Former radio exec and PSU teacher Robert Zimmerman dead at 73
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Robert Zimmerman, a former disc jockey who worked his way up to become president of Tele-Media Broadcasting Co., has died. He was 73.
Zimmerman, of Boalsburg, died unexpectedly on Monday, according to Penn State University's College of Communications, where he taught a telecommunications sales class.
In 1972, he and business partner Roger Neuhoff purchased WRSC-AM and WQWK-FM. Zimmerman and Neuhoff would acquire 11 more stations over the years and named their venture the Eastern Broadcasting Corp.
Zimmerman also opened a TV commercial production house and a cable videotext service. Eastern's merger with Telemedia Cable formed Tele-Media Broadcasting, and Zimmerman retired as president of Tele-Media in the 1990s.
Zimmerman was also a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and served 16 years on the PAB's board of directors.
In 1999, he returned to teach at his alma mater, where he was known as an energetic instructor who had a no-nonsense approach.
"Bob was a fixture in the college," said Matt Jackson, head of Penn State's telecommunications department. "He was fiercely loyal to Penn State, our college and our students. He will be sorely missed as a friend and colleague."
Born in Johnstown, Zimmerman started his career spinning records at WARD in his hometown while still in high school. He graduated from Penn State in 1958 with a journalism degree, and later moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as an announcer, sales manager and later general manager of the all-news station WAVA.
Zimmerman is survived by his wife of 45 years, Jane, one son, one daughter and four grandchildren.