Terry baun, inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Wisconsin Association of Broadcasters, died on Saturday January 1. He was 74 years old.
Baun’s broadcasting career began in 1967 at the classic Milwaukee station, WFMR-FM. After a decade there, he began a series of movements in corporate engineering while also establishing his own consulting firm, Criterion Broadcast Services, in Milwaukee.
Over the years he has worked for Sudbrink broadcast, Multimedia broadcast, and Cumulus Diffusion. He ended his career in broadcasting working for the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, where he oversaw the engineering and operations of the Wisconsin statewide public radio and television broadcast system. Wisconsin, retiring in 2017 after 10 years.
Baun’s activity in the Society of Broadcast Engineers is the most notable. He started in 1976 when he first joined the Society and became involved in Milwaukee Chapter 28, holding several leadership positions. Later in his career, while living in Indiana, he served as chairman of the Chapter 25 certification committee in Indianapolis.
Baun’s contributions to the SBE at the national level have been numerous and significant. He was first elected to the national board of SBE in 1987, for a two-year term and was elected for a three-year term in 1991. This term was interrupted after two years when he was elected. was elected National Vice-President in the fall of 1993. Baun held this position for two years before being elected to two consecutive terms as National President, starting in 1995.
During his tenure as National President, the Society instituted the Leadership Development Course. Baun has strived to develop stronger ties and promote the SBE through state broadcaster associations nationwide. It initiated a major upgrade to the data management capacity of the Company’s national office. The Company has successfully transitioned from the multi-association World Media Expo, which ended in 1996, to the SBE national meeting concept which is still in use today. The SBE self-published the EAS Primer, written by fellow Wisconsinite Leonard Charles, during his tenure and the Company held its first strategic planning meeting during Baun’s presidency. During his two years as president, the membership of the SBE has increased as has the financial strength of the SBE.
His dedication to the development of continuing education for broadcast engineers was evident in his tenure as Chairman of the National SBE Certification Committee (1998-2001) and later as a developer and instructor of a technologist course. in computer networking which has made it easier for many broadcast engineers to bridge the gap between traditional broadcast engineering and information technology skills, and become SBE certified broadcast network technologists. Much of Baun’s professional life has been spent working for and on behalf of the Company and mentoring the Broadcast Engineer on the conference circuit and through promoting the SBE certification program.
Baun was a member of the national SBE certification committee for 21 years, from 1998 to 2019, as chair of the committee for three of those years.
Baun was instrumental in the creation and subsequent tutorial of the SBE Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT) certification. His dedication to this program has resulted in one of the highest participation rates of any SBE certification level. Baun was also instrumental in the development of the SBE AM Directional Specialist (AMD) certification, providing numerous essay questions.
He also made a significant contribution to his home state through the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. He was an early member of the WBA Engineering Summer Conference Steering Committee. Baun founded the WBA Media Technology Institute in 2011.
He has played a key role in the development of the self-inspection program within the broadcasting industry and is considered a leader in this field. Baun was one of the architects of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Alternative Broadcasting Station Inspection Program, serving as the WBA’s Chief Inspector for over ten years, starting with the program’s inauguration in 1995. In addition to Wisconsin, he conducted inspections of alternative stations for broadcast associations. in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. As an inspector himself, Baun took on the primary role of mentor to stations to help them resolve their compliance issues rather than the role of authority. His desire was for stations to abide by the rules rather than looking for reasons to cite them for non-compliance.
In 2000, Baun launched the 24-hour hotline for engineers in the state of Wisconsin through the WBA, which it operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Based on its program model , other state broadcast associations have embraced the 24-hour engineering hotline. For all of his efforts in Wisconsin, Baun was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation Hall of Fame in 2004.
In his role with the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, Baun was instrumental in guiding Wisconsin Public Television’s transition to fully digital broadcasting. In addition to his associated duties with the ECB and Wisconsin Public Television, he has spent a lot of time working with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in various activities that have benefited not only the ECB and WPT, but the whole of the television community. The WPT transition included the rapid digital switch-over for all six WPT translators and included coordinating a triage plan with WPT programming staff for the five full-power transmitters prior to the original shutdown date of February 17, 2009.
Baun implemented the planning process with ECB staff for the next generation of broadcast interconnect that broadcasts Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, EAS, and Amber Alert statewide programs.
He served as a model and worked diligently on the partnership model between the ECB and the University of Wisconsin’s public radio and television issues.
Baun has implemented a “paperless” reporting system for technical updates from field staff. It is a system that allows ECB engineering staff across the state to gain insight into projects and issues at each site. Projects supervised by Baun included the WHHI Tower, the University of Wisconsin’s WHAA-FM – Coloma radio project built in 2011, and the Chilton Vacuum Fill Tower, a joint project with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. . Baun also monitored the HD radio installations of the ECB’s FM stations.
In addition to his long membership in the SBE, Baun was a member of the Audio Engineering Society, the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, and the IEEE. He also served on the Milwaukee Area Technical College Broadcast Communications Engineers Advisory Board, which revamped the program and brought lab and studio equipment up to current broadcast standards.
“His dedication to broadcasting in general and to broadcasting engineering, the SBE, the WBA and its employers, is clearly evident,” said the WBA. “What sets Baun apart from other outstanding engineers is his ability to share his engineering expertise with his industry peers as a great professor of communication.”
In a WBA video tribute to Baun who won his 2004 Wisconsin Broadcasting Hall of Fame induction, Baun shared his thoughts on broadcast engineering and his career. He said: “Engineers are an essential part of the broadcasting business. They are technologists who bring broadcasting to life. I have always considered myself to be a broadcaster. Period. And as part of the broadcast, I think my contributions were mostly on the technical side, on the engineering side.
To honor Baun, WBA respects his wishes for a big party. A celebration of life with food, friends, drink and music is scheduled for Jan. 16 at the Madison Marriott West, starting at 5:00 p.m. Central.