Indiana Broadcast History Archive

Ken Beckley

Summary:

Originally from Lynville, Indiana, Ken Beckley graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1962 with a degree in Radio and Television. He worked as a broadcast journalist for 14 years, before moving on to more executive roles. In September of 1964 he married Audrey Beckley (née Hofelich), and was married to her for 56 years, prior to her passing in 2020. The couple had two kids and six grandchildren.

Clips in this video

Indeed, Beckley's impact has spread much further than a handful of news stations. He is a multiple award winner, an author of a donor to Indiana University alongside Audrey's support, a former VP and spokesperson for a local Indiana tech company, a proud Hoosier volunteer, the first director of IUPUI's university relations, and a proud supporter of Indiana broadcasting.

Beckley is also the author of two highly successful fiction novels: Knuckleball: The Uncertainties of (a) Life, which was published in 2012, and An Act of Frustration, published in 2016.

Clips in this video

Career:

Beckley's 14-year career spanned from 1963 to 1977, with stops at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, WLOS-TV in Asheville, North Carolina, and WFBM/WRTV-TV in Indianapolis.

Clips in this video

In 1970, Beckley and Howard Caldwell made quite a splash at Indiana's own Channel 6. The duo formed a formidable alliance, earning a status of broadcast pioneers as one of the state's first dual-anchor teams. Ken Beckley became Channel 6’s first executive news producer in 1976.

Clips in this video

From 1976 to 1983, Beckley served as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’s first director of university relations.

However, his career path veered towards yet another route immediately after leaving IUPUI. In 1983, Ken Beckley joined the Indiana-based tech retailer, H.H. Gregg. For 18 years, Beckley served as executive vice president and was the public face and voice on all of the firm’s broadcast commercials. He retired in 2001.

Then from 2002 to 2007, Beckley was established as the president and CEO of the Indiana University Alumni Association. He had already volunteered for this organization for nearly 30 years prior, so it was a smooth transition. Amidst this five-year tenure, Beckley brought forth an impressive amount of growth, such as a massive uptick in membership and establishing the $9 million Jerry F. Tardy Operating Endowment.

As part of his volunteer work over his career, Beckley served as vice president of the Indianapolis Press Club and president of the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers.

Clips in this video

Awards and Achievements

Ken Beckley is the recipient of a myriad of high honors. For instance, he is the recipient of Indiana University's Distinguished Alumni Award and its President's Medal for Excellence. He was also granted the IUPUI Maynard K. Hine Medal.

In 2000, Beckley received the CASPER award for meritorious service from the Greater Indianapolis United Way/Community Service Council. Later in this year, he was named Advertising Person of the Year by the Indiana Federation of Advertising Agencies.

Seven years after those two honors, Beckley was named the 2007 Sagamore of the Wabash by then-Governor Mitch Daniels.

Additional Accolades

In 2016, Ken and Audrey Beckley gifted what is now considered a staple of the Media School to Indiana University: a state of the art television studio, aptly named Beckley Studio. This space now serves as a space in which IU students can partake in production classes, simulations, and workshops. Moreover, though, it also serves as the home base for IUSTV, Indiana University's very own student-run news space. Through this program, news, sports, entertainment, and interviews are all covered at length.

During May of 2023, Mike Conway of the IBHA had the opportunity to interview Ken Beckley on his career, achievements, and legacy throughout the state of Indiana. The interview takes place within the aforementioned Beckley Studio. Beckley's full oral history can be viewed below.

Ken Beckley was inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2011.

March 2024

Indiana Broadcast Pioneers

Edited and Archived by Cooper Hudson

Related Items

Title Station Date Aired Description
10pm News
Ken Beckley Collection
1964-01-16

Ken Beckley reports on the daily local and international news

Title
10pm News
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1964-01-16
Description

Ken Beckley reports on the daily local and international news

Sports Highlights
Ken Beckley Collection
1960

Ken Beckley gives the sports highlights on WFIU, which includes announcing Ted Williams' last baseball game before his retirement.

Title
Sports Highlights
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1960
Description

Ken Beckley gives the sports highlights on WFIU, which includes announcing Ted Williams' last baseball game before his retirement.

This is Your Life
Ken Beckley Collection
1976-12-21
Title
This is Your Life
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1976-12-21
The News
Ken Beckley Collection
1976
Title
The News
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1976
Return to Radio News
Ken Beckley Collection
1964-03-14

The verdict of Jack Leon Ruby is read. Defense Lawyer, Melvin Belli, Prosecutor Henry Wade and Judge Joe Brantley Brown responds to the verdict and the process of the legal proceedings.

Title
Return to Radio News
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1964-03-14
Description

The verdict of Jack Leon Ruby is read. Defense Lawyer, Melvin Belli, Prosecutor Henry Wade and Judge Joe Brantley Brown responds to the verdict and the process of the legal proceedings.

IUPUI: Westside Story
Ken Beckley Collection
1978-11

Section 1: "IUPUI: Westside Story"

Section 2: "Sports Scene" from WISH TV

Title
IUPUI: Westside Story
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1978-11
Description

Section 1: "IUPUI: Westside Story"

Section 2: "Sports Scene" from WISH TV

Mid Day News
Ken Beckley Collection
1964-07-08

News at noon update discussing the possible termination of the school bus system in Terre Haute and other local news updates, as well as national news, sports and politics

Title
Mid Day News
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1964-07-08
Description

News at noon update discussing the possible termination of the school bus system in Terre Haute and other local news updates, as well as national news, sports and politics

Ken Beckley's last day at WTHI
Ken Beckley Collection
1965

WTHI Monthly News Conference saying goodbye to Ken Beckley as he leaves for a new job in North Carolina

Title
Ken Beckley's last day at WTHI
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1965
Description

WTHI Monthly News Conference saying goodbye to Ken Beckley as he leaves for a new job in North Carolina

Ken Beckley and Howard Caldwell radio intervew
Ken Beckley Collection
1997-07-08

Ken Beckley and Howard Caldwell are interviewed on Gold 104.5 about their friendship and long history as news broadcasters

Title
Ken Beckley and Howard Caldwell radio intervew
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1997-07-08
Description

Ken Beckley and Howard Caldwell are interviewed on Gold 104.5 about their friendship and long history as news broadcasters

Interview with Bob Knight
Ken Beckley Collection
1978-10-24

Ken Beckley interviews IU Basketball Coach, Bobby Knight. Shot at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.

Title
Interview with Bob Knight
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1978-10-24
Description

Ken Beckley interviews IU Basketball Coach, Bobby Knight. Shot at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana Gov Campaign
Ken Beckley Collection
1964

Governor of Indiana, Roger Branigin discusses the democratic systems in Indiana and the commitment to President Johnson; discusses civil rights legislation in Indiana and Branigin's disagreement...

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Title
Indiana Gov Campaign
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1964
Description

Governor of Indiana, Roger Branigin discusses the democratic systems in Indiana and the commitment to President Johnson; discusses civil rights legislation in Indiana and Branigin's disagreement...

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Fire Near TH Spring
Ken Beckley Collection
1964

Ken Beckley reports on a fire near Catlin, Indiana

Title
Fire Near TH Spring
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1964
Description

Ken Beckley reports on a fire near Catlin, Indiana

Bob Knight Interview
Ken Beckley Collection
1981

Ken Beckley interviews Bobby Knight about the 1980-81 basketball season, comparing most recent season with previous seasons, coaching responsibilities and discussing basketball players

Title
Bob Knight Interview
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1981
Description

Ken Beckley interviews Bobby Knight about the 1980-81 basketball season, comparing most recent season with previous seasons, coaching responsibilities and discussing basketball players

Indianapolis 500 Qualifications Audition Tape
Ken Beckley Collection
196x

Ken Beckley reports on the Indianapolis 500 Qualificaitons

Title
Indianapolis 500 Qualifications Audition Tape
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
196x
Description

Ken Beckley reports on the Indianapolis 500 Qualificaitons

Scenes from WLOS-TV
Ken Beckley Collection
1965/1967
Title
Scenes from WLOS-TV
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1965/1967
RCA Championships
Ken Beckley Collection
1994-08-21

Ken Beckley opens the NBC Telecast of the 1994 RCA Championships

Title
RCA Championships
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1994-08-21
Description

Ken Beckley opens the NBC Telecast of the 1994 RCA Championships

The News
Ken Beckley Collection
1976

Early 1976 Newscast and pieces of others, pre 1976

Title
The News
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1976
Description

Early 1976 Newscast and pieces of others, pre 1976

Lasting Relationships
Ken Beckley Collection
1997-10-25

"Lasting Relationships"
Public Announcement Event appreciating Indiana University Bloomington's past accomplishments and future goals

Title
Lasting Relationships
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1997-10-25
Description

"Lasting Relationships"
Public Announcement Event appreciating Indiana University Bloomington's past accomplishments and future goals

HH Gregg and Bobby Knight, 8x:30
Ken Beckley Collection
1986-12-12

H.H. Gregg
Pearson Crahan & Fletcher
"Bobby Knight 8 x :30's
1. "Towel/Sony Pak 8 $999."
2. "Bleachers/Personality/Sony System $999"
3. "Foul Line/Sago/Oracle/Sony...

(Read More)

Title
HH Gregg and Bobby Knight, 8x:30
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1986-12-12
Description

H.H. Gregg
Pearson Crahan & Fletcher
"Bobby Knight 8 x :30's
1. "Towel/Sony Pak 8 $999."
2. "Bleachers/Personality/Sony System $999"
3. "Foul Line/Sago/Oracle/Sony...

(Read More)

H.H. Gregg-Bob Knight Outtakes
Ken Beckley Collection
1986-11-22

H.H. Gregg Sales Meeting Video Presentation;
If It Airs "We Both Lose"

Title
H.H. Gregg-Bob Knight Outtakes
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1986-11-22
Description

H.H. Gregg Sales Meeting Video Presentation;
If It Airs "We Both Lose"

H.H. Gregg Out-takes
Ken Beckley Collection
1996-04-25

H.H. Gregg/ PCFE;
Beckley Out-takes
2:58
4/25/96
Sanders and Company

Title
H.H. Gregg Out-takes
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1996-04-25
Description

H.H. Gregg/ PCFE;
Beckley Out-takes
2:58
4/25/96
Sanders and Company

H.H. Gregg Grand Opening in Clarksville
Ken Beckley Collection
198x

H.H.Gregg Grand Opening in Clarksville, Indiana

Title
H.H. Gregg Grand Opening in Clarksville
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
198x
Description

H.H.Gregg Grand Opening in Clarksville, Indiana

H.H. Gregg Cooking Extravanza
Ken Beckley Collection
1985-10-02

H.H. Gregg, Pearson Crahan Fletcher
"Cooking Extravanza"
Cut 1: "Sharp Microwave";
Cut 2: "GE Microwave";
Cut 3: "Amana Microwave";
Cut 4: "GE Range";
Cut 5:...

(Read More)

Title
H.H. Gregg Cooking Extravanza
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1985-10-02
Description

H.H. Gregg, Pearson Crahan Fletcher
"Cooking Extravanza"
Cut 1: "Sharp Microwave";
Cut 2: "GE Microwave";
Cut 3: "Amana Microwave";
Cut 4: "GE Range";
Cut 5:...

(Read More)

H.H. Gregg "Takin Care of Business for 16 Years"
Ken Beckley Collection
1999-10-07

H.H. Gregg "Takin' Care of Business for 16 Years"

Title
H.H. Gregg "Takin Care of Business for 16 Years"
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1999-10-07
Description

H.H. Gregg "Takin' Care of Business for 16 Years"

H.H. Gregg "Bobby Knight-Towel"
Ken Beckley Collection
1986-12-03

H.H. Gregg
Pearson Crahan and Fletcher
"Bobby Knight-Towel"
Cut 1: 30 #4246 "Sony Pak-8-$999"
Airs: Bobby Knight and IU Programming

Title
H.H. Gregg "Bobby Knight-Towel"
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1986-12-03
Description

H.H. Gregg
Pearson Crahan and Fletcher
"Bobby Knight-Towel"
Cut 1: 30 #4246 "Sony Pak-8-$999"
Airs: Bobby Knight and IU Programming

H.H. Gregg "Bobby Knight on Screen NEC"
Ken Beckley Collection
1986-11-12

Pearson Crahan & Fletcher
Cut 1: 30 #4094 "Bobby Knight/On Screen NEC"
IU Programming-WTTV Only
Air Dates:
11/15/1986: IU vs Russia
11/23/1986: Bobby Knight Show

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Title
H.H. Gregg "Bobby Knight on Screen NEC"
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1986-11-12
Description

Pearson Crahan & Fletcher
Cut 1: 30 #4094 "Bobby Knight/On Screen NEC"
IU Programming-WTTV Only
Air Dates:
11/15/1986: IU vs Russia
11/23/1986: Bobby Knight Show

(Read More)

Christmas Special
Ken Beckley Collection
1997-12-08

Feature of Ken Beckley and Patty Spitler Christmas Special

Title
Christmas Special
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1997-12-08
Description

Feature of Ken Beckley and Patty Spitler Christmas Special

Career Highlights; Interview with Bobby Knight
Ken Beckley Collection
197x

WRTV Opening of Channel 6 Final Report with Howard Caldwell and Ken Beckley;
Scenes from another newscast. Channel 6 Early Report;
Howard Caldwell introduces Ken Beckley for a field...

(Read More)

Title
Career Highlights; Interview with Bobby Knight
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
197x
Description

WRTV Opening of Channel 6 Final Report with Howard Caldwell and Ken Beckley;
Scenes from another newscast. Channel 6 Early Report;
Howard Caldwell introduces Ken Beckley for a field...

(Read More)

Bobby Knight Funnies
Ken Beckley Collection
1986
Title
Bobby Knight Funnies
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Date Aired
1986
Bits and Pieces of Ken Beckley's Career
Ken Beckley Collection
1960/1979

Cued to good starting point of Ken on WRTV newscast early 1976 (including Bob McLain);
John Chancellor does promo of Channel 6 News (circa 1972), but mispronounces Dave Piontek's name so the...

(Read More)

Title
Bits and Pieces of Ken Beckley's Career
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1960/1979
Description

Cued to good starting point of Ken on WRTV newscast early 1976 (including Bob McLain);
John Chancellor does promo of Channel 6 News (circa 1972), but mispronounces Dave Piontek's name so the...

(Read More)

Ken Beckley Oral History
Oral History Collection
2023-05-04

Mike Conway interviews Ken Beckley

Title
Ken Beckley Oral History
Collection
Oral History Collection
Stations
Date Aired
2023-05-04
Description

Mike Conway interviews Ken Beckley

50 Years Together
Kurt Swadener Collection
1999

50 years of television history, hosted by Howard Caldwell. Includes contributions from:

John Guion, former Director of Engineering;
Earl Townsend, former TV Announcer;
Eldon...

(Read More)

Title
50 Years Together
Collection
Kurt Swadener Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1999
Description

50 years of television history, hosted by Howard Caldwell. Includes contributions from:

John Guion, former Director of Engineering;
Earl Townsend, former TV Announcer;
Eldon...

(Read More)

11 O'Clock News Report
Ken Beckley Collection
196x

Ken Beckley delivers the 11 O'Clock News. Includes additional footage

Title
11 O'Clock News Report
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
196x
Description

Ken Beckley delivers the 11 O'Clock News. Includes additional footage

Final Report
Ken Beckley Collection
1969-02-19

Ken Beckley delivers the 11:00pm Final Report news broadcast

Title
Final Report
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1969-02-19
Description

Ken Beckley delivers the 11:00pm Final Report news broadcast

TheNews broadcasts
Ken Beckley Collection
1976

TheNews segments from 1976

Title
TheNews broadcasts
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1976
Description

TheNews segments from 1976

Patty Spitler Christmas Special
Ken Beckley Collection
198x

Patty Spitler interviews Ken Beckley about his career in news broadcasting and time with H.H. Gregg

Title
Patty Spitler Christmas Special
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
198x
Description

Patty Spitler interviews Ken Beckley about his career in news broadcasting and time with H.H. Gregg

Outtakes
Ken Beckley Collection
198x

H.H. Gregg commercial outtakes

Title
Outtakes
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
198x
Description

H.H. Gregg commercial outtakes

H.H. Gregg commercial to "Takin' Care of Business"
Ken Beckley Collection
198x

Ken Beckley's H.H. Gregg commercials. Segment one includes commercials to the song "Takin' Care of Business." Section two contain several commercial outtakes. Segment three is an interview with...

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Title
H.H. Gregg commercial to "Takin' Care of Business"
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
198x
Description

Ken Beckley's H.H. Gregg commercials. Segment one includes commercials to the song "Takin' Care of Business." Section two contain several commercial outtakes. Segment three is an interview with...

(Read More)

Career Highlights
Ken Beckley Collection
197x

WRTV news segments with Ken Beckley from the 1970s. Ends with an interview with Bobby Knight

Title
Career Highlights
Collection
Ken Beckley Collection
Stations
Date Aired
197x
Description

WRTV news segments with Ken Beckley from the 1970s. Ends with an interview with Bobby Knight

Gene Slaymaker's Hall of Fame Video Bio
Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Collection
2007

Video bio of Gene Slaymaker, inducted to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2007.

Producer: Ken Beckley;
Post-Production: DreamVision Media Partners;

After serving in...

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Title
Gene Slaymaker's Hall of Fame Video Bio
Collection
Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Collection
Stations
Date Aired
2007
Description

Video bio of Gene Slaymaker, inducted to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2007.

Producer: Ken Beckley;
Post-Production: DreamVision Media Partners;

After serving in...

(Read More)

Ken Beckley's Hall of Fame Video Bio
Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Collection
2011

Video bio of Ken Beckley, inducted to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2011.

Producer/Voice-over: Gene Slaymaker;
Post-production: DreamVision Media...

(Read More)

Title
Ken Beckley's Hall of Fame Video Bio
Collection
Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Collection
Stations
Date Aired
2011
Description

Video bio of Ken Beckley, inducted to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2011.

Producer/Voice-over: Gene Slaymaker;
Post-production: DreamVision Media...

(Read More)

Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Banquet and Last Broadcast
Howard Caldwell Collection
1991

Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Banquet; Howard Caldwell's last news broadcast before his retirement; Howard Caldwell's Retirement Special: 35 years of making a difference

Indiana...

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Title
Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Banquet and Last Broadcast
Collection
Howard Caldwell Collection
Date Aired
1991
Description

Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Banquet; Howard Caldwell's last news broadcast before his retirement; Howard Caldwell's Retirement Special: 35 years of making a difference

Indiana...

(Read More)

Howard Caldwell Retirement Special: 35 Years of Making a Difference
Howard Caldwell Collection
1994

Howard Caldwell's 1994 Retirement Special, celebrating 35 years with Channel 6.
Producers: Augusta Brennan, Judy Carbone, Shiree Woody
Executive Producer: Jim Bowden
Director:...

(Read More)

Title
Howard Caldwell Retirement Special: 35 Years of Making a Difference
Collection
Howard Caldwell Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1994
Description

Howard Caldwell's 1994 Retirement Special, celebrating 35 years with Channel 6.
Producers: Augusta Brennan, Judy Carbone, Shiree Woody
Executive Producer: Jim Bowden
Director:...

(Read More)

Channel 6 History
Howard Caldwell Collection
1966/1990

Broadcast History; Channel 6 History

Channel 6 History  

Video (3:24:34)  

Notes by Marisol Sanchez, J450 History of Journalism, Fall 2021 

-First Section of...

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Title
Channel 6 History
Collection
Howard Caldwell Collection
Date Aired
1966/1990
Description

Broadcast History; Channel 6 History

Channel 6 History  

Video (3:24:34)  

Notes by Marisol Sanchez, J450 History of Journalism, Fall 2021 

-First Section of...

(Read More)

50 years on the air with Channel 6
Howard Caldwell Collection
1995

Howard Caldwell narrates this documentary of Channel 6 celebrating 50 years on TV. It includes a newscast with Clyde Lee and Howard Caldwell and ends with an episode of "Howard's...

(Read More)

Title
50 years on the air with Channel 6
Collection
Howard Caldwell Collection
Stations
Date Aired
1995
Description

Howard Caldwell narrates this documentary of Channel 6 celebrating 50 years on TV. It includes a newscast with Clyde Lee and Howard Caldwell and ends with an episode of "Howard's...

(Read More)