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Former Network President Dies

Oct 26, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The former president of one of the broadcast networks, who was an iconic figure in the media world, has died, according to media reports.

Daniel Burke, who rose from general manager of local TV station WTEN in Albany to become president and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, was 82, ABC News reports. Burke was the company’s president and CEO from 1990 until his retirement in 1994.

He served as president and chief operating officer of Capital Cities starting in 1972, becoming president and COO of Capital Cities/ABC when the company acquired American Broadcasting Companies on Jan. 3, 1986.

Burke died today at his home in Rye, N.Y., TVNewser.com reports. He was the father of four, including Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal and former president of ABC Broadcasting.

Another son, Bill Burke, is the former president of TBS and helped develop TCM, and also collaborated with Ted Turner on Turner’s autobiography.

Daniel Burke’s other children are Frank Burke and Sally McNamara. 

Daniel Burke suffered from diabetes, B&C notes. Along with his four children, he is survived by his wife, Harriet “Bunny” Burke.

Robert Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is quoted by B&C saying: "A gifted executive and natural teacher, and a man with a strong sense of right and wrong, Dan Burke led by example. He stood for integrity and directness in business, and encouraged a balance in work and family life and involvement in one’s community. Dan had a significant impact on me and all those he touched, and for that I will always be grateful."

The story notes that in retirement, Burke created a minor league ballclub, the Portland, Me., Sea Dogs.

During his career, Burke was a director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, ABC News adds.

He was appointed in 1990 by President Bush to the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund, and also served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont, among his many boards and civic activities, ABC News reports.

Said Thomas S. Murphy, retired chairman and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC: “Dan was a brilliant executive and my business partner for 33 years. He was also a friend whose intelligence and integrity greatly inspired those around him. Dan shaped the culture of the Company, with an emphasis on accountability, directness, irreverence and community service. He was serious and committed, with a wicked sense of humor that made every day more fun. The world is a better place for all he contributed.”

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Daniel Burke

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