Jeanne Roberts Eklund, (1941-2022)
Jeanne Eklund passed away on September 20, 2022, she was 81.
Jeanne’s television career has been a beacon of light for women who aspire to work on the technical side behind the camera. In 1962, she was hired by WPTV in West Palm Beach as an Assistant Photographer, an assistant still photographer. She observed that control room work was more interesting and paid better, but women were not considered for these jobs. She was told more than once, “…if you were a man we would hire you.” Which finally happened In 1966, after she moved to Miami and landed a job with a start-up independent TV station, WCIX-TV, where she covered all production functions from floor crew to director. She took great pride in getting other women hired and trained in control room work after a few years of proving that women were more than capable to handle technical responsibilities in television. In 1973, she was hired by WTVJ as a Master Control Operator, the only woman working in the operational areas of Engineering and Production. During her WTVJ tenure, she worked on such award-winning programs as The Ralph Renick Report, Montage and PM Magazine.
In 1984, she and Glen Eklund, were married, on February 29, Leap Day, on their lunch hour.
In 1986, they moved to Sarasota and WWSB. Jeanne’s responsibility was to work with the staff and “teach television”. The move back to smaller market was similar to her days at startup WCIX. Unlike WCIX, WPTV and WTVJ, there actually were women in the control room! While at WWSB, Jeanne won awards including a NATPE Iris Award and was nominated for an Emmy.
In 1996, Jeanne returned to Miami and worked part-time for WTVJ. In 2006, she was welcomed into the NATAS‘ Silver Circle, for 25 years of dedication to the television industry of South Florida.
“You may not remember what Jeanne said, or did, but you’ll always remember how she made you feel.” She is survived by husband Glen, wonderful daughter Ingrid and son-in-law Mike, and their sons and wives, Sean and Leah, Kevin and Rachael. And Jeanne’s son Todd and his two daughters, Sasha and Sophie.
If you would like to remember Jeanne with a donation to the ACKCSC Charitable Trust Darcy Fund in support of the Cavalier Spaniels she loved so much, an online donation form is provided below (make sure you scroll down and hit the blue button under the form to submit):