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Jason Dudas leaving Telecommunications Board of NKY after a quarter century of service


By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

After a quarter century, Jason Dudas is leaving TBNK – that’s the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky.

Dudas served as Program Director for the cable outlet.

And at 53, he says he’s retired – don’t believe him. He loves the TV business too much.

In fact, in a chat with the Northern Kentucky Tribune on his very last day of work – Thursday – he says he plans to move to Athens, Ohio – he attended Ohio University in that town and work for the one-channel city TV station – part-time – as Production Director.

“This was a long and hard decision for me,” he said, “But I had a five-year plan, so no one at TBNK was really shocked with my announcement.”

Jason Dudas (Photo by Andy Furman/NKyTribune)

TBNK, says Dudas, “was my first real long-term job. I started here when I was 28.”

But it was long trip before the Tucson, Arizona native finally called Northern Kentucky home.

“I got my undergrad degree in Audio Media at Ohio University,” he said, “I wanted TV, went for my M.A. in video, but thought on-hand experience might be better.”

So Dudas, who attended high school in Columbus, Ohio, packed his bags – with friends – and headed for the stars – Hollywood, Calif.

“I worked on the last after-school ABC special in ’96,” he said, “But I really learned the business when I worked with Alan Sacks. He was the producer for the Welcome Back Kotter TV show. That was about 20 years after Kotter. He was a great teacher.”

Five months was enough in Hollywood – and guess what – next stop – Athens, Ohio.

“My career path was access TV,” he said. “I loved it; I wanted to be in it.”

Enter TBNK – a six-channel monster as Dudas called it back then.

And back then, the checks were signed CPC – Community Program Center. “TBNK was the government side. It confused the public; and we changed it to TBNK.”

Dudas is humble, but his TBNK legacy, he says, “is consistency. We do so much for so many with such a small staff.”

What Dudas did at TBNK was produce Kenton County sports – boys and girls – football and basketball. “We have a Game of the Week – in full – not just highlights,” he proudly says. “And much of the credit goes to TBNK Executive Director Tim Broering. “He had a vision for sports when he came here,” Dudas said. “We’ve done live sports for Thomas More University for some 10 years.”

“We’re one of the last places to find local TV, “he said. “That’s what access TV is – local sports and government meetings.”

TBNK has some 35 monthly hours of government meetings on TV, and about 90-100 monthly hours in public programing – sports, church news and public access – according to Dudas.

Moving to Athens will be like a return to the future for Jason Dudas. He’ll be working in a one-city, one channel TV facility, with two full-timers and one part-timer – himself.

Programming will consist of community news, the mayor, and planning board meetings.

“We’ll have some Ohio University interns with us,” Dudas said, “and my future goal is to finish my M.A. at OU and be an adjunct professor in their communications department.”

But his heart will still remain in Northern Kentucky. In fact, he still has some work to finish.

“I am the Camera Shader for FCCincinnati,” he said. “I make sure every camera during the broadcast match in color and brightness. And I’ll continue to be with them, next season.”

He also did some work for ESPN with some local events.

“Access live TV is all about making an effect on people’s lives,” he said. “When a kid scores a touchdown during a high school game, 20 years later he can show that moment to his children, thanks to us,” Dudas said.

But TBNK will be in good hands after Dudas cleans-out his desk this week.

James Morelock, a Latonia native takes over as Program Director.

“I’ve been working with him for several months, so he’s ready,” Dudas said.

Nope – its actually longer than that. When Morelock first came for his TBNK interview he said, “Do you you remember me?” Dudas said. He told me he was in third grade when his class took a tour of TBNK.

That’s all Dudas needed to hear. He was hired.


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One Comment

  1. Richard Murgatroyd says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jason Dudas since he started at TBNK. He became a major player in the development of TBNK and was instrumental in the growth of TBNK during the time that he has been there. He has shared his talent and knowlrdge throuughout our area in various venues and helped so many young people develop their skills in cable television. I am so proud of him and the many positive contributions he has made to cable television In Northern Kentucky. He will.be missed as he leaves this chapter in his journey and begins a new one which I have no doubt will be productive and exciting. I wish him all the best and thank him for sharing so many years with us at TBNK, his friendship and the memories he leaves behind!

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