Arkansas public media leader Allen Weatherly dies at 64

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Allen Weatherly, executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network, died early Tuesday in Conway, Ark., awaiting heart surgery. He was 64.

Weatherly

Weatherly

Tony Brooks, AETN deputy director, told Arkansas Business that Weatherly had undergone two previous replacements of an aortic valve and was scheduled for a third.

“Allen was so much more than just our leader,” Brooks said in a statement. “He was our friend and a good and decent man. I worked beside this man for 16 years as his deputy director and friend. I know he would want and expect each of us, while we mourn his passing, to continue on with this important mission to which he dedicated his life.”

Weatherly was active in public media for more than 36 years. From 1980­–93 he worked at Ozarks Public Television in in Springfield, Mo., rising from a development associate to writer, producer, program host, promotions and communications director, programming director and s.v.p. and director of broadcasting. He arrived at AETN in 1993 in a dual role as deputy executive director and chief operating officer, and was named executive director in 2001.

He was born June 12, 1952, in California. He graduated from Missouri State University in Springfield with a degree in history and education.

Weatherly was a member of the PBS Board of Directors for six years, served on two Community Service Grant review panels for CPB and held leadership positions with the National Educational Telecommunications Association and the Organization for State Broadcast Executives. He taught communications at University of Central Arkansas for 15 years.

In 2008, he was selected as Arkansas Citizen of the Year by Scottish Rite in Little Rock.

Weatherly is survived by his wife Peggy, whom he married in 1977; daughter Lauren and son-in-law Trey, grandsons Logan and Jack and granddaughter Norah, all of Conway; and son David of Little Rock.

Funeral service plans are pending and will be announced on the station’s online tribute page.