Don Thurston Passes Away At Age 79
October 7, 2009 at 2:38 PM (PT)
ALL ACCESS sends condolences to the friends and family of DONALD A. THURSTON, who died yesterday morning (10/6) at the age of 79, after a long battle with PARKINSON's Disease. THURSTON, was a pioneer in local radio in the NORTH BERKSHIRE, MA area and a longtime board member for both BMI and the NAB.
As BERKSHIRE BROADCASTING CO. President, THURSTON purchased WMNB and WNAW in 1966, GREAT BARRINGTON's WSBS two years later, and several stations in the eastern part of the state and in CONNECTICUT. He served on the BMI board for 15 years and was Board Chairman from 1994 to 1997. He also served as the NAB Radio Chairman from 1977 to 1979 and National Association of Broadcasters Joint Radio-TV Chairman.
JACK SANDER, BMI Board Chairman said in a statement: "We were saddened to learn of the passing of one of the broadcast industry’s most admired and respected leaders, a man who played a seminal role in the growth of BMI...As the founder and president of BERKSHIRE BROADCASTING, DON brought a deep understanding of the original vision in the relationship between the radio industry and BMI, facilitating licensing for broadcasters and royalty payments for creators and copyright owners. His profound historical perspective and countless contributions to the Board will be sorely missed. "
THURSTON received the "Distinguished Service Award" from the NAB in 1980 and was inducted into both the MASSACHUSETTS and VERMONT BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME.
"DON had a remarkable career," said friend and fellow radioman STEPHEN LONG . "It is highly unusual for a small market radio station owner to achieve the national positions he did. He was a real renaissance man. He could do it all. And he was just a good person. He could go speak with the President of the United States and then come home and have a half-hour talk with the janitor and not treat him any differently."
Funeral information has not yet been announced.