CLASS OF 2003
Mel Mains anchored the evening news on KOLN/KGIN TV in Lincoln for 34 years covering most of Nebraska and northern Kansas. He became an institution within the Nebraska media and a household name for thousands of Nebraskans.
A native of Holmesville, Mel Mains graduated from Wymore High School in 1947. He spent a year at Doane Colledge in Crete and then one year at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. But when short of money, Mel took work at KWBE Beatrice, the station just signing on in 1949.
Afterward, he worked as farm director and newscaster at KMA, the farm radio station in Shenandoah, Iowa. After he was drafted in 1951, he worked for the army Hometown News Center in Kansas City. He remained in the Kansas City market for several years at various radio and television stations including WDAF AM and TV.
Mel returned to his home state in 1961 joining KOLN/KGIN TV Lincoln as the news anchor. He wrote his scripts and picked the stories worth covering well into the 1990s. He received the Lifetime Broadcast Achievement Award from the Nebraska AP Broadcasters Association on March 29, 2003.
Mel appreciated the responsibility that came with delivering daily newscasts and being such a trusted member of the many communities the station covered. Responding to criticism that the station focused too much on news of those small towns, Mains reminded an interviewer in 1980 that only about 15 percent of his audience lived in Lincoln.
Mel retired from television in July 1995, but he remained active as a news broadcaster for KWBE radio in Beatrice, the station where he began his career.
Mel Mains passed away on May 26, 2003.