The Society of Broadcast Engineers announced the candidates for its 2016 board elections in June. Ahead of voting, which begins next week, we�re profiling the candidates to learn more about those on the ballot.�
Mark Simpson is a candidate for an at-large seat on the board of directors. He is vice president of engineering for Townsquare Media. He has been an SBE member for at least 23 years, during which time he has previously served on the board of directors, as the chairman of the Awards and Nominations committee, and he was also on the SBE Chapter Leadership Development committee. He is SBE certified as CPBE, AMD, DRB, CBNE.
Radio magazine: If elected, what would you like to see SBE do differently than it does now?
Mark Simpson: Reach out to local colleges, universities and technical trade schools (including high school trade schools) to certify schools and connect them with the new mentor/mentee program.�
Radio: The FCC has asked for comment on whether there is an increasing spectrum noise problem and if so, what it should do about it. How would you answer that?
Simpson: It absolutely is a major concern, in part to AM radio stations but at some point, to all spectrum as we know it. When a device states it complies with FCC Part 15 rules and it really doesn�t, we need to make sure the FCC has the tools it needs to enforce their rules. An online reporting system on the FCC website would be nice.�
Radio: Should SBE play a more active role in technical standards-setting for issues like digital radio? Why or why not?
Simpson: I believe we should give input but not become the standard setting organization. We are a Society of Broadcast Engineers, not a standards setting organization.
Radio: For decades we�ve heard the question �Where will the next generation of broadcast engineers come from?� What can SBE do, that it hasn�t done already?
Simpson: I believe the mentor/mentee program is a great start, but as mentioned above, we need to do a better job of outreach to the local schools. We should also develop courses/learning material to help IT personnel learn the studio and transmitter side of the business.
Radio: What else would you like voters to know about yourself or your stand on industry issues?
Simpson: I have been involved with the SBE the vast majority of my career and helped SBE Chapter 32 in Tucson, Ariz., get started back up again. My father was a chief engineer his whole career, until he retired several years ago, so I had a very good mentor. I believe we need more people like my father reaching out to the younger generation, as well as help with continuing education for the engineers that we have. Part of that involves having the companies that we work for understand that they play a role in developing their employees education as much as the employee.
The election will take place July 25 through Aug. 25.