Andrew Whiteside, Dielectic President, Dies

The television engineering veteran who joined Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1999, was killed in a climbing accident. He was 67.

Andrew Whiteside, president of antenna and signal-transmissions solutions company Dielectric, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, died April 30 in a climbing accident at Independence Monument in the Colorado National Monument National Park. He was 67.

He had been Dielectric’s president since 2015. In 1999, Whiteside joined Sinclair and then at its subsidiary Acrodyne Technical Services as a research scientist, eventually rising to general manager and VP, engineering. He led the design team that successfully introduced the Quantum IOT (Indictive Output Tube) and Depressed Collector ESCIOT (Energy Savings Collector IOT) transmitters. This technology increased the efficiency and operational costs associated with high power television transmitters.

Whiteside authored numerous technical papers and articles on transmitter technology and was deeply involved in the FCC Spectrum Repack initiative for US broadcasters and had been integral in the development and rollout of ATSC 3.0/NextGen television.

Born in England, Whiteside graduated from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London University and worked for EEV (English Electric Valve) a manufacturer of high-power transmitter tubes. He emigrated to the United States in the early 1980’s to take a job as VP of engineering with David Smith and Nat Ostroff at Comark Communications, manufacturing high-power transmitters for UHF television stations, receiving an Emmy Award for his work developing the first Inductive Output Tube (IOT) UHF television transmitter.

Reflecting on his friendship with Andy, David Smith, Sinclair’s Executive Chairman said: “I first met Andy in Atlantic City when he was sent to the U.S. from EEV in England to investigate some abnormal behavior of a klystron. It was during that time with Andy that I became aware of his unique talents and very special personality.

“Over the ensuing months I convinced him to come to work with myself and the others at Comark. There came a time later, after we acquired Dielectric, that I asked Andy if he would take over the company. It was through his leadership and expertise, along with an enormous talent pool at Dielectric, that they were able to become the dominant force in the transition of the local TV industry. I consider it one of my great privileges professionally and personally to have known Andy, he was truly an incredibly special person, and for sure one of the great men in our profession. He will be sorely missed.”


Nat Ostroff said: “It is a rare life event when an individual you meet in your professional career becomes a treasured long-term associate and a dear friend. Andy Whiteside was such a person that I came to know as a dear and treasured friend. We struggled together to create and then marveled at the results of the eventual success. We suffered through the tough times building more than one company and we succeed together. Andy was not only respected for his knowledge and patience but also as a mentor to many who worked with him. It is not an exaggeration to say that he was loved by many who now morn his passing. I miss him. My world and the wider world is poorer as a result of his leaving it.”

Longtime friend and co-worker Mark Aitken, Sinclair senior vice president of advanced technology, offered: “Just couple of things out of hundreds that could describe Andy, a true friend for more than 40 years. His ‘humor’ was quite ‘coloured’ in a British sort of way. Sarcasm, tongue-in-cheek, filled with puns and wit that kept class with Monte Python (he enjoyed being told that!). His friendship, complete and honest and evident to the closest of us. Willing to share in delights along with the unpleasant, never petty, and always seeking and embracing the truth. Truly a class act.”

A longtime customer and eventual co-worker Harvey Arnold, Sinclair vice president of engineering, said: “I have worked with Andy for over 40 years. He had a keen intellect and was a well-regarded industry expert on high-power RF transmission systems. He inspired good engineering practices, and broadcast engineering is in a better place due to Andy’s work.”

He is survived by his wife Patricia and his son Griffin.

Details on services and arrangements are not yet available.

Donations can be made to either the Mesa County Search and Rescue Team or the Family Meal Train service.

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RetiredInTexas says:

May 10, 2022 at 5:42 pm

So sad. Condolences and prayers to Andy’s family.