Charles Hobson, Who Helped Break a TV Color Line, Dies at 83

Charles Hobson, Who Helped Break a TV Color Line, Dies at 83


“Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant” was conceived by Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, a community development group, and began with a $45,000 budget. It was hosted by James C. Lowry and the actress Roxie Roker, a local resident who was later a regular on the sitcom “The Jeffersons.”

“It’s so unplanned, it’s so informal, it’s so — I hate to use the word — but genuine,” Professor Musser said of the program in 1998. “Just about anyone in the community could show up and be on TV.”

Mr. Hobson was also the first black producer of the WABC-TV program “Like It Is,” another early public affairs program that focused on minority issues. (The program, which ran from 1968 to 2011, had a black host, Gil Noble, but originally an all-white production staff.) “Like It Is” won seven local Emmy Awards.

In the late 1970s, Mr. Hobson was senior vice president for international co-productions at WETA in Washington.

He produced the 13-week PBS series “From Jumpstreet: A Story of Black Music” (1980) and the nine-part PBS-BBC co-production “The Africans” (1986). In 1989, he was hired to be the director of market planning for WNET, the New York public television station. He taught film in Munich as a Fulbright scholar in 1996.

In the 1980s he began Vanguard Documentaries, which produced “Porgy and Bess: An American Voice” (1998) and “Harlem in Montmartre: Paris Jazz” (2009) for “Great Performances” on PBS, and “Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building” (2014) for WNET.

In addition to his daughter Hallie, from his marriage to Cheryl Chisholm, which ended in divorce, he is survived by his wife, Maren Stange; their daughter, Clara Hobson; a sister, Delvita Lovell; and a brother, George. His first marriage, to Andrea Marquez, also ended in divorce.



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