Say What?

The radio-info.com discussion board for engineers featured a dandy dustup when one commenter opined that engineers should shut their pie holes and make that HD work for their three listeners:

And I’ll bet that argument plays well with management who invested six-figures per station to go HD! There sure will be no audience if the freaking engineering department doesn’t keep the signal on, and sounding good! Forget HD. Set that aside for a moment. What part of the engineer’s job is important, and needs to be done correctly? ALL OF IT! Or please, hit the door . . . not just of the station, but the industry! While radio is and always will be about content, that content is being delivered in many different ways . . . including online, to portable devices via 3G (and soon 4G or “wi-max”) and HD. Each serves a function. That function is to augment and enhance analog delivery, not replace it. And that function frankly is the job of management and programming to define, not engineering! This “born broken” technology has 100+ mile coverage in my neck-of-the-woods, and vastly-improved tuners are making those once-spotty signals rock solid. The Sony XDR-F1HD is a technological marvel . . . a true “super-tuner” at a bargain-basement price. The Insignia portable is perhaps the best-performing pocket-portable ever . . . analog or digital. It doesn’t matter if only three people are listening to an HD channel . . . if you’re my engineer, you by-God better deliver a great-sounding signal to those three! DO YOUR JOB . . . as defined by management. If THEY say HD is unimportant, then go take a nap. Otherwise . . .

Thus spaketh the dissenter, as he settled onto his bed of punji stakes. RadeoEngineer seemed to take exception (warning: not for the faint of heart):

I guess you walk on water too. Mike, with all due respect, you’re still full of shit. I guess that’s not a lot of respect, but well, it is what it is. You’re a voice/production guy right?

Opinions expressed on websites from The Production Room are those of Mike Walker. Therefore, they are insightful, well-reasoned, and should be your opinions as well!

I don’t think there’s anything insightful or well reasoned about your posts on this topic.

Let me let you in on something. People are supposed to work for a living, not live to work. When an engineer gets slapped with a system that doesn’t work, that no one cares about and is unwilling to support it with time and money, then it makes it very low on an engineer’s priority list when there are serious things to deal with that uppers do actually care about and support. You present an arrogant attitude for which I have no tolerance. And just so you know, I’m retired and don’t have to deal with the nonsense of HD radio, but I have friends that still do, and I see the effort they have to make for an unappreciated, non-revenue producing service that means nothing to the glorified uppers, despite their having spent (stupidly I might add) six figures to put this abortion out there. If you think HD is a wonderful system then go for it. Many, many highly experienced engineers and other technical professionals recognize this thing for what it is, which is a waste of money, time and a kluge beast.

Congratulations on your experience of you and your news guy fixing the incorrect left/right wiring in the studio you mentioned, but you seem to have a sneering attitude at what those of us with the training and education are telling you is junk science. And let me suggest one more thing to you as you piss on the engineering community for saying what this crap is; you’re dead in the water without us. You better show some stinking respect or expect to get blown off when your needs are immediate and no one wants to take your call. We’re management too buddy. On the highest level. We manage facilities that connect to the listener and cost millions of dollars. We work out huge problems to get what the programmers need, which is coverage, and we’re as dedicated as they come. We are the buffer between the license holders and the FCC and we make damn sure things are legal and right. We work with our brothers and sisters that compete with us to make sure everyone is doing the right thing and has the chance to succeed. And we do the best we can to watch budgets, but a part costs what a part costs. We didn’t break it, and we only want to fix it. How many times does the engineer catch grief for just saying what it’s going to cost to get your operation back to working status? Do you have any clue about this?

When you can pass the General Class license exam (well, OK cheap shot, they don’t give it anymore, but I happen to have one) and feel competent to answer the phone in the middle of the night and head to a down transmitter site in a lightning storm, then maybe you have some room for your glorified insightful and well reasoned opinions to shower on us poor stinky unwashed grease and grime covered engineers that do manage to get your crap on the air with a high degree of regularity.

And I never was or would be “your” engineer. I would be the Chief Engineer for the station(s) and your silly stuff would be way down on the list of my priorities in our joint world if it ever existed, which I guarantee you it won’t. I bet you complain a lot about how you’re not being treated with the respect you deserve for your problems by whatever poor bastard is stuck screwing the wires together in your world.

I know exactly what you’re about.

But what do you really think, RE? Perhaps we need to think on a way to make RE come out of his shell…

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One Response

  1. I’ve had a few run-ins with Mike Walker, too. He runs some digital radio hear-it-see-it blog, and I used to leave some pretty obnoxious comments. Well, as usual., he overreacted and said that I was harassing him, and claimed that he talked with the “authorities” (local law enforcement). What a joke. IBOC proponents will take every tactic to shut down opposing opinions.

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