CLASS OF 1995
Jack Payne’s career in broadcasting spans 46 years and includes association with six radio stations and one television station. He is best known in Nebraska for his 17 years at WOW and WOW-TV and his 22 years at KFAB.
Love of sports was in Payne’s blood from his youth in his native Oklahoma and broadcasting became the means for expressing it. He began football broadcasts while a student at the University of Oklahoma, following military service with the Air Force. His Oklahoma broadcasts were heard on WNAD Norman and KTOK Oklahoma City.
In 1951, Jack came to Omaha as Sports Director for WOW radio and the fledgling WOWTV (WOWT). Payne called Husker games on Saturdays for WOW all through the 50s and much of the 60s. He called the games on KBON in 1968.
In 1970, Jack Payne joined KFAB, where he was on Husker football broadcasts with Lyell Bremser and Dave Blackwell in the 1970 and ’71 championship years as well as Bob Devaney’s final year in 1972. Payne was part of the broadcast team on the Nebraska Football Network until 1992.
He also did Nebraska basketball play-by-play, high school basketball tournaments, the Drake Relays and state high school track and field broadcasts. Wearing still another “hat”, Jack served as an Account Executive at KFAB from 1974 until his retirement.
Payne was named Nebraska state “Sportscaster of the Year” in 1965 and again in 1967, and has received scores of professional and community honors over the years. Jack was also a popular public address announcer at the College World Series in Omaha for 37 years starting in 1963.
Jack passed away on June 2, 2022.