LUBBOCK, Texas – Bill Maddox, one of the most trusted names in news in Lubbock history, died Tuesday.
The first News Director of KAMC (back then it was KSEL-TV), Paul Bean, described how Maddox came to KAMC.
“I was having to anchor the six and ten,” Bean said. Bean was not only the TV News Director but also the director for radio news.
The challenge of essentially two full-time jobs was just too much. But double-duty was just the start of the challenge for Bean. Channel 28, KSEL-TV, went on the air as a UHF channel in late 1968 back in the days when that was an incredibly difficult thing to do.
“You had to have the guts of a blind high-diver to start a UHF station in Lubbock in the 1960’s,” Bean said.
The televisions to get a UHF signal were already in place, but it required a special antenna. As Bean recalls, the percent of TV owners with the right antenna was somewhere between 10 and 12 percent.
KSEL had one big thing going for it – well, actually two big things.
For one — “A lot of the network programing was not being shown in Lubbock,” Bean said. There was no full-time ABC affiliate.
And the second — “It was tough, but we surrounded ourselves with very good broadcasters.”
And that’s where Maddox comes in.
“I said let’s try to hire Bill Maddox. They said he wouldn’t come over here. He’s with channel 13,” Bean said.
Maddox said no a couple of times and for good reason. KLBK was known. KSEL was not.
“But finally, we were able to convince him, that we were on a roll, and where he was working was not a roll.”
Bean’s motivation was simple; “I hated being on television. I just never did take to it.”
Bean not only wanted help, he wanted (how should we say this politely?) someone who was nicer than Bean. Maddox was perfect all the way around.
Having been at KLBK since 1964, Maddox moved over to KSEL in 1969.
“Bill Maddox was a sweet man. There was not a mean bone in Bill Maddox’s body,” Bean said.
“He was a kind man, he was trusting. He was a Christian, and he lived that life on a daily basis.”
In his book, The Other Side of the Camera, Maddox gave thanks to many people – chief among them was Jesus Christ.
“I was proud to have Bill Maddox as my friend,” Bean said.
Maddox retired in 2013. His last full-time job in TV was the morning show host on KLBK.
Use the video link above to see Bean talking about his early days with Maddox.
Photojournalist David Ewerz talked to Bill some time ago. CLICK HERE or use the embedded file below to see.