Martin Umansky, the founder of Wichita's KAKE-TV who died this month, was eulogized as the epitome of a broadcaster who lived and breathed his community.
"He was the quintessential local broadcaster," said his son, Washington lawyer Barry Umansky. "He knew there was a mutually dependent relationship between the viewer and the local station.
"His station grew generations of loyal viewers with tons of local news and programming. And at a time when ABC ran fourth in a three-network race, he was always No. 1."
Umansky's philosophy, said Harriet Lange, president and executive director of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, was "serve the community; the business will follow."
And the much-honored New York City-born Jew who was once told to change his radio name because the station manager thought Umansky "sounds a little Bolsheviky" was honored with the Benemerenti Medal and Knight of St. Sylvester-the highest award given by the Catholic Church to a non-Catholic.
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