EXTRA! EXTRA! PASSINGS PBS Loses a Friend: Connections #63

     On July 10, James L. Loper, a founder and former president of  KCET Channel 28 who helped build the public broadcasting station into one of the nation’s leading noncommercial outlets, has died. He was 81.

     Loper, who went on to oversee the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, died Monday at his Pasadena home, his family said. No cause was announced.

     An Arizona transplant, Loper was a doctoral student at USC in the early 1960s when he joined a small group, the Committee for Educational Television, that was trying to establish a public broadcasting station in Los Angeles.

     When KCET went on the air in 1964, Loper was director of educational television. About two years later, he took charge of the station, first as vice president and general manager and then as president from 1971 to 1983.

     He “left an indelible mark on the history of KCET and public television,” Al Jerome, chief executive of KCETLink, as the former PBS outlet is now known, said in a statement. “Jim launched several national productions that aligned the Hollywood entertainment community with the newly emerging national program service PBS.”

Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

Clete Roberts, popular Los Angeles TV Reporter

Clete Roberts, popular Los Angeles TV Reporter

TV Reporter Clete Roberts was a close friend of James Loper and did many public affairs segments for KCET, and I was the 16mm newsreel cameraman.

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