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Alaska’s News Source celebrates life of longtime employee Jeff Dowd

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:46 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Staff at Alaska’s News Source are mourning the death of a longtime employee earlier this week.

Jeff Dowd, 60, died on Tuesday in Anchorage. He was director of creative services for the station and worked at Alaska’s News Source, formerly known as Channel 2 News, for nearly 45 years.

“This was Jeff’s second home,” said Chief Anchor Maria Downey. “Where he started his 45-year career as a teenager.”

Co-workers describe Jeff as having been an integral part of the station, and a trusted resource when it came to producing graphic work and promotions that are an important part of what makes up the station behind the scenes.

Some of his most creative productions went on to win state, regional and national awards, Downey said.

“He was the guy you went to when you wanted something polished and would just have to say, ‘just do your stuff,’ and he did,” Downey said. “He made everything shine.”

Director of Marketing Victoria Taylor said that it’s hard to walk through the halls of the television station and not come across something Dowd had a hand in building during his tenure. He and the station are synonymous, she wrote.

“There are a lot of faces viewers welcome into their homes each night when watching Alaska’s News Source. And while Jeff may not be one many would recognize in a crowd as part of the on-air team — without a doubt he was involved in crafting memorable promotions and opens for news or special projects at Channel 2 and CBS 5,” Taylor wrote. “An average commercial break will typically feature one of his spots — distinguished by its ‘Dowd Style’ motion and animated text. For decades, Jeff dedicated himself to learning, growing, and evolving with an industry that is constantly changing. He was an exceptional Creative Services Director, mentor, and friend that will be missed by many.”

Brad Hillwig, a former marketing director for the station, wrote of his years getting to know Dowd and how he came to know him for not only his talent, but also his kindness.

“Years back, as a news photographer at KTUU I’d see Jeff regularly in the breakroom,” Hillwig wrote. “We’d exchange pleasantries, but little more. I’d often hear about the magical things being generated out of his edit suite in the shadowy depths of the first floor Syntax offices at the old Tudor location. When I took over the marketing role in 2011, I began to work alongside Jeff and the Syntax folks. I quickly learned of Jeff’s kindness, wry sense of humor, and absolute dedication to his work and craft.”

“To me, he was this kind of wizard who could do anything he wanted with editing, graphics, and special effects,” Hillwig continued.

Hillwig credited Dowd’s consistency and demeanor in helping the station’s staff weather the inevitable ups and downs of television.

“Projects and clients came and went,” he wrote. “Successes and failures passed us by. There was Jeff, each day, in his edit Suite moving forward. When you called, he answered.”

“In his quiet, humble way Jeff made Alaska’s airwaves more beautiful, informative, and impactful,” Hillwig continued. “There’s no doubt that he helped build Alaska’s most successful media brand into what it is, not to mention the many clients Jeff helped build as well.”

More than for his work to make Alaska’s News Source what it is today, Jeff will be remembered as the man he was outside of the office: a loving husband, father and grandfather, Downey said.

“Our sincere condolences to his dear family,” she said. “He will be missed.”

Clarification: This article has been updated to correctly say Jeff Dowd worked for Alaska’s News Source, which was formerly known as Channel 2 News.

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