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Fox's Earl Arbuckle Passes Away

The broadcast industry lost one of its most respected technology executives early Monday morning Aug. 29, when Earl Arbuckle, senior VP of engineering for the Fox Television Station (FTS), passed away from a fatal heart attack at his home.

"Earl contributed greatly to Fox especially in the last few years as he led an extraordinary reengineering of the entire Fox Television Station group," noted FTS CEO Jack Abernethy in a statement. "But more importantly, he was a prince of a man, a gentleman, kind and steady, loved and respected. We will miss him very much."

Arbuckle's record as a technologist and engineer was honored in 2009 by Broadcasting & Cable with a Technology Leadership Award at NAB.

A video of him talking about the award and technological challenges facing the broadcast industry is available here.

A lengthy profile of Arbuckle by B&C for the award praised Arbuckle for his work leading the Fox stations through the digital transition and their HD updates.

It also noted his love of tinkering with technology and the important role his military training as an engineer played in his successes in the broadcast industry.  

Arbuckle, who was promoted to senior VP of engineering for the FTS in May 2010, joined News Corporation in 1996 as VP of engineering for the American Sky Broadcasting joint venture with MCI. He then moved to FTS in late 1997.

Prior to 1996, Arbuckle worked for Tribune Broadcasting for 18 years, spending 16 years at WPIX in New York and two years as corporate engineering manager.

A veteran of the United States Navy, reaching the rank of Lieutenant, Arbuckle served three years aboard the USS Connole (FF-1056). He was a registered Professional Engineer in the State of New Jersey, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

He held a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.