A former NBC executive who served two terms as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hank Rieger died Wednesday in Oceanside, Calif., at 95.
Rieger a former publicity exec for NBC, reportedly died of natural causes.
"Rieger served the television industry’s governing bodies for 40 years, first as president of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, then as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (from 1973-75 and then from 1977-80) and as editor and publisher of Emmy Magazine, which he created for the organization," THR reports. "In 1994, Rieger was honored with the Television Academy’s Syd Cassyd Award in recognition of his long and distinguished service."
Said Bruce Rosenblum, current chairman and CEO of ATAS: “Hank Rieger worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the Television Academy. He believed in the Academy’s ability to have a positive impact on the entire entertainment industry, and we are deeply grateful for all he contributed.”
THR notes: "In 1965, Rieger began a 15-year run as West Coast director of press and publicity for NBC, promoting such popular TV programs as ‘Bonanza,’ ‘I Spy,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,’ ‘Sanford and Son’ and ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’ He traveled overseas with Bob Hope when the famed comic entertained U.S. troops.
"After leaving NBC in 1979 to operate his own PR firm, he became the West Coast PR representative for the then-fledgling ESPN, a relationship he maintained until his death."
Rieger also worked with Special Olympics, and helped bring the 1984 Summer Olympics Games to Los Angeles, the report notes.