Prominent Radio Engineer Charlie Morgan Dies, Age 82

He chaired the standards-setting NRSC during debates over IBOC digital radio, AM standards and FM data displays
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Longtime radio broadcast engineering executive Charlie Morgan has died. He was 82, according to an obituary in the Times Leader of Wilkes Barre, Pa., carried on Legacy.com.

When Morgan retired, he was senior VP of radio for Susquehanna Radio Corp. But many in radio knew him as the onetime chairman of the National Radio Systems Committee, a standards-setting body that is managed jointly by representatives of the U.S. radio broadcasting and consumer electronics industries.

NRSC played an important role in the industry’s contentious debate about digital radio, including the system of in-band, on-channel digital radio that came to be HD Radio. It also developed a series of AM broadcast standards, and the radio data standards used to display song title and artist information on analog FM receivers.

Morgan received the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Engineering Achievement Award in 1994.

When he resigned his position at an NRSC meeting in 2007, the applause and a standing ovation lasted more than a full minute, Radio World reported then. He was quoted at the time: “I have served as your chairman for well over 20 years and have seen the adoption of AM transmission standards, RDS, and most recently, the IBOC digital radio standards. The NRSC has not only set standards, but has become a venue for industry dialogue on various technical issues, most recently, the surround sound recommendations.” He later formed a consultancy.

According to the obituary, he was a charter member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and former member of the NAB Engineering Advisory Committee, where he chaired its AM Improvement Committee. He also was founding owner and operator of an FM station in Pittston, Pa.

David Layer, senior director, advanced engineering at the National Association of Broadcasters, called Morgan “a died-in-the-wool broadcaster and a great gentleman.” He met Morgan in 1995 when Layer started working at NAB and the National Radio Systems Committee, which is co-sponsored by NAB and CTA.

“Charlie was a natural in the NRSC chair post because of his deep engineering knowledge, his complete familiarity with the broadcast industry and the business of broadcasting, and because he commanded the respect and admiration of the entire NRSC membership,” Layer wrote in an email. “He had a great sense of humor and a gentle manner and he taught me a lot about working with broadcasters and getting things done within a committee. He was missed when he retired from his NRSC work and now he will be missed more than ever.”

Related:
Charlie Morgan’s Take on HD Radio Standards (2003)

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