Robert Stephane 330One of the founders of CIRCOM Regional, Robert Stéphane, died on Saturday, December 1st 2018 at the age of 86.

Robert Stéphane was a jack of all trades in audiovisual engineering. He was the first face of the newscast of RTBF (INR at that time) in the fall of 1956 during the crisis of the Suez Canal. He was appointed General Manager of RTBF in the mid-1980s.

Robert Stéphane was the creator of regional stations. As a convinced regionalist, he created, in October 1968, the morning "drop-outs" on the Liege transmitters of the second radio program, that become soon regional TV « drop-outs » and regional news rooms. He was an enthusiastic visionary, excellent in networking.

In the late 70ies, Robert Stéphane was part of the creation of the CIRCOM, « Coopérative Internationale de Recherche sur le COMmunication ». In 1983, RTBF, RAI, ORTF and ARD, opened the regional branch « CIRCOM Regional » which become the well-known independent CIRCOM Regional European Association of Media. In this framework, he accompanied all the developments of Public Regional Televisions in Europe, especially in the Eastern part.

Fernando Ojea, Secretary General of CR says: “I was lucky to meet Mr Stéphane during the Prix CIRCOM Gala dinner in Cavtat in 2014. He was 82 but didn’t mind travelling with his colleagues from RTBF Belgium because he wanted to see what CIRCOM Regional has become. ‘I am very proud and delighted’, he said. I thanked his long-term vision and we both agreed that rather than an institution CIRCOM is a family. I am deeply saddened by the news of losing him.”

Robert Stéphane was a familiar face in the various CIRCOM Regional activities, always giving excellent advice and recommendations, introducing people to each other. CIRCOM Regional will definitely miss one of its founders!