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The recent election cycle saw the word “change” used about 50 million times. I submit that most of what any politician says is smoke and mirrors, but, hey, give the winners a chance to prove themselves.

There are, however, some real and exciting changes coming to Broadcast Engineering magazine effective with the January 2009 issue.

First, 2009 will be Broadcast Engineering’s 50th anniversary. Few magazines, and none of our competitors, can claim such a legacy. The magazine was began in April 1959 by Donald E. Mehl. Mehl was both publisher and editor. His initial printing was for 5000 copies. Today, Broadcast Engineering generates approximately 12 million reader impressions per year.

The initial magazine covered AM and FM audio and television. The magazine’s first logo, shown above, represented those industries. Today, Broadcast Engineering focuses on television, video, cable, satellite and video production. The AM and FM segments were spun off in 1994 to form our sister publication, Radio magazine.

Thanks to Don’s efforts, Broadcast Engineering has become the industry’s standard for reliable training and education for readers. Throughout next year, we'll cover the history of Broadcast Engineering magazine and Don’s success in launching the industry’s longest-running magazine.

To help celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’ve planned a series of special technology reports to appear throughout the year. Our first special report will appear in our March pre-NAB issue. We’ll treat you to an exciting look at the development of broadcast camera technology.

Have you been around long enough to remember the RCA Hawkeye or the Plumbicon? We’ll tickle your brain cells with some historical broadcast trivia and conclude with an inside look at today’s cameras platforms. Look for this issue in your mailbox prior to the yearly Las Vegas convention.

In other innovations, we’ve added a new monthly feature called Infrastructure Solutions. These articles will examine key broadcast and production technology and show you how to implement those solutions. Whether you need guidance in installing a grounding system, adding newsroom automation or need a tutorial on using fiber optics, the answers are always in Broadcast Engineering. We find the experts to help you understand the options and then show you how to implement them.

We are also adding new writers for the Download feature. This year, we’ve identified key experts in 12 different technologies who will provide in-depth tutorials on using new technology in your facility. We’ll cover the launch of mobile TV, ingesting user-generated content, tapeless acquisition and making your facility greener. These, and other non-vendor-written articles will help you add new services, improve workflow and save money. What’s not to like about that?

Also, don’t miss our new series of webcasts. In addition to 12 new hot topics, Broadcast Engineering is providing a Certification of Participation for those who attend.

Two certifications are available; one for Broadcast IT Fundamentals and one for Basic Broadcast Systems. Each of these topics will be covered in three parts. You must participate in all three segments for each series to receive the certification certificate. Unlike other webcasts, all Broadcast Engineering training is conducted by industry experts — not vendors! There’s no selling in our tutorials. You can sign up now for the 2009 webcasts here.

Finally we’ve added, to use a broadcast term, an IFB link direct to our editions. If you need help, if you want to provide a comment, you can do so on any Broadcast Engineering article, blog or forum. All you have to do is click on the appropriate link and you are directly connected to the editors at Broadcast Engineering. Got a question? Need help? Want to express your opinion on any topic? Hit the comment button, and you’re connected to the editors’ desks.

Tell others how you feel. Offer your opinion. Send news tips to Broadcast Engineering. Your anonymity is guaranteed or your fame, if you provide your name.

Will 2009 be a challenging economic time for broadcasters? Probably so. But remember, Broadcast Engineering magazine can help you and your facility weather the times with good training, information and solutions.

See you in ’09.