Marv Nelles

nellesMarv Nelles (1925-2008) was the voice of radio news in Wausau for nearly three decades during his 40 years in broadcasting. He made coverage of local news a priority and set a high standard for the next generation of radio news reporters and news directors throughout Wisconsin.

A native of Minnesota, Nelles served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He then graduated from radio technical school and worked at stations in Wisconsin and South Dakota. In 1951 he joined WSAU-TV and Radio in Wausau and subsequently, in 1958, became the first news director at WRIG Radio (later WRIG/WDEZ) in Wausau. He attended and reported on nearly every Wausau city council and school board meeting. He was trapped in his car by gunfire while covering a shootout in 1962, and he interviewed visiting newsmakers, including John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. He also served as county coroner from 1972-83. Nelles retired in 1987 and remained active in community service until his death in 2008.

One Comment

  1. Andy Nelson

    I worked with Marv Nellis for 15 years. He knew what the story was and wasn’t going to be moved from trying to get it. Back in the 80’s Wausau’s Leigh-Yawkey Woodson Art Museum was honoring a world famous artist of African wildlife. The artist was in town as was his friend actor Jimmy Stewart. Stewart was there to introduce the artist at the award ceremony. Prior to the event was a news conference featuring Stewart. Before bringing Jimmy to the podium, the director of the LYW Museum made it clear that this wasn’t about Mr Stewart and there would be no questions about his great acting career or personal life.
    Well the lead question came from Marv who asked “Jimmy can you tell us about Pie?” I quickly scanned the room and saw either looks of disbelief or chuckles from the rest of the news community. It was only later, when they filed their reports, that they we silently thanking Marv for the great story. You see Jimmy Stewart answered with a touching 4 minute story about Pie the only horse he ever rode in every western movie he ever made. Great story of love for his horse. Who but Marv would ever think to ask.

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