Former KWQC news director Doug Retherford has died. He was 65.
“A continuous strength of Doug’s was that he cared about each individual person and did whatever he needed to do to make sure they succeeded and that they were supported,” former KWQC station manager Cathie Whiteside told the Quad-City Times.
Retherford started at the Davenport, Iowa NBC affiliate in 1989 and was news director for 15 years. He worked as the station’s public affairs director for nearly a year after that. He’d also worked in Joplin, Mo., Topeka, Kansas and Fort Smith, Ark.
Weeknight anchor Gary Metivier, one of many journalists hired by Retherford, said he brought a stability to the station.
“He was a strong leader who cared about the people he worked with and also cared about good, strong journalism,” Metivier said. “His belief was, ‘I surround myself with motivated, high-achieving people and then I let them do their job.’ He was always there to help guide us along as well.”
Metivier said Retherford also cared about the staff as individuals, making good on a promise to meet the incoming news anchor whenever he and his family rolled into town — even though Metivier called at 1 a.m. from the Flying J Truck Stop in northwest Davenport.
“On a personal level, he was very supportive and caring of us as individuals,” said anchor Paula Sands, a 33-year veteran of the station. “He’d say, ‘Give me eight good hours here at the station, then go home and have a life.'”