John Battison Passes
Loudonville, OH - Aug 28, 2012 - On the morning of Aug. 28, 2012, broadcast engineering lost one of the greats. John Battison, P.E., CPBE, passed away peacefully with his family at his side. John was born Sept. 11, 1915.
Readers of Radio magazine know John as a long-time editor and contributor. While Radio magazine was launched on its own as a spin-off from from Broadcast Engineering in 1994, John started writing for Broadcast Engineering in the early 1960s. He served as the editor for Broadcast Engineering for about a year, and in 1961, John penned an editorial suggesting that broadcast station engineers needed their own organization to serve their needs where other groups were focused on consultants and other disciplines. This editorial was the start of the effort to create what became the Society of Broadcast Engineers. John was the SBE's first president.
In 1998 he was awarded the National Association of Broadcasters Engineer of the Year Award for radio. In 2006, he was awarded the Society of Broadcast Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award, which later was renamed in his honor.
A memorial service will be held Sept. 8, 2012, at Christ Church Anglican, 43 W. Fourth Ave., Columbus, OH. Donations in John's memory can be made to the scholarship fund of the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust through the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
John was not only a leader in broadcast engineering, but also my very good friend, mentor and colleague. John was the technical editor, RF, for Radio magazine when I was hired as the editor in 1997. In 2009 (and when he was 94), John told me he was going to step back from his regular writing duties. I hated to lose him on the regular roster, and I could tell he didn't like having to give it up, either. He had so much experience and knowledge to share, and I know he enjoyed sharing all of it.
John was an expert on AM generation and transmission. In the many conversations I had with him, I always laughed when he would say that for radio, "Audio is something that messes up a nice, clean carrier"
Some information about John and his life are shared below.
And so ends another broadcast day.
editor, Radio magazine
The Life of John Battison
John Henry Battison has played a significant role in the radio industry. From working in radio stations to founding the Society of Broadcast Engineers in 1963, he has been a source of creativity and experience.
From 1978 to 1985 Battison held several management and engineering positions. He was the director of engineering and general manager of CHCTTV in Calgary, AB. He became director of television, produced Burl Ives on ABD Network and produced two weekly shows on Dumont, CBS and NBC. In 1947-1949 he worked for ABC New York, where he planned and designed four network TV and FM stations. In 1968-1970 he worked in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh as chief engineer of Saudi Television. These 56 years of broadcast have provided input to dozens of stations, and these aren’t all his accomplishments.
Battison was also a consultant. He was a consultant for Bing Crosby, owner of KCOP-TV in Los Angeles from 1961 until going to Saudi Arabia in 1968. He was also a consultant to former Governor of New Mexico John Burroughs from 1960-1962. Battison became a TV consultant, planning TV studios, for American University, Washington, DC, from 1952-1954. He has lectured on broadcasting at New York University, American University and in 1952 became the director of education for the National Radio Institute in Washington, DC.
With all of his hard work, it’s no surprise he received several awards and recognitions. Battison was nominated as a Commissioner to the FCC in 1961 and 1973 by Senator Joseph M. Montoya. He was appointed Colonel-aide-de-campe to Governor Sims of New Mexico. Battison is listed in "Who's Who in America."
Known in broadcasting circles as the authority on directional transmitting antennas, he taught at five of the six special directional antenna seminars given by the NAB. In March of 1980 he became a U.S. member of the FCC delegation attending the Region II, Medium Wave World Administrative Radio Conference in Buenos Aires. In 1979, he was selected to travel to Moscow as the U.S. delegate at the Popoff Conference.
Other international accomplishments include:
■ Belgium: Battison was invited to be a guest lecturer on the subject of design of interactive television and CATV systems, at the University of Liege, International Conference in Nov. 1980.
■ Bahrain: Battison planned the national TV system in this country as well as a high-power radio station.
■ England: He was director of engineering for Associated Redifussion, which was the largest commercial TV operation in England.
■ Lebanon: From 1976-1978 he was a consultant to the government in connection with two high-power direction FM stations and the new National Television system.
■ Yugoslavia: Battison designed 1,200kW directional antenna system.
■ Uganda: In 1962, He was a consulting engineer helping to plan the country’s national TV system.
■ China: He lectured at Peking Institute of Broadcasting in Peking, China, in May 1981, as an official guest.
Other achievements include being the author of 15 technical books and more than 500 technical articles in technical journals. From 1964 to 1967 he was the editor of the Journal of Society of Broadcast Engineers. He is a former editor of Broadcast Engineering, a contributing editor for Public Telecommunications Review and former technical editor of Radio magazine.
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