Monday, May 24, 2021

Franklin TV: Bob Dean (1946-2021)

Born: November, 1946, Deceased: May 16, 2021

First, the backstory:

For many years cable carriers were legally obligated to provision and manage a local access TV studio for free use by residents. Some still do. When Verizon came to Franklin in 2006 they offered some funding to support the existing Comcast local access studio. (We don’t need two studios.) Comcast in turn wanted to do the same. So Comcast transferred its 13 Main St. studio and staff over to the Town of Franklin and ultimately, from Franklin to us, a new, independent nonprofit group at the end of 2011. 
Franklin TV: Bob Dean (1946-2021)
Franklin TV: Bob Dean (1946-2021)

Through all that time Bob was laying plans, pinching pennies, and preparing the way for the entity that would eventually become Franklin●TV. Just as things were finally coming along with the legal formation of Franklin Community Cable Access, dba Franklin●TV as a nonprofit organization with a charter, bylaws, an agreement with Franklin, etc., Bob fell ill, suffering a series of debilitating strokes early in 2012.

Bob’s work was conducted in conjunction with a Cable Advisory Board that he helped to form; recruiting volunteers who helped to chart the new studio’s future.

Most of them continue to serve as board members for Franklin●TV.

Here, in their own words – warm remembrances of Bob Dean: 

Rose Turco:
I recall the visit Bob made to my home, inviting me to become a board member of this new organization. Bob realized my hesitation in agreeing to something so new to me but for which he had a vision. Needless to say he was successful, and for that I am so appreciative. Here was my former student teaching the teacher!
Pandora Carlucci:
I remember him and the filming of town council and school committee meetings in council chambers at the Former Emmons Street town hall. He was a dedicated advocate for cable access.
Wes Rea:
Unlike some of you who knew Bob from town, I did not know him other than his name and his association with the public access studio. Once it was clear that Franklin Cable TV was going to be created and become an independent entity [from Comcast], I contacted Bob and asked to be involved. He was a little hesitant and maybe a little suspicious–  “Who was this guy that wanted to get involved in local TV?”  At the time I was a relative new comer, had only been in Franklin for 23 or 24 years. But after we talked, he welcomed me into the group. He was protecting something that was not only important to him but so important to the Town of Franklin. Bob was a ground-breaker, and Franklin was lucky to have him. And although I knew him for only a short while, I consider myself lucky for that time.
John Milot:
He started me filming at the church every other week. Really a great person!
Jay Horrigan:
I was lucky enough to have met Bob and worked with him at the old Franklin TV. And, like Ken, I remember clearly him pulling up to me in his truck asking me to help him with creating the new version of Franklin TV. Back then there were only a few of us that “worked” for Franklin TV. He and I, and also Ken spent a ton of time reading and going over by-laws Bob created to present to the town about this new TV concept. We sat in meeting after meeting with Jeff Nutting among others. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot from Bob. The big thing he taught me was to be careful saying ‘yes’ when someone pulls up alongside you, hands you an envelope with bylaw ideas inside and says, “No, no, this won’t take up any time at all!” I am so glad I did it, and I am even more thankful for the time I got to spend with Bob, and the knowledge he tried to pass along.
Ken Norman:
Jay, I cannot take any credit for the by-laws.  I came on board after the Corp was formed in Nov 2011. I do remember asking Bob if there was any heavy lifting (figuratively) about joining.  At the time I was actively involved in several projects. Bob of course said, “No, just a few meetings a year.”  Next thing I know Bob has had a stroke, and I am now the President of a new Corporation I knew nothing about. It has been one of the best jobs I have had in town. Building the new studio on Hutchinson St. with Peter was the most rewarding. I only wish Bob could have seen and enjoyed the ground work he had set out for us.
My advice: Watch out for guys in pickup trucks.

There are also a couple more reflections on Bob Dean from the archives of prior years. You can find them in the full copy of this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online  or for archive purposes    

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