E. Harold Munn, Jr: 1928-2016

MunnThe MAB is sad to share the news that E. Harold Munn, Jr. passed away Tuesday, April 26. Munn’s name is familiar to most MAB members as head of the longtime broadcast engineering consulting firm, E. Harold Munn, Jr., and Associates, based in Coldwater.

Munn received his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) radio license at age 14 and in 1947 at the of age 17 became a lifetime member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest professional organization of any scientific profession. The following year he graduated from Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI, with a degree in physics plus many credits in chemistry and mathematics.

Munn taught high school for one year in North Adams and one year at Pittsford before starting WTVB-WANG radio stations in Coldwater. Other stations he established and owned include Ypsilanti (WYSI), Hillsdale (WBSE), and Sturgis (WSTR). In addition to radio, he was a pioneer in broadband communications, received one of the three first cable TV permits awarded by the FCC, and started many cable companies including Coldwater and Columbia Cablevision.

In 1950, he established the E. Harold Munn, Jr., and Associates broadcast engineering consulting firm in Coldwater and in that capacity built or consulted with about 800 radio stations in all 50 states and on nearly 70 colleges and university campuses. Two notable stations include Bell Broadcasting Corporation in Detroit, the first FCC-approved African American-owned radio station in the United States providing a foundation for the Motown music industry, and a 50,000 watt AM station in Hawaii for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that broadcast a Christian witness to 20,000 Polynesian islands and literally around the world.

In 2005, Munn was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

A memorial service will be at Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church Tuesday, May 31, at 11:00 a.m. Memorial gifts may be made to Spring Arbor University.

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