Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jack McBride (1926-2008)

One of the great broadcasters of our time has passed away. Jack McBride, the gentle man from Lincoln, died on Monday, July 28th. He was largely responsible for envisioning and building the statewide public radio and television network in Nebraska, but he was also a recognized pioneer and leader in public broadcasting across the country and around the world.

It was my great pleasure to have known and worked with Jack a bit, largely through our dealings in an organization known as the Organization of State Broadcast Executives.

Jack’s commitment to the educational value of television was solid. From the early days of what is now known as Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, until long after his “retirement” in 1996. Jack McBride remained a visionary about what television and other emerging technologies could do to enhance learning. Steve Behrens wrote this obituary in Current, a public broadcasting newspaper.

And he had a sense of humor. I still remember receiving my commission as an “Admiral” in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska during a public broadcasting meeting in Lincoln many years ago. The “recruiter” for our hitch in the land-locked Navy was Jack McBride.

Viewers and listeners of the public radio and television networks in Nebraska saw and heard little of this energetic fellow, but his legacy to all Nebraskans – and to public broadcasting across the country – was huge.

May there be "fair winds and following seas” for our friend Jack McBride.

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