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Baun Retires After 50 Years

Wisconsin broadcaster has been a fixture of SBE and WBA leadership since the ’70s

Terrence M. “Terry” Baun (CPBE, AMD, CBNT) has announced his retirement. Baun most recently worked for the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board as director of engineering and operations, where he oversaw the engineering and operations of the delivery system for Wisconsin Public Radio & Television throughout the state.

Baun began his broadcasting career in 1967 at Milwaukee classical music station WFMR(FM), and joined the Society of Broadcast Engineers’s Chapter 28 nine years later. After ten years at WFMR, he moved into corporate engineering and also formed consulting firm Criterion Broadcast Services. He has also worked for Sudbrink Broadcasting, Multimedia Broadcasting and Cumulus Broadcasting.

Over the course of his career, Baun’s accomplishments and contributions have been widely recognized by the engineering community. He is a recipient of the SBE Lifetime Achievement Award, was named theSBE’s Broadcast Engineer of the Year in 1991, an SBE fellow and 2003 SBE Educator of the Year. In 2004, Baun was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation Hall of Fame.

“Terry Baun is the consummate example of servant leadership,” said Wisconsin Broadcasters Association President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind. “He has dedicated his career to meeting the needs of students, scholars, colleagues, broadcast stations and the broadcast industry. His approach has been to look beyond what is wanted and to assess what is needed. Through his actions and initiatives Terry has been a game changer for the broadcast industry.”

Baun was first elected to the national SBE Board of Directors in 1987, serving a two-year term and was elected to a three-year term in 1991, but he was elected national vice president in the fall of 1993 and served in that position for two years before being elected to two consecutive terms as national president.

He has been a member of the SBE National Certification Committee for almost two decades, serving as its chairman for several years and also developing a computer networking technologist course, which provides training for the the SBE Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist certification. Baun also helped to develop the SBE AM Directional Specialist certification, providing many of the essay questions.

In addition to serving in several leadership capacities for Chapter 28, Baun also served as Certification Committee chair for Chapter 25 in Indianapolis.

One of his most memorable contributions as a Wisconsin broadcaster was serving as one of the original members of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Summer Engineering Conference Steering Committee. In 2012, Baun also founded the Media Technology Institute, a four-day series of seminars designed to educate about broadcast engineering and technology in the digital age, which is held in conjunction with the WBA’s summer conference.

Baun was also an architect of the WBA’s Alternative Broadcast Station Inspection Program, serving as its chief inspector for more than a decade, beginning in 1995; and he also conducted inspections for associations in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

He also initiated the 24-hour hotline for Wisconsin engineers through the WBA, which he manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other state broadcast associations have since adopted this program as a model for their own emergency hotlines.

Baun implemented the planning process for the next generation of the Broadcast Interconnect that delivers Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public TV, EAS and Amber Alert programming throughout the state.

He has worked on the partnership model between the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and the University on WPR and TV issues.

Baun also implemented a paperless reporting system for engineering updates from field staff, which enables ECB engineering staff throughout Wisconsin to have a better understanding of projects and issues at each site.

He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers. He also served on the Milwaukee Area Technical College Broadcast Communications Engineer Advisory Committee.

Baun is a Radio World and Broadcast Engineering contributor, and he co-authored a chapter on Facilities Documentation in the NAB Engineering Handbook.

“We are so proud in Wisconsin to claim Terry Baun as one of our own,” said Vetterkind. “We could not be happier for him in his retirement. We know he will remain active within the industry in Wisconsin and nationally.”