ABC Icon Dan Burke Passes Away
Daniel Burke, former president and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, died Wednesday at home in Rye, New York. He was 82.
Burke suffered from diabetes. He is survived by his wife Harriet "Bunny" Burke and four children: Steve, Frank and Bill Burke, and Sally McNamara. Steve Burke is CEO of NBCUniversal.
"A gifted executive and natural teacher, and a man with a strong sense of right and wrong, Dan Burke led by example," said Robert Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "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."
Burke was recruited by Tom Murphy to join Capital Cities Broadcasting in 1961 as general manager at WTEN Albany, and eventually moved up to executive vice president and director of Capital Cities in 1967. He spent more than three decades with Capital Cities, which acquired ABC, before retiring in 1994. Burke is a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.
In retirement, he created the minor league ballclub Portland (ME) Sea Dogs.
A visitation service will be held at the Graham Funeral Home, 1036 Post Road in Rye, N. Y. on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The funeral will take place at St. Martha Church, 30 Portland Road, Kennebunk, Maine Nov. 1 at 11 a.m.
"Dan was a brilliant executive and my business partner for 33 years," said Tom Murphy, retired chairman and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC. "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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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.