Over the past eight years, the Harris Broadcast division, under the stewardship of Bruce Allan, has become one of the leading transmitter and automation manufacturers. Its ascent was aided by aggressive DTV educational and business efforts. In the process, more than 600 stations installed Harris DTV transmitters. Allan retired about two months ago, and Harris tapped Jeremy Wensinger to take the reins. Wensinger was the vice president and general manager of Harris Technical Services Corp., part of Harris's Government Communications Systems Division. Though in his new post only a week, he discussed his plans with
What is your management philosophy?
What has served me well personally are two attributes. First, customer intimacy has been a key focus. That was been beaten into me at Harris since day one. That means understanding the customer, their mission, and aligning yourself with their strategy, so you're more of a partner. I don't like the word "vendor," and I don't see us as a vendor or supplier. We're a strategic partner.
The transmission market doesn't appear to be the most intimate of product categories.
No. But when you talk about where the market is going, I look at the convergence [of transmission and automation] ahead. We have a chance to be a strong participant in that, which is exciting. And if you look at the legacy of customers we have, it's amazing.
You have a good footprint out there, especially in DTV transmitters.
From what I understand, the industry has to go through another round of creating transmission redundancy. That will give us and the automation side of our business an opportunity to help broadcasters figure out how to automate and get the cost benefit and scale they need.
Is the low fruit the move to full-power DTV transmission?
Possibly in the near term. But if you look just outside the near term, the real low-hanging fruit are the benefits we can provide through automation and figuring out the whole mission of moving content, data, and making broadcasters more effective. That's what we're really good at doing.
Bruce Allan, your predecessor, headed up a lot of innovative programs in the early days of DTV. His shoes are tough to fill. How big is that challenge?
Bruce has laid a foundation for which I am grateful. There's no doubt his legacy will be felt for a long time in the broadcast division. It was a strong one, and he had a long shadow. It's my personal challenge to take what he has given me and build on it.