FCC’s Jim Bridgewater Retires

Jim_Bridgewater_200A name many Michigan broadcasters have come to know over the years, James A. Bridgewater, District Director of the Federal Communications Commission’s Detroit office, retired on February 29, following a 37-year career.

Karole White, MAB President/CEO writes about Jim:

“One of the first people I met when I came to work for the MAB in 1985 was Jim Bridgewater, of the FCC Detroit Office.  MAB EAS Chairman Larry Estlack wanted me to meet Jim. I was quite nervous; after all it was the FCC. We went to Detroit and I met a tall man with a kind, warm face and intense eyes. He spoke about helping broadcasters meet the rules of the FCC. He extolled the virtues of the broadcasting industry and what a great job our members did in serving their communities. Jim was a real cheerleader for our industry. He would point out when we were wrong and work with us to correct any errors that we may have inadvertently made. You could always call the Detroit District Office and ask Jim a question without fear. He always said he would rather answer a question than dole out a citation.

Over the next 31 years, Jim and I would speak many times and work together on several projects. He was always helpful, efficient, and a man of his word. He was kind but decisive, not just in Michigan but throughout his region, which included Michigan, Ohio, and Eastern Kentucky. Jim spoke at MAB conferences, helped us set up our Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP), went on tour with us when we did our DTV Transition meetings and seminars, and assisted us in shutting down some very notorious pirate broadcasters.

Jim was a graduate of Purdue University and began his career with the Detroit Special Enforcement Facility in 1977 and transferred to the FCC Detroit Field Office in 1979.”

In 1994, he was promoted to the District Director’s position, having served in that capacity until retirement. With retirement, Jim and his wife will travel, visiting their son in the Los Angeles area and their daughter in the Orlando area, while also keeping busy with various hobbies that includes Bikram yoga and amateur radio.

In leaving, Jim said, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and to serve the great state of Michigan”.

Karole White concludes:

“No Jim the honor was ours, to know such a kind honorable individual as you. You have helped to shape the Michigan broadcasting industry and the MAB into the strong organization it is today through the guidance you gave to our volunteer leaders and staff.

Thank you my friend and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.”
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