Longtime CBS engineering leader Robert J. Ross dies

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A former broadcast engineering and operations manager and executive at CBS has died.

Robert J. Ross, 70, joined Westinghouse Broadcasting in 1977 after working for RCA. His first assignment was at WBZ in Boston. He would go on to work at WJZ in Baltimore and KYW in Philadelphia.

He worked his way to vice president of engineering at Group W stations, an alternative name Westinghouse’s broadcasting division used.

After CBS and Westinghouse merged, he was VP of operations and engineering for CBS Television Stations, which is now part of the news division, before being named senior vice president of operations on the East Coast.

While at CBS, he headed up upgrading the CBS Television Network Broadcast Origination Center to high definition and the creation of the Media Distribution Center, which was designed to handle HD operations for CBS and The CW.

He also contributed to retooling the network’s satellite distribution systems and helped create Pitch Blue, a store-and-forward system used for syndicated programming. 

Other projects included working on restoring the Ed Sullivan Theater to when Stephen Colbert took over “The Late Show” as well as designing and building production areas for the “CBS Evening News,” “CBS This Morning” and CBS Sports.

Ross retired in 2017 and died June 19, 2022.

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He is survived by a wife, a son and a daughter. Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.

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