Mar 12, 2012

Two pioneering WHYY pubcasters die

Two broadcasters who were part of the history of WHYY in Philadelphia have died.

John B. Roberts, one of the founding directors of WHYY in 1957, died March 8 of a spinal infection at his home in the retirement community of Rydal Park in suburban Philadelphia. He was 94.

Roberts also founded the Temple University public radio station, WRTI-FM, now classical and jazz, in 1953, and taught communications at Temple from 1946 to 1988.

Paul Gluck, former WHYY-TV station manager and now on the Temple faculty, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "For people like me, who worked as practicing journalists and transitioned into the academic world, he is a near-perfect role model."

Bruce Harrison Beale, who spent 20 years at WHYY and 30 years at WHRO in Norfolk, Va., died of an apparent heart attack on March 8 at his home in Norfolk. He was 82.

Beale worked as a director, production manager and program director for WHYY in the 1960s and ’70s, and appeared on the air as host of a weekly program on the University of Delaware Blue Hens. He left in 1979 for WHRO, where he was production manager, retiring around a decade ago.

His son-in-law, Tom Kranz, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Beale was “artful in preparation and planning of a television product with all of its multilayered elements; perceptive in the choice of assembling talent in front of and behind the camera . . . masterful in delivering a worthy television product in a timely manner.”

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