49-year industry veteran leaves lasting impression as she rides into the sunset; Michael Sharpstene officially steps into Zuba’s longtime role

RAYMOND, Maine, June 27, 2024 — A storied chapter in Dielectric’s history closes next week as longtime sales leader Christine Zuba officially retires, concluding an impressive 49-year career that genuinely broke barriers. Michael Sharpstene, who joined the company in January in preparation for Zuba’s departure, officially steps into Zuba’s longtime role as the dedicated Regional Sales Manager on July 1.

Zuba’s broadcast career began on the station level as a college intern with WVIA-TV, a PBS member station serving the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre market in northeast Pennsylvania. She soon transferred to Penn State University as an electrical engineering major, with the combined experiences setting the stage for a broadcast career. She joined RCA upon graduating, accepting an engineering role in the company’s antenna division. She briefly left the company, gaining experience in cellular radio and broadcast consulting before rejoining RCA’s antenna division.

Dielectric acquired RCA in 1986, and the rest is history in every sense of the word. Zuba held roles of increasing responsibility in engineering and product management before accepting the Director of Sales and Marketing role in 1989. Five years later she became National Sales Manager — a role that she has held since — standing apart from most field sales specialists thanks to her advanced technical knowledge of complex RF systems.

That expertise, combined with her exceptional relationship building skills, is a big reason why Dielectric enjoys most of the US high-power TV market share.

“I never really wanted to be in sales,” shares Zuba, “yet it is one of the best decisions I have made. I always enjoyed the challenge of listening to customers, learning the unique parameters of their projects, and with our engineers, developing concepts that solve problems and address their needs. The triple-stack antenna we produced for installation atop the Sears Tower in Chicago during the US DTV conversion is a prime example.”

As she prepares for her final week, Zuba shares that her customers are in excellent hands with Sharpstene, also an experienced customer-facing professional. “I am really excited about all the people we have at Dielectric today,” she said. “Broadcast Antenna and RF inaccurately carries a reputation as a dinosaur full of aging people set in their ways. Dielectric has many long-time employees with years of experience who continue to innovate, and they are finding new inspiration in the many young, talented engineers who have joined Dielectric over the last 10 years. This is a company that continues to come up with new ideas and designs that challenge the broadcast industry’s modus operandi.”

Dielectric welcomed Zuba to Maine last month for a retirement celebration that saw the entire company and others join in to show their appreciation. Zuba looks forward to spending more time with her family including her grandson and her partner, and hobbies including golf, travel and time by the pool. “I thank Dielectric and my customers for the support they’ve shown me during professional and personal changes in my life,” she adds.

“We have had the luxury of calling many industry leaders and influencers longtime employees at Dielectric, and we are grateful that a true broadcast lifer such as Christine elected to spend nearly her entire broadcast career with us,” said Pelletier. “Our customers are grateful too. We will all miss her contributions and her dynamic presence at our NAB booth, industry events, in-person business meetings and conference calls. She may be signing off the air, but her station isn’t going dark; it’s just being repacked to a new channel assignment in the retirement spectrum. We wish her the best.”

About Dielectric

Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. The company has been building and delivering antennas and RF systems optimized for every TV and FM radio broadcast need since 1942. Dielectric is an innovative, customer-centric organization with a long history of engineering excellence in designing and manufacturing high-quality broadcast solutions. As a trusted partner of broadcasters worldwide, Dielectric maintains its legacy of advanced, precision RF solutions while building in features that prepare broadcasters for the future. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com.

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