AAF Omaha lifetime member Kevee Kirshenbaum (Cal Kirshen) passed away on April 14, 2016 at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home in Omaha.
Kirshen was an active Omaha Federation of Advertising (now AAF Omaha) member for more than 25 years prior to his retirement from KMTV in 2001. In 2001 OFA’s board of directors honored Kirshen with the club’s lifetime member status. For many years after his retirement Kirshen continued to be a regular attendee of OFA educational events and programs. Kirshen will be missed by his AAF Omaha friends and the Omaha advertising and broadcast community.
Claudia Martin, Chairman, Partner, Media Director at Redstone and OFA’s 1988/89 President – He was my dear fiend and I will miss him… “A 50-year stellar career in Omaha broadcasting! I doubt Cal Kirshen’s legacy will ever be challenged again. He was a man of integrity and kindness – and a mentor to so many. He was loved and admired.”
Rachel Skaff, Digital Media Specialist with the Omaha World-Herald remembers Cal mentoring her when she first began as an intern at KMTV… “Cal Kirshen was a truly incredible person and a wonderful mentor to me in my years at KMTV. Everyone liked Cal. Cal took me under his wing and became a “media grandpa” to me. He often let me tag along with him as he ran errands such as picking up dubs from advertising agencies or stopping by to visit with clients. He was a great storyteller, so often my ride-alongs with him in his car became drives down memory lane as he would point out old buildings and tell me about businesses that had once thrived there. As I transitioned from being an intern to being a full-time employee at KMTV, Cal continued to coach me along. Frequently I would find myself at Cal’s desk needing him to do yet another free voice-over for a TV commercial, and he always cheerful obliged. He effortlessly blended his role as a media consultant with that of being a seasoned talent, and he was the only person I ever watched be the on-air talent for live TV commercials; needless to say, he delivered his lines absolutely perfect. Cal was truly a professional and I admired him tremendously. One time I sat in his empty cubicle, and I could sense decades of broadcast TV history all around his work space. I always got the feeling that he truly loved what he did, and that he genuinely cared about everyone. He will be greatly missed.”
Teri Hamburger, AAF Omaha’s Executive Director worked for Cal assisting him and leaders of the Omaha Sportscasters Association with administrative support for their annual midwinter banquet… “I always looked forward to the late fall into early winter project helping Cal and Omaha Sportscasters Associate. Cal was one of the nicest people to work for. He was dedicated to honoring our city’s sport leaders past and present and young talented athletes. I remember how excited Cal was the year Ahman Green was honored at the midwinter banquet and how pleased he was to see so many of Mr. Greens former Central High School teachers, coaches and friends attend the event. Cal was genuinely honored when OFA named him a lifetime member.”
Kirshen leaves behind his wife of more than 60 years, three sons, and one daughter.