Posted 02 Nov 2016
Allen Weatherly of Conway, executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network since 2001, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the age of 64. He was born June 12, 1952, in California. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
Weatherly is survived by: his wife Peggy, who he married in 1977; his daughter Lauren and son-in-law Trey, grandsons Logan and Jack, and granddaughter Norah, all of Conway; and son David of Little Rock. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Conway.
Weatherly worked in public media for more than 36 years, coming to AETN in 1993. He spent more than 7 years as deputy executive director and chief operating officer before beginning his most recent position in 2001. He also served as executive director and board member of the AETN Foundation. By virtue of his position, he was a member of the Arkansas Governor's Cabinet.
'Allen was so much more than just our leader,' AETN Deputy Executive Director Tony Brooks said. 'He was our friend and a good and decent man.
'I worked beside this man for 16 years as his deputy director and friend. I know he would want and expect each of us, while we mourn his passing, to continue on with this important mission to which he dedicated his life.'
With a special interest in the importance of history, culture and heritage, Weatherly worked to provide more useful services to the people of Arkansas. During his tenure the network: increased education services to the state, including online professional development for educators; helped produce programming and training for the network's Ready To Learn service; archived testimonies from Arkansas World War II veterans in the innovative outreach project 'In Their Words;' won multiple awards for local productions; been honored by the American Psychological Association as one of the five best places to work in the United States; and received the Arkansas Governors Work-Life Balance Award for three consecutive years.
Weatherly was dedicated to impacting learning and student achievement in Arkansas, both through trusted PBS programs and educational outreach. He often referenced his hero, Mister Fred Rogers, who said 'Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.' This statement is a testament to Weatherly’s character and heart.
In 2008, Weatherly was selected as Arkansas Citizen of the Year by Scottish Rite in Little Rock. In 2010, he was elected in a nationwide vote to a second 3-year term as a member of the board of directors for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). In addition to service on the board at large, he was a member of the PBS Board Executive Committee and chairman of the PBS Station Services Committee. He also served as professional vice-chair of the PBS Board.
He served on two Community Service Grant review panels for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and also held leadership positions with the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and the Organization of State Broadcast Executives (OSBE).
Prior to joining AETN, Weatherly worked with Ozarks Public Television in Springfield, Missouri, from 1980 to 1993, progressing from a development associate to writer, producer, program host, promotions and communications director, programming director, and, finally, senior vice president and director of broadcasting.
Weatherly graduated from Missouri State University (Springfield) with a degree in history and education. In 1991, he co-authored a memorial history of the Battle of Wilson's Creek and the Civil War in the Ozarks, which has since been cited as a resource for several Civil War histories. He was a newspaper columnist in Missouri and in Arkansas. Weatherly also served as an adjunct communications instructor at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and Drury University in Springfield, teaching courses on broadcast management and media history.
AETN has set up a memorial page at aetn.org/allenweatherly for viewers and friends to share condolences. Funeral arrangements will be posted to the site when they become available.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).