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Obits

KXTV Ad Exec Dies from H1N1 Influenza


Nancy Pinnella, a national sales account manager for Sacramento, CA, ABC affiliate KXTV has died after contracting the H1N1 flu virus.

The Sacramento Bee writes, “On Jan. 21, she felt sick, leaving work early. On Jan. 22, she went to a doctor, hardly able to speak or breathe. By 6 p.m. that day, she was in intensive care at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento.”

KXTV said she died Saturday after being taken off life support. She was 47. Read more

Longtime Boston Anchor Chet Curtis Dies

chet curtis wcvb

Legendary Boston anchor Chet Curtis died Wednesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 74.

Curtis spent the majority of his career at ABC affiliate WCVB, anchoring the evening newscast alongside his then-wife, Natalie Jacobson (pictured, right). He worked at the station from the time they launched until 1972 until he and Jacobson divorced in 1999. When their first daughter was born, the pair, known as “Chet and Nat,” received 5,000 cards from viewers and the birth was the lead story on the 6 p.m. newscast, according to WCVB.

“Chet Curtis was much more than an extraordinary journalist.  He was a generous mentor and sincere friend to so many here at WCVB,” WCVB general manager Bill Fine said in a statement.

In 2001, Curtis joined New England Cable News, where he anchored “The Chet Curtis Report” and anchored political programming. Read more

Former KHOU News Director Dick John Dies

john_khou_croppedDick John, news director and anchor for Houston CBS affiliate KHOU from 1968 to 1975, has died.

According to the Houston Chronicle, John died in his sleep Tuesday. He was 84.

He was known for hiring future network news stars like Jessica Savitch and Linda Ellerbee among others.

John was a member of a group of station alumni. His son wrote on the group’s facebook page, “He loved you all and now is with the love of his life Ramona, his dogs, and those that have gone before. I can also say that as a father he was the best.”

Founder of WWLP Kitty Broman Putnam Dies

Kathryn “Kitty” Broman Putnam, the founder of WWLP in Springfield, Mass., died Sunday. She was 97 years old.

Broman, who founded the NBC affiliate in 1953, was the first woman to sit on the board of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters. Watch the station’s tribute to her above.

Calkins Media Co-Owner Dies

calkins_smith_obitCarolyn Calkins Smith died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Calkins Smith was the co-owner of Calkins Media, owner of three local TV stations in the South as well as several newspapers.

“The story of Calkins Media – our private ownership, our continued dedication to a community service and committed family stewardship was made possible because of Carolyn’s life and the example she set,” said Calkins CEO Mark G. Contreras.

Smith is credited with the expansion of WWSB in Sarasota, FL.

“She was the president and hands-on manager of the station,” said Ed Birch, a former Calkins executive. “She went down there and represented the family in the early days. Her news days at the Courier Times gave her a leg up. The quality greatly improved from her being there so much.” Birch added, “The company is going to miss Carolyn.”

Carolyn Calkins Smith was the daughter of Stanley Willis Calkins, Sr. the founder of Calkins Media the family owned station group owns WAAY in Huntsville, AL, WTXL in Tallahassee, FL, and WWSB.

Smith was 74.

Longtime San Diego Journalist Loren Nancarrow Dies

nancarrow_croppedLoren Nancarrow, former anchor for San Diego FOX affiliate KSWB, died Saturday night after a battle with brain cancer.

Nancarrow’s family posted the news to his facebook page, “Just after 6:30 this evening, our husband, father, friend and hero, Loren Nancarrow, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family.”

Nancarrow had been diagnosed with brain cancer in February.

On Nancarrow’s blog, his daughter Hannah wrote about her father, “Loren Alan Nancarrow, longtime San Diego TV icon, organic gardener and conservationist, passed away Saturday, December 28, 2013 at the age of 60, following a courageous 11 month battle with brain cancer. Loren is survived by his wife, Susie, their son (Graham, 25) and their two daughters (Hannah, 24 and Britta, 20) and the love of an entire city. To his family, his friends and to the San Diegans that love him, he was larger than life.”

You can read his daughter’s reflections about her father on his blog by clicking here.

Former WWBT News Director Dies

douglas hillDouglas L. Hill, a former news and public affairs director for Richmond NBC affiliate WWBT, died Sunday at his home in Midlothian, Va. He was 91.

During his tenure as news director of the station (which was then WRVA), Hill hosted “The Doug Hill Show” and the station’s “Tell Doug” segments about viewer concerns. Hill started his career in print journalism before moving into radio and television, according to WWBT. He interviewed seven Presidents along the way.

WKBN-WYTV News Director Dies at 55

gary coursenGary Coursen, the news director at WKBN-WYTV in Youngstown, has died of cancer. He was 55.

The station reported that Coursen, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, fell into a coma over the weekend after having surgery Thursday. His cancer originated in his nasal area and had moved into his brain, according to WKBN.

He had been WKBN’s news director since 2003. “Coursen was a quiet leader. He was not a micro-manager, though everyone in the news department knew he was in charge,” WKBN said in a tribute on its website. “…He will be profoundly missed here at the WKBN/WYTV studios.”

Comcast SportsNet Chicago President Jim Corno Dies

jim cornoLongtime Chicago broadcast executive Jim Corno, the president of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, died Tuesday from cancer. He was 66.

“Probably the greatest thing we admired most about Jim was that he truly cared about our personal lives. He was everyone’s second dad. He never forgot a birthday, a wedding, a birth, a passing of a loved one…he was always in the know,” CSN Chicago senior director of communications Jeff Nuich wrote in an online tribute to Corno. “Not because he felt like that’s what the head of a station should do, but he just felt like that’s how you should be as a person…to always care…to always love.”

Since moving to Chicago in 1984, Corno led SportsVision, SportsChannel and Fox Sports Net Chicago before launching Comcast SportsNet Chicago in 2004. After his first television job in the mailroom at KLPR in St. Louis, Corno went on to work as operations manager at WTOP in Washington, D.C. and program manager at WDIV in Detroit. [h/t Robert Feder]

KJRH Photographer Killed in Car Accident

Cameron Hood, a photographer and editor for Tulsa NBC affiliate KJRH, was killed in a car accident Thursday afternoon.

Cameron was a great young man who had a passion for shooting,” KJRH chief photographer Phil Willette wrote in an email to station staffers. “…As his shift consisted mostly of recording events that don’t usually find people at their best, Cameron carried himself professionally  and more importantly, he possessed an empathy and sensitivity for the people he was covering. I liked that about him. Here was a guy who would treat everyone with respect at some pretty hairy times. That’s a trait you can’t teach anyone and he was wise beyond his years for having that gift.”

Watch the station’s tribute to Hood above.

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