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Bernie Wise Dies, Age 87

Founded Energy-Onix and CCA Electronics Corp.; innovated 'grounded grid' design

Wise is shown accepting a recent award from the International Broadcasters Idea Bank for his contributions to the broadcasting industry and his longtime support of the Idea Bank.
Bernie Wise, founder of FM transmission supplier Energy-Onix, is dead. He was 87.

Radio World has confirmed Wise died on Dec. 13. A public celebration of his life will be announced later.

Wise is survived by his son Jack and Jack’s wife Mary Wise, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

His son Jack Wise told sources the company will continue to operate and that it is open five days a week, though will likely be on a holiday schedule soon.

Wise founded Energy-Onix in 1987, according to its website. The firm makes AM, FM and shortwave broadcast transmitters, STL gear, translators and other products.

According to the company site, Wise was credited with bringing the “Grounded Grid” design to FM broadcasting.

“Wise began designing transmitters as an engineer with RCA, where he worked on the design team for their first UHF TV transmitter,” the site states. “His frequency studies and spectrum analyses were used by the Federal Communications Commission to allocate the UHF TV band in the United States.”

According to the company history, Wise in 1962 founded CCA Electronics Corp. Inc. of Gloucester City, N.J.

“At CCA he designed, developed and introduced the Grounded Grid Transmitter to FM broadcasting.” That company was sold in 1974.

Wise was a fixture for years at the NAB convention and other shows. In the past decade he was, among other things, also an advocate of spread-spectrum STLs and a critic of the HD Radio system. He wrote in a letter to Radio World in 2010 that he had attended every NAB convention since 1957 but would miss the event that year as “an expression of ‘non-support’ for the HD Radio system promoted by the NAB, iBiquity, CBS and several of the large radio groups.”

In 2005, according to Radio World reporting at the time, Energy-Onix installed an encoder from Digital Radio Express at WBUZ(FM) in Nashville to demonstrate the multicasting ability of FMeXtra digital subcarrier technology.

Comment below with your memories of Bernie Wise.


“Thank You, Bernie” (Letter, 2010)

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