Longtime Broadcasting Executive Russ Withers Dies

Russ Withers, TV and radio station owner and former National Association of Broadcasters Radio Board Chairman, died Jan. 24 at his daughter's home in Mt. Vernon, Ill., according to NAB.

"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," said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter Dana and the entire Withers Broadcasting family."

Withers founded Withers Broadcasting, which owns six TV stations and 30 radio stations.

Withers was undisputed leader of the PAC, having won the NAB's Wally Jorgenson award for raising the most money for the broadcaster political action committee for a dozen years in a row before the award was retired in 2007.

Withers was a former member of the NAB executive committee and his daughter, Dana Withers, currently serves on the board of directors.

Visitation is at the Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon Jan. 27, with services Jan. 28.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.