Long-time Panhandle newsman Jerry Dishong retires after 51 years

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - It's a melancholy day for the NBC Nebraska family, as long-time newsman and midday news anchor Jerry Dishong is retiring after a career of 51 years at one station.

Jerry's career has taken an arc that mirrors many broadcasters, making a commitment to his community, building a career, and raising a family. Unlike nearly all others, however, his story is one of staying close to his boyhood home, growing up in Gordon, NE and attending Chadron State College before starting as a Broadcaster for Helen Duhamel's KDUH in Hay Springs in September 1966 in his early 20's.

It was a part-time position; soon he was sent to Hollywood, CA to obtain his switcher license so he could take up full-time employment with KDUH (FCC regulations have changed quite a bit over the years). According to his wife Margie, switching (aka master control) and his three broadcast times for local news and information kept him extremely busy.

Through the years Jerry has held nearly every imaginable position with the station, including program manager, station manager, news director, anchor, reporter and weatherman. One of the accomplishments he holds dear was the "Back Roads" series, where he was able to meet some of the Panhandle's most interesting people and see the most interesting places and bring them to viewers throughout the area. About the only position he never held at the station was in sales (although he did spend a little time outside the industry selling cars in Gordon in the very late 1970's… and HATED it according to Margie). When KDUH moved from Hay Springs to Scottsbluff around 1980, Jerry moved with it; his family followed about two years later.

Jerry has never been one to seek accolades, but several have come his way. Organizations conferring honors over the years have included Nebraska Broadcasters Association, United Way. Boys Town, Disabled American Veterans, U.S. Air Force, Nebraska State Education Association and Scotts Bluff County Crime Stoppers. In 2007 he was named a Trailblazer of the Year by the Scottsbluff/Gering Chamber of Commerce. In 2009 he received the Lifetime Special Recognition Award for outstanding contributions to Nebraska Broadcasting, Associated Press, and he was inducted into the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

But Jerry’s real commitment was to the viewing public. If you ask him, he will tell you the one thing that made it all worth it has been the people of the Nebraska Panhandle. For Jerry, it's been the stories of the viewer that have had the most impact, not only on him, but on others as well. He has been the face, if not the voice, of the Nebraska Panhandle.

We here at NBC Nebraska Scottsbluff wish him happiness with family and friends, and the contentment of a job well done.