Farm Broadcaster Turned Senator Conrad Burns Dies At 81
April 29, 2016 at 7:32 AM (PT)
Former U.S. Senator and broadcaster CONRAD BURNS (R-MT) passed away THURSDAY (4/28) at his home in BILLINGS. He was 81.
BURNS, a longtime agriculture news broadcaster whose NORTHERN AGRICULTURAL NETWORK covered the northern Plains states, was elected to the Senate in 1988 and served until narrowly losing to Sen. JON TESTER in his 2006 re-election bid. BURNS founded the NORTHERN AG NETWORK in 1975 and grew it to a client roster of 31 radio stations and 6 TV stations before selling the business in 1986 to run for a county elected position. As a Senator, he served as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee's Communications Subcommittee.
NAB President/CEO GORDON SMITH, also a former Senator, said, "Broadcasters have lost a great champion and I have lost a good Senate friend with the passing of CONRAD BURNS. Conrad's deep appreciation for local broadcasting -- based on his many years of service as a farm broadcaster in MONTANA -- was evident on the Senate Commerce Committee. NAB and the farm broadcasting community will miss this common-sense lawmaker and man of good humor."