Jonathan E. Herrington of Hamburg, vice president of engineering and technology for Western New York Public Broadcasting, died unexpectedly Saturday after suffering a heart attack while attending a convention in Las Vegas. He was 56.
Born in Gowanda, he was a 1967 graduate of
Gowanda High School and a 1968 graduate of Devry Institute of Technology.
He began working at WNED-TV in 1969 as a technician, became technical operations supervisor at the station in the mid-1970s, chief engineer in the early 1980s and director of engineering in the mid-1980s.
Mr. Herrington guided numerous engineering and technology projects for WNED. He was a key figure in the station's two moves, first in the transfer from the Hotel Lafayette to Barton Street, then in the move of all WNY Public Broadcasting's TV and radio stations to its new building in downtown Buffalo in 1993.
He was instrumental in building the Channel 17 transmitter and tower on Grand Island, moving the old Channel 17 transmitter from Elmwood Avenue to Grand Island and converting it to Channel 23, building the WNJA-FM transmitting facilities in Jamestown and designing and building the new WNED-TV transmitting facility and tower in 1998.
He led WNED's conversion to digital broadcasting, making possible the station's new ThinkBright service.
"Jon was a real rock in engineering," said former WNY Public Broadcasting President J. Michael Collins. "When you turned over an engineering problem to him, he would find a way to solve it and get it done. He was always known as a can-do and a first-class engineer."
"It was his personal commitment and contributions in technology and engineering that empowered WNED to carry out our mission and vision," said current WNED President and CEO Donald K. Boswell, "and in the process allowed us to enhance the fabric of the community in numerous ways."
Mr. Herrington was a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and was co-chairman of Chapter 133, Society of Broadcast Engineers. Surviving are his wife of 36 years, the former Judith Sprague; two sons, Jonathan E. Jr. and Jason A., both of Hamburg; a brother, Edward of Gowanda; and three grandchildren.
Services will be at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in John J. Kaczor Funeral Home, 5453 Southwestern Blvd. at Rogers Road, Hamburg. Burial will be in Lakeside Memorial Park, Town of Hamburg.