Hank came from a TV family. His dad was a broadcaster before him.
I wonder how many TV general managers call themselves broadcasters anymore?
Hank got into television when it was nearly impossible not to make money. He was able to be one of the last honorable men in a business quickly changing.
He was honest. He was fair. He was concerned about our product and our impact on the community.
We did not always see eye-to-eye. Bosses and I often quarreled. Join the club.
When we argued (and make no mistake, Hank allowed me to argue) there was never a question of subtext. If he chose to explain his reasoning he put it on the table. By virtue of his position he won every argument. I never felt he used that power unfairly or as a cudgel.
I appreciate that he valued my opinion. My recommendation to Hank opened the door to a few people who would work at Channel 8.
Hank was an elegant man. Fit and handsome he was always well put together. He looked like he belonged.
The home he and Val shared in Madison was the same. Beautifully appointed. Always tasteful.
A few years after Hank left Channel 8 we ran into him while I was having dinner with Ann and Noah. While Hank chatted, Val pulled me aside. It was sad. Hank was slowly deteriorating. There would be no fond memory of our conversation for him.
My thoughts go out to Hank’s family tonight, to Val and their children. I wish I could explain away illness and death. I am sad with you.