Services set for former KOMU 8 general manager Tom Gray

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Friday, April 01 2016 Apr 1, 2016 Friday, April 01, 2016 1:35:43 PM CDT April 01, 2016 in News
By: Kylie Callura, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Jordan McGhee, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Funeral arrangements were announced Friday for former KOMU-TV general manager Tom Gray. Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel is handling the services and said visitation will be Thursday, April 7 from 5-7 p.m. at First Christian Church, 101 N. Tenth St., Columbia. A celebration of life service will be held Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m.

KOMU 8 News learned Thursday afternoon that Gray died Wednesday night. 

Gray took over as general manager in 1974 after the departure of Robert Dressler. Having graduated with a Bachelors of Economics from the University of Missouri in 1962, Gray had virtually no experience in broadcasting when he took the position.

Gray is credited by many for saving KOMU financially and solidifying the station's profitability during his 25 years as general manager.

"He always had the best interests of the station in mind and thought of several ways it could improve," said longtime friend and colleague of Gray, former vice chancellor Kee Groshong. "He was always protective of its revenue and funding as well."

Gray came in when the university was considering selling the station due to debt. 

"His rescue of the station resulted in many hundreds of students getting their broadcast journalism education and career launch," said former colleague and current MU Broadcast Department Chair Kent Collins.

In the midst of the revitalization and rework of KOMU's usefulness to the university, the station received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence/Small Staff from the Radio and Television News Director Association under Gray in 1994.

Gray was dedicated to making KOMU heavily involved in the community. Director of MU's Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism Stacey Woelfel worked with Gray from 1986 to 1998 and said Gray saw the station as a "locally-owned gem" that had a commitment to the community.

According to Woelfel, Gray's philosophy was "reach out to viewers and the community to be a force for good."

Roger Gafke was a former colleague of Gray's and compared Gray's work ethic to that of a duck.

"Gliding across the water so smoothly," Gafke said. "But you know underneath he was just paddling furiously to accomplish his mission."

Gafke spoke highly of Gray's success and said his mission was the most complicated mission a television manager could have, but Gray's actions would make it appear easy.

"I'm sure he had to make decisions that faculty members in the broadcast department would have been unhappy with," Gafke said. "But I can't remember any of them now. They surely were inconsequential because he was so focused on accomplishing his goals."

Following Gray's early retirement in 1998, he was succeeded by KOMU's current general manager, Marty Siddall, in 1999. 

"I am saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. He was not only a great broadcaster and respected businessman but also a community leader and mentor to many. Tom made a huge contribution to the legacy of this television station. He will be missed," Siddall said Thursday.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated with the time and location of funeral services for Gray.]

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police could be wearing body cameras within 60 to 90 days. After a... More >>
37 minutes ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
OSAGE BEACH - A firefighter was hospitalized with heat exhaustion after responding to a condo building fire Wednesday at 9:54... More >>
46 minutes ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - David Robinson is one of the hundreds of people who will lose help paying his utilities, if a... More >>
49 minutes ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:50:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri couple who accidentally dropped a $3,000 engagement ring into a pond has had a... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on protests in St. Louis over a judge's acquittal of a former white police... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis is suspended while police investigate... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a Missouri man molested an 11-year-old girl he met using the MeetMe dating app. ... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 4:14:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Personal and corporate income taxes currently account for about 75 percent of Missouri's revenue. The state's... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 4:02:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Pioneer Trail Elementary School music teacher Andrew Berhorst acts as a crossing guard for the school in the... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 3:33:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - CrimeStoppers is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest for a robbery that happened... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 3:10:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Colleges and universities are probably discriminating against minority students in their enforcement of Title IX policies and other... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is being held on suspicion of sodomizing two women last weekend at a residence on... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:20:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
MACON - Ashley Hamblen was arrested Monday for endangering the welfare of a child, felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:16:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A state appeals court panel has ruled that the Missouri Department of Corrections still owes a woman... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 1:27:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Fire Department was called to a fire on West 6th Street Monday that scorched a building... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 1:05:14 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An organization designed to help people is possibly getting some help of its own from the city of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:46:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - When Matthew Schofield landed in the Virgin Islands, he thought of Joplin. The Jefferson City Fire... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JOPLIN — Joplin and one of the counties surrounding the southwest Missouri city have joined a prescription drug monitoring program... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:28:46 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
7pm 86°
8pm 83°
9pm 81°
10pm 80°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
The Good Place
6:30p
Family Guy
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
The Good Place
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld