Public Media Engineering was started in 2012 as Peter Femal’s personal consulting business grew in scale. Peter Femal, the President of Public Media Engineering started his personal consulting business in 2007 to address the needs of the Broadcast Industry and the evolution of IP audio and video distribution. Public Media Engineering is currently one of the few preferred AXIA integrators. Our commitment to deliver a great sound includes overcoming the challenges that are presented by many factors such as budgets, design criteria, and time constraints. At Public Media Engineering, we believe in integration with quality in mind, preventing downtime, and avoiding excessive future operating costs.
Prior to leading Public Media Engineering, Peter was Director of Transmission, Maintenance, and Reliability for Chicago Public Media / WBEZ, where he had the responsibility of managing both engineering and IT departments. In the past eight years at WBEZ, he has installed and commissioned eleven transmitters and built numerous studios at WBEZ’s 25 studio complex. Now Public Media Engineering and its staff manages and maintains this infrastructure for Chicago Public Media / WBEZ. Peter also redesigned and rebuilt This American Life’s studio and production suites in New York City.
Through his work at WBEZ, Peter has become proficient with workflow, production, and delivery methods. He was contracted to assist The Public Radio Exchange (PRX) in the redesign of their distribution model. His IP distribution model was proposed and the software was developed, along with other infrastructure improvements. This redesign allowed PRX to distribute content using IP networks and have content automatically ingested in the Affiliate’s automation system without user interaction at a low cost with high reliability.
Peter’s other responsibilities at Chicago Public Media include management of capital and operating budgets, project management, research and proposal of new equipment, lease negotiations, studio construction and maintenance, digital delivery methods, training of engineering and IT staff, and management of IT infrastructure and equipment.
Another area of expertise that Peter has is in the maintenance and construction of major FM combiner systems utilizing a single master antenna at the John Hancock Center in Chicago, IL. FM Broadcasters LLC is a committee of engineers that maintain the combiner system; Peter serves as one of those engineers.
Recently, Peter has managed multiple projects that occurred in unison. The most recent was a conceptual design project which was contracted by Public Media Company to assist in an 18- month long project to design, launch, and model sustainable public media stations that increase civic engagement, strengthen local journalism, and reach new public media audiences. These re-envisioned stations will build community capacity and collaborate in a new national infrastructure that uses radio-based production as a springboard for multiplatform content distribution. Peter has helped PMC in the design of a Hub and Spoke central-casting distribution model where multiple television stations in different markets would share one Master Control.
Peter has consulted for various AM and FM stations. For Loyola University and their Independent Music Station WLUW, Public Media Engineering designed and installed five studios residing in two different buildings that were fully interconnected which allowed any studio to be placed on the air. Special attention was paid to their store front live band recording space, which offered a unique experience for students, community DJs, and passersby. Wayne State University’s Station WDET commissioned Public Media Engineering to handle the design, construction, and integration of a new master control studio, a multi-track recording studio, and a new live show interview space.
Public Media Engineering has also built unique studio and transmitter sites for Elmhurst College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Woodward Communications, and Lake Forest College. Most recently Public Media Engineering built a new studio for the syndicated Mancow radio show. This studio was built at FOX TV Chicago to air the Mancow show on their TV station. This was a high demand build out with the need for accelerated workflow and consistent communication between multiple producers and directors.