Madison Lee Hodges, KLRE's first general manager, died on July 18, 2014, in Tallahassee, Fla. Hodges had cardiac arrest following a lengthy treatment for a rare bone cancer.
Hodges was born in Pine Bluff. In high school, he worked for the legendary Buddy Deane at radio station KOTN in Pine Bluff. After college, Hodges worked for KTHV-TV in Little Rock as a reporter and weekend anchor. In 1976, he was hired as the first professional broadcaster to manage KLRE, which was licensed to the Little Rock School District at that time. Hodges expanded broadcasting on KLRE into the evenings and weekends and supported the founding of The Friends of KLRE, a nonprofit community organization that would raise funds for the station. Hodges left KLRE in 1978.
Hodges continued his public radio career working as the manager of stations in Kentucky and Florida. He also worked for National Public Radio as the project manager for the Public Telecommunications Facilities program and as NPR's director of policy and station services. He also served as the executive director of the University Station Alliance (US:A), a nonprofit organization that represents public radio stations licensed to colleges and universities.
"Madison never forgot his roots," says KLRE/KUAR General Manager Ben Fry. "He always checked in with us during his years at NPR and US:A, providing us with guidance and asking for our feedback. Public radio has lost one its most dedicated advocates."
Hodges is survived by his wife Dr. Anne (Robinson) Hodges, his son Matthew McBurnett Hodges, his daughter Emma Stewart Hodges, and his brother Dr. Norman L. Hodges, Jr., a former member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of KLRE/KUAR. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 26, at Christ Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee. The family asks that donations be made to public radio stations KLRE/KUAR, the local public radio station of your choice, or the American Cancer Society.
You can read more about Madison Hodges in this obituary in the Tallahassee Democrat.