Houg Is New President at APRE

Cost-savings a plus for recent PREC
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Dan Houg is the new president of the Association of Public Radio Engineers.

The chief engineer of FMs KAXE and KBXE in Grand Rapids, Minn., had been secretary of the volunteer organization. WWNO(FM), New Orleans CE Robert Carroll is now secretary.

Jobie Sprinkle, director of engineering/IT for WFAE(FM), Charlotte, N.C., is now immediate past-president of the organization. David Antoine, former chief engineer at WBGO(FM), Newark, N.J., who’s now director, broadcast IT for Westwood One, remains vice president. He keeps his hand in public radio engineering with contract work for a couple of college stations, he tells Radio World.

Vermont Public Radio Operations Director Victoria St. John is now APRE’s treasurer, taking over from Shane Toven. The former director of engineering for Wyoming Public Media and former editor of Radio magazine is now a marketing manager with The Telos Alliance.

The board changes became effective at the recent Public Radio Engineering Conference, which precedes the NAB Show, in Las Vegas.

We had reported the PREC was moving to a new location, the Tuscany Suites, this year. In Vegas, Sprinkle told Radio World some 80 attendees were registered.

That compares to 85 last year and 65 in 2013, we’ve reported.

The cost for this year’s event compared to the previous location at Caesar’s Palace was about half, according to Houg. That means APRE is able to go into planning for the 2016 event “with enough reserves to pay” at least some of its bills up front, he said.

In turn, that will put the organization in a better position to offer scholarships again. Details of how many would be offered and what that would entail are to be worked out, “but we are pleased to have a mechanism that will help a station send someone to the PREC that may not otherwise be able to afford it,” said Houg.

Houg himself was a scholarship recipient in 2006. “It made all the difference and it was really impactful,” said Houg.

“It really helps getting to know people at the company whose equipment you’ll be using, and when you call up, you’re talking” to the person you met face-to-face, according to Houg.

The APRE has also been trying to widen its outreach for the conference, beyond broadcast engineers to court other technical folks at public radio stations, such as those who work in IT.

The conference sessions this year focused on the evolution of the engineer as now other station personnel can program the automation system and some engineers handle traffic software, for example.

The board intends to rebook the PREC at the Tuscany for 2016.

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