Saturday, November 29, 2014

Eliot Keller, co-founder and General Manager of Z102.9, KZIA, died on December 28th, 2009 of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

In 1974, Eliot Keller unknowingly started what became one of the most prolific local broadcasting careers the radio industry has seen.  With partner Rob Norton, Eliot continually raised the bar as to what it meant to serve the public interest from a little room with a handful of records and a microphone.

If you were lucky enough to know or work with him, the public service side of Eliot Keller was always inspirational.  He was a powerful voice in the radio industry and in the local community he worked so hard to serve.

This public service, important as it is, was never the reason you looked forward to spending time with Eliot.  He always had a knack of making you feel that none of the work was as important as you are.

Knowing that the radio broadcasting industry and our community as a whole has lost a natural leader, we will miss the man.  With one of the most infectious smiles and a giggle that was all Eliot, his warmth as a father, husband, partner, manager and friend will be missed most of all.


 

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So long old friend...
Last Post 12-29-2009 19:52 by Bart Shore. 0 Replies.
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Bart Shore
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12-29-2009 19:52 DeleteDelete EditEdit QuoteQuote ReplyReply  
So sad to hear about the loss of my friend Eliot Keller. I started working at KRNA one year after the station had started in 1975. So many things I will never forgot. 1027 Hollywood Blvd. Sounded pretty impressive with that address alone.

Eliot was a true pioneer in Iowa Radio, he had the vision to create a radio station out of nothing, and what a radio station it was. Eastern Iowa had never had the likes of a radio station like this before, and really did take it by storm. Eliot was the king of dealing with the FCC. He got KRNA up and running as a local 3000 watt station but knew it could be and had to be bigger, and through his endless hours of work and dedication got that sucker up to 100,000 watts ..KRNA would now reach half the state of Iowa, and was on the map.

I recall watching Eliot's daughter Nicole grow up a bit while I was there. His Mother Millie would come around too, she was a trip. She is pictured on the web site, sitting in Eliot's office by herself. She would walk around the place and make her little comments to us. And Sandy would often come by too, who always seemed to be the voice of reason in the family.

I left Iowa City and KRNA for my hometown of Chicago in 1985. I have been working in the business ever since my days at KRNA. I learned so much from my time at KRNA, and so much from Eliot. I think his strong work ethic must have rubbed off on me a bit. Here was a guy who had a sense of community. He did a lot for the people of Iowa City, and they should be thankful to him. In fact they need to build a statue of him right downtown in front of that little square by the downtown hotel ...He should never be forgotten. I know I won't.

Bart Shore


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