Paul Meador, better known in recent years to listeners of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) as “Papa Paul,” died on Monday at his home in New Taipei City, at the age of 62.
The station announced his death on Tuesday.
Meador’s official title at ICRT was programming manager, but in recent years he also hosted The Morning Show with Papa Paul and Rock of Ages, provided a voice for many of the station’s ads, and did countless newscasts, the job which first brought him to Taiwan and ICRT in 1991.
Photo: Courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei
Paul George Meador was born in Illinois on June 21, 1955, and served in the US military before making journalism and radio his career, having earned a bachelor’s degree in radio-television journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
While in the military, he was stationed in Brussels, Belgium, and on Okinawa, Japan, which was where he met his wife, Rie.
Meador began at ICRT as a news anchor, hosting the evening news and then the morning news program (which is where this reporter worked with him). He became news director, but was often called on to fill in as a DJ or co-host the morning music shows and eventually switched to programming director.
Photo: Courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei
He was also in demand as a voice artist at recording and sound studios in Taipei, his warm tone voicing countless industrial and government videos, corporate presentations and commercials.
He left ICRT in 2000 to return to the US, where he worked for several radio stations and newspapers, but in 2011 was asked to return to the station to head the programming department once again, which he did in November.
His colleagues considered Meador a consummate professional, able to deliver breaking stories with the same unflappable ease that he read scripted broadcasts. He had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of stories and trivia about rock legends and an interest in all kinds of music.
He also had a reputation as a caring boss and mentor to those on both the news and music sides of the station.
In some of the many tributes posted on Facebook, Ross Snel and Hope Ngo, who worked with Meador in the early 1990s when ICRT was on Yangmingshan (陽明山) in Taipei, said he had been a supportive mentor to young reporters.
“Paul was always so encouraging and generous with us newbies. He’d say just the right thing to tame our nerves as we were about to go on air, help us to tweak our copy,” Snel wrote.
However, the things that current and former colleagues, listeners and friends have said they will remember most about Meador was his smile, infectious chuckle and easy laugh.
“For at least half of the seven years that I hosted the morning show, Paul was effectively my co-host. Every single morning, I could count on Paul to add a positive, funny and supportive note to almost anything I said... I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a better ‘radio chuckle,’” wrote Kevin Pratt, who was known on-air as Kev Morgan.
In a tribute posted on the station’s Web site, ICRT general manager Tim Berge, who started as a traffic reporter at about the same time that Meador first joined ICRT in 1991, said: “Paul had the heart of a lion, and he was an absolute joy to work with. He kept the workplace fun and full of laughter.”
Meador is survived by his wife, Rie; their three daughters, Jessie, Anna and Chisa; as well as his mother, brother, two sisters and two granddaughters.
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