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Dick Chapin Honored as “Legendary Nebraska Broadcaster”

Radio, TV, management, business and brokering, Chapin has worn many hats

L to R — Nebraska Broadcasters Association Secretary-Treasurer Mark Jensen, NBA President/Executive Director Jim Timm, Dick Chapin, past NBA Chairperson Joy Patten.

The Nebraska Broadcasters Association has honored industry legend Dick Chapin with the “Legendary Nebraska Broadcaster” award. This exclusive honor was created by the NBA Board of Directors expressly for Chapin to be recognized his leadership and contributions in the industry.

The NBA board of directors said in a press release: “Dick Chapin is truly a one-of-a-kind leader in our industry. He has started and guided the successful careers of countless broadcasters, and has brought outstanding community service to dozens of cities as both an operator and as a broker who paired the right buyers with the right stations. We are blessed to have someone who has made such a strong impact on our industry right here in Nebraska.”

Chapin, 94, said the award was deeply appreciated and humbling.

According to the release, Chapin began his career in March 1953, when he joined radio station KFOR as an account executive; was named general sales manager and then general manager for KFOR radio and television in 1954. In January 1958, he was elected vice president of Stuart Investment Co., the parent company of Stuart Broadcasting Co. Under his leadership, they added to KFOR and KFRX in Lincoln, Neb., the following stations: KSAL(AM) and KYEZ(FM), Salina, Kan.; KOEL(AM/FM), Oelwein, Iowa; KWTO(AM/FM) in Springfield, Mo. and KRGI(AM/FM), Grand Island, Neb. Later newspapers in Wahpeton, N.D., Breckenridge, Minn. and Torrington, Wyo. were added.

In November 1985, Stuart Broadcasting was purchased by DKM Broadcasting and Chapin was named president of DKM Broadcasting Midwest. In 1987, he became a partner in the R.C. Crisler & Co. Inc. Brokerage Co. and then formed his own media brokerage firm Chapin Enterprises, in 1989, which he continues to own and manage.

His career has included serving the broadcast community in a number of positions. In June 1972, Chapin was elected chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters. His election as chairman capped 11 years of NAB service including four two-year terms on the Radio Board of Directors and two years as chairman of the Radio Board of Directors. In January 1983, Chapin was elected chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau. He served two terms as president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association as well as having served as secretary/treasurer for eight years.

Throughout the years Chapin has received many broadcasting awards and citations including the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award, which is the broadcast industry’s highest award a broadcaster can receive. He was among the first inductees into the newly created Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame; was awarded the Distinguished Nebraskan in Broadcasting Award by the Nebraska Broadcasters; the Lincoln Ad Club’s Silver Medal Award as Lincoln’s Advertising Man of the Year; and the American Broadcast Pioneer Award from the Broadcasters Foundation.