Skip Pizzi Takes ATSC's Highest Technical Honor, the Lechner Award

WASHINGTON– The Advanced Television Systems Committee honored Skip Pizzi of the National Association of Broadcasters as the 2017 recipient of the organization’s highest technical honor, the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award. The presentation was made during the 2017 ATSC Next Gen TV Conference at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center on Wednesday.

“Skip Pizzi is an outstanding leader with remarkable technical and management skills. His enthusiasm and commitment has helped to facilitate the rapid development of the next-generation broadcast television standard,” said ATSC President Mark Richer, pictured at far right, with Pizzi center and ATSC board chairman, Richard Friedel, at left.

Pizzi chairs the Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 System Requirements and Program Management, which is responsible for consideration of the development of ATSC 3.0 use cases and scenarios. “These scenarios were used as the basis for the system requirements that enabled the development of Technical Standards and Recommended Practices that make up ATSC 3.0,” Richer said.

Pizzi’s Specialist Group was also responsible for review of the TG3 Technology Group’s outputs for adherence to system requirements and for coordinating the ATSC 3.0 development schedule. In addition, that Specialist Group is responsible for drafting the overall ATSC 3.0 “System Standard,” (A/300).

A musician and audio expert, he also played a key role in the development of the ATSC 3.0 audio standard and he served as co-coordinator of the advanced audio system test activities. He also serves as vice-chair of TG3, which has overall oversight for the ATSC 3.0 standard.

Pizzi is the NAB’s vice president of Technology Education and Outreach. His career has spanned the broadcast and new-media industries, with 13 years as an engineer and technology manager at National Public Radio and 11 years in various posts at Microsoft. He also spent seven years as an editor at Broadcast Engineering magazine, and continues as a technology journalist and author. His most recent book is “A Broadcast Engineering Tutorial for Non-Engineers,” 4th edition, and he is an Associate Editor for the "NAB Engineering Handbook," 11th edition, both published by Focal Press.

Pizzi is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied Electrical Engineering, International Economics and Fine Arts. 

The Lechner Award is bestowed annually to an individual representative of the ATSC’s membership whose technical and leadership contributions to the ATSC have been invaluable and exemplary. The title of the award recognizes the first recipient in 2000, the late Bernard Lechner, for his outstanding services to the ATSC. The honoree is selected by the ATSC Board of Directors and presented at the ATSC’s spring meeting. Lechner passed away in 2014 after a long career in TV technology.

Recipients of the ATSC Lechner Award:

  • 2000 – Bernard Lechner, Consultant
  • 2001 – Rich Chernock, Triveni Digital
  • 2002 – Regis Crinon, Microsoft
  • 2003 – Glenn Adams, Extensible Formatting Systems, Inc
  • 2004 – Graham Jones, National Association of Broadcasters
  • 2005 – John Henderson, Hitachi
  • 2006 – Art Allison, National Association of Broadcasters
  • 2007 – Mark Eyer, Sony Electronics
  • 2008 – Michael Dolan, TBT
  • 2009 – Wayne Bretl, LG Electronics/Zenith
  • 2010 – Pat Waddell, Harmonic
  • 2011 – Jim Starzynski, NBC Universal
  • 2012 – S. Merrill Weiss, MWG Group
  • 2013 – Mark Aitken, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • 2014 – James Kutzner, PBS
  • 2015 – Luke Fay, Sony
  • 2016 - Madeleine Noland, LG Electronics
  • 2017 – Skip Pizzi, NAB