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RW Writers Make Their Marks

Recent accomplishments for Al, John, Ken, Richard and James (and me too)

In a few weeks I’ll salute people whose contributions during the past year have made Radio World possible. Today I’d like to mention recent accomplishments of a few whose names you’ve seen.

Congrats first to Al Peterson, who recently picked up two Society of Broadcast Engineers certifications during the AES convention in New York, where SBE held a round of exams for the first time.

Al can add the letters CBT for Certified Broadcast Technologist and CEA for Certified Audio Engineer after his name, to go along with his ham call sign KJ4IVD. Al is assistant chief engineer for the Radio America Network and has been affiliated with Radio World for 20 years as a columnist, employee and contributor. Those who have met Al or read his stuff know he’s both a talented audio/radio professional and one very funny guy.

John Bisset meanwhile has noted his 40th year in broadcasting. You know him as the author of Workbench.

A past winner of SBE’s “Educator of the Year” Award, John is a real friend to the industry and a source of a wealth of expertise — much of it picked up from readers like you through the years. He is Nautel’s international sales manager for Europe and Southern Africa.

Richard Strickland, who writes about RF safety in Radio World, has developed a new Web site with useful resources.

The blue-ribbon display about Loy Barton prepared by James O’Neal. His company, aptly named RF Safety Solutions, is a management and scientific consulting firm focused on radio frequency safety. Visit him at Find his RW stories under the Articles tab. When you explore, also peruse the interesting material found under the RF Radiation tab. (Richard’s columns also are archived on RW’s own site under Columns.)

Radio history

James O’Neal, broadcast history buff extraordinaire, has authored some of the most popular recent articles in Radio World, including two in-depth stories about the history of the FCC as well as his careful research into the facts behind Reginald Fessenden’s legendary Christmas Eve broadcast in 1906.

James, whose desk is 15 or 20 feet from mine in NewBay Media’s office in Alexandria, Va., recently attended the Antique Wireless Association conference in Rochester, N.Y. He was honored with a blue ribbon for his “traveling road show exhibit” detailing the career of Loy Barton, yet another innovator about whom James has written.

Barton’s granddaughter read his RW story and put James in touch with the family, providing him access to more of Barton’s life information and materials. The exhibit included Barton’s master’s thesis and several of his early transistor radios.

You can read the Barton story at There’s more great history to be found under the Roots of Radio tab at our site. And you can learn about the AWA at

The coming year marks the 25th year in which Ken Deutsch will have written for Radio World.

Ken recalls that he approached John Gatski, then of the RW staff, via a typed letter — commercial e-mail as we know it did not exist — inquiring whether he might submit a guest article.

“He liked it well enough to encourage me to write a second and third,” Ken says. “After a while someone there started sending me checks for these. The way it worked then was that I would snail-mail John a printed copy of each article as well as a floppy disk containing same. That went on until about 1990 when I signed up with CompuServe, an early provider of e-mail accounts.”

Among Ken’s contributions (under the bylines Ken R. and Ken Deutsch) have been profiles of memorable personalities like Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson and a former radio DJ; Fred Newman, the “mouth sound effects guy” on “A Prairie Home Companion”; and Mark Levin, the syndicated talk host.

He has worked in radio, TV and studio recording and authored three books. Ken and his Toledo vocal group re-sang classic PAMS jingles for clients from 1980 to 2000 (he’d purchased 5,500 PAMS master tapes and music tracks when the original company went out of business).

“I have found writing to be less glamorous than any other job I had over the years,” Ken adds. “I got more respect from my high school girlfriend when I was a fry cook in a fast food restaurant than I get from my wife for having written hundreds of articles and books.

“Of course I jest. My high school girlfriend was more impressed by the prodigious quantity of French fries and pizzas I was able to pilfer, a fringe benefit not available to writers.”

Ken is also a regular volunteer benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

When I consider the accomplishments and the decades of experience of writers like these, it makes me appreciate how deep the knowledge pool around RW is.

I’ll brag only briefly on one other recent accomplishment in the RW family: Your humble editor in chief recently ran the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pa. It was my first marathon. And after this challenging, deeply satisfying experience, I can state with absolute confidence: 26.2 miles is a long, long way.

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If there’s a story in your printed copy of Radio World that you wish to share with others, remember that you can e-mail it from within the digital edition on our Web site. You need not be a subscriber to delivery of our digital edition to access it.

The current digital edition can be opened via an icon at lower right of our home page. Just open the issue and then click on the appropriate icon to e-mail a story. And you can access past editions under the Resources tab of the site, which means you can look up and forward articles from back issues.

Another insider tip: You can search recent back issues from inside any digital edition. Use the Search icon. This can be a powerful tool if you’re compiling information about recent news events or tech trends.