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CAB Founder Alter Dies at 77

Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau founder Robert Alter died Thursday at the age of 77 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Alter, who served as the CAB’s president and CEO from 1980-91, is survived by his wife Lucile, their three daughters and five grandchildren.

A funeral service is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

“Today we mourn the loss of an industry pioneer, a terrific friend and the man who laid the foundation for thousands of cable ad-sales professionals nationwide,” CAB CEO Sean Cunningham said in a statement. “Bob was a visionary whose commitment and dignified leadership set the standard by which all other advertising trade organizations are measured against.”

Alter -- who was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2003 as an industry innovator -- most recently headed his own consultancy working with clients like Pacific Century and the Chinese government on a project to extend cable TV into that nation, according to a CAB spokesman.