Bill Hieatt, an engineer with business and patent expertise, known in radio for his work at GeoBroadcast Solutions and First Broadcasting, has died. He was 56.
At GBS he was chief technology officer. His death comes as the Federal Communications Commission has just issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to consider allowing the company’s geotargeting technology to be used on FM boosters in the United States.
Hieatt worked for GBS for 10 years. He had oversight of the company’s technology operations, according to his LinkedIn page, including “system architecture definition, network infrastructure design, Single Frequency Network (SFN) RF coverage/field measurements/model tuning, project management, intellectual property development, patent applications, field trials, customer presentations/webinars, system and feature development, and more.”
He prepared reports to the FCC and regulatory bodies, and developed intellectual property including at least two patents.
“Bill worked with a talented team that have worked and developed our technology under his guidance,” spokesman Robert Udowitz told Radio World.
“In the last two years he fortified that team with the best technical advisors in the industry. Under Bill and that team, we have successfully deployed MaxxCasting and prototypes of ZoneCasting, and expect a seamless transition and continued innovation. He presence will be missed but his guidance will continue.”
For several years at the beginning of this century, Hieatt was VP of engineering and software development for First Broadcasting, a merchant banker specializing in acquisition and development of U.S. radio stations and broadcast properties.
There he was responsible for new technology and software initiatives. In that job he identified radio station upgrades, developed proprietary broadcast allocation and RF propagation software and authored seven patents.
Hieatt worked for several other technical firms outside of broadcast during his career. Early on he joined Motorola Solutions as a graduate intern and became principal staff engineer. At one point he also founded a music label/media firm called GetGo Music Management.
According to his obituary he held a bachelors and master of science in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington and earned multiple MBAs.
A cause of death has not been released.