Pioneering public broadcaster Dick Brown dies at 82

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Dick Brown, who hosted an early local public radio call-in show and went on to help produce coverage of the Watergate hearings for PBS, died Sept. 9 of cancer in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 82.

After working as a documentary producer for a local TV station, Brown began producing the live show Feedback in 1968 on WJCT-FM in Jacksonville. Viewers called in to speak with public officials and other community leaders, according to Brown’s obituary in the Florida Times-Union.

In 1971 he began producing for the National Public Affairs Center for Television, a wire service that carried daily coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings in 1973. Brown packaged the coverage with analysis and news reporting for prime-time use by stations.

He also worked on coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign and both parties’ conventions in Miami.

In 1976 he returned to WJCT. As VP for programming, Brown produced chef Jacques Pepin’s first U.S. television program.

Brown was born in 1935 in the Bronx and grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y. He received a bachelor’s degree in theater from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s in television from Syracuse University.

He performed Shakespeare as well as contemporary roles as a stage actor in New York City.

Brown is survived by his son, Fred Brown of Gainesville, Fla.; daughter, Elizabeth Brown-Eagle of Brooklyn, N.Y.; grandchildren Theo and Sebastian; and brother Edward Brown of Chappaqua, N.Y.