Longtime radio personality and former KARK reporter Gene Stewart passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 71 from complications following a surgery.
Stewart began his media career in the late 1960s as a DJ and the news director for KBTA radio in Batesville, then moved on to similar positions with KCON in Conway, and KAAY in Little Rock. In the 1970s, Stewart switched to television, joining KARK-TV in Little Rock as a producer, news editor, and reporter, specializing in police and traffic reporting, frequently providing updates from the Sky 4 Eyewitness News helicopter.
Stewart also had a keen, lifelong interest in law enforcement and fire fighting, leaving KARK for a time to pursue that career path, serving as a patrol sergeant and information officer for the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department. While serving with PCSD, he provided "Sgt. Gene's" air traffic reports for the Little Rock metro area.
Stewart rejoined KARK for a time as a crime reporter, before returning to Batesville where he continued his media endeavors, forming his own company.