Broadcast Pioneer Kitty Broman Dies at 97

Kathryn “Kitty” Broman, former National Association of Broadcasters board member and the so-called “First Lady of Television” in western Massachusetts, has died. Broman, who was 97, was co-founder of WWLP Springfield (MA), along with her husband, William L. Putnam.

“Broman was an icon who became one of the most honored women in the medium,” said WWLP.com. “She was a TV pioneer and a beloved on-air personality during a career that spanned four decades. Broman was more than that, though. She used her celebrity to further important causes, having an effect on thousands of people.”

The station was awarded its FCC license in 1952 and the first program aired in 1953. Broman hosted At Home with Kitty and Kitty Today, among other homegrown shows. She and her husband authored the book How We Survived in UHF Television: A Broadcasting Memoir, 1953-1984.

WWLP says she was the first woman ever to sit on the NAB board of directors, in the 1970s.

WWLP, an NBC affiliate, is a powerhouse in Springfield-Holyoke. It is now owned by LIN.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.