Bruce Reese, who joined Bonneville International as general counsel in 1984 and served as president from 1996-2010, has died.
Under Reese’s leadership Bonneville stations won more than 40 NAB Crystal and Marconi awards. In 2010, Reese took the President/CEO role at Hubbard Radio. He held the spot until 2014, when he became an advisor to the company.
In an announcement sent Thursday morning (4/4) to company employees, President Darrell K. Brown said, “We are grateful for Bruce’s service to Bonneville and his commitment to community.”
Reese began his career as an attorney in Washington, D.C. and also worked in the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice. It is this experience in the Nation’s Capital that helped him in becoming Chair of the Joint Radio and Television Boards of the NAB and as a director of the Associated Press.
He was instrumental in the management of 17 Bonneville stations in Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C., sold to Hubbard Radio in 2011.
Brown cited an article in Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, in which Reese explained how he found himself at Bonneville. “There were a number of happy accidents that got me working for Bonneville,” Reese said. “It was not something I had planned on doing, being in the radio business, but it was something that, as I look back, was wonderful and perfect. I still remember an old tube radio that I had in the headboard of my bed as a kid, thumbing around at night trying to find rock ’n’ roll to listen to from Chicago, New York, and Boston, the big clear channel stations. I loved music and listening to the radio. Maybe it was something that was meant to be.”
Among the first to comment on Reese’s passing is NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith.
“Bruce’s accomplishments in broadcasting — former NAB Joint Board Chair, former National Radio Award Winner and chair of the NAB Education Foundation — were surpassed only by his commitment to charity and community service,” Smith said. “Broadcasting is a better business and the world was a better place because of my friend Bruce Reese.”
Reese is survived by his wife Lu Ann, their seven children, four daughters-in-law, two sons-in law, and twelve grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
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