Russ Withers passes at 77


Russ withersWell-known TV and radio station owner and former NAB Radio Board Chairman Russ Withers died 1/24 at his daughter Dana’s home in Mount Vernon, Illinois after a prolonged illness. Dana Withers serves on the NAB Radio Board of Directors.

Withers founded the Withers Broadcasting Companies, which includes six television stations and 30 radio stations in seven states. He served as chairman of the Mt. Vernon Airport Authority, Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and was the former chairman of the Illinois Public Airport Association. The Illinois Broadcasting Association also named him Broadcaster of the year in 2005.

Visitation will be Monday from 5 – 8 pm at the Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon, and services the next morning there.

For many years, Russ was recognized by NAB for being the individual broadcaster who helped raise the most money for the NAB Political Action Committee. He counted among his friends the late Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens and former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

Said Dennis Wharton, NAB EVP: “Russ Withers was a true original. He was a stalwart in defense of local broadcasting, colorful with a quote, and comfortable in the halls of Congress and at the FCC advocating on NAB’s behalf. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter Dana and the entire Withers Broadcasting family.”