Following an agreement reached with the National Treasury Employees Union, the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau field office in Farmington Hills, Michigan will close on January 7, 2017.
The closing is part of a broader reorganization of the bureau initiated in 2015 to scale back on the number of field offices. Initially, the plan was to reduce the number from 24 to nine, with two spared the chopping block in later planning. The Detroit office closing is one of eleven closing, though the bureau will maintain a presence in Alaska and Puerto Rico.
Employees will be offered positions in other offices as they become available; otherwise, the staff reductions would be accomplished by retirements and layoffs.
The initial plan called for a beefed-up enforcement hub at Kansas City, with so-called “tiger teams” available for deployment as required. Agents from nearby field offices that remain open will be responsible for enforcement in Michigan; the closest to remain open is Chicago.
Old-timers will remember when the bureau’s Detroit presence was in room 1029 of the then “New” Federal Building in downtown Detroit. The bureau, which later moved to room 1054, administered commercial and amateur license exams and handled other regional business. Many of us nervously took these exams under the watchful eye of field directors Dick Cotton, Ed Atems and Irby Tallant. The field office was later relocated to Hathaway Drive in Farmington Hills as the Commission’s responsibility for conducting operator exams was passed to private parties.
There’s more information on the closure in this article from Radio Business Report. See also this item from Inside Radio.
If you have any stories to tell about your experience with the Detroit field office, feel free to leave a comment below. Comments are subject to moderation.
The November exam session application deadline is open and taking applications. The exam dates will be between November 4-20 (a week more than usual). Your certification application must be submitted by September 30.
If you have any questions, contact Certification Director Megan Clappe
Managing Your Contract Engineering Business, a live webinar presented by the SBE, will be held Thursday, July 21 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.
Dennis Baldridge and Mike Seaver will cover contract engineering services from two different perspectives. Dennis will discuss from the perspective of the contract engineer, including establishing yourself as a contract engineer, organizing your business, promoting your services and protecting your business. Mike will cover topics from a station’s point of view, including the “why” we have a contract, the various types of contracts available, the necessity of keeping good, valid records of contracted service, security, and review of services received.
Completion of this webinar from Webinars by SBE qualifies for one credit, identified under Category I of the Recertification Schedule for SBE Certifications. The webinar registration is $55 for SBE members and $85 for non-members.
As part of the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference in May, a special day-long workshop on advanced IP-based networking technology in an Ethernet environment will be conducted by Wayne Pecena, noted educator and assistant director of information technology at Texas Tech University. SBE Chapter 91 the following morning will conduct a special certification exam session for the Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist and Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer exams only.
The workshop is Monday, May 2, from 10 am to 4 pm and the exams are on Tuesday morning, May 3. The CBNT exam is 50 multiple choice questions and has no pre-requisite or experience requirement. The CBNE exam requires five years’ experience and consists of 50 multiple choice questions followed by an essay question. Both exams are open-book using approved texts, except for the CBNE essay, and a three-hour time limit is allowed.
The exam session is open to both SBE members and non-members. The application deadline is April 1.
The Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference brings together broadcasters and professionals from across Michigan and the midwest. Conference registration includes educational sessions and lunch, and a no-cost exhibit hall pass is available.