Longtime Channel Six News Director, John Clark, lost a long battle with cancer this summer, just two weeks away from his 59th birthday. John dedicated his entire broadcast career to Omaha. He started as a reporter at KMTV but in 1980 moved to WOWT. Working here first as a reporter, John became Assistant News Director and Assignments Editor in 1984.
In 1991, upon the retirement of Steve Murphy, John became news director. John Clark was a journalist and a professional -- he expected no less from the rest of us. While it has been many years since John has been seen regularly on TV, you see his impact in every Channel Six newscast that airs today. As news director it astonished him that viewers in some surveys are asked if accuracy matters. John believed that if we are not accurate, we are nothing.
If he said it once, he said it a thousand times: he'd rather be last and accurate than first and wrong.
John was always mindful that many of the stories we do touch people in very personal and sometimes painful ways. He always urged care and caution in those situations.
John took great pride in leading a news organization that is able to step up and cover major stories whenever they happen. He was especially proud of the many national and regional awards won by Channel Six during his tenure but he most valued the trust that viewers placed in our newscasts night after night, year after year.
While always a professional broadcaster, John Clark was also a family man. He was husband to Joyce, father to Justin and Jeff and proud grandfather to five energetic grandsons. Our industry and our community will always remember John, a strong, honest leader.
John and his wife Joyce used their CaringBridge.com Web site to provide daily updates on John's condition to their many friends and family members across the country and internationally. Those friends and family members were able to express their support and prayers for the Clark family in hundreds of messages posted on the CaringBridge Web site.