Former longtime WKTV engineer dies at 94

A former engineer at WKTV, who worked at the station when it launched in 1949, died Thursday at the age of 94.

Posted: Feb 11, 2021 6:16 PM
Updated: Feb 11, 2021 6:26 PM

A former engineer at WKTV NEWSChannel 2, who worked at the station when it launched in 1949, died Thursday at the age of 94.

Jim Delaney started his career at WKAL radio in Rome, before coming to work for WKTV. Jim’s daughter, Sheila Delaney Palmer, said her dad even helped build the studio.

He worked at WKTV for nearly 40 years, mostly running the transmitter, which could be a tough feat in the winter.

“As I’m walking down the middle of the road, I could stretch my arms out, straight out, and touch the telephone wires. That's how deep the snow was,” Jim said during an interview with WKTV in 2012.

Sheila said Jim got snowed in at the station many times.

Jim said he got his start at the station by introducing himself to the chief engineer.

“I walked into the transmitter, when I got to the building, the snow had drifted around. I opened the door, introduced myself to Deforest Layton, who was the chief engineer. He says, ‘You got a first-class license?’ I said ‘Yes sir, I sure have,’ he says ‘You're hired.’ I said ‘When do I go to work?’ He said ‘Tomorrow so you’d better get out of here, I’ve been snowed in for three days,’” said Jim, recounting the story of how he got hired.

Jim is survived by his five children, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, with one on the way.

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