Former KRNV News 4 Owner Dies at 75 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Former KRNV News 4 Owner Dies at 75

Posted: Updated:
Information from KLAS-TV, Las Vegas

Multimillionaire Las Vegas television station owner and philanthropist Jim Rogers, whose passion for education led to his selection as chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, died Saturday evening. He was 75.

Trained as a lawyer, Rogers was best known in Las Vegas as owner of KSNV-TV Channel 3, an NBC affiliate that once was the flagship station of his Intermountain West Communications Co. before he began selling other stations. Rogers also owned KRNV News 4 in Reno for several years before selling late last year.

Describing himself as fiscally conservative but socially liberal, Rogers wasn’t shy about taking to the airwaves to express his opinions.

Born James E. Rogers on Sept. 15, 1938 and a native of Louisville, Ky., Rogers had a middle class background by the time he arrived in Las Vegas as a teenager in 1953. His father worked at the Nevada Test Site and his mother taught second grade at Paradise Elementary School.

A graduate of Las Vegas High School, Rogers in 1964 embarked on a career as a Las Vegas attorney who handled business and divorce cases and personal injury lawsuits.

His affiliation with television stations began in the 1970s, and he built what was once known as Sunbelt Communications into a media conglomerate with TV and radio stations throughout the West. Aside from Las Vegas, Rogers ran stations in Reno, Elko and Winnemucca as well as in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Rogers became such a shrewd businessman his net worth reportedly topped $300 million. He spent some of his fortune on vintage automobiles such as a 1932 Cadillac V-16 roadster and an extensive western memorabilia collection. His office at Channel 3 featured western-themed bronze
sculptures by Frederic Remington and a beige Stetson cowboy hat signed by the likes of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

His love for Western lore led he and wife Beverly to finance the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History in Lone Pine, Calif.
But he became more noteworthy for pledging more than $200 million to universities. One recipient was his alma mater, the University of Arizona, which returned the favor by naming its law school the James E. Rogers College of Law. Donations from Rogers also helped establish the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

His reputation among those who saw him in action as a taskmaster and perfectionist with a volatile temper was known to put many of his employees on edge. But his high energy and inquisitive nature were also thought to be the qualities needed when he was selected to lead Nevada’s university system in 2004.

Rogers offered to take the post for a $1 salary and wound up holding the position for five years before voluntarily stepping down in 2009. During his tenure, he aggressively defended state spending on higher education while prodding the UNLV Foundation to improve its fundraising efforts. His combative style, though, also reportedly led to the resignations of UNLV President Carol Harter and University of Nevada, Reno, President John Lilley.

Banking was also a big part of Rogers’ background, having founded Community Bank of Nevada and Nevada First Bank. He also served on the boards of Nevada National and Security Pacific banks.

Rogers is survived by wife Beverly and three children.

Information from KLAS-TV, Las Vegas
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.