News and notes: April 2017

Here are some notes from SBE executive director John Poray:

1. If you’re heading to the NAB Show, be sure to include the SBE Spring Membership Meeting and reception on your schedule. Both are on Tuesday, April 25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the meeting at 5:15 in N256 and the reception at 6:15 in N243. Lots of prizes at both and free finger food and beverages at the reception. I hope you will stop by the SBE booth in the North Hall second floor meeting room area (Booth NL1 near N256) and say hello!

2. Thanks to all those who have renewed their membership this year. Even though the April 1 renewal deadline has passed, you can still renew during the grace period and avoid being dropped from membership.

3. The annual SBE Compensation Survey is underway. The more responses we receive, the more accurate and helpful the survey results are to you and other members. The full survey report will be available to all SBE members in June. To access the survey, go to the SBE website, and click on the SBE Compensation Survey icon on the front page.

Other notes from Chapter 82:

a) The SBE Membership Drive is on until May 31. If you recruit a new member, you’ll receive $5 off next year’s dues and be entered into a drawing for some great prizes. (I actually won a book last year.) Details at

b) Chapter 82 is dormant, and needs some new blood in order to become active and support and serve our membership. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer offices are vacant, and in order to become active we need members to volunteer to serve in these positions. Please contact Frank Maynard using the contact form of this website if you would like more information or are interested in serving in one of these positions and helping to provide continuing education and social engagement for your fellow broadcast engineers.

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Certification exam dates for 2017

SBE Headquarters has announced local chapter certification exam dates and application deadlines through 2017. They are:

  • February 3-13, 2017 – Deadline December 31, 2016
  • June 2-12, 2017 – Deadline April 21, 2017
  • August 4-14, 2017 – Deadline June 5, 2017
  • November 3-13, 2017 – Deadline September 25, 2017

In addition, exams will be given at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas on April 25, 2017 (application deadline March 17). Exams will also be given at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Examinees must be registered at the AES convention and submit your exam application to SBE by September 25.

For more information on certification, visit the SBE Certification webpage.

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January closing for Detroit FCC field office

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.

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November certification exam registration open

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


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