Bill Thrash

For more than 50 years Bill Thrash has stood for quality programming in Oklahoma commercial and educational television. Currently the Station Manager at OETA The Oklahoma Network, and with no apparent plans to retire soon, he is widely recognized for his dedication to, and enduring love for, his community, his state and his profession. Bill is described as a manager, producer, director, cameraman, writer, teacher and friend – all rolled into one person. His creativity and innovation have helped to advance the television industry to the benefit of many, on both sides of the screen. In 1955 he began his career at KTEN in Ada, then on to KOCO and KFOR (formerly WKY-TV), and to OETA in 1988. During his 16 years with KFOR he directed “The Stars and Stripes Show” and supervised the “Dannysday” talk show with Danny Williams and Mary Hart. He also worked with Bob Dotson on Oklahoma’s only National Emmy award winning news documentary, “Through the Looking Glass, Darkly.” While at OETA he directs the wraparounds for the weekly “Lawrence Welk Show” and, more recently, was instrumental in the complex and sometimes tedious transition to the digital world – working with neighboring stations to serve the viewing public. Throughout his years of hard work, Bill has been recognized by civic and arts organization for his community service, and by his peers with Emmy awards, a National Iris nomination, two Western Heritage awards, an AWRT Lifetime Achievement award, a Golden Grid Programmer of the Year award – and he is also a member of our own Silver Circle. He encourages students interested in a career in broadcasting to pursue a variety of subjects, rather than to focus exclusively on media-related courses, believing that real professionals understand everything from politics to the arts, to pop culture and local history. This is a man who has devoted his life to delivering the very best in television programming to all the audiences he serves.

Silver Circle Inductee: 2000