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SBE EAS Committee Gets New Chairman

Clay Freinwald stepping down

Clay Freinwald is stepping down from the board of the Society of Broadcast Engineers due to term limits and also leaving his post as chairman of the EAS Committee for the same reason.

That was one of the nuggets of news to come out of the national SBE meeting Wednesday in upstate New York.

Clay, who is identified as closely as anyone in the industry with EAS (and who is a past recipient of RW’s Excellence in Engineering Award), says he’s served on the SBE board and chaired the EAS committee for a decade. But he will continue working with the committee, “as will others” under the new chairman, Ralph Beaver. Beaver operates Media Alert based in Tampa, Fla.

To sum up the latest regarding FEMA’s 180-day “shot clock” — the turnaround time in which stations will have to install equipment that can handle the new Common Alerting Protocol — Clay said that clock will probably start ticking away in mid-2010 and that equipment manufacturers have said they will have enough supply. The new equipment will be easier to work with, once station personnel are trained on it, he predicts; it will be networkable and IP-addressable.