The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 4, 2013

Hammett will be missed

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Our town lost another treasure with the passing of Bonnie Hammett on Tuesday evening. Bonnie was known and loved by a host of friends, but also had an impact on Norman and our state that many may not realize.

This quiet, elegant lady — full of humor and “smarts” — made a major contribution to the development of educational broadcasting in and for Oklahoma through her years of service as the “right” and “left” hand to John Dunn, director of the University of Oklahoma radio station WNAD-AM/FM, and later during the founding and early day development of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.

From the “network-level” studio facilities of WNAD in the Union Building on campus, the University provided instructional (through The School of the Air), cultural, and entertainment services in the programming of this flagship facility. Bonnie Hammett was the “nexus” point for the operation of this station, and when OETA was formed — based initially in the major production studio facilities of WNAD — continued providing that function for Channel 13. Her efficiency, diplomacy, and ability to bring a dose of reality (often softened with humor) to almost any situation served these early days well.

When I was asked to develop and “anchor” the first evening news service for Channel 13 in the late 1950s — it was Bonnie who made sure that the processes, services and support were provided for that effort. She also smoothed the transition of moving from the Union to the newly completed Forum Building at the Oklahoma Center — giving more space and flexibility to the operation.

Her work and spirit enriched the lives of all who knew her, and of countless Oklahoma citizens who never have heard of her. She spent herself in worthy causes, and she will be missed.

JERRY HARGIS

Norman

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