Robert M. Reed, the founding manager of Hawaii’s public TV network who became a publisher and an author, died of respiratory failure Sept. 17, 2011, in Winter Park, Fla. He was 79. He started the Hawaii Educational Television Network in 1962 and served as its g.m. and an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii. In a 20-year career in public television, he also served as g.m. of KUED in Salt Lake City and as head of public TV’s national syndication service in Bloomington, Ind., and at PBS.
The man who put New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on the radio, reading the comics during a newspaper strike — M.S. “Morrie” Novik — talked the other day about his first trip west of Chicago. That excursion to Iowa more than 50 years ago was also the first time the head of New York’s municipal radio station, WNYC, had much contact with the midwesterners who were big in “educational radio.” Novik recognized they were up to the same thing he was, and he joined a fellowship that continues today. He was among his fellows again Oct. 8-9 , during a Public Broadcasting Reunion, where a big roomful of admitted idealists reminisced, ribbed each other, tut-tutted about things these days, and unabashedly proclaimed their values.