SBE Celebrates 60 Years!

With the start of the new year 2024, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, celebrates its 60th anniversary. Officially founded on April 4, 1964, the SBE had grown from its humble beginnings when about 100 broadcast engineers gathered for a meeting at the NAB Convention in Chicago to provide a leading role in broadcast and multimedia education, certification, professional networking, frequency coordination and advocacy for technical professional working at radio and TV station, production facilities and more.

The Society’s roots stretch back to 1961 when the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) passed a joint resolution calling for a “merger or consolidation into one organization.” The two groups finally joined forces in 1963, forming what is known today as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Some perceived the new organization as not addressing the needs of broadcast engineers. Because of the interest shown in response to an editorial in Broadcast Engineering magazine, written by eventual first SBE President John Battison, the organizational meeting held in 1964 formed an organization devoted to broadcast engineers’ needs and interests that is now celebrating its 60th anniversary.

With members worldwide, local SBE chapters provide services to members through meetings, technical seminars, certification examinations, and fellowship.

Throughout 2024, the SBE will mark the event in its bi-monthly newsletter, The Signal, on the SBE website, in social media posts, and with in-person events at the 2024 NAB Show. A special SBE Certification project will also be announced shortly to commemorate the Diamond anniversary. The celebration will continue at the 2024 SBE National Meeting, which will be held in the fall.

“A landmark anniversary is certainly a time to look back, but it’s also an opportunity to look to the future,” said SBE President Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, ATSC3, DRB. He added, “The SBE will continue to move forward in education, certification, government and industry advocacy, frequency coordination, and other areas to serve the needs of broadcast engineers and multimedia technology professionals everywhere.”

The Society of Broadcast Engineers is the professional organization of television and radio engineers and those in related fields. The SBE has more than 4,500 members in 116 chapters across the United States, Hong Kong, and Eastern Europe. There are also members in more than 25 other countries. Most chapters meet monthly, offering educational programs and an opportunity to network with other broadcast technical professionals. The SBE offers the preeminent technical broadcast certification program in the U.S. and an expansive list of educational programs for broadcast engineers, operators, technicians, and broadcast IT professionals.

The SBE provides education and training programs to expand technical skills, and its certification program is a standard-bearer for professional competency in broadcast and communications engineering. SBE offers a forum for exchanging ideas and sharing information, allowing engineers to keep pace with the rapidly changing broadcast industry. The SBE’s frequency coordination program facilitates the use by broadcast engineers of radio spectrum for program and electronic news production. The SBE also advocates

before Federal agencies and the United States Congress on technical and regulatory issues that affect broadcast engineers. For more information about the SBE, contact James W. Ragsdale, executive director, at jragsdale@sbe.org or 317-846-9000, or visit the SBE website, www.sbe.org.