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Edward ‘Ted’ Koplar, former KPLR chief and entrepreneur, dies at 77
Edward 'Ted' Koplar

Edward ‘Ted’ Koplar, former KPLR chief and entrepreneur, dies at 77

Edward J. "Ted" Koplar

Edward J. "Ted" Koplar (Photo by Koplar Communications)

Edward J. “Ted” Koplar, a former chief executive officer of KPLR (Channel 11) and longtime entrepreneur, died Sunday at his home in Ladue. He was 77.

Koplar first worked as a show producer at the station that was started in 1959 by his father, Harold Koplar.

Voltron in St. Louis

Ted Koplar, in 2016. Photo by Huy Mach,

The younger Koplar became president and chief executive in 1979 and under his leadership KPLR was consistently ranked among the top independent stations in the U.S.

The station became affiliated with the WB Network in 1995 and was sold to Acme Communications in 1998.

Mr. Koplar is well-known in the television industry for launching the animated series “Voltron: Defender of the Universe.”

Under the banner of his World Events Productions company, the show made its debut in 1984 and eventually was aired in more than 80 countries and generated several sequels and spin-offs.

Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of Webster University’s communications school, said Mr. Koplar “was quite a character.”

“He just had so much energy, and was always looking for new ideas,” Rothenbuhler said. “When most people at his age were retiring, he was always searching for a new talent, a great idea.”

Said Rothenbuhler, “Basically, he was always looking for, ‘What comes next?’”

In 1982, he started KICK, which produced and televised kickboxing matches. Five years later, he formed Koplar Interactive Systems Inc., which developed ways to send information through video signals.

In 2005, Mr. Koplar and one of his sons, Sam Koplar, helped renovate Maryland Plaza in the Central West End.

Mr. Koplar returned to television ownership in 2009 when he founded KRBK (Channel 49) in Springfield, Missouri. He sold the station in 2018.

He served on numerous civic boards, including those for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Nine Network, Webster University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Mr. Koplar is a member of the St. Louis Media History Foundation’s Hall of Fame and of the Gold Circle of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences.

Among Mr. Koplar’s survivors are his wife, Nancy Scanlon Koplar; five children, Emilee Wolfe, Robert “Bob” Koplar, Alison Wyatt, Sam Koplar and Kevin Koplar; 11 grandchildren; and a sister, Susan Brown.

Funeral services are private.

A twist of fate brought Kent Ehrhardt back to his hometown of St. Louis, where he has delivered weather forecasts for more than 20 years. He shares his journey with writer Aisha Sultan for a profile in the Post-Dispatch's StL Life section.

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