A Day of Experts: Johnson to Kick off LPTV @ NAB

Vern Fotheringham leading a Futures Roundtable in 2017

A full day of LPTV activities are planned on Monday, April 9, 2018 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Sessions will be held in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, Suite 2812.

Marge Johnson, Technical Support Analyst with TitanTV, Inc. will start the morning with a primer on PSIP. One of the most misunderstood parts of the broadcast transmission systems, PSIP provides the metadata for which channel the end user punches into to the TV. But what else does it do? Johnson will answer that question and more.

With majors in both Business Administration and Computer Science, Marge has enjoyed a successful career in the technical field. Her experiences include more than a decade of installing and maintaining Novell Networks and teaching Novell and Microsoft Network Certification classes.  Marge Johnson lives in Cedar Rapids, IA where she is the go-to person TitanTV’s clients rely on for expertly and quickly resolving their PSIP and television scheduling questions.

Next, Rob Folliard, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for Gray Television and ATBA Chairman will lead a roundtable on Finding the Road to LPTV Permanence. The ideas to bring stability and future proofing of LPTV and Translators will be discussed.

Rob is responsible for legal matters at Gray’s television stations, and Rob oversees Gray’s relationships with its MVPD partners, including negotiating retransmission consent agreements. Prior to joining Gray in 2014, Rob spent nine years in the Washington, DC offices for Cooley, LLP and Dow Lohnes, PLLC, where he represented television broadcasters at the FCC, in transactional matters, and in retransmission consent negotiations. Rob received his Juris Doctor from George Washington University (summa cum laude) in 2005 and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in 1997.

Following at 11am, Michael Couzens, Attorney at Law will lead a briefing on the upcoming Special Displacement Window. Are you ready to file? Michael, Started as a TV guy before law school. TV was his passion, then TV licensing. At the FCC, he worked on [TV] Network Inquiry Special Staff, but they had no interest in changing TV. Moved on to Low Power TV Inquiry Staff where they did change TV, creating a new broadcast service. His specialties include being an active Member of the Bar of D.C. and California. FCC regulatory, business formation and transactions, contracts, and general business law.

On tap for the afternoon, our focus will continue on the future of LPTV with the a session on applying ATSC 3.0 with Joshua Weiss and Vern Fotheringhamof Edge Spectrum Inc. Louis Libin from HC2 Broadcasting will discuss New Opportunities in LPTV.

Joshua D. Weiss has nearly 20 years of experience in broadcast television, production, and church ministries. He currently serves as vice president of business development for Edge Spectrum, Inc., and is general manager of IBN Television. He is producer of CrossTalk International, Today With God and Wize Flix television programs. He serves as associate pastor at Abundant Life AG in Grand Prairie, TX, where he and his wife, Nancy, lead worship and are responsible for all media. Joshua teaches Church Media at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He serves as the chairman of the Church Media Committee for the National Religious Broadcasters, has an MA in strategic communications, and is working on his Ph.D. in communications at Regent University.

Vern Fotheringham has dedicated his professional career to bringing the benefits of true broadband communication services to the global population. He has been and continues to be a catalyst for change and progress in driving this evolution forward. He has specialized in early-stage company development and maturation through the IPO and M&A stages. Together with highly skilled and experienced professional colleagues, he translates his clarity of vision into efficient operations and self-sustaining profitability.

Mindful of all fiduciary duties, he is a proven steward of investment capital who is focused on protecting the interests of all stakeholders. Mr. Fotheringham has been a serial entrepreneur in telecommunications, serving as a founder, CEO, Chairman or board member of eighteen innovative telecommunications companies, including: Norcom Networks, Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corp, Advanced Radio Telecom, Bazillion, Broadstorm, Terabeam, Adaptix, Mead Instruments, Castanet, Kymeta, and V-Satcast.

Louis Libin is an expert in the development of wireless communications and has over twenty-five years experience in media management, from business and strategy development (former CTO of NBC), project management for developing nations, to serving as the United States spokesman on wireless and interactive data systems the (ITU) UN in Geneva. Well known as a professional advisor in the telecom, software and communications industries. Libin has advised clients regarding FCC issues for over two decades. Libin has been profiled in many newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times. Libin is founder and President of Broad Comm, Inc., a broadcast technology consulting group. Clients include General Electric, NBC, ABC, CBS, Turner, Olympic Committees equipment manufacturers, governments and a myriad of media start-ups. Libin has successfully served as an officer or director of many companies. Libin also advised the US State Department on communications projects, NASA, the NFL, the NBA, the PGA, among others.

How do you cool your transmitter? Our next roundtable will discuss Air and Water Cooled Transmitters. Led by Perry Priestley, he has worked in the professional broadcast industry for over 40 years. Perry currently is the CEO for Anywave, North America. Most recently Perry worked for Comark, and Linear Industries as Vice President of Sales and previously has held positions with iBiquity, Thales, Marconi, Varian and Philips. Perry has presented at over 50 different technical conferences worldwide. Perry worked in many engineering positions from radio and TV development to transmission installation. Perry earned an HND in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, England.

At 6:00 pm, the annual LPTV/Translator Reception will begin with a VIP Reception for ATBA Members and Guests Only in the Westgate Ballroom E. The doors will open for everyone at 7:00 pm, for the Awards Ceremony, Welcome and Door Prizes. Prizes include an Apple Watch from QVC/HSN, TitanTV Mediastar package, Amazon Echo from NuestraVision and Lobsters from Maine from Dielectric just to name a few.

LPTV @ NAB will continue on Tuesday with a News Roundtable to discuss producing news on a Budget with Eric Wotila from NewsNet. Lee Miller, ATBA Communications Director and MSGPR CEO will lead a Station Marketing  roundtable on Web, Social Media and On Air Promotion.

Eric has been involved in television news for over ten years. He got his start in television by working at Cadillac’s public access cable station beginning in 2002. After working at the public access station for a few years, Eric launched “Local Edition,” a 5-minute local news cut-in that aired hourly on HLN throughout Northern Michigan. Eric has also worked as a freelance photojournalist for numerous TV stations in northern Michigan before launching MI News 26.

Eric’s passion is reporting on community interest stories — local people and groups with interesting backgrounds — and he feels MI News 26 is a great place to do so. When he’s not in the studio, in the field or in the edit suite, Eric spends much of his free time playing video games with friends and watching science fiction.

Lee Miller has been involved in the Broadcast business for over 30 years, working in television news operations, creative services, promotions, public service and television network management. As a conference speaker, he has taught on subjects ranging from television news operations to audio-video technology. Miller is a winner of multiple Addy and network television awards for production of television, radio and print.

Visit ATVBA.com for the times and schedule.

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance