TV Titan Jamie Kellner Dead at 77

( – Fox Broadcasting Company founding president Jamie Kellner, the American television executive who also launched The WB, died at the age of 77.

On Friday, June 21st, Keller died in California at his residence in Montecito. No cause was given.

Kellner was born in Brooklyn, New York, around 1946 and began his career as a film executive in the late 70s. In 1986, he became the chief operating officer (COO) and president of Fox Broadcasting. In the years following, Kellner had a huge impact on the network and transformed it by introducing Fox viewers to iconic American TV programs such as The Simpsons, Cops, 21 Jump Street, In Living Color, and Married… With Children. He also established the Fox Kids Network, expanding programming to younger audiences.

Kellner remained with Fox until 1993 when he left the company. A few years later, he created The WB network in 1995, making Kellner the only TV executive in history to launch two successful broadcast networks. The WB brought to Americans another wave of iconic programs that marked the late 90s and early 2000s, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, 7th Heaven, and Gilmore Girls. He remained with the network until the end of his tenure in 2004.

He went on to continue an illustrious career over several decades. He was in charge of Turner Broadcasting (the parent company of CNN, TBS, TNT, and other channels) and worked at Orion Entertainment Group where he served as president.

Former chairman of The WB, Garth Ancier, paid tribute to Kellner and his contributions to television, describing him and his career as “legendary.” He praised Kellner’s “syndication background,” which Ancier said was “invaluable” for making The WB work by “knowing which stations and which alliances” made sense for the network.

Ancier said Kellner guided the entire network through those changes and “took on each challenge” in the industry “with the same vigor that he brought to his own life.”

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