PBS Utah Announces Ted Capener’s Retirement
After 35 years, Ted Capener is retiring from PBS Utah. Capener has served as host of Utah Conversations with Ted Capener since 2006. The final episode premieres Sunday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m. on PBS Utah.
In a special farewell tribute, Mary Dickson, former community relations director for KUED, steps in to interview Capener. In the guest seat, he reflects back on his time at the station as host of Civic Dialogue and Utah Conversations, his career in journalism, and his roles as Vice President of University Relations at The University of Utah and Board Chair at PBS.
Dickson first met Capener early in her career when she was a writer for the University. She said, “He has been such an integral part of this community and his contributions are too many to list. He has not only enriched this community by making important connections and providing an invaluable platform for causes, people, and issues, but he has been a friend and inspiration to so many of us. He will be sorely missed on the airwaves.”
Capener started at KUED in 1986 when he was asked to host Civic Dialogue by Fred Esplin, former general manager for KUED and Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University. From 1986 until 2006, Capener hosted the public-affairs program that brought in-depth information about current issues to KUED viewers.
In 2006, KUED’s Civic Dialogue morphed into Utah Conversations with Ted Capener. Capener interviewed over 250 extraordinary guests with interesting stories from across Utah and beyond. Capener had a talent for engaging people in conversations; with his warmth and humor, he always put his guests at ease.
“For nearly two decades Ted was an effective advocate for KUED (PBS Utah) with The University of Utah administration. He made the case for a new home for KUED and KUER, and provided invaluable support to both stations. Even in retirement, he continued to serve the station and the state as host of Civic Dialogue and then Utah Conversations with Ted Capener, sharing his remarkable gifts as an interviewer with the people of Utah. Public broadcasting in Utah has flourished, thanks to Ted Capener.” said Esplin.
The final episode of Utah Conversations is a poignant interview that celebrates an iconic figure in public broadcasting and his distinguished career. Capener’s contributions leave an indelible mark on PBS Utah and The University of Utah.