Broadcasting legend Ron Hull passes away

April 20, 2023, noon ·

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Ron Hull, a leader of Nebraska Public Media and a public television trailblazer, has passed away. He was 92-years-old.

For nearly 70 years, Hull made Nebraska Public Media his life’s work – beginning his career in 1955 just a year after Nebraska’s public television station was founded.

In fact, at that time it was only the ninth station to sign on to the PBS system.

From the beginning, Hull was a jack-of-all-trades, producing and directing an array of television programs with his sights set on creating programs that both informed and entertained.

In 2023, Hull was still serving as a Senior Advisor at Nebraska Public Media.

The list of accolades and accomplishments is long. Hull served as a Television Programming Advisor to the Government of South Vietnam in 1966, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach International Broadcasting at Cheng Chi University in Taipei, Taiwan in 1999.

At one point in his celebrated career, he served as Director of the Program Fund for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington D.C., where he pushed for more history programming. There, he initiated the long-running PBS history series, “The American Experience,” brought Bill Moyers back to public television, and gave Ken Burns his first seed money for his documentary series on the Civil War.

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He then acted as a Special Advisor to Programming at PBS before returning to Nebraska for the remainder of his career.

He is the recipient of the “Sower Award” from Humanities Nebraska, the “Distinguished Nebraskan Award” from the Nebraska Society of Washington D.C., and a member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame.


However, Hull won’t only be remembered for the influence he had on public media, but also for the impact he had on others.

“Although Ron was 92 years old, news of his passing has us all in shock,” Mark Leonard, CEO and General Manager of Nebraska Public Media said. “The impact that Ron had on public media locally and nationally has been profound. So many memorable programs and program producers were the recipient of Ron’s passion, wisdom and guidance.”

Hull and his late wife Naomi had four children: Kevin, Brian, Brandon and Kathryn. A service for Hull will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln.