Former NAB Vice President Harold Niven, who was a university professor and served as President of both the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) and the Broadcast Pioneers (now the Broadcasters Foundation of America), has died at age 86.
According to a history of the organization posted on the BEA website, “Harold Niven, an academic (University of Washington) and former APBE [Association for Professional Broadcasting Education] President, moved from that post to the NAB and became executive secretary in the spring of 1963. Niven was the administrative heart of APBE [renamed BEA in 1973] for many years, and grew to treat the organization in – to put it mildly – an avuncular fashion, since he could – and did – exercise the clout of the NAB in determining BEA activities. But without Niven acting as conciliator between NAB’s leadership and the BEA, it is questionable whether the organization would have survived as a partnership between the academy and the industry.” Dr. Niven retired as BEA President in 1985.
Niven was co founder of the National Broadcast Editorial Association and was a member of the Peabody Awards Committee. He received the Washington Broadcasters Pioneers 1995 Distinguished Broadcasters Award. Throughout his career he cemented the relationship between commercial broadcasters and broadcast educators. “Through his efforts, college and university professional and educational broadcasting has acquired an unprecedented level of respect and acceptance in the broadcasting profession,” said an obituary provided by BEA.