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Obits

Former KHOU Reporter Brad Woodard Dies

Former KHOU reporter Brad Woodard was found dead in his Houston home last week.

According to KHOU, authorities found his body Wednesday morning. He hadn’t returned several phone calls from relatives prompting them to ask police to check on him. No foul play was suspected.

He worked at Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE from 1990 until 2006, before leaving for Houston CBS affiliate KHOU. Both stations remembered Woodard for being an “old school” journalist and award-winning writer.

We’ll forever remember Brad as a kind man with a soft heart.  He had two great passions—storytelling and animals.  Frequently, Brad turned a light on those who abused or neglected innocent creatures and his work on animal abuse—and many other topics—won him multiple local, regional and national honors.   One standout series was his investigative look exposing cruelty to animals used in research to produce pharmaceuticals.   He won a highly-coveted Sigma Delta Chi Award for his feature on the death of the family farm.  And he received the National Epilepsy Foundation Distinguished Journalism Award for his work providing an unprecedented glimpse into the life of a teenage boy living with epilepsy. Read more

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Veteran Birmingham Anchor Joe Langston Dies

Veteran WBRC anchor Joe Langston died Saturday.

Langston started at Birmingham’s WBRC in 1963 as the first reporter/anchor hired at the station. He was named news director in 1969. According to al.com, he was best known as the stations anchor, working with Mike Royer, Herb Winches, Pat Gray among others.

“He was such a sweet and funny guy,” former co-anchor Fannie Flagg told al.com”We had a lot of fun. “We used to play jokes on one another, do silly things. He had a great sense of humor.”

An Army veteran, he started his career while at the university of Alabama. He retired from WBRC in 1987 to work at Jacksonville State University. He was inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009.

Langston was 82.

Former KHQ GM J. Birney Blair Dies

j birney blairJ. Birney Blair, a longtime president and general manager of KHQ in Spokane, died Saturday, The Spokesman Review reports. He was 92.

Blair started working at KHQ as a radio reporter. In 1952, when the station transitioned to television, Blair became the station’s first general sales manager in 1952. He served as the president and general manager of KHQ from 1970 until he retired in 1988, The Spokesman Review reports:

Patricia McRae, the current KHQ general manager, said that until the day of his passing, he was as bright as ever. She commended him for his work in helping KHQ evolve as technology changed.

“I think he brought us into today’s technology,” McRae said. “He was always very proactive about the TV industry. Whatever change we faced ahead of us, he was always right there.”

KHQ’s tribute to Blair is after the jump. Read more

Intermountain West Communications Owner Jim Rogers Dies

jim rogersJim Rogers, the owner of Intermountain West Communications, has died from cancer. Las Vegas NBC affiliate KSNV, one of the stations Rogers owned, reports he died Saturday evening.

In addition to KSNV, Intermountain West owns KTVH-KMTF in Helena, Mont., KRNV in Reno and KENV in Elko, Nev. He was a philanthropist and education advocate, according to KSNV’s obituary:

His commitment to improving higher education in Nevada led Rogers to accept appointment as interim chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education in May 2004. He led the system of state universities and colleges for five years at a salary of a dollar a year.

His passionate support of education also was evident as Rogers and his wife, Beverly, made substantial financial contributions to various colleges and universities. Their gift of $115 million to the University of Arizona, College of Law is the largest gift to the University of Arizona and the largest gift to any American law school. In November 1998, the Arizona Board of Regents renamed the law school The James E. Rogers College of Law. Rogers was listed as one of the top 12 philanthropists in the nation by Time magazine, having given or pledged more than $275 million to several campuses.

Watch KNSV’s tribute after the jump. Read more

Longtime WCCO Promotions Executive Dies

wcco_croppedThe Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks at the legacy of Daniel T. “Tom” Cousins, a longtime WCCO promotions executive who died last month. Cousins, who spent 38 years at the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, was the original architect of the station’s live studio broadcasts from the State Fair:

It was Cousins’ idea in 1968 to build a fully functioning, climate-controlled television studio that would be used only during the 12-day fair. WCCO has been broadcasting live from the State Fair ever since.

Nancy Nelson, who worked as WCCO’s “Saturday Night Weather Girl” for part of her long broadcasting career, said that Cousins recognized the importance of the State Fair, how it related to public relations and how it gave the station the ability to interact with its audience.

“This is the only time that people who view all of our ’CCO on-air folks regularly got to meet them,” Nelson said. “To this day it is an extraordinary presence for WCCO.”

Former Jacksonville Anchor Bert Roselle Dies

BertRoselle-jpgBert Roselle, who anchored for WJKS, Jacksonville’s ABC affiliate in the 1970s and 80s, has died. He was 80.

Roselle started his broadcasting career doing news and weather at WFGA in 1959. WFGA is now WTLV. Roselle also worked at WSB in Atlanta, WCAU in Philadelphia and KHOU in Houston.

In 1972, he came back to Jacksonville to work as news director at WJKS. According to WJXT, Roselle also co-anchored the evening news as WJKS changed from ABC to NBC and back to ABC in the 1980s.

KOMO Commentator Ken Schram Dies


Ken Schram, former KOMO reporter and commentator has died.

According to the Seattle ABC affiliate, Schram had been fighting an internal infection.

Schram was known at the station for being “brash and opinionated.” KOMO news director Holly Gauntt told The Seattle Times, “Ken was a journalist cut from the old-school, hard-as-nails cloth, but he had a heart of gold.”

He worked at both KOMO TV and radio for 35 years until his retirement 2 years ago. He was 66 years old.

Former KBTX News Director Mike George Dies

mike georgeFormer KBTX news director Mike George was found dead Sunday at his home, the station reports. George was 51.

George was the news director of the Bryan-College Station CBS affiliate from 2008 to 2013. The cause of death has not been released, but “foul play is not suspected,” according to KBTX.

George began his career at KBTX in 1986, working as an anchor, reporter and executive producer. He left to join KVUE in 1992, spending four years as the Austin station’s executive producer and news manager. After KVUE, George worked as managing editor at WXIA in Atlanta and news director at KVBC in Las Vegas before returning to KBTX.

He retired last year to spend more time with his family, KBTX reports. “From the family at KBTX, our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike’s family outside of our halls, which were made immensely better because of him,” the station said in a statement.

Alabama TV Trailblazer Norman Lumpkin Dies

Norman Lumpkin, the first African-American TV reporter in Montgomery, AL, has died.

According to WSFA, one of Lumpkin’s first assignments when he started at the NBC affiliate in 1969 was to cover then Governor George Wallace‘s 1970 re-election campaign.

Despite the racial tension of the era, in which he was purposefully given false information by some in order to discredit his work, Norman pushed on and ultimately gained the respect of politicians and viewers for his work. Wallace, who was a staunch segregationist, made sure Norman was invited to each campaign event.

Lumpkin left WSFA in the 1990s to work as news director at the city’s ABC affiliate WNCF. He then went on to work as public relations director for the Alabama Highway Department.

“I learned a lot from Norman – not just about race, politics and the TV news business – but about respecting people regardless of their station in life,” former WSFA anchor Bob Howell told WSFA. “Each of us who knew or worked with him owes him a great debt of gratitude.”

Former WCPO Reporter Known For Hostage Interview Dies

Elaine Green Hoskins interviewElaine Green, a former reporter at WCPO who won a Peabody Award for an interview she conducted while being held hostage inside the Cincinnati ABC affiliate’s building, died Monday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Green and several other WCPO employees were held at gunpoint in the WCPO newsroom for more than an hour by James Hoskins in 1980. While she was captive, Green interview Hoskins, who admitted he had just killed his girlfriend. The Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter recalls talking with Green about the incident:

I interviewed Green several times about that night. She called it “bone-chilling.” She was a very classy, old-school journalist who didn’t seek fame or fortune from her brush with death.

On the 25th anniversary in 2005 she told me: “I still get chills. It’s a terrifying thing. You don’t know what you’re going to say or do that might set him off. … We all survived because nobody did anything stupid. Everybody stayed calm and nobody panicked.”

Watch video of the interview, via WCPO, after the jump. Read more

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