March 27, 2018: Rick Fearns K6VE: RF coordination for TV productions, and more...

Rick Fearns was first licensed as KN2JLE in 1954. During his early career in electronics, he built and licensed an educational FM radio station in New York, which remains on the air to this dat as a 6,000-watt modern broadcast facility. He has lived in Southern California since 1972 as an Extra Class amateur radio licensee (K6VE). Rick also has a First Class Commercial radio license (now GROL). He is a certified teacher in California (retired) and a life member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the Audio Engineering Society Society, and the society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. His career includes tenure as the Assistant Chief Engineer of KABC and KLOS in Los Angeles as well as the Senior Supervisor of Stage and Videotape Operations at the American Broadcasting Company’s Television Network Operations Center in Hollywood. He was a member of the Radio Advisory Council for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1970, and as such approved the idea and funding for National Public Radio. He was consultant for the Board of Education for construction and programming of a 17,000-watt FM educational radio station in Kent County, Maryland. Rick was President of the Mountain Repeater Association (now a part of the Independent Radio Club), until he retired from ABC/Disney in 1999 and moved to the Coachella Valley. He received two Emmy awards for his work in television.

Rick was one of the pioneers who brought “PL” to ham radio, and was a mainstay in developing the two-meter band plan as we know it today. In the late 1960s Rick was the owner and trustee of the first FM repeater on Long Island (New York), which was one of two in the entire state. He was called out of retirement in the year 2000 by Dick Clark Productions because of his expertise in the field of wireless electronics, and now although retired, remains on their staff as frequency coordinator for two major television productions, namely the American Music Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. His name regularly appears on the credits of both shows. While at ABC between 1985 and 1999,  Rick was the frequency coordinator and wireless microphone engineer/operator for 14 consecutive Academy Awards productions.

It is Rick’s work as frequency coordinator for major television productions that brings him to speak at our meeting. Unless you are familiar with these occasions, you cannot imagine what is required to coordinate over 500 radio frequencies used during major broadcast events. Rick will explain how he accomplishes this task, as well as entertain us with several of his “behind the scenes” stories.