Inducted in 2011
Mid-Missouri audiences grew up knowing Rod Gelatt’s velvet voice and trusted news broadcasts as an anchorman on KOMU-TV (Channel 8) and KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO. But his influence as a broadcaster and a journalism professor has touched countless Americans who rely on broadcast journalists for accurate, fair-minded news reporting. His journalism students have taken his lessons and emulated his example in newsrooms across the nation producing thoughtful, honest journalism that viewers and listeners can count on.
Although the tools and the technology of the news industry changed over Gelatt’s fifty plus years of news gathering and mentoring, his commitment to high journalistic ethics and accuracy never wavered. He began his distinguished career in Iowa when radio was “king.” Rod hared in the debut of television news at WHO-AM in Des Moines when the station expanded to provide both radio and television newscasts in 1953.
In 1963 the University of Missouri lured him to teach, anchor the news and be news director at KOMU-TV, one of only a few commercially licensed television stations owned by a university. He guided the station through major technical changes beginning with the switch from black and white to color broadcasting. He would go on to chair the Broadcast News Department within the School of Journalism, help draft guidelines for bringing cameras and microphones into Missouri courtrooms and create a media commentary discussion program, which he hosted on KBIA-FM until 2008.