The Arkansas Educational Television Network is deeply saddened to share news of the loss of Ben Fry, general manager of our public media partner UALR Public Radio. Ben — who was a dedicated program partner, advocate for public media and longtime AETN supporter — passed away in his sleep at age 54 on Thursday, March 10, 2016.
Ben Fry, a native of Wynne, Arkansas, served as general manager of UALR Public Radio since 1995 and had been on staff with the station since 1988. In addition to a wide variety of station-to-station partnerships, Fry was an active participant in AETN and 89.1 KUAR’s Community Cinema program, often joining or leading post-film discussions to share his expertise regarding film history, criticism and production.
“Everybody associated with AETN mourns the passing of our good friend and partner,” AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. “Ben was so welcoming, knowledgeable, supportive and just a really good guy. I feel his loss personally but am so grateful I got to work with Ben.”
In addition to his roles as manager of 89.1 KUAR and Classical 90.5 KLRE, Ben was an adjunct professor in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) School of Mass Communication, wrote articles about Arkansas film history of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas and hosted UALR University Television program “Home Fry-ed Movies.” He also shared his thoughts regarding films of all sorts on his blog, “Home Fry-ed Movies With Ben Fry.”
While AETN grieves the sudden loss of a valued colleague and friend, we will long remember Ben Fry for his warm and calming presence, his dedication to education and public media, and a life well-lived.
AETN extends our sincere sympathies to Ben’s wife, Karen; his two children, Sarah and Sam; and his UALR Public Radio family.
Further information regarding Ben Fry’s life and updates regarding services may be found via ualrpublicradio.org.