|Birth: ||Dec. 17, 1928|
|Death: ||Sep. 26, 2002|
William D. "Bill" McCraken, a pioneer in local radio, television, cable and newspaper publishing, passed away Thursday at United Medical Center-West after a long illness.
McCraken was a vice president and director of Cheyenne Newspapers Inc., publishers of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle; Laramie Newspapers Inc., publishers of the Laramie Daily Boomerang; Rawlins Newspapers Inc., publishers of the Rawlins Daily Times; Rock Springs Newspapers Inc., publishers of the Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner; and Big Horn Basin Newspapers Inc., publishers of the Northern Wyoming Daily News in Worland.
He also served on the executive committees of the newspapers at Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs and Worland.
From the age of 13, when he first worked part time in the engineering department of his father's radio station, KFBC, Cheyenne's oldest surviving radio station, McCraken pursued a long and notable career in public communications, actively engaging in the mediums of radio, television, cable and newspaper publishing.
His early career was interrupted for the study of radio and television production at the University of Wyoming, where he studied communications; after which he returned to KFBC as a radio transmitter engineer.
In the early 1950s he helped build radio station KRAL at Rawlins, and by the middle of that decade he had moved into television engineering to help build KFBC-TV, Channel 5 (the station presently bearing the call letters KGWN) and, later, KSTF-TV in Scottsbluff, Neb.
At KFBC-TV he served at various times in both the production and programming ends of television and was at one time chief transmitter engineer and then operations chief.
He had been a vice president and director of Frontier Broadcasting Company, former owners and operators of KFBC-TV in Cheyenne, KSTF-TV in Scottsbluff, Neb., KTVS-TV in Sterling, Colo., and KFBC Radio and Cable Colorvision, both of Cheyenne.
As an officer of Frontier Broadcasting Company, he was instrumental in the building of Cable Colorvision, Cheyenne's first cable company, in the late 1960s. He assumed the management of the company until it was sold by Frontier in 1983.
He also served as a director of Cheyenne Building Company, Worland Building Company, Scottsbluff Building Company, the Wyoming Broadcasting Company at Rock Springs and WYNECO, an advertising marketing company.
He retired in the mid-1980s when the last property owned by Frontier Broadcasting Company was sold.
Born in Cheyenne on Dec. 17, 1928, into the newspapering family of Tracy S. McCraken, Bill McCraken found his way naturally into the field of communications, and it became his work and his hobby. Amateur, or "ham," radio was among his many interests; he held an Amateur Extra license.
Active in civic affairs, he had been a director of the Cheyenne Jaycees, a trustee of Laramie County Memorial Hospital (now United Medical Center-West), a member of the board of directors of the Salvation Army, vice president of the Cheyenne Family YMCA, a member of BPO Elks 660, the ShyWy Amateur Radio Club and the League of American Wheelmen, a national bicycle organization.
He was a member of the First Christian Church of Scottsdale, Ariz.
McCraken is survived by his wife, Marvel H. McCraken; daughter, Stacy M. McCraken of Cheyenne; and sons, Tracy C. McCraken of Lincoln, Neb., and Karl W. McCraken and his wife Trudy of Laramie. He is also survived by five grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tracy and Lillian McCraken, and his brother, Robert S. McCraken.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Congregational Church, 3501 Forest Drive, Cheyenne, with Schrader Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.
Friends who prefer may contribute to the Bill McCraken Memorial Fund, c/o Cheyenne Newspapers Inc., 702 W. Lincolnway, Cheyenne, WY 82001.
Tracy S McCraken (____ - 1960)
Beth El Cemetery
Plot: Sec N Lot 20 Sp D
Created by: Eric Crow
Record added: Aug 19, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29160374