SMPTE Fellows Robert Ross and Richard Friedel Earn Lifetime Achievement Awards From NATAS

April 8 Awards Presentation in Las Vegas Will Recognize Ross and Friedel for Their Industry-Changing Innovation and Vision

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. April 4, 2018 SMPTE®, the organization whose standards work has supported a century of advances in entertainment technology and whose membership spans the globe, today announced that SMPTE Fellows Robert Ross, senior vice president for East Coast operations at CBS Engineering, and Richard Friedel, executive vice president at FOX Engineering, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) at the 69th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards on April 8 in Las Vegas.

“Robert Ross of CBS and Richard Friedel of FOX have had a hand in many of the innovations enabling today’s advanced media formats and the availability of television anytime, anywhere,” said Chuck Dages, chairman of NATAS. “For their vision and their many significant achievements, the National Academy is pleased to honor them both with our Lifetime Achievement Award in Technology.”

The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards honor 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.

“Bob and Richard have made exceptional contributions to SMPTE’s standards development work and have led the way in bringing key technological advances into the realm of reality,” said SMPTE President Matthew Goldman, senior vice president of technology, TV and media at Ericsson. “We’re proud to be closely associated with two esteemed leaders in the motion imaging field. We congratulate them both on this latest honor and look forward to celebrating with them at the 2018 NAB Show.”

About Robert Ross
Ross has served as senior vice president for East Coast operations at CBS Broadcasting since October 1998, and he has led the engineering and technical teams and overseen a series of significant technological advances for the network. Ross was responsible for the conversion of the CBS broadcast center to HD; the rebuild and upgrade of the CBS Network Media Distribution Center; the rebuild of the network’s satellite distribution system; the creation of the Path Fire and Pitch Blue systems for domestic and international distribution; the conversion from videotape to digital distribution for both domestic and international syndication; the restoration of the Ed Sullivan Theater for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert;” and the design and build of key production areas for CBS Sports, the “CBS Evening News,” and “CBS This Morning.”

For 19 years, Ross worked at Group W (Westinghouse Broadcasting Company) stations WBZ-TV, WJZ-TV, and KYW-TV, and he was vice president of engineering for Group W prior to the CBS/Westinghouse merger.

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 (ATSC) and various SMPTE Engineering Committees. Ross is the past chair of the Toolkit working group of the Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC), a Federal Communications Commission Advisory Committee, and the past president of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA). He is a SMPTE Fellow, a member in the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), and Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame inductee.

About Richard Friedel
Friedel oversees FOX Networks Engineering & Operations, the 21st Century Fox unit responsible for engineering, operations, and technology supporting FOX’s national and regional television businesses. He is 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 he provides technical support for 14 regional production centers. He was also a member of the team that launched FOX News Channel. Before joining FOX, Friedel served in various positions at Capital Cities/ABC, NBC News, and local television stations.

A graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Friedel is a SMPTE Fellow. He also holds memberships in the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), SBE, and Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE). Friedel serves as ATSC Board Chairman, president of the Video Services Forum (VSF), and president of NABA. He was honored in 2015 by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) with the NAB Engineering Achievement Award.

Further information about SMPTE is available at

# # #

About SMPTE®

For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, or SMPTE® (pronounced “simp-tee”), have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ are just two examples of SMPTE’s notable work. Now in its second century, SMPTE is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE is a global professional association of technologists and creatives who drive the quality and evolution of motion imaging. Its membership today includes more than 7,000 members: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to SMPTE’s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

All trademarks appearing herein are the properties of their respective owners.

Link to Word Doc:

Photo Link:

Caption: SMPTE Fellow Robert Ross, Senior Vice President for East Coast Operations at CBS Engineering 

Photo Link:

Caption: SMPTE Fellow Richard Friedel, Executive Vice President at FOX Engineering

Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource