Original WMAZ-TV chief engineer dies

Original WMAZ chief engineer dies

People across Central Georgia have been tuning into 13WMAZ-TV since 1953. It was the work of our first chief engineer, Jim Lawhon, that put the station on the air and brought the signal into homes.

Dan Lawhon remembers his dad Jim as a trailblazer.

"Think about this now," said Dan of his dad. "He came here and spent three to four years building a television station, and guess what? No one owned a television yet in Macon, Ga.."

Jim Lawhon built it anyway. Starting in 1948, his career at WMAZ spanned more than thirty years. He dealt with some challenges along the way.

"Technical problems never ceased from the beginning," said Jim Lawhon in file footage. "It was all an extension of radio and you added in video and picture equipment, so we had to learn as we went along."

Learn they did. Thanks to Jim and those early pioneers, WMAZ went on the air in 1953 and has stayed on since. 

Some things have changed here since then but Dan sees his father's fingerprints on it all.

"This was sort of his pride and joy when they decided to build this and it the way it ought to be done," said Dan.

It would have been hard in TV's infancy to predict what Jim Lawhon's work would lead to, but Dan says his father had some grasp of it.

"Sometimes you wondered if they really knew TV would end up being like it really ended up being, I think they had an idea," said Dan.

Jim may have died last week, but his legacy lives on. He was 97 years old.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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