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Herb Howard Posts, Remembrances and Tributes

“I was not lucky enough to have Herb as a professor. He was a cornerstone of the college and a mentor to many. A real loss for the communication education field.” David Bohan (’70), Chairman, BOHAN Advertising/Marketing and CCI Board of Visitors member

“Very sad news. He had a great heart and left a mark on so many people. I am blessed to have been one of his students. Rest In Peace.” Trey Fabacher (’89), General Sales Manager WTVM-TV, Columbus, Georgia and emeritus CCI Board of Visitors member

“Sad to hear of him passing. Great teacher, a better man. I wish I could’ve seen him one last time. My loss.” Fred Cowgill (’79), sports director, WLKY-TV

“I am very sorry to learn of the passing of another CCI Legend.  I personally am a better person and better at what I do because of my experiences as a student and later a friend of Herb Howard.  His family should be comforted knowing how much he has meant to so many.” John Williams (’71), CEO, The Regional Eye Center, CCI Board of Visitors chairperson

“I am so sorry to hear about this. He was a stalwart in the program. Our thoughts are with his family.” Alan Carmichael (’69), president, Moxley Carmichael, Inc.

“Sad news. A wonderful man. I regret I did not have him for classes when I was in graduate school.” Bruce Cadotte (’81)

“HERB was the BEST!!! Summer of 1976, I took 6 week of Master in Communications and Herb and Alpha became my dear friends.” James Parnick Jennings, Sr. (’51), owner, Good Shepherd Funeral Home, Rome, Georgia 

“Herb was the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies when I became Head of the Department of Broadcasting in 1985.  He was very helpful to me in acquainting me with the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and a bit of history of broadcasting in the state.  He was always available to help with any questions we had in broadcasting and continued to teach a broadcast management course in our program.  He was highly regarded by graduate students and colleagues.” JEM Professor Sam Swan

“I had Dr. Howard for my graduate broadcasting courses in the late 70’s, and he was an excellent teacher as well as a wonderful person! Thank you for forwarding the obituary. Love and prayers for his family.” Ann Rigell (MS ’80)

“Thank you for sending this. I loved Herb. He was a great professor. I’m so saddened.” Rick Pullen (‘77) Writer, Editor, Author, Naked Ambition, The Apprentice, Naked Truth (2018)

Vince Staten (’73), author and columnist, wrote:

 “You probably don’t know his name. And you almost assuredly wouldn’t recognize his face. But you may know the voice. Either from his time as a volunteer announcer on WETP-2 (PBS) or from long ago when he was an announcer at WJHL radio or from the early years of WJHL-TV.

In fact it was Herb Howard who announced the station’s sign on for the very first time on Oct. 26, 1953.

Herb died on Wednesday. He was one of the most beloved broadcasting figures in east Tennessee, dating back to 1945 when he headed straight from class at Science Hill to WJHL radio or from his days as an announcer and weatherman on WJHL-TV or from his long stint teaching broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.

If you ever took a broadcast news class – and I did in the fall of 1968 – you probably took it from Herb Howard. (I did.)

He was a terrific teacher. And a wonderful human being.

Because of Herb Howard I could walk in off the street at WBIR radio and TV in the summer of 1969 and get hired. I had Herb’s class on my resume.

But I knew Herb from before that class, long before.

In November 1953 I was on his TV show, “The Uncle Herb Show.

I was, according to the note on the back of my “art” work, “TV Winner.”

I had submitted a drawing from “Peter Rabbit.” And I won. This despite the fact that I had no discernible art talent then or now. I had two advantages. There were very few TV sets around in 1953 so there were very few entries. (Hanes Lancaster, the owner, told me a few years ago that there were only 9,000 sets in all of east Tennessee, when WJHL-TV signed on.) And I may have had some adult, uh, help. My mother really wanted me on TV, even though we didn’t own one.

The contest had started when Herb was on radio. He would read a story and invite kids to draw a picture to illustrate the story and send it in. That’s right, send in your pictures to radio.

When I talked to Herb about that a few years back, he chuckled. “Kids sent pictures in and we would talk about them. We had a deal with a publisher of children’s books and we would send a book to the children who sent in their drawings.

Herb did the radio show for three or four years before WJHL television signed on and station management asked him to do a TV version.

While he was hosting a kids’ show, he was attending ETSU. After he got his master’s, he headed to Knoxville to teach broadcasting in the journalism school. He later headed the broadcasting department.

Herb told me he estimated that over the years he had taught more than 6,000 students.

I’d bet not a one of them has forgotten him, even the ones who didn’t go into broadcasting.

Herb was a rarity, a college teacher who knew his subject. He had lived it.”