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Jack Barry, R.I.P.

Longtime Vermont radio and television broadcaster Jack Barry died Sunday at
the age of 70.

He made his radio debut at WDEV in Waterbury at the age of 4, reading a
poem. "This is little Jackie Barry coming through the air," he announced.

In 1948 he went to The Burlington Free Press' WJOY, where he helped air the
station's 11PM newscast live from the paper's newsroom.

In 1954 he and Vin D'Acuti established WDOT, providing competition for WJOY.
They did it all themselves, working 18 hour days.

He also did work at stations out of the area, including KIOA Des Moines,
Ia., WTTM Trenton, N.J., and others.

He began his television career at WVNY-TV with a program that aired from 10
to 11 AM, between his 6 to 9 AM and noon to 2 PM programs on WVMT in
Colchester. He spent evenings doing play-by-play sports broadcasts.

In 1970 he started volunteering at Vermont ETV (Vermont's PBS outlet), and
in 1973 went on the payroll there. He took a couple of years off to serve as
press secretary ffor U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

In 1976, he returned to broadcasting, doing his morning radio programs and
evening television appearances until his retirement from ETV in 1991. He
continued his radio shows for a while until his desire to be in politics got
in the way. Three years ago he was elected state senator, passionately
pleading agaist cuts in ETV's funding from the state. (Last year, the state
senate considered cutting funding from $762,500 to just $1).

His daugter, Bridget Barry Caswell, is following her father's footsteps,
becoming a television reporter herself.

[I collected this information from an Assosiated Press article written by
Christopher Graff (who incidentally repaced Barry as host of "Vermont This
Week" on ETV).]

Doug Bassett
West Brattleboro, Vt.