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Engineers Are Newsworthy, Too

I've been trying for years to convince broadcast companies to send us news about their engineers. It seems that effort is paying off.


New Chief Engineer for KBO(AM) Radio

President and GM Michael Luckoff appointed Joe Talbot to chief engineer of ABC Radio San Francisco.

Joe joins KGO(AM) Radio Inc. as chief engineer days after receiving his discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserves. In 2003 Joe was called to action and served a four-month tour of duty in Ummqasr, Iraq, where he worked in communications for the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Group.

Joe began his career in radio engineering in 1978 at KWIZ Radio in Santa Ana, Calif. Over the past 20 years Joe has worked in Los Angeles at KHTZ, KABC and as an independent contractor for studio construction throughout the Los Angles area. Joe says, “This has to be one of the best jobs in the country. I have grown up listening to KGO Radio and I am excited to have the opportunity to live and work in the Bay Area.” A native of Bellevue, Wash., Joe recently located to the Bay Area.

In addition, Rob Mariolle, current KGO Radio Inc. engineer, will serve in the recently created position of assistant chief engineer.

KGO(AM) Radio Inc. includes KGO(AM) Newstalk Radio 810, KSFO 560 Hot Talk and KMKY(AM) 1310 Radio Disney, the San Francisco Forty Niners and Oakland Raiders Radio Networks and the Voice of Cal Bears Football.I’ve been trying for years to convince broadcast companies to send us news about their engineers. It seems that effort is paying off.

At Radio World we have always received tons of announcements about groups or stations hiring general managers and sales managers, and also quite a few about air talent. The folks who think up press releases know that we in the trade press, as well as reporters in the wider business world, want to know about those job changes.

But rare was the announcement of a promotion or hire of an engineer; and that’s a shame, given that excellence in broadcast engineering is as important to the success of our radio business as sales or any other skill.

Why not tell the rest of the world about your company’s commitment to technical excellence? Why not demonstrate to your investors, your station board or your employees that you understand the value of good engineering?

A few companies understand this; Susquehanna is a good example, through its industry ads celebrating its employees and promoting the company as a place to work. But I’ve nagged the PR folks at other radio companies, and I’ve reminded many DOEs too; of all people, the directors of engineering should be pushing their corporate people to tell us about their people. We want to know about your engineers: your hires, transfers, promotions, company awards, retirements.

Finally I see some results. For instance, our People News column on page 10 of this issue lists four or five technical people right at the top of the list. RW for years has been the only publication that would report this kind of thing. Look for other publications to imitate us more in the future, as they already have with versions of our “Who’s Buying What” column and our significant commitments to white papers, opinions, letters and Guest Commentaries.

Next, I want you to print this page out and show it to your corporate or station HR, PR and management folks. This release – a real announcement, received here in November – is a template they can use the next time you hire an engineer. Even better, write the release yourself, and submit it to the boss for approval and dissemination.

Why does the above press release work? Because it recognizes the chief engineer as a key member of the station team; because it is short and to the point; and – no small thing – because the general manager is part of it. I salute Mickey Luckoff and his team for handling this announcement in this way.

. . .

“I rather liked the copy of Radio World Engineering Extra that arrived along with my issue of Radio World this month,” a reader writes.

“What bothers me is that I worry it may detract from the engineering content of Radio World, and what is so wonderful about Radio World is that it has such a wide variety of different kinds of articles in it. It would be a shame to see many of the more technical articles being removed to go into a separate edition.”

Don’t fret, Scott. My goal as editor of both publications is to maintain the diversity and engineering content of RW. We don’t plan to undercut one with the other.

This new publication is intended primarily for long-form articles and deeply technical matter that we don’t now publish because of space concerns, or because of the broader interests of the readers.

Another reader writes, “While I enjoyed the first copy of RW Engineering Extra it was difficult to read. The paper and printing need to be improved. It should at least be equal to the Radio World edition. Maybe I just got a bad copy.”

Actually the problem was widespread on our first issue; due to a production and printing problem, several pages including the cover were lighter and less sharp than planned. Look for us to fix that in the next issue.

Please let me know your thoughts and reactions to our exciting addition to Radio World.