Obituary: Richard Chapin

Friday, January 6, 2023 - 2:30pm

A radio legend who spent more than 30 years at the helm of Stuart Broadcasting (based in Lincoln, NE) has died.

Dick Chapin passed away Thursday in Lincoln.  He was 99 years old and would have turned 100 on March 20th.

According to the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Chapin got his start in broadcasting in March 1953, joining KFOR as an account executive.  By September 1953, he was named General Sales Manager and the following year was named General Manager of KFOR Radio and Television.

In 1958, he was elected Vice President of Stuart Investment Company, the parent company of Stuart Broadcasting Company, owners of KFOR and KFRX.

Under Chapin’s management and direction, Stuart Investments added KSAL-AM and KYEZ-FM Salina, Kansas; KOEL-AM/FM Oelwein, Iowa; KWTO-AM/FM Springfield, Missouri; and KRGI-AM/FM Grand Island.

When Stuart Broadcasting was purchased by DKM Broadcasting in late 1985, Chapin was named president of DKM Broadcasting Midwest.

He formed Chapin Enterprises, his own media brokerage firm, in 1989. He also went into station ownership purchasing radio station KSYZ in Grand Island which he helped manage and later sold in 1999.

On a national scale, Chapin served as chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, a position that capped eleven years of NAB service. In 1974, he received the NAB Distinguished Service Award, the broadcast industry’s highest award a broadcaster can receive. He also was elected chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau in 1983. Chapin is the first person ever to be elected as chairman of both the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Chapin served two terms as president of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association. In 1972, he was given an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Association and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

Chapin also received the Broadcasting Pioneer Award from the University of Nebraska College of Journalism (2003), and the Dean’s Award from the University of Nebraska College of Journalism (2009).

Richard Chapin
Richard Chapin