Former WKOW anchor Blake Kellogg, 87, dies in Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) — Journalist, editor, professor, public relations professional and circus advocate Blake Kellogg has died.  An obituary from Cress Funeral Service says the Brookings, South Dakota native passed away October 3rd in Madison. He would have been 88 next month.

Mr. Kellogg has been called a consummate newsman — serving not only as an editor for newspapers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota, but also as a television news journalist and as a communications professor at UW – Madison for over 20 years.

He worked at WKOW 27 News from 1960 to 1969 as a news director and as an anchor. While at WKOW, he also co-hosted the program “In Town Today” for four years.

Mr. Kellogg’s comments in the station’s “Celebration of 50 Years of Broadcasting, 1953 to 2002” publication offer his insights on Madison coming of age in the 1960s.  He covered many of the pivotal events of the time, including the Dow riots and the Sterling Hall bombing, and provided archived film footage to the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

He explained his passion to document history in an interview with 27 News in 2004.

“I was afraid that the film would be destroyed, so I took 353 thousand feet of 16 millimeter news film and gave it to the state historical society,” Kellogg said. “That started their core archive that they have and since that time they now have acquired six million feet of 16 mm news film.”

In 1969, he took over as news director at KWWL in Waterloo, Iowa and returned to Madison in 1971 to serve as press secretary to Governor Patrick J. Lucey.

His obituary on the funeral service’s web page also notes his time as a professor at the UW Extension:

“Blake was a professor of communications at UW-Madison Extension for 21 years, retiring in 1995. During his tenure at UW, Blake developed and taught courses on newsletter editing and design to more than 10,000 editors and led his department into the computer age. He was a frequent consultant to weekly newspapers throughout Wisconsin. His dedicated service to the Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) resulted in his being awarded the coveted WNA red jacket.”

Mr. Kellogg also was a long-time proponent of the Circus World Museum in Baraboo and oversaw improvements there in the late 80s. He was noted as a leader in his volunteer efforts for the revival of the Circus Train and the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee.

The news man held bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism from South Dakota State and served in the U.S. Army for two years. He commanded a war dog unit and made extensive use of their training in high-altitude, cold weather operations.

Mr. Kellogg married Patsy Ruth Briscoe on July 27, 1957. They had three children and six grandchildren.

A celebration of life reception will be held on Friday, October 19 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Goodman Community Center Brassworks Facility, 214 Waubesa St.  There will be a brief reflection at 6:00 p.m.

Julie Carpenter Lotz

Julie Carpenter Lotz

Assignment Editor, WKOW-TV

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