NATAS Tech & Engineering Emmy Winners

Among this year’s honorees are the teams behind a voice-navigation system for TV content, a video-conferencing service, video ID tech and a 3D Doppler radar system. In addition, Robert Ross, SVP, CBS Engineering, and Richard Friedel, EVP, Fox Engineering, will receive Technology & Engineering Lifetime Achievement Awards on April 8 in Las Vegas.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the recipients of the 69thAnnual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards that will take place in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters at the annual NAB Show on Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Las Vegas.

Two broadcast technology icons — Robert Ross, senior vice president, CBS Broadcasting, and Richard Friedel, executive vice president and GM, Foz Networks Engineering and Operations — will receive the academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award for their distinguished careers.

“The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards has always recognized the talented and innovative leaders and companies that have made the incredible world of television possible,” said Bob Mauro, president, NATAS. “We are especially excited this year to be presenting our program at NAB Show for the first time where many of these leaders assemble. Two of these leaders, Robert Ross of CBS and Richard Friedel of Fox have been instrumental in our world of television anytime, anywhere and The National Academy is happy to be honoring them both with our Lifetime Achievement Award in Technology.”

Robert Seidel, chairman of Technology & Engineering Achievement Committee said: “These awards honor the technology companies and individuals whose innovation and vision have materially affected the way the audience views television and have set the standard for technological excellence in the industry.”

“We are thrilled that NATAS has chosen to recognize the industry’s most innovative companies and leading technology minds at NAB Show,” said NAB President-CEO Gordon Smith.  “As the world’s largest event focused on the intersection of media and technology, NAB Show is a natural fit for this prestigious awards program. We congratulate the award winners and look forward to celebrating their achievements in April.”

The individuals and companies that will be honored at the event follow.


Robert Ross has been senior vice president, East Coast operations, CBS Broadcasting Inc. since October 1998. He oversees all East Coast operations and engineering for the CBS Television Network. During his tenure as SVP, he led the engineering and technical teams and oversaw the following accomplishments:

  • Conversion of the Broadcast Center to high definition.
  • Installation of the major emergency generator power system for the Broadcast Center.
  • Rebuild and upgrade of the CBS Network Media Distribution Center.
  • Rebuild of the satellite distribution systems.
  • Created systems for both domestic and international distribution – Path Fire and Pitch Blue system.
  • Conversion from videotape to digital distribution for both domestic and international syndication.
  • Restoration of the Ed Sullivan Theater for the Stephen Colbert Show.
  • Designed and built sports coordination production and play-out rooms.
  • Designed and built CBS Evening News production control room.
  • Designed and built CBS This Morning production control room and studio.

Ross has worked for 43 years in all areas of broadcast engineering, with 19 years at Westinghouse Broadcasting working at stations WBZ Boston, WJZ Baltimore and KYW Philadelphia. Before the CBS/Westinghouse merger, he was the VP of engineering for Group W Television Stations.

In October of 2009, Ross was elected into the class of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. He is the past chair of the Toolkit working group of the Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) an FCC Advisory Committee. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. In 2013, he was appointed president of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA).

Ross holds an Advanced Amateur Radio License and has been a contributing author to a national magazine on consumer electronics. He has contributed to the standards process for the Advanced Television Systems Committee, and various SMPTE engineering committees.

Richard Friedel is executive vice president and general manager of Fox Networks Engineering & Operations, the 21st Century Fox unit responsible for engineering, operations and technology supporting Fox’s national and regional television businesses. Prior to this, he was a member of the team that launched Fox News Channel.

Friedel is also responsible for long-term technology strategy and day-to-day operations for the Fox Network Center in Los Angeles and the Fox Houston Technical Operations Center, home of Fox Sports’ regional networks, and provides technical support for 14 regional production centers. Before joining Fox, Friedel served in various positions at Capital Cities/ABC, NBC News and various television stations.

Friedel is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, a fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a member of the Audio Engineering Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Society of Broadcast Engineers and Society of Cable Television Engineers. In addition, he serves as ATSC Board Chairman, President of the Video Services Forum and is a member of the North American Broadcasters Association Board of Directors.

In 2015, Friedel was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the NAB Engineering Achievement Award, bestowed to individuals nominated by their peers for significant contributions to advancing the state of the art in broadcast engineering.

2017 Technical / Engineering Achievement Awards

Contextual Voice Navigation for Discovering and Interacting with TV Content

  • Comcast
  • Universal Electronics (UEI)
  • Apple TV
  • Nuance Dragon TV

Low Latency Remote Controlled Airborne Video Platforms (non-military) for Television

  • John McGraw
  • PictorVision Inc.
  • Aerial MOB LLC
  • Astraeus Aerial
  • Flying Cam Inc.
  • Vortex Aerial
  • Helivideo Productions LLC
  • Snaproll Media LLC
  • DJI

Pioneering and Productization of Supporting Digital Video Using SDI Over Fiber-Optic

  • Bluebell
  • British Telecom

Pioneering Development of a Computerized Hard-Disk Storage Based Digital Non-Linear, Multi-Stream Multi-Camera System

  • Avid Technology
  • Heavyworks (Edit Share)

Pioneering Development of a Portable, Battery Powered Audio/Video Test Signal Generator

  • MultiDyne

Development of Integrated Consumer Video Conferencing Service into Broadcast Production Environments and Workflows

  • Skype (Microsoft)

Video Identification Technology to Protect Content Value and Copyright

  • Audible Magic
  • Civolution
  • INA
  • Friend MTS
  • Vobile
  • YouTube

Expanding-Side Television Production Mobile Units

  • CBS Television Network
  • The Gerstenslager Company

A Three Dimensional Doppler Radar System to Track and Display Fast Moving Pitched and Hit Balls

  • TrackMan
  • MLB Advanced Media
  • ChyronHego

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