With heavy hearts, the 13 News family announced the passing of our beloved News Director, Rod Jackson. Though most of us knew that he had been battling cancer, Rod’s death was unexpected and heartbreaking for all of us.
For more than two years, Rod was the backbone of our newsroom, the visionary who nurtured so much of our station’s recent growth. Rod instilled his deep passion for journalism, especially for local news, in all of us.
He was vital in orchestrating our station’s life-saving special coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, a testament to his unwavering sense of duty to his audience. Under his leadership, many of our journalists earned awards for their individual efforts, and WOWK was named “Station of the Year” by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association for 2021.
A graduate of Washington State University, Rod had a decades-long career that read like a cross-country road trip. People’s lives in Billings, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Cedar Rapids, Topeka, Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, and yes, our beloved Tri-State have all been made much richer thanks to Rod’s work as a Reporter, Producer and News Director.
Rod was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, friend and mentor who showed up every day with an attitude and resilience that set the standard of excellence at WOWK and all the newsrooms before it. He had a unique approach to the way he managed a newsroom, but make no mistake:
He was a great boss. He was loved, and he will be so very missed.
A celebration of Rod’s life will be held from noon until 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 16 at the Museum of Radio and Technology, 1640 Florence Avenue, Huntington, WV.