Broadcast consulting engineer Richard Mertz has died after a
two-year fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.
website of Cavell Mertz & Associates carries the news. The Virginia-based firm
reported that Mertz passed away at home with his family; he’d been under
According to a company biography, Mertz joined
the firm in 1994 after already having worked for 25 years in broadcast
engineering. His career spanned broadcast television and radio, cable television
and communications. The company said he had recently become an authority on the
TV “rebanding” rulemaking and in helping television clients with the transition
“Several projects of note involved field
measurements to demonstrate that the FCC’s interference model overstated actual
station coverage,” the website stated. “These measurements and experimental
reports resulted in several high band VHF station being permitted to greatly
exceed the maximum power cap in the Northeast providing an improvement with
He wrote for Radio World and authored
numerous technical papers presented at NAB and IBC conventions.
Mertz had worked in the Washington area as a staff engineer
and project manager at Jules Cohen & Associates, P.C., as director of engineering
for United Broadcasting Company Inc., and manger of technical operations for
“Prior to coming to Washington, Richard
worked at several of the major-market Jefferson Pilot Broadcasting radios
stations,” the company stated. “He was the technical operations manager at
WBT(AM)/ WBCY(FM), and the Jeffersonics audio recording facility in Charlotte,
N.C.” It said that under his guidance, WBT participated in testing AM stereo
skywave performance, becoming the first station in the South to operate in AM
“Before WBT, Mr. Mertz was assistant chief engineer
for Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting’s WQXI(AM/FM) in Atlanta, Ga., where he
designed and built studio and transmitter facilities. … He served on panels of
industry groups covering subjects from AM stereo, multiple ownership and
microprocessor systems, to RF exposure protection.”
to a 2011 Radio Show conference bio, Mertz held a bachelor of science degree in
math and physics from Oglethorpe University. He was former chapter chairman of
SBE Washington Chapter 37 and a member of the Audio Engineering Society and IEEE.
He held an FCC General Radiotelephone License and was a licensed radio amateur
A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, Nov.
3, in Washington.
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