In Memoriam: Dean Osmundson
A memorial service will be held today (Tuesday, February 4, 2014) for Iowa Broadcasting legend Dean Osmundson of Marshalltown. Dean was the founder and first General Manager of KCRR, which went on-the-air as KGCI in 1984. He passed away peacefully at a hospice home in Gilbert, Arizona last week at the age of 88. The memorial service begins at 2:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Marshalltown.
Dean spent the majority of his life in the radio-television industry, first working at a pair of radio stations in Wisconsin, then at KBIZ in Ottumwa, Iowa. On December 16, 1955, Dean delivered the first weathercast on Ottumwa’s brand-new KTVO-TV, where he continued as Chief Weathercaster and weekend news anchor through December 1957.
In January, 1958, the Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Corporation lured Dean to WMC-AM/FM in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent the next 26 years in various executive positions in the company’s radio division, including the last 16 as General Manager of WMC-AM/FM before retiring in the fall of 1984.
Dean later resumed his broadcasting career as CEO of the Dee Rivers Radio Corporation, which owned 10 stations in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. He retired from that position in 1988.
In 1978, Dean and his wife, Audrey, received a license to build KDAO-AM radio in Marshalltown. KGCI was added to their business portfolio 30 year ago. The Osmundson’s continued to grow their business ventures, adding KDAO-LPTV in 1987, KDAO-FM in 1993 and KTDV-FM in 2008.
KGCI’s call letters were changed to KCRR in 1994 and the station’s adult contemporary music format was switched to classic rock. The Osmundson’s sold the station in 1998.
Throughout his career, Dean was an active participant in several civic, business and professional organizations. Among them were the Iowa Broadcasters Association, Memphis Broadcasting Association, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and the Grundy Center Chamber of Commerce.
Dean was honored many times by multiple organizations for his community involvement. Most notably, he was named “Marketing Man of the Year” by the American Marketing Association and in 1998, was inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
Dean is survived by Audrey, his wife of 64 years; son Mark (Emily) Osmundson of Marshalltown; daughter Jean (Doug) Rother of Golden, Colorado; along with four grandchildren, a brother, sister, sister-in-law and many nieces, nephews, family and friends.