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ATSC president Mark Richer to retire

Richer has led the standards development organisation since 2000

Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, will retire later this year.

Richer has led the standards development organisation since 2000, having previously served as ATSC executive director in 1996-97 in between senior technology leadership roles at PBS and Thomcast Communications.

The ATSC Board of Directors elected Lynn Claudy of the National Association of Broadcasters as board chairman for 2019, succeeding Richard Friedel of Fox, who served as chairman from 2016-18. Claudy, who has been involved with the ATSC for three decades, is NAB’s senior vice president of Technology. He joined NAB in 1988 as a staff engineer and held positions of director of Advanced Engineering and Technology and vice president before assuming his present position in 1995. Claudy appointed Friedel to lead the search committee to identify the next ATSC President.

Richer’s 40-year television career has spanned the transitions from analog to digital TV, standard-definition to high-definition TV, and now to 4K and Next Gen TV. The capstone of Richer’s career is the ATSC 3.0 suite of Next Gen TV standards, representing the world’s first Internet Protocol-based system that marries broadcast and broadband.

In addition to leading the ATSC for 20 of its 35 years, Richer’s noteworthy industry contributions include his pioneering development of closed captioning in the 1980s and his key role in what is now known as ATSC 1.0, overseeing the technical evaluations of proponent systems for the world’s first digital TV broadcast standard in the 1990s.

Reflecting on his career, Richer said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to participate in the dynamic television industry over the years. I’m particularly proud of the ATSC’s role in redefining the future of television with ATSC 3.0, but our work isn’t done by any means,” he said, citing the ATSC’s important role in updating and developing standards, while supporting the launch of Next Gen TV broadcasting. “I look forward to assuring a smooth transition to new leadership in the months ahead.”

“Mark is well known and respected for his leadership skills, deep industry knowledge, unwavering integrity, future-focused vision and wry sense of humor,” said Claudy. “With broadcaster deployments of ATSC 3.0 now underway, he’s going out on top. And while Mark will be missed, the ATSC is well positioned for the future,” he said.