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Bishop, communication pioneer, dies at 101

Jefferson Dige Bishop, who helped pioneer communication technologies in the Andalusia area, died Monday. He was 101.


Bishop moved to Andalusia with his family in 1946 to help build the city’s first radio station, WCTA, which first broadcast on Aug. 12, 1946. He served as station engineer, announcer, and salesman. He was known as “the Sharecropper” on Saturday mornings.

During his years in radio, he had interests in stations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

He founded TV Cable Company of Andalusia in 1965, which recently celebrated is 50th anniversary, and is still owned by his family.

His son, Ivan Bishop, recalled that the first customer to actually receive cable service was The Gables, because that’s where all of the crew members who helped build the system were housed. Cable service was $4.95 per month.

Dige Bishop remained active in the business until his 98th birthday. During that time, the company expanded its territory to include Carolina, Libertyville, Heath, Red Level, Dozier, McKenzie, Babbie, Opp and Kinston. It also merged with Clearview Cable in 2004, and began offering Internet services that year. Digital phone service has since been added, and the company also acquired Opp Cable TV earlier this year.

Bishop, who lived in Pensacola at the time of his death, was a former president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the Alabama Cable Television Association.

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