Time Warner Cable’s Dressler Dies at 66

Dec 26, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Time Warner Cable’s former top programming buyer Fred Dressler died December 24 at the age of 66. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Dressler retired in 2006 as executive VP of programming at Time Warner Cable. He’d been with the company, and its predecessor, American Television & Communications, for 30 years.
Early in his career, he had managed cable systems in Shreveport, La., Fresno, Calif., and Denver before moving to the corporate offices.
He had been serving as a consultant for companies including BBC, Crown Media, MusicNet, Retirement Living TV and Univision.
“Fred was responsible for much of what Time Warner Cable stands for today,” Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable said in a statement. “His reputation as a fierce negotiator was always tempered by his humor and sense of fairness.”
Mr. Britt also gave tribute to Mr. Dressler’s personal qualities.
“Fred was revered for his intellect, his wit, his perspective, his vision, and his humanity,” he said.
Before entering the cable business, Mr. Dressler worked in the newspaper, wire service, radio and television businesses, with jobs ranging from writer, editor and on-air journalist to executive producer.
It was during his early days covering Denver City Hall that Mr. Dressler was introduced to Bill Daniels, a cable pioneer, who connected him with ATC, the cable company that would later become Time Warner Cable.
Turner Network Sales President of Domestic Distribution Andy Heller said Mr. Dressler was a teacher, mentor and friend.
“He always gave me the tools and the opportunity to prove myself and then stepped back in the shadows, giving me the platform to shine on my own,” Mr. Heller said in a statement. “I will continue to strive to be the same kind of mentor to others as he was to me.”
(Editor: Baumann)


  1. Shortly after his retirement, I approached Fred about our nascent cable TV programming venture. During my years as a TV group executive, he’d been a formidable force on the other side of the retrans negotiating table, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When I met Fred, I was immediately disarmed by his charm and hilarious stories–and greatly impressed by his receptiveness, enthusiasm and savvy counsel regarding the project. He quickly provided assistance that greatly advanced our effort, never mentioning financial consideration. When I finally broached that issue, I was taken aback by Fred’s response: “I’m sure that whatever you see fit to give me will be fair.”
    I only wish I’d had the opportunity to know Fred sooner and work with him longer. He was indeed a treasure. My prayers are with his family in this time of loss.

  2. Fred’s wife, Tricia and I have been working together on Education Showcase for more than 12 years now. During this time, Fred was always available to listen and provide advice, always just a phone call or email away. I very often find myself repeating phrases I learned from him…I guess that’s the sign of a good mentor, and that he was! It’s hard for me to believe he’s now gone. My sadness is only a fraction of what Tricia is now experiencing. My thoughts and prayers are now with her and Fred’s parents, children and grandchildren.

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