Faculty member earns professional certification

Above: Padraig Acheson, Western Carolina University director of television studio operations, controls the video switcher in the digital TV studio located in WCU’s Center for Applied Technology.

Above: Padraig Acheson, Western Carolina University director of television studio operations, controls the video switcher in the digital TV studio located in WCU’s Center for Applied Technology.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers has announced that Padraig Acheson,Western Carolina University director of television studio operations, has earned its certified television operator professional certification.

The certification process requires a rigorous SBE written examination. “The SBE exam is difficult and requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise. Further, it must be passed with a minimum score of 90 percent to earn the SBE certification,” said Don Connelly, director of broadcasting and acting head of the new department of communication at WCU.

The exam covers the latest technology and broadcast practices, including video file servers, automation and centralized or “hub” broadcasting. Other areas of study include operating a television station, keeping logs, tower light regulations, staying on the air, Federal Communications Commission regulations and legal requirements, television signal fundamentals and closed captioning. Acheson also learned the operation of the Emergency Alert System for times of local, regional and national emergency.

The certification professionally recognizes those qualified to serve as television master control operators. Many television stations require SBE certification for employment as a master control operator or member of the television station technical staff. The 5,000-member SBE is a nonprofit professional organization formed in 1964 committed to serving the broadcast engineering industry.

Acheson joined the Western faculty after a 28-year career in network television operations with ABC, CBS and NBC in New York.

For more information about the SBE certification program or the broadcasting program at Western, contact Connelly at (828) 227-3851 or via e-mail at dconnelly@wcu.edu.