James Day, who helped found KQED-TV in 1954 and was a pioneer in public television for five decades, died of respiratory failure April 24 in New York at age 89. Day was president and general manager of Channel 9 for its first 16 years when the station created programs such as the Peabody-winning “Newsroom,” which began during the 1968 newspaper strike. Day hosted a weekly program, “Kaleidoscope,” on which he interviewed personalities including Eleanor Roosevelt, Buster Keaton, Robert F. Kennedy, Bing Crosby and Aldous Huxley. During his tenure, KQED started its membership drives that have since been copied by public broadcasters everywhere. He left San Francisco to head National Educational Television in New York, the forerunner to PBS. Here are obits from KQED, Daily Variety and the Chronicle. (Photo credit: KQED)

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