Barry Thomas to Receive Radio World “Excellence in Engineering” Award

VP of Engineering for Lincoln Financial Media is an active leader at SBE, NRSC
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VP of Engineering for Lincoln Financial Media is an active leader at SBE, NRSC

Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT, will receive the 2011 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award from the editors of Radio World, the newspaper for radio managers and engineers. The announcement was made by U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane.

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Recipients of the award represent the highest ideals of the radio broadcast engineering profession and reflect those ideals through contributions to the industry.

Thomas is vice president of engineering for Lincoln Financial Media, based in Atlanta.

“Barry’s résumé is rich with technical accomplishment in all manner of radio broadcast environments,” McLane said, “from supervising technical operations for an 18-station ownership group, to directing engineering work in support of national radio news bureaus and coverage of political conventions and Olympic games. He has built studios, moved stations, created engineering departments and designed satellite networks.

“But perhaps even more impressive has been his leadership role in national organizations like SBE and NRSC. When issues of importance involving radio technology are being debated, you can be sure to find him nearby. He has been a vocal advocate — on Capitol Hill, at convention panels and in standards discussions — for radio and for the broadcast engineering profession.”

Thomas served two terms as president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and currently chairs the SBE Government Relations Committee, where he has been active in support of legislation to allow FCC commissioners to add engineers or computer scientists to their staffs. He also has served as SBE national treasurer and secretary, and holds certifications as Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE) and Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT). The SBE this year elected him Fellow, a designation that recognizes members who have rendered conspicuous service or made valuable contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering.

SBE President Vinny Lopez said, “When we at SBE think of member champions, Barry is the first name that comes to mind. His enthusiasm for our profession is second to none, and his qualifications make him the ideal choice for the 2011 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award.”

Thomas also is active in the National Radio Systems Committee, an influential standards body co-sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association; he chairs the NRSC RBDS Subcommittee.

NRSC Chairman Milford K. Smith Jr. of Greater Media said, “Barry has almost singlehandedly revitalized the NRSC’s RBDS subcommittee and continues to spearhead extremely innovative work in this important area. He’s truly an exceptional engineer and a terrific person.”

Thomas also serves on NAB’s FASTROAD and Engineering Conference Committees.

Prior to Lincoln Financial Media, Thomas was vice president of engineering for Westwood One Radio Networks, and has held engineering positions at Comedy World Radio Network, AMFM/Chancellor Media and OmniAmerica Group of Cleveland. He co-founded and was chief technology officer of StratosAudio Inc., and was principal of contract engineering firm Thomas Media Systems & Design.

Last year’s recipient of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award was Milford Smith of Greater Media. Past recipients include Gary Kline of Cumulus Media, Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel, Clay Freinwald of Entercom, John Lyons of The Durst Organization, Michael Starling of National Public Radio and Richard Andresen of Cumulus Media.