MAB Says Goodbye to Former FCC Chairman and Michigan Broadcast Pioneer James H. Quello
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters sent out this release today on the death of James Quello:
It is with a heavy heart that the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) announces the death of our friend, Michigan native, broadcast pioneer, MAB Past President and former FCC Chairman, James H. Quello. Quello died Sunday, January 24 surrounded by friends and family at his Alexandria, VA home after heart and kidney failure. He was 95.
Quello, a World War II Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and a war hero, started his career in radio broadcasting immediately after returning from Europe in 1945. He worked in the promotions department at WXYZ-AM (Detroit) and two years later moved to rival station WJR-AM (Detroit). He later became Vice President and General Manager of WJR-AM in 1960.
Quello was one of the original MAB members. He supported and helped to build the association from a small group of radio managers looking for representation on legal issues to what it currently is today - a nationally-recognized association representing more than 300 Michigan radio and television stations. Jim served as president of the MAB in 1959 and credited the MAB, his colleagues and friends from Michigan for mounting a campaign to get him appointed to the FCC in 1974. He served there until 1997 when he retired. For eleven months in 1993, Quello was the Acting Chairman of the FCC. He was honored with the prestigious MAB Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and many other awards too numerous to mention is this brief article. You could always find our friend Jim attending MAB conferences - catching up with old Michigan broadcast friends during a reception or participating in a tennis match - Jim was one of us and we will miss him.
This past Friday, January 22, MAB President/CEO Karole White spoke briefly with Jim:
"Weak and frail he used his limited breath to be uplifting to me," said White. "He thanks his friends in the MAB, 'The Greatest Broadcasting Association in the States,' he said. I'm to tell everyone he loves them and good bye (from Jim)."
Funeral arrangements are pending.
WZZM-TV Grand Rapids:
James Henry Quello, a one-time broadcaster who served as an FCC commissioner for 24 years, and as acting FCC chairman in 1993, died today at age 95. Appointed to the FCC in 1974 by then President Richard Nixon, Quello, a Democrat, kept winning reappointments to the commission until 1998, when he retired. He was named acting chairman of the FCC in 1993, bridging the gap between the tenure of Republican Albert Sikes and Democratic appointee, Reed Hundt. Quello's initial appointment to the FCC sparked protests from consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who called the new commissioner "a pawn for broadcasters." Although his tenure as acting chairman of the FCC was brief, the New York Times described his tenure with the headline, "Temporary Chief Proves More Than a Fill-In." As an FCC commissioner, Quelo became known for his independent thinking. He championed the preservation of free universal television and he sat on the commission as it and the media transitioned into the Information Age, during a period of revolutionary technological change and the birth of the Internet... Michigan native and former Detroit Radio manager James Quello dies (Sun, 1/24)