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February 13, 2006
Dennis Wharton
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Dawson, Rackley and Weiss to Receive 2006 NAB Engineering Achievement Awards

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Association of Broadcasters today announced the recipients of the 2006 Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards.  The awards, first established in 1959, are given to individuals for their significant contributions which have advanced broadcast engineering.  This year’s winners, Benjamin Dawson, Ronald Rackley and S. Merrill Weiss will be honored at the Technology Luncheon on Wednesday, April 26 at NAB2006 in Las Vegas.

Television award winner S. Merrill Weiss is a consultant in electronic media technology and management. He has nearly 40 years of experience in broadcasting and related fields and draws upon extensive experience designing, building, and managing new technical facilities for various electronic media companies. His consulting practice has served clients throughout the broadcast industry in the U.S and the world. Earlier in his career, Mr. Weiss worked with NBC, Imagex Corporation, and with Westinghouse Broadcasting.

He is an internationally recognized industry leader and expert in the development of new television technologies, including digital video compression. He conducted the experiments that led to the first digital television standard (CCIR Recommendation 601) in 1981 and has been involved in the development of virtually every DTV standard since. He has served with the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, the Advanced Television Systems Committee and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Radio award winners Dawson and Rackley are icons in the field of AM broadcast antenna system design and optimization.

Dawson, managing partner of Seattle-based Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers, has practiced as a telecommunications consulting engineer for the last 30 years. He has designed, implemented and refurbished medium wave antenna systems with as many as 10 towers at power levels as high as 2 megawatts. Dawson began his career while still in junior high school. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (Electrical) in Washington and California.  He is a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers.

Rackley is partner in the engineering firm of du Treil, Lundin & Rackley, Sarasota, Florida. Rackley worked as a radio station chief engineer and was a consultant to other nearby stations during college. Following his formal education, he worked for two different engineering firms and a major manufacturer of antenna system equipment before co-founding a predecessor to his present firm, du Treil, Lundin & Rackley, Inc., in 1983. Rackley is a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, where he has served as president.  He also served as vice president of the Broadcast Technology Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He was a consultant to USA Digital Radio during their early years of digital radio development and has recently been called upon to assist numerous client stations in evaluating and improving their AM antenna systems for HD Radio.  Ron is a registered professional engineer.

NAB2006 will take place April 22-27, 2006 in Las Vegas (exhibits open April 24). It is the world's largest electronic media show covering the development, delivery and management of professional video and audio content across all mediums.

The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at


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