CLASS OF 2014
Rod Bates spent almost 40 years as a broadcaster in Nebraska. He joined Nebraska Educational Television as a producer/director in 1975, served in state government from 1983 to 1987 as Nebraska’s Director of Economic Development under Governor Bob Kerry, and ran his own video firm from 1988 until 1996 when he returned to NET succeeding Jack McBride.
Bates was only the second leader in the statewide public broadcaster’s 58-year history as general manager. He was also the director of University Television and the general manager for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s station, KUON-TV.
During his tenure, Bates positioned NET in the top tier of Public Radio and Public Television in the country. Program production reached new heights. He also secured funding for the digital conversion of the nine NET radio and television transmitters.
Bates served on the PBS Board of Directors, the executive committee of the National Educational Television Association, and was Chairman of the American Public Television Stations Association and Chair of American Public Television.
Rod Bates retired in 2013.