Hall of Fame 1972
Charles P. Arnot was born in Scribner, Nebraska and lived in Fremont where he later graduated from Midland Luthern College. Arnot began his foreign reporting career with United Press Internationl wire service covering the Pacific theater in World War II. He saw plenty of battles and wateched the sinking of the U.S.S. Hornet and covered the battle of Guadalcanal and the invasion of Guam. Toward the war's end, he transferred to Europe and chronicled the aftermath of the Allied victory over the Nazis. As director of Amerika-Dienst, news and feature service of the U. S. High Commission in Germany, he was passing the ammunition to German Newspapers in the cold war against Russion propaganda.
Arnot joined ABC News in 1956. He reported on several conflicts in Korea, Cyprus and Egypt duirng the 1950's. Also during the decade he held bureau cheif positions for ABC News in Cairo and Nairobi.
He was ABC News' Saigon burequ chief in 1963 for two years. After South Vietnam, he served as Rome bureau chief for three years. Then in 1969, he was renamed Siagon bureau cheif, where he remained for two years.
After 15 years abroad, he returned to ABC News in Nework in 1970 to handle the network's weekend radio news operations.
He was honored by the Overseas Press Club of America in 1963 for best television reportin abroad the previous year, and was co-recipient of the Lowell Thomas Award in 1975 for the ABC News piece, "Scenes From a War."
Arnot passed away in 1998 in Prescott, Arizona, where he had retired several years prior. He was 81.
Hall of Fame 1972
The life of Ralph W. Beaudin was marked by the undeniable impact he made on both the broadcasting industry and the lives he touched along the way.
Before embarking on his career in radio, Mr. Beaudin served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1945-1951. After his years of service, he dedicated his vocational focus to the broadcasting industry through a variety of zealous ventures.
As a native of Omaha Nebraska, he began his radio career in 1955 as an Account Executive at KOIL-KOWH. In 1957 he moved to Buffalo, New York as Station Manager at WBNY. A year later, he was offered and accepted a position at KQV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as General Manager. Then, from 1960-1966 Mr. Beaudin was President and General Manager of WLS in Chicago, Illinois. Shortly after, Mr. Beaudin moved to New York City to accept the position of Vice President with ABC Radio where his vision took the ABC Radio Network and innovatively spun off four more targeted networks, offering specific news and features for pop-music, news and talk-oriented stations. The final stop on Mr. Beaudin’s journey was with Mitchell Broadcasting in Omaha, Nebraska.
Mr. Beaudin’s dedication to both the industry and humanity did not go unnoticed. In 1962, he was named President of the Illinois Broadcasting Association. Also during his radio career, Mr. Beaudin was honored as the St. Jude “Man of the Year” in 1965. That same year, he was named President of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago.
Hall of Fame 1972
In March 1953, Richard W. Chapin joined radio station KFOR as an Account Executive, his beginning in broadcasting. In September, 1953, he was named General Sales Manager and was named General Manager of KFOR Radio and Television in April 1954.
In January 1958, he was elected Vice President of Stuart Investment Company, the Parent Company of Stuart Broadcasting Co.
Under Chapin’s management and direction, they added to KFOR and KFRX in Lincoln, Nebraska, the following stations, KSAL-AM and KYEZ-FM, Salina, Kansas; KOEL-AM/FM, Oelwein, Iowa; KWTO-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri; KRGI-AM/FM, Grand Island, Nebraska.
Stuart then branched out and Chapin purchased for the Stuart Company Imperial Outdoor Advertising with plants located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa and Springfield, Illinois and newspapers in Wahpeton, North Dakota; Breckenridge, Minnesota and Torrington, Wyoming.
In 1956, in recognition of his countless contributions in civic and community activities, Chapin was the recipient of the City and State’s “Outstand Young Man Award”.
In 1969, he was awarded the Distinguished Nebraskan in Broadcasting Award by the Nebraska Broadcasters.
In May 1971, he received the Lincoln Ad Club’s Silver Medal Award as Lincoln’s Advertising Man of the Year.
In June 1972, Chapin was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters. His election as Chairman capped 11 years of NAB service including four two-year terms on the radio board and two years as Chairman of the Radio Board of Directors.
In September 1973, Chapin was given an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
In March 1974, he received the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award, the broadcast industry’s highest award a broadcaster can receive.
In April 1983, Chapin was presented the Lincoln Foundation Award. The award was established in 1983 and recognizes an individual for service on a national level that reflects credit to the City of Lincoln and State of Nebraska.
In January 1983, Chapin was elected Chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau, which is the national advertising trade association. Chapin is the first person ever to be elected as Chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters.
In November 1985, Stuart Broadcasting was purchased by DKM Broadcasting and Chapin was named President of DKM Broadcasting Midwest.
In 1987, Chapin became a partner and Vice President in the R.C. Crisler & Co., Inc. Brokerage Company and opened a Crisler office in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chapin formed his own media brokerage firm in 1989, Chapin Enterprises, which he continues to own and manage.
In 1989, Chapin purchased radio station KSYZ in Grand Island, Nebraska which he helped manage and sold in 1999.
In 2001, Chapin received the American Broadcast Pioneer Award from the Broadcasters Foundation.
In 2003, Chapin received the Broadcasting Pioneer Award from the University of Nebraska College of Journalism.
In 2009, Chapin received the Dean’s Award from the University of Nebraska College of Journalism.
Chapin has received many broadcasting awards and citations throughout the years. He served two terms as President of Nebraska Broadcasters Association as well as having served as Secretary/Treasurer for eight years.
Hall of Fame 1972
Lyle DeMoss was a popular air personality on WOW radio, and later KBON and KLNG. DeMoss had been assistant general manager of WOW-TV in the 1950's. He participated in local theater, winning the Fonda/McGuire Award at the Omaha Playhouse in 1960. He often did broadcasts centering around food and cooking, and even published his own cookbook in the 1970's with recipes from the 40 years he spent as a cooking show host. .
Hall of Fame 1972
L L. Hilliard
L.L "Les" Hilliard was President of KOLT Radio, Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He was born in Illinois, and was a graduate of Iowa State University in 1925. He traveled all over Nebraska in sales and ended up living in Scottsbluff, where he took a job selling GE household appliances. One of his radio servicemen built a transmitter out of an old receiver. For three days the transmitter put out music and commercials for the Rexall Drug Store, however the FCC ordered the station to be shut down. The community sent in hundreds of letters asking for a radio station in Scottsbluff.
The FCC turned down Hilliard's application for a license twice but finally it was awarded to Hilliard. KOLT, then KGKY, went on the air at the beginning of the Great Depression. KOLT helped conduct a successful World War II Bond Drive in one day. In the blizzard of '49 the station kept the public informed about the storm. KOLT was the heart of the community, sending out emergency messages, keeping track of the lost and found, and sending out airplanes when the weather moderated.
The favorite expresson at the Hilliard household when anything went wrong was,"Dad can fix it."
Hall of Fame 1972
Born in Omaha, Merle Jones was a 1925 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a 1929 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law. Jones started in radio at WAAW, Omaha. (WAAW later calls lettters were KOWH, KMEO, KCRO). He served as general manager of four stations affiliated with CBS. His longest assignment as a general manager was at KMOX radio, St. Louis, MO. (1937-1944).
Later, Merle Jones became Vice President in charge of CBS owned televsion stations, President of CBS owned stations division (1958-1968) and president of the CBS Television network (1957-1958).
Jones originally was honored by the NBA as a "broadcaster of the year" when that award was presented during the 1960's. When the NBA Hall of Fame was established in 1972, the charter members included Jones as well as the others who had received that recognition.
Hall of Fame 1972
Floyd Kalber (aka "The Big Tuna") was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 23rd,1924. He served two years in the army during World War II, then returned to Omaha and enrolled in the journalism department of Creighton University. He dropped out of college after a semester to work at KGFW radio in Kearney, Nebraska. Slightly two years later, he became a sportscaster at a newly-formed radio station in Peoria, Illinois. Floyd saw television for the first time in 1949 when he went to New York to cover Bradley University's efforts in the National Invitational Tournament. Figuring that video was the medium of the future, he quit his radio job and moved back to Omaha where the age of television was about to dawn.
In 1950, KMTV,Omaha, hired the 26 year-old Kalber as its first television newsman. The newsroom had a staff of one. Kalber worked as on-air talent, control room director and studio production man. It was at KMTV that he mentored his most famous protege, Tom Brokaw. In 1958 Kalber's coverage of the manhunt for mass-murders Charles Starkweater and Caril AnnFugate brought him to the attention of NBC News executives.
In 1962 he was hired by WNBQ (later WMAQ TV), NBC's owned-and-operated television station in Chicago. He initially served as Midwest correspondent for "NBC Nightly News" with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, but within three months he replaced Alex Dreier as the station's principal anchor and the broadcast quickly became Chicago's top-rated news program and remained so until WLS's introduction of the so-called "happy talk" news format in 1968. In the late 1960's, Kalber also began doing five-minute news digests in early and late afternoon timeslots on NBC, during which a national audience became familiar with his work. At various points in the 1970's he anchored weekend broadcasts of NBC Nightly News. In 1975, WMAQ paired Kalber with the then unknown Jane Pauley, who was recruited from WISH TV in Indianapolis. Pauley left a year later to become the news anchor for NBC's Today Show.
Moving to national broadcasting for the NBC television network in 1976, Kalber was one of the most visible broadcasters in the country while anchoring the news on Today, working with hosts Brokaw and Pauley. He left the program after Brokaw went to NBC Nightly News, and he then retired form NBC in 1981.
Kalber later was recruited again to Chicago broadcasting by station WLS in 1984, where he anchored the popular 6 p.m. evening news broadcast until he retired in 1998. He died on May 13th, 2004 at the age of 79.
Hall of Fame 1972
Robert E. "Bob" Thomas served as executive vice president and general manager of WJAG and later KEXL from 19511 to 1985, and as executive vice president of KCOL AM/FM, Fort Collins, CO from 1964-1985. During the 60'S and early 70'S, KVSH, Valentine, and KCSR, Chadron were also part of the Beef Empire Radio Group.
Thomas was born August 6, 1918 in Omaha, Nebraska and attended public school there until his family moved to Norfolk in 1932. He graduated from Norfolk Senior High School in 1936, and completed some under graduate work at Nebraska Weslyan University in Lincoln, NE. From 1939-41, and again from 1946-1948 he served in several different positions with WJAG AM: radio news editor, newscaster, salesman, sales manager, and assistant manager. He also spent time in sales at KWPC, Muscatine Iowa, and KOWH/KOAD-FM in Omaha during this period. From 1948-1950 he was employed as a radio/television director for one of the region's leading advertising agencies in Omaha.
A World War II enlisted veteran, Thomas served 4½ years (1941-1946), as well as 17½ years as an Army reserve officer. During World War II he spent some time in aerial gunnery school, graduated through Officer Candidate School, and ultimately commanded the Short Wave Operations Division of the Armed Forces Radio Network in San Francisco, 1944-1946. AFRS broadcasted to Alaska-Aleutian Islands, Central and South America, and the entire Pacific Theater.
Thomas has twice served as president and secretary-treasurer of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and , Since 1947, he served on virtually all standing committees of NBA at one time or another.
He received the Nebraska Broadcasters first "Lifetime Member Award" in 1966; "Outstanding Broadcaster Award" in 1971; was elected to the Nebraska Broadcasters Association "Hall of Fame" in 1972, and was presented the Broadcast Pioneer Award by the University of Nebraska School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2005.
He has also served as president of the Nebraska Associated Press News Association; Charter member of the National Association of Broadcasters "Small Market Radio Committee:"; elected three times to the National Association of Broadcasters radio board for District 10 ( IA, MO, & NE). He participated on many other NAB committees.
Other state activities include vice president and organizing director of the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce and Industry; past director/secretary of the Nebraska Tax Research Council; three years served on the Governor's Nebraska Territorial Centennial Commission; Governor's State Centennial Commission; Governor's Library Advisory Committee; Governor's Tourism Committee and State Educational Television Commission. He was also a past chairman of the finance committee for the Boy Scout's Diamond Dick District, and received the "Eyes of Nebraska Award: from the Nebraska Optometric Association.
Thomas has was active in local civic affairs and area activities. He served on a five member advisory board of the Office of Civilian Defense Management; was a past president and former board member of the Norfolk Noon Rotary Club; served on numerous legislative committees at the local, state, and national level. He served on the Norfolk Centennial Committee, and chaired the Madison County Radio Free Europe fund raising effort in the 1950's. He had been a member of the American Legion since his service in World War II. He served as a director of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, and on several of its committees; chaired the Madison County Red Cross for six years; County Civil Defense Director from 1942-1958; six years on the Norfolk Planning Commission and Norfolk Action Committee; past chairman of the Norfolk Tourism Committee; member and past chairman of the Madison County Republican Party and elected as State GOP Central Committeeman. Thomas also served as the Norfolk Aksarben Ambassador from 1949-1989, and as the seven county District Governor for Aksarben from 1969-1984. He also helped organize the Elkhorn Valley Historical Society and Museum, and served as Director of the N.E. Nebraska Ground Observer Corps after World War II. Thomas also served on the "Rescue Ft. Hartsuff Committee; N.E. Nebraska committee to secure a south shoreline road at Lewis and Clark Lake. He also served as president of the Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas Harness Racing Association, as well as president of the Nebraska Harness Racing Association.
Hall of Fame 1973
John Gillin, Jr.
Johnny Gillin was in the broadcasting business for more than a quarter of a century A native of Omaha, he was a graduate of Creighton University and the Creighton University School of Law.
At WOW radio in Omaha, he was announcer, program director, commercial manager, general manager and president. Gillin also was the general mananger when channel six, WOW-TV (later WOWT (TV) signed on in 1949.
Considered one of the founders of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Gillin was the second NBA president/chair of the board of directors.
Elected a director of the National Association of Broadcasters at the age of 29, he served from 1934 to 1947. He helped to organize the NAB Bureaus which evolved into Broadcast Music, Inc, the Radio
Advertising Bureau and the Television Bureau of Advertising.
Often known as the man with the rose (a fresh rosebud was in on the label of his suit each day), he was described as the broadcaster who knew more radio people of his time (many by their first names) and was known by more of his colleagues than any other U.S. broadcast manager. Gillin died of a heart attack in 1950 at the age of 45.
Hall of Fame 1974
A. James Ebel
A. James Ebel was president of the Fetzer stations in Nebraska and Iowa (KOLN-TV, LIncoln, KGIN-TV, Grand Island, and KMEG-TV, Sioux City). He entered broadcast management by way of engineering, with a Masters Degree in engineering from the University of Illinois, where he was also on the faculty. He was the 1973 choice of the National Association of Broadcasters as its "Man of the Year" in broadcast engineering. The award was based in part on this work in the field of satellite communications. In 1970 he was made chairman of a three-network satellites task force. Ebel represented the United States at the World Adiministrative Radio Conference on Space Telecommunications in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1971. He also served as president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association in 1964.
Hall of Fame 1974
Frank Fogarty Was president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association in 1964-1965.
Long time general manager of Omaha stations WOW (AM590), WOW-FM, and WOW-TV (Channel 6), Forgarty also headed the broadcasting division of the MeredithCorporation.
He succeeded NBA Hall of Fame Member John Gillin, Jr., when Gillin died soon after WOWT came on the air. When Fogarty retired as General Manager, he continued to work part-time as a broadcast consultant.
When then NBA Executive Director, Charles Thone (an attorney who handled the NBA administration, resigned too as he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives, Fogarty was asked to become the the next NBA Executive Director. He accepted and managed the day to day operations of the NBA until his health did not permit him to do so at the end of 1979. Fogarty was succeeded in 1980 by attorney and later mayor of Omaha, Mike Boyle.
Forgarty was an elected member of the Omaha Public Power District board of directors. Prominent in many Omaha and Nebraska organiziations, Fogarty was a national leader in broadcasting. He was secretary, chair of the executive committee and two term chair of the board of directors of the Radio Advertising Bureau (1956-1963) and was a charter member of the Television Bureau of Advertising.
Hall of Fame 1975
Howard Shuman started his broadcasting career in 1914, when he built his first transmitter. He put KFOR on the air in David City, Nebraska in 1924, moving it to Lincoln later. In 1949 he founded KLMS, LIncoln, which he sold to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald in 1974.
He built transmitters and rendered other engineering services for several Nebraska stations, and rebuilt and sold equipment.
Hall of Fame 1975
A native Iowan and University of Nebraska alumnus, Lyell Bremser was associated with KFAB from 1939 until his retirement when he was Vice-President and General Manager. He was a past president of the National Broadcasting Company Affiliates Committee, and was chairman of the Nebraska Arthritis Foundation. He did play-by-play broadcasts for the University of Nebraska football games every season from 1939 until his retirement in 1984. For this and other services to his alma mater, the University of Nebaska presented him with its Builders Award in 1972. Some of Lyell's on air work is presented below.
Hall of Fame 1976
Roger Larson was born October 28, 1925 in Wausa, NE. In 1940, he moved to Dakota city, NE and graduated from South City High School in 1942. He attended Wayne State College 1942-1943 and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1943. He was accepted into the Air Force Cadet Program and graduated as a 2nd Lt. Bombardier-Navigator in 1945. He attained the rank of Captain and the Honor of Group Bombardier-Navigator in the 20th Air Force and was discharged in March of 1947.
He attended classes at the UNL College of Business Administration that year and worked as part-time bookeeper at the Nebraska Student Union and graduated in August of 1949.
His first job was with the University of Omaha as Student Union Manager from 1949-50.
In 1950 he married his college sweethart, Shirly Laflin. He also accepted a position as Assistant General Manager of the Nebraska Student Union and worked there from 1950-1953.
He was hired as an Account Executive at KFOR Radio and TV in October, 1953, by Dick Chapin, Manager. Larson soon became Sales Manager, then Assistant General Manager, then Station Manager and finally Vice-President and General Manager. While at KFOR, the station grew tremendously and was the flagship station for Stuart Staions, a nationally recognized group of 14 stations in the Midwest.
Roger served two different terms a President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, and two of his accomplishement included the establishment of the NBA Hall of Fame, and installation of the weather radio signs along Interstate 80, advising motorists where to dial for weather information.
During his tenure at KFOR, Roger was very active in the community serving on several boards as a member, officer and Chairman in some instances.
During his illustrious career, Roger has was given several awards including the Silver Key from the Nebraska and Lincoln Jaycees, Ad Man of the Year and Silver Medal from the Lincoln Advertising club, inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Roger T. Larson community Builder Award (named after him) by civic leaders, and the Broadcast Pioneer Award from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, just to name a few.
Larson retired from KFOR in 1993, after 40 years. He served part time as Community Relations Director at the National Bank of Commerce (now Wells -Fargo) until the end of 2007. He also delivered two editorials per week on KLIN radio. He was a consultant with SLR communications, specializing in fund-raising, and was very active in civic affairs.
In 2012, a new 10-story building on Q Street in Lincoln was named the Larson Building in his honor.
He and his wife Shirley have three children, Ted, Tom and Susan. Roger Larson passed away in October, 2013.
Hall of Fame 1976
Stalnaker was vice president/general manager of Omaha stations WOW-AM-FM-TV when the Meredith Corporation owned those stations. WOW-TV became WOW (TV). Both radio stations have changed call letters several times.
Stalnaker, a graduate of Drake University, came to Omaha after serving as Manager of Meredith owned KPHO-TV and KPHO Radio in Phoenix, Arizona from 1954 to August of 1963. Stalnaker’s career with the Meredith Corporation started in 1946 after his service in World War II
as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. He left active duty as a Lieutenant Commander.
In addition to his work in commercial broadcasting, Stalnaker, appointed by the Nebraska Governor, served six years as a member of the Nebraska Educational Television Commission, the licensee of the stations in a statewide non-commercial educational public television system. He served as NETC chair and vice-chair.
With very thoughtful interests in attracting talented young men and women to the broadcasting business, Stalnaker worked with faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University. He was a member of the President’s
Council at Creighton University.
Stalnaker served on the boards of directors of the Omaha Federation of Advertising, the Television Bureau of Advertising (TvB), the CBS Radio Affiliates 7th district, United Community Services, Omaha chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and the Omaha Council of the Navy League of the United States.
A key member of the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Stalnaker also served on policy development NBA committees. He was the author of the plan (currently still in use), which revised the procedures for electing NBA officers and directors.
Hall of Fame 1977
Owen L. Saddler, at the time of his Hall of Fame induction, was Executive Vice-Pesident and General Manager of May Broadcasting Company who, at the time were owners of of KMTV, Omaha;KGUN-TV, Tucson, AZ, and KMA Radio, Shenandoah,Iowa. May also had an interest in KFAB radio in Omaha.
Owen began his broadcasting career in 1938 as Production Manager of KMA. In 1944, he began publication of the KMA Guide, a compact monthly digest available to listeners by subscription, the first publication of its kind.
He was instrumental in the May Broadcasting Company decision to put KMTV on the air in September, 1949. He was subsequently named Executive Vice-President and General Manager of May Broadcasting in 1950. IN 1955, Owen committed KMTV to pioneering color television and in that same year, KMTV becaue the first non-network owned station in the nation to originate local live color. (The station had begun airing network olor in December, 1953). The station also was the first to present local live opera,live boxing and wrestling in color. This committment to color broadcasts by KMTV made Omaha one of the fastest-growing color markets in the nation. On April 10, 1960, KMTV again set a precedent when they staged a full 17 hour broadcast day in color.
In 1962, he spearheaded a project that was to earn KMTV an Emmy nomination and one of the ational Academy of Televison Arts and Sciences' regional awards in the First Annual Station Award diision. KMTV co-sponsored "Sabin Oral Sunday" and at the close of the six continuous hours of telecasting, 85% of the city's metro population had ben innoculated with the polio vaccine.
Saddler was a prime leader in the Omaha televsion antenna farm project. All three commercial television towers were relocated at a common site. The towers were extended in height, expanding the reach of the stations and improving reception quality.
Owen held the distintion of being the only Station Manager in the coutnry to ha servd on the Board of Delegates of all three major networks. He was a member of the ABC Affiliates Advisory Board from 1950-1953; CBS-TV, 1953-57; and NBC-TV, 1963-69.
He was activein the National Association of Broadcasters as Nebraska Chairman of their Future of Broadcasting Committee, and served the Nebraska Broadcasters Association in the same capacity.
Having been active in numerous community activities, he was a former Regent of the College of St. Mary, and was a former Vice-President of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. He was a recipient of the Printer's Ink Silver Medal for achievement in advertising and service to the community.
Hall of Fame 1977
Gordon C. "Bud" Pentz
Gordon C. "Bud" Pentz was owner, president and general manager of KWBE AM/FM in Beatrice,Nebraska. A native of Illinois, he was a graduate of both the University of Illinois and Yale University, having received four degrees from the two institutions.
Bud was deeply involved in his beloved Beatrice. He was president of Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce and the Shrine Club. He was a bank director and chairman of the county Red Cross drive. He received many awards and citations from local Beatrice organizations. A five year veteran of the Air Force, he was active in and cited by the American Legion.
He was also active as a leader in broadcasting circles, both at the state and national level. He was a member of the Nebraska Educational Television Commission, chaired many committees of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and held all the higher offices, including the presidency in 1975. During his year as president, he visited every broadcasting station in the state, despite several serious illnesses and major surgical operations. As president, he took the leadership in overhauling the dues structure and more than doubled the association income.
For many years he personally conducted a live telephone call-in show, which helped him determine the needs, interests and wants of the KWBE listening audience. KWBE was a two-time winner of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Community Service Awards, and Service to Agriculture award. One of his innovations at KWBE was the installation of a surplus World War II Navy Radar system, which was used to assist in weather forecasting at KWBE.
Hall of Fame 1978
William Orris Wiseman, whose initials and station call letters were WOW, was born in Des Moines, the son of a newspaper reporter. He attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism, which he left in 1922 to take a job with the Omaha Daily News. One of his early assignments was to edit a weekly radio tabloid. He was the first radio editor in Omaha and one of the first in the nation. For several years he was a news broadcaster on KOIL, under the professional name of "The Globe Trotter".
In 1938 he joined WOW as promotion manager. In the early years of WOW-TV, Wiseman served as promotion director of that station as well. On Radio WOW, he was successively sales manager, station manager, and assistant general manager of Meredith WOW Inc. He retired in 1966 after 44 years of service with two Omaha newspapers, two Omaha radio stations and a television station. When he retired the Omaha Federation of Advertising held a "Bill Wiseman Day".
Wiseman was active in broadcasting industry affairs, having served on the National Association of Broadcasters Sales Management Committee and the planning committee for the annual University of Oklahoma radio conferences. In a period when little was known about radio audiences, Bill Wiseman helped design measurement techniques and helped to promote their use.
Hall of Fame 1978
On September 28, 1949, the dreams of Bud Crawford and his wife Georgia were realized when KCNI Radio went on the air. It was a short-lived dream for Mr. Crawford, who passed away in 1954.
With the death of her husband, Georgia becamse the major stockholder and the only woman manager of a radio or television station in Nebraska, a distinction she held for most of the twenty-two years she alone, operated KCNI.
Mrs. Crawford handled all aspects of the operation except the engineering. Having her third class endorsement, she sometimes found it necessary to operate the board. She was heard Monday through Friday on two of her own programs: "Kitchen Kate" and "Local News and Views". She wrote commercials and was her own secretary and bookeeper, not to mention spending twenty-two years a weather reporter for the Omaha Weather Bureau.
In 1965 she was recognized by American Women in Radio and Television for being the only woman manager in Nebraska broadcasting and for her outstanding service to broadcasting and community service.
On December 8, 1969, KCNI was destroyed by fire. Undaunted, Georgia had the station back on the air in seven and a half days, operating out of a trailer. KCNI was on the air in a new building with new equipment on July 6, 1970.
As well as belonging to the National Association of Broadcasters and the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, KCNI received recognition and many awards from civic and national organizations over the years.
On September 23, 1972, the first "Concord" program was aired, which was a half hour program each Satuday morning during the school year, produced and performed by students from the high schoool. Georgia was very proud of this association with the youth in Broken Bow.
She passed away February 3, 1977, after operating a profitable and community-minded station entirely on her own for twenty-two years. She was considered to be "a real pioneer in our business, and a worthy candidate for the NBA Hall of Fame".
Hall of Fame 1979
At the time of his induction into the NBA Hall of Fame, Robert E. "Bob" Schnuelle was the Manager of KOLN TV/KGIN TV's Grand Island Operations. A veteran broadcaster, he graduated from Gibbon High School in Gibbon, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska.
He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. Returning to Nebraska, Bob joined KFGW in Kearney in 1951. He switched to television in 1952, joining the KHOL-TV staff in Kearney. From there he went to KHAS Radio and Television in Hastings, Nebraska in 1953. He joined KOLN/KGIN in 1960 as Operations Manager of the Grand Island office and studios. In 1973, Bob was elevated to the position of Manager.
Bob was active in many civic and fraternal organizations. He served as President of both the Nebraska Broadcasters Association (1974) and the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. He served on the board of directors of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association for 1971-1972.
Until February 1974, Bob commuted weekly from Grand Island to Lincoln to present the Saturday Night News at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Channels 10 and 11.
Hall of Fame 1979
Harold A. Soderlund had already spent over 40 years in broadcasting and related businesses at the time of his induction into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1979. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1935.
He was sales manager of radio station KFAB in its early days. He founded and was the principal owner of KOOO, Omaha in 1957, with "format for all groups in its listening area". He sold the station in 1959.
In 1957 he established the Soderlund Company, which sold advertising time for its client stations nationally and regionally. At one time, the company represented 100 radio stations and 35 television stations.
The Soderlund Company also handled "The Martha Bohlsen Show", which was a pioneer homemaker show. He also published a cook book of favorite recipes "From Martha Bohlsen's Kitchen".
In 1961, the Omaha Advertising Club selected Harold as "Advertising Man of the Year". In 1962 he was named "Advertising Man of the Year" by the American Federation of Advertising, 9th District, comprising Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. He received the Silver Medal Award in 1971 from the Omaha Advertising Club.
Harold served the Nebraska Broadcasters Association as chairman of its Associate Members Committee for three years.
His community service activities included: The Better Business Bureau, Alumni Board at the University of Nebraska, and other church and community organizations.
While Mr. Soderlund's first love was broadcasting, he also was advertising manager of a country newspaper, account executive of an advertising agency, and co-owner of a company selling space on outdoor Scotchline signs.
He also served as Chairman of a National Association of Broadcasters committee on agency recognition, spending three years travelling the country to sell the idea of an agency recognition bureau.
He remained active into his later years and in the late 1980's formed the Soderlund Satellite Sales Seminars in conjunction with the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and the Nebraska Broadcasters Association. He also made significant financial contributions to the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Foundation, and was a strong proponent for increasing the number of scholarships for broadcasting students at UNL, UNO and UNK.
Hall of Fame 1980
Jim McGaffin had a forty-four year career in Nebraska broadcasting. Starting as a reporter for WOW (AM) 590 kHz radio in Omaha he became News Director of WOW AM-FM-TV in 1950. McGaffin left that position in 1968 to become Public Affairs Director for the WOW stations. He retired in 1984. As chair of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Freedom of Information Committee, McGaffin represented broadcasters during the development of legislation, which resulted in the Nebraska Open Meetings, Nebraska Open Records and the Nebraska Free Flow of Information Act (Shield Law protecting reporter's sources). McGaffin also served on the media committee, which drafted the Nebraska Bar-Press Guidelines (responsible reporting to avoid prejudicial references.) While McGaffin was working in commercial broadcasting he was appointed to serve on the Nebraska Educational Television Commission, which operated a nine-station non-commercial television network. He later was elected chair of the NET Commission. McGaffin also was the president of the Nebraska Associated Press Broadcast News Association and the president of the Nebraska United Press International News Association. The Nebraska Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named McGaffin "JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR." The University of Nebraska at Omaha honored McGaffin with the Communication Achievement Award and Creighton University recognized him with the Professional Journalism Achievement Award
Jim McGaffin had a forty-four year career in Nebraska broadcasting. Starting as a reporter for WOW (AM) 590 kHz radio in Omaha he became News Director of WOW AM-FM-TV in 1950. McGaffin left that position in 1968 to become Public Affairs Director for the WOW stations. He retired in 1984.
As chair of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Freedom of Information Committee, McGaffin represented broadcasters during the development of legislation, which resulted in the Nebraska Open Meetings, Nebraska Open Records and the Nebraska Free Flow of Information Act (Shield Law protecting reporter's sources).
McGaffin also served on the media committee, which drafted the Nebraska Bar-Press Guidelines (responsible reporting to avoid prejudicial references.)
While McGaffin was working in commercial broadcasting he was appointed to serve on the Nebraska Educational Television Commission, which operated a nine-station non-commercial television network. He later was elected chair of the NET Commission.
McGaffin also was the president of the Nebraska Associated Press Broadcast News Association and the president of the Nebraska United Press International News Association.
The Nebraska Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named McGaffin "JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR." The University of Nebraska at Omaha honored McGaffin with the Communication Achievement Award and Creighton University recognized him with the Professional Journalism Achievement Award
Hall of Fame 1980
Roy Lenwell served as President, General Manager and Chief Engineer of radio station KBRL AM in McCook, Nebraska, through out his career. He is credited for being one of the few engineers to establish and operate a radio station in Nebraska and continue to serve in a management capacity from the the station's commencement until his retirement. One of Nebraska's most prominent engineers of the 1940's and 1950's, Roy Lenwell served as President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association in 1952 and is recognized for his outstanding leadership in the organization throughout the 1950's.
Hall of Fame 1981
Karl Stefan (March 1, 1884 – October 2, 1951) was a Nebraska Republican politician.
He was born on a farm in Zebrakov, Bohemia (now Czech Republic) on March 1, 1884. In 1885 he moved with his parents to Omaha, Nebraska. He joined the United States National Guard, being first a private in the Illinois National Guard and then a lieutenant in the Nebraska National Guard. He was an inspector of telegraphs in the Philippine Constabulary from 1904 to 1906.
He moved to Norfolk, Nebraska in 1909 to serve as a telegrapher. He became an editor of the Norfolk Daily News until 1924 and a radio commentator and contributor to newspapers and magazines until 1934. He was president of the Stefan Co. and publishers’ agent for magazines and newspapers.
During his years as WJAG's first announcer, Stefan is credited with developing much of WJAG's programming, including a noontime show. Stefan, who announced WJAG’s noon news report, opened his daily broadcast with a trademark greeting: “Hello friends. Hello everybody! You are listening to WJAG, the Norfolk Daily News station, and we’re located at Norfolk, IN Nebraska. On the air with the regular noon-day program –– the lunch-hour session of WJAG’s radio family.” One of WJAG’s first announcers, Art Breyer, who worked at the Norfolk station “for the fun of it,” labeled Stefan the “backbone” of WJAG. Breyer said Stefan’s “personality enabled him to become intimately acquainted with the listeners.” In typical charismatic fashion, the local newscaster personalized a livestock quote on one of his noon reports. “Sam Kent,” Stefan declared, “I’ve got good news for you today. Understand the price of hogs is 6½ cents today, and that’s going to make everything all right.” Stefan’s radio persona, says Breyer, “endeared himself to the public.” But Stefan had more than an appealing personality to draw listeners, he dispensed information. WJAG’s first announcer not only peppered his noon broadcasts with local affairs but also news from the Norfolk Daily News’ Associated Press (AP) newspaper wire.
Stefan was not only an announcer and newscaster but also the creator and producer of station programming. In 1922, he originated the “radio family,” whose members gathered around a mythical dinner table each noon hour. Its aim, Stefan said, was “an unwritten understanding . . . that the station was to [be] run by its listeners –– the radio family.” Mr. and Mrs. George Salter of Norfolk served as the first “father” and “mother.” In fewer than two years, WJAG dispensed hundreds of “official” titles to its listeners: mail carrier, banker, chicken-eater, crippled girl, sweetheart, corn-king (Art Breyer), hog-man, shoe-man, Scotchman (Bill Graham, and later, Don Bridge of Norfolk), goat trainer, goat milker, wolfhound-man, and mayor (J. B. Hassman of Coleridge). In 1930, WJAG selected a new radio “father.” L. B. Musselman, a Civil War veteran and Nebraska pioneer, succeeded the late G. B. Salter as head of the family table.
Stefan was elected to U.S. Congress in 1934 and later became a member of congressional committee aiding inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth Government in Manila in 1935. He was a delegate to the Interparliamentary Union in Oslo, Norway in 1939. He was also an official adviser at the 1945 United Nations Conference in San Francisco, California.
He ran and won to represent Nebraska's 3rd district in 1935 and was reelected eight times. He died while in office on October 2, 1951 in Washington, D.C. .
Norfolk's Karl Stefan Memorial Airport is named in his honor.
Hall of Fame 1981
George Kister spent most of his entire 43 radio career with KMMJ AM, Grand Island, NE. Kister (pronounced kee-ster) was born in Juniata, Nebraska in 1900. He attended Business College in Hastings, Nebraska, and then worked as a buyer of auto accessories before he became Assistant Secretary of the Hastings Chamber of Commerce in 1925. At this time, the Chamber of Commerce acted as manager of radio station KFKX, Hastings. As Assistant Secretary, Kister began broadcasting regularly. In 1927, Kister joined KMMJ in Clay Center, and stayed with the station when it was moved to Grand Island, Nebraska in 1939. During his tenure with KMMJ, Kister served as Program Director, Farm Director, Public Service Director, but was best known as their long time News Director. After his retirement from broadcasting in 1968, Kister served as Administrative Assistant to the City of Hastings, Nebraka's City Manager, working specifically with the issue of storm damage control. Kister passed away in 1983.
Hall of Fame 1982
Joe di Natale
Joe di Natale started his broadcasting career in 1934 with Central States Broadcasting System. From 1938-1973 he was in North Platte with KODY, known as KGNF until 1943, as sales manager, sports director, interviewer, general manager and part-owner. In July, 1973, Joe became sales and public relations manager of the North Platte Holiday Inn. He was a member of Mid-Plains Broadcasting, Inc, which was given permission by the FCC to build an FM station in North Platte.
Joe was intensely interested in sports. He announced Nebraska Boys State Track Meet for many years, starting in 1943. He was field announcer for all of the NCAA, AAU, and Big Eight Conference Track Meets in Lincoln during the 1940's until the early 1960's. He worked the public address system for North Platte High School, Nebraska Independent League and Nebraska State Rookie Leage baseball, North Platte Community College home games and announced the Big Ten High School Conference Track Meet for 25 years. Joe also was a rodeo announcer and in 1945, spent a season as a broadcaster at University of Nebraska Football games through a joint arrangement with Omaha's WOW.
Joe was born in Uhrichsville, Ohio and moved to Lincoln after the death of his father when Joe was 9. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor's degee in Fine Arts in 1932.
Joe di Natale was very active in the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, serving two three-year terms on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Sports Committee several times. He was also a frequent Master of Ceremonies for the Legislative Banquet. He was a past President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, having served in the position in 1967.
His other activities included serving as a board member and officer on many North Platte organizations over the years.
Joe made friends across Nebraska and elsewhere in his many interviews with "personalities". He was a tireless promoter of North Platte, Nebaskaland Days, the University of Nebraska, and Nebraska itself. The ultimate compliment comes from his son Pat, who said, "....he was a hell of a nice guy".
Hall of Fame 1982
Max Brown's radio career started prior to 1951, while he was Executive Secretary of the Nebraska Cooperative Council which he helped organize. This group brought together approximately 5,000 ranchers and farmers along with 200 farm organizations and cooperatives to create KRVN in 1951. The call letters KRVN stand for Rural Voice of Nebraska. KRVN is a 50,000 watt full time radio station, devoting more time in service to agriculture than any radio station in the United States, serving the entire state of Nebraska, plus substantial portions of Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota. The station can be heard over the western United States at night, inlcuding Alaska.
Max graduated from South Dakota State College in 1934 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and then received his Masters in 1936. He was with the Ag Economics Department of South Dakota State College from 1936-1946, with time out from 1941-1945 to serve in the Air Force, attaining the rank of Major. From 1946-1951 he was Executive Secretary of the Nebraska Cooperative Council. In 1951 he joined KRVN and was manager there until his retirement in August, 1979. Max also managed KEYR, Scottsbluff, and KOIL, Omaha at different times, all the while as manager of KRVN.
His broadcast activities included: Nebraska Broadcasters Association, National Association of Broadcasters, Apha Epsilon Rho Radio-Television fraternity, Nebaska Committee of Public Relations for Agriculture, and two-three year terms on the Nebraska Broadcasters Association board of directors.
Brown was very active in many organizations in Nebraska and in Lexington. In 1980 he received the South Dakota State University Distinguished Alumnus Award, was made Honorary Lifetime Director Emertis Award from the Nebraskaland Foundation, of which he was a charter member. Max was also one of the founders and later became President of the Agricultural Builders of Nebraska.
Max Brown's successful long marriage to Vera M. Johnson Brown bore two sons, Timothy N. Brown, an attorney in San Francisco and Eric F. Brown, Ph.D. who succeeded Max as manager of KRVN. In 1981 he married Muriel Humphrey.
Max, as he was known to his friends, demonstrated proficiency and success in Radio Broadcasting, contributed importantly to the advancement of the industry, and was a leader in his community and service area. His ethics and professional standards were of the highest quality. He was truly an exponent of the Amercian System of Free Broadcasting.
Hall of Fame 1983
Paul Jensen began his career as an announcer for KOLN Radio in 1948 and later became production manager and program director for KOLN TV. After working for WXEX-TV in Richmond, Virginia, Jensen returned to KOLN-TV in 1956 as sales service manager. He served as program director, assistant general manager and station manager for KOLN0TV/KGIN-TV before being named vice president and manager of Cornhusker Television Corporation in 1980.
A past NBA president and two-term member of the board of directors, Jensen wa instrumental in establishing Media of Nebraska, a watchdog committee for freedom of the press, and KRNU Radio at UNL.
Mr. Jensen was the recipent of many awards recognizing his service to the broadcasting industry and to his community.
Hall of Fame 1983
Art Thomas was one of Nebraska's pioneer broadcasters. He was manager of WJAG, Norfolk from February, 1932 until ill health forced his retirement on March 5, 1951. Thomas was one of the charter organizers of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and served as Secretary-Treasurer for fifteen years. At this time, the unpaid Secretary-Treasurer performed most of the duties later performed by the Executive Director.
In addition to his managerial responsibilities he served as "chief newscaster" and produced one of the first street interview programs. Thomas repeatedly refused opportunities to become NBA President because he felt his continued service as Secretary-Treasurer allowed him to contribute to the long term success of the association. Art Thomas was succeeded as WJAG manager by his son Robert E. (Bob) Thomas (NBA President/Chair 1953 and 1963) who was succeeded by his son Robert G. (Robb) Thomas (NBA president/chair 1994).
Hall of Fame 1984
Frank Scott was born in Omaha, Nebraska, studied at UNL and graduated with a BS in Journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has been a broadcaster virtually all of his life. He worked his way through college at KMTV, Omaha, as a Film Dierctor and also produced and wrote live TV quiz shows, and was a news reporter.
After graduation, he was News Director and Anchor at KVOA TV in Houston, from 1958-60. He came back to Omaha in 1960 as News Director at KBON/KLNG radio in Omha, was promoted to Program Director and became Vice President/General Manager in 1968. In 1973 he was named VP of Welcome Radio, Inc, and General Manager of KTLK Radio in Denver. He moved to Washington DC in 1976 where he was Radio Division Vice President of NBC in Washington, and General Manager of WRC-AM and WKYS FM.
In 1982, he was named Director of Programs for Voice of America and in 1984 was Director of VOA, Europe headquarted in Munich, Germany. He grew the VOA Europe to be heard in nearly 240 markets and 24 nations of both Eastern and Western Europe, and helped establish the first privately owned station in Europe. He stayed in Europe after his stint with the VOA as an International Broadcast Consultant.
In the mid 90's, Frank and his wife Jeanne returned to Omaha and he became the Manager of the Omaha Press Club. He missed broadcasting, however, and joined Mitchell Broadcasting Company as a Special Projects Administrator and remained with Mitchell until he retired in 2002. He subsequently moved back to Alexandria, Virginia, where he passed away on May 11, 2010. Frank Scott....a true broadcaster and a most worthy member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame 1984
Arden Swisher was responsbile for the syndication of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" on more than 220 televsion stations in the U.S. and Canada.
Swisher's broadcast career began at WNAX in Yankton, SD, in the mid-40's. After working with Cowles stations in Des Moines and Washington, DC, Hhe came to KOIL in Omaha.
He joined KMTV in 1953 and promoted color telecasting which brought KMTV national recognition. Swisher also helped push national spot television into a competitive position as a primary advertising medium in the 1950's and devised the coded rate card, whcih became a standard.
He developed on of the first color-TV rate cards.
Swisher was NBA president in 1961 and 1962. He was responsible for an ongoing project of radio-TV and the Better Business Bureau to handle consumeer questions about advertising claims.
He was an NAB committee member and participated in regional programs. He served two terms on the Television Bureau of Advertising national board of directors and two terms on the TBA national sales advisory board.
Hall of Fame 1985
Rev. Roswell Williams
Rev. Roswell C. Williams S.J. joined the faculty of Creighton University in Omaha in 1945. Williams understood the importance of television as a mass medium and as an aid to education Before commercial television came to Omaha in 1949, Williams trained production employees of (then) WOW-TV, channel 6 with equipment located on a theater stage at CU. Williams established KOCU, a campus based radio operation, to prepare students for broadcasting careers. He was a pioneer in the use of closed circuit television to teach multiple sections of large enrollment classes. Williams also was a leader in the uses of television to teach students in the medical and health sciences. His career as a Jesuit priest and as a professor blended with his visionary understanding of the importance of broadcasting in society. He was the chair of the journalism department from 1948 to 1956 and also served as Director of Communication Arts until he retired in 1973. Father Williams died in 1976.
Hall of Fame 1985
Larry Walklin is the Fred and Gladys Seaton Professor of Broadcasting in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
A native of Grand Island, Nebraska, Walklin started in commercial broadcasting at KMMJ working as a newscaster, announcer and production producer/writer. He holds degrees from Kansas State University (B.A), Michigan State University (M.A), and the University of Iowa (Ph.D).
At the University of Nebraska, Walklin was the founding general manager of KRNU (FM) and became head of the broadcasting sequence/chair of the
Broadcasting Department. He was responsible for the operation of the JMC distance education graduate degree programs offered through Internet
and satellite technologies. He also has been president of the university's academic senate, chair of the University Curriculum Committee, chair of the Honorary Degrees Committee and has given the main address at a University of Nebraska commencement.
Walklin has served as NBA president/chair of the NBA Board of Directors as well as multiple terms as NBA secretary-treasurer. He also has been chair of the NBA membership committee, NBA Freedom of Information Committee, NBA Court Liaison Committee. He has been one of the NBA representatives to the Media of Nebraska organization, which joins newspapers and broadcasting on first amendment issues.
In addition to his university responsibilities and his NBA work, Walklin has been chair of the Media Liaison Committee for the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Walklin also has served on the First Amendment Committee of the National Broadcasters Association and on the boards of directors of the Radio-Television News Directors Association and the Radio Television News Directors Foundation as well as head of the Radio-Television Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
He is married to Karen McCaw Walklin, former director of Creative Services for KOLN/KGIN (Lincoln/Grand Island) who is in charge of NBA's anti-substance abuse campaign (Drugs Are a Dead End). Larry and Karen have two sons, Gregory and Jonathan.
Hall of Fame 1986
John Powell was part of the NBA's early core group....the men (Dick Chapin, Jim Ebel, Bob Thomas, Bud Pentz, Max Brown, Joe DiNatale , etc.) who held the Association together as it grew in strength and service.
He bean his radio work in the summer of 1940, managing WCED, DuBois, PA. He went on to Kent State University, where he managed the college radio station and granduated cum laude.
He became an announcer at WJW in Akron, OH and then KLMB, LaGrande, OR. His time at KLMB came in two sections, before and after WWII duty. He was in the U.S. Airforce from October 1941-March 1946, serving with the Brazilian-American Military Commission in South American during 1945 and 1946.
Powell's broadcast career went on to include Program Director/Commercial Manager, KSRV, Ontario, OR 1947-1952; Account Executive, WLEX, Lexington, KY, 1952; General Manager, KRES (now KKJO), St. Joeseph MO, 1953; Station manager, KWBW, Hutchinson, KS 1954-56; Station manager, KSMN, Mason City, IA, 1956; and Executive Vice-President/General Manger, KHAS Hastings, 1957-1985. When he retired, he became a self-employed consultant/troubleshooter, providing itnerim management for stations undergoing ownership change.
John devoted tim to the Chamber of Commerce, Hall County Advisory Board, Salvation Army, Queen City Kiwanis Club, Elks, American Legion and numerous charity fund raising drives. He was named "Boss of the Year" in 1967.
The late Bud Penz described john as "an individual of the highest standards" and "a person who always would take on a project to help".
He served on the NBA Board, sports committee and resolution commitee. Under his management, KHAS took home numerous Ak-Sar-Ben awards, including a gold in 1981 and a gold and silver in 1983.
After he retired, he was named an honorary graduate of Hastings College nad receive the Hastings Chamber of Commerce "Thumby" award.
Hall of Fame 1986
Don Seale gained success and influence nationally while keeping his Nebraska ties through ownership of KMMJ, Grand Island, from 1936 to 1967.
The Searle family put KOIL on the air in 1924-25 in Council Bluffs. They sold it in 1933 and Don moved to Topeka,KS, as General Manager of WIBW. He was there through Alf Landon's presidential nomination, leaving in 1937.
Searle went to Omaha as General Manager of KOIL, KFAB and KFOR, then part of the Ceetnral States Group. From 1944 to 1946 he was General Manager of KGO, San Francisco, CA, a sation controlled by the Blue Network. He moved on to Los Angeles to be Vice President of ABC's Western Division and General Manager of KECA (which became KABC in 1946).
In 1947 he suffered a heart attack and resigned from ABC. After recuperation, he started the National Home Institute, a Galen Drake type show originating out of Chicago. In 1953 he joined a group that included Bob Hope to put KOA T, Denver, on the air; Searle was General Manager and a stockholder. He resigned in 1954 and returned to Los Angeles.
In 1948, he purchased KXXX in Colby, KS; in 1957 he bought KIOA, Des Moines, and a short time later, KFNF, Senendoah, IA. He sold KIOA and KFNF a few years later; in 1960 he sold KXXX.
Afteer the sale of KMMJ in 1967, Seale left Grand Island and retired to his Monterey, CA, home where he lived until his death on October 31, 1971.
Searle was active in professional an civic organizations. He belong to the Masons; Rotary, Men's Garden Club of Los Angels, and Bohemian Club of San Francisco.
His hobbies included photography, numismatics, and according to his daughter, "collecting everything known to God". He bought two fo the five flagpoles from the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics for KXXX and KMMJ.
Hall of Fame 1987
David William Young was born March 31, 1925, in Millville, NJ, the seventh of ten children.
When he graduated fdrom Vineland, NJ High School in 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served in Burma, China and India. He saw duty in Tinnian, Okinawa and Saipan as a radioman/gunner with Patrol Bombing Squadron 123.
Dave attended Temple University for one year and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Communication in 1951 from the University of Wyoming. while in college he held a variety of part-time jobs which included playing Santa Laus and cleaning dinorsar bones in teh paleontology lab. One of his bosses, sporting goods/ jewelry store owenr Dave Horowitz, introduced Dave to his wife-to-be many years later.
Dave spent one summer working for an older brother, Herb in a Horseshoe Basin lead mine near Montezuma, Co. Dave and two younger brothers built a road to the mine but the most efficient form of transportation was by horseback. Dave did all the cooking; when he got the cast itron stove hot enough to cook on, he couldn't get close to it.
Dave liked Wyoming, so upon graduation he went to work for KFBC radio in Cheyenne. In 1954 he moved to Sidney, NE, to manage KSID, which had been on the air two years. He was marreid to Elizabeth "Ibs" Schaffer, a physical education teacher in the Sidney public schools, in March 1961. He and Ibs bought KSID in 1962 and Dave remained at the helm until May 1986 when had an encased brain tumor revmoved.
Dave was active in civic organizaiton, worked on school bond elections, on the sidney City council and gathered news at more meeting than he could remember.
Dave served on the NBA, and was Vice-President in 1957, and President in 1958.
Hall of Fame 1987
(Editors note: This biography is a reprint from the 1987 NBA Hall of Fame Program from 1987)
Johnny Carson-who considers Norfolk, NE, home- was born in Corning, Iowa, October 23, 1925. At age 14, he gave his first public performance as "The Great Carsoni" (a magician) in Norfolk, where he grew up.
Following high school, Carson became a Navy ensign, and entertained enlisted men aboard the USS Pennsylvania. After Navy duty, he attended the University of Omaha where he went to class late when he was writing comedy and announcing commercials for a 15-minute program on WOW radio.
In 1950 Johnny decided his future was in Calilfronia; he got a job as a staff announcer wtihe KNXT (now KCBS TV) in Los Angeles. He was soon hosting "Carson's Cellar" which ran until mid-1953 when he began writing for the Red Skelton TV show. as luck would have it, Skelton ran into a breakaway door and suffered a concussion before airtime one night; JOhnny went on with a monolgue put together on the way to the studio. Jack Benny's verdit: "The kid is great!:
Johnny went on to host "Earn Your Vacation", and substitute-host Jack Paar's CBS "Morning Show".
In 1957 Johnny moved to ABC to host a new daytime game show, "Who Do You Trust?", with Ed McMahon (Johnny must have trusted Ed because he was hired as the "Tonight Show" announcer and has kept the job for 23 year). In 1958 Johnny began filling in for Paar on NBC's "The Tonight Show".
"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" wil celberate its 25th anniversary in October this year. It is viewed by more people than any late-night program in network TV history. "The Tonight Show" won Emmy Awards in 1975-76, 76-77, 78-79 and 79-80.
Johnny's personal awards include Variety Club Man of the Year, 1986; Iris Award (National Associatioin of TV Program Executives), 1985; Harvard U's Hasy Pudding Award, 1977; Entertainer of the Year Award (American Guild of Variety Artists), 1978; and the Friar Club Man of the Year Award, 1979. Johnny has also hosted five academy award telecasts.
Popular Carson characters include Carnac the Magnificient who divines questions to the answers; testy old Aunt Blabby; sleazy Tea-Time-Movie host Art Fern; bombastic consumer advocate David Howitzer; Ed Moldo, a demonstrative vampire; crusty government employee G. Walter Schneeer; and Floyd Turbo, a country editorial rebutter. Carson's comic impesonations include President Reagn, former President Carter, sex therapist Dr. Ruth, news commentator Walter Cronkite and children's TV host Mr. Rogers.
Hall of Fame 1988
Martha Bohlsen first brought her expertise in Home Economics to the public as "Prudence Penny", a regular column in the Omah Bee News, which was purchased by the Omaha World Herald in 1937.
She joined the staff of the Omaha Public Power Disctrict on January 2, 1938, when OPPD was known as the Nebraska Power Company. She was Home Service Director of OPPD until June 18, 1949.
It was during this peiord (1938-1949) that Martha appeared on virtually every AM radio station in Omaha. She had regular weekly home economics radio show on these radio stations, thereby pioneering a new phase of radio programming.
In July of 1949, after resigning from OPPD, Martha joined the staff of WOW radio and WOW-TV, which went on the air in August of 1949. Martha was ready for this new medium called television and she pioneered home economics programming on TV. Many times her foil on her television show was Johnny Caron, also a staff member of WOW-TV in those early days.
Her charm and wit were perfect for the medium. After her association with WOW-TV for many years, she began a long association with the Tidy House Corporation and her show was soon put into syndication on radio and television.
Martha Bohlsen won many awards over the years, including two McCall Awards and she was named the Advertising woman of the Year by the Omaha Advertising Club in 1959.
She was active in AWRT, the Women's Division ofs the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Lutheran Medical Center in Omaha. She was born December 22, 1905 and passed away on March 9, 1984.
Hall of Fame 1988
Steve Murphy has been recognized as one of the key leaders of Freedom of Information causes in Nebraska.
A 1949 graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Murphy worked forty-one years until his retirement in 1990 at channel 6, WOW-TV. (The call letters changed to WOWT (TV) in 1975.)
In l970, Murphy was named News Director for WOW Radio and WOW-TV when those stations had a combined news department. He was associate news director during the period from 1965-70. When the stations separated, Murphy continued with the television news operation.
A long time chair of the NBA Freedom of Information Committee, Murphy also served as a member of the NBA Board of Directors. He was an NBA representative to the Media of Nebraska organization, which joined print and broadcast journalists to work for first amendment issues.
From 1978 to 1984 Murphy was a member of the Board of Directors of the (International) Radio-Television News Directors Association.
For twelve years he served as RTNDA's educational liaison committee chair and represented the organization on the American Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. ACEJMC is an accrediting agency for schools and college s of journalism. In 1987 Murphy received the RTNDA ROB DOWNEY AWARD for exceptional service. The award cited his work as the representative to the Accrediting Council.
In 1985 the Nebraska Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named Murphy JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR.
In 1988 Murphy received the Northwest Broadcast News Association's Mitchell V. Charnley Award.
Murphy received awards from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University and Midland College. Murphy died in 2002 at the age of 77.
Hall of Fame 1989
Gene Huse was the Publisher of the NORFOLK DAILY NEWS and the founder of Norfolk radio station WJAG (AM). Huse constructed the original WJAG transmitting equipment. Although he experimented with radio during the earlier decade, his federal license was issued on July 27, 1922.
WJAG and the NORFOLK DAILY NEWS became important parts of the community and the region. Innovative for the times, Huse used the newspaper to promote programming on the radio station. A nominating letter for the Hall of Fame describes Huse as a pioneer owner, engineer, mechanic, program innovator and a strong advocate of truth-in-news. He continued his community leadership through both print and broadcast until his death in 1961. Huse also is a member of the Nebraska Press Association Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame 1989
Robert Todd Storz originally became interested in radio as an amateur (HAM) operator. After attending prep school at Choate in Wallingford, Connecticut and college at the University of Nebraska he served in the Signal Corps of the United States Army during World War II. When he returned from military service he worked for a radio station in Hutchinson, Kansas. Later, Todd Storz returned to Omaha to work for Station KBON as an announcer and for Station KFAB as an account executive.
Todd Story and his father Robert H. Storz purchased Omaha radio station KOWH from the Omaha World Herald in 1949. The company acquired WITX, Now Orleans in 1953, WHB in Kansas City in 1954, WDGY Minneapolis and WQAM Miami in 1956, KOMA, Oklahoma City in 1958 and KXOK St. Louis in 1960.
In 1956, a TIME Magazine article referred to Todd Storz as the fastest rising figure in U.S. Radio. He is credited as a developer of the Top 40 Format and successful audience promotion techniques. Storz died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1964 at the age of 39. Todd Storz also is a member of the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
His father, Robert H. Storz, continued to operate the radio company after his son's death. Robert H. Storz also is a member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame 1990
Foster was born in Willow Springs, Missouri, in 1905, and attended Scottsbluff High School and the University of California.
Foster was an aggressive, controversial figure in Nebraska during the 1930's. He was an announcer at KFOR in Lincoln before joining WOW in Omaha. Foster set the pattern for radio news coverage at the time. At one time, he handled all newscasts from 6a.m. to midnight before the days of leased press wires. He was known as the sort of fellow who "just happens to be there when news breaks."
Foster was considered a radio phenomenon at the time. It was reported that 80 percent of the audience listened to him. He was recognized as one of the first to broadcast as "The Man on the Street" and made the program a radio landmark. The traditional introduction for his newscasts was "Take it away, Foster May".
A candidate for the United States House and Senate as well as Secretary of State, he was a war correspondent for NBC in World War II and then joined the American Broadcasting Company as a news supervisor.
Hall of Fame 1990
A native of North Carolina, and a 1951 graduate of Northwestern University, Bob Taylor came to Lincoln to be News Director of KLMS (AM) Radio. In 1953 he joined KOLN-TV in Lincoln as a newscaster and weather reporter. In 1961 Taylor was appointed KOLN-TV News Director. He continued his on-air responsibilities. With the addition of KGIN-TV licensed to Grand Island the combined 10/11 stations signals reached 76 of Nebraska's 93 counties. Taylor became a trusted reporter for thousands of Nebraskans who depended on the stations for television news. Taylor, long known as a vigorous advocate for freedom of information, served on the committee which developed Nebraska's Bar-Press Guidelines. He served a president of Nebraska Associated Press Broadcasters and was named Journalist of the Year by the Nebraska Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He died in 1981 at the age of 57.
Hall of Fame 1990
Born in Orange City, Iowa, Merrill attended the University of Iowa. He started in radio in 1939 at KSCJ in Sioux City as an announcer. His announcing career continued in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before joining WOW radio in January, 1945. He worked for both WOW radio and TV, becoming chief announcer for both stations.
During his WOW radio days, he saw the emergence of television and announced in front of the mike and the camera when WOW-TV went on the air in 1949.
In the early days of television, he announced from 5 a.m. to noon on radio and 6 p.m. to sign-off on the TV side.
At WOW, Johnny Carson got his start in broadcasting. Later Johnny and Merrill became good friends.
For over 30 years, the Midwest heard that deep resonant voice, so disctinctively Merrill Workhoven. He concluded each newscast with "My time is up. Thank you for yours."
Hall of Fame 1991
Kenneth Joe Elkins was one of eight children of a coal miner in southern West Virginia. He began his broadcasting career in 1960 at KETV in Omaha, working nights as a camera operator while serving in the air Force at Offutt Air Base. At SAC headquarters, he maintained a closed circuit TV system in the war room.
Ken moved to Dubuque, Iowa and helped put KDUB-TV on the air as its assistant chief engineer and then general manager.
In 1972, he returned to KETV as operations manager, then general sales manager and to general manager. When Pulitzer Broadcasting bought KETV in 1976, Ken was retained as general manager, and then in 1980 he was transferred to their flagship station, KSDK-TV in St.Louis.
In 1984, Ken was named president and chief executive officer of Pulitzer Broadcasting, overseeing seven TV and two radio stations.
A past president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, he also served on both the Television Board of Advertising and the NBC-TV affiliate board's long-range planning committee.
Hall of Fame 1991
Born in Gibbon, Nebraska, Dick Cavett grew up in Lincoln, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1954. A very bright student, he also excelled in gymnastics and magic. Dick's zest for a career in entertainment began when he saw a young magician by the name of Johnny Carson at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln. He studied English and drama on a scholarship at Yale University, travelling to New York weekends in pursuit of a broadcasting career.
In 1960, Dick was hired as a writer on the early Tonight Show with Jack Paar. After four years of writing humor, he decided to do his own stand-up comedy. then in 1968, "The Dick Cavett Show" premiered on ABC-TV. Through the years, he hosted various programs on CBS, a talk show on PBS and on the USA network. He was also featured on cable channel CNBC. Over the years his guests included personalities from Groucho Marx to Katherine Hepburn to Bob Hope.
Hall of Fame 1992
Dietrich Dirks was born July 14, 1902 near Auburn, Nebraska. Later he and his family moved to Hildreth, south of Kearney.
"D" graduated from Hildreth High School. then, he majored in business administration at the University of Nebraska, graduating in 1924. While student director of the UNL Glee Club, he helped introduce "There is No Place Like Nebraska." A quartet of which he was a member (wearing white pants and using megaphones) sang the song at the first public appearance during a football game in the fall of 1924.
Dietrich's first "real" job was Program Director at KFAB Radio, then in Lincoln. After a year, he was named manager and did play-by-play football. He later managed KFAB, KOIL and KFOR when all three were owned by Central States Company (before FCC rules prohibited such an arrangement).
"D" was one of the founders of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and the first president in 1934 and 1935.
Continuing his broadcast career, he moved to Sioux City to help build KTRI. He then became president and general manager of KCOM in Sioux City. Then, in 1954, he started Sioiux city's first television station, KTIV, where he pioneered many new developments in the fast growing television industry. He retired as KTIV's general manager in 1972.
"D" served on the board of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, member of the Executive Committee, and chair of the NAB Research and Sales Management Committees.
Hall of Fame 1992
Helen Duhamel was born November 26, 1904 in Windsor, Missouri, moving with her family to Nebraska when she was two years old. She was raised on a ranch on the White River north of Chadron. She attended schools at St. Mary's in O'Neill and St. Agnes Academy in Alliance.
She moved to Rapid City, South Dakota with her mother in 1920 and married Bud Duhamel in 1924.
During the depression, she became the bookeeper of the Duhamel Company and saved the firm from bankruptcy.
She later purchased stock in a radio station (KOBH) in Rapid City which became KOTA. In 1954, Helen purchased the remaining stock. The following year she constructed the second television station in South Dakota, KOTA-TV.
A group of rural folks approached Helen about bringing TV service to the Nebraska panhandle. And, she started KDUH-TV in Hay Springs, Nebraska. In 1981, she moved the station to Scottsbluff. duhamel Broadcasting has grown to four television stations and an FM station paired with the original AM radio station she bought many years ago.
Although she lived in South Dakota, Helen's roots in Nebraska remained strong, which led to establishing KDUH-TV.
She served as president of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association in 1961, the first woman president of any state broadcast association in the country. She was also elected to the South Dakota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
In November 1991, Helen S. Duhamel passed away in Rapid City. She was 86.
A true broadcast pioneer, she was one of the acknowledged women leaders during the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Hall of Fame 1993
Walt Kavanaugh was born July 11, 1923 in Omaha. His parents were Louis D. Kavanaugh, a South Omaha attorney, and Kathryn Lowry Kavanaugh, a South High School teaccher.
He attended St. Bridget's Grade School, then graduated from South High School in 1940. He enrolled at Creighton University, which was interrupted by more than three years in the U.S. Army during World War II, both in the Ground Infantry and in Airborne as a paratrooper.
Walt graduated from Creighton in 1947 and subsequently joined the staff at KFJB in Marshalltwon, Iowa. In 1950, he became a newscaster at top-rated KOWH in Omaha, which was owned by Storz Broadcasting.
Then in 1952, he started his 391/2 year career at KFAB in Omaha. He was proud to have served two of the leading stations in the country.
Walt awoke at 3:30 a.m. every day for four decades to inform people of the latest news of the morning and announce school closings on winter storm days. It is beieved the nearly 42 continuous years of delivering regularly scheduled newscasts is a broadcast record.
He retired January 31, 1992. His familiar resonant voice was also heard on a variety of commercials and public service announcemts after his retirement from KFAB.
Hall of Fame 1993
Larry Rice was owner and general manager of KBRB AM & FM in Ainsworth, Nebraska. The son of C.C. and Sylvia Rice, he grew up on a farm owned by his uncle and managed by his father near Pickering, Missouri. A graduate of Pickering High School in 1956, Larry attended Northwest Missouri State in Maryville intending to become a high school coach.
Announcing part time at KNIM became full time and an offer in 1959 from KFEQ-TV in St. Joseph, Missouri to become the station's weatherman, left a possible coaching career behind. At the same time, he was a disc jockey on KFEQ radio which led to another offer, this time with KBKC in Kansas City.
Larry and his former boss at KNIM, Gil Poese, then reunited becoming partners in the ownership and operation of KBRX in O'Neill, Nebraska for the next ten years.
In 1968, Larry built KBRB literally from the ground up.
Larry and his wife, Linda, have four children; Mrs. Natalie Miles, Lincoln; Eric, Gothernberg; Lorinda, Ainsworth and Kyle, Maryville, Missouri.
Larry believes a broadcast license is "a license to serve." And serve he did. His community of Ainsworth honored him as Businessman of the Year for his community service. Larry has also received the Governor's Business Achievement Award. A past president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and long-time board member, Larry's philosophy has included a total commitment to his community, his state, and his broadcast profession.
Hall of Fame 1994
Tom Brokaw, anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw," is equally at ease covering the convulsive changes in world capitals and monitoring the heartbeat of America in small town and inner cities of the United States. He conducted the first exclusive one-on-one interview with Mikhais Gorbachev, which won the Alfred I duPont Award. Brokaw was the only anchor on the scene the night the Berlin Wall fell. He was the first American anchor to report on human rights abuses in Tibet and to conduct an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama.
He's anchored "Nightly News" from rooftops in Beirut, the Great Wall in China, the streets of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, Soweto in South Africa, Somalia, Cairo and many other exotic locations. Sole anchor of "Nightly News" since 1983, he had been anchor on NBC News' "Today" 1976-1981.
An acclaimed political reporter (Brokaw was NBC News' White House correspondent during the Watergate era), has has covered every presidential election since 1968.
In addition to the Nightly News, Brokaw also plays an active role in NBC News' prime-time specials on a wide range of topics.
Brokaw has received numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy Award for outstanding coverage of the Romanian Revolution and an Emmy for the NBC News special "China in Crises."
Brokaw joined NBC News in 1966, reporting from California and anchoring on KNBC, the NBC Television station in Los Angeles (1966-1973). In 1965 he anchored the late evening news on WBS-TV, Atlanta.
After graduating from the University of South Dakota, he began his journalism career in 1962 at KMTV in Omaha.
Hall of Fame 1994
Gary R. Fries joined the Radio Advertising Bureau as its President and CEO in October 1991, from his post as President of the Unistar Radio Networks. Fries spent his entire professional life on the front lines of Radio as a salesperson, sales manager, general manager, group head and network president, with first-hand sales experience in markets from Grand Island, Nebraska to New York City.
In addition to Fries' leadership roles at the Unistar Radio Networks, he served as President and COO of the Sunbelt Communications Radio division. He also managed stations in Phoenix, Omaha, Little Rock, Springfield (Il.), and Albuquereque and held the title of Vice President at both ITC Communications and Multimedia Broadcasting, Inc.
Fries graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1963 with a degree in Business Administration. He began his radio career at Stuart Broadcasting's KFOR radio in Lincoln while attending college there, and held his first management position at KRGI in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Fries, who was named Radio Executive of the Year by Radio Ink Magazine in 1993, was an active spokesman for the Radio industry. He was a guest speaker at dozens of industry conferences in the U.S. and abroad, including the National Assoication of Broadcasters conventions.
Fries was an active member of numerous industry planning committees, including the Arbitron Radio Advisory Committee, the NAB Radio Convention Planning Committee, and the Advertising Council, in addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Media Ratings Council (EMRC).
Hall of Fame 1995
The son of Mary and Fred Sauer, Mel was born at 2 o'clock in the morning in a farm house in Bayard, Nebraska. He attended the School for the Blind in Nebraska City from 1947 to 1956. Mel then transferreddto Bayard High School where he graduated in 1958. He enrolled at University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studieduntil 1960. And then...Mel Sauer began his careed in broadcasting.
Mel started at KIMB radio in Kimball in September of 1960 where he worked for three months until the station was sold. Mel then joined KOLT radio in Scottsbluff. At the urging of Les Hilliard, the owner of KOLT, Mel enrolled in Scottsbluff College in the spring of '61. Upon completion of school, he was offered a full time job at KOLT. Mel stayed with KOLT until 1985, which was followed by a brief managment assignment at KOBH in Hot Springs, South Dakota. In 1986, Mel moved to KCSR in Chadron. Later that year, Mel became Station Manager of KOAQ in Scottsbluff, where he remained until 1989. He then joined KPNY.
Mel wore several hats at KPNY...sports broadcaster, "premier" weather announcer, and sales manager for the Scottbluff office. His weather coverage included storm weather reports and extended ag weather forecasts and information. In addition to using studio facilities, mel had weather forecasting facilities at his home.
Mel Sauer.....a top-notch Nebraska broadcaster.
Hall of Fame 1995
Jack Payne's career in broadcasting spans 46 years and includes association with six radio stations and one television station. he is best known in Nebraska for his 17 years at WOW and WOW-TV and his 22 years at KFAB.
Love of sports was in Payne's blood from his youth in his native Oklahoma and broadcasting became the means for expressing it. He began football broadcasts while a student at the University of Oklahoma, following military service with the Air Force. His Oklahoma broadcasts were heard on WNAD, WTOK and KNOR.
In 1951, Jack came to Omaha as Sports Director for WOW radio and the fledgling WOWTV (WOWT). while doing University of Nebraska football broadcasts for WOW radio, he also created and produced many of the "firsts" for television sports broadcasting in the Omaha market. He was named Nebraska state "Sportscaster of the Year" in 1965 and again in 1967, and has received scores of professional and community honors over the years. Jack was also a popular public address announcer at the College World Series in Omaha from 1963-2000.
In 1970,Jack Payne joined KFAB, where he was part of the broadcast team on the Nebraska Football Network until 1992. He also did Nebraska basketball play-by-play, high school basketball tournaments, the Drake Relays and state high school track and field broadcasts. Wearing still another "hat", Jack served as an Account Executive at KFAB from 1974 until his retirement.
Jack has two daughters and six grandchildren.
Hall of Fame 1996
John Mitchell, Sr.
Born December 17, 1924 in Kearney, Nebraska, John Charles Mitchell graduated "Cum Laude" from Kearney State College, Kearney, Nebraska. While attending Kearney State, John worked part-time seven days a week for four years as an announcer at KGFW.
Following graduation, he went to Washington, D.C., where he graduated "with honors" from Georgetown University School of Law.
In 1953, John took his first broadcast ownership step by buying KGFW, Kearney.
In 1968, he moved to Omaha and five years later purchased KRCB in Council Bluffs and through the years acquired additional broadcast properties.
In the political world, John served as Chairman of the Buffalo County Democratic party, State Chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party and was elected as the first National President of the Association of Democratic State Chairmen and was one of the founders of that organization.
In addition, he served on the original Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Standardized Jury Instruction and on the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Practice and Procedure twelve years.
He received the "Outstanding Alumnus" award from Kearney State College, the Kearney State Colledge Distinguished Service Award and served on the College Foundation Board. He also served a term on the board of the Omaha Airport Authority.
John Mitchell was a retired attorney. He sold his radio properties in 2001 to Waitt Radio, which evolved into NRG Media. His radio stations included: KQKQ, KKAR, KOIL and KGDE in Omaha; KQKY, KRNY and KGFW, Kearney; KXNP and KODY, North Platte; KUVR and KMTY, Holdrege; KLIQ FM, Hastings; KHUB and KFMT, Fremont. Triple M Investments still owns several broadcast tower facilities,
John Mitchell passed away on February 28 in Longboat Key, Florida.
Hall of Fame 1996
Fred Seaton was born December 11, 1910 in Washington, D.C., later moving to Manhattan, Kansas where he grew up in his Dad's (Fay Seaton's) newspaper. He graduated from Kansas State and in 1931 married Gladys Dowd, a fellow student in the College of Journalism.
In 1937, Fred Seaton, his brother Richard and their father purchased the Hastings Tribune. Fred moved to Hastings from Manhattan to become publisher. The Hastings Tribune is still family owned.
On September 30, 1940, KHAS Radio went on the air, owned by the Nebraska Broadcasting Company, a Hastings organization of which Fred was president.
In 1955, a license was issued to Fred for station KHAS-TV. On January 1, 1956, KHAS-TV went on the air. It was an affiliate of NBC, telecasting in black and white. In 1967, it was one fo the first stations in the area to acquire color equipment. KHAS-TV remained a Seaton family-owned station for over 40 years.
Fred also served his state and his nation in several capacities...Senator in the Nebraska Unicameral and in the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Kenneth Wherry. In 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower name him Assistant Secretary of Defense for legislative affairs. Two years later he was sworn in as an administrative assistant and then deputy assistant to President Eisenhower. In 1956, Fred was appointed by President Eisenhower to be Secretary of the Interior. He is given most of the credit for bringing Hawaii and Alaska into the union.
For his service in the Defense Department, he received the Presidential Medal of Honor.
Hall of Fame 1997
When Jack McBride joined the University of Nebraska in 1953, he would have predicted that the fledgling University Television Department he headed would become Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), a multi-faceted telecommunications organization with a national- and international--reputation.
As general manager from the beginning, McBride has been the driving force behind public broadcasting and educational telecommunications in the state. His work has left a lasting legacy to those of us who call ourselves Nebraskans...and indeed, for all of public broadcasting. McBride passed away in 2008.
McBride activated the nation's seventh public television station, KUON-TV, at the University of Nebraska in 1954. He served as general manager of the nine-station Nebraska ETV Network and secretary to the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission since they were created in 1963.
Included among his pioneering efforts are the Nebraska Public Radio Network, EduCable (Nebraska ETV's cable television service), a major public television and multimedia production center and the multi-channel NEB*SAT satellite network, as well as the self-supporting GPN media marketing and distribution service.
As a national and international consultant, McBride helped form a number of state networks, as well as the Central Educational Network, the Agricultural Satellite Network, the American Indian Telecommunications Network and the Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System.
Hall of Fame 1997
George Haskell spent his entire career in Nebraska broadcasting from 16 years of age until he reitred in 1980.
George Harold Haskell was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, July 23, 1917. During school, George was a piano player in local and traveling dance orchestras from 1929 to 1937 earning $1 a day. In 1937, he took a part-time job in radio when he was 16 as a mail boy at KFOR/Lincoln.
He even did a State Pen show with Johnny Carson. George played the organ whileJohnny did his ventriloquist act. Years later Johnny wrote to tell him about a new job he got from Jack Parr with NBC....and you know the rest of the story.
Later George followed Central States Broadcasting Corporation to Omaha. He was given the traffic/manager/programmer opportunity in 1939 for KFAB and KOIL (at Council Bluffs).
Virginia May Zimmerman, his first and practically his only girlfriend, captured his heart and became his wife in 1943.
In 1946, George became KFAB's assistant Program Director and then Assistant General Manager to Lyell Bremser from 1956-1957.
In 1957, George Haskell was named General Manager of Platte Valley Broadcasting Corporation owned by Russ Stewart: KNEB AM, KNEB-FM in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and KOLR-AM in Sterling Colorado. He became President/General Manager and Partner of KNEB AM/FM 1970-1980.
George was very involved in the Scottsbluff community, serving on many civic boards and committees. He also served on the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Board of Directors.
George's children both followed in his broadcast footsteps. Stu isGeneral Manager/VP of Clear Channel Northern Colorado,and Julie (Gade) is General Manager/VPfor Clear Channel Broadcasting Lincoln.
Hall of Fame 1998
Born in Dixon, Iowa, August 8, 1916, Mal Hansen graduated from his two-room Dixon elementary school, Davenport, Iowa High School, and the University of Iowa. He received his B.A. degree in 1938 and his M.A. in 1940.
While attending the University of Iowa, Mal became Assistant Farm Editor at WHO Radio in Des Moines. In 1943, prior to a three-year stint in the U.S. Navy as a communications training officer, he was farm editor at KSO/KRNT, Des Moines.
Following his service in the Navy, Mal was named farm service director at WOW Radio and TV in Omaha, a position he held for thirteen years until 1959. He then joined Travel and Transport, Inc. in Omaha, where he retired as president in 1987. His career has taken him to more than eighty countries throughout the world.
At WOW radio, Mal developed many programs and received the George Foster Peabody Award for Community Service. He pioneered farm service programs on television starting in 1949. Mal was elected to the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1993.
Active over the years in community service, Mal was a member of the Omaha Chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Executive Service Corps of Nebraska.
Hall of Fame 1998
Born in North Platte, Nebraska, December 16, 1936, Ray Lockhart started his broadcast career at KNOP-TV in North Platte in 1959.
In 1967, Ray was named General Manager of KOGA AM in Ogallala. Two years later he bought into the company, Ogallala Broadcasting Company, Inc. In 1974, Ray purchased control of KOGA and later added KOGA FM and KMCX.
Ray served the broadcast industry for decades including eight years on the Radio Board of the Naational Association of Broadcasters and many years as the legislative liaison chairman for Nebraska. He served two terms on the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Board of Directors and in 1992 was the NBA's president.
In 1989, Ray founded Prophet Systems, a company specializing in digital broadcast automated systems. He sold this company, as well as KOGA AM/FM and KMCX to Capstar Broadcasting Corporation in 1998.
He was very active in civic and community service in Ogallala, including serving on the Ogallal Airport Authority.
Hall of Fame 1999
Ken Headrick grew up in Fremont with an interest in vocal and instrumental music as well as sports. He attended Midland College and the University of Nebraska seeking majors in music and journalism. During the Korean War, Ken won a broadcast slot on Armed Forces Radio in Tokyo.
Ken returned to Fremont and pursued radio at KFGT, quickly becoming Program Director. In 1955 he joined KFAB and started playing a key role in developing the station into one of the premier radio properties in the country. In 1956 Lyle Bremser became General Manager and shortly after promoted Ken to Program Director.
Ken helped establish KFAB's strong agri-business position with Nebraska's farming and ranching communities. In 1960, he developed the first stereophonic program in the Midwest using the facilities of KFAB and KFAB-FM.
In 1969 Ken was named Station Manager and KFAB continued to grow. In 1978 TV/Radio Age report that KFAB was first in the national on a share of market basis.
In 1983 when the station won exclusive rights to broadcast University of Nebraska football and basketball, Ken began building what would become a 48-station network.
When Lyell Bremser reitred in 1987, Ken was named to succeed him and remained as General Manager until 1989 when he retired, after 35 years.
Ken passed away in 1994, leaving his wife Lois, his children, and legacy of service to KFAB, to Nebraska and to the broadcasting industry.
Hall of Fame 1999
Art Ferguson, better known as Charlie Tuna, started in radio at the age of 16 in his hometown of Kearney, Nebraska at KGFW.
Charlie worked as morning drive personality for more stations and formats than anyone in Los Angeles radio history: Top 40, AC, Hot AC, Oldies, Talk, Sports Talk, Country, Standards, Swing and Big Band on 570/KLAC.
In 1990, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Charlie with his own Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1997, Los Angeles Radio Peoople readers voted Charlie on of the Top L.A. Radio Personalities of All time.
Among his L.A. Radio credits are: being part of the legendary KHJ Boss Jock line-up in the late 60's; starting KROQ radio in 1972, serving as both Program Director and Morning Man for KIIS AM & FM during the mid 70's.
Charlie was also heard around the world daily on the Armed Forces Radio Network the past 25 years, as well as on numerous nationally syndicated radio shows, The Country Top 30 Countdown, Charlie Tuna's Oldies Calendar and 'The Music of your Life'.
In addition to his radio work, Charlie hosted Cinema, Cinema, Cinema, an internationally syndicated TV show.
He was also the announcer for the television game show Scrabble which ran for seven years on NBC, and a dozen other TV shows ranging; from the Mike Douglas Show to America's Top 10 with Casey Kasem.
Charlie called Tarzana home in California and served as the city's Honorary Mayor for the several years.
Charlie (Art) passed away on February 29, 2016 at his home in California, at the age of 71. Please click this link for a wonderful video tribute to his career:
The links to the following videos that summarize Charlie's career were provided by Charlie's son:
Hall of Fame 2000
Born in Chanute, Kansas, John graduated from Abilene High School in 1964 and immediately joined the Navy.
Serving on the USS Guam based in Norfolk, Virginia, he visited with staff members of a Norfolk radio station who were doing a "Ship of the Week" program aboard the Guam.
John recalls: "They told me that all they did was sit and talk...and I liked to sit and I liked to talk, so it sounded like the perfect career choice for me. They didn't tell me that one day I would start work at 5a.m. and get home at 8 p.m. or the long trips to do play-by-play and sign on at 5 the next morning."
Soon after his naval stint, he met with John Howard at KGFW in Kearney who hired John to do the 7p.m.-Midnight shift. That was in 1968.It was also an important year for John when he also married Judy.
Eventually, John became Program Director and doubled as Sports Director doing play-by-play. Moving into the Sales Department, John was then promoted to Manager of KGFW in 1974. In 1979, he added KQKY and in 1998, KRNY to his station group in Kearney.
John served his community well over for many years including: Past Chairman of the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, Past President of Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation and Past President (with Judy) of the Kearney High School Booster Club.
John served two-three year terms on the NBA Board of Directors and was a Past-President of the association. He passed away in June, 2009.
Hall of Fame 2000
Don Meier created, directed and produced "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," hosted by Marlin Perkins. It was an astonishingly successful and often lauded wildlife-adventure television series. "Growing up in Nebraska, I liked the outdoors, but this was beyond my wildest dreams," Don says.
Don ran the library and taught school in Oshkosh, Nebraka, and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a course of study that included Business Administration, Speech and Broadcasting. With his NU Degree in 1941, Don enlisted in the Army, rising to the rank of Colonel.
A civlian again, he headed to Chicago working at a small experimental TV station doing virtually everything. With that training ground, he moved to NBC. He was Director of Dave Garroway's "Garroway-At-Large," "Zoo Parade", "Quiz Kids," and "Mr. Wizard".
His involvement with Perkins on Zoo Parade led to his decision to take camera beyond the zoo and to develop a pilot of "Wild Kingdom" which resulted in Mutual of Omaha's sponsorship and the program's remarkable run. Everyone in the audience felt involved with the program. This combined with taking them to a different place every Sunday plus the superior shooting, writing and editing made Wild Kingdom a television treasure.
Don has received many accolades including the first National Wildlife Federation Award and four Emmys, television's top award.
Don, who resides in Chicago, and his wife, Lorie, have endowed a number of scholarships at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Don Meier...the driving force behind one of the most successful programs in the history of television---"Wild Kingdom."
Hall of Fame 2001
Lew Hunter was a writer, producer, and executive at Columbia, Lorimar, Paramount, Disney, NBC and CBS. He has taught at UCLA since 1979, becoming Chair of the Screenwriting Department, and is one of the premier screenwriting teachers in the world. The author of the wildly acclaimed book Screenwriting 434, he conducts seminars and workshops internationally.
A native of Guide Rock, Nebraska, Lew was a disc jockey and floor manager at KOLN Radio and TV in Lincoln while attending Nebraska Weslelyan University. After receiving his Master's Degree at Nortwestern University, he joined NBC in Los Angeles, landing a job as a staff page.
After earning his Masters Degree at UCLA, he wrote and produced trailers for programs like "The Dinah Shore Show," Bonanza," and The Dick Powell Theatre."
As a program executive at ABC, Lew worked on "Batman," "Peyton Place," "Bewitched," "Adams Family," and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea."
He produced television programs such as "Quincy," "Little House on the Prairie," and "The Rockford Files" as well as TV movies like "Red Badge of Courage" and "The Execution of Private Slovak." His success in screenwriting was recognized with his 1981 movie, "Fallen Angel," that received an Emmy nomination and won the Writers' Guild Award.
Today Lew is generous with his time and talent, helping others and teaching them how to make their dreams come true. Lew Hunter and his wife, Pamela, live in Superior, Nebraska.
Hall of Fame 2001
John Wallace Webster was born in Omaha, attended high school at a military academy, Shattuck, in Faribault, Minnesota. He graduated from Menlo College, Menlo Park, California, with a degree in business administration.
John Webster's enty into the broadcasting business is part of Omaha broadcasting history.
John and his father, along with Joe Baker, started Webster-Baker Broadcasting in 1976 to acquire the licenses of radio stations KEFM/KOIL. The result was a comparative hearing process, which lasted until 1982 when the construction permit was finally granted and KEFM went back on the air in 1983.
Over the past nineteen years, John has guided his station into a successful position in the Omaha radio market.
As President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, he was instrumental in organizing the NBA Foundation and providing the leadership and support to make it a success.
John continues being extremely active today as president of Webster communications (KEFM) and John R. Webster Company.
He has had many charitable, social and political interests over the years including trustee of the Omaha Home for Boys, national trustee of Americans United, president of Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha, president of Brownell Talbot School foundation, president of Fontenelle Forest Association and also serves the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
John, who is active in hunting, fishing and golf, has a love for Labrador retrievers.
John and his wife, Nancy, who live in Omaha, have four children: Jack, Holly, Tim and Will.
Hall of Fame 2002
Robert H. Storz
Robert H. Storz was a man who never rested: he was a master strategist and businessman. He had an extensive banking career, including Omaha National Bank, where he was a director. He was also involved with Storz Brewing Company where he was responsible for bulding a new bottling plant in Omaha. He left the brewery in 1959 and went into the investment banking business.
In 1949 he founded Storz Broadcasting with his son Todd (NBA Hall of Fame, 1989) and operated the company from a financial standpoint until Todd's death in 1964. Robert then took over the day to day operation of the stations, centralizing the entire organization from billing to payable, creating amodel that is still used today by many broadcast groups. the stations included KOWH, Omaha: WTIX, New Orleans; WDGY, Minneapolis; WQAM, Miami; WHB, Kansas City, and KXOK, St. Louis. The stations were eventually sold off in 1984-85.
Storz tirelessly served his community as Commander of American Legion Post #1, President of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce (1946-47), and Chairman of the board of Clarkson Memorial Hospital, where he spearheaded fund-raising for a new building. He was a Governor of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben, a member of the Nebraska Resources Foundation, a University of Omaha regent and was the driving force behind the construction of the 63-acre Memorial Park. He persuaded then President Harry Truman to come to the park's dedication.
Robert H. Storz is survived by his daughter, Susan Butler and four grandchildren.
Hall of Fame 2002
Richard F. Palmquist was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from North High School and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dick started his broadcasting career at the age of 19 as an announcer for WOW radio and television in Omaha, where he played "Major Action," host of a children's show which garnered a huge viewing audience.
After several years on-air in Nebraska, he moved east to manage a successful radio station group in Indiana and Wisconsin. In 1974, he founded Palmquist Creative Services, an advertising agency in Racine, Wisconsin. His work there won numerous awards, including a national first place award from the American Gas Association. Palmquist also received several Gold Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communications.
Palmquist returned to Omaha in 1986, forming Palmquist & Associates, a marketing communications firm. Dick was hired in 1989 by the Nebraska Broadcasters Association as Executive Director, a position he ably held until his passing in 2002. the NBA flourished under Dick's leadership as his gentle guiding hand, attention to detail, and ready smile made the NBA a nationally recognized entity.
He maintained a career-long tradition of involvement in professional and community organizations with memberships in the Rotary Club, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Omaha Press Club, The Ad Club, and the National Speakers Association.
Dick is survived by his wife Annable Current, of Omaha, and his two children, and leaves a legacy of service to Nebraska and to the broadcasting industry.
Hall of Fame 2003
Roger Dodson was born May 14, 1942, in Nehawka, Nebraska. He achieved the honor of Eagle Scout in 1956, and at the tender age of 15, got his first job working for KNCY in Nebraska City. After graduating from Nehawka High School, he then attended the Univeristy of Nebraska, graduating in 1964.
He worked as an announcer, salesman, and Vice President/General Manager of Stuart Broadcasting until January1981. Roger then became President of Long-Pride Broadcasting in Wichita, Kansas. While there, Roger was profiled in the "Radio: In Search of Excellence" publication sharing the secrets of America's top Radio Managers.
He later became the president of Radio One Broadcasting, a group of ten stations in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. He then joined the Radio Advertising Bureau as Senior Vice President for Training in 1995, where he appeared at RAB training seminars all over the country.
Of significance in Roger's radio career is the the June 3, 1980 tornado in Grand Island, Nebraska. Roger, as General Manager of Stuart Broadcasting, broadcast for four hours during which five tornados ravaged the community, and communicated to the city,the seriousness of the situation. As a result, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Nebraskaland Foundation issued Roger citations for his work in saving lives.
Roger was involved in many community activities, including service to both the Nebraska and Kansas Broadcasters as a board member. He was honored in 2001 as an Outstanding Alumni from the Conestoga Public School "Golden Cougar Hall of Fame," and is the 2003 University of Nebraska Outstanding Alumni for the College of Journalism.
Roger passed away on October 26, 2017.
Hall of Fame 2003
A native of Holmesville, Nebraska, Mel Mains was born 10 days before the stock market crash of 1929. He graduated from Wymore High School in 1947, then spent one year at Doane Colledge in Crete and then one year at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
At the age of 19, Mel began his broadcasting career in radio with KWBE in Beatrice, in June 1949. He also worked as the farm director and newscaster at KMA radio in Shenandoah, Iowa. After he was drafted in 1951, he worked for the army Hometown News Center in Kansas City, then for KIMO radio in Independence, Missouri and then KCTY-TV and WDAF AM/TV in Kansas City. He later served as the Executive Director of the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kansas, in 1959, as well as a public relations position in Kansas City from 1959 to 1961.
In November, 1961, Mel was hired at KOLN/KGIN TV in Lincoln. During the next 34 years, he anchored the evening news on Ten-Eleven for thousands of Nebraska viewers across the state. Mel Mains became an institution within the Nebraska media and a household name for Nebraskans. Mel appreciated the responsibility that came with delivering daily newscasts and being such a trusted member of the community.
After his retirement from KOLN/KGIN-TV in July, 1995, Mains remained active as a news broadcasters for KWBE radio in Beatrice, the same station he had worked for at the start of his career.
Mel Mains passed away on May 26, 2003, after a struggle with cancer. Mel said, "I'd like to be remembered as a true friend that you could trust.....that's the way I want to be remembered." And certainly, he is.
Hall of Fame 2004
Ron Hull reportedly "retired" in 2003, but don't believe it. He is presently Special Advisor to the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) and Professor Emeritus of Broadcasting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and is often on an international adventure or working on charitable projects. Prior to "retiring," Ron spent many years as Manager of KUON-TV and Associate General Manager of the Nebraska ETV Network. Nebraska's public boradcasting system is considered among the best in the industry due in part to the achieveements of Ron Hull.
A native of Rapid city, South Dakota, Ron received his B.A. degree at Dakota Wesleyan University in Michell, S.D., his master's degree from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., and his doctorate from UNL. He received an HOnorary Doctorate from Dakota Wesleyan in 1991, and the Notable Alumnus Award from UNL in 1997.
He began his career at NET as a producer/director shortly after KUON-TV signed on the air. Nationally, he served as Director of the Program Fund for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he initiated "The American Experience" series, and as a Special Advisor to Programming at the Public Broadcasting Service, where he also served two terms on the Board of Directors. He assisted the government of South Vietnam as Program Advisor for the development of television in Saigon. In Nebraska, he serves as chair of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission, immediate Past President of the Mari Sandoz Pioneer Memorial and former board member of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.
The many honors and awards he has received reflect the outstanding accomplishments of his career. Ron Hull's induction into the NBA Hall of Fame is a fitting cap to an impressive 49 years of service to broadcasting.
Ron makes his home in Lincoln.
Hall of Fame 2004
A fourth generation native of Omaha, Howard Kennedy graduated from Omaha Central High School, and was a 1962 graduate of the University of Iowa. Howard played first base for the Hawkeyes and was captain of the team as a senior. He had the opportunity to display his on-air talents with Special Forces in Alaska, broadcasting to the troops there.
Howard joined Lee Enterprises in 1965. He served as general manager of KIMT-TV, Mason City, Iowa, station manager of KOIN-TV, Portland, Oregon, and was General Manager of WSAZ-TV, Huntington-Charleston, West Virginia, before taking the reins at KMTV, Omaha in 1986. A 35-year broadcast veteran, he spent 20 years at KMTV in this capacity, then as interim General Manager at KRQE, Albuquerque until his retirement in 2000.
Howards personal commitment to serve is evident in his community activities. He has served on the boards of the Urban League, Opera/Omaha, the United Way, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Steering Committee for Omaha 2000, and the Wellness Council of the Midlands. He currently serves as a trustee at Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha, and is on the boards of the College World Series and the Lauritzen Botanical Gardens.
Kennedy is a Past President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association (1993) and is a past recipient of the Distinguished Broadcaster of the Year Award from the University of Nebraska-Linicoln Chapter, National Broadcasting Society, Alpha Epsilon Rho, and Advertising Man of the Year from the Omaha Federation of Advertising. He also served as Chairman of the CBS Affiliates Advisory Board.
Howard is married to Karen Jorgensen Kennedy and they have three children, sons Christopher and Howared V, and daughter Jennifer, eight grandchildren, and they still make their home in Omaha.
Hall of Fame 2005
Cathy Hughes is the founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African American owned and operated broadcast-company in the nation. Radio One is the first African American company in radio history to dominate several markets simultaneously and processes the first woman-owned radio station to rank #1 in any major market.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Catherine Elizabeth Woods attended Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 1969 she began working at KOWH, a black radio station in Omaha, working in various capacities.
Her success prompted the School of Communications at Howard University in Washington, DC, to offer her a job a lecturer. In 1973, she became general sales manager at WHUR-FM, Howard University Radio. Two years later she became the station's general manager, boosting sales revenue from $300,000 to $3.5 million.
In 1979, she and her husband, Dewey Hughes, purchased a small Washington radio station, WOL, creating Radio One. She eventually bought her husband's share in the station. Over time, she made the station profitable, and her own talk show became a hit. By purchasing stations in other cities, the company eventually became the nation's largest black-owned radio chain. Radio One is recognized for its community involvement, the trademark of Cathy Hughes. Her pioneering work had led Essence to name her one of "100 Who Have Changes the World" and on of the "100 Most Powerful and Influential Persons" by both Regardies and Washingtonian. Radio Ink continues to list her as one of the "20 Most Influential Woman in Radio" and Ebony cites her as one of the "10 Most Powerful Women in Black America." She was also a 2004 inductee into Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame 2005
Ulysses Carlini began his television career in the production department at WEHT-TV, Henderson, Kentucky, in 1953. His responsibilities included announcing, writing, sales and production. He even hosted his own kids program, "Peppo the Clown" in a "live" weekly hour children's program on Saturday morning.
In 1959 he moved to Evansville, Indiana at WTVW-TV as Program Director. He continued to entertain kids with the creation of the "Fire Chief Andy" another children's program.
In 1968 he moved to North Platte, Nebraska, assuming position of Vice President/General Manager of KNOP-TV. He took a fledging, struggling television station and propelled it into a prominent, respected and trusted source for entertainment, news and information. Only through his vision, hard work and dedication was this transformation made possible.
Mr. Carlini was instrumental in obtaining a license for a second station in North Platte, KIIT-TV, a low power VHF station, which signed on in August 1995. In 1997, North Platte Television Inc purchased KHAS-TV in Hastings, and made valuable contributions to the reorganization of what is now Greater Nebraska Television, Inc.
He served the NBA as board member in the 1970's and also has a long history of being involved as a community leader in North Platte.
"He was a broadcaster of high integrity, who was honest, respectful of others, and remained positive and optimistic regardless of the situation, and was a gentleman...a true broadcast pioneer."
Hall of Fame 2006
Eric began his broadcasting career in 1962 as a part-time rock-and-roll DJ at KRVN while a junior in Lexington High School. He worked summers as a DM and newsman until graduation from the School of Journalism from the University of Nebreaska in 1967. He earned a Masters in Journalism fro the University of Missouri in 1968 and then taught at South Dakota State University in Brookings. In 1975, he earned a PhD in broadcasting from Ohio University and returned to SDSU as Director of Educational Media and manager of KESD FM/TV.
In 1979, he moved to Lexington, and rejoined KRVN AM/FM as general manager when his fater, Max retired. Max had started the Nebraska Rural Radio Association in 1948, and KRVN signed on in 1951. KRVN is the flagship station for the only farmer-rancher owned radio group in America.
Eric served two terms on the board of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and was president in 1984. One of his accomplishments was helping start the Governor's call-in program with Bob Kerry. For seven years, Eric served as the national legislative liaison for the NBA.
In 1984, the Nebraska Rural Radio Association purchased KNEB AM/FM in Scottsbluff and in 1996 added KTIC AM/KWPN FM in West Point to form the Nebraska Rural Radio Network.
Eric has served on more than two dozen statewide boards including Agricultural Builders of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Foundation and the University President's AdvisoryCommittee. He is President of the Nebraska Foundation for Agricultural Awareness and Tri County Hospital, Lexington.
Eric retired in 2012 as General Manager of the Nebraska Rural Radio Association, but remains active with their Foundation. He and his wife Ruth reside in Lincoln.
Hall of Fame 2006
Don Gill started his broadcasting career with the Armed Forces Radio Network during th Korean War. He helped put KNCK, Concordia, KS on the air in 1954, and then joined the Bob Schmidt organization at KAYS in Hays, KS and as teh company expanded, went on to stations in Goodland, KFEQ in St. Joseph, MO, and at KCOW in Alliance, NE, where he was the station manager for five years. During this period he achieved many honors including Jaycee of the Year, Man of the Year, and Boss of the Year.
In 1972, he joined KLIN, Lincoln as Sports Director, where his Husker play-by-play announcing resulted in his being named the "Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year" five times. After rising to KLIN Station Manager, Gill accepted the position of Director of Development at Nebraska ETV in 1985, retiring in 1997.
For the past 15 years, he has hosted a weekly Big Band program on public radio which extends his career to 52 years in broadcasting.
During his 34 years in Lincoln, he has served as emcee at many charity events and banquests. Two of his longest running assgnments are the State Community Awards banquet for 25 years and teh Linicoln Continental annual Barbershop Show for the past 30 years. He currently volunteers with the Lincoln Area on Aging, is a tour guide for the Convention & Visitors Bureau and is President of the Lincoln Municpal band.
Radio and music are in his genes. His mother was a featured radio vocalist in the 1920's and he grew up listening to radio. Gill shared these memories at speaking engagements with his "Golden Days of Radio" talk complete with audio clips and historical material.
Don passed away on January 3, 2014.
Don was married to his wife, Donna for 59 1/2 years.
Hall of Fame 2007
Rolland (Rollie) Clair Johnson was Chairman and CEO of Three Eagles Communications, which he founded in 1995, and its various subsidiaries The company once owned approximately 60 radio stations in small-to-medium markets in the Midwest, as well as FarmNet, a nationally syndicated agricultural news service. Three Eagles was sold to Digity in 2015.
Before forming Three Eagles, he was the founder, president and CEO of Duchossois Communications and was founder, general manager, president and CEO of Indiana Communications Company, which, together with Duchossois, developed, owned and operated 15 radio and television stations from 1978-1994. Previoiusly, Rolland was a tenured professor and chairman of the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University.
Johnson graduated from O'Neill Public High School, in O'Neill, Nebraska in 1962. He earned a degree in broadcast journalism and an MBA in marketing and management from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in mass communications from Ohio University.
He grew up on a working ranch northeast of O'Neill and was relieved from the ranch when Larry Rice and Gil Poese offered him a part time announcing job at KBRX AM in 1961.
Nationally, Johnson is involved in community service as a board member of the South Dakota Art Museum, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau. He was selected into the Ohio Communication Hall of Fame in 2003. He serves his local community throuigh the Monument Hill Sertoma Club in Larkspur, Colorado.
Rolland and his wife Paula have been married since 1966. They have two married adult children and one granddaughter.
Hall of Fame 2007
John E. Fetzer was the head of Fetzer Broadcasting, headquartered in Michigan. He was born in 1901 in Decatur, Indiana and graduated from West Lafayette High School, where he lettered in three sports. He attended Purdue University and received his first class radio operator license in 1922. He designed and built his first radio station in Southwest Michigan, KFGZ. In 1926, he married Rhea Yeaker and graduated from the National Radio Institute.
In 1930 he purchased WEMC, change the name to WKZO, and the next year moved it to Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1938, WKZO won the landmark 590 case from the FCC, which granted nightime broadcasts with a directional antenna. This ruling allowed 3,000-5,000 additional radio stations to go on air. The same year Fetzer was elected to the NAB Board of Directors and he remained on the board through 1946.
Fetzer Broadcasting's WKZO TV went on the air in 1950. John became frist chair of the Television Code Review Board of the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters and served from 1952 to 1955. In 1953, Fetzer Broadcasting purchased KOLN TV in Lincoln and then donated the station to the Unviersity of Nebraska in 1954. The same year, the John E. Fetzer Foundation was established.
He became interested in sports franchsing and organized an 11-man syndicate to purchase the Detroit Baseball Company, becomeing one-third owner and Chairman of teh Board of Directors. He became sole owner of the Detroit Tigers in 1961.
Fetzer received the NAB Distinguished Service Award, the highest award of the Broadcasting industry in 1960. He died at the age of 89 in February, 1991. John Fetzer was a true broadcast pioneer in every sense of the word.
Hall of Fame 2008
Gil Poese is a native of Emma, Missouri, graduated high school at Waverly, Missouri and graduated Pathfinders School of Radio in Kansas City in 1948.
His first job in radio was at WLOI, La Porte, Indiana from 1949 to 1952. While there, he also served his country in Korea.
He continued to work in radio at various locations and then moved to O'Neill at KBRX in 1959, where he was offered the opportunity to purchase thestation. In 1961, papers were drawn up for Ranch Land Broadcasting, with Gil as Owner and President.
In 1974, KBRX FM officially went on the air and in 1981 was upgraded to 100,000 watts. KBRX is also noted for having one of the longest running programs in the state, called "Party Line."
During the Vietnam War, KBRX broadcast all military funerals. "We wanted to make people aware that we were in a war," said Gil.
The success of the stations is reflected in Gil's hard work. Still active at the station at 92, he can be heard daily reading the news along with other duties.
In 2005, Gil was named Nebraska's Outstand-ing Older Worker. He remains active in his community as a member of the American Legion and serves on their color guard/firing squad at veterans' funerals. He is a Friend of the Library, serving as their president for six years, has been an elder in the First Presbyterian church, is a member of the Greater Nebraska Workforce Board and served twenty years on the O'Neill School Board. He is a member of theO'Neill Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the NBA, Eagles and a member of the O'Neill Hall of Fame.
His family is the joy of his life. He and his wife have a blended family of eight children, twenty-one grandchildren and two great grandchildren, and they treasure their family times.
Hall of Fame 2008
Born and raised in Omaha, John Clark graduated from Technical High in 1966, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 1971. In the years that followed, John left his permanent mark on Omaha television.
John began working part-time at KMTV while still in school, serving as a reporter and photographer. He became a full-time employee after graduation and remained at Channel 3 until 1980, when he left KMTV to work at WOWT.
He worked through the newsroom ranks at Channel 6, as a reporter, assignment editor, assistant news director, and in 1991 was named news director at WOWT. During a time of change in the broadcast industry, he was responsible for the new direction and philosophy in the news operation at the station.
He produced numerous, award-winning documentaries and coordinated coverage on a variety of major events including Nebraska football and electioncoverage.
John won several major awards including the RTNDA for Investigative Reporting, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Sports Reporting, as well as the UNO Department of Communications 1993 Alumni Achievement Award. Recently he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AssociatedPress, where his wife Joyce accepted the award on his behalf.
Clark was also active in Media of Nebraska, and served as co-chairman of the NBA's Freedom of Information Committee for several years.
While always a professional broadcaster, John Clark was also a family man. He was husband to Joyce, father to Justin and Jeff, and proud grandfater to five energetic grandsons.
Hall of Fame 2009
Lee Thomas spent hisyouth in Denver, Colorado, where he worked in radio during his teenage years. When Lee arrived in Lincoln to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University he obtained a job as the evening disc jockey at KLMS-AM in early 1959.
After a brief return to Denver, Lee came back to KLMS in the early 1960's and stayed with the station until 1986. During that time he served as music director, program director, operations manager, and general manager, and assumed operation responsibilities for KFMQ-FM when the station was acquired by the owners of KLMS in 1979.
Always a stickler for details, Lee made yearly trips to Beltsville, MD to examine the diaries that had resulted in Arbitron's measurement of radio listening in the Lincoln market. Lee was among the first programmers in the country to use call outs to gather listener impressions of the stations' programming and for music research. He conducted regular air check sessions with his air staff, giving Lee and the air personality a chance to make an A-B comparison of what washappening on each station at the same time. No one escaped his air check sessions, not even the lowliest part timer.
Lee's on-air movie reviews became a very popular feature on KLMS. Local theatre operators would frequently quote Lee in their ads, at least for movies he liked.
In spite of high-powered out-of-town competition and going up against other local stations, KLMS consistently dominated the young adult radio ratings in Lincoln.
Lee also knew the value of news and information. The KLMS 6-person news department was repeatedly designated Nebraska Associated Press Station of the Year for innovative reporting and technology, and the station's commitment to weather included the installation of color radar and regular drive time reports from a certified meteorologist.
Upon his departure from KLMS/KFMQ, Lee and 3 partners purchased a failing 3,000 watt Lincoln FM station, changing the call letters to KLDZ, and moved the frequency and increased the power to 50,000 watts. After they sold the station it was time for the next phase of Lee's career; education.
Lee, who already had a Masters degree, returned to graduate school and earned his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For over 20 years, Dr. Thomas taught communications at Doane College (University) in Crete. The student radio station KDNE received much recognition under Lee's guidance and his students not only consideedr him the toughest teacher on campus but credited him for his insistence that they think and make their own decisions, whether concerning the station or about their educational goals and future career plans.
Some of his other passions include astronomy, audio and video technology, photography, and motion pictures, including non-mainstream films which he exhibits at "The Thomas Grande", his home theatre room.
For Lee 2009 marked 50 years of involvement in Nebraska, having also served on the NBA Board of Directors, NBA committees and as the Nebraska representative for the National Radio Broadcasters Association.
Hall of Fame 2009
Dave Hamer started his broadcast career at KVTV, Sioux City, in 1956, following a Business Administration course at Wayne State College, and nine years at the Wayne Photo Company. At Channel Nine he got his first experiences as a day-in and day-out street reporter-photographer. Moving to Omaha he was Chief Photographer at KETV when it signed on the air in September 1957. There he polished his skills as a reporter-photographer covering the Starkweather murder rampage as well as lesser stories at City Hall and the Courthouse.
Then it was on to KMTV, Channel three where he spent the next 23 years...18 of them as Assistant News Director under Mark Gautier. For nine years he also wrote and produced the six and ten PM newscasts at Channel three, first for Floyd Kalber and then for Tom Henry.
Dave was the first television reporter-photographer from a local affiliate to cover the Vietnam War in the 1960's. He flew on helicopter assault missions and filmed ground activity from the Communist North Vietnam border to the Mekong Delta, and along the South China Sea. His four part Documentary series "Our Men In Vietnam" was cited for Special Commendation by the Radio-Television Council, Omaha Area.
At WOWT the late Steve Murphy hired Dave in 1981 where he produced twenty-four documentary and news special projects before retiring in 1991. He considers his best works to be "Crazy Horse, the Last Warrior" the story of the great Sioux war leader who defeated Custer at the Little Big Horn..."A Beach Called Omaha" a remembrance by Roger Mc Carthy of D-Day in World War Two...and "Arivate America" tracing the life of a little Italian girl, Rose Breci who emigrated to America in 1909 and lived a full and productive life in Omaha.
In all, Dave covered stories in 40 of our 50 United States and in ten foreign countries, in some instances doing the research, interviews, writing, photography, editing, and music scoring. And, in the Crazy Horse Documentary he even had a brief moment on camera.
His last major assignment was in Saudi Arabia in 1991 covering the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein was driven out of Kuwait.
He served as President of the Omaha Press Club in 1968...President of the National Press Photographers Association in 1971...lectured at the annual Newsvideo Workshop at the University of Oklahoma for thirty-two years...instructed correspondent-photographers for the Department of Defense in Hawaii and The Philippines in 1973. From 1987 to 1997 he was an Adjunct Communications Professor at the University of Nebraska- Omaha where he taught night classes.
He was honored with the Creighton University Professional Journalism award in 1972...University of Nebraska-Omaha Communication Award in 1986 and cited by the University of Nebraska for Contributions to Nebraska Journalism in 1991. In addition he is a Life Member of the National Press Photographers Association and holds photojournalism's highest award...the Sprague Memorial.
A native Nebraskan, Dave has only strayed twice...to Iowa to begin his TV career...and to Chicago for a short hitch in public relations...each time returning to solidify his Nebraska roots.
He and Verla have been married for 57 years and are parents of two sons, Dennis a professional musician who died in 2002, and Roger a 35 year veteran of television news and currently a producer at WOWT in Omaha. They have two grandchildren...Constance, an Art Major at UNO and Michael, a Boy Scout and budding athlete in Elkhorn.
Dave credits broadcast journalism giants Floyd Kalber, Mark Gautier, Steve Murphy as among those who gave him their trust and confidence, not to mention some great assignments.
Hall of Fame 2010
Mike Garwood overcame a physical disability which left him a quadriplegic, to achieve a stellar career as as a broadcaster. On vacation after an Army tour of duty in Vietnam, he had a diving accident which left him with only limited use of his arms. For many, that might have become a license to put one’s life on cruise control, but not Mike.
After rehab in the mid 1970’s, Mike went to broadcasting school, then returned home to Alliance and got a job as afternoon DJ with KCOW radio. For the next 32 years, he became a Sportscaster, then Promtoions Director, Operations Manager and then 18 of those years as General Manager.
Mike was honored with a Crystal Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Associated Press in 2006. If he had done that alone, and been satisfied, no one would have blamed him, Just supporting himself given his physical condition, would have been considered heroic, but Mike considered it only a beginning.
He was also very involved in the Alliance community, besides broadcasting. He served 8years on the Alliance City Council, and four years as Mayor. He serve on the Alliance chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for six years, was Chamber President in 1991, and the Chamber’s Business Person of the Year in 1997. Governor Bob Kerry named him to the State Environmental Control Council.
Garwood also served on the Panhandle Route commission and was also named Handicapped Nebraskan of the year, an award given for having a successful career that overcomes a handicap.
During his career as a General Manager, his company added two more FM stations in the market. The company was named Alliance Business of the year in 2004 and Hemingford’s Business of the Century in 2000. And, according to his company, Eagle Communications, he made the numbers happen.\
He also had a passion: Alliance High School Sports. In 1998 he was honored as an Alliance High Honorary “A” Club Member. In December, 2009 a plaque was dedicated to honor recipients of the annual Mike Garwood Memorial award given to Alliance High School Athletes who display courage and perseverance. He established an annual golf tournament to raise money for Bulldog Athletics.
Mark Garwood had a 32 year career that would have been admirable for a person with no handicaps. For someone with Mike’s handicaps, it was miraculous. Mike passed away in December, 2007, but will be remembered as a valuable contributor to the Alliance Community and a great broadcaster.
Hall of Fame 2010
Leta Powell Drake
Leta Powell Drake began her 46 year broadcasting career at KDAL-TV (now KDLH TV) in Duluth, Minnesota. In 1956, the VFW sponsored the “Voice of Democracy” essay contest for high school students. Leta’s voice was recorded for the first time and she won the city championship. The TV station offered her a part time job as she attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She learned quickly and began as talent on commercials and was the “Bingo Girl” on a live Bingo program.
Dr. William Morgan, who had been her UMD Theatre mentor, then teaching at UNL, moved to a faculty position at the University of Nebraska and offered Leta a graduate assistantship. She came to Nebraska in 1960 and auditioned at KOLN-TV, becoming the TV spokesperson for Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph--the first of many commercial sponsorships to follow.
While studying for a Master’s degree and post graduate work at UNL, Leta worked at KLIN Radio, Advertising Agencies and as Radio and TV Director of Gold’s. KOLN/KGIN-TV offered Leta a position in 1967. She stayed for 28 years, hosting and producing over 10,000 TV shows: the 10/11 Morning Show and Cartoon Corral with Kalamity Kate. She was promoted to Program Director in 1982. Drake received many broadcasting and civic honors including The Abe Lincoln Award from the Southern Baptist Radio and TV Commission for “exceptional achievement as broadcaster and citizen.” Bob Hope presented the award.
She developed a profound interest in Public Television, volunteering as emcee for auctions and pledge drives for 30 years. She joined the staff of NETV in 1989, programming the Nebraska Public TV Network for the next 13 years, crediting Ron Hull as mentor and friend.
Leta continues to serve the community today as Director of Communications with The Salvation Army in Lincoln.
Leta loved the early days of television. Most memorable of those days were the children on Cartoon Corral. The show ended three decades ago, yet hardly a week goes by today when a now-middle aged adult recognizes her with “Kalamity Kate! I was on your show!” launching into a remarkably detailed memory of their first experience on live TV.
Drake’s passion for live performance continues, acting in over 100 plays and two movies. She opines that live TV and Theatre have much in common. “Know your material, learn your lines, arrive on time and be prepared to cover when things fall apart, which inevitably, they will.” She was a part of the analog generation –the “Golden Age of TV”-- an exciting and creative period, but looks forward to the amazing innovations that the digital revolution brings.
Hall of Fame 2011
Spanning a radio career of almost 40 years, Cathy Blythe was originally hired by Roger Larson as KFOR receptionist in 1972. She later became Stuart Broadcasting's Music Director before leaving in 1981. The next year, Dick Chapin convinced Cathy she should co-host the morning show, where she spent 19 years as a team with Scott Young.
Following that, she spent 10 years co-hosting with Ward Jacobson, Dale Johnson and Mark Taylor and more than 30 years on the KFOR Morning Show.
She has hosted her own talk show, "Problems & Solutions" since 1992 and has written five Problems & Solutions hint books and 27 cookbooks using submissions from her listeners. Her show was syndicated in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota on other Three Eagles sister stations.
Cathy has had the great honor of receiving the coveted Marconi Award...considered to be the highest award in broadcasting from the National Association of Broadcasters in 2002. She and her co-host Ward Jacobson both received Marconis in 2005 and she was in the Top 5 Marconi finalists for Small Market Personality of the Year in 2010. Her Problems & Solutions show has received top awards from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press.
She has given her time to many non-profits in the role of promotion, fundraising, emceeing and piano playing. She is an avid reader and loves making music.
Cathy has been married to husband Wayne for over 30 years they have a daughter, Molly. Of all the success she has enjoyed, her proudest role has been being Wayne's wife and Molly's mom.
Hall of Fame 2011
A Nebraska radio legend, Gary Sadlemyer has spent the past 34 years at KFAB. He hosted the first live talk show in the long history of the station, and his work on Nebraska football broadcasts on the Nebraska Sports Network from 1980-1995 made his name and voice familiar to Husker fans across the country. He is ringmaster of KFAB's popular Good Morning Show and also serves as Program Director for the 50,000 watt heritage radio station.
A native of Eagle Bend, MN, Gary's imagination was captured by radio at an early age, listening to local small-town stations and the more distant Twin Cities signals. His on-air style was heavily influenced by the legendary personalities of WCCO in Minneapolis.
After an academic and football adventure at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, he attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis and landed his first radio job at KRGI in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1973. Gary did mornings there for three years before geting the call from Lyell Brmse and Ken Headrick at KFAB.
Reflecting on his long tenure at the station, with all the ownership changes and General Managers, Gary says that "time sure flies when you're havin' fun. I've seen so many changes in our industry during these many years and I"m proud to see the KFAB continues to be a market leader in Omaha."
He has been immortalized by the Omaha Press Club with their "Face On the Barroom Floor" honor, holds forth as the MC of the OPC's annual Press Club Show and serves on the selection committee of the Omaha Salvation Army's D.J, Heroes Awards Program.
Gary is married to the former Rose Ann Graham and is the father of four and grandfather of one.
Hall of Fame 2012
Mark Ahmann was born on February 12, 1933 in Remsen, Iowa (near LeMars) and is a 1950 graduate of Remsen St. Mary's High School. He passed away on April 14, 2016.
His baseball talents landed him a spot with the New York Yankees farm club in McAlester, Oklahoma in 1953, but he returned home after just two months following an injury.
After two years of service in the U.S. Army, he graduated from the American Institute of the Air in Minneapolis (later known as Brown Institute) and took his first radio job in Pontiac, Michigan. He then took a News/Sports postion at KCIM in Carroll, Iowa.
Ahmann moved to television in 1959 as Sports Director for KTIV in Sioux City. In 1963, he moved back to Michigan as Sports Director for WJIM Radio and TV in Lansing. He called the 1966 "Game of the Century" between Michigan State and Notre Dame. Following a one year stint as General Manager of WVIC Radio in East Lansing, Ahmann was back in Sioux City at KMEG-TV.
Mark was the primary face and voice of Nebraska high school sports while hosting KOLN/KGIN's Friday Night Sports Roundup from 1972-1980. In the early 80s he managed KAMI Radio in Cozad. In 1986, following a stint as Sports Dierctor at Channel 9 in Sioux City, he was hired as General Manager of KTCH in Wayne, Nebraska, where he served until 1997.
Throughout his radio/tv career, high school sports always got first-class treatment. In 2007, Ahmann was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. He continued his weekday show, "The View from Wayne American" on KTCH and also filled in on play-by-play when he could.
Ahmann emceed many events in Wayne and throughout the state and was active in the Knights of Columbus.
Mark passed away on April 14, 2016.
Hall of Fame 2012
Peter Mayeux taught broadcasting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for 36 years before retiring in 2005....producing hundreds of graduates who have gone on to work in Nebraska broadcasting. He also wrote the influential textbook, Writing for the Broadcast Media, published in 1985 and adopted by universities in more than 100 countries. He published two other textbooks focused on mass media writing. He also published short biographies, wrote for trade publications and contributed many reviews of media books. Mayeux also produced a CD on Nebraska media history.
He has been awarded several professional awards from varioius broadcast organizations, including the 2005 Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education and the Society of Professional Journalists for radio documentaries he produced with his students.
Mayeux also held positions as Operations Manager, Program Director and News director for KRNU FM in Lincoln and served as a producer-director for KUON TV/NET, Lincoln. Additionally he worked at commercial and non-commercial radio and television stations in Nebraska and Louisiana.
Mayeux graduated from what is now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and holds a Masters degree from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in broadcasting. He also served on Nebraska Broadcasters Association committees for more than 25 years.
Many Nebraska broadcasters learned from Professor Mayeux, and some owe their careers to him. He continues to be greatly admired in both the academic and broadcasting communities.
Since his retirement, Mayeux has served as a board member of KVSS/Spirit Catholic Radio, a statewide network.
Hall of Fame 2013
Ken Fearnow began his radio career as a disc jockey and television weathercaster on Midway Island, while in the Navy. After working through the ranks of programming, sales and management at a small station in Oklahoma City, he managed his first radio station in Tulsa before joining Great Empire Broadcasting in 1979.
Fearnow was VP/GM of WOW AM/FM in Omaha from 1983-1999, where he also served on the NBA board of directors and was its Chairman in 1988. He later served as the Legislative Liaison Committee Chair for the association.
After WOW was sold, Ken held a similar position at Journal operations in Wichita, where KFDI FM was named Kansas “Station of the Year” in 1999 and 2000. He returned to Omaha in 2002 as President of Waitt Radio Networks and grew format affiliations from 48 to 155 stations in only two years. In 2004 he was named Regional Vice-President of Waitt/NRG radio in Omaha, where he guided the eight-station cluster to a ten-fold bottom line increase.
In 2007, he moved to Cumulus Media’s five radio station cluster in Lexington, Kentucky as VP/GM and directed its turn around. In 2008, he transferred to Cumulus’ Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Arkansas radio operations which included 11 stations.
After a brief hiatus from radio, Ken became Senior VP/Operations for the Payne Radio Group in eastern Oklahoma and from 2011-2012, he was General Manager of Stillwater Broadcasting, LLC, overseeing four radio stations serving the Stillwater, Oklahoma area.
He recently retired from the radio industry and is now President of BrightStar Care of Edmond, Oklahoma, which provides the full continuum of homecare.
Hall of Fame 2013
Lloyd Thomas began his broadcasting career in High school at WOPI radio in Bristol, Virginia. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he moved to Hastings, Nebraska as a news announcer for KHAS Radio in 1946. He became Program Director in 1950 and Assistant Manager in 1955. He left broadcasting for about ten years but returned in 1966 helping to establish KICS radio in Hastings. Lloyd served as Program Director there before moving to KHAS-TV in 1968, where he was hired as a newscaster and weather reporter.
In 23 years at KHAS-TV, Thomas was promoted several times, anchoring morning, midday and evening newscasts and held the position of Farm Director for many years. He retired from KHAS-TV in early 1992.
After retirement, he hosted programs on the station for years. He also hosted a weekly program called “The Big Band Show” on KHAS radio aired on Sunday evenings for more than 30 years before taking a full retirement in 2002.
He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Associated Press in 2008, one of many noteworthy awards for his outstanding work in broadcasting and in the Hastings community. He served as a Hastings City Council member as well as several boards and organizations like the Nebraska Council of Churches, YMCA, Hastings Civic Symphony, American Red Cross donor (22+ gallons!) to name a few.
Lloyd Thomas died at the age of 84 in 2009. His grandson Cody said that he exemplified the best qualities a broadcaster can possess. He was honest, dedicated and worked with integrity. He was the exact same person off-camera as he was on-camera.
Hall of Fame 2014
Rod Bates spent almost 40 years as a broadcaster in Nebraska. He joined NET as a producer/director in 1975 after moving his family from California to Nebraska.
He left NET for a few years when he served as Nebraska’s Director of Economic Development under Governor Bob Kerry (1983-1987). He then owned Bates Video from 1988-1996, and became General Manager of NET from 1996 until his retirement in 2013. During this time, he positioned NET in the top tier of Public Radio and Public Television in the country. He secured funding for the digital conversion for the 9 NET radio and television transmitters, and during his tenure, program production reached new heights.
Governor Heineman designated June 20, 2013 as "Rod Bates Day", honoring Rod as he brought NET to "new heights of providing quality television and radio programming to every citizen of Nebraska." He served on the PBS Board of Directors, Chairman of the American Public Television Stations Association, the executive committee of the National Educational Television Association and Chair of American Public Television.
Bates did not confine his service to the state to broadcast issues alone. He has served as President of the Lincoln Downtown Rotary and as District Governor for Rotary. Rod and his wife, Robin, have been promoters of the performing arts and have been involved in supporting the Lincoln Public Schools.
Hall of Fame 2014
Lynne Grasz Hall
Lynne Grasz all has a series of "firsts" during her long-running career in broadcasting, beginning as one of only five students in the first UNL Broadcast Journalism class in the early 1960’s.
She was News Director at KNUS Radio from 1963-1966, and was the first intern at KOLN/KGIN, Lincoln in 1964. She was named Promotion Director at the station in 1966 and held that position for six years. Lynne was promoted to Promotion & Public Relations Director in 1972 until 1977. She then became the Director of Creative Services at KMOX-TV, St. Louis, where her work there was recognized by the executives of the CBS Television Network and was named CBS Broadcast Group, Director, Communications/Company Spokesperson & Executive Producer in New York City.
Following her CBS Television career, Lynne went on to lead the Television Information Office (TIO), PROMAX International and the Broadcast Designers Association (BDA). She also is Past President of the New York City Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT), and continues as President/CEO of Grasz Communications in New York City.
Lynne maintains her strong ties to Nebraska, as she frequently returns to UNL for activities of the Cather Circle mentoring program of the Alumni Association and for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s involved in a myriad of projects in Nebraska and generously shares her experience and expertise with her fellow Nebraskans.
Hall of Fame 2015
Marty's impact on broadcasting in Nebraska spanned 29 years that began in 1986 at Mitchell Broadcasting in Omaha. As General Sales Manager for KQKQ, KLNG and KKAR, Marty molded a sales team that drove significant growth through the training and leadership he provided.
In 1990, Marty became Executive Vice President & General Manager for Mitchell's Omaha radio stations where his leadership helped drive Mitchell's growth to unprecedented levels.
In 1992, Marty became Mitchell's first “group head,” overseeing all 15 of Mitchell's radio stations across Nebraska.
In 2002, Marty became President/Executive Director of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association.
His most significant accomplishment was placing the NBA on solid financial ground, allowing him to greatly increase member benefits. He was the driving force in offering more scholarships to broadcasting and journalism majors, to build a stronger pipeline of future broadcasters. After 44 years in broadcasting, Marty retired at the end of 2014 and currently consults on the NBA History Project. He is also Senior Vice-Commander of VFW Post #1581 in Omaha and serves as the State Public Information Director for the Nebraska VFW.
Marty began his radio career in sales in 1971 at WSON/WKDQ, Henderson, Kentucky and became station manager before buying WQRL in Benton, Illinois in 1985. A native of Paxton, IL, Marty is a 1971 Radio & TV graduate of Southern Illinois University.
Hall of Fame 2015
Chuck enjoyed a 52-year career on Lincoln radio and TV. The fact that he started his own radio station in his back yard at age 16 in Sterling, Colorado gave a hint of things to come.
After working in radio in Colorado and TV and radio in South Dakota, Chuck joined KOLN TV in 1960 as a staff announcer. He joined KLIN radio in 1966 while doing KOLN weekend sports until 1982. He left KLIN in 1972 and spent 10 years at KLMS in sales, where he started doing sports.
In 1982, Chuck joined KFOR as Sports Director where he would go on to air more than 2,000 play-by-play broadcasts of area high school football and basketball games. That doesn't count his similar work for Nebraska Wesleyan University. In addition to his “iron man” play by play schedule, Chuck's leadership of the KFOR Sportscasters Club led to record growth where at times he secured over 60% of their sponsorships. Chuck was also a leading force in KFOR's commitment to provide ambulance service to all of the area high school football and soccer games.
Chuck is a three-time winner of the Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year award. In 2012, he received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association and was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Chuck retired from broadcasting in 2012.
Hall of Fame 2016
Rose Ann Shannon
Shannon is the news director at KETV in Omaha, a position she has held since 1993. Shannon graduated from the University of Nebraska – Omaha and embarked on what is currently a 43-year broadcasting career in Nebraska. She began as an intern at KMTV in 1973 and held multiple positions over 12 years there before joining KETV in 1986 as assignment manager. She became assistant news director in 1991 before taking over her current role. Under Shannon’s direction, the KETV news team has earned dozens of awards and she is known as one of the greatest mentors to news professionals in Nebraska. Shannon has also been a strong proponent of the First Amendment and of Freedom of Information initiatives across the state.
Hall of Fame 2016
Thorell enjoyed a 47-year Nebraska broadcasting career, with more than 40 of those years on the air as the midday personality at KRVN in Lexington. He got his start on the air at KUVR in Holdrege in 1969 before moving behind the microphone at KRVN in 1974, where was a friend and trusted source of news and information for ranchers and farmers across Nebraska and beyond. Outside of his work on KRVN, Dave is known as an outstanding community leader. He has made hundreds of speeches in rural communities and has been recognized as an advocate for agriculture, adoption, cancer research and many other worthy causes. He also enjoyed mentoring the new generation of KRVN announcers. Dave retired from KRVN and broadcasting in September of 2016.
Hall of Fame 2016
Dishong has been working at KDUH TV in Scottsbluff for 50 years. After attending Chadron State College, Dishong’s career at KDUH began as a part-time broadcaster in 1966. Over his lengthy career at KDUH, Jerry has held nearly every position at the station including switcher, reporter, anchor, news director, program manager and station manager. Jerry still commands the anchor chair during noon newscasts and is known as the face, if not the voice, of the Nebraska Panhandle. Jerry’s work at KDUH has been recognized numerous times by organizations including The United Way, Disabled American Veterans, the U. S. Air Force, Scotts Bluff County Crime Stoppers, and the NBA.
Hall of Fame 2017
Craig Eckert was born and raised in St Paul, Minnesota. He became editor of his high school newspaper and enrolled at the University of Minnesota with plans to work for the Minnesota Daily newspaper. Those plans changed during a visit to the student radio station, WMMR. Craig started working at the station and left the University to attend Brown Institute of Minneapolis where he graduated in 1971. Craig’s first job took him to KICS in Hastings, NE. Craig accepted steady promotions resulting in moves to stations in Kansas, Wisconsin and North Dakota before moving back to Nebraska in 1991 to become General Manager of KKPR AM/FM in Kearney. Craig and other investors bought the stations in 1994. As owner and General Manager, Craig grew the company, buying the first radio station he ever worked at - KICS - along with KHAS AM and KLIQ FM in Hastings. Beyond his tireless passion for coaching talent and grooming future broadcasters, Craig has been an active leader in state and federal legislative matters. Although the ultimate resolution is pending, his testimony in a federal hearing in Philadelphia helped the Radio Music License Committee and SESAC reach agreement as to the terms of a settlement concerning antitrust litigation initiated by the RMLC against SESAC. His regular contact with state and federal legislators has helped shape policy and kept local broadcasting in a place of prominence. A two-time Chairman of the NBA Board, Craig and his wife Carol reside in Kearney, NE.
Hall of Fame 2017
Don Wright was born in Meadow Grove, Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 and earned his BA from Denver University in 1949 with a degree in Photography, Political Science and Journalism. After returning to Nebraska as a reporter for the Lincoln Star from 1950 to 1953, Don joined KOLN TV when the station signed on in February of 1953 where he worked for 34 years. Hired as a reporter/photographer, Don used his large format camera to shoot black and white stills that aired on KOLN newscasts. Don shot the first pictures of the infamous 1957-1958 murder spree of Charles Starkweather, with his photos used by KOLN and soon by AP and UPI wire services and several magazines. As KOLN moved to 16mm film to document news, Don learned how to shoot stories and operate the film processing equipment. Don was named Assistant News Director in 1961 and at Don’s behest, KOLN purchased more cameras and hired more photojournalists and reporters to deliver the news with continued leaps in technology. In 1981 Don was promoted to News Director and he continued training his rapidly growing staff. Under Don’s leadership and vision, miles and miles of black and white footage burst into color, and then into video, as he moved KOLN from the darkroom to the video era. Don retired in 1986 and resides in Lincoln with his wife Mary Lou.
Hall of Fame 2018
Mike Gann is the Assistant Chief Engineer at Omaha’s KMTV. After earning his Engineering degree from the University of Nebraska in 1974, Mike worked at KFAB for over four years before joining KMTV as a staff engineer in 1978. He has guided KMTV through a number of technological advancements to continually meet new industry standards and as a recognized expert in his field, Gann has been called upon countless times by colleagues, former coworkers and even competitors over the years due to his in-depth knowledge of RF engineering. Beyond his daily involvement with KMTV’s towers, control rooms, cameras, live trucks and video streams, Gann is highly respected as a mentor to engineers throughout the region. Engineers are the unsung heroes of the broadcasting business, and Gann personifies the best of his profession.
Hall of Fame 2018
Dave Dent Otradovsky
Dave Dent Otradovsky is the owner and General Manager of KVSH-AM in Valentine – the only station he has worked for in his 49-year radio career. Dave began his career at KVSH in 1969 as a fulltime DJ, spinning LP’s, 45’s and reel to reels. A short time later Dave moved into sales before becoming the station’s Program Director and in 1990, he formed Heart City Radio and purchased KVSH. He continues to operate KVSH with live, local DJ’s seven days a week providing live news, weather, area high school sports and emergency bulletins. His live and local operation supplies steady employment while launching the radio careers of dozens of people. Countless community organizations have benefitted from Dave’s generosity through fundraisers, drives, radiothons and the volunteering of his own time.
Hall of Fame 2018
Roger Moody is the General Manager of KLKN TV in Lincoln and a Vice President for Citadel Communications. A graduate of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska, Roger’s 45-year Nebraska broadcasting career has encompassed radio and television, in news, sales and sales management. Moody worked at WOW radio in Omaha, then KPTM TV and later WOWT TV in Omaha before joining KLKN as General Sales Manager in 1997. He has led startup stations to growth in ratings and revenue while training and mentoring dozens of broadcasters in every station department. Several of his current employees have worked with him for many years and along with those that have moved on to other stations, a common thread is the respect he has earned for being a highly capable and compassionate leader.