Art Constantine, a veteran of broadcast equipment marketing and sales, is remembered for his industry expertise, positive outlook and engaging sense of humor.
A motorcycle accident claimed the lives of Constantine, 64, and his wife Lisa Schub, 53. The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday March 19 at an intersection in southern New Jersey; according to the website PhillyBlurbs.com, their motorcycle collided with a New Jersey State Police cruiser responding to an accident.
(click thumbnail) Art Constantine is shown in 2008, receiving a Radio World ‘Cool Stuff’ Award on behalf of ATI. Photo by Jim Peck Constantine is survived by children Gabe of Mt. Laurel, N.J., and Rachel of Philadelphia, and a sister, Judith Constantine, who lives in Tucson, Ariz. Younger brother Robert perished in a motorcycle accident years ago.
Constantine was vice president of sales and marketing for ATI Audio Inc.; Schub handled administrative duties of the company. Together, they ran the sales end of the business out of their West Berlin, N.J., home. Manufacturing is done in Nogales, Ariz.
Through the years Constantine worked for a number of other equipment manufacturers, including DaySequerra, Moseley Associates, APT, Fidelipac and Modulation Sciences. He also worked in trade publishing, selling advertising for Radio World and Radio Guide.
Prior to joining ATI Constantine worked as a sales executive for Musicam USA where, to help sales, he developed a series of seminars to introduce customers to codec technology and demonstrate that they were capable of transmitting and receiving high-quality audio.
Constantine had a lifelong interest in radio. He and a childhood friend would communicate through telephone wires run between their houses through the sewers.
His formal training in radio began while he was attending Villanova University near Philadelphia. There he worked as a DJ at college station WXVU. He orchestrated one of the station’s first remote broadcasts, reportedly stringing together every mic cable he could find to reach the roof of a parking garage where a local band was playing.
(click thumbnail) From the mid-1960s to the late ’70s, he ran his own business doing record hops in the Villanova area. At the time he was also doing live recordings of remotes for area radio stations and DJs. He worked with iconic personality Jerry Blavat and other announcers from WFIL and WIBG. Constantine fondly recalled the time WIBG brought the Beatles to Philly for a live concert; he did the recording and in the process met John Lennon.
Clive O’Brien of Australian firm EAV Technology Pty. Ltd. remembers traits that made Constantine successful.
“Art was meticulous with his sales presentations, and had various versions to suit different audiences. They were all word-for-word perfect, and he would study the reactions of visitors to get it right. I would often sit with him while he rehearsed, asking him the sorts of questions he might receive from potential buyers.”
David Day, president of DaySequerra, which at the time owned ATI, hired Constantine as director of sales for ATI.
“Art was tremendously positive in his outlook,” Day said. “Along with that was a determination to close the deal, and he would not take no for an answer. He was always incisive, witty and on-point.
“Others sometimes look at trade shows with a sense of apprehension. But not Art. He looked forward to them the way a kid looks forward to Christmas morning.”
Many who visited those shows returned his enthusiasm and recalled Constantine’s booth as one of their favorite stops. That sentiment was typified by longtime friend Dick Burden, president of Burden Associates. “Whatever booth Art was at was always one of my first stops at the show. No matter how crazy or busy it was, he always had time to talk, and I think everyone who saw him left with a smile on their face.”
Constantine went beyond the bounds of his job description to help customers. Jim Peck, regional sales manager at SCMS and Radio World photographer, recalls, “I needed a replacement phenolic terminal strip for an ATI distribution amp that had been out of production for years. Art dug around the old stock till he finally found one and sent it to me free of charge.”
Constantine, friends say, took the time to learn how the technology worked so he could better support customers. He enjoyed explaining how things work and in some ways was as much an educator as a salesman.
However, what colleagues mention most is his irrepressible sense of humor.
“He was a genuinely funny guy,” said Judith Gross, former editor of Radio World. “Art just had a unique and humorous way of looking at the world. He could walk up to a complete stranger and 30 seconds later they’d be laughing together about something.”
Friends and family News of the deaths of Art Constantine and Lisa Schub prompted numerous postings to Radio World’s blog.
The radio industry is indeed small, but in it are some lovely, friendly, industrious and frankly funny people, and Art was one of those.
(click thumbnail) ATI Audio remembered Art Constantine and Lisa Schub in its booth at this year’s NAB Show. Photo by Jim Peck He hosted a tour of Moseley sales reps to Mexico in the ’80s. At the end of the trip, he stood at the door to the plane to welcome each of us aboard. He was wearing a T-shirt printed with the image of a pilot’s uniform and a beanie cap with a propeller on top. Then the real pilot arrived, and he was NOT amused! That was the Art that we will all miss.
Lisa was a rare and wonderful human being. She was intelligent, loved road trips, giggled when she laughed and was always interested in a good discussion or telling a story. She went out of her way to make friends and keep them close.
I vividly remember a day at Moseley when Art turned up for work in a plaid jacket that would have embarrassed any pizza parlor employee and which garnered endless ribbing … so, being Art, of course he turned it inside out and wore it that way out the door to lunch.
What many do not know is that he was a total softy when it came to talking about his Abby cats.
The man “crackled” with humor and energy that was infectious.
I am so happy that my father worked for so long in an industry that he loved and through doing so left such an impact on so many people. On behalf of myself and my sister, thank you so very much. New Jersey-based cart machine manufacturer Fidelipac capitalized on his funny side with a series of print ads that appeared in the 1980s. One pictured Constantine wearing lederhosen to commemorate a company trip to Germany, carrying a large stack of cart machines. The campaign was helped by Constantine’s distinctive appearance, likened by some to Gene Shalit or Avery Schreiber.
In a Radio World Q&A article about tape cartridges in 1983, Constantine wrote, “Although the person in the ads bears a strong resemblance to me, I have no recollection of posing for them. I was rolled up in a bag while asleep, and drugged.”
The ad campaign was a great success and gave him instant face recognition in the broadcast industry.
“For the longest time, I thought Constantine was Fidelipac,” said Tim Schwieger, president and CEO of BSW.
Occasionally, his humorous side got Art into trouble.
Dave Chancey of Moseley Associates recounted a phone call from a customer who was interested in a PCL-606/C STL system and asked Constantine for a religious discount.
“Art asked him what religion. The customer replied Methodist. Art joked, ‘We give religious discounts to everyone but Methodists!’
“In actuality we ran just about all sales through distribution. But the customer was furious, hung up and called the CEO. Art had to explain the story in detail to a grim-faced boss. And he still had that smirk on his face throughout the conversation.”
He was well-known in broadcast circles internationally as well. O’Brien recalls a trip Constantine made to Sydney for a SMPTE trade show.
“We were meeting him for a harbor tour. Art was quickly spotted as the gentleman with a broad black mustache, longish black hair, a bright multi-colored shirt and colored pants that rang out ‘American tourist.’ To complete the picture, we gave him a broad-rim Akubra hat, and he was the talk of the tour.”
What they loved
Constantine had many interests. He and Schub traveled extensively, most recently to Spain and Italy. In earlier years he rented a motorcycle and toured extensively in the Southwest. He enjoyed camping and horseback riding.
In the early 1980s he developed an interest in flying, pursued it until he earned his pilot’s license and bought a Piper Warrior. He would take people for sightseeing flights and rented his plane to others who could not afford to purchase an aircraft.
“Art loved geeky stuff,” Gross said, “and he liked to understand how things work, so for him it was just a natural thing to do.”
Since his teenage years, he had a keen interest in motorcycles. Friends said he loved to ride and enjoyed long road trips with Lisa. One of their favorite destinations was Boston, which is within weekend driving range of New Jersey. He owned a Honda Gold Wing and had it customized with a sound system, electrically-heated seats and an intercom system so driver and passenger could communicate.
“They loved their motorcycle and the freedom it provided for them,” Schub’s cousin Susan Derrickson posted in a comment to Radio World’s blog. “She too was a light in this world. They found each other as kindred spirits who loved the great outdoors. … Taken from us way too early, but doing what they loved.”