SPX shutters Dielectric antenna operations

SPX Communications Technologies (formerly Dielectric Communications) will cease its broadcast television, radio and wireless antenna operations effective June 29, 2013, company owner SPX announced today.

SPX announced it had filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice to inform employees of its decision April 19. According to a company statement, the decision to halt its antenna operations was “due to extremely difficult global economic conditions in the broadcast marketplace….”

The statement said SPX will focus its future business growth strategy on its Flow Technology business.

According to the statement, the 57 Raymond, ME, -based employees impacted by the closure have been notified of the decision. The company said it was encouraging those employees to apply for open positions at other SPX-owned businesses, including Radiodetection Ltd., which has a presence in Raymond.

Calls to the company Friday afternoon were automatically routed to a voicemail message that confirmed the decision and said no one will be available until April 25 to answer inquiries about the decision.

Dielectric began in 1942 as Dielectric Products Corp., which specialized in developing transmission lines for wartime radar system. The company has been located in Raymond since1954. SPX acquired Dielectric in 2001.

The company installed its first DTV antenna in 1994 and provided more than 1200 broadcasters with DTV transmission solutions.

News of the closing comes at a particularly difficult time for the television industry in the United States, which is facing a repack of TV spectrum that potentially could require hundreds of stations to acquire and install new antennas.