KAB will add three to its Hall of Fame | Panda Anku

The Kansas Association of Broadcasters announces individual honors

Published: August 30, 2022

The Kansas Association of Broadcasters will induct three members into the Kansas Broadcasting Hall of Fame in October.

Don Free, Jack Oliver and Wyatt Thompson will join the hall. Your bios from KAB will appear below.

They will be honored at the KAB conference in October.

Also honored are SummitMedia’s Laura Capps with the Mike Oatman Award for Broadcast Sales Excellence; Eagle Communications’ Matt Althouse with the Rising Star Radio Award; and Lily Wu of KWCH(TV) with the Rising Star TV Award.

Hall of Fame Bios (Text by KAB):

Headshot by Don Free
Thu free

Thu free is a Topeka resident and has worked in broadcasting for over 50 years. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1964 and began part-time employment with WIBW-TV in 1967 while stationed at Forbes Air Base, Topeka. After his discharge from the Air Force, he worked full-time as a cameraman and managing news. Four years later, Don switched to mechanical engineering. In 1985, Don had the opportunity to develop 15 radio plays for the Royals Radio Network, the year they won the World Series. The next season, he was hired full-time by the Royals and began his 32-year dream job. Don retired from the Royals after the 2017 season. Though retired, Don continues to develop some radio games for visiting teams at Kauffman Stadium and works as an engineer with the Kansas State Football Radio Network. Don was inducted into the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 and received the Bob Fidler Award for a media member who helped promote the sport.

jack oliver – Since 1969, Jack has worked on numerous Wichita radio stations including KLEO (1969) (only a few overnight stays), then KGNO in Dodge City and then Back to Wichita on KAKE (1973-1979) and KKRD (1980-2004). ). Since 2004, Jack has served as program director at KEYN (Audacy, Inc.).

Jack Oliver is sitting in a radio studio
jack oliver

Previously, it could be heard daily from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. However, following Don Hall’s death in April 2020, Jack switched from afternoons to host the KEYN morning show. Jack’s advice to young radio stations is, “Find a town you like and stick around for a while.” Early in his broadcasting career, Jack received a first-class radiotelephone operator’s license from the FCC. Jack is from Wynnewood, Oklahoma. He is a 1968 graduate of South High School in Wichita and earned a master’s degree in business communications from Wichita State University. Jack is very active in Wichita’s Native American community and has served on the board of directors of the All-American Indian Center for ten years. Jack has also helped raise millions of dollars for local charities.

Wyatt Thompson has been in the broadcasting industry for over 40 years. In 1976 he worked part-time for Kay Melia’s radio and television stations in Goodland, Kansas. He was later offered a full-time position at the Goodland stations. During this time, Wyatt learned production, news, sports for radio and television. During the next 10 years Wyatt made radio stations in Goodland,

Wyatt Thompson speaks at a podium
Wyatt Thompson

Abilene, Great Bend and Arkansas City. From 1985 to 1989, Thompson worked for KAYS radio and television in Hays, Kansas. He was the play-by-play voice for Ft. Hays State. In 1989, Thompson’s career took him to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he had his first break in Division 1 while covering the Colorado State Rams. He hosted Countdown to Kickoff for the Denver Broncos and the show Zone Sports Insiders on KOA. In 2002, K-State announced that Wyatt Thompson would be the new voice for K-State Athletics. In addition to providing play-by-play responsibility for football, basketball and select K-State baseball games, he is the anchor for football and basketball coaching programs on the K-State Radio Network. In addition, Wyatt hosts weekly television programs for soccer and basketball across the state. Wyatt devotes significant time to his K-State community by performing for gatherings, mentoring, appearances and interviews. Wyatt is entering his 21st year with his on-air partner Stan Weber for the 2022-23 sports season. Wyatt has received numerous broadcasting awards throughout his career, including the 1982 KAB’s Best Play-by-Play award, the 1989 Oscar Stauffer Sportscaster of the Year, and the 2011 Hod Humiston Award for Sports Broadcasting, and was named Kansas Sportscaster of the Year six times excellent.

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