Celebrity broadcaster, veteran and friend

This year 2022 saw the first season of the World College Series without Jack Payne – Nebraska broadcast legend and former voice of the series, Payne was 99. Bill Jensen is the current broadcaster of the series, a loyal Payne follower who took over when he retired. “It was one of a kind,” Jensen said. “There probably won’t be another Jack Pine.” He started listening to Pine on Omaha Radio when he was just 8 years old. At the time, Pine was advertising for a public high school track meet. That’s for nearly three decades.” “I was listening to it all the time and trying to imitate it, and then as I got older, I got involved with a friend of mine whose father owned a radio station, and that’s how it started,” Jensen said. Jensen never thought he would grow up to follow in the footsteps of his inspiration. But on a Sunday while working under the Omaha Royals at Rosenblatt Stadium, he changed it. Back in the mid-1980s, I was working at Rosenblatt for the Omaha Royals and the public speaking announcer couldn’t attend, Jensen said. The jobs I did were managing the scoreboard, Jensen said, so I knew Jack Payne well.” When Payne decided to retire, Jensen was appointed to a role among 24 auditioned people to fill the vacancy — he says it’s very different today.” Jack was A professor at the ceremonies because he didn’t have video boards and back-up audio. All he had was an organ. “He had to entertain people as things went, which is why Jack is known for some of the funky things he’s done,” Jensen said. Jack was, I think, 97 at the time. His mind and voice hadn’t changed a bit. “I mean he could just sit back and do it if he wanted to,” said Jensen. Payne died in early June. World War II and a member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, but for Bill Jensen, he was much more than that – a friend.

This year, 2022, saw the first season of the World College Series without Jack Payne – Nebraska broadcast legend and former voice of the series.

Payne was 99 years old.

Bill Jensen is the series’ current host, and a loyal follower of Payne who took charge when he retired.

“It was one of a kind,” Jensen said. There probably won’t be another Jack Pine.

He started listening to Payne on Radio Omaha when he was just 8 years old.

At the time, Payne was advertising a state high school track meet. He’s done this for nearly three decades.

“I was listening to him all the time and trying to imitate him, and as I got older I hooked up with a friend of mine whose father owned a radio station, and that’s how it started,” Jensen said.

Jensen never thought he would grow up to follow in the footsteps of his inspiration, but one Sunday during his tenure under the Omaha Royals at Rosenblatt Stadium otherwise.

“Back in the mid-1980s, I was working at Rosenblatt for the Omaha Royals and the public speaking announcer couldn’t make it,” Jensen said.

The general manager at the time filled Jensen – an ugly situation at the time that improved compared to his league filling.

“One of my last jobs was managing the scoreboard, so I knew Jack Payne well,” Jensen said.

When Payne decided to retire, Jensen was named to a role among 24 people auditioning to fill the vacancy — he says it’s very different today.

“Jack was a master at ceremonies because he didn’t have video boards and audio backup. All he had was an organ. He had to entertain people as he went along, which is why Jack is famous for some of the funky things he did,” Jensen said.

Jensen says that Jack was a humble man who kept in touch with him as time progressed.

“It was cool. Jack was, I think, 97 at the time. His mind and voice haven’t changed a bit. I mean he could just sit back and do it if he wanted to,” Jensen said.

Payne died in early June.

He was a World War II veteran and a member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, but to Bill Jensen, he was much more than that — a friend.

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