Robert Wilson, Public Media Pioneer Behind KERA Dallas, Dies at 75

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMay 8, 2017 11:40 am|

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas lost a public media pioneer on Friday.

Robert “Bob” Wilson died at the age of 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Wilson was just 26 years old when he took charge of Dallas’ KERA in 1968 – when it was just a fledgling educational TV station.

KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports Wilson helped take the station from black and white to color, from film to video tape. He also launched KERA FM, bringing public radio to the region. And Wilson coaxed a then-lesser-known Dallas newspaperman named Jim Lehrer to KERA to run the station’s news unit. (Lehrer went on to host the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on PBS.)

Aside from the news, Wilson also greenlit a little-known British comedy show called Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Though his work at KERA changed the public media landscape, Laura Wilson says her husband didn’t see himself as a visionary – saying he had big ideas but he was always modest. Laura Wilson is an acclaimed photographer – and their sons Andrew, Owen and Luke Wilson are famous in the film industry.

“He really sacrificed in a way his life for the creative freedom that each of us were able to experience, and that’s unusual,” she told KERA. “Because he himself was very creative.”

You can find Bob Wilson’s entire obituary here.


The fired Dallas-area police officer who shot and killed a teenager last weekend has been charged with murder.

Roy Oliver, who until he dismissal was with the Balch Springs police department, was arrested and charged this past Friday.

On April 29, Oliver responded to a call and shot at a car that was driving away, killing Jordan Edwards, a young black teenager.

If convicted of murder, Oliver faces up to life in prison.


One Texas lawmaker wants to make sure your bagels, croissants, kolaches, cookies, and tortillas are exempt from sales tax.

Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, heard from bakers in his district who had trouble figuring out the current tax code.

Murphy explained the nuances of which baked goods get taxed to the Texas Tribune. “If it’s hot or served with a utensil – this is what the code says – it’s taxable,” Rep. Murphy said. “But if they give it to you in a sack and it’s cold – it’s not.”

Rep. Murphy’s entire interview is available online.