Bill Thrash

2000 Inductee

For nearly fifty years, Bill Thrash has been associated with quality television programming in Oklahoma. He is a community leader who constantly leverages his media and arts community network to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans through a variety of public events. Bill began his career in the production department in a small Oklahoma town’s only TV station. He moved up in market size as he moved through the ranks, eventually landing at the ABC and NBC affiliates in Oklahoma City. For the last twelve years, Bill has been a creative force behind a statewide public TV network that frequently provides programming to the national PBS audience.

In the 1970’s, Bill directed “The Stars and Stripes Show starring Bob Hope”, one of the first programs created and produced in Oklahoma City and seen nationally on NBC. He also produced several country music specials for national broadcast, launched the innovative “PM Magazine” in Oklahoma, and produced and directed numerous other television programs. These days, Bill creates new programs for OETA and produces the new “Lawrence Welk” specials as well as repackages the original Welk programs. Along the way, Bill has been nominated for several Emmys and has picked up a few for some great programs.

Through the years, Bill has been a mentor for those searching for excellence in broadcasting. Bill was the first to hire Mary Hart when he brought her to Oklahoma City for a talk show. He also worked with Bob Dotson on a project in Oklahoma City that earned Bob his first Emmy. Other names are less well known outside of Oklahoma, but collectively, they have earned a many Emmys and other awards. They all remember the time they were privileged to work with Bill Thrash.

Gold Circle Inductee: 2010