Chris Tobin of Brooklyn, N.Y., is being honored posthumously with this year’s Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award, the Society of Broadcast Engineers announced Tuesday.
The award honors the SBE member who has excelled in his or her career while furthering the mission of the society. Candidates are nominated by their peers. Tobin died in December 2020 of a heart attack.
Tobin, an SBE member for 22 years, has taken on several roles with SBE Chapter 15, the New York City chapter.
Beginning at an early age, Tobin became fascinated with radio. “As a small tot, I enjoyed the magic of the box on the kitchen table in my house,” he said in a YouTube interview. A little later Tobin got involved in broadcasting through a school radio station.
He was a self-taught engineer but also spent time behind the microphone, SBE said.
During his career, Tobin worked at ABC Radio Network, CBS Radio and Westwood One. In 2015 he became chief engineer at WBGO in Newark, N.J. He helped to develop the station’s video capacities, streamlined its operations and handled the logistical curveball thrown by the 2020 pandemic lockdown. He died while installing a new HVAC system at the station.
SBE also announced other award recipients, including:
- Telos Alliance — Technology Award for the conversion of the Axia iQ AES67 mixing console into a software version that does not require a physical surface. It is controlled by a full HTML5 interface;
- SBE Wisconsin chapters and Wisconsin Broadcasters Association — Best Educational Event for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic in October 2020;
- SBE Chapter 17, Minneapolis — Best Chapter Communication for its sbe17.org website.
SBE also presents Statistical Awards in two classes: Class A for chapters with 26 or fewer members; Class B for those with 27 members or more.
- Percentage growth of new members: Chapter 106, Florida Panhandle, Class A; Chapter 17, Minneapolis, Class B.
- Highest percentage of certified members: Chapter 7, Jacksonville, Fla., Class A; Chapter 24, Madison, Wis., Class B.
- Highest percentage of member attendance at meetings: Chapter 85, Central Western, Class A; Chapter 56, Tulsa, Okla., Class B.
The society will recognize winners at the SBE Membership Meeting and Awards Ceremony, Oct. 11, during the SBE National Meeting in Las Vegas. Award nominations for 2022 will open in February 2022.