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The Clinic Puts on a Clinic

A regional event for engineers, going strong after five decades

More than 50 years ago, a small group of engineers in Wisconsin began meeting for what they called the “FM Clinic,” to share ideas about applying the relatively new technology of frequency modulation. Today this gathering has become one of the strongest annual regional broadcast conferences in the United States.

I’m here in Madison (actually nearby Middleton), listening at the moment to Jim Roberts of BE speaking about the benefits and pitfalls of social media for radio. There are also presentations today about intermodulation products; sending broadcast audio over the public Internet; the outlook for radio automation; how automation works on the “cloud”; FM single-sideband suppressed carrier; the next generation of HD Radio; and nuts-and-bolts tips. That is just today. Tomorrow, sessions cover both radio and TV topics; and Thursday events focus on TV.

The content is not only relevant, but it is all-tech. The focus of this event is all on broadcast engineers; and the room is crowded with them, about 100 people right now by my count. As one manufacturer told me this morning, that is a super turnout for a regional engineering event; and most of the attendees seem to be engineers working in the real world on field problems. The event also has drawn more than 60 exhibitors.

Kudos to the organizers, including the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association VP of Administration Linda Baun, a real friend to broadcast engineers, and the other members of the event planning committee. If you are looking for a good regional tech event with educational content, consider this one next year. It is set for Oct. 8-10, 2013.