RF Specialties Group Celebrates 30 Years

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Mar 6, 2012 - The broadcast equipment dealership RF Specialties started in 1980 when two former McMartin sales engineers, John Schneider and Don Jones, formed their own broadcast equipment companies. Jones' company was called Broadcast Marketing Service and Schneider's company was called Northwest Broadcast Systems. In 1981 the two met to discuss ideas for expanding their customer base and product lines. The meeting resulted in a cooperative arrangement between their two companies, called the RF Specialties Group.

As the Group developed, it was decided to expand to include other independent sales engineers, such as Bill Turney, another alumni from McMartin Industries. Further additions included the late Sam Lane, Tom Monahan and Chris Kreger. Each company was designated by the name of the state where the company is based. At present the roster includes RF Specialties of Washington, of California, of Texas, of Missouri, of Pennsylvania, and of Georgia. The Group took on an international identity in 2004 with the addition of RF Specialties of Asia, owned by Ed Edmiston and based in Manila, The Philippines.

An early RF Specialties ad announcing the four new sales offices.

An early RF Specialties ad announcing the four new sales offices.

The RF Specialties Group is not a franchise, as some might think, but a trade Association, consisting of the seven independently owned and operated companies.

The RF Specialties Group prides itself on having people with solid backgrounds in broadcasting. They all have hands?on experience in studio operations, engineering, production or management. A quick count of the total years of broadcast experience, within the RF Specialties sales force, totaled somewhere more than 400 years.

Former principals Bill Turney and Bill Hoisington (RF Specialties of Florida) and current principal Dan Sessler have been radio stations owners. Most have been radio and TV chief engineers and announcers, and several have been sales executives of major manufacturing companies, such as RCA, Harris, McMartin, Belar, World Tower, SWR and Moviola. One of the newer Group members, Steve Moreen (RF Specialties of California), besides being a major market TV chief engineer was formerly co-owner of a large satellite uplink company in the San Francisco area, and he received an Emmy Award for Technical Excellence.

Among the former announcers and engineers in the Group are Chris Kreger, John Sims, Rick Funk, Kevin Clayborn, Chris Hall, Ed Young, Phil Joiner, Wray Reed, Bob Trimble and Bill Newbrough. From the manufacturing side come Don Jones, Dave Edmiston, Ed Edmiston and David Shepeard.

Early RF Specialties line cards showed a modest 20 to 30 product lines, but this has steadily grown over the past 29 years to more than 300 product lines.

To celebrate the group's 30 years, RF Specialties is having a party on April 17 at the 2012 NAB Show from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly Hilton) Conference Rooms 13 and 14.

Company info provided by Bill Newbrough, president, RF Specialties of Washington.

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