Sacramento native Jack Matranga, a local broadcasting pioneer and one of the original owners of local TV station KTXL Channel 40, died Wednesday at age 86.
Mr. Matranga's family said he recently had been in declining health.
Born Nov. 30, 1925, Mr. Matranga grew up in the midtown neighborhood near 25th and F streets, subsequently attending Marshall Elementary School, Sutter Junior High School and Sacramento High School, graduating in 1943.
After a semester at Sacramento City College, he enlisted in what was the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force. After World War II, he was stationed in Tokyo with Armed Forces Radio, an extension of his early interest in radio.
Discharged from military service, he began working for McClatchy Broadcasting. Mr. Matranga said he counted Eleanor McClatchy, former publisher of The Sacramento Bee, among his mentors.
"He was incredibly intuitive about where broadcasting is and where it was headed," said Mr. Matranga's daughter, Jill. "He had an incredible presence, not only in business but with his family."
From a program director and disc jockey at radio station KSYC in Yreka, Mr. Matranga returned to Sacramento and continued to move up the ladder in local broadcast circles. At the same time, he worked in real estate development, including involvement in the Guy West Bridge spanning the American River at California State University, Sacramento.
In 1968, a partnership launched KTXL Channel 40 as Sacramento's first UHF station. That led to ownership of other stations in Denver and Portland, Ore.
Mr. Matranga's varied interests included history, geography and photography. He traveled globally and dug deep into his Italian heritage. He was also an avid boating enthusiast.
Mr. Matranga was a member of the Del Paso Country Club, the Sutter Club and the Crocker Art Museum. He was involved in numerous organizations, including the Sacramento Zoological Society.
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