CLASS OF 2017
Craig Eckert was born and raised in St Paul, Minnesota. He became editor of his high school newspaper and enrolled at the University of Minnesota with plans to work in print media with the Minnesota Daily newspaper. His plans changed during a visit to the student radio station, WMMR. Craig started working at the station and left the University to attend Brown Institute broadcasting school in Minneapolis, graduating in 1971.
Craig’s first job took him to KICS in Hastings the following year. Craig accepted steady promotions resulting in moves to stations in Kansas, Wisconsin, and North Dakota before moving back to Nebraska in 1991 to become part owner and general manager of KKPR AM/FM Kearney. His company grew in 2006. Eckert’s Platte River Radio bought the first radio station where he worked, KICS, along with KHAS AM and KLIQ FM Hastings in 2006
Beyond his tireless passion for coaching talent and grooming future broadcasters, Craig has been an active leader in state and federal legislative matters. He helped shape policy and played an active role in legislation regarding media matters in Nebraska as well as nationally.
Eckert’s testimony in a federal hearing in Philadelphia helped the Radio Music License Committee and SESAC, a music performance royalty organization, reach an agreement on a settlement concerning antitrust litigation.
Besides his regular contact with state and federal legislators, Eckert served twice as chairman of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association board.
After 45 years in the business, Eckert retired in 2018 but stayed with the company in an advisory capacity. Craig and his wife Carol reside in Kearney.