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NextGenTV is a Course



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Full course description

Course Begins:

Feb. 24 @ 3 PM EST


Once a month


60 Minutes/Session


Those interested in NextGen/NETA Members Only

Course Type:

Guided Workshop


Certificate upon Completion


ATSC 3.0 is the next generation broadcast system designed to improve the television viewing experience with higher audio and video quality, improved compression efficiency, robust transmission for reception on both fixed and mobile devices, and more accessibility, personalization and interactivity. Combined, these benefits power NextGen TV and the future of broadcasting through over-the-air broadcast and broadband delivery, revolutionizing the way public broadcasters can uniquely serve audiences and capitalize on the value of our spectrum.

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As the possibilities of NextGen TV unfold, this course will help stations prepare for the transition with a solid understanding of the benefits of the new standard, and the role convergence will play in our ability to super-serve audiences and build spectrum-based business plans.

Key Takeaways

  • From ATSC 1.0 to 3.0: What are the core differences?
  • Optimizing NextGen TV: What are the content, service and business opportunities?
  • Understanding the landscape: What is the status of the rollout across the country?
  • Regulatory considerations: What is the status of rulemaking as it pertains to NextGen TV?
  • Action Planning: Costs and buildout considerations, staff development and education

Target Audience:Those interested in NextGen

Course is offered by WKAR

Course Facilitators

Susi Elkins

Susi Elkins

General Manager, WKAR

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Susi Elkins is director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University. WKAR is home to public radio and television for the Michigan capital region, bringing the best of PBS, PBS Kids, NPR, Classical music and award-winning original content to more than 500,000 mid-Michigan residents each week. 


Under Elkins' leadership, WKAR has increased its commitment to early childhood education through the launch of the PBS Kids 24/7 channel, WKAR Family original content and the PBS KIDS Playtime Pad research collaborative. Elkins also led the launch of a new WKAR News/Talk FM station for the capital region and strengthened local news coverage with an emphasis on education, health and technology reporting. With an increased focus on sustainability, WKAR raised over $36 million during the university’s Capital Campaign and secured an endowment to support experiential learning opportunities for students.


In collaboration with MSU, Elkins led the effort to launch the first ATSC 3.0 experimental station licensed to a public media organization. Granted the FCC experimental license in June 2018, WKAR launched the Next Gen Media Innovation Lab, designed to explore new business strategies and the potential of NextGen TV to build stronger communities through education, news and information, arts, science and culture. Most recently, Elkins led WKAR into a partnership with Gaian Solutions, Inc. to launch Apollo PublicTV Platform, a NextGen TV accelerator platform for public broadcasters.


Elkins currently serves on the PBS Board, the board of America's Public Television Stations (APTS), the University Licensee Association Executive Council (ULA), and PBS Children's Media & Education Station Leadership Committee. She is frequently invited to speak at executive leadership conferences for women and enjoys mentoring others.


Prior to her appointment in March 2017, Elkins served in a variety of roles at the station, including interim director, television station manager, content and community engagement manager, public television producer and instructional television multi-media producer.


Elkins holds a bachelor's degree in telecommunication and a master's degree in educational technology, both from MSU.

Julie Sochay

Julie Sochay

Senior Director of Content and Communication, WKAR

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Julie Sochay is senior director of Content and Communication for WKAR, overseeing content for television and creating the vision and focus for communications and community engagement.  

Sochay joined WKAR in December 2015 after 17 years at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB), Michigan’s statewide broadcasting association. It was there that she was Communications Director and Executive Vice President, MAB Foundation. During her time at the MAB, she created student broadcast educational programs for Michigan high school and college students; implemented effective communication initiatives that connected broadcast stations from all over the state and country; and worked to more than double the Foundation’s assets to reach the $1 million mark.

Sochay is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in journalism.

Gary Blievernicht

Gary Blievernicht

Senior Director of Engineering, WKAR

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Gary Blievernicht is senior director of Engineering for WKAR at Michigan State University. In that role he has overseen the launch of public broadcasting's first ATSC 3.0 experimental station and led the digital channel repack for WKAR, launching in June 2018 as one of the first public broadcasting stations to complete the transition to a new frequency.

Gary is chair of the State Emergency Communications Committee in Michigan, chair of the Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 92, and has served as a member of the PBS Engineering Committee.

Gary came to WKAR in 1992.  His prior experience includes seven years in commercial television in Indianapolis,  two years making video discs for RCA Selectavision, two years with KNME/KUNM at the University of New Mexico and seven years with Eastern Educational Network (now APT) in Boston.

Gary Blievernicht holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Purdue University.