Former WOWT anchor Gary Kerr inducted into Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A major honor for a longtime anchor-reporter at 6 News WOWT: At a ceremony Tuesday night in Lincoln, Gary Kerr was inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Kerr, who retired in 1998, is often referred to as the “Cronkite of the Midwest.”
He spent three decades in Nebraska and Iowa living rooms rent-free. He grew up on a family farm in South Dakota and wanted to be an agriculture journalist.
6 News offered him a job covering agriculture for TV news in 1964. A few years later he became what we call a news anchor today but in 1971 his title was Chief Newscaster.
How Kerr got the promotion isn’t textbook.
“You know what they say about the right place, right time. While the previous chief newscaster who shall remain nameless, around the 4th of July, threw a cherry bomb in the men’s restroom at Channel 6 while someone was in there. The next day, he was fired. Then they asked me if I wanted the job, and I thought about it for five seconds and said, ‘That would be great,’” Kerr said.
Kerr spent the ’70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s behind the desk but it was his work in the field, reporting that energized him, sharing history firsthand.
From covering the unrest of the Vietnam war and the civil rights upheaval of the 60s and 70s to the devastating tornado of 1975 that weaved a path of destruction down 72nd Street and the heartbreaking losses of family farms when auctions were the only way to cover the mounting debt.
Out of all the co-anchors Gary worked with, he spent the most years at the desk with Byron Wood.
“It’s well-deserved and long overdue recognition of your contribution to the broadcast industry,” Wood said.
Congratulations to Gary Kerr, member of NBA Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
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