Local TV Pioneer Tom Gibbens dies

Thomas Edward Gibbens
Thomas Edward Gibbens

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The man credited with founding WAFB-TV, Thomas Edward Gibbens, passed away Sunday.

Tom Gibbens launched WAFB in 1953 and was the station's first General Manager.

At the time, there was no live network service available and the only programming was either on film or originated from the WAFB studios on Government Street.

WAFB was the first station on the air in Baton Rouge and the second in all of Louisiana.

Former colleagues remember Gibbens as a tireless worker who expected the very best of his employees. "You wanted to do what he wanted you to do and he made you think it was your idea," said WAFB Sales Manager Vicki Kellum.

Visitation and a Christian Mass for Gibbens are Wednesday, June 27 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church on Government Street. Visitation at the church will be from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. The burial will be held on Wednesday at Green Oaks Cemetery on Florida Blvd.

Gibbens was 95 when he died at his Baton Rouge home Sunday morning.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.