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Radio Industry Mourns Passing of Sam Caputa

Former Emmis St. Louis director of engineering

The radio industry lost a charismatic member of its community with the passing of Samuel E. Caputa on April 2.

Known by most as Sam, he served as the director of engineering for Emmis Radio in St. Louis for more than 20 years, and in that time, garnered the reputation for being charming, gregarious, gifted, witty and well-admired.

“Sam was a very competent and experienced radio engineer that possessed great people skills and a passion for learning new technologies,” said Marty Sacks, vice president of sales, support and marketing for The Telos Alliance. Sacks and Caputa worked together as Emmis investigated AoIP technology in its early days.

“I always enjoyed my time with him,” Sacks said. “During a trip to St. Louis a few years back, he took a bunch of us to lunch in the neighborhood where he had grown up (and still lived) and people were greeting him on the street! You could tell that he made an impact in his community.”

Describing Sam as the “Mayor of the hill” brought a laugh from those who spoke about the engineer.

“He was charismatic, warm and collaborative. Always a positive people person, which is a little out of the ordinary for engineers,” said Paul Brenner with warm remembrance. Brenner is president of NextRadio/TagStation, he met Caputa in 1996. “He was one of the most positive, most uplifting people you could have in your life,” he said.

Caputa was born Aug. 6, 1955, and was husband to Mary Rhodes Caputa; father to three sons, Samuel, Nick and Dan; grandfather to AJ and Mila; brother to Pauline Balossi and the late Carolyn McDonald; uncle to Pauline McDonald, Josephine McCarthy, Rose Fagan, Carla Pascucci and Gino Balossi; and brother-in-law to Sally Ramey, June Maginnis, Bonnie Barton and Diane Rector. He was also a cherished cousin and friend to many.

“Sam will be greatly missed by friends and industry colleagues alike,” Sacks said.

Funeral arrangements have been set for Monday April 9 at St. Ambrose Church in St. Louis, Mo. His broadcast industry colleagues also plan to honor Sam’s memory at this week’s NAB Show.

Tributes for the family can be left at