Melvin Russell, acting director of Defense Media Activity and visionary of the American Forces Radio and Television Service, has retired after 51 years of military and civilian service.
Russell pioneered the expansion of AFRTS from a single-channel, over-the-air system into the multi-channel, satellite-delivered network that now reaches millions of viewers in 177 countries.
Russell came a long way from his days as an Army signal officer in Vietnam listening to sounds of home on the American Forces Network. He made the Army’s first conversion from black-and-white to color television at Fort Benning, Ga. He assisted the British Army in setting up its first TV production facility and even helped CNN get off the ground
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Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.