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A Lifetime in Broadcast Tech

James O’Neal is a treasured part of the RW family

A word about James O’Neal, whose articles about technology and history are among our most popular features. His series about Franken FMs concludes in this issue.

James has been involved in broadcast technology for more than half a century, beginning in his early teens, when he worked at a commercial radio station in his hometown of Hope, Ark. 

James O’Neal

He worked in radio and TV during high school and college, then began his engineering career after college in 1969. He spend 30+ years in U.S. government television operations, including the U.S. Information Agency’s Television and Film Service, WorldNet Television and VOA-TV. Among other things he helped launch Uncle Sam’s first global satellite-delivered TV network.

On retirement he began a second, decade-long chapter as technology editor of TV Technology magazine, our sibling publication. 

Sought after as a speaker — even by the Smithsonian — James also restores consumer radio and TV items and commercial broadcasting equipment; he even built a working replica of the 1947-vintage small-town radio station where he began his career. He holds both commercial and amateur radio licenses. 

Oh, and he is a Life Member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers … a Life Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers … Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers … member of the IEEE’s Editorial Advisory Board …  editor-in-chief of BTS’s Broadcast Technology publication … a manager of the Washington, D.C., SMPTE section … member of the SMPTE Board of Editors … an associate editor of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal … member of the board of directors of the Early Television Foundation Museum … an enthusiastic proponent of keeping broadcast history alive … a friend to Radio World … and a true gentleman.

We’re grateful to have him in the RW family.

Read the conclusion of O’Neal’s three-part series on Franken FMs here.