A group for sharing memories of Richard (Dick) H. Tauber, who passed away, Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
It was always fun with Dick and the SSPI gang at meetings and outings. This picture from 2014 just popped up on my news feed from one of our 'famous' Braves outings.
In the year that SSPI turned 35, we lost one of our earliest members: Mr. Richard (Dick) Tauber. He left this life on April 10, 2018.
I had the privilege of working with Dick when we set out to establish a chapter in the state of Georgia. It was 2005, and I had been the membership director... see more In the year that SSPI turned 35, we lost one of our earliest members: Mr. Richard (Dick) Tauber. He left this life on April 10, 2018.
I had the privilege of working with Dick when we set out to establish a chapter in the state of Georgia. It was 2005, and I had been the membership director for 4 years – mostly in the background. I was now mandated, however, to take on this new challenge – get a chapter up and running in Georgia! According to everyone, the challenge would be best met by getting Dick Tauber on board.
There’s a colorful story about HOW we got Dick to participate (ask me, sometime – it’s not printable), but suffice to say that once he was on board, he was as valuable a team player as he had been advertised to be. He was a constant encourager, an indefatigable champion who would make things happen. Chapter start-ups are hard. They take time, dedication, resources (or the will and ability to find them) creativity, and yes, a degree of brattiness. Dick was always asking for things for which he knew I’d have to say no, at least partly because there was always the chance I’d say yes. This was a hallmark of his career as an innovator – the ability to find resources, money, spectrum, solutions – where it had previously been assumed they couldn’t be found.
The collaboration between Dick and I helped me mature in my role as the membership director. Indeed, I am sure that there’s a “before” and “after” picture to be taken: Membership Director before meeting Dick Tauber and Membership Director after. And over the years, his friendship and professional encouragement have been, for me and for so many others, one of the highlights of being in this industry. And so, I was thrilled beyond measure when, in 2008, Arnie Christianson and others submitted the winning nomination for Dick to be the SSPI Mentor of the Year. He was so deserving, and I was humbled deeply when he shared that of his many awards, he was most proud of this one. We will find our ways of honoring him, ways that go beyond words, ways that mirror the life he lived and the example he set.
I hope that we all, in this 35th year of SSPI, consider the ways in which we reach out to, support, and mentor others, as part of our remembrance of a mentor, and a friend.
The Satellite Ladies will always celebrate Dick Tauber’s life along with SSPI Hall of Fame, (Society of Satellite Professionals) and Dick’s Harem, former ISOG (Inter-Union Satellite Operations Group), The World Broadcasting Union, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC satellite types and all the associated CNN... see more The Satellite Ladies will always celebrate Dick Tauber’s life along with SSPI Hall of Fame, (Society of Satellite Professionals) and Dick’s Harem, former ISOG (Inter-Union Satellite Operations Group), The World Broadcasting Union, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC satellite types and all the associated CNN Affiliates and satellite Telecoms. More broadcasters are listed at the end. This quick survey tells one how actively and accomplished Dick was in his professional life. But he was most invested in his children, Elizabeth and Ethan, who meant more to him than even being an early Ted Turner hire. Andrea Maleter says: ” Yes, we worked so closely together. Dick was really great guy and I will miss him very much." Andrea said, "I do remember sitting at a bar in a hotel someplace - no idea what city - and listening as Dick bragged on and on about Liz’s career. What a proud papa."
The Satellite Ladies include Mary Frost, Susan Irwin, Andrea Maleter, Andy Steinem, Betsy Kulick, Jacqualine Schenkel, Michele Lyle, Joan Mancuso and others who have crossed paths with Dick. After Mary Frost went to Price Waterhouse Coopers from ABC in 1993, Dick flawlessly took up the reins to works with world broadcasters to increase services, bring down prices and incorporate new technologies of satellite operators. Joan Mancuso said," I remember his huge presence at conferences. He was always ready to offer his support."
We independently have our special memories in Dick’s company including NAB Las Vegas and NAB NY where in later years Luann Linnabar created what Dick called his harem because Chris Ehrenbard from CBS, Susan Irwin, Mary Frost and sometimes others (strangely all women except for Dick)always went to dinner and a Broadway show or Vegas show. Dick never forgot his acting roots and loved Broadway and daughter Elizabeth’s acting, so she came by that naturally.
LuAnn who organized and bought tickets to a show in NYC but the afternoon of the show Dick went to the hospital. The satellite women then spent the next 2-3 days taking turns keeping him company there. LuAnn spent time on the phone with his daughter Elizabeth, discussing whether or not she should fly to NY. Several of us delayed trips home or commuted back in to the city to pull shifts. Rich Wolf looked after Dick as well. The Wired Magazine made their Premiere Issue available on the iPad with the MagazineApp featuring Flyaways and Dick Tauber. Also, it starts with a history of how the magazine began and then has the full issue included with an option of annotation about each article and ad.
Per Susan Irwin, Dick loved hanging out with “the girls”. Yes, those evenings of dinner and shows in New York and Las Vegas were very, very special. Dick's commitment to broadcasting and to CNN was deep and loyal and he had a passion for the technology. And he was always so willing to share and to give credit to others. Dick was a generous and loving friend. As a SATCON Advisory Board Member for many years, Dick spent more time than anyone else on the board helping me design the conference program, finding speakers, calling on his endless numbers of contacts. He never let me down and always had time to help, to talk, to joke. I will never forget one morning in Amsterdam when we were attending IBC. Dick and I had a breakfast meeting downtown before heading to the RAI. My feet were aching from walking around the convention center in bad shoes the previous day. I told Dick I had to buy a new pair of shoes before I went to the conference. Dick offered to join me. We went from store to store on one of those shopping streets in Amsterdam before I found a pair of shoes that didn’t hurt. Dick was incredibly good natured about it, but he never let me forget that shopping trip and always asked me if he had to go shoe shopping with me again. I loved Dick and will miss him terribly.
CNN had to sue successfully to join the network pool, and Mary Frost and Rich Wolf, ABC, Chris Ehrenbard and Brian Knoblock (Foreign News Editor), Doug Nelson, NBC, worked with Dick, Arnie Christensen, Gene Eames, and Frank Barnett among many others. One quick war story: In 1989, the Tiananmen Square massacre killed 10,000 people and soldiers held guns to our camera photographers heads and ordered them to shut down which they did. This was for all the networks except CBS which was located elsewhere, CBS now had exclusive coverage and would not share as was the rule if there was only one way out. The next day, NBC blocked all paths and CNN and ABC joined the feed splitting the $30 per minute and when CBS rightfully demanded to join, we charged them $100 per minute as payback (Dick’s idea). We all were highly competitive, but friendly as we all depended on one another at some time or the other so we kept credits and debits on each other.
Another CNN idea was to provide the other network affiliates with free satellite time so they often scooped the networks from their own affiliates as affiliates didn’t want to pay for satellite time although the networks had already invested millions in Ku Satellite trucks. CNN’s innovation kept all of us on our toes as we each strived to be first on any story, domestic or foreign.
Dick Tauber was truly beloved by the industry, and by his CNN team. In Amsterdam, Mary Frost picked up Dick for dinner and was warned by his team not to keep him out late and watch carefully as his diabetes was unstable. We all watched out for Dick’s health and all of remember the blood test before meals. Dick fought as valiantly for his own health as he did for Turner/CNN and as constantly as he worried about his children’s happiness.
The most worried he appeared was when a hurricane was approaching Atlanta, and he was desperately trying to get a generator at home so his beloved wife, Marjorie, with Lou Gehrig’s disease could keep breathing. Dick faced many adversities, and demonstrated his resilience again and again. We choose to remember his full-throated laugh, his accomplishments, and delightful personality. We have lost a wonderful friend.
InterUnion Satellite Operations Group - Chair Dick Tauber
ISOG INCLUDED INTELSAT, SES, EUTELSAT, REGIONAL SATELLITE AND TELECOMS AND BROADCASTERS INCLUDING:
Brian Knoblock CBS, Dick Tauber CNN, Mary Frost ABC, Spenser Moore Secretary General, North American Broadcasters
Brian Knoblock CBS, Dick Tauber CNN, Mary Frost ABC
The planet lost a great one. By far Dick Tauber was the best mentor that I have had in the satellite industry. I met Dick back in 1998 when I worked for a company called TOKO which made an MPEG1 store-and-forward box via Inmarsat. CNN was one of our largest customers thanks to Dick. I recall... see more The planet lost a great one. By far Dick Tauber was the best mentor that I have had in the satellite industry. I met Dick back in 1998 when I worked for a company called TOKO which made an MPEG1 store-and-forward box via Inmarsat. CNN was one of our largest customers thanks to Dick. I recall him once asking us to sell video applications, satellite hardware and airtime services as a “bundle”. I thought what a terrific yet fairly obvious idea but Toko only wanted to sell video hardware so in 2000 some of us left to GCS. Tauber then asked us to do “live” video which Toko thought would look terrible at 64Kbps. They were right on quality but so was Tauber on the need for this gear. I remember in 2000 when an American spy plane was forced by the Chinese to land in Hainan Island. CNN, thanks to Tauber, made the “live via videophone” famous and they were the “exclusive” broadcaster to get the shot out live while the US plane was allowed to take off. Thanks to Dick. Then on the early morning of 9/11 in 2001 we were demonstrating a 128Kbps “Talking Head” videophone system which bonded two Inmarsat-phones. Dick and Arnie were outside with the satellite gear while I was back inside in the studio at the Satellite Desk when I saw the very first video from the World Trade Center crash. I remember running outside to inform them what had happened and they said that the demo was off but we could stay as long as we kept out of the way. Throughout the course of that day and week Dick kept ordering more and more satellite phones and videophones. I asked him for a purchase order to which he just wrote in the bottom corner “DT” and said “that is my PO, I’m good for it.” We shook hands and never looked back. The rest is history on to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as our emerging friendship. One of my coolest memories is watching CNN’s Humvee “Warrior-1” chasing the tanks in the Baghdad while sending live video “on the move.” Such amazing innovation by CNN thanks to guys like Tauber and his team. I believe you can still see that Humvee in the food court area of CNN Center. Then a few years later Tauber and the DNG group became very interested in IP and the next generation of Inmarsat service called “BGAN”. CNN pioneered this field newsgathering technology in conjunction with GCS, Hughes, Streambox and Inmarsat. The CNN DNG team in 2007-08 went on to win a technical EMMY Award for which I was very grateful to be apart. I’ve been to many tradeshows and conferences with Tauber over the last two decades and like many I presume have enjoyed many good meals and laughs with Dick. These nights were my favorite times with “Mr.T” because the man had a terrific sense of humor, loads of jokes & stories and a contagious laugh. Just being a supplier and mentor was only part of what Dick was to me. I really considered him a friend and someone who really and truly cared for everyone around him. I’ve visited him in hospitals in NYC and L.A. but he always kept that smile and sense of humor going even if he was near death’s door. I believe he did this because he wanted us not to feel so bad about his health condition. That meant so much to me and brings tears to my eyes. The world, not just the broadcast industry, needs more guys like Dick Tauber. May you rest in peace my dear friend Mr. T.
If Dick Tauber had a catchphrase, it was, "Hey, it's Tauber" - he said it every day, multiple times a day, so often that it's like a permanent recording in my mind. That's how I'll always remember him - through the cadence of his voice speaking that phrase.
Dick hired me onto the CNN... see more If Dick Tauber had a catchphrase, it was, "Hey, it's Tauber" - he said it every day, multiple times a day, so often that it's like a permanent recording in my mind. That's how I'll always remember him - through the cadence of his voice speaking that phrase.
Dick hired me onto the CNN Satellite desk in the summer of 1996. I knew nothing about satellites and I was overwhelmed, but Dick was immediately disarming. He had that rare mix in a leader; somebody who had gravitas and exuded competence, but who also didn't take himself or the job too seriously. He created an environment where you were encouraged to take chances and where it was okay to fail as long as you learned from your mistakes. I never in my life ever saw or heard him yell at a subordinate or second-guess a decision. One example that stands out in my mind was during the lead-up to Gulf War Two. We were in a planning meeting at CNN with all the bigwigs, and there was pressure to execute with the same kind of technological touchdown that Dick managed back during the first war with the famous 4-wire system. I was not a guy who would normally speak up in those types of meetings but I found myself saying, "We can do mobile video via Inmarsat from a vehicle embedded with a fighting force." This turned out to be the "wave of steel" technology that CNN used the first night of that conflict - but what I remember most about it was that when I basically promised we could do it (with no proof we could), Dick let me speak, took me aside after the meeting, and said, "I hope you know what you're talking about because you just promised something that's never been done before and we have 3 months to do it." And then he laughed and said, "Let's go get lunch." That was Dick to a T. He's was like a second father to me - with all the ups and downs such a relationship could have. As time went on we didn't always see eye to eye. Dick was perpetually calm and friendly, a guy who would try to avoid friction. I was the opposite, confrontational, and could be a hothead. But we made a good team all those years, and I would not be where I am today in this industry without DT. That's an ultimate truth. I don't know what I'd be doing right now, but it wouldn't be in the satellite industry, and it wouldn't nearly be as rewarding.
What memories! And what a wonderful friends! It is nearly 50 years ago that Dick was one of the small group of Americans I was recommended to talk to when I was learning about the new and magical world of global TV transmissions. He was generous with his help then and for many years that... see more What memories! And what a wonderful friends! It is nearly 50 years ago that Dick was one of the small group of Americans I was recommended to talk to when I was learning about the new and magical world of global TV transmissions. He was generous with his help then and for many years that followed when I was with Visnews, Brightstar, Intelsat and then Keystone and Globecast. And he was so supportive in the late 80's when we created the ISOG meetings around the world - and we shared memorable times together. His legacy is in the global satellite TV networks which bring the world closer. RIP.
In the early 1980s, still in the take-off years of satellite communications, there was the Satellite Communications Users Conference held in Denver, Colorado each summer. And at SCUC the so-called “groupies” got together informally to socialize at these and other satellite shows. A group of... see more In the early 1980s, still in the take-off years of satellite communications, there was the Satellite Communications Users Conference held in Denver, Colorado each summer. And at SCUC the so-called “groupies” got together informally to socialize at these and other satellite shows. A group of satellite stalwarts that included Susan Irwin, Ben Fisher (now deceased), Mack Schwing, Kim Degnan, Bucky Marshall, and others got together and in a Mexican restaurant in Denver decided to create a new satellite organization. The idea was to create a professional group open to satellite engineers, sales people, management, and other professionals such as lawyers, accountants, insurance, etc. Dick Tauber was not in that initial group of twelve, but he quickly became involved with SSPI and became the heart of those who organized the Atlanta chapter, particularly around the many SSPI members from CNN. I worked the most closely with Sid Pike who was under orders from Ted Turner was trying to get CNN into all of the countries of the world via satellite. Frankly Sid enlisted me to get Intelsat to offer annual leases of transponders for TV distribution rather than insisted on selling TV on a minute by minute basis with a ten minute minimum. Through Sid Pike I met Dick Tauber and knew he immediately he was just the right person to build up the Atlanta chapter. After I left Intelsat and moved to the University of Colorado I had less interaction with Dick Tauber but we still met up at the Annual Satellite Shows starting with the first one held in Crystal City with about 300 participants. Things have come a long ways from then to today’s shows with over 5000 participants. It was a privilege to work with Dick Tauber who was one of the truly lion’s of the satellite industry and I will miss him and the enthusiasm he brought to the satellite industry. Joseph N. Pelton, First President of the SSPI.
(From Cape Town So. Africa where I am teaching graduate students satellite engineering and applications at the University of Cape Town, April 20, 2018)
Dick and I first met in early days of CNN and I was supporting the Oil and Gas industry. Dick and I often collaborated and shared contacts to assist in obtaining “Host Nation Approvals” and licensing in the days when the Telco entity was owned and operated by each nation’s government. The... see more Dick and I first met in early days of CNN and I was supporting the Oil and Gas industry. Dick and I often collaborated and shared contacts to assist in obtaining “Host Nation Approvals” and licensing in the days when the Telco entity was owned and operated by each nation’s government. The result was a myriad of rules, regulations, etc. different or specific to each nation. I owe an extreme debt of gratitude to Dick for his assistance during the mid to late 80’s and after starting my firm, Arrowhead. If one of us did not have a nations POC the other one did. By working together hundreds of commercial SATCOM sites were installed and operated around the globe. Many individual countries remain in my memory that were a disaster going in but ultimately successful.
VSAT IP for DNG
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