A longtime broadcast boss and TV producer who was one of the most well-liked executives in the business has died. The Los Angeles Times reports that Grant Tinker died Monday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 90.
Tinker ran NBC as chairman and CEO from 1981 to 1986, overseeing a turnaround for the network as it rode comedy hits including “The Cosby Show” and “Cheers” to rise from the ratings cellar.
Tinker was married to Mary Tyler Moore from 1962 to to 1981, co-founding MTM Enterprises with Moore in 1970 and bringing the wildly successful “Mary Tyler Moore Show” to the air. MTM went on to produce a string of hits including “Rhoda,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere.”
Tinker received a Peabody Award in 1994 “for recognizing, protecting, and fostering creativity of the highest order.” He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke released a statement saying: “Grant Tinker was a great man who made an indelible mark on NBC and the history of television that continues to this day. He loved creative people and protected them, while still expertly managing the business. Very few people have been able to achieve such a balance. We try to live up to the standards he set each and every day.”
NBC’s “Today” show aired a brief tribute this morning to Tinker — here’s the clip …