Member Login

Forgot Password?
Need Login?

You are here: Home > News & Events > News > Texas Broadcast Pioneer…
Welcome, guest: Login to your account

Texas Broadcast Pioneer Bob Hicks passes at 89

-Tireless TAB advocate oversaw construction of TAB headquarters

Texas broadcasters are mourning the loss of industry pioneer Bob Hicks whose dedication to advancing the state’s broadcast industry culminated in a permanent home for the Texas Association of Broadcasters and spurred exponential growth in a scholarship endowment for aspiring industry leaders.

He passed away September 2 in Midland at the age of 89.

View full obituary (Midland Reporter-Telegram)

Born just a few years after the advent of Radio in the rural community of China Spring in McLennan County, he grew up in Waco and attended Baylor University.

Hicks’ 50 plus year legacy to Texas broadcasting began with a stint as a disc jockey at KVOU Uvalde.

From there, he worked his way up to general manager and then bought and operated many stations on his own, including KQIP Midland, KSOX Raymondville and KPSO Falfurrias. (“Like ‘Que Paso’ in Spanish, get it?” he often remarked.)

He put KBAT Midland on the air in 1973 as the first completely automated 100,000-watt station in Texas.

Hicks served nearly 20 years on the TAB Board of Directors and in 1989 was awarded TAB’s highest honor – the Pioneer of the Year Award.

He forged a strong partnership with then-TAB President Ann Arnold when they both hatched a vision of investing a substantial reserve fund generated by the success of TAB’s NCSA program in the construction of a permanent headquarters for TAB in Austin. The building was completed in 1999 and stands just steps from the Texas Capitol.

“The building was a dream of the founding fathers of TAB, and Bob knew them well. It was not until the last few years that the dream became a reality thanks to his leadership,” said Benny Springer, 2002 TAB Chairman, when the organization honored Hicks for his efforts.

“As Chair of the Building Committee, Bob supervised every facet of planning and construction of TAB’s headquarters in Austin and he has the frequent flyer miles to prove it!”

TAB’s permanent home was intended to be a place where the Texas broadcast community could meet and further the cause of our industry.

“It is broadcasters’ home away from home when doing business in Austin…it is the meeting space of the TAB Board…and it has been a workshop location for many news and sales seminars,” Springer said.Broadcast Legend Marker-Bob Hicks

“The building’s potential continues to be realized with each passing day, and it will continue to serve broadcasters for many decades to come.”

Broadcasters presented Hicks with a Broadcast Legends Commemorative that now hangs in the TAB building as a reminder of his dedication to the TAB and the broadcast industry.

As President of the Texas Broadcast Education Foundation, Hicks helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for scholarship endowments.

In 1996, he persuaded the TAB Board to donate $20,000 to TBEF for scholarship endowments and helped organize what was then the foundation’s most successful fundraiser – a dinner in honor of former KPRC-TV Houston General Manager Tom Reiff.

The Texas Association of Broadcast Educators named him Broadcaster of the Year in 1999.

Active in TAB well after he sold his last radio station, he attended nearly every TAB Convention through 2015.

“Bob was an extraordinary advocate…one any industry would be delighted and honored to have,” said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez.

“He helped derail a serious threat to enact an Ad Tax by marshalling a community-wide lobbying effort with then-Speaker Tom Craddick, traveled repeatedly to the nation’s capital to advocate before members of Congress, and recruited new station owners in West Texas to become TAB members.

“His mind was like a steel trap…no detail escaped him – he suggested when I last saw him that we should consider re-directing the exterior lighting sconces at the building entrance as originally intended.”

To learn more about Hicks’ long career, view the video from the “Pioneers of the TAB” project, produced by Texas Tech University.

Services and Memorial

Services are scheduled for Thursday, Sept 8 at 1 pm at the First Baptist Church in Midland. Visitation hours are from 10 am-12 pm. A private burial will be held in Waco on Sept. 10.

His family has encouraged memorial contributions be made in Hicks’ name to:

  • Texas Broadcast Education Foundation
  • Ann Arnold Center. 502 E. 11th Street, Ste. 200, Austin, TX 78701

TBEF is a 501(3) charitable organization. Contributions are fully tax deductible.

« Back to News Archive
« Back to Latest News