NETV: The beginning
Around the community, UNL brought a major contribution to Lincoln and the surrounding area in the 1950’s. This contribution was the University television station and the eventual production of NETV, all led by Jack McBride.
In 1954 the UNL station was born. With a donated studio, transmitter, and antennae, KUON-TV was transmitting from 9:00am to Noon in a 30 sq. mile radius (Journal-Star Articles). In these early days the station devoted its time to developing correspondence courses and K-12 classroom instruction to the general public. This had a tremendous effect on the education of locals who could not afford school or who worked on farms and did not have time for school. Public broadcasting was so popular schools and city councils worked together to purchase three transmitters to increase the distance of the broadcasts (in an interview with Jack McBride). This helped bring the station to a new programming high, broadcasting 5.5 days a week with over 90 hours of programming.
In an interview with Jack McBride, McBride tells of a story of a little girl in Alliance, NE who learned French by watching NETV. Her grandfather happened to be Senator George Gerdes, an influential Nebraskan Senator. He helped pave the way to furthering the funding and support of Nebraska Government to NETV.
Jack McBride was the father of this station from the beginning. He nurtured it from infancy to the powerhouse it is today, helping Nebraskans all along the way. His dedication to Nebraska is shown in his winning of the prestigious Trailblazer award from the NEBRASKA-Land Foundation (Newspaper article). This is awarded to individuals who symbolize the good life of NE by their contributions to the state.