Bill Thrash, described as Oklahoma’s “premier television producer, director, programmer” has died at the age of 73.

“We are very sad to say that we have lost an important member of our Newschannel 4 family,” said Kevin Ogle, anchor for the Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR. “You may not immediately recognize his name but his imprint was all over the shows you enjoyed on Newschannel 4 over the years,” added anchor Meg Alexander.

Thrash started at WKY (now KFOR) in 1971 eventually becoming the station’s program and station manager. He is credited with launching shows such as “The Stars and Stripes Show,” “Danny‚Äôs Day,” and “The Butch and Ben McCain Show.”

In 2010, Thrash received the Gold Circle Emmy Award from the Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, making him the second Oklahoman to have received the award. In 2009, the William C. Thrash Television Studio was opened on the campus of East Central University in Ada, OK.