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Washington Broadcast Pioneer, Jane Elizabeth Cohen, Passes Away

By: Capital Emmy Staff



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Washington broadcast pioneer, Jane Elizabeth Cohen, passed away peacefully on January 27, at her home at Ingleside at King Farm in Rockville, after a brief illness. She was 84 years old.


Born on February 11, 1938 in Philadelphia, Jane began her 37- year career in broadcasting when women were just beginning to break into the media. Her first job was in radio as Production and Program Manager at WPBS-FM, before moving on to WPHL-TV as Program Manager and Program Coordinator for the parent company, US Communications, which had tv stations in Atlanta, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Jane then moved to Washington DC in 1972 to be Manager of Community Affairs Programs and Director of Programming for WRC-TV, the NBC owned station. In 1977, she became VP of Television for the National Association of Broadcasters serving as liaison with member stations throughout the United States and as featured speaker and participant in state, regional and national conferences.


In 1984 she joined WJLA-TV and the Allbritton Group of Stations holding different positions including VP Station Affairs and VP Operations and Programming. She also headed up Allbritton TV Productions, which produced two nationally syndicated programs, "Working Woman" with Kathleen Matthews and a children's program, "Field Trip". She was Executive Producer for the live telecast of the Christmas Morning Services from the Washington National Cathedral for 25 years and served as Executive Director and President of The Neediest Kids Charity begun by WJLA in 1972.

Jane served in leadership with several broadcasting associations, including National President of American Women in Radio and Television, a member of the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Board of Directors of Broadcast Pioneers, and a member of the National Association of TV Program Executives.


Her charitable work included the Washington Council for UNICEF, co-chair of the UNICEF Ball, and serving on the Board of Directors of Historic Rittenhouse Town.


She is the recipient of 2 Valley Forge Freedom's Foundation Awards, 2 Emmy's, Broadcast Pioneers Distinguished Service Award, National Association of TV Arts and Sciences "Silver Circle" award, the American Women in Radio and Television Board of Directors award, and Esther Van Wagoner Tufty Award in recognition of leadership in both community service and excellence in communications.

Jane is survived by her many friends, industry colleagues and family members. A memorial will be held at a later date

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