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Broadcasters mourn loss of Bridge

H.A. "Tony" Bridge, Jr. passed away July 4 in Fort Worth. He was 84.

He was the longtime former owner of KMHT-AM-FM Marshall, KLUE-AM/KHER-FM Tyler-Longview as well as stations in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia.

Bridge served at TAB Chairman in 1966 and was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2010.

Information about services is pending with Downs Funeral Home.

A Radio Pioneer

Tony Bridge’s passion for broadcasting began when he was nine years old. 

With a Montgomery Ward PA system, he experimented hooking an amp and a steel needle turntable to a phone oscillator and then to a long antenna wire.

This was the beginning of a long career in the Texas radio industry. 

As a teenager, he later built and operated his own radio station as a youngster in Avinger.

After his graduation from SMU with a journalism degree, he and his cousin H.B. helped a longtime friend, Winston Ward, open his Idabel, OK station.

Eventually the military caught up with him and in Norfolk, he produced four weekly radio programs and one Ed Sullivan-type TV variety program for the Navy, complete with talent from Amphibious Force Atlantic Fleet.

He married his wife, JoAnn Odom, on furlough in Idabel, OK.

After his military service was finished, they moved back to Marshall he purchased and operated KMHT-AM.

Later, he built KBCL-AM Shreveport-Bossier, making him the youngest multiple-station owner in the nation.

Soon after, he purchaed KLUE Longview, KHER-105.7 (now KYKX) and KMHT-FM, which he owned and managed for years.

He operated many high quality stations in East Texas for a number of years and helped Wylie College start its own radio facility.

After leaving Marshall and moving to Fort Worth, Bridge was still an entrepreneur and sales marketing consultant.

Along the way, Bridge served as TAB Chairman (1966), President of the East Texas and Texas State chambers and was appointed Chairman of the Texas Tourist Development Agency by Gov. Dolph Brisco.


Tony Bridge honored today before City Commission meeting (The Marshall Messenger - November 2010)

KMHT owner, civic leader remembered (The Marshall Messenger - July 6, 2016)

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