Ken Meyer, a Springfield businessperson known as a broadcasting icon and philanthropist, died July 17. He was 94.
A news release from Zimmer Midwest Communications, which purchased Springfield-based Meyer Communications Inc. in 2020, cited "a long illness."
Meyer, who founded Meyer Communications in 1964, sold his group of radio stations to Columbia-based Zimmer for undisclosed terms, according to past reporting. Meyer was elected to the Missouri Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015 with his wife, Jane, who died in 2002.
Ken Meyer additionally owned a Lawrence County vineyard called Meyer Farms Inc., and he and his wife were known for philanthropic contributions through their foundation. Among them was a $1.5 million donation in 2008 to CoxHealth for its Meyer Orthopedic Center and naming-level gifts to Missouri State University for the Jane A. Meyer Carillon at Meyer Library and the Kenneth E. Meyer Alumni Center in downtown Springfield.
“I think it’s appropriate that our office works in the Kenneth E. Meyer Alumni Center,” said Brent Dunn, executive director of the MSU Foundation, in a news release. "He helped us so much both financially and with his expertise in business.”
A 1950 graduate of MSU with a bachelor's in business education, Meyer received the Bronze Bear award from the school in 2004 and the Outstanding Missourian Award from the Missouri House of Representatives in 2005.
"Ken Meyer was an icon in Springfield," MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. "He started as a Missouri State student and grew a radio empire in the area."
SBJ interviews the president of Cox College.