Top Next-Gen TV Standard Advocate To Retire


The individual who has led the standards development organization shepherding the broadcast TV industry — and consumers — to the next-generation standard known as “ATSC 3.0” has confirmed he will retire later this year.

Mark Richer will relinquish his role as President of the Advanced Television Systems Committee at some point in 2019. He’s led the ATSC since 2000, and previously served as the ATSC’s Executive Director from 1996-97. This was held in between senior technology leadership roles at PBS and Thomcast Communications.

Charged with finding Richer’s successor is former ATSC Board Chairman Richard Friedel, who served as EVP/GM of Engineering and Operations for Fox Networks. Friedel’s term ended at the end of 2018, and was succeeded by the NAB’s Lynn Claudy.

Reflecting on his career, Richer said, “It’s been an honor 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.”

Richer first joined the ATSC after 16 years at PBS where, as VP/Engineering & Computer Services, he was responsible for development of new technologies for PBS and its member stations, design of audio/video systems and management of computer operations.

He was instrumental in the development of the Line 21 closed captioning system for which PBS was awarded a technical Emmy.  He also was responsible for the selection and implementation of digital video compression and transmission technology and led PBS efforts in the area of digital and high definition television.

From 1997-2000, Richer was VP/GM at Comark Digital Services, a division of Thomcast Communications.  At Thomcast, he was responsible for marketing, communications, strategic planning and business development for Thomcast Communications, including its Comark and Comwave subsidiaries.

Richer chaired the system testing and evaluation working party for the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, chaired by former FCC Chairman Dick Wiley, from 1987-95.  Richer’s group was responsible for testing proponent advanced television systems, including that of the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance, the core of the ATSC 1.0 digital broadcast standard adopted by the FCC in 1996.