Friday, August 28, 2015

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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What Eliot Never Told Me...
Last Post 12-30-2009 19:14 by tommylang. 0 Replies.
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12-30-2009 19:14 DeleteDelete EditEdit QuoteQuote ReplyReply  
I discovered a recent twist to the story about the KRNA van getting stolen from The Magic Bus after Rick Derringer played Homecoming in 1998. (Long story short, I left it running and was loading it up, and while I was on the other side of the house it got stolen by a guy who eventually became a professor at Duke.)

I called Eliot and Rob after the ICPD gave me a ride home. Surprisingly, both were cool about it. Rob literally laughed out loud, while Eliot calmly talked me through how we were going to handle it. (Call the police, have Mike Moyle go on the air and make announcements, etc.)

I re-told that story yesterday on the show as an example of how I never once heard Eliot raise his voice or express any anger. Make no mistake, he got angry, but he never showed it. (At least I never saw it.)

After I finished telling the story, Steve said, "You know, that happened to him at WOC..."
Steve then told the story of young reporter Eliot Keller leaving the WOC van running and unlocked in Davenport, then having some guys steal everything out of it but the steering wheel when he left it alone for a few minutes.

I'm surprised Eliot never told me about that. But the story sure made me smile when I finally heard it yesterday.

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