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Due to the tragic events of 9/11/2001...
September Meeting Postponed
Rest of the schedule expected to be OK

The "HDTV Survivor Stories" meeting, originally scheduled for September 19th will be rescheduled for later in the season. We postponed it because of the tragic events of September 11. A new date has not been set yet, but it will probably take place sometime in the spring.

The rest of our meeting schedule is expected to proceed as planned. There may be some adjustments due to last-minute changes, but these will be posted in all our meeting notices.

The 143rd SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition scheduled for November 4-7 in New York City will take place as planned and the ?Early-Bird Pricing? registration deadline has been extended. Information about this event is available at the SMPTE web site at www.smpte.org.

Impact on our local section
So Far, No Members Lost
Many email responses to cancellation notice

Many people responsed to the emailed meeting-cancellation notice. No members have been reported lost, but several reported that clients, friends and co-workers had been killed in the tragedy. Among those who were reported lost is Bill Weems, the commercial producer who used to work for September Productions.

The Boston Globe reported that Robert Pattison, a transmission engineer who used to work at several Boston-area TV stations, was killed. He was working for WCBS-TV at their transmitter site in the World Trade Center when it was hit. A Woburn native, he learned his craft in the Air Force and worked for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. After the military, he worked at several Boston TV stations and moved in 1996 to work for ABC in New York and then WCBS-TV.

Another member (who asked to remain anonymous) wrote: "My brother was in the Pentagon at the place were the plane hit. He is fine, and acted heroically returning into the inferno several times to save those on his fifth floor office area (D ring). Later he discovered that all on the four floors below him did not make it."

Several ex-members in New York called to report that they were OK. One spoke very movingly of the situation in the Armory near his office in the East 20?s: "That?s where the city is processing lost-person reports and the whole neighborhood is covered with flyers for those who were lost in the bombing. Their relatives are posting them, hoping against hope that there?s still some chance that they?re alive, and they look like they?ve been crying for days."

Our hearts go out to those who have been hurt in this terrible tragedy and we offer our most sincere condolences to all those who were affected.

Effect on Northeast
New York Stations Cope with Transmitter Losses
Historic New Jersey tower used

The bombing of the World Trade Center took out the transmission mast on the north tower that was the home of virtually all of New York?s major TV stations. Several are now transmitting from a tower in Alpine, New Jersey that was built in 1937 by Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio. But transmissions from this location don?t reach the eastern half of the metropolitan area. Two stations had antennas on the Empire State Building - a much better location - but adding additional stations to this mast is difficult because of space and wiring limitations. Nevertheless, several have managed to jury-rig temporary low-power transmissions until better arrangements can be made. Fortunately, approximately 75% of households in the area have not been affected by the outage: They have cable TV, which gets direct feeds from the stations.

Digital transmissions have been almost entirely discontinued: Most of the equipment was at the World Trade Center. Station engineers are quoted as saying that they?re going to concentrate on getting their normal transmssions on the air first before worrying about the digital ones.

Posted: 5 October 2001
Bob Lamm, SMPTE/New England Newsletter/Web Page Editor
blamm@cync.com