Saying goodbye is never easy. In the last 12 months, we lost some good friends and colleagues. This isn’t an exhaustive list of everyone who has passed away in the last year. But it’s just some of those who have touched all of our lives in many ways.
October 10, 2007
The entire cable industry stood still as news spread that much-loved cable veteran and former Cox CEO Jim Robbins had passed away. The grief built to a crescendo until we all accepted that a good friend was gone. Robbins ran a major cable operator for several years, excelling at more things than we would have room to list here. But many still resonate today. Under his leadership, Cox became the 1st MSO to recognize the potential of the commercial services market. Now, everyone wants in. In addition, he understood the power of good customer service and instilled that sense in all of his employees. Several JD Power awards later, Robbins’ legacy at Cox lives on. But beyond his professional achievements was his humanity and friendship. Even those of us in the press—often quick to cast a cynical eye—had enormous respect for Robbins, who always gave us the straight scoop. No spinning. No BS. That was Jim. We all miss him terribly.
And his influence on this industry will live on forever.
December 3, 2006
John Jones, the first general counsel at TV One, died of a heart attack at age 38. Jones had left TV One a few years back to rejoin the network’s backer Radio One.
December 4, 2006
Ronnie Lippin, president of international entertainment marketing firm The Lippin Group, died of a rare form of breast cancer. She was 59.
January 2, 2007
EarthLink CEO Garry Betty died following complications from cancer at age 49.
January 24, 2007
Telecom executive Philip Hamlin Jr died at age 60. Hamlin helped form Level 3 and served as its top executive until he retired in 2001.
February 3, 2007
Longtime EW Scripps chairman Charles Scripps died of natural causes at age 87.
February 17, 2007
Longtime CEA hand Cynthia Upson passed away from complications from cancer.
May 14, 2007
Cable pioneer Ed Hewson passed away after a long battle with cancer.
May 28, 2007
Cox Enterprises co-founder Barbara Cox Anthony died. She was 84.
June 14, 2007
Cable Pioneer Bart Swift, a former Time Warner and Teleprompter executive, died following a bypass operation.
June 24, 2007
Sam Schroeder, Comcast SportsNet’s SVP, special projects, died at age 66. Schroeder was one of the founders of the network and helped its “Daily News Live.”
July 7, 2007
George Storer, a cable pioneer who developed the first cable trap and developed the West Coast’s first pay-cable network —the “Z” channel on Theta Cable—died.
August 15, 2007
Dorthea Kaitz, who with her husband Walter Kaitz worked for years at the CA Cable TV Assn, passed away at age 93.
August 15, 2007
Chet Collier, a broadcasting pioneer who helped launch Fox News Channel in 1996 with Roger Ailes, passed away after a long illness.
September 21, 2007
Rex Humbard, widely considered America’s first television’s evangelist and the father of Gospel Music Channel co-founder Charley Humbard, died.
October 8, 2007
ACA’s longest-serving board member and board member emeritus, Norm Mills of Colstrip Cable, passed away after battling a heart condition. He was 84.
December 1, 2007
Jennifer Davidson, Cartoon Network’s svp, programming and scheduling, died unexpectedly of a sudden illness at age 38. She’s survived by a husband and 3 young children.