With the start of the new year 2024, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, celebrates its 60th anniversary. Officially founded on April 4, 1964, the SBE has grown from its humble beginnings when about 100 broadcast engineers gathered for a meeting at the NAB Convention in Chicago to providing a leading role in broadcast and multimedia education, certification, professional networking, frequency coordination and advocacy for technical professional working at radio and TV station, production facilities and more.

SBE 60 BlueThe Society’s roots stretch back to 1961, when the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) passed a joint resolution calling for a “merger or consolidation into one organization.” The two groups did finally join forces in 1963 forming what is known today as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

The new organization was perceived by some as not addressing the needs of broadcast engineers. Because of the interest shown in response to an editorial in Broadcast Engineering magazine, written by eventual first SBE President John Battison, the organizational meeting held in 1964 formed an organization devoted to the needs and interests of broadcast engineers that now is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

With members around the world, local SBE chapters provide services to members through meetings, technical seminars, certification examinations and fellowship.

Throughout 2024, the SBE will mark the event in its bi-monthly newsletter, The Signal, on the SBE website, in social media posts, and with in-person events at the 2024 NAB Show. A special SBE Certification project will also be announced shortly to commemorate the Diamond anniversary. The celebration will continue at the 2024 SBE National Meeting, which will be held in the fall.

“A landmark anniversary is certainly a time to look back, but it’s also an opportunity to look to the future,” said SBE President Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, ATSC3, DRB. He added, “The SBE will continue to move forward in education, certification, government and industry advocacy, frequency coordination and other areas to serve the needs of broadcast engineers and multimedia technology professionals everywhere.”

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