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IEEE 60th Annual Broadcast Symposium Set

Interest seen in radio topics including digital power and other IBOC issues

The Westin Alexandria
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Organizers of this year’s IEEE Broadcast Symposium say radio broadcasting is still a dynamic industry with constantly evolving technology.

The symposium, Oct. 20–22 in Alexandria, Va., will feature technical sessions, including an examination of the FM IBOC power increase and potential unintended consequences, spectrum issues and the FCC’s broadband plan.

Broadcast engineering experts Ron Rackley, Ben Dawson and Geoff Mendenhall are among those who will speak. The symposium is presented by the Broadcast Technology Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Mendenhall, vice president of transmission research and technology at Harris Broadcast, is “one of the most respected transmitter engineers on the radio side of the industry, who really knows the mechanics” of transmitters, said Tom Silliman, president and chief executive officer of Electronics Research Inc. Silliman is co-chair of this year’s conference (and, like Mendenhall, a past recipient of the NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award).

“We had a lot of interest this year in topics specific to radio, with the change in [digital] power levels and talk of using different sidebands for multicasting in IBOC. It has generated a lot of station interest.”

His co-chair is Eric Wandel, president of Wavepoint Research, Inc.


Paul Brenner, chief technology officer for Emmis Communications, is a presenter. Brenner is president of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, a partnership of radio companies formed to distribute data via FM-RDS and HD Radio technology.

“(Paul) will give the engineering community an idea of the multicast capabilities of IBOC,” Silliman said.

The goal of the symposium is to present the technical developments in radio and television broadcast transmission engineering, Silliman said.

Luncheon keynote speakers will include James O’Neal, technical editor of TV Technology, who contributes to Radio World on the history of radio technology; and Jim Martin, director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance programs at the U.S. Department of Defense.

“The military is doing a lot of different things with frequencies right now. This should be particularly interesting from a radio perspective in regards to use of spectrum,” Silliman said.

A manufacturers reception the second evening is sponsored by Dielectric, Jampro, ERI, Harris and Shively Labs.

Early registration for the IEEE Broadcast Symposium ends Oct. 1; visit

The conference is open to everyone, with discounts for Broadcast Technology Society members.