OMAHA—The Nebraska Broadcasters Association inducted Rod Bates and Lynne Grasz-Hall into the NBA Hall of Fame. Bates and Grasz-Hall were inducted in a ceremony on Aug. 13 in Lincoln, Neb., during the NBA’s 80th Annual Convention.
Bates spent almost 40 years as a broadcaster in Nebraska. He joined NET as a producer/director in 1975 after moving his family from California to Nebraska. He left NET for a few years when he served as Nebraska’s Director of Economic Development under Gov. Bob Kerry (1983-87). He then owned Bates Video from 1988-96, and became general manager of NET from 1996 until his retirement in 2013. During this time, he positioned NET in the top tier of public radio and relevision in the country. He secured funding for the digital conversion for the 9 NET radio and television transmitters and during his tenure, program production reached new heights.
Gov. Dave Heineman designated June 20, 2013 as “Rod Bates Day,” honoring Rod as he brought NET to“...new heights of providing quality television and radio programming to every citizen of Nebraska.” He served on the PBS Board of Directors, Chairman of the American Public Television Stations Association, the executive committee of the National Educational Television Association and Chair of American Public Television.
Grasz-Hall has a series of “firsts” during her long-running career in broadcasting, beginning as one of only five students in the first UNL Broadcast Journalism class in the early 1960s. She was news director at KNUS Radio from 1963-1966, and was the first intern at KOLN/KGIN, Lincoln in 1964. She was named promotion director at the station in 1966 and held that position for six years. She was then promoted to promotion and public relations director in 1972 until 1977. She then became the director of creative services at KMOX-TV, St. Louis, where her work there was recognized by the executives of the CBS Television Network and was named CBS Broadcast Group, director of communications, company spokesperson and executive producer in New York City.
Following her CBS Television career, she went on to lead the Television Information Office, PROMAX International and the Broadcast Designers Association. She also is past president of the New York City Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television, and continues as president andCEO of Grasz Communications in New York City.
The Nebraska Broadcasters Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports more than 100 over the air radio and television member stations throughout Nebraska, and is the second-oldest state broadcast association in America.
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