Tom Shelburne, co-founder of NEP and arguably the father of the modern remote TV production business, has passed away at the age of 81.
Shelburne grew up with TV in his blood as his family founded WNEP Scranton, PA, an ABC affiliate that rose to become the highest-rated ABC affiliate in the country. In 1978 Shelburne built a mobile production truck for the station and ushered in a new era in remote production. And for himself, it began a decades-long career capturing and telling stories from even the most secluded events as WNEP soon thereafter launched a remote production company. That fleet would expand to three trucks.
“Tom Shelburne was special,” says Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Chairman Ken Aagaard of Shelburne who was the first inductee into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2007. “Tom was not only a pioneer of Sports TV but a cowboy who knew how to get whatever done.”
In 1984 the New York Times company acquired WNEP-TV, but Shelburne held onto the mobile production company and NEP Broadcasting was born. And while he played a big part in running the business from the top he found plenty of joy in doing whatever needed to be done for the client.
Today NEP has more than 4,000 employees in 25 countries. NEP Group released a statement on Tom’s passing: “NEP Group mourns the passing of co-founder, Tom Shelburne. Known as the father of remote television production, Shelburne founded NEP Supershooters in 1987, becoming the world’s leading mobile broadcast production company.
Born in Bristol, TN in 1942, he is survived by his wife LeeAnn Shelburne, daughter Sally Newhall, son Tommy Shelburne, stepdaughter Jill Marziale, and sister Trina English.