NABA Names Bob Ross President

TORONTO—The North American Broadcasters Association now has a new president, CBS Senior Vice President of East Coast Operations, Robert Ross. He takes over from Robert Briskman, who will be retiring.

“Bob has had a tremendous impact on our industry and is well known for making things work and getting the trains to run on time,” said Michael McEwen, director general of NABA. “When we call Bob a ‘Fixer’ it is with great respect and considerable awe. Bob understands the industry issues and I look forward to his leadership along with his NABA executive team over the next two years.”

John Lee, executive director of media technology services for CBC/Radio-Canada, and Richard Friedel, executive vice president and general manager of of Fox Networks Engineering & Operations, were named as vice presidents. The NABA board of directors appointed the new executives at their annual general meeting event held Feb. 12, 2014 at HBO in New York. Briskman and Mike Starling also were honored by the organization. Briskman, co-founder and technical director of what was Sirius Satellite Radio and is now SiriusXM, has been the company representative to NABA for 10 years and a NABA director for seven years. Briskman has also been NABA president since 2012 and recently received NABA’s International Achievement Award which “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in broadcasting and commitment to the organization’s goals and principles,” according to the group.

As the technical innovator of mobile satellite radio services, Briskman is responsible for the original development, implementation, and operation of the Sirius broadcast distribution system. He was part of the early years of both COMSAT and the National Aeronautics & Space Administration and has 32 successful satellite launches under his belt, according to NABA.

The other honoree, Mike Starling, recently retired as executive director of NPR Labs. NABA recently honored him to recognize his “outstanding leadership in the broadcast industry,” according to the association. From multicasting on new HD Radio channels, to receiver certifications and accessible public radio services for the visually and hearing impaired, NPR Labs has been at the forefront of recent broadcast radio developments, notes NABA.

Starling chaired NABA’s Technical Committee for eight years and was a NABA vice-president for the last six. He laid the ground work for NABA’s first Radio Standing Committee, according to the group.