Tragedy in the Broadcast Community: Nicholas Val Napolitano, 1988-2011

We’re saddened to hear that the young son of Val Napolitano, president and CEO of Petry Television, passed away prematurely. Nick Napolitano was 23, and died saving another man in the ocean off Newport, Rhode Island.

The tragedy happened August 7. Nick saw a friend in jeopardy of drowning in the rough surf, and jumped in to save the man. He lost his life in the process.

Val and his wife take some consolation from the fact that Nick died a hero, and from the remembrances people who knew Nick are posting on the site here. Here’s a particularly moving one:

Nick, no matter where he was or whom he was with, he glowed from the simple thrill of enjoying life. The most unique part of this gift was that he always wanted to share this joy with all those he cared about and all those he came across.  

People can donate to Nick’s memorial fund here. “The purpose of the Nicholas Val Napolitano Memorial Fund is to establish a scholarship for a young person who perpetuates the characteristics that Nick stood for and to keep his legacy alive,” says the website.

Val and his family also takes solace in this Bible passage:

“Greater love hath no more than this; that a man lays down his life for his friends.” –John 15:13

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.