Born to Glenn and Inez Bradshaw in December of 1960, Adam was someone who was a great mentor to journalists who are now all around the nation, with a news career spanning nearly four decades.
“We grew up in Urbana, Illinois,” Adam’s younger brother Scott Bradshaw said. “Our dad was an art professor at the UI, and Adam and I are the youngest two of five kids in the family.”
But one thing was for certain about Adam almost from the very start, he liked to talk to people and pass on what he found out.
“My memory of Adam was that he would sit on the curb, and when people would walk by, he would say, ‘Hi, I’m Adam,” Scott said. “And he’d come into the house reporting that he talked to Ms. Jones down the street; well, we didn’t even know who Ms. Jones was.”
Adam’s love for broadcast news took him to Illinois State University, where he graduated in 1984. He began his broadcast career at our Nexstar station in Champaign-Urbana first as a reporter and then as a producer, but soon decided news management was his calling.
“He was amazingly professional even as a very young college intern,” Scott said. “I don’t think he ever wanted to be on camera, he enjoyed being behind the camera, and he enjoyed the production.”
That professionalism was felt by those who worked with him as well.
“He lead his news departments with confidence and compassion,” Adam’s former co-worker George Severson said. “He was a very nurturing leader.”
“He was very approachable,” former weekend anchor/reporter at KFDX Nicholas Quallich said. “He knew that when you needed some help, he could come right in and offer his suggestion. But he appreciated help, but he also appreciated at the end of the day when things were a little busy, he appreciated just sitting down, just kind of letting him vent and sharing a joke or two or a little smile.”
Adam worked in California, Utah and Nevada, where in 2009 he was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Then Adam’s broadcast career brought him to Wichita Falls in March of 2018. General Manager of KFDX/KJTL Wayne Reed said he knew from the first conversation he had with Adam he would be a great addition to the station.
“We had quite a lengthy interview, and we often teased each other about that after it was said and done, but I realized very quickly that he would make an incredible coach, teacher and mentor, and that’s exactly what he did,” Reed said.
Back in December, Adam started to feel ill and was told he had a lung infection which made it difficult to continue his work, despite his best efforts. But when Adam’s messages and calls ceased, Wayne knew something wasn’t right.
“I was on my way back into town, I had been out of town this weekend, and I got a text from one of our night producers, and she had just said that they had been trying to reach Adam via cellphone, landline phone, and they had even sent some people to knock on his door and he did not answer,” Reed said. “So, my first thought was that we needed to do a welfare check.”
After doing that welfare check, WFPD was able to find Adam in his home, but he had passed away. That news sent shockwaves to everyone who knew him.
“I knew Adam had been sick,” Scott said. “I did not know how sick he was. I talked to him on his birthday, which was December 9th, and I knew he had been fighting something that wasn’t COVID but sounded like a lung infection. But I guess he had other things going on that I wasn’t aware of. I was driving to our house up here in Wisconsin yesterday when my oldest brother called and said, ‘Hey, Adam passed away.’ It was a real shock to me.”
That feeling of shock quickly turned to sadness.
“It hits awfully close when it’s the one that’s closest in age,” Scott said. “I mean, we’re the two young ones. My plan in life was that we’d always hopefully outlive everybody else, but it just didn’t work out that way. I guess the feeling that I had was sadness in the fact that he died alone, and is there anything we could have done to help him.”
As for Adam’s sister-in-law Laura Bradshaw, she said she’s going to miss spending time with him.
“Very funny, very loving, very supportive,” Laura said. “He called me sis. He was so much fun to go fishing with, and he was always so good with our kids Rachel and Natalie. They loved him so much, and he was a fantastic uncle to them.”
Something that also is felt by everyone who worked with him.
“I’m going to miss having him as someone who I can go to touch base with, to check up on,” Severson said.
Reed echoes that statement, as he will also miss their talks.
“There’s a spot in my office where Adam used to sit, and he and I had lots of meetings, lots of conversations, lots of planning sessions, and every time that I look at that chair, I’ll see Adam,” Reed said.
As for Nicholas Quallich, there’s also one thing he will always remember about his former news director.
“One of the things that sticks out, and I use it all of the time, is at the end of the day, no matter how busy we were or how often certain situations would come up, before he would walk out of the newsroom he would say, ‘We will see you tomorrow, and you know why? Because we never close’,” Quallich said.
As for Adam, the door of life is now closed, but those that knew him know he’s currently enjoying a soda and helping report Heaven’s news.
As for us down here, don’t worry Adam, come 8:00 a.m. every Monday morning, our time cards will be submitted.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as he will definitely be missed, and our newsroom will not be the same without him.