SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW: Jim DeChant, News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting

Jim DeChant is the Vice President of Technology for News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, leading its technical operations and engineering activities.  Since DeChant was first profiled in THE STANDARD in 2017, he has been elected to the ATSC board of directors and he’s been implementing the ATSC 3.0 standard.

“The benefit of an ATSC membership is the ability to understand and help craft the development of this new and critical technology upgrade,” says DeChant “Everyone from content creators, broadcast operators, content distributors, and device manufacturers are contributing to the process where relevant.”

Over the last two years, multiple stations, including News-Press & Gazette’s KSBB in Santa Barbara, Calif., have signed on to ATSC 3.0. DeChant notes that “the physical transmission is working well.”  There is extensive testing taking place on the basics of the technology to the extent that a commercial station can get on the air. 

“Partnerships like Phoenix model market have proven that broadcasters can work together to make ‘lighthouse’ stations work for spectrum sharing.  And research is showing that consumers will embrace the many benefits of the new technology,” he says.

News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting’s 24-hour local news channel focuses on application delivery of news and entertainment content.  They are testing advanced emergency information, working with local responders to develop a collaborative system to distribute geo-specific information during news events. 

“We’re also proofing out technology in the application layer with a focus on content replacement, improved program guide information and how one common application can work on various televisions and other devices,” he adds.

DeChant points to the complex process of finding content with the advent of various broadband delivery technologies but believes ATSC 3.0 will bring together the best of broadcast and broadband in a simple to use application environment. “ATSC is truly a group effort, and you get out what you put in,” he says.

DeChant and his wife, Misty, live in Bend, Oregon. They have three college-aged sons.  He spends his free time fishing and traveling.