LUBBOCK, Texas — Longtime KAMC news anchor Bill Maddox passed away Tuesday. He was 81 years of age.
Maddox came to Lubbock from Tucumcari, New Mexico. Along the way he also studied at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
In 1964 he anchored the news in Lubbock on KLBK. He then switched to the brand new KSEL TV which is now KAMC roughly four years later. Maddox retired in May 2013.
He also spent a little time as the KLBK morning news anchor.
In his retirement he tried his hand for a time as the owner of an auto glass shop appeared in local TV commercials.
“When I was about eight years old when I began to develop a keen interest and desire to imitate those in the broadcasting business,” Maddox wrote in his book The Other Side of the Camera. “I had a small upright lamp (about a foot tall) that had no shade but did have a small red lightbulb that I would put in front of me on a card table.”
Turning on the red bulb meant he was on-air.
“I would spend hours sitting on folding chair talking to that lamp, pretending it was a microphone and envisioning myself in my imagined ‘exalted position’ as a famous news or sports commentator…”
Scott Pelley, now at CBS 60 Minutes and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, described himself once as “the kid who used to write the 10 o’clock news for you back at KSEL television, where we worked at the TV station in the middle of a cotton field.”
“You were my first example in life of what an Anchorman should be,” Pelley told Maddox.
In a 1969 promotional video for KSEL, Maddox said, “I’m Bill Maddox and I report the news at six and ten for Channel 28. We’re strong in news and to tell you why I’d like to introduce our News Director Paul Bean.”
“He was steady and solid on the air,” Bean said on Wednesday. It took several months for Bean and the McAlister family to persuade Maddox to join KSEL. (We hope to hear more from Bean Wednesday afternoon and provide an update.)
Most viewers did not know it at the time, but Maddox dressed up as one of the monsters for Lew Dee’s Saturday Night Theater. Dee was master of ceremonies and the host of horror movies. Fellow KSEL broadcasters, including Maddox, were dressed in costume for little skits during movie breaks. (Maddox was the vampire character in a cape, tall hat, and a red sash.
KSEL was the first UHF television station to outperform VHF stations in the ratings – no small feat for the time.
Maddox also enjoyed doing ministry on the side when he was not busy with the news. His book was dedicated above-all to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Services were still pending at the time of this report. Please check back for an update.