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ROY B. GIBSON

Roy B. Gibson, who died this past week at 65, was a media giant. A genuine pioneer in Utah television broadcasting, he joined the first TV station in the Mountain West when K6XIS went on the air in Salt Lake City in 1948. By 1949, when it became KDYL-TV, he was a free-lance commercial announcer displaying the hazards of live demonstrations of everything from sewing machines to kitchen blenders.

He became a full-time commercial announcer in 1954, By 1957, he was a full-time newsman, becoming one of Utah's first news anchors, reporting, writing and filming the stories himself. He was the news anchor of a historic Utah team that also included Paul James on sports and Bob Welti on weather. Welti and James eventually left to join competing Channel 5, but Gibson stayed to become Channel 4's news director.Once he said, "If we can keep looking for ways to adapt television to the way we live rather than letting it dictate the way we live, I think we can make it into a useful tool."

In 1972, he embarked on a teaching career at the University of Utah, where this year he was granted a full professorship in the department of communications. He excelled as a teacher, saying that his most valuable experiences came from being pushed beyond what he had thought he could do. He similarly tried to challenge his students, making so many corrections in red ink that their assignments were often returned looking as if they were "bathed in blood."

Initially, Gibson was headed for a career in drama and indeed received his degree in theater. Over the years, he performed in local dramas. But he was not unfulfilled. "I like teaching better than being an actor, which is a diversion, or a full-time newscaster, which is too confining."

Always considered unique as an intellectual in a medium noted for entertainers, he bemoaned in later years the loss of live television and the loss of spontaneity.

Gibson was thoughtful, enormously talented and refreshing. His balanced, analytical contribution to both teaching and broadcasting will be deeply missed.