John McKinley dies at 66; former PBS staffer recalled by friends as iconoclast

John McKinley, an early employee of PBS who went on to produce a TV version of Mountain Stage, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C. He was 66. PBS hired McKinley in 1973, just three years after its launch. Public TV development consultant Michael Soper, who worked with him there, recalls an iconoclast with a biting sense of humor. “When I first met John upon arriving at PBS in 1978, I thought he was nuts,” Soper said.