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Letter: Tom King Remembers Jack Sellmeyer

“He was one of the most distinguished broadcast engineers to serve the AM broadcast industry”

Jack Sellmeyer
Jack Sellmeyer. Photo courtesy Norm Philips.

The author is chairman of the board of Kintronic Labs.

Radio World invited me to share some comments regarding memories of Jack Sellmeyer

In my mind he was one of the most distinguished broadcast engineers to serve the AM broadcast industry. 

Jack and my father, Louis King, had similar backgrounds of working for transmitter companies early in their careers and then transitioning into broadcast consulting. 

Seven months after I came to work full time with my father in 1983, he had a stroke, and I was left alone to keep the business going still being a fledgling broadcast engineer. Jack was one of my father’s close associates who helped mentor me through that challenging season of my life together with Ben Dawson and Ron Rackley. 

He was a very loyal friend to our company and to me. Jack Sellmeyer was a highly knowledgeable AM antenna system engineer, and he was an exceptional man of integrity, who was outspoken about those, who were not following his same code of ethics. I am personally indebted to Jack for his involvement in my nomination to receive the NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award.

Jack Sellmeyer seated at a workbench in the Kintronic Labs factory.
Here’s Jack working at the Kintronic factory, commissioning a transmitter for overseas Christian radio.

Jack and I shared our common faith in Jesus Christ. On one occasion we met at a Radio Disney transmitter site in New York City, where we removed a Continental 317C 50kw AM transmitter from service that was donated by Radio Disney.

After driving the transmitter back to our plant and assembling it for test, Jack visited us and conducted the final commissioning of the transmitter on a new frequency. The transmitter was shipped to Voice of the Martyrs in Colombia, South America, where it has since been in service as a regional Christian radio station.

Anyone who knew Jack knows that he had an endless library of life stories about his days in broadcast engineering or about his service in the Vietnam War as a communications engineer. He was in many ways a walking history book of broadcast engineering. 

The broadcast industry has lost one of the giants of our industry in Jack Sellmeyer, P.E. 

Jack Sellmeyer received the NAB  Radio Engineering Achievement Award in 2009; read our profile. His colleague Tom King received the award in 2015; that story is here.