional content channel inside the vehicle. That'll be one of those things that we'll look back on 10 or 15 years from now and say we changed broadcasting."

But with broadband coming to the auto environment, isn't all this going to be moot? "It's possible; but that's why we need to move quickly. We waited too long to begin with, and satellite got a jump ahead of us; we need HD Radio to be standard in every vehicle.

"The thing radio will have is that it's free to the consumer. It's almost a right, to be able to receive free content. WiMax is interesting; I know there are some automakers looking at it, but there is no nationwide WiMax infrastructure in place today, probably won't be for a few years; and there are no receivers being installed in cars today and there probably won't be for a few years.

"Beyond that, we shouldn't see wireless broadband as a problem but an opportunity. We should be looking at ways to make our content available into the vehicle."

Traffic data

To that end, in 2004 Littlejohn headed the team that established Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network; it collects info from traffic cameras, speed sensors, police scanners and mobile reporters and then delivers the data to consumers.

This is the first RDS Traffic Message Channel traffic service in North America. It has contracted to 30 clients; it recently surpassed a half-million paid subscribers and reaches 125 markets in four countries.

Among companies using its data in automobile systems are BMW, Mini USA and Volvo, which offer it as a standard service, no subscription. Portable nav systems using the data include ASUS, Garmin, TomTom, NAVIGON, Mio Technology, Delphi, Kenwood, Clarion, Harmon Kardon, Panasonic, Siemens and Cobra Electronics.

Buy this

Looking to make radio more interactive, Littlejohn is excited about tagging — not only via Apple iTunes tagging of digital signals, as previously announced, but with analog RDS.

In September, Clear Channel joined with eight other groups to announce they will support RDS song tagging using technology from Jump2Go; further, Microsoft Zune portable media players, including those in the field, now will allow users to tag and immediately retrieve songs broadcast from those stations.

A song tag is an encrypted digital code embedded in the FM broadcast. When a listener tags a tune, the code is stored on their MP3 player. Zune's FM tuner and wireless connectivity let the player retrieve the song from an online Zune site as long as the user is in a WiFi hotspot.

"Clear Channel had the ability to do this tagging, but we wanted to work with Jump2Go because we knew other broadcasters were going to need to implement this as well," Jeff said.

"We needed more than Clear Channel and Apple supporting tagging; we need to have more than HD Radio supporting tagging. My hope is that we're able to be really impactful in making radio interactive and bringing it into the avant-garde. More than half of music that's discovered is discovered on AM/FM radio; and more purchases are happening online."

The RDS/Zune announcement combines those trends in a way that strengthens radio's involvement in music discovery. With an installed base of Zunes that can be upgraded retroactively, Littlejohn hopes the impact could be felt as soon as this Christmas season.

Meanwhile, on the digital side, all of Clear Channel's HD Radio and HD2 stations are iTunes Tagging compatible. If tagging's proponents are right, more announcements will follow and tagging will become a sought-after feature regardless of whether a station is digital.

Though much of his time is spent on new tech projects, the traditional engineering infrastructure must be maintained. Steve Davis carries the bulk of that oversight, but Littlejohn made sure I knew about Clear Channel's evolving disaster readiness program, which developed partly in reaction to all of the hurricanes of recent years.

The company now keeps emergency broadcast equipment stored around the country; it has an inventory of vehicles and generators on call and a Ku band satellite network ready that can deliver audio from anyplace to anyplace on short notice to help restore service from a studio to a transmitter site on an ad hoc basis.

Jeff is 42. He and his wife Tina have been married since 1989; their son Jacob is three. Tina and Jacob probably wish they could see more of him; Jeff just hit the 1 million mile mark on his frequent flyer account.

But with all those new channels and ventures to worry about — Total Traffic, HD Radio rollouts, data services, tagging, car receivers, mobile content — it's no wonder he's on the road a lot. He also is a notable contributor to the National Radio Systems Committee and several groups within the National Association of Broadcasters; and he sits on the board of iBiquity Digital Corp.

We honor Jeff Littlejohn for his excellence in traditional engineering as well as his leadership in how our medium develops its new channels, data tools and operating models.

 


 

2007 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award Clay Freinwald To Receive Radio World “Excellence in Engineering” Award

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Aug. 22, 2007

Contact: Paul J. McLane 703-998-7600, ext. 117 e-mail: radioworld@imaspub.com

FALLS CHURCH, VA. Clay Freinwald will receive the 2007 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the newspaper for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane.

Recipients of the award represent the highest ideals of the U.S. radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Freinwald, CPBE, is recognized for his work to improve the state of emergency alerting systems in the United States and broadcasters’ involvement in EAS, as well as for his accomplishments as a corporate technical executive. Currently an RF systems engineer for Entercom in Seattle, he has held management and staff engineering positions with that company and with Tribune Communications, KMO(AM) Radio and KCPQ(TV). He is vice president of the national Society of Broadcast Engineers and chairman of its EAS Committee; next year he will note his 40th year as an SBE member. He is also a Life Member of the American Radio Relay League.

“Clay is an exceptional representative of the engineering community and of radio at large,” McLane said. “If you had to identify one radio engineer whose name is most associated with EAS and efforts to improve it, you’d come up with Clay Freinwald’s. He has worked as hard as anyone to help broadcasters, and especially fellow engineers, understand what’s going on in the changing EAS arena and how our systems can be used to make Americans safer.”

Among his accomplishments, Freinwald also has designed and installed large-scale HD Radio projects in various locations in the country; designed and managed a $1.5 million multiple-user communications transmission facility on Cougar Mountain and a multimillion-dollar communications transmission facility on West Tiger Mountain, both in Seattle; and formed the Washington State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) in 1996 to write and implement the Washington State EAS Plan. He continues to chair that group.

Last year’s award recipient was John Lyons of The Durst Organization; past recipients include Michael Starling of National Public Radio and Richard “Andy” Andresen of Cumulus Media.

Freinwald will be featured in an upcoming issue of Radio World newspaper and will receive a plaque commemorating the award.

About Radio World: Radio World is the newspaper for radio managers and engineers, serving broadcasters in the United States with news and analysis of topics ranging from engineering and regulation to satellite radio and the digital transition. Radio World is owned by NewBay Media, part of the Wicks Group of Companies. Sister publications include TV Technology, Pro Audio Review, Audio Media, Broadcast & Production, Pro Sound News, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Systems Contractor News, Keyboard, EQ, Residential Systems, Rental & Staging Systems, Videography, DV, Government Video, Television Broadcast, Digital Cinematography, Technology & Learning, DV Expo and Government Video Technology Expo.