Veteran Broadcast Industry Journalist Tack Nail Dead at 82
March 25, 2011
WASHINGTON: Dawson B. “Tack” Nail passed away this afternoon after being hospitalized in critical condition for a fall, according to Dennis Wharton,
executive vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters. The
82-year-old covered the business of broadcasting in Washington,
D.C. for more than 50 years and continued to be a fixture at newsworthy events up until the days before his death.
“Tack was a great friend who mentored many a journalist, protected many a source, and provided us all with plenty of laughs through the years. We grieve for his family, while we celebrate the life of a reporter whose decency, integrity and simple kindness were unmatched,” Wharton said in a statement.
Nail began his trade career in 1955 as a rewrite man for “Broadcasting”
magazine, now “Broadcasting & Cable.” He eventually moved to Warren
Publishing, which puts out “Communications Daily.” He was profiled by Kim
McAvoy for “B&C” in 1995, when he was awarded the NAB’s “Spirit of
“If you don’t have a favorite story about Tack Nail, you haven’t lived life to
the fullest,” McAvoy wrote, relating one about Nail pulling a former FCC
commissioner into a swimming pool. Antics aside, Nail is a respected institution
in D.C. broadcast industry circles.
“When he would start a press conference question with ‘Sir,’ I would hold my
breath,” one former NAB staffer told McAvoy. “You never knew what would come next.”
The accompanying photo is Nail with “NBC
Nightly News” anchor, Brian Williams, at the recent NAB State Leadership