Judy Jankowski dies at 61; former g.m. of WDUQ, KKJZ

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Judy Jankowski, who held top management positions at several public broadcasting stations, died Dec. 17 at Kindred Hospital in Westminster, Calif. She was 61.

She started her long pubcasting career as a traffic manager at WOUB in Athens, Ohio. She worked as general manager of WDUQ in Pittsburgh, Pa., from the mid-1980s until 1994; she retired as general manager of KKJZ in Long Beach, Calif., in 2005. She also held executive positions at stations in Birmingham, Ala., and Houston.

“I first knew Judy when we both worked in Texas in the early 1980’s, and from then on she was a friend, colleague and collaborator,” said Scott Hanley, another former g.m. at WDUQ. “Her energy, enthusiasm and determination was ever-present.”

Jankowski was born Oct. 1, 1950, to Henry and Stella Marie Jankowski. She received a bachelor’s degree from Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., and a master’s in broadcast management from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

“Judy had a big heart and was known for her warm, friendly smile,” her family said in a statement. “She was a voracious reader and usually had a novel within her reach. She also enjoyed knitting, making baby blankets and other items for her many family members, including cousins and their children, who she all loved dearly. She was proud of her Polish heritage, and worked to keep customs and ethnic traditions alive in celebrating holidays by making a wide variety of polish foods from family recipes handed down through the generations.”

The family suggests memorials to the National Kidney Foundation.