SBE Elects First Woman President

New SBE President Andrea Cummis

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2021 election for the national board of directors. Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, was elected as the society’s president. Cummis is the chief technical officer of PBS39/WLVT-TV, in Bethlehem, PA. She is the first woman to be elected to hold the office. She is a member of SBE Chapter 15 in New York City.

Regarding the election, President-elect Cummis said, “I look forward to serving the Society and its members. President Wayne Pecena has led the society through an interesting and unusual time, and as everyone looks forward to a return to normal, I’m pleased that the society is still growing and thriving. I’m eager to work with the Board of Directors and the membership so we can expand our membership and outreach to the media professionals among us.”

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FCC Cancels KJUX Construction Permit

On August 30, 2021, the FCC canceled the expired Construction Permit of proposed AM 1400 broadcaster KJUX Lemon Grove. The associated FM translator K229DP CP expires October 2, 2021.

The applicant, Gerard Turro of Christyanna Broadcasting, Inc., in June this year had requested a tolling (legal extension) of their CP deadline citing financing issues and delays in construction. However, the FCC rejected their arguments and ultimately, the request to extend the CP deadline.

Christyanna engaged in a long battle to gain the Construction Permit beginning with the application in 2007. Gold Coast Broadcasting, owners of co-channel station KUNX 1400 Santa Paula, filed numerous Petitions to Deny. Ultimately, KJUX won a construction permit but did not build the facility.

KTCD-LP License Canceled

The FCC on August 10, 2021 canceled the license of KTCD-LP by request of station owner Entravision, who chose to let the license lapse rather than upgrade it to a digital facility before the June 13, 2021 deadline. KTCD had operated on analog TV channel 46 from Mt. Woodson with a very low power service to Ramona, but had obtained an FCC Construction Permit to allow it to change to channel 31 after having been displaced in the 2017 600 MHz band repack due to the sale of spectrum to T-Mobile and other mobile carriers.

The station had reached an agreement with International Communications Network, operators of KSDY-LD on Mt. San Miguel to share channel 31, with KSDY using a directional antenna array aimed at Chula Vista and Tijuana to the southwest and KTCD non-directional but using only 140 W ERP from atop Mt. Woodson. KTCD-LP went dark in mid-2020 after telecom operators began claiming their auctioned 600 MHz spectrum.

KUMI (FM) Relinquishes License

Activist San Diego (“ASD”), licensees of a new non-comm FM station, KUMI 89.9 Romona, sent a letter to the FCC dated July 19, 2021 responding to an earlier FCC letter asking for clarification regarding whether the station had ever been on the air.

Acting General Manager Martin Eder said in the response that they had offered to transfer the license to the Los Coyotes Tribal Chairman’s Association but “heard nothing in return.” Eder did not state whether ASD had actually ever installed or operated a transmitter in spite of having claimed to have been on the air since July 2019 and having held a current license.

Eder told the FCC that ASD “voluntarily relinquishes our FCC broadcast license for 89.9, Romona, CA hoping to serve the greater good.”

The FCC canceled the license July 24, 2021.

Digital Alert Systems Issues New FEMA IPAWS CA File to Replace Expiring Certificate

DASDEC and One-Net Users Must Update Certificate Before Aug. 21 to Maintain Proper Operation

LYNDONVILLE, N.Y. — July 20, 2021 — Digital Alert Systems, the global leader in emergency communications solutions for video services providers, today announced the availability of an important update of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) digital certificates used to authenticate messaging from the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

The company has released updated IPAWS Certificate Authority (CA) credentials for the DASDECTM and One-NetTM series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) encoder/decoders to replace a certificate in the current certification chain that will expire on Aug. 21. All U.S. DASDEC and One-Net users are advised to replace the soon-to-expire certificate to ensure the required message authentication continues to operate properly. Digital Alert Systems reminds all EAS participants the FCC requires them to “configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.”

“With just a few weeks to go, we urge DASDEC and One-Net customers to update their certificate files before Aug. 21 to prevent any disruptions,” said Adam Jones, senior sales engineer for Digital Alert Systems. “While this seems like an annual occurrence, our customers will be pleased to know this new certificate is good until April of 2024!”

Digital certificates, called CAs, are used by FEMA to create a chain of trust between an EAS device and the IPAWS servers. The DASDEC and One-Net EAS/CAP devices use these special digital certificates to validate the authenticity of IPAWS-sourced CAP alerts. These certificates are designed to expire on a specific date and time, requiring the issuing authority to publish new certificates as replacements.

All DASDEC and One-Net customers using the IPAWS system must have the latest certificates in place so only messages authenticated through IPAWS are processed. IPAWS users who do not update their equipment before Aug. 21 could see this error message: “Event Log: Digital Signature

VERIFICATION ERROR: Signer UNTRUSTED! Check for correct CAP decoder CA file.” Alternatively, the device might simply ignore valid IPAWS alerts.

The new field service bulletin and CA file are now available from the Digital Alert Systems website at www.digitalalertsystems.com/DAS_pages/resources_fsb.html. DASDEC and One-Net customers should go to the website, download the field service bulletin for instructions, and link to the new CA file.

Further information about Digital Alert Systems and its products is available at www.digitalalertsystems.com.

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego