National TV broadcaster saves Raymond manufacturer from closure

Posted June 19, 2013, at 12:59 p.m.
Last modified June 19, 2013, at 1:58 p.m.

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RAYMOND, Maine — A major TV broadcasting company has acquired a longtime antenna manufacturer here, saving the company and its more than 50 employees from closure.

Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 140 TV stations around the country, including WGME 13 in Portland, has acquired the assets of Dielectric from SPX Corp., according to a news release.

Dielectric has manufactured TV and radio broadcast antennas in Raymond since 1954. It currently has roughly 55 employees, making it the second largest employer in Raymond, Don Willard, Raymond’s town manager, previously told the Bangor Daily News.

In April, Charlotte, N.C.-based SPX said it would close Dielectric because of financial challenges. SPX had notified Dielectric’s 55 employees in Raymond that they were going to be laid off.

Dielectric will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair and will maintain operations at its facility in Raymond, the release said.

A call to Sinclair for more details was not returned as of Wednesday morning.

David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair, said in a statement that the Dielectric name “is synonymous with expert engineering and quality products.

“We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to acquire the Dielectric intellectual property and assets related to our most critical infrastructure,” he continued.

Smith called the acquisition a “logical choice” given Sinclair already owns a company that installs and services broadcast transmitters like the ones Dielectric produces.

Dielectric was founded in 1942 to develop transmission lines for wartime radio systems, according to the company’s website, which has been taken down. After the war, the company expanded into building antennas used in television broadcasting, including for all three major television networks, its website claims.

Charles “Doc” Brown, Dielectric’s founder, moved the business to his hometown of Raymond in 1954, according to the website. SPX acquired Dielectric in 2001.

The company’s television broadcast antennas have been deployed in some prominent places, including atop the World Trade Center’s North Tower, according to an article in the trade publication Broadcast Engineering. A Dielectric television broadcast antenna also tops the Empire State Building, the article claims.

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