Gary Liebisch Reflects on His Career
Sharing knowledge has been a touchstone over his 50 years in broadcast tech Attentive transmitter shoppers will notice that a familiar face is missing from the Nautel booth at future shows. Gary Liebisch is retiring from his role as a regional sales manager (to be succeeded by another industry veteran, Ted Nahil). Liebisch is known to many of us for his work on the manufacturing side — at Nautel and at Harris before that — but also earlier in his career as a chief engineer in Raleigh and Cincinnati. I caught up with Gary recently. Paul McLane: When you look back, what are you most proud of? Gary Liebisch: I recently celebrated 50 years in broadcasting on Oct 29. As my hair began to gray, I took a lot of satisfaction on drawing from those years of experience to assist young engineers and non-technical managers in solving their RF transmission challenges. So the years with Harris and then Nautel afforded me that opportunity and was a lot of fun, particularly as HD Radio began to roll out. That technology was new to everyone 15 years ago, so every-
January 2, 2019
early mentors like Lawrence Behr, the late Palmer Greer, Ron Rackley and William Culpepper for their guidance. Mitch Montgomery was the Harris rep in the Carolinas in the ’80s, and when he came to town there was always an opportunity to learn. I said, “Gee, that’s the kind of job I’d like to do someday.” Since there was no internet at the time, the SBE was invaluable as a resource. I think I may have been the first or one of the first certified engineers in the state of South Carolina in 1980, and I worked with Jerry Massey to start SBE Chapter 86 in Greenville-Spartanburg and later Chapter 93 in Raleigh. Gary Liebisch on the air at WVOT(AM) in Wilson, N.C., in 1976.
one was hungry to learn, and I was in a position to share my knowledge. McLane: Any mentors or early advocates you particularly are grateful for? Liebisch: When I made the transition
from on-air to engineering early in my career, I had a First Phone license but only my ham radio experience to draw from. I took on a number of AM directional antenna projects during the early years and am grateful to
McLane: At one point you succeeded Jeff Littlejohn as a chief engineer, which brought you to Ohio. What prompted you to switch to the vendor side? Liebisch: The prospect of not carrying a pager? No brainer! Actually, within the first two months after I arrived in Cincinnati at Chancellor Media, I read in the local paper about the Harris plan
Radio World 1129 - January 2, 2019