James Malone, founder of Total RF, passes away

James Malone, founder of Total RF and a global visionary in the field of live wireless video and audio systems, passed away unexpectedly on January 25. He is is survived by his wife Anna Malone, mother Marie Malone Street, four children, Shannon, Erin, Justin, and Tara, and two stepchildren Kasia Parker and Greg Buczkiewicz.

In 1991, Malone was a founder of Total RF, one of the first companies offering technology to TV stations and networks that gave them an unsurpassed ability to cover breaking news and sports. Considered a grand master of the application of wireless technology to the art of broadcast production, Malone and Total RF were presented with nine Emmy Awards over the years for Technology Innovation and Production Excellence.

Malone was sought out by networks, national broadcasters and global event organisations to help deliver live coverage of the largest and most complex events. His expertise were an integral part of many of the most watched television sports coverage of the past three decades, including all of the Olympics coverage since 1994, the New York and Boston Marathons and countless PGA, NFL, NBA, MLB and College Football games.

His energy, enthusiasm, dedication and knowledge set the standard for the use of these emerging technologies and he recently rejoined CP Communications as director of technology where he once again had a chance to work at the New York City Marathon. His commitment to innovation was once again on display with the use of a private 4G network that was set up in Brooklyn. He had been working with local TV stations on similar projects, but the one in use at the Marathon is the first of its kind.

“We believe that bidirectional 4G technology in a private band has 100% quality of service because it is not impacted by people [using the network],” he said at the time (click here to read the full report). “The use of bonded cellular fills the holes on the course and it’s a very good combination of technologies.”

Malone’s influence is readily apparent in how televised coverage is now provided in many events but in particular the broadcast coverage of marathons, cycling and golf. An early and vocal promoter of the use of digital systems in concert with the microwave transmission of video, Malone’s life work and enthusiastic advocacy of this technology paved the way for the high definition live sports broadcasts that are now the norm.

Malone was a graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School (1970) in East Oak Lane and The University of Dayton (1975) (BSEE).  Trained as an Electrical Engineer, he found his passion working in the television broadcast industry and with the microwave transmission equipment that facilitates live broadcasts of newsworthy events.

His career began at KYW-TV and then he spent 13 years at WCAU in Philadelphia, where his entrepreneurial fervor ultimately took hold. A lifelong HAM radio enthusiast and operator (WA3LBI) he was an important part of the national network of radio “first responders.”

In recent years, had pioneered the development of software defined radios and camera systems using cellular technology to deliver HD and ultra-high definition video.

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